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62,000 Cornish premises have FTTP available to them
Friday 13 June 2014 15:22:28 by Andrew Ferguson

Cornwall was ahead of the curve starting its superfast broadband roll-out and was underway well before any of the BDUK projects, so hitting the 90% milestone for premises that had access to some form of fibre based broadband in April 2014 was no surprise to us.

A figure we have chased for a number of times has now emerged thanks to the tweet bus that tours Cornwall promoting all things Cornish. They have published a figure of 62,000 premises that have FTTP/FTTH available to them, to avoid any doubt this means premises where the fibre has been deployed to the final manifold, which will be in a pavement chamber or up a pole within a few metres of each property.

Many may doubt this figure, but Cornwall has long held ambitions for a high proportion of FTTP and our own checks today produce a figure within a couple of thousand of this total. In the areas where native FTTP is available it is available at speeds of 40, 80, 110, 220 and 330 Mbps, whereas areas that already have FTTC only have the option of the expensive fibre on demand service at a speed of 330 Mbps. Crucially with native FTTP, the pricing and presentation to the broadband provider is identical to the FTTC services on the 40/10 and 80/20 GEA-FTTP products.

The FTTP coverage is spread across 58 exchanges, with over half of it concentrated in seven larger exchanges, Penzanze, Cambourne, Redruth, Falmouth, Helston and Truro. Sennen Cove (TR19 7DF) may be host to the most westerly FTTP enabled location in England.


Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Zero doubt, just laughable that half of Openreach's entire FTTP deployment is in that one small corner, and a good part of the rest is a 'trial' in the Milton Keynes area.

Absolute excrement compared with their peers in the EU, proven by the statistics, and Openreach/BT should be ashamed at how poorly they've served urban areas.

That Swisscom spent as much in a single year as Openreach did in 3 despite only covering Switzerland and a small corner of Italy speaks volumes. Openreach didn't finish their project 20 months early and under budget by magic.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Before BT fanboys dive in Swisscom deal with LLU also, they just deployed what is basically FTTdp in more rural areas and FTTP in urban ones.

Investment is clearly anathema to Openreach. 21CN was budgeted at ~10 billion yet we were all supposed to be worshipful of Openreach over spending 2.5 billion on NGA, of which 0.5 billion wasn't NGA specific and a large proportion was operational costs rather than capital expenditure.

I hope the UK tells Openreach where to go when they come with hands out for the upgrade after their obsolete last generation access FTTC deployment, though I doubt it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
The pension fund is a crown liability, so the UK will happily subsidise BT deploying FTTdp to areas that should've received FTTP straight off the bat, and then in a 3rd wave our taxes will sponsor FTTP.

Of course Openreach will continue to rinse the taxpayer throughout the process, compensating both for their own poor commercial decisions in their deployment strategies and making the most of the opportunity the BDUK scheme presents.

Look at the amount that BT contributed to the Cornwall project then seriously try and equate that with the lack of FTTP outside of Cornwall. It doesn't work.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
But Swisscom is majority state owned, so the federal government can put as much money as they like from taxes into the company. It is also not part of the EU so there is no State Aid restrictions.
Surely if you are in business you need to be able to cover the operational cost as well as the capital - otherwise you don't have a service to sell?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
£132m project money in Cornwall Or put another way 1/4 the money for Wales when Wales has six times more people in it.

Hence why such a difference compared to other counties.
Posted by GMAN99 over 3 years ago
Where does the money come from for this en-masse rollout of FTTP by Openreach, often asked.. never answered.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Original news in 2010 said £78 million from BT and £53.5 million from EU.
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
It's interesting that those who chose infantile sexual homonyms as screen names are often those most inclined to ungrammatical ranting.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
It's also interesting that people have nothing better to do than comment on usernames and grammar.

That said I shouldn't comment after drinking, it does get somewhat rant-filled and indeed the quality of my grammar suffers. :)
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Hi Gadget,

Swisscom appear to have spent their own money, not relied on state subsidies. I can't see anything in their accounts referencing a subsidy from the state for this.

Andrew - when talking about amounts you should note that BDUK and Cornwall aren't directly comparable as the BT spend in Cornwall includes all 'commercial' deployments.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
GMAN99 - the same pot 10 billion for rollout of 21CN was going to come from. Their 3 billion per year in operating profit.

