Broadband News

New Openreach Fibre on Demand pricing may make service more attractive

The Openreach FTTP on Demand (FoD) product is one that causes lots of confusion and the worst part of that is the wording on the BT Wholesale broadband checker which means we have some notes warning about confusing FoD with the native GEA-FTTP roll-out in our fibre broadband guide

The news today is that FTTP on Demand service is being revamped with new speed tiers, shorter contracts and the distance based charge banding replaced by another charge. The drop from a 36 month to a 12 month contract means that selling to consumers does not need the Ofcom contract rules to be bent and will appeal much more to residential customers who manage to have enough cash available to pay the FTTP on demand build charge.

Currently the only speed version available is the 330/30 Mbps one, but there will be five variants from February onwards and there are (all with 12 month contracts and pricing excludes VAT):

  • FTTP on Demand up to 160 Mbps down, up to 30 Mbps up. £21.14 per month and £92 connection
  • FTTP on Demand up to 330 Mbps down, up to 30 Mbps up. £38 per month and £92 connection
  • FTTP on Demand up to 330 Mbps down, up to 50 Mbps up. £38 per month and £92 connection
  • FTTP on Demand up to 500 Mbps down, up to 165 Mbps up. £55 per month and £500 connection
  • FTTP on Demand up to 1000 Mbps down, up to 220 Mbps up. £80 per month and £500 connection

Remember the monthly cost only covers getting you a connection to an exchange handover point, so the chosen broadband provider needs to backhaul you to their core network and give you an ongoing connection to the Internet plus all the other associated costs and make a profit. The higher connection fee on the two fastest services is we believe a reflection of the shift from GPON optics to XGPON which has a higher headroom of 10 Gbps.

The fixed connection fee is pretty much always going to be eclipsed by the FTTP on Demand build charge and no indication of that the expected price will be, but there will be allowances made for your build meaning more people can order native FTTP and options for groups of premises to order the FoD version and thus spread out the FTTP on Demand build charge.

The new pricing is going to obviously get a lot of interest but before you go pestering your provider remember that at present the only ones who seem to sell FoD in any volume are Cerberus, FluidOne and Spectrum Internet and under the pricing regime while the initial quote will be free and non-binding if you proceed to getting a firm quote and subsequently don't proceed the provider will be charged a survey and design fee of £245.14, thus discouraging Walter Mitty types from ordering just so they can boast about it.

The timing is no great surprise, voucher schemes are becoming more widely available both for superfast and ultrafast, plus the competition from Virgin Media and CityFibre has been increasing. For the prosumer with the current low interest rates using some savings to pay any 'on demand' charges might prove to be a good investment and could boost the value of the property, home workers may once more be able to encourage their firms to install the service particularly now the monthly cost is much lower and if decent broadband means you can work seamlessly from home the savings in terms of commuting everyday might make it worthwhile even if you company won't pay the cost of upgrading you.

Unfortunately for those that blazed the trail during the high cost period and may have comitted to an order recently nothing will change all existing contracts and charges will continue to apply for the three year contract.

For those wondering how BT was going to handle the broadband USO, watching the various quotes that people get for FTTP on Demand might be informative, one idea might be that the obligation once in full effect might pay the first £x,000 of any FTTP on Demand build charge and if clusters of 5 or 6 six premises can aggregate their USO 'voucher' it could prove to be instrumental in taking that final 1 to 2% of the UK from digital hell to digital heaven.

The notes from Openreach don't say explicitly but the additional premises allowance does suggest that other properties that would be served by the manifold deployed by the FTTP on Demand build would actually see native GEA-FTTP service availability and thus skip the on demand build charge. We will fire off an email to double check that as it has implications for neighbours and also counting the number of premises passed by FTTP.

