Broadband News

BT Wholesale now showing availability of WBC-FTTP Gigabit service

For many years the maximum download speed of the WBC FTTP and GEA-FTTP services from BT Wholesale and Openreach respectively has been 330 Mbps, the 50 Mbps upload variant appeared sometime to match the product set and today thanks to an eagle eyed forum user we can confirm that some FTTP areas across the UK are showing the option for a 1000 Mbps download and 220 Mbps upload as the fastest service.

Of course now that the big name wholesaler (BT Wholesale) is listing the service does not mean we will see the retail options suddenly leap overnight. One of the reasons the service is not available in all GEA-FTTP areas as yet is because we believe that it will only be offered to FTTP areas where the fibre handover node has access to the 10 Gbps handover links.

For those looking for bargain basement pricing they will be upset, since there is a £500+VAT install fee on the 500/165 and 1000/220 FTTP variants (for slower speeds it is £92+VAT and an extra £5 is added by BT Wholesale), which is to cover the extra costs of the XGPON hardware needed in the network. Standard GPON splits 2.5 Gbps between the users, and XGPON increases the availability capacity to 10 Gbps, so if you had 3 Gigabit customers on GPON there would be immediate contention, hence the shift up to the next standard. It should be added that this does not stop other GPON operators selling Gigabit connections over their own FTTP network and in some countries we believe some even sell a full 2.5 Gbps GPON service. For services such as B4RN they have avoided this conundrum by installing dedicated point to point fibres to every premises with the data only being shared once all the fibres in an reach the active hardware cabinet.

ProductOpenreach PricingBT Wholesale Pricing
Monthly Data Only pricing excluding VAT
FTTP 1000/220 £80 £135
FTTP 500/165 £55 £90
FTTP 330/50 £38 £53 (*)
FTTP 330/30 £38 £53
FTTP 220/20 £24 £33
FTTP 160/30 £21.14 £28
FTTP 80/20 £18.34 £25
FTTP 55/10 £16.79 £24
FTTP 40/10 £15.79 £23
FTTP 40/2 £15.29 £22

(*) The BT Wholesale price actually lists a price of £35 but given the Openreach pricing which is identical for the 330/30 and 330/50 services we believe someone transposed the figures on the BT Wholesale WBC price list so are showing £53/m.

Two sets of FTTP pricing exist, we have shown the Data only version which includes the 1000 and 500 products, for those with an existing copper line to their premises there is a second transitioning price list which is a simple £9/m cheaper, but that £9 is swamped by the reality that to get the transitional pricing you need to take a voice line rental product.

The difference between Openreach and BT Wholesale pricing reflects the additional costs BT Wholesale incur from buying the GEA Cablelink from Openreach which connects the data into the WBC backhaul network. Retail pricing is again substantially higher as providers have to buy appropriate levels of capacity from BT Wholesale and the other elements of running a service.

BT Wholesale FTTP with no copper
Sample BT Wholesale checker result showing Gigabit option for new build fibre only area
BT Wholesale FTTP in area with slow VDSL2
Sample BT Wholesale checker result showing Gigabit option and access to slow for new build fibre only area VDSL2 and even slower ADSL2+
BT Wholesale FTTP in area with slow copper broadband
Sample BT Wholesale checker result showing Gigabit option and access to slow ADSL2+
BT Wholesale FTTP old speeds in fibre only area
Sample BT Wholesale checker result showing the old 330 Mbps maximum speed in a fibre only area

We also checked a random FTTP location on the Lisburn exchange in Northern Ireland and the 1000/220 maximum speed option was showing. The next big step is for retailers to start selling the service, but given the high install cost we believe this will most likely be the providers who focus on business users.


Yes indeed. Huawei FTTP areas are showing this while ECI ones are not :)

  • CarlThomas
  • over 2 years ago

more or less reasonable prices considering the price of a lease line for just 100mb is like £400-£500 a month

might force virgin to get there cabs split sooner or roll out DOCSIS 3.1 faster as the 160/30 220/20mb and 330/30mb directly competes with the virgin offering on price and consistent speed and data packet reliability and latency (witch latter 3 tend to fall short in some areas on virgin)

  • leexgx
  • over 2 years ago

“swampled”? ;-)

You can get 100Mbps Ethernet for rather less than £500/month if you shop around a bit, at least in competitive areas like London.

  • New_Londoner
  • over 2 years ago

@thinkbroadband pulled up two FTTP postcodes in #Workington and it shows the same (pictures below) and the checker…

  • @WorkingtonFibre
  • comment via twitter
  • over 2 years ago

Clearly did not drain the swamp enough so an errant L crept up on me :-)

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 2 years ago

Lee, DOCSIS 3.1 at least in its original incarnation won't really do much, they'll still use 3.0 upstreams.

There is no pressure to VM from this. Their network is actually performing better than it has for some time. What will pressure VM more is a wider Openreach rollout alongside the 500Mb and/or 1Gb reaching more sane pricing.

The Vodafone/CityFibre joint venture is far more scary. A gigabit for less than VM charge right now for Vivid 350.

  • CarlThomas
  • over 2 years ago

BTWholesale is rip off for 1000/220 £135 exc vat. No one will paying this amount of this money.

  • adslmax
  • over 2 years ago


around here Upstream seems fine now, just about every superhub i seen is now configured in 4 uplink mode which seems to have sorted the upstream issues (before it was only 1 upload witch caused issues)
downstream is what i tend to see issues with (even at 24 downlinks) at times, DOCSIS 3.1 vastly more bandwidth available

Vodafone/CityFibre is still long away for rest of the UK

@New_Londoner @adslmax
yep its about £400-500 for 100/100 connection (plus FTTP install costs witch vary based on distance) they are selling 1000/220 for £135 and far less for the lower ones

  • leexgx
  • over 2 years ago

if openreach made this available whole of the UK this would force virgin to match it (like they have always done)

ADSL/VDSL/FTTP get fixed latencies and norm have QOS that makes sure packets gets to you

DOCSIS in general does not seem to have any type of QOS or its set to push as many packets it can even if it causes mass packet loss , i would not care if my 220 connection can only run at 150 the issue i have is random jitter and latency (i don't have any of them issues on ADSL or VDSL as long as the link is not interleaved)

if FTTP came here i would leave virgin as soon as it went live

  • leexgx
  • over 2 years ago

Worth noting that the installation fee is significantly higher for 500Mb and 1Gb FTTP

  • ajays
  • over 2 years ago

Hi ajays

Assuming you're Andrew from Zen broadband, any idea if/when Zen will start selling these 500 and 1000 Mbps FTTP services? Not sure if I should read too much into what your online checker displays for my line:

Thanks :)

  • baby_frogmella
  • over 2 years ago

My connection is now capable of 12Mb; an increase of 50% over my previous "up to 8Mb".

just so you know.

  • jimwillsher
  • over 2 years ago

Post a comment

Login Register