One week to go till FTTC migrations become cheaper
As part of the on-going remit of Ofcom to ensure that BT is not the dominate force in the telecoms market changes previously announced by the regulator Ofcom come into effect on July 1st and include the following changes:
- The charge providers pay when you migrate to their FTTC service is reducing from £50 to £11.
- The minimum contract term at the wholesale level for FTTC switchers will be one month. NOTE: Those upgrading from ADSL/ADSL2+ will still have a 12 month minimum term at the wholesale level.
- 70% of fault repairs must be completed within 24 to 48 hours of notification. Rising to 80% by 2016.
- Appointments for new line installs that need an engineer should be done within 12 days 55% of the time, rising to 80% by 2016.
- Ensure clear communication to the consumer of how long work will take if outside those metrics.
- Publish reports each quarter detailing Openreach performance on things like time to install lines and repair faults.
The reduction in the price of migrations is not likely to be noticed by most people since providers often use longer contracts e.g. 18 months is pretty common to help recover the cost, but combined with the new shorter contract for switchers we expect to see shorter contracts. The other alternative is that we will see Sky and TalkTalk being more pro-active at tempting people to switch with increasingly more tempting voucher offers.
The issue of fault repairs has been building for a few years and we suspect that if Openreach was to have enough of its own staff on its install and repair teams things would go a lot better, all too often we see two engineer visits needed on new FTTC installs as contractors leave a mess.
In terms of competition with the new wave of interest in alternate full FTTH/P local loops if Openreach does improve its performance considerably it may make things harder to attract people to the new services. Another view is that if the level of penalty were high enough for failing to meet copper repair targets, Openreach might consider more use of FTTH/P itself.