Newspapers shocked that faster speeds may mean paying more
Painting BT and Openreach as evil incarnate is a popular past time and while there are valid concerns over whether the 4 million premises for the end of 2020 target will be delivered and whether the subsequent 15 million ambition will happen there are some sectors of the media trying to scare the public into thinking full fibre will be forced upon them and they will have no choice but to pay a lot more per month.
The reality is of course very different and the coverage arises because of warnings during the financial results that faster full fibre and 5G services are going to cost more to subscribe too, alongside the eventual migration of people en-masse from existing copper services to full fibre services when the copper network is eventually retired. As things stand today no date has been set for the any part of the copper network to be retired, there is a date of 2025 for turning off the WLR service and moving to voice over broadband which will mean changes in how phones are plugged in. Once the WLR change has took place we would expect the copper switch to become the next target.
As the full fibre roll-out via the Fibre First Openreach programme completes on individual exchanges we are expecting broadband providers to shift customers in the area onto the new full fibre service but with packages available at the same speed and price as existing VDSL2 packages and since the switch to full fibre will need a home visit in every case these switch overs are not going to happen overnight.
Ofcom would have a major meltdown if Openreach and broadband retailers were to use the full fibre programme to move customers en-masse with no choice from £30/m copper packages to £50 a month or more packages.
The amount of full fibre competition is increasing and many of those in Fibre First areas already have a choice of an ultrafast service via Virgin Media so ramping up prices across the board makes no sense and millions more are going to get at least one other competitor such as Vodafone Gigafast where the ultrafast products generally under cut the existing superfast product pricing.
The short version is that there is a big difference between charging a premium for 160 Mbps and faster products during the roll-out when the geeks will chew your arm off to sign up as soon as they can and between planned migrations to equivalent products but on a superior technical platform.