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Openreach CEO to step down as commercial fibre roll-out completes
Monday 18 November 2013 09:20:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Liv Garfield the current CEO of Openreach has seen the availability of fibre based services (mainly FTTC) increase from 4 million premises in April 2011 when she joined Openreach, to 17 million in just thirty months and take-up has risen from 2.5% to 11.7%.

"I am immensely proud of the thousands of Openreach engineers who serve cities, towns, villages and hamlets across the UK. These dedicated men and women work in challenging conditions underground and up telegraph poles - often battling extreme weather – to keep the UK’s critical communications network up and running.

BT has been a terrific employer, giving me lots of room to grow and develop my business skills. It has been a tough decision but I leave Openreach in fantastic shape and have every confidence it will continue to thrive."

Liv Garfield, Openreach CEO on leaving

Liv will step down in Spring 2014 which is coincidentally when the purely commercially funded fibre based broadband roll-out should complete and her position as CEO of Severn Trent will be a move from one ducted company to another, except that one of them enjoys carrying lots of water in its pipes.

We know there will be those critical of Openreach for its focus on FTTC based services, but in a cold commercial world with little sign of any other operator deploying FTTH on a national scale with wholesale access Openreach back in 2009 was able to start the ball rolling on the FTTC roll-out, rather than what ultimately may be more future proof but more of a gamble in the short term. One reality of FTTH roll-outs is that we do not see how it could have being pushed past 17 million homes in four years, and the £2.5 billion would probably have only provided coverage for around 3 million premises. It is often ignored, but the FTTC network sits on top of infrastructure that brings GPON within 1km of 90% of UK premises, which is why the Fibre on Demand product is possible and while G.fast is the talk of the moment if FTTH advocates show demand and take-up in areas where FTTH is available it may sway the accountants.

Openreach since it was created in 2006 has suffered from the number of engineering staff available, if there was any one challenge for a new incoming CEO it would be how to take on more staff without increasing the costs of its services. Once the move to self-install FTTC (no need for an engineer to visit the home) becomes official this may relieve some of the pressure and free staff for fault handling.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Self-install FTTC may generate many faults and underperforming lines, not sure it'll require less engineer time in total - probably more !
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
Andrew please stop quoting this 17 million homes passed at least until BT are able to prove that this means 17 million premises can get a minimum 24mb service.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@gerarda Did I quote a speed or mention superfast? No - so the 17 million stands as number of premises that can order a FTTC service.

I could be boring and ALWAYS quote the national projection of D side line lengths alongside.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
Gfast is the next con. Another dead end costing a fortune in time, money, and carbon footprint. https://neil-fairbrother.squarespace.com/blog/2013/7/1/gfast-a-high-speed-cul-de-sac
Posted by dogbark over 3 years ago
Two huge mistakes were made.

One was to abandon FTTP in favour of FTTC thus relegating Britain to the slow lane.

The other was to sub-contract the installs to Quinns and Kellys so that poor quality rushed jobs are the norm.

Shocking.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
FTTP has not been abandoned, yes down scaled compared to the original 2009 aims, but in the UK Openreach is still the largest FTTH player in homes passed and connected.

Also on Quinns and Kellys, guess who would be doing install work for any other commercial roll-out - probably those contractors.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
The cost to roll-out national FTTP is £15-25BN, time frame 20 years with sustainable workforce, shorter if you hire and fire.

With the wholesale requirement placed on it by OFCOM, margins are restricted and ROI would be worse than sticking the money in the bank.

Public lack of understanding of financial, employment and infrastructure matters... truly shocking!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
FTTC is a long way from perfect, and G.fast may be a another stop gap, but unless someone pays for the FTTH roll-out how is it going to happen?

