Broadband News

Upgrades for 700,000 BT customers and BT Halo converged services to launch

The big news today for existing BT Consumer customers if you have not already elected to self-upgrade to one of the VDSL2 (FTTC partial fibre) or FTTP (full fibre) products when available is that some 700,000 such customers will be upgraded from their ADSL/ADSL2+ services by June 2020 and at no extra charge, i.e. no increase in monthly fee or any setup cost. Also where FTTC/FTTP is available new customers will not be offered ADSL/ADSL2+ to buy, i.e. a stop sell will be put in place.

This change is one of a number of changes from BT aimed at positioning itself as treating customers both consumer and business fairly and also preparing the way for the changes expected in the next decade which will see a big shift to digital voice and an explosion of connected devices in the home.

  • BT 5G service to launch on Friday 11th October with BT Plus/Halo customers being the first to upgrade.
  • BT Plus is upgrading to BT Halo after the success that has seen 1 million customers sign up to a BT Plus package.
  • BT Halo will be available in November 2019 offering converged high definition voice, broadband, unlimited data at home and on the go, 5G access and unlimited voice.
  • 900 Home Tech experts to help with digital technology in the home and workplace. BT Halo customers will get one free visit as part of their package.
  • BT brand back on the high street at over 600 stores, both support and sales.
  • Plan returning call centres to UK and Ireland from overseas will complete early; now January 2020 rather than December 2020. Map shown at press conference indicated Ireland means Northern Ireland.
  • Regional call routing when you ring support, so you will be connected to an agent in your region if one is available.
  • Skills for Tomorrow programme, which is a mixture of online and community training for all ages. A key aim being to provide digital skills training for 10 million school children.
  • New full fibre plans in November (we presume a price restructure and introduction of 500 Mbps and a Gigabit package).

Our understanding is the copper to partial or full fibre upgrade will be onto an entry level 40/10 service, so while the press release talks of the average speeds of these people moving from 10 Mbps to 50 Mbps for those upgraded onto VDSL2/FTTC the speeds will very much depend on the distance to the cabinet.  Not all ADSL/ADSL2+ BT customers have a full or partial fibre option yet, the Openreach partial/full fibre network covers 93.9% of UK premises but once you filter to deliver superfast speeds this drops to 91%. These numbers taken from our coverage analysis back up the statement in the press release "BT will stop selling standard broadband connections on the legacy BT copper network to 90% of the UK". 

Not all people who can get a VDSL2 connection will get superfast speeds, but for those where the VDSL2 should provide a speed improvement we presume BT Consumer will go ahead with an upgrade. Questions arise of course whether people will be tied into a new contract term after the upgrade, which means some who are waiting on alternate providers building FTTP locally will need to double check this before agreeing to the upgrade. For existing ADSL/ADSL2+ customers who are out of contract, we presume that as the BT Essential 40/10 service is probably a lower price per month than a good number pay that some may actually see a price cut.

The high definition voice is part of the move away from the old PSTN network which now has a finite end point of 2025, therefore getting a large proportion of the customer base moved across well before any full migration plans are implemented by Openreach.

While there is no doubt that improved digital skills to prepare children for the modern world are important and plans to deliver digital skills and computing training to 3 million more children by 2025 are welcome, there is a wider question of why the private sector is delivering what should be seen as part of any modern 21st century curriculum.

Comments

dont suppose there is any chance existing customers will get loyalty upgrades, ie faster speed for the same money

  • threelegs
  • 11 days ago

If that was on the cards then would have been mentioned I am sure.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 11 days ago

For me BT will never overcome the wasted decades of profit before customer service.

And for me BT (now Openreach) will live forever with the legacy of charging todays prices for a 1970 extremely poor landline with a VDSL2 cabinet at 1.1 miles away.I opted for 'fibre' twice and each time it was a technical disaster!

BT fails 'nationally' to supply what a lot of users pay for in broadband.

I await Jurassic fibre via narrow trenching after Gigaclear installed 500 dwellings out of 28,000 and lost their contract.

A complete shambles within the southwest broadband 'programme'!

  • michael-scott
  • 11 days ago

@michael-scott The key part there is “for me”.

In my case wherever I’ve lived I’ve had a rock solid Openreach line and mostly I’ve been with BT for the last 7 years or so, prior to that at my parents. Speed has never been below 60Mbps and reliability has never been an issue.

  • _Mike_B_
  • 11 days ago

@michael-scott

You do realise that Openreach's prices are regulated and even if they wanted to pay charge less they can't.

This means that many people in cities are paying more than they 'should' to subsidise more rural/longer lines.

They also don't control where you decide to live and the miss with BDUK in the southwest is down to the local authority not BT

  • gt94sss2
  • 11 days ago

so what will happen if someone don't want to go onto FTTC? I know of someone who is on ADSL and do not see the need to pay more for VDSL, i know the article say they will get it at the same price, but for how long? Bt is one of the most expensive providers in the UK if not the most expensive. These people I know has a good deal with ADSL and considering they are close to the exchange has a good speed. If Bt force them, then they will lose a customer as they will go elsewhere.

  • zyborg47
  • 10 days ago

What is their deal on BT ADSL2+? BT FTTC Essential is £26.99/m standard BT ADSL2+ Essential £24.99

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 days ago

They get it for £20 at the moment or something like that and just because Bt FTTC is £26 now, it will now stay like that, normal is nearly £38.
Bt don't even do ADSL now by the seems of it.
I had a chat with these people this afternoon and told them that BT will be pushing them to FTTC, we had a look around and the post office is still doing ADSL for just over £15, which is cheaper than BT and only a 12 month contract.
this is the problem these days, companies think everyone wants super doper fast broadband or use data on their mobiles, try getting a dataless mobile phone contract.

  • zyborg47
  • 10 days ago

What a pity they can't deliver 10Mbps to everyone in the country. I dream of 10Mbps, I currently "enjoy" 0.25Mbps while BT upgrade people who already enjoy useable speeds. I've been threatened with FTTP since last year, by the end of December 2018 they said, then by the end of September 2019 they said, now it's by the end of December 2019, if I'm lucky I suppose. The term chocolate fireguard comes to mind whenever anyone mentions BT.

  • Jimticker
  • 10 days ago

  • Jimticker
  • 10 days ago

I just used the speed test tool on my Wi-Fi and was pleasantly surprised to see that my average download speed was a magnificent 0.6Mbps! This is 98.3% slower than the UK average, so I dont know why I'm complaining really. By BT's own website my broadband speed max is between 1-3Mbps, and has been for the last 10 years despite me paying for "up to" 17Mbps. What they don't tell you is that some of the copper network includes aluminium cables. These can't handle broadband frequencies so kills any speed you may hope to get, and the copper/aluminium joints constantly corrode. It's good to talk.

  • Jimticker
  • 10 days ago

A short term solution might be 3G or 4G now there are a number of unlimited options, all depends on what speeds you can get on your mobile.

The 4G Home WiFI routers wil generally also be slightly better than a mobile phone for getting enough signal for a better than ADSL/ADSL2+ speed

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 10 days ago

As Andrew said, 4g might be a huge improvement depending on tower location. I barely get a signal on my phone and the EE router doesn't even find a signal. However a microtik sxt pulls a rock solid connection and 40M download, it's a little more than my adsl was but that gave me a laggy 1M.

It does seem to look like those stuck on adsl are going to have a very limited choice of supplier.

  • Swac3
  • 5 days ago

Post a comment

Login Register