Broadband News

March 2020 update on how fast Openreach is deploying FTTP

The last four weeks and a day of the shortest month of the year saw the Openreach footprint that we have been able to find increase to cover some 2,069,235 premises, an increase of 82,273 since we last reported the figures on 12th February 2020.

The 82,273 premises added works out at 19,859 premises and is a drop of 6,000 every week compared to the previous month. While there was 1 day in February where I did not add any Openreach FTTP due to being busy with a trip to Buckingham Palace, usually this missing day is easily caught up, but February and March both seem to seen a change in the quantities we are finding. Given we are usually 6 to 8 weeks behind what Openreach state as built this drop may represent the Christmas holiday break and another possibility is that the succession of storms in February has had an impact on the speed at which things are being built and also commissioned.

Of course it may be are looking in all the wrong places, and that is where our readers can help by (a) running a speed test once you have upgraded to FTTP or (b) telling us a postcode for an area that is missing from our maps and checker.

The five distinct groups that we track for Openreach saw the following changes:

  • 474,241 premises via BDUK/gap funded or other rural intervention an increase of 6,696 premises
  • 1,076,221 premises in Fibre First areas an increase of 39,959 premises
  • 46,766 premises in Fibre Village/Market Town areas an increase of 6,757 premises
  • 349,926 premises via New Build since January 2016 an increase of 23,833 premises
  • 122,081 premises via commercial/old roll-out an increase of 5,128 premises

WIth the 100% Gigabit challenge now allocated its funding the overlap with other networks such as the Virgin Media cable network which will by the end of 2021 be offering Gigabit everywhere is more important and for the five Openreach categories we can share how much overlap there is with Virgin Media and the Openreach FTTP service at this time.

  • BDUK/gap funded or other rural intervention overlap with Virgin Media 6.8%
  • Fibre First areas overlap with Virgin Media 85.5%
  • Fibre Village/Market Town overlap with Virgin Media 0.3%
  • New Build since January 2016 overlap with Virgin Media 6.6%
  • commercial/old roll-out overlap with Virgin Media 52.3%

This overlap will of course change over time as the FTTP roll-outs grow, so may go up and down depending on which areas see FTTP. The other big potential overlap is with the CityFibre FTTP network where some 6,660 premises have both Openreach and CityFibre FTTP available, but the overlap between Virgin Media and CityFibre is larger at 79,754 premises from a CityFibre footprint of 184,637 premises.

Comments

@thinkbroadband I believe that’s what they call a ‘humble brag’. Congrats on the gong.

  • @diggory
  • comment via twitter
  • 8 months ago

Thanks Andrew, good to see BDUK going back up. There is much outstanding and pending so it would interesting to understand what would be possible to sustain in a month in rural. Demand is almost guaranteed so they can crack on.

  • ValueforMoney
  • 8 months ago

At the sake of repeating myself, for those not aware, while broadband operators building in rural areas can crack on, they can only do so under their own commercial auspices.

Put another way, if a BDUK contract holder was to suddenly present a bill of £1 million for an additional 1,000 premises via FTTP that was beyond the scope of the signed contract they will not get paid. Also they will not get paid if they deliver FTTP to properties that can get superfast already.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 8 months ago

@ValueforMoney Demand might be there but that doesn't mean the cost of the fttp deployment makes economic sense. 10-20% of the UK will never add up without Gov funding.

  • Croft12
  • 8 months ago

Andrew; Croft 12 if you check the BDUK reports such as they are you will see another 1) another 250k still outstanding from Phase 1-2, 2) Phase 3 press releases not reported show a further ~170k premises and 3) Pending includes Stratum (NI ~79k) R100 ~150K Scotland with CDS and a few others promising more.
BTPlc last quarter are still reporting £712m in its accounts as a Capital Deferral, gainshare, clawback or dribble back as some LDP call it. So there is much more that can be done.

  • ValueforMoney
  • 8 months ago

I am not denying that there is more to be delivered, just making it perfectly clear for the casual reader that your comment about 'crack on' is false, and only can relate up to the point that the contracted amounts have been built.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 8 months ago

Crack on with what is contracted, what is pending and what can be done with what is owed. What point the £5bn if there is a £712m capital deferral in BTs accounts?

  • ValueforMoney
  • 8 months ago

@VFM
Quote "Crack on with what is contracted, what is pending and what can be done with what is owed"

The contracted bit makes sense, the rest not so much. No commercial organisation will proceed with work for a client that it is not contracted to do as the client could quite reasonably not pay! In the case of BDUK, the clients may prefer to have the money returned to invest elsewhere, it is their decision not that of their supplier.

But you know this right as it's been explained to you so many times.

  • New_Londoner
  • 8 months ago

New_londoner In the context of BT Group, cracking on would also include publishing what BT Group believe they owe and what could be achieved by bringing forward change requests.

'Cracking On' is a mindset.The option of returning money is odd when the task in hand was to go as far as the monies would allow. If your managing to the letter of a contract when the contracts were based on inflated cost models (as per 2015 NAO finding) then it becomes lose, lose as opposed to win win. BT share price stays flat, trust evaporates and folk recover funds and put into vouchers. You also know this.

  • ValueforMoney
  • 8 months ago

New-Londoner .. and how will the case for the £5bn be ever made if the best folk can do is not spend the existing monies doing as much as they can? It is not as if the business case gets any easier. Your suggesting BT's very best idea is to hand the money back. This should not be the case.

  • ValueforMoney
  • 8 months ago

Hi VFM. I think the clawback money for Surrey has not been returned but reinvested in interim (Cabs and fibre ) they have opened FTTC 19 at Hindhead this week of the old Cab 7 BD UK. There could be other locations in Surrey not being picked up.
There will be a slow return from these cabs as the customers request FTTC from ADSL I think they have seven yeas from the opening of the Cabs there even may be a return on the interim ones see 19 above.

  • Blackmamba
  • 8 months ago

@VRM
"The option of returning money is odd when the task in hand was to go as far as the monies would allow."

There is no "option" of returning money, there is a *contractual requirement* to do so if that is what the local body decides. The decision rests with it not BT Group, I'm surprised that you don't know that.

"If your [sic] managing to the letter of a contract when the contracts were based on inflated cost models..."

More misinformation. Again, the reality is that the contracts pay based on incurred, not estimated costs, with invoices being auditable. Again, didn't you know that?

  • New_Londoner
  • 8 months ago

I have no idea what is planned here in SW Scotland, but I see BT Openreach vans out and about by cabinets and on grass verges whenever I go out. In our town, where there are telephone poles sundry arrays of porcelain (or plastic ?) and associated cabling have appeared almost everywhere, and I assume they are something to do with FTTP.

  • Septuagent
  • 8 months ago

Openreach is not using porcelain these days, you sure you are not confusing power cabling.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 8 months ago

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