How many companies do you know that can pay down debt while allegedly embarking on a massive investment programme?
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
Fascinating that you put out two links which actually state BT is already heavily indebted. Just which financial investors will stump up £2obn or so? Shareholders and banks will only do so if there's the prospect of a return.

As for 21CN, most was essential investment in the core network to eliminate costly and expensive legacy data and voice systems (AXE10, System-X, frame relay etc.)
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
Incidentally, the comment on usernames goes a little deeper than mere appearance. It also speaks of a need to be confrontational, assertive with absolutist statements and not much subtlety.

Some of what you say is true of course. BT is saddled with a huge pension liability (much of it the result of inheriting over a quarter of a million people on, essentially, public sector pension terms). The effect of this is reflected in the share price of course, but it does impact the availability of investment money.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Some would say investment in wider FTTP would be essential to eliminate costly and expensive legacy metallic path maintenance.

Certainly Verizon seem to think so.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Incidentally if nitpicking grammar I'm not convinced 'costly and expensive' is an especially good use of English, though I thought I'd use it given you have so it clearly must be correct and I'm mistaken.

I have already commented that I perhaps ranted somewhat. If I'm guilty of a need to be confrontational that need appears to be infectious.
Posted by mdar5 over 3 years ago
Re Verizon
Can anyone who actually knows tell us how much Verizon charge their subscribers and for what speed obtained - I'll bet it's not peanuts.

In essence though any universal FTTP in the UK would have to be paid for by one of 3 parties. The Government, the industry/private investment or by the subscriber....each of whom want the others to do the paying and not them!
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Indeed; like the rest of the USA's broadband the prices aren't nice.

Similar pricing to Comcast.

The USA's broadband is expensive. Northern and Western Europe is perhaps a better guide for us.
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
Industry will, of course, only invest their own money if they can get a return for customers (so customers pay).

There's a big barrier in that the way the industry is regulated, with the emphasis on LLU (which locks in copper), it's pretty near impossible to see how universal FTTP rollout (rather than cherry-picking) will get a return. The US has gone a different route by essentially using "regulatory forebearance" on incumbent's NGAs to encourage fibre rollout. Neither Ofcom or the EU will permit that.
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
For those inclined to look, there are plenty of academic articles around about the regulatory problems of competition from cheap, sunk-cost copper-based broadband to fibre networks.

Australia attempted to deal with this using a government sledgehammer via the National Broadband Network, but that turned into a financial fiasco and is being heavily de-scoped. Jersey is doing a mini version of that, and as it's a small area it's feasible but it's difficult to see how decomissioning of copper in the UK could be enforced without compensation to LLU operators.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Ah I see one source of confusion - I don't advocate universal FTTP, I entirely understand that isn't practical.

More that as far as our incumbent run it became a tad more than just cherry picking.

Agree regarding the issues of replacing copper, however it is disappointing that nothing has been done towards this end.
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
The cherry picking is most likely going to be by companies other than BT (as we are seeing in some new development areas). The reason is that they aren't encumbered by having to offer wholesale services. They can count on retail revenues too, which changes the economics in some areas. Of course, this means even more of a patchwork, but as that's the logical outcome of the current industry structure and regulatory regime.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 3 years ago
@EularID the 2014-2017 Fixed Line access review was an opportunity to povide a means to encourage investment in fibe access where copper access is no longer fit for purpose, those bits of the jigsaw like ELOs. Instead the notion that Fibre access is a premium service has crept into the thinking and changes in FOD pricing is unhelpful.
Cornwall project team deserve huge credit for squeezing this out of BT before BT Group brought the shutters down on BDUK. No visibility of costs and contributions of course but at least we know it can be done.
Posted by Kper over 3 years ago
Is there a map of FTTP-enabled properties, UK-wide?

If it's a consideration when moving house, it helps to know where to house-hunt.

Unfortunately, knowing which exchanges are FTTP-enabled doesn't help much because the roll-outs tend to be very patchy.
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
@VFM - indeed it is regarding as premium. This from the LinkedIn Profile of Openreach's major FTTP guy:

'I head up the team looking at Fibre only Exchange(Exchange withdrawl of copper) and Fibre on Demand(Premium fibre product to the home)'

Prior to that his job description was:

'Head of Mixed economy to allow Fibre to cab and premise at same exchange. Responsible for ensuring FTTP is fit to be launched as a proven product.'

Can't have been a joy for the guy seeing all that work come to very little as the money and ambition weren't there :(
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