Fibre on Demand coverage expansion announced by Openreach
The Fibre on Demand product from Openreach is set to be available from another 82 exchange areas in the New Year. The Fibre on Demand product allows those whose street cabinet has a fibre twin (i.e. can get FTTC) to order a full fibre to the premise solution with a lot lower install cost that traditional fibre leased lines and lower monthly costs, but still costing substantially more than existing FTTC services.
Abingdon Aylesbury, Banbury, Bicester, Bishops Stortford, Blewbury, Blunsdon, Boreham, Bowes Park, Brackley, Braintree, Broomfield, Burghfield Common, Bushey Heath, Caversham, Chelmsford, Chorleywood, Chorlton, Clapton, Cockfield Green, Colindale, Crouch End, Deddington, Denton, Didcot, Didsbury, Earley, Edgware, Elstree, Epping, Finchley, Harefield, Harrow, Hartest, Hatch End, Hawkedon, Headington, Hendon, Henley On Thames, Highams Park, Highworth, Hungerford, Kenton Road, Kidlington, Kings Langley, Kingsbury, Macclesfield, Manchester East, Mill Hill, Moss Side, Muswell Hill Crouch End, New Southgate, Newbury, North Edgware, North Finchley, North Wembley, Northwood, Oxford, Pinner, Radlett, Reading Central, Reading South, Rickmansworth, Rowstock, Ruislip, Rusholme, Spencers Wood, Stamford Hill, Stanmore, Stansted, Stockport, Summertown, Tadley, Thatcham, Tilehurst, Tottenham, Uxbridge, Wallingford, Walthamstow, Wantage, Wendover, Woodley; BerkshireThe 82 new exchange areas for Q3 2013-2014 availability of FTTPoD
Another list of 161 exchanges is expected by the end of March 2014, which will bring the total along with previously announced exchanges to some 303 exchanges, and means that if firms and homeowners are willing to spend the money the option of full FTTP will be available to 4.7 million premises. It is not possible to say that 4.7m premises will be passed by a FTTP network, as the accepted definition of 'passed' is that it is only the last 20 to 100m of fibre that needs installing. The first FTTPoD install in each road, will require additional fibre splitters, a manifold and fibre tubing installing.
The phased roll-out of the Fibre on Demand product appears to be based around both the perceived economic feasibility for an area and the technical experience being available to install it. As such this means that it is not just a small dedicated team travelling around the country, but that local staff are trained in maintaining the network.
The expected installation costs start at around £700, rising to £1,500 but for those at greater distances the cost may reach £3,000 or more. A survey is carried out prior to people committing to pay the install fee and for those wondering how the distance element is calculated it is the radial distance from your fibre aggregation node, which is usually a larger pavement chamber located near the fibre street cabinet. The service carries a 3 year minimum contract term, and only one speed of service is currently available a 330 Mbps download, 30 Mbps upload product.
The install cost, long contract and the likely £60 to £150 monthly broadband service price will mean for the average home user the service is too expensive, but for those looking to work from home all the time, or for improving a business connection where guaranteed bandwidth is not needed the service offers good value for money. Also while the costs will be higher, those businesses who are only getting 15 to 25 Mbps from a FTTC service may find the boost in both downstream and upload speeds is distinctly worth the money. A further benefit to full FTTP solutions is that they are immune to radio interference too.