Posted by lyncol over 3 years ago
http://www.dslrings.co.uk/bt-says-you-dont-need-all-fibre-its-copper-last-mile-is-good-enough-to-stay/
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Instead of the continual moans about FTTC etc. why not an intelligent discussion about how to fund a 100% FTTP rollout.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@andrew BT will not confirm that the 17m is premises able to order FTTC
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 3 years ago
Monopoly lite to monopoly Max, it must be the all the rage.
Posted by lyncol over 3 years ago
To totally fibre the UK the cost would be app 30 billion with a 30 year pay back.
No business sense in that!
Posted by lyncol over 3 years ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0WIJ2AdN5I
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
@gerarda - who did you ask?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
No need for confirmation http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/ShowArticle.cfm?ArticleID=712032AE-E0B8-4627-A6D2-B7A8A05C62C9 they have told their shareholders all about it, and thus a matter for public record.

At this point Gerarda points out the differences between cabinet capacity deployed and number of premises. I point that Openreach does add more cabinets if demand shows the need.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Passed and Connection definitions used by Openreach match the usual definitions used by operators across the globe.

Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
And then we move on to the sins of BT and dead cabinets being counted...
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@andrew where in that document does it say all 17m can order FTTC
@Somerset Bill Murphy aka Bill Broadband

@andrew That does not mean they are not misleading. The ASDL "availability" definition is why its taken the government 8 years to realise that there are still not spots. Given the damage that has done I am not prepared to accept without challenge any similarly misleading "definitions"
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
@Gerarda

You haven't bothered reading the document have you? Look at the 6th line of text.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
And yes everyone can "order" should they want to.
Actually receiving service is another thing and not a question you asked.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
My bad on previous post about reading,misread, apologies.
Posted by lyncol over 3 years ago
http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/11/15/technology/why-copper-isnt-going-away-hurry

good read!
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Andrew- "Passed and Connection definitions used by Openreach match the usual definitions used by operators across the globe." Can you perchance provide a link to these definitions?
Posted by dogbark over 3 years ago
http://www.ftthcouncilmena.org/documents/FTTHdefinitions/FTTH-Definitions-Revision_January_2009.pdf

Is google not working for you?
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Funny you should mention that, dogbark, but no, it isn't. I have tried every combination of 'FTTC Council' and 'homes passed+FTTC' to no avail, so I am without the definition to which I assume you have access? If you could oblige, since BT cannot? It does appear however that Andrew agrees that a home cannot be 'passed' for FTTC if additional cabinet capacity is required to supply it, and surely there has also to be the ability to actually supply a real 24mb+ to that premise? After all, that is what this BDUK thing is all about, is it not?

Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
I was aware of the FTTH Council's (a non-regulatory body, I believe?) definition and must say it is suitably vague regarding the need for "further installation of substantial cable plant such as feeder and distribution cables (fiber) to reach the area in which a potential new subscriber is located." Plenty of scope for a little artistic licence there (gerarda, A1??)- and who will police that? I was, as posted, asking for BT's definitions.
Posted by dogbark over 3 years ago
The definitions are in the document I linked.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
That was 'FTTH'.....
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
@mikejp - reasonable to say that a full cabinet still means an available area as BT does install extra ones. Shows there is demand for these products that some dismiss as rubbish!
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Gov doc says:

The indicator records the potential to receive superfast broadband (determined by premises
being passed), rather than premises connected as it is up to the occupant to decide if they
want to connect their premise to and pay for a broadband service.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Which 'indicator'? A touch meaningless?
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/249699/Statistics_Release_-_Rural_Community_Broadband_Fund_Oct_2013.pdf
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Nice timing, that pdf!! Somerset - that is all about THE POTENTIAL not the fact. I see no guarantee that being 'passed' will mean a 24mb+ connection is available.

"reasonable to say that a full cabinet still means an available area as BT does install extra ones." - ok as long as only those premises for which there is an EXISTING port are counted, and not ALL premises connected to the cabinet!

Still interested in BT's 'definitions'.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
Gov doc appears to be wrong as BT will not confirm that premises outside the reach of the cabinet are excluded from their definition
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Number of premises outside reach which is a vague line will be small. Cabinets tend to be located close to properties they serve rather than in middle field 2km from nearest property.

Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
re potential:

'refers to potential because it is up to the occupant to decide if they want to connect their premise to and pay for a broadband service'
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
Sorry Andrew but that is nonsense - they are close to some of the properties they serve but can be miles from some of the others. If it was a negligible number of properties we would nothaving all this uncertainty about how and where BT are going to provide a 2mb infill service
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
So do BT have a credible strategy for bringing FTTP to those who are more that 1km from their cabinet and therefore likely to gain the most?
Posted by RandomJointer over 3 years ago
Farewell, Liv.

It will be a long time until we see another guvnor who can talk faster than I can listen and a long time until we see another £2.5 Billion investment in the local loop.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/guide/fibre-broadband.html#what-speed

Got a good data set that disagrees with those figures?

The uncertainty about 2 Mbps infill is because their cabinet may not get FTTC at all, or they are in the 2%.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Given very few areas are aiming for an absolute 100% at superfast in the short term, the 1-5% can be ignored.

Harsh - but reality of spending when pot of money is not bottomless.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
In Surrey the aim is 99.7%. Here is some measured data that shows how this target will not be met given that the cabinet placement in the report is typical of many other rural locations.

http://www.texp.co.uk/downloads/Broadband%20Performance%20Ewhurst%20-%20Issue%202.pdf

BTO also appear to be having difficulty getting fibre to single cabinets up long country lanes. I expect "Build and Benefit" (FTTC)to be the next offer from BT for such locations.
Posted by jrawle over 3 years ago
I can't wait for self-install to be the norm. It means when I come to the end of my existing FTTC contract, I can switch without having to waste a day at home, already benefiting from an engineer-fitted VDSL faceplate. Hopefully it'll also mean one-box routers, so no more ugly and inefficient separate modem.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
@jrawle - am using the Homehub5 already - one box, 4 GigE and Wireless 802.11an and syncs at 78Mbps on my line
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
"given that the cabinet placement in the report is typical of many other rural locations" - I think you mean **assuming** that Ewhurst is representative.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
One only has to look at cabinet locations in rural areas to see the long distribution side cables, so I believe it is a given, not an assumption. Look here in the comments about rural Cornwall.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6150-cornwall-economy-starts-to-show-the-benefits-of-superfast-broadband.html
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
@cooperfarncombe

Quote: "Here is some measured data that shows how this target will not be met"

So you're basing this rather sweeping statement on limited measurements extrapolated to propose the picture for a village and then extrapolated again to cover an entire county.

What do you suggest the margin of error might be for this? What checks have you done to ensure your sample is valid for the village, and the village is in turn valid for the entire county of Surrey?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
69 out of 942 premises are estimated to be out of range of any FTTC service.

24% at less than 24 Mbps.

Though there is data showing speeds of 10 Mbps at 2.3km from a cabinet.

Surrey has some 440,000 homes in it to show the scale. The unknown is how much FTTP will appear in the Surrey BDUK roll-out.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
Where's that D-side line length distribution graph when you need it. Yes it is in the public domain and the proportion of long lines is not large - outlying premises and hamlets are easily dwarfed in population terms by large hamlets.
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Not Surrey:

http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/images/Annexes%20map%2013%20-%2018_tcm44-205190.pdf
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
Yes, where is the D-side line length data for Surrey? I have not seen any for Surrey to the level of detail as Derbyshire and even that does not have the underlying data, which would allow numbers of premises per postcode against distance to be derived. Can anyone provide a link?
Posted by lyncol over 3 years ago
The recently concluded Broadband World Forum (BBWF) 2013 in Amsterdam would have been just about pure hell for devoted fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) evangelists, given that DSL-acceleration technologies such as VDSL2 vectoring and G.Fast dominated both conference and exhibition-floor discussions.

