Broadband News

Naked fibre to the cabinet may be on the way from Openreach

The reaction to the annual or six monthly voice line rental price rises suggests that many will be pleased when they can finally ditch voice line rental and just pay a broadband subscription. It is possible that some form of 'naked DSL' is on the way from Openreach for its FTTC products.

"Openreach is consulting industry on a proposed new product currently known as “Single Order GEA”. It will give communications providers (CPs) purchasing its Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) product the option of placing a single, convenient order to provide customers with a fibre broadband service.

By building the underlying copper line into the product, CPs benefit from reduced complexity when ordering fibre broadband which is not coupled with a traditional voice service. CPs will have the option of introducing innovative IP based voice services for their customers.

The copper circuit from the exchange to the FTTC cabinet will be primarily used for line testing.

The new product will complement Openreach’s existing product portfolio, rather than replacing any of the current products.

Openreach statement on Single Order GEA-FTTC

The single order FTTC product is just a proposal and whether it appears will depend now on what the big providers such as Sky, TalkTalk and BT Wholesale have to say. So until the proposals are firmed up there is likely to be no indication of pricing, while we expect something more expensive than standard GEA-FTTC pricing the addition should be less than the wholesale cost of voice line rental.

While the FTTC services are not symmetric the much improved upload speeds compared to ADSL2+ mean that even lines where speeds are not superfast should be perfectly capable of supporting several VoIP lines and with iOS 8 looking to support Voice over Wi-Fi and the attractiveness of call packages on services like Skype it is not just going to be early adopters shifting their call traffic to IP based systems.

Looking at the long term, we can envisage a time when many local telephone exchanges have been bypassed and may not exist at all, or just turn into a single small room for fibre interconnects back to a regional node.


I think Naked FTTC could add extra £10 on top of the price. BT ain't stupid to get rid of voice service.

  • adslmax
  • over 6 years ago

"much improved upload speeds compared to ADSL2+" - not always, it depends on the line.

With ADSL upstream is in a band of fairly low frequencies, with VDSL2 it's part of a bigger shared up+down band (at higher frequencies which can be affected more by bad/long lines).

One line I look after dropped from ~850k to ~600k up when it moved to FTTC (downstream went up from ~2Mb to ~12Mb so it's not all bad, but slower upstream is a problem for them).

Unfortunately it seems that (unlike in some other countries) it's not possible to have an ADSL2 profile on FTTC as that might help..

  • sthen
  • over 6 years ago

Can't see the big isps giving up this cash cow.

  • _Resonance_
  • over 6 years ago

ISPs have pushed for it - hence the Openreach consultation.

The UK is behind some of the other European countries when it comes to IP based telecoms -

  • AndyCZ
  • over 6 years ago


I wonder how CP's will go about articulating the difference in availability/robustness between POTS, FVA and VoIP? And the difference in cost required.

  • WWWombat
  • over 6 years ago

So what about the people who can't have FTTC? Surely this should be taken into account.

  • CaptainW
  • over 6 years ago

I always thought really that they were forcing the voice line part to make sure the fixed line industry kept going. Really with broadband internet voip and a mobile phone it's kind if crazy needing a fixed line too. It's probably more of a move as mobile data services get better and fixed wireless being a viable superfast option they are just forced to do this to protect their market as the broadband market get more options than needing a fixed line.

  • cick4internet
  • over 6 years ago

I've been waiting for this for years. Even complained to offcom about it. I don't ever use a home phone so why should I pay for it?

  • doowles
  • over 6 years ago

Hi broadband watchers.
I expect BT/ Openreach will charge a small fee for the D side termination thus recovering E sides and exchange plant costs.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 6 years ago

Because 'line rental' incorporates rent and maintenance of the line to your address and the equipment behind it, at the exchange etc.
In effect it is just subsidizing broadband charges which are kept artificially low as a result.

In the UK this cost is lumped in with the voice service and called line rental.

So you'd be happy if that part was instead dumped onto broadband prices - no thought not!

  • mdar5
  • over 6 years ago

Does that apply with FTTC though? Surely then all you need is the copper between your local cabinet and the customer premises. Is there any need for the voice infrastructure back from the cabinet to the exchange?

  • mrc99
  • over 6 years ago

Hi 99. There is no need for the E side at all it could be required because of regulations I asked this at Runfold Exchange when they were changing over EO customers back in July. They said that they must supply a metallic link on all customers.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 6 years ago

Broadband charges will go through the roof, the big money is line rental, over the past 6 years I have seen my line rental double. It seems like a £1 a year rise is the norm. But as usual we sit back and let the big four walk all over us, just like the power firms !

  • rainman100
  • over 6 years ago

Well signs are that it is not going to much cheaper than WLR plus broadband. Scope for small savings, but no massive £15/month reductions that I think some may have seen flash before their eyes.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 6 years ago

Hi Rainman.
On your power firms check your unit use each week and you will find mass savings. This is the Same as broadband they are all linked.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 6 years ago

Hi Broadband Watchers
Please remember the the service is to the Post Code not to the customer and this service changes in speed from each ISP.

  • Blackmamba
  • over 6 years ago

Naked Broadband and knowing BT the way I do this will not come cheaply?
Like a previous contributor said why do we have to pay for line rental if I am not using Voice services!!!!! Let's face it were screwed with line rental the same way we will be screwed on Naked Broadband. BT ain't get rid of a sacred cash cow over its dead body!!

  • ethicalme
  • over 6 years ago

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