Broadband News

Openreach slashes price charged for FTTP on small new developments

We reported on the situation for new build premises back on 12th October, revealing that for the first time we are seeing over half of new homes benefiting from full fibre.  Fast forward two weeks and we now have Openreach saying that for developments of under 30 premises it will be reducing the price it charges developers by 75% to encourage more of them to elect for a full fibre deployment rather than a slow ADSL/ADSL2+ service or VDSL2.

Our existing offer already provides huge benefits to both buyers and builders alike, but we wanted to go further and make sure everybody moving into a new build property can enjoy the advantages of Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband.

The UK’s is a world leader in digital infrastructure and services today, but as the digital revolution continues at an ever increasing pace, and our demand for data grows, we need to make sure this country stays ahead of the curve by building fast, reliable networks that cater for all the activities we’ll want to do online in the decades ahead.

Our new offer provides a low cost option to housebuilders and we hope it will help encourage the adoption of this future-proof technology across smaller developments so that no-one’s left behind.

We fully support the government’s intention to make full fibre broadband mandatory on all new builds and we’re working closely with DCMS (Dept for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) and housebuilders on how best to deliver this

Kim Mears, MD Strategic Infrastructure Development

The reduction will kick in for new developments registered from 1st November and does not affect larger 30 plus developments where FTTP was offered for free to developers when registering with Openreach.

Openreach estimates that there is potential for 40,000 premises across 5,000 developments each year that could benefit from installing full fibre as default. For those moving into a fibre only development there are Fibre Voice Access options for those that don't actually want broadband.

The Openreach press release also shares some stats on the success of the free FTTP for larger developments, where for more than 80% of the plots registered with Openreach they are making full fibre available. For those wondering why our stats are not showing 80% FTTP or better, the reason is that developers need to register with Openreach and there is a long timeline associated with new developments so a good number of those plots being moved into in 2018 may actually have been registered with Openreach before the increased emphasis on FTTP in 2016.

Given the change in the FTTP footprint for new builds in the last quarter we look forward to seeing how things change when we get the next new batch of postcodes due in late November/early December 2018. It will take around another month to sift through and figure out what services all the postcodes have and don't have so if keen to see what has changed expect us to publish a summary in January 2019. There will be an interim update at the end of November, since we do spot things like a postcode introduced in 2017 now showing FTTP availability and people moving in i.e. the absolute figures are changing weekly.

There is competition for delivery FTTP to new build homes with providers like Virgin Media, Hyperoptic, GTC, OFNL all competing and making various offers to developers.

Comments

Only one thing sticks out in this article for me, Sadly Kim Mears Openreach are deliberately excluding people in 'existing' properties from decent broadband on the basis that they are uneconomical. While also over building FTTC with FTTP.

Soundbites like 'so that no-one’s left behind.' Have a very hollow ring.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

@swac3 Remember that no part of BT is a charity so if you want to see upgrades for outstanding commercially non-viable areas lobby your MP and get him to support more government subsidies or do as we did here in central London and community fund the upgrade. In our case we raised nearly £19K to gap fund an AIO cab for our EO lines.

  • MCM999
  • about 1 month ago

swac . hard commercial reality , this article s about newsited and developers get paid to have infrastructure on site via a SOD payment method. these site wont have any copper on and openreach previous limit was 30 premises now that's been reduced , your cab is probably small and therefore not viable , which cabinet it is by chance . your community could fund it if they were willing to co contribute with Openreach on it

  • fastman
  • about 1 month ago

Guys I'm not unaware of the commercial and non charity status of those concerned. My comment refers to the Newbuild vs existing building situation. I agree with the drive to prevent more and more new properties being built on old technology, But hey they're not a charity right so why should a newbuild get any discount or preferential rate than any other customer, we're now in their own developer handbook talking about developments of 2 ! So really just how viable commercially is that compared to 2 existing buildings.

No buyer of a 'newbuild' is left behind, with a new low cost deal !

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

Just for clarity, I'm registered with the community team and waiting on responses from local residents regarding interest so i can submit the details. I've had the fttpod initial quote but didnt bother paying for the survey as there is more than enough information from those who have, to calculate an approximate cost knowing the route/location of the current network.

