Switching between FTTC services to become cheaper
Switching between FTTC providers has to date often cost the same amount as ordering FTTC for the first time, even though it needs no engineer to visit the home. In an attempt to increase the amount of retail competition between providers Ofcom is reducing the minimum term and cost of migrations.
Currently Openreach requires a 12 month minimum term contract on any FTTC service that has been migrated, but Ofcom is set to change this and for existing FTTC connections the minimum contract length at the wholesale level after a migration will be one month. NOTE: This does not apply to first time FTTC orders, or if you move into a property that previously had FTTC, the basic Openreach 12 month contract will still apply.
To further encourage the sales and marketing people to tempt us all to change providers, Ofcom is planning to shortly reduce the cost of fibre migrations from £50 to £11. While Ofcom says this will allow lower start-up fees, we don't expect to see big changes at the retail level since the £50 fee is already spread-out over the contract period, but we predict an increase in incentives to switch provider and maybe even six month contracts for switchers.
With BT Retail and its Infinity product currently making up the bulk of the 2.7 million Openreach FTTC connections we are sure that Ofcom wants to make the fibre market shares look more like the ADSL market, where while BT is still the number one retailer it does face still competition.