Just a few years after many proclaimed the impending death of copper networks, those very same networks are squeezing out previously unimaginable speeds, and the high-speed broadband game has changed completely.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
In our "fully" NGA enabled area 66 out of 143 postcodes cannot receive a more than 2mb service
Even allowing for variations in post code sizes that is many times more than 2%. And this was an areas BT thought they could cover without the need for funding
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
So lots of scope for a commercial competitor to launch something better…

Thats the thing if BT is doing so badly with its roll-out why are there not others throwing millions into their own large roll-outs.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
So far as Ewhurst is concerned, another company came with a fully specified and funded proposal well before BT showed any interest. BT then announced their intention to deploy FTTC and after much delay have now deployed their limited solution and locked out any interest for the bits where their infrastructure cannot provide an improved service. As the BT "solution" is part of their commercial rollout, the area no longer qualifies for public subsidy. Game, set and match to BT - for the moment.
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
@cooperfarncombe
When you say "another company came with a fully specified and funded proposal", I take it this isn't the option referred to in the document then as this was to be paid for by public funds?

If so, why is lack of public subsidy an issue for the area as have one or possibly two commercial solutions is surely better. What prevented the other company from proceeding with its investment?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@andrew - BT dont think its worth covering those postcodes with all their infrastructure already in place and you expect someone else to come in and make a commercial non-funded rollout????
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
@New_Londoner see http://www.ewhurst-broadband.org.uk/?p=1893 for the full story.

@Andrew gerarda is spot on.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@Gerarda Well this happens all across Europe people keep telling me, or there is the demand led schemes by people like Gigaclear.

For all the public spending and political spouting, there is no obligation to provide a speed above 28 Kbps still.

BDUK is about gap funding, not ongoing subsidy remember.


Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@CF
If the BT solution is "limited" such that it doesn't cover the full area, then the un-covered area still qualifies for subsidy.

No matter how much people get confused by exchange-level activation, or cabinet-level activation, and no matter how much mapping is done at postcode level to summarise black/grey/white and planning... the subsidy works at property level.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@CF
I haven't seen D-side data for Surrey, but there is data available nationally, in a report done by Sagentia in 2008.

The link @andrew gave earlier shows this data in the column "Cumulative %'age of premises at this distance". For example, 98% within 1250m of the cabinet.

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/guide/fibre-broadband.html#what-speed
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@andrew No there isn't - mainly because BTOfcom have told government for years that coverage was effectively universal. Belatedly they are realising their digital initiatives like online Universal Credit etc have been based on this false premise
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@WWWombat - no it does not - BT decide the area is set for commercial upgrade. They then have 3 years protection from state funding competition but no obligation to upgrade. Now having got a monopoly of the state funding they have even less incentive to upgrade as they can expect these to be subsidised in the next round
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
The provenance of the data used by Sagentia seems to be lost in the mist of time but even if still correct if we assume that densely populated areas would all have a cabinet with 1.5m that would mean that 20% of the final 10% are outside the reach of even a 2mb service.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
should read 1.5km not 1.5m
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
BT will always go for the bulk and those in the 20% of the 10% are being left until later while this bulk gets done...

What is the solution? Given the same sized pot of public money available?

At PAC some said they have mixed technology solutions for 100%, but yet to see them publish it for the public good.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
The solution Andrew would be to provide kick start public funding from the digital switchover fund to support altnets and community groups to start their projects delivering where telcos don't want to go.
Oh, wait, we tried that and the telcos have managed to stop any groups getting the funding...
Dunno what the answer is then - JFDI?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@andrew That is a question that should have been addressed in 2011. As far as one can tell no-one in BDUK did an analysis on the solutions and cost of providing a reasonable service to all.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
The RCBF fund was always too small to make any significant impact on the figures in the last 10%. Even B4rn once it has 3,000 connected is just a minor blip in the 10%.

The four million or so homes that form the final 27% is a pretty big task to take on.

To do a proper job rather than a fudge more money is needed simplez.

Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
@gerarda
LOL - you are having fun at the FUD and scaremongering, aren't you? A 3 year protection from state-funded competition? In a rollout that finishes in 6 months? I suppose by more BTOfcom collusion nonsense.