Fttc wont really work well here due to the distances between each property, there really isn't a good place to put a cabinet to capture enough houses to make that a sensible deployment. Just frustrating to see focus on newbuilds.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

@swac3 "Just frustrating to see focus on newbuilds." Why? Far better to think and plan ahead rather than add to the problems others such as yourself are having. As for FTTC not being suitable, how big an area are you wanting to include? If the distances between properties are as great as you suggest and FTTP is the solution I would have thought costs might be high given the distances. Small new build sites such as this article is about would in most cases be compact with the distance between properties minimal and as a result costs likewise quite low.

  • MCM999
  • about 1 month ago

Hiya Mcm, The problem with distance is that they're strung out along the road, individually the distances are in the 300 to 500 meters or so range but naturally Fttc quite rapidly runs out of steam without covering very many in this scenario.

Hmm, cant see how you need to ask why its frustrating to see focus and/or price cuts for one section of homeowners and not another. If the site is compact and costs are low then do they really don't need a price cut? I'm not suggesting they don't think and plan ahead I'm suggesting they should charge newbuilds the same as anyone else.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

Just a thought tho, as I don't even know what the rates for new builds were, it could be that they were in fact over priced by comparison. Anyway nothing said on here will change things.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

as there is more than enough information from those who have, to calculate an approximate cost knowing the route/location of the current network.

swac just so you not under any misconception where the fibre cabinet for VDSL is bears no validity in where your nearest agg node is for the deployment of FTTP, there any no aligned and you could find you cab is say 800 m away and the aggregation node serving that cab might be another 2km further back into the netwrk, your cost is generated from the aggregation node not where you current fibre cabinet is located

  • fastman
  • about 1 month ago

swac openreach has looked at its commercial for newbuild as they wont now have any and only fibre (using a fibre voice product) (no copper to put in) the commercial case can be made as openreach had they not done that would then still be paying those developers to put copper in

  • fastman
  • about 1 month ago

I'm well aware of how the network is constructed, it's one of the reasons those in the last 5%, the hard to reach etc are faced with such large potential connection costs. If FTTP had been planned to be distributed from cabinet locations and built that way we would be in a much better position for FTTP expansion, except that it would have cost more and no doubt many fewer cabinets could have been deployed, people would not have the FTTC they currently get, naturally not desirable either.
I'm pretty certain of the location of our AGG, and yes it's much further away than the nearest cabinet.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

@Swac3
I assume you're aware of the fact that its SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper to provide new-builds with FTTP than it is with existing properties?

  • baby_frogmella
  • about 1 month ago

NO I WASN'T. Capitalised that for you in case regular text wasn't understandable.
If you're talking about a new close to AG node multi house estate then sure i can see that, has to be much easier to get the civils in at build and number of properties reduce cost per install.

But they're not all right on top of existing connection points and this reduction in costs applies right down to 2 newbuild sites. Price shouldn't be reduced just because its a newbuild, but based on the specific installation is all I'm saying.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

@Swac3

No I wasn't talking about agg nodes. In a mass FTTP rollout, the largest cost won't be the cost of the civils for the fibre back to the agg node - which will often just be 1 fibre spine serving a particular area. It will be for the civils costs for the duct/OH work in the local streets and roads which is why its far cheaper in new build areas as you're building everything from scratch so things like blocked ducts, wayleaves etc are a non-issue.

  • baby_frogmella
  • about 1 month ago

Ok, cheers. You've pretty much covered why it annoys me there.

We have no ducts the current copper runs direct buried alongside a single track road passing the properties along the road, then usually by already present poles up the tracks/drives to the houses, there are none of the usual tricky civils on route ie nobody has mains gas, sewerage or water all electrics are overhead to transformers at the properties. The wayleaves 'if' they don't need to be changed somehow for new technology installation must already be in place. Just need to wait and see what comes back from Communityfibre.

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

swac that is not going to be very appetizing costs as bsed on the information provided here will either need a new duct route or new pole route depending on the local logistics , hopefully if a new duct route it can be in the verge and not required to be in the carriageway or Road (that would be a horrible cost) but I would not be surprised if it came back as a anywhere between and few hundred and a few thousand per premises (depending on how they can bypass the Bureied route

  • fastman
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Fastman, Aye you're right. Its not going to be cheap and I know that, trying to get some preliminary info from community fibre but their system isnt really set up to do that. There are 3 potential directions any build could come from, each with pros and cons for residents depending on their location along the routes. Its hard, I want to include as many as possible in the application, but as you know costs could easily spiral out of control to the point where its not viable.

I'm looking at capex along the line of what I would lose on a new car, over a few years, money lost for the benefit

  • Swac3
  • about 1 month ago

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