Broadband News

Ofcom proposes changes to copper requirements in Salisbury

Ofcom has a consultation running over the summer holiday period (i.e. ends 6th September 2019) with regards to allowing Openreach to not provide new copper based services on the Salisbury exchange once its stop sell notification takes effect in what is expected to be September 2019.

Salisbury was announced by Openreach as aiming for it to be its first 100% full fibre exchange and if the build goes well are aiming for 75% FTTP coverage in September 2019 (we have seen the build start and some properties have FTTP available in two cabinet areas though with a 330 Mbps speed limit, suggesting ECI hardware). The exchange covers some 20,000 premises and there are some additional premises in new build areas where Openreach are locked out in addition to some Openreach fibre only new build properties.

The Ofcom proprosal is to allow Openreach to stop providing new copper based services when people move house, change service or switch provider.

The Openreach plan in conjunction with the communication providers who use their network is to migrate everyone to a full fibre service, so that it can switch off the copper network. The expectation is that there will be snags along the way hence doing a single exchange such as Salisbury first to learn what the problems are and how difficult the problems are to resolve. Openreach will learn massively from the trial but it will also deliver important information for other full fibre providers who are rolling out or planning to roll-out in the UK.

The Ofcom proposal is designed to ensure that vulnerable people are not put at a disadvantage i.e. they can refuse the switch over if they have something connected to the phone line that will not work over a voice over broadband connection or just refuse the installation of the fibre itself. The challenge for the retailers and Openreach of course will be working to get this number of refusals down to zero, since there is a danger that the situation may be that just a dozen people with copper services are stopping the switch off of the legacy service. 

At this time we do not know what the precise plans are for the area but we presume a lot of fibre switch-over material will be appearing in the local press, radio and TV and properties will get leaflets to let them know that the switch over is on the way.

As people do get confused on the premises passed metric, the hope from Openreach is to have around 15,000 premises passed in September 2019 and for the build to continue until that reaches 100%. The fibre switch-over will subsequently mean that the penetration rate will shoot up as different roads are swamped with people taking the fibre from the final fibre manifold in the pavement or on a pole into the property. 

The Ofcom proposal does protect leaseholders in the scenario where the building owner refuses installation of the fibre, since the copper based services cannot be withdrawn unless full fibre is available. 

We don't expect the average observed speeds in Salisbury to explode into the 100's of Mega bits per second immediately but removal of ADSL2+ could see the median download speed rise slightly to 34-36 Mbps from the current 27.4 Mbps, the mean will be higher but probably only in the 40 Mbps to 50 Mbps region. Only if the public choose to pay for the over 100 Mbps speed tiers or providers offer incentives for people to upgrade will we see a big jump. Of course in a couple more years when speeds of 40 Mbps are feeling distinctly slow will we see more people buying the 100 and faster tiers and once on full fibre that switch is easier.

Comments

Give fib has been withdrawn abroad I find it hard to believe that solutions/workarounds don't exist for almost any modern devices.

Can't have a situation that a whole exchange could be kept live for potentially a handful of people. Ultimately you need a compelled upgrade below a certain number. Though I fear given past precedent the courts will probably assist the obstruction. Watch the Human Rights lawyers salivate...

  • Croft12
  • 28 days ago

Hi Broadband Watchers.
The churn rate will do it plus the removal of the E sides and ADSL PORTS and the provision of Gfast plus the provision of fibre.

  • Blackmamba
  • 28 days ago

7000 people still have B&W TV L's. Never underestimate how stubborn people can be.

  • Croft12
  • 28 days ago

Salisbury does not have G.fast and has no plan for G.fast it is meant to be a FTTP only Fibre First deployment.

NOTE: There is nothing in the Ofcom or Openreach announcements about removal of E-sides. Turning off a copper network is very different to removal of the E sides.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 28 days ago

Does the NHS provide an emergency contact button that works over VOIP?

  • SLAMDUNC
  • 28 days ago

999 you mean? thats not an issue on voip

  • Croft12
  • 28 days ago

No I mean emergency button that older people wear so they can call for help. Many frail people have a system that works via their landline to connect them with the NHS if they fall. It's a big box plumbed direct into the socket

  • SLAMDUNC
  • 28 days ago

Not aware of one that connects direct to the NHS but there is

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/products/mobility-and-independence-at-home/personal-alarms/

which will contact a 24 hour emergency response line, and this is just a telephone call so no reason it should not work over VoIP

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 28 days ago

On the emergency button issue: my gran had such a system a few years ago. It wasn't NHS - it was installed by the local council, with their own branding on it. As far as I remember it was just a phone call as well. I'm not entirely sure who it actually phoned though. It was mains powered with a backup battery in case it got unplugged by mistake or the mains failed.

  • andrum992
  • 28 days ago

What about phones in lifts?

  • Somerset
  • 24 days ago

I can't believe that this is a first, or even a second. About seven years back, just as I was moving out of an Oxon village Openreach were installing FTTP in all the villages served by the Deddington exchange. There was a fuss then about needing a battery for every user, I think for emergency calls. ALL houses were to be converted from memory, or at least a box to be put on every house's outside wall.
Has nothing been done since then?

  • ccohen
  • 23 days ago

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