You're stark, staring something-or-other. In a cute, funny, and ignorable kind of way.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@WWWombat I suggest you read the state aid guidelines
Posted by petesilver over 3 years ago
All you people go on and on about fast speeds and fibre to the cabinet and fibre to the home but for once I wish someone would consider someone like me who has no chance of changing my lowly .5 MB download speed in the next millennia.All I want is a decent download speed I'm not looking for 24mb just something a little faster so I can download programs quicker.
It recently took me six hours to download Windows 8.1 which I think was only just over two meg.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
.5 Mega bits I presume? So is it the case that line attenuation is above 60dB? If not then post the stats, as provider may have you on an old fixed speed package.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@gerarda By 2011 it was all too late, 2008/2009 was when everything was really set in motion. Yes I know previous Government, but while some dates have changed end aim is not much different.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
wwwWombat How does it go? "You're stark, staring something-or-other. In a cute, funny, and ignorable kind of way."?

"If the BT solution is "limited" such that it doesn't cover the full area, then the un-covered area still qualifies for subsidy." - unless, of course, the 'un-covered areas' are 'hidden from view' until it is a wee bit too late - vis RCBF?'

Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Andrew - "So lots of scope for a commercial competitor to launch something better…

Thats the thing if BT is doing so badly with its roll-out why are there not others throwing millions into their own large roll-outs." - I think you need to read a few broadband blogs?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@mikejp Blogs to tell me what? And I think people would be surprised how much reading I actually do.

Limited commercial competition, willingness to invest/risk?
OR
BT is doing better than people are making out?
OR
BT is being predatory and surfacing wherever competitors talk about going?
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
Surrey County Council have said that if BT have provided a fibre to a cabinet as part of their commercial rollout then public subsidy is not an option because of State Aid rules. If in a commercially enabled exchange area a cabinet is not fibred then that is not a commercial solution and subsidy is allowed. Thus, the ruling seems to be at cabinet level. Perhaps it will soon be at HMG Cabinet level!
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@cooperfarncombe That is one of the reasons why I challenge any statement that suggest premises passed equals ability to get the service.
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
cooper farncome interesting - view however you have ommitted to advise that other solution was using public money and the operator is no longer supporting the residenttial market and only the business market having determined their was no rturn in it for them -
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
new londonder - nobody
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
And has anyone questioned if Surry County Council are interpreting the rules correctly? Section 3.1 of this doc https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/120693/BDUK_State_Aid_Guidance_13_11_2012.pdf suggests that consideration should be done at postcode level.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
It is done at postcode level but as the Councils are beginning to realise BT and Ofcom coverage figures include every postcode connected to a cabinet regardless of ability to get the service.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
@ fastman Second paragraph on page 3 in the referenced report seems clear enough.

BT were invited to tender, declined and then changed their mind once it was clear Ewhurst were going to take their project forward with RDPE funding via SEEDA.

That makes the question from New_Londoner with your answer "nobody" somewhat meaningless.
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
@Gadget Thank you - I will follow it up, but SCC have given their opinion more than once. Maybe they do not want to get involved below cabinet level and sometimes State Aid makes a convenient shield to shelter under.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
The OMR process http://www.superfastessex.org/Portals/30/Documents/Essex-BDUK-Project-Consultation.pdf here, for example, asks clearly to differentiate between basic broadband white areas and NGA white areas.
So what does the Basic Broadband OMR and NGA OMR say for the area?
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
@ Gadget - thanks again - the one for Surrey is here:

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/272600/Superfast-Broadband-in-Surrey-Open-Market-Consultation.pdf

In my view the document is not very informative, confuses the issue with "white-rings", but does say that SCC want >24Mbps everywhere.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Andrew - "Blogs to tell me what?" - blogs to tell you that these alt providers cannot safely invest 'millions' in any area without the risk of being 'over-built' by BT who are refusing to specify their areas. (See Ewhurst, Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Isle of Wight, Hampshire drone drone drone?) - and look! -
"The Daily Post is now reporting on the people who are getting their grants rejected due to the overlapping nature of the three projects and made worse by the lack of certainty over precisely what the commercial and BDUK projects will deliver."