Update 6:45pm We have a reply to our questions and the summary is:

  • The FTTP on Demand charge is only paid once, and native GEA-FTTP options and pricing apply to those who benefit from someone getting FTTP on Demand installed in their specific area. The deductions reflect the scope for others being able to order once the initial FoD connection has been made.
  • The FTTP on Demand build charge has been explained in some depth during industry presentations i.e. to the providers who might or will sell the service, but a couple of scenarios are building to one property at a cost of £3,000 but after deductions this worked out at £2,250. In another scenario five businesses clubbed together to share the £15,000 build charge, but as an additional 5 premises would also be able to order afterwards this dropped to £11,000.

Comments

@thinkbroadband Certainly might, especially to operators wanting to migrate customers en masse.

  • @ultrafastcarl
  • comment via twitter
  • 25 days ago

Certainly looks like a cluster of orders could be much cheaper, so a hamlet could now cost in, or those blocks along the Thames that no one wants to cover.

•Deductions will be made on the build charge for: Each FTTP on Demand order in the PON build - Any additional premise passed by the PON build
•Multiple FTTP on Demand orders in a geographic cluster can be processed simultaneously: - The build charge deduction per PON will apply for each FTTP on Demand order. - Provides an opportunity for the build charge to be shared by multiple end customers

  • jumpmum
  • 25 days ago

This is good to see.

  • ValueforMoney
  • 25 days ago

Still no good for EO lines. Just can't understand why FTTPoD is not available on EO?

  • bb4chudleigh
  • 23 days ago

@bb4chudleigh - I guess because FTTPoD to the exchange is actually just FTTP - so whatever stops them providing FTTP (equipment in exchange?) would stop them doing FTTPoD.

  • ian72
  • 23 days ago

@bb4chudleigh @ian72 Not available for EO in the same way not available for those that don't have VDSL2 at their cabinet i.e. build costs for the fibre from handover node to the aggregation point that needs constructing would make the On Demand build charge so large to stupid.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 23 days ago

The singular form of premises is premises. A premise is a totally different and unrelated word...

Premises - noun - a house or building together with its land.

Premise - noun - a previous statement or proposition from which another is inferred or follows as a conclusion

  • TheEulerID
  • 23 days ago

@TheEulerID Thank you for the long post pointing out the typo

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 23 days ago

I'm never sure these are typos. I see this often enough from all sorts of sources that I suspect that many do, indeed, think that the singular of premises is premise. This is my one man rant about the declining state of English. It's a hopeless cause, and probably always was.

  • TheEulerID
  • 23 days ago

@Andrew, I live in a small development of 48 houses not included in a BDUK EO diversion to a new PCP & FTTC cabinet outside the exchange. We are surrounded by VDSL availability & more recently FTTPoD availability to pretty much every property in the Exchange area. The infrastructure is there but not available to EO lines.

  • bb4chudleigh
  • 23 days ago

OpenReach have laid fibre around my small Estate. So for example, I can now order the BT Infinity 3 and 4 packages. But the fibre only comes to the end of my drive. I understand the monthly charge. But does the connection charge (£92) noted above cover the ground works to connect from the in-ground foot box in the road, down my drive and into my home? Or is there an additional charge?

  • juliandc
  • 23 days ago

@juliandc if you have the Infinity 3 and 4 packages available then this news article isn't relevant to you. The BT website will tell you how much the package is and what the connection charges are.

  • ian72
  • 23 days ago

@bb4chudleigh Have you approached the Community Fibre team for a quote? Or if developer still building get them to chip in so help sell the last few properties

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 23 days ago

@juliandc looking at the BT website for a property that can get FTTP currently Infinity 4 would be £59.99 per month for 12 months rising to £75.99 thereafter with a £9.99 up front fee. You would also currently get a £120 gift card. This is not the same product as the FTTPoD on this page as you seem to already have FTTP on the estate (oD is only relevant where the service is currently FTTC). The charges should include the works to take the fibre into your property.

  • ian72
  • 23 days ago

Post a comment

Login Register