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Jersey full fat fibre takeup running at ten percent
Friday 16 August 2013 10:42:44 by Andrew Ferguson

JT (Jersey Telecom) has completed 72% of its full fibre to the home roll-out across the island of Jersey. This means 710,738km of fibre has been deployed out of a planned install of 989,400km, expressing coverage in terms of the amount of fibre installed is a different measure to the usual homes passed, but does satisfy critics who complain that homes passed is an irrelevant statistic. The project is on course to complete the roll-out to 42,000 premises sometime in 2016.

The important figure is how many people have signed up to the service, back at the start of the year there was 1,737 homes with subscriptions, this has now risen to just over 4,200 subscriptions.

The Gigabit Jersey website lists three retailers for the service, JT themselves, Sure and Newtel. Sure appear to only offer an up to 20 Mbps service (736 Kbps upload) for £36 to £43 a month, Newtel has similar pricing and speeds i.e. 20 Mbps for £48.99 a month though both are unlimited usage. JT themselves has a 50 Mbps (1 Mbps upload) with 80 GB usage allowance for £29.99 and Gigabit (0.1Gbps upload) has a 100GB allowance for £59.99 - though with JT usage overnight is unmetered. The older ADSL packages are available for the same speed, allowance and price on the fibre network, which should encourage higher take-up, removing the price premium that FTTC/FTTP services in the rest of the British Isles command.

As we understand the situation is such on the island that copper recovery is not underway, which explains why take-up is not higher, suggesting that many people do not understand the benefits of upgrading or have concerns over final install process and reliability of their telephone service.

We would love to see many more full fat Gigabit capable FTTH/FTTP networks, but the performance in terms of take-up for the JT fibre network does raise questions over whether those who advocate the build it and they will come can be sure this will happen in a reasonably short timeframe. The JT network build is small, as the island itself is just 119.5km2 in size, the UK is much larger at 130,395km2. Estimates for the cost of deploying FTTH in the UK vary, but one report for the Broadband Stakeholder Group (using Verizon as cost model) estimates between £10.1 billion (20% connected) and £16.1 billion (80% connected) when homes passed is 80%. Recovery of copper could help cover the costs, but based on £8,335 per tonne in April 2008 for copper this was £0.7 billion for the 80% homes passed.

FTTH/FTTP/FTTB is not dead in the UK, there is a vibrant amount of work going on in the area, but given the size of the UK it is still around the 1% coverage mark. Take-up on networks that engage with communities or have deployed where larger operators fear to tread is giving good take-up figures, the catch-22 is keeping these high levels of take-up as projects grow in size.


Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Upfront provision of FTTH presented as an ethernet socket on new housing developments could give a high takeup ?
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
Keeping old copper in areas where FTTP has been installed is just stupid. Fibre should REPLACE copper!
Posted by AndrueC over 3 years ago
It does seem a bit odd to leave the copper in place. Hopefully the reclamation costs (if they pulled it all out) would reduce the overall project costs.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago

If you look at the sums BSG report did for UK, connecting more homes meant a few more billion spent, but copper was only worth £0.7 billion.

So copper recovery may help a bit, and not supporting old network might help a bit, but would take a good few years to make financial sense.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Unfortunately, both politicians and media always quote fresh copper price per tonne vs scrap copper price per tonne this is normally ~60-70% of the london metal market price for copper (4K vs 7K).
The copper does need to purified by smelting and cast.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Not sure copper recovery is a big deal (unless you're an itinerant metal recycler) but the maintenance savings should certainly be taken advantage of. Power companies leave very much fatter cables in the ground.

As well as the scrap vs new copper price let's not forget all that plastic that has to be burned off behind the caravan - sorry "separated and disposed of in an environmentally sustainable manner"
Posted by ggremlin over 3 years ago
I have to question "710,738km of fibre " - that would get to the moon and back,
the gigabitjersey site suggests
"5,500km of fibre cable will be used to connect every home and business on the island to the fibre network."
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Fibre cable <> fibre - I was looking at a 288 fibre cable being tested the other day. 5,500 * 288 = 1,584,000 so not ridiculous.

It's PtP or individual subscriber fibres, not GPON.
Posted by Kushan over 3 years ago
It seems a bit expensive for what it is. Don't get me wrong, I know fibre is a superior product, but the speeds and usage caps are miniscule, it doesn't seem like it's really taking advantage of the fibre (aside from the gigabit offering but this would still wipe your 100GB usage in 15mins).
Posted by Superfast over 3 years ago
JT said it still is pulling the copper out but its jsut about when it happens. Guess that makes sense for a programme like this and supports Andrews comment that it would help but not make or break...
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
"Homes passed is measured in cable distance rather than the number of homes: 710,738km out of a total of 989,400km (72%)."

A copy paste in case people think it is on my infamous typographical errors.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
I am surprised at the poor speeds on offer with FTTH. Only JT and GB seem to approach FTTC speeds and the others are little better than ADSL2+. Could this be affecting the take-up? Why is no-one offering 1GB symmetrical? Have they under-provisioned the fibres?
Posted by otester over 3 years ago

Competition (a lack of).
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
They're replacing copper with fibre, and have opted for the base products to match what people have now (presumably it's a no cost to the user change). Faster products are sold at a higher price, market segregation and all that.

Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Nobody *needs* 1 GB symmetrical, where it is offered in the USA eg Chattanooga the takeup is tiny weeny small. Where it is offerred it's contended highly.

Vtesse have a nice case study of how a business has upgraded to a 10M symmetrical fibre connection with the capability to step up to 100M in steps of 10. .
Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
Does this and the fate of Digital Region just demonstrate that you need to control (i.e. to supply) content as well as infrastructure to drive take up in the mass market? Is it because people are lazy, lack time, or what? I'm not talking about a few niche operators who depend on a few loyalists.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Take up is all about what the customer wants... the vast majority of customers are not like us, with respect to desire for a fast uber service. They are happy with the internet they get off their phone and the ADSL connection for a bit of emailing, browsing and shopping (more and more this can be done on a smart phone). So why take up a service that they don't need?
Posted by locris over 3 years ago
£42M The States of Jersey (French: États de Jersey) government support.

42,000 premises; that's £1,000 / premise, however it is said that 10% have taken up the service - which I doubt - however, assuming it's true, that's £10,000 / premise. Let's suppose that there's a 25% take up - that's £4,000/premise. The highest take up rate I have seen anywhere is 60% for certain "areas" in the USA. Even if 60% of Jersey's residents signed up at £50/month, that's still nearly £1700/premises which will take 3 years to recover.
Posted by locris over 3 years ago
However, the real cost is likely to be more like an estimated £150M

Reckless expenditure of public funds.

To connect every single one of the 42,000 premises to broadband at 400Mb/s over the existing (very good quality) copper using DSL Rings, the cost would be around £20M.

If only 10% of the population wanted ultrafast broadband at up to 400Mb/s, the cost would only have been around £2.5M using DSL Rings, and the costs recovered with 2 years without charging consumers £50/month......

The truth is coming out....

Cheers .....
Posted by Bob_s2 over 3 years ago
Remember a full fibre system reduces maintainance costs and that is a significant cost as it is an ongoing cost. Recovering the copper also reduce costs and will help cut out the cost of disruption due to copper thefts. Underground plant is normally amortized over about 30 years as well. If you spread the cost over 30 years costs come right down
Posted by qandrewmm over 3 years ago
HS2 rail now 80 Billion, plus plus,

what would you rather have,

7/8th of HS2 and a full FTTP Uk, or stay with copper / ADSL and a full HS2 rail way

I know my route,
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
@qandrewmm: Fully agree! See
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
should we apply the same overspend / escalation factor to an FTTP guesstimate as to HS2 ?
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
People complain about what's always been the standard way of measuring coverage of access networks, home passed?

How odd. I'd just completely ignore them. The key metrics have always been homes passed, homes connected, and current subscribers.

In fact... yes here we go.
Posted by michaels_perry over 3 years ago
My friend in St Helier makes the pint that domestic home users are not that interested in somewhat faster services at significantly higher prices. They want decent speeds at decent prices, not inflated prices (which is the impression people have of fibre pricing). For some, good ADSL2+ uncapped is more than adequate if speeds are above 15 Mbps and very few home users want/need 100 Mbps. Different matter for businesses though.
I get the impression that speeds above a certain level fail to impress many home users and the higher price is off-putting.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 3 years ago
Problem is that internet prices have fallen into the bargain basement price band and in the race to the bottom future investment has been left high and dry.

Who can remember getting 1Megabit or less for £40+ a month 10+ years ago.

Now I am on 80/20 FTTC for £17.50 per month.

Significant investment will not be forthcoming while prices are stuck where they are and it seems the vast majority want to pay less than £10 per month.

Makes BT's FTTC investment seem pretty good where we stand currently.
Posted by R0NSKI over 3 years ago
I'm with qandrewmm, scrap the HS2 and install FTTP for the whole country including businesses, anything left over can be used to improve the railways where really needed, I'm sure that will boost the economy more than one railway route.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
What makes me laugh is those pushing HS2 say without it the current rail network will be swamped, doubtful at the current and future rail prices!
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
At peak times the current network is swamped, despite the prices, and traffic continues to grow.

When some goon goes walkabout on the tracks it takes hours and hours to get back on timetable, as there's no slack at all. It's like watching a movie on Tiscali datastream.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 3 years ago
Also the "peak" time is getting longer and longer.

My wife is not allowed to work from home due to corporate security and she has to get the 06:30 train to have a chance of getting a seat.

After 07:00 it's standing room only even in first class all the way past 09:00

So I would expect her to say more investment in rail over broadband.
Posted by Oddball over 3 years ago
Why are there no double decker trains like in other countries?
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Why are there no double decker buses (apart from the tour guide ones) in other countries?
Posted by MCM999 over 3 years ago
In a word clearance. The UK loading gauge (distance from track bed to structures such as tunnels and bridges) is much lower than that in Europe and the US. Two four unit double decker trains were run on the Southern Region until around 1970. Problems included speed of exit causing slow stops, limited headroom and excessive heating due to the windows in the top part of each compartment being fixed shut due to the low clearance.
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