Broadband News

Openreach proposes lower full fibre pricing to encourage take-up

The Openreach FTTP roll-out has seen the GEA-FTTP footprint double in the last year and should continue to accelerate as they aim for a footprint of four million premises by March 2021. At end of Q2 2019 the network operator declared premises passed at 1.5 million and as of last night we had their footprint counting at 1,358,848 premises passed and growing at a rate of between 20,000 to 25,000 per week.

Premises passed is of course useless if no one signs up to the new services and one aspect of this is the Fibre First bulk migrations that will see areas migrating from VDSL2 services to FTTP. Another aspect is to make the price of the FTTP products attractive such that people will happily sign up for the upgrades and choose a higher speed product too.

So in terms of making the pricing attractive we have some price reductions that vary between 6% and 36% depending on the product. The regulated price in FTTC not-spots is not changing, that needs Ofcom as regulator to make a change. Also the new prices while they are proposed to take effect from 1st September 2019 are just proposals, i.e. it is possible that there may be objections that stop the changes or might even push them lower.

For the public reading this thinking they will be able to get a 330 Mbps FTTP service for £24.28+VAT per month, remember that these prices only cover the cost between the fibre in the premises and the handover hardware at one of 1,300 exchanges. The ISP has to have its own network or use a wholesale network to get the data from that point to the Internet, of course there is the possibility that a LLU operator seeking to build a large market share may be able to do this very cheaply and just maybe we might see 330 Mbps retailing at £39.99/m but this would probably mean visible contention kicking in at peak times.

Data only product
All prices are monthly and exclude VAT
Current PriceProposed Price% change
40 Mbps / 10 Mbps in FTTC notspots (regulated) £12.28 £12.28 0%
40 Mbps / 10 Mbps in FTTC areas £15.79 £14.28 -10%
55 Mbps / 10 Mbps £16.79 £16.79 0%
80 Mbps / 20 Mbps £18.34 £17.28 -6%
110 Mbps / 15 Mbps £21.54 £17.28 -20%
160 Mbps / 30 Mbps £21.14 £21.14 0%
220 Mbps / 20 Mbps £24 £21.28 -11%
330 Mbps / 50 Mbps £38 £24.28 -36%
550 Mbps / 75 Mbps   POA New
1000 Mbps / 115 Mbps   POA New

On the non-regulated services the conneciton price is increasing from £92 to £97.03, matching the regulated product. This does not apply to the 550 and 1000 tier which will have a different connection pricing regime.

This pricing does not require any volume commitment from providers so applies to big and small providers, though there is scope for negotation and provider specific pricing if they are willing to commit to volume targets.

For those keen to compare these figures with the GEA-FTTC service remember that the £5.13/m + VAT for the VDSL2 40/10 product does not include the copper line rental i.e. £7.70/m + VAT. So in areas where FTTC 40/10 is available the FTTP proposed price is £14.28/m versus £12.83/m for the older FTTC service, so FTTC is still cheaper, hence the regulated price in areas where the 40/10 product is not available. The bonus being if you switch to the FTTP product the distance based speed drop-off vanishes and it should be a lot more reliable i.e. no more 1 to 2 minute outages as the line resyncs.

The news that a more consumer friendly pricing will appear for the 500 and 1000 Mbps will probably get more attention even though we don't know what the prices will be yet.

Comments

So what is a "FTTC not-spot" - it is obviously somewhere that does have FTTC, rather than an area where FTTC isn't available, so what's the difference vs. a FTTC area?

  • sheephouse
  • about 1 month ago

Ah, OK, I think I've figured it out. An FTTC not-spot is somewhere the FTTP 40/10 product is available but the 40/10 FTTC product isn't. (None of it affects me anyway as I only have ADSL2+ available.)

  • sheephouse
  • about 1 month ago

Past reading of the not spot by me has been slightly different e.g. FTTC at sub superfast speeds may be available at which point the regulated pricing applies, for example areas where a BDUK project does FTTP infill on the fringes of a cabinet.

Have asked for clarification already before hitting publish.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

I presume the 110/15 is priced like that (drop from 20) to protect the higher package 160/30)

  • Croft12
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
I have a feeling that the FTTC/ Unit calculates the Post Code not-spots either manually or auto because I know of locations where the customer is on FTTC but is barred on the BT Checker.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
I have a feeling that the FTTC/ Unit calculates the Post Code not-spots either manually or auto because I know of locations where the customer is on FTTC but is barred on the BT Checker.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

@BM - yet again, listen/read. It's based on premises. Do you have an example?

