Broadband News

Draft Openreach duct and pole sharing document reveals pricing

Openreach have today revealed their draft proposals for physical infrastructure access (PIA) which is a product that Ofcom are requiring Openreach to provide. This will allow other network operators to use BT's existing ducts or poles to deploy cables for their own network use, and should in theory make it cheaper to run networks along-side BT's as it can avoid costly work with digging up roads of pavements to install new cabling ducts. Openreach are also inviting communication providers to participate in a trial of the service to test all aspects of the process.

One key use for PIA would be to allow other network operators to start rolling out fibre to areas where BT do not deem it cost effective to deploy. This could therefore mean that areas in the final-third of the country which are currently deemed unviable to receive fibre-broadband could see a change to this policy- assuming duct and pole sharing is cost-effective to the network operator.

On designing the reference offer, Openreach have looked to other European and International operators where similar services are already available and suggests that its price proposal is approximately 15% less than the average in France, Spain, Portugal and Germany. Openreach are looking at £0.95 per per metre of spine duct on a 10 year term, or £1.16 on 5 year term. A lead-in duct on a 5 year term would be £2.12 per metre. Cables run on poles would be subject to a £21 fee per attachment. Other charges are applicable for splicing or cable coiling within ducts as well as various fees for work to be carried out by Openreach staff.

A key point that Openreach are looking to impose on other network operators who want to use BT ducts or poles is that they will also need to open up their own infrastructure in a similar way. This could therefore allow BT to perhaps find cost efficiencies through using other ducts where either its own are full or it only has over-head cables in areas. Whether Ofcom will allow this condition to be in place will be interesting to see.

"Today we're doing what we promised by offering the communications industry yet another way of accessing our network in order to deliver super-fast broadband speeds to homes and businesses. We've listened to the views and requirements of our customers and will continue to work closely with industry and Ofcom to finalise the details of our duct and pole sharing products.

Although we don't view duct and pole sharing as the silver bullet to get fibre to every premises in the UK, these new products represent a positive step, opening our infrastructure to supply industry with an even wider range of different mechanisms for delivering fibre broadband. We also think it's really important that consumers and businesses continue to enjoy a choice of fibre services so we will be expecting others to be as open as we are."

Steve Robertson, (CEO) Openreach

The commercial launch of the PIA products are expected later in the year but more details and the reference pricing can be found on the Openreach website.

Comments

ETA until Virgin Media have to share their ducts?
Oh no, that's right, Ofcom are two faced hypocrites who happy to bully BT but not show equal regulation on the direct competition which is Virgin Media Cable.
How long will VM be allowed to stay without scrutiny? Without dragging them into proper 21st century regulation?

  • JohnUK
  • over 6 years ago

And do we like the prices?

Interesting to see an unblocking charge. When do they discover a duct is blocked?

  • Somerset
  • over 6 years ago

If they are 15% cheaper than others in Europe I'd say they are good. <crosses fingers that Virgin have to open up too>

  • GMAN99
  • over 6 years ago

This seems very exciting! But will still be quite some time before investment is allocated to a delivery of this kind, not holding my breath.

  • krazykizza
  • over 6 years ago

I'm hoping that Virgin Media will open up theirs. They have a hell of a fibre network!

  • Gamerwillz
  • over 6 years ago

Now am I right in understanding that the fibre on poles can only be used for access and not for backhaul?

  • petercf
  • over 6 years ago

^ I would expect so, backhaul should be in ducts

  • GMAN99
  • over 6 years ago

Gamerwillz: Virgin Media will refuse to open up their ducts to BTW as they already say NO before and will going to say NO again.

  • adslmax
  • over 6 years ago

I agree with BTs provision that others should open up their ducts if they expect access, seems fair to me. Especially when considering Virgin.

  • KarlAustin
  • over 6 years ago

i wonder which charge is 15% cheaper than Europe?

there's a list of 20 or more possible chargeble items on the Openreach price list.

it would be interesting to see a worked example with all the costs thrown in.

  • opticalgirl
  • over 6 years ago

It seems expensive to me. Like renting a house you'd just be throwing the money away.

  • timmay
  • over 6 years ago

@timmay - think about it more as renting business property, you're renting it to make money out of it. That's what it's about.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 6 years ago

What about VOA...?

  • otester
  • over 6 years ago

@otester
Presumably still applicable as you;re renting access to the ducts, poles etc but installing your own fibre in/on them.

  • New_Londoner
  • over 6 years ago

@Dixinormous But at those prices you won't be making any money unless broadband gets a lot more expensive.

  • timmay
  • over 6 years ago

@timmay, how much the ISP charges should have no bearing on access rental

I agree broadband is too cheap in the UK but that has nothing to do with prices for opening up ducts/poles

  • GMAN99
  • over 6 years ago

"When do they discover a duct is blocked?"

when they try to pull a cable in ?

  • herdwick
  • over 6 years ago

I haven't got into the detail of what's being offerred, but OFCOM can only mandate BT to do things in markets where they have SMP. If leased lines for business is as I recall not one where BT have SMP, then OFCOM can't make BT open up duct or pole access specifically for that purpose. So no leased lines or mobile backhaul by law. but possibly by agreement.

  • herdwick
  • over 6 years ago

timmay - retail prices are sadly irrelevant, that's a failure on the part of Ofcom when they forced BT to sell LLU products at the point where free broadband on a telephone line was potentially profitable.

BT are undercutting European prices, get enough customers to spread the cost between and it can and does work - ask the people who've bought ducting space elsewhere.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 6 years ago

so 1km of duct £1016 equivelent to £116 per year?

  • chrysalis
  • over 6 years ago

anyone know what it costs bt/openreach or any company for that what it costs to lay duct per meter?

  • CaptainHulaHoop
  • over 6 years ago

Costs ? anything from £5/m to £150/m to dig in new ducting depending on who you believe and circumstances.

Openreach prices above are I believe to install a "sub duct" within an existing duct, for the use of the other party. BT Openreach charges (in its excess construction charges) £3.50 per metre to install the microduct as part of its own supply of its own services.

  • herdwick
  • over 6 years ago

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