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Openreach fibre network now available to 15 million premises
Tuesday 09 April 2013 10:04:40 by Andrew Ferguson

While there are many critics of the Openreach fibre optic roll-out, it is actually happening and at a fast pace, with the network now available to some 15,000,000 premises, though it is still a 99% Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) network.

"Fibre broadband is at the heart of our business and so it is great that we have now passed more than fifty per cent of UK premises. This is a significant milestone and one that our engineers can be proud of. They have worked through many months of appalling weather to bring the benefits of fibre to cities, towns and villages and this is making a genuine difference to how people live their lives.

Fibre broadband can play an important part in stimulating and supporting an economic recovery. Our investment, together with that of our partners, is helping to generate thousands of jobs and give small businesses the speeds that were previously the preserve of larger ones based in cities. These speeds will help them to become more nimble and responsive and that in turn will help them to expand. We are already seeing this in areas, both urban and rural, where fibre is available."

Openreach chief executive Liv Garfield

The commercial roll-out that was centered around £2.5 billion of investment by BT is set to finish in Spring 2014, but with some 18 BDUK projects now on board the engineering teams and contractors are set to remain busy for the next three or so years. Plus if the Fibre on Demand product proves even vaguely popular with business users further expansion of employee numbers may be required.

The criticism levelled at Openreach is largely two fold, you have providers like TalkTalk complaining that the cost of the FTTC-GEA service is too high (around £9 per month for LLU, or £16 a month from BT Wholesale) or others insisting the Openreach roll-out is just a patch up solution. Openreach already talks of the commercial roll-out having a 12 year pay back term, so reducing Openreach revenue from the new service would lengthen that, and perversely would probably mean any ideas of a full fibre (FTTP) roll-out are pushed further away.

The fact that Openreach has not gone for a full fibre roll-out, actually leaves the commercial market open for some of the people with the money to roll-out their own FTTP and FTTB networks, and while there is a lot of movement in this area it is largely the smaller operators, rather than a large operator looking to target millions of homes.

For no clearer sign of what difference the FTTC roll-out is making to UK broadband speeds, compare the average speed of BT Retail customers (Fibre and ADSL2+) at 23.8 Mbps with those of O2/Be (just ADSL2+) 7.6 Mbps in a blog article we posted a month ago.


Posted by mabibby over 4 years ago
I say let's just let them get on with it....

FTTC isn't expensive if you consider the engineering work carried out to implement it, and surely over time the wholesale costs will reduce... Just like ADSL in the early days!

FTTC isn't a patch, it's the most economical and viable step. FTTPoD provides the whole hog for the minority that want it currently.
Posted by zyborg47 over 4 years ago
As of yet I have not seen anything to impress me. Sure speeds are faster, but of the ones I have seen in action, not one of them reach the speeds that been promised. I do know some people who have it and they seem happy with it, but not seen myself what speeds they are getting.

the other problem is that if I went for FTTc i would have to sell my sole to the bog ISPs and BT system as the smaller Isps are still expensive for FTTC.
I will stay as I am I think.
Posted by zyborg47 over 4 years ago
I wish they had editing, my last message end was sell my sole to the big ISPs.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
I was promised 35Mbps down, I got 60Mbps down :) can't argue with that
Posted by Borisvon over 4 years ago
sadly my exchange is enabled but im still not :(
just wish there was a list saying wether or not my cab will be done or not so I can find and alternative, why is it so cloak and dagger.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
zyborg -- 15m premises passed in around 3.5 years inexceess of 34000 street boxes deployed - no costs to the taxpayet -- and compleyely from its onw money -- FTTC is chaning thousands of lives around the country and will continue to do so
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
boris von suggest you email openreach and ask - - See FAQ on if not you cou see dif covered under BDUK or get your community to fund it
Posted by zyborg47 over 4 years ago
@fastman, I don't disagree with you, but as with ADSl, people are being promised speed they can't get or their is something wrong with the system. One mate of mine is getting 20Mb/s, was was told he should get over 60. granted something is wrong, but plusnet or Bt don't seem to care as long as they got his money.
As for not costing the taxpayers, you are wrong.
I can get FTTC as the cabinet is enabled, but I think I will pass, had enough of Bt rubbish when I was ADSL.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
zyborg copper at 20 down and nt a lot up -- fibre at 60 down would be abput bout 15 up so major difference

Zyborgg the Premises past figure (15M is based on he commercial deployment only fudned by BT and will not take into account BDUK (These are not part of commercial or the 15M
Posted by jchamier over 4 years ago
@zyborg - I was promised 40meg download and 4meg upload, I get 46meg download and 8meg upload for £4 more a month than my ADSL2+ ISP. Its good.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Hate this country.

Exchange done. Cab? Never going to be done I am told

Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
PCcoventry may be worth checking if if covered under BDUK (assume warwickshire ?) or if not get your community to fund it - (see FAQ on
Posted by mdar5 over 4 years ago
pccoventry76 - indeed can you leave the UK please, then you might discover how lucky we are living here....and why everyone else in the world wants to get here.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
They only want to get here as our government is a easy to access cash point. Not for our broadband I am sure!

Swedeish friends pay 26 Euros a month for 100/100

So yes I'd love to leave the UK for internet.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
fastman no it's now. It's South Wales and even the Welsh Assembly stuff is not covering my cab. Oh well.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
If the cab area has a superfast service form Virgin Media then spending Gov money to add another option to an area with one already would fail state aid rules
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
Pccoventry if it is not covered by Superast Cyrmuru (suprprised if not) then ask openreach for cost of private funding by your community (via FAQ's on
Posted by adslmax over 4 years ago
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 14 hours ago
If the cab area has a superfast service form Virgin Media then spending Gov money to add another option to an area with one already would fail state aid rules ..............

That's a load of rubbish reply from Andrew. This isn't the truth in this. I can see some part of Telford FTTC putting there nearby Virgin Media Green Cabinet. It had nothing to do with if the area had Virgin Media Cabinet.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
"That's a load of rubbish reply from Andrew." I suspect wires may be crossed here. Andrew is correct for the BDUK state aid plan, but if BT are 'doing' this FTTC under their 'commercial' basis it doesn't come into play.
Posted by BTfanboy over 4 years ago
Well gmann looks like sucking up too BT payed off then.
Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Andrew is totally correct! It would not normally be possible to put publicly-funded FTTC/P in an area served by cable or other comparable services. The exception would be if the operator concerned either failed to notify the local authority of its network coverage + plans.

Of course BT is free to put its commercially funded network wherever it sees fit. If you do your homework I'm pretty confident you'll find the cabinets in question were BT funded.
Posted by fastman over 4 years ago
these wre commercial -- telford is intertesting going forward as it is not covered by any not BDUK money as Local Authority nexcluded themselsves from t of Shroprhsire BDUK - so anythig not coveed by commmerical has nowwhere to go currently
Posted by clive4 over 4 years ago
Here in semi-rural Dorset we welcomed the advent of BT's FTTC at 40 meg after excellent service from Virgin at 2 meg ADSL + 2 for 'only' £2 a month extra. Sorry, Virgin, no contest. But who knows what the future will bring?
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