  • Somerset
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Somerset.
Yes I have Post Codes and customers and the advertising data is miss selling on the BT/ Checker.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

@BM - please explain clearly. You know of an actual address where the occupier has FTTC from an ISP, yet the BT checker for the premises, not the postcode, shows it is not available?

  • Somerset
  • about 1 month ago

Umm the BT Wholesale checker doesn't provide feedback on FTTx services? Full address required to check availability of them.

https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.postcode

  • CarlThomas
  • about 1 month ago

The BT Wholesale checker is not immune to errors at the address level - I know because we've fed back in a number of corrections over the years where a member of the public is having problems ordering. Though the volume is a LOT lower than it was in 2017/2018 suggesting things are better.

So what Blackmamba is suggesting is possible but how they are communicating this means we are asking questions what they mean, rather than exploring the scope of possible errors.

The most common issue was around infill cabinets and availability not changing after live to live migration was done.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

" FTTC at sub superfast speeds may be available at which point the regulated pricing applies, for example areas where a BDUK project does FTTP infill on the fringes of a cabinet."
I'm currently nearing end of FTTC contract that gives me 4 to 5Mb, fibre is on our pole, from what I understand BDUK was instrumental in this. Looking at a 40/10 or 55/10 FTTP product, how would this be priced? The same as FTTC?

  • burble
  • about 1 month ago

Generally the current price differences are not passed on to the consumer, i.e. lost in the costs and markup of providing the service. So for if signing up for FTTP the price can be the same, saying 'can' as it does vary with different ISP treating it differently sometimes.

Have seen some ISP get confused over what to offer when both FTTC and FTTP is available, so you may need to order on phone or confirm online that its FTTP they are installing.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

Comparing FTTC v FTTP pricing, this is what Zen's website offers me:

FTTP 40/10 @ £44.00/m (Unlimited Full Fibre 1 + Phone line rental)
FTTC 38/9 @ £31.99/m (Unlimited Fibre 1 + Phone line rental)

FTTP 76/18 @ £49.00/m (Unlimited Full Fibre 2 + Phone line rental)
FTTC 73/19 @ £38.99/m (Unlimited Fibre 2 + Phone line rental)

Strangely BT Retail don't appear to show any FTTC availability for my address, only ADSL2+ & FTTP.

  • baby_frogmella
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
Until the ISP,s take responsibility of there customers and clear line taps which slow down the results on the BT Checker you have the chicken and egg situation this is more apparent on long lines. I would think the bridge taps are about 2%-5%
Also the addresses on the post code should be the same as OFCom.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
Just located a Cab 12 in Surrey showing 30 August 19 SOGEA could this be the removal of the E sides thus expanding the digital network. The GSA 01438. Guildford.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

I'm sur

  • Jake4
  • about 1 month ago

I'm surprised there not offering FTTP at a cheaper rate than FTTC since this will cause people to shift to their FTTP network to increase the uptake rate, then they could do some targeted advertising that they can get faster speeds available if they only have Super fast (<110mbps) FTTP speeds.

  • Jake4
  • about 1 month ago

@Jake4, both my nabours are BT customers, when fibre was put on our pole they where targeted with emails offering them Ultrafast, which they both took up, one doesn't need ultrafast, it's debatable if the other does, but they where both told they would need to order ultrafast to get off their 4Mb FTTC.

  • burble
  • about 1 month ago

@BM - please give an example of 'Also the addresses on the post code should be the same as OFCom.'.

  • Somerset
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Somerset.
Please just check your own and check the numbers on that Post Code for Bridge taps via the BT Checker and you will see what I am getting at. ( I do not Know your Post Code ).
As Ofcom is influencing the above article i feel it is advisable to use there D/Base referring to the position of the Post Code and the addresses.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Ofcom had no influence on the above article, it was fully written by myself off the back of the news of Openreach price reduction proposals.

The Openreach network is not meant to have bridge taps, the extension in the home is another matter of course.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

@BM there is no date for E-side recovery. It certainly won't happen until the PSTN closure has commenced, probably well after it has completed

  • ribble
  • about 1 month ago

I suspect more lucrative than the E-side or any copper recovery will be the real estate bonanza of selling of old exchanges that are no longer used sometimes in prime locations. For example in the Tyne valley, the Stocksfield, Riding Mill and Corbridge exchanges must be worth a pretty penny just for the land and are unlikely to be used in a full FTTP deployment. Wylam will be also worth a nice bit too, but that might be used. Anyway worth more than the copper is.

