Openreach looking to incentivise fibre take-up
The news about options for no engineer visiting to install FTTC is being welcomed by many, but this has not launched yet and there will be those who still want someone to visit to resolve wiring issues. Two levels of installation are currently available, something that many are probably not aware of:
- Basic Install where the Openreach engineer simply installs the Openreach modem and anything beyond that is down to the end-user.
- Managed Install includes the install of the Openreach modem, but adds connection of the provides supplied router and proving that the connection works on one computer that belongs to the end-user.
The reason for this news item, is that Openreach issued a briefing to providers on the 5th September asking whether providers would be interested in a special offer where Basic and Managed installs were available at a reduced price in certain areas with the aim of driving an incremental change in the take-up volume in the specific areas.
As this is something only under consideration at this time we obviously have no indication of the size of the reduction. The landscape for installation of FTTC broadband is set to change dramatically later in the year, the trials for providers to use their own integrated VDSL modem/routers are set to continue until Autumn and will expand the range of installation options greatly.
The PCP Only option, has led some people to worry that people will suffer from much worse speeds, but with providers like TalkTalk already offering their own engineers for installation of YouView it will make it easier for them to offer free install if you do everything yourself, or pay a small fee to have one of their engineers install both the fibre service and the YouView box. Hopefully providers will question customers at the time of order to determine what sort of install would work best, i.e. non engineer for the geeks through to a complete rewire of internal telephone wiring for those that need it.
Price wise the PCP Only option which has a proposed price in the £40 to £50, which while not ultra cheap is still lower than the basic install at £92, or managed install at £95 to £100 (variations are down to which GEA-FTTC service is ordered, all the prices exclude VAT). One interesting addition that may help those who cannot wait to start using their new connection is the ability to book a specific time slot for the PCP Only activation which carries a £12.50 charge.