Would you invest 'millions'?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
If I had £150m in my back pocket, yes I'd be looking at investing some in a mixture of projects, not all broadband of course.

The question is this...should those engaging in private investment have a right to expect competition to be excluded, or should only BT be excluded?

Maybe Digital Region would still exist if commercial investment by BT and Virgin had not been allowed.
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
@cooperfarncombe Doing it at cabinet level is probably the reason for the quoted 99.7% target. They are not comparing like for like with the other councils

It would be interesting to check the post tender document and find the commitment in that for the “white rings”
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
If an altnet product is so good (it's futureproof and ...) why would they worry about BT overbuilding?
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
If BT are so good why are they worried about Alnet competition?
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
cooper - we will beg to differ on that one (i understand commercial information was shared with SEEDA - suffice one wonders what position you might be now had you undertaken that project forward - bearing in mind that your preferred operater withdrew from the retail market (mainly midlands Based and now only concentrates on Business
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
cooper how could a Operator respond to a tender around public money if it was already aware that is as already expecting to deploy in a commercial project that woud be against state rules and involve repaying the money
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
Fastman- we will never know how it may have turned so it is academic now. The angst that some have is the way BT operated to kill-off the project, after considerable time and money within the community and SEEDA to get the project to the point where it could have been delivered. As mentioned earlier in this thread, this is not the only example.

I am sorry, your other post seems garbled? I do not understand the question.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Oxfordshire? You mean Cotswolds?

Oxfordshire has very successful altnet rollout thank you, with Gigaclear building substantial networks throughout the county without one penny of public subsidy.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
@Somerset. Price, An altnet would likely loose customers to a cheaper supplier providing an adequate service. In the case of Gigaclear this would present them with problems as they have to recover the sunk cost of laying the fibres. To attract customers, they do not lock you into a multi year contract or have high up front costs (£250+)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
But given the political mantra of the lost 30 years has been market competition is the best way then how does one square the circle?

Force Openreach to charge a price that allows others to compete on a level playing field, i.e. raise wholesale £6-10 per month for fibre to perhaps £20-25?
Posted by Michael_Chare over 3 years ago
My point is really that Gigaclear clearly try to target areas where they think they are less likely to face competition. IMHO any competition should not receive state subsidies. Telecoms is a utility where there are competing physical networks. This is not the case with water, electricity or gas.
Posted by New_Londoner over 3 years ago
The alternative Ewhurst proposal looks pretty naff, as far as I can tell. All funded by tax payer, over-specked (why not if taxes are paying), with the spurned former public servants now criticising something delivered at no cost to us poor taxpayers.

Great to see we kept our hands in our pockets, let the private sector pay instead!
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
@NL - BT stated in writing in March 2010 that they had no plans to improve any part of their network in the Ewhurst area. Therefore, your comment in another thread applies: namely: “It’s worth remembering that our taxes are not paying for the network, they are simply paying the difference between the economic and actual cost, with --
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
--- BT funding the economic cost. The reason for the subsidy is that no companies were planning to build fibre broadband in any of the areas served by BDUK - at least that's what the open market reviews concluded. So we can't moan about the subsidy if we want coverage in these places can we?”
Posted by cooperfarncombe over 3 years ago
This was all before the BDUK project. The subsidy was EU money specifically for rural areas and the specification was not speckled or even over-specked! In fact, how can it be naff and over-spec’ed at the same time? It was specified so that repeated roadworks would not be required to upgrade the capacity, surely an expensive way of going on. By the way, even public servants pay tax, although as I am now apparently “spurned” it is a bit less.
Posted by Zarjaz over 3 years ago
'Posted by RandomJointer 6 days ago
Farewell, Liv.

It will be a long time until we see another guvnor who can talk faster than I can listen and a long time until we see another £2.5 Billion investment in the local loop.'
Nice on topic post RJ ! [smile] I wonder how long before another CEO brings it's employees so close to the first industrial action in 27 years ?
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