  • jabuzzard
  • about 1 month ago

Cannot sell something you don't own

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2743456/Property-sale-to-cost-BT-40m-a-year.html

Question is what are the lease terms, i.e. when can they stop paying.

If an exchange is not a fibre handover node today very unlikely it will ever become one.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

I suspect there will need to be some more fibre handover to deal with very rural areas. You only get 20km fibre distance on GPON. They could of course use stanard ethernet long reach BiDi optics instead on the small number of effected properties to avoid the need for extra fibre handover nodes.

  • jabuzzard
  • about 1 month ago

Only rural Scottish Highlands might see more but in the 5 to 10 more nodes range, but that will depend on who and what is deployed under the R100 contracts.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
Off Haslemere Exchange (01428) in the last week fibre has been provided off Hindhead Cab7 to a very long line thus changing many Post Codes from (Amber and red ) to (Green). All of these Post Codes have a set position ( GPS lat/Long).
The exchanges that feed to Haslemere (01428) are Wormley, North Chapel, Milland, Liphook, Headley Down, Hindhead, and Passfield all have fibre feeds with customers.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

@BM
I’m trying to unscramble / decipher your message.

When you say “Off Haslemere Exchange (01428) in the last week fibre has been provided off Hindhead Cab7 to a very long line”, do you mean that

(1) cab 7 has been connected to the exchange via a long fibre connection enabling FTTC, or that
(2) a property connected to cab 7 has now been connected to fibre (FTTP?), or that
(3) a property connected to cab 7 has now been connected to VDSL from the DSLAM associated with cab 7 (FTTC)?

Or something else?

  • New_Londoner
  • about 1 month ago

Hi New Londoner.
I have been waiting for this customer to have pure fibre the Post Code is RED on TBB maps.
This customer is off Hindhead Exchange and is on FTTC 7 the line is very long on this Cab thus showing RED so under 10. Meg.
The distance from Haslemere to Hindhead is 3 miles.
The distance from Hindhead to the Cab 7 is 2 miles thus fibre is 5 miles from the Cab 7 to Haslemere which is the hand over point pop. This was the longest on Hindhead Exchange I have a feeling this route was payed by the clawback money.
Hindhead Exchange 3000 lines with 20 Cabs there will be only a few un 15meg.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Londoner
All the other exchanges cover Surrey, Hants, West Sussex covered by Haslemere Exchange Hand over all have very long lines.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Short interpreted version, a couple of postcodes now have FTTP available to them in addition to below 10 Mbps VDSL2 speeds

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • about 1 month ago

Hi New London.
The Area of Haslemere. (01428 ) Unit covers aprox 20000 potential customers so I cross check TBB results (Surrey, Waverley and J.Hunts) each update so I can see the errors get the the Post Code information correct this will tie to the BT Checker.
I refer the Post Code to the shop Window for the 500 ISPs .

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Andrew. Thanks for your input.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi New Londoner.
I have located a Customer on Haslemere Exchange Area receiving 33 Meg on a FTTC at a range of 6 miles in the 1970 this line was on Fernhurst Exchange it was recovered because they could use better equipment using 1800 ohms loop max.
Haslemere Exchange had a rack of longline calling equipment.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

@BM - What's the post code? What's your point, all Haslemere cabinets have FTTC, 32 and 33 recently under SEP.

  • Somerset
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Somerset
Just to say that Chiddingfold Exchange was also removed giving the remaining customers access to Haslemere STD.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Somerset.
I just hope the SEP has the Locations of the Cabs which should adjust the colour of the Post Codes on TBB maps.

  • Blackmamba
  • about 1 month ago

Hi Somerset.
The Post Code is Gu273 HG in the old Fernhurst ExChange Area this was then a Haslemere customer thus a long line.

  • Blackmamba
  • 29 days ago

@Blackmamba "I just hope the SEP has the Locations of the Cabs which should adjust the colour of the Post Codes on TBB maps."

I need to highlight that the SEP having location of cabinets will do nothing to change colours of the postcode centroid plotted on thinkbroadband maps, because we are NOTHING to do with the SEP or Local Authority or BT or Government, we are independent.

On getting 33 Mbps over 6 miles (approx 9km) via VDSL2 that is impossible, one assumes the VDSL2 is actually coming from a cabinet much closer than that and thus presence of long line calling equipment is irrelevant.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 29 days ago

Hi Somerset.
From Andrews Staff remarks I am completely wrong.

  • Blackmamba
  • 29 days ago

@BM - no change there then!

  • Somerset
  • 29 days ago

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