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UPD Some BT 330Mbps FTTP on Demand Lines Could Cost Thousands

Posted Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 (9:06 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 3,365)
fibre optic cables eclipse

BT Wholesale’s latest price list update reveals that the operators forthcoming and “ultra-fast330Mbps (30Mbps uploads) capable FTTP on Demand (FTTPoD) broadband ISP service, which will be available to FTTC capable UK lines from spring 2013, could attract Excess Construction Charges (ECC) of over £3,000.

The premium service, which is targeted more towards business clients but can also be ordered by home owners, is about to enter phase 2 of BTOpenreach’s pilot that will run until late April 2013 and be used to test FTTPoD’s new automated order processes.

According to Openreach’s existing information (here), the service will attract a £500 one-off connection fee and a monthly rental price of £38 with a 36 month contract. However you can expect ISPs to charge significantly more than this once any additional requirements (profit, extra services etc.) are added on top.

Last December 2012 Openreach estimated that a home residing some 500 metres away from one of their NGA Aggregation Nodes could also expect to pay around £1,000 for laying the new fibre optic cable, which brings the total install to around £1,500. At the time BT warned that any property residing further away than 500m would pay more, though final prices have yet to be clarified.

Last night one of our readers, Carl Thomas, kindly pointed out to us that BT Wholesale had just added six related ECC “charge bands” to its latest WBC Price List (MS Excel) for their FTTPoD and FTTP service. As you’d expect the ECC work doesn’t come cheap, although unfortunately there’s no mention of how the bands will be applied. They’re also the same charges as for the WLR3 product.

BTs Excess Construction Charge (ECC) Bands (FTTP and FTTP On-Demand)
Charge Band 0 – £0
Charge Band 1 – £1 – £200
Charge Band 2 – £201-£500
Charge Band 3 – £501-£1000
Charge Band 4 – £1001-£3000
Charge Band 5 – £3001 and above

The good news is that while some people could end up paying thousands to have the service installed there will be others who could actually pay less. Unfortunately the bands are not well explained and thus we need to wait for more real-world examples of the costs before being able to draw any firm conclusions, not least with regards to how ISPs may apply the cost over a 36 month contract term and at different distances.

UPDATE 12:29pm

We should clarify that the Excess Construction Charges (ECC), which apply to both FTTP and FoD, are not related to the FoD distance based charging bands.

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16 Responses
  1. adslmax

    What about the Ofcom maximum 2 year broadband contract ruling?

    • Anoyed tax payer

      As yet the ISP’s have not said what the contract lengths will be, so they might not make the end user take a 36 month contract. (That will be a gamble by the ISP if they did less than 36 month contracts though).

    • I’m not sure if the 24 month rule applies to what are technically considered business products, must check.

    • Martin Pitt - Aquiss

      @adslmax great question.

      As these will be pitched into the consumer space along side businesses, then this will be interesting. I can’t see any ISP swollowing 12 months, certainly not for a few years.

      I will speak to my contacts as OFCOM and ASA and see if I can get some reasonable solution/answers (or maybe they need forcing to speak to BT).

    • Ignitionnet

      Don’t believe this will concern the ASA as it’s a wholesale price list.

      I suspect BT will simply say that it’s a business product, and they’d be quite right to. The install fee alongside that 53GBP/month + VAT just for the wholesale product is well beyond the kind of pricing a residential product would come in at normally.

      It’s surely the ISPs prerogative whether they want to target this at the consumer market?

    • Martin Pitt - Aquiss

      @Ignitionnet The ASA have been quite funny recently about contract terms, within the final retail space (I never mentioned wholesale previously).

      We run a few things past their compliance team before publishing anything. They recently moaned that we had used / rather than the word “or” in a possible future campaign to explain a couple of contract choices.

      Whilst i agree these products appear to be aimed at the business space, we always note down interests from enquiries. For FTTPoD interests, 92% of interest for us has been those with current current consumer products. Naturally released pricing may well end that interest ;)

    • Ignitionnet

      @Martin Pitt – Aquiss Have a think about how much you’d have to charge on top of that to deliver a good service with a reasonable bit cap on 330/30 ;)

      People would likely want either a pretty high cap or unlimited if they’re paying that much, I can easily imagine the product going comfortably into 3 figures retail.

    • Martin Pitt - Aquiss

      @Ignitionnet

      Quite. How does 330/30 with 1Kb sound? :p

    • Ignitionnet

      Sir you could give them 50GB and someone will complain that they can download that in a little over 20 minutes, 500GB some wag will say ‘Oh there’s 3.5 hours usage a month….’

      That’s actually a scary thought though – a Blu Ray in 20 minutes, 40MB/s. God help the Usenet hosts when the warez munkehs get their hands on that.

  2. DanielM

    Another reason not to use bt. if people want faster broadband use a reliable provider. and local fibre company.

  3. I think the Government/LA’s need to step in here to make sure land owners can lay duct to an industry standard with BT required to use it and indeed share it should the need arise.

    The notion of it being a premium product does not sound correct. Once in, it is cheaper to run than the legacy network.

  4. FibreFred

    It will be interesting to see how this works out, for example if someone a few doors from me on the same pole bought this surely it would be a lot cheaper for others on the same pole after that ? All that would be required is a fibre connection from the pole to premises and a little work at the agg node?

    Because I would have thought the fibre they bring to the pole for the first customer would be multi pair

    • zemadeiran

      Good point FF,

      That would bring down the length costs for the street…

      How about us poor souls in flats?

    • FibreFred

      Yeah a flats could be more tricky but if everyone is on board it might be possible. You could have one fibre feed from BT (so just buy it once and you all chip in) terminate it in the basement and then employ a local network provider to build a LAN out to each flat, ok you are all going to be sharing 330Mbps but if everyone behaves it should be great, most “normal” people don’t nail up their connection 24/7

  5. Glenn - ChunkyChips.net

    I think it’s worth noting that ECCs are nothing new in the world of fibre provision to businesses. In fact, if you really want it (and your pockets are deep enough), I’m fairly sure I could get you a Fibre to your premises right now, 1Gb up and down if you like? Would be a bit pricey though :)
    Seriously, in fibre provision, it’s usually the way that, if high ECCs are recognised, it’s the first customer that commits to them that unfortunately paves the way for everyone else to get fibre much cheaper in future. Some wholesalers (not usually BTW) do look at the commercials of covering the ECCs to pave (pun intended) the way for future business.
    Will be interesting to see how BTW manage this or, perhaps, how their wholesale customers manage it in the proposition to their customers.

  6. G1h

    Seen this happen with Gas.
    No Gas in street, Multimillionare pays for the Gas main to his property at the end and absorbs the entire cost themselves (it’s small change for them) and Transco makes sure the main is indeed big enough for all.
    Then everyone else en-route piggybacks off the recently laid main at a much cheaper install price they they were originally quoted as a one off.
    In the example everyone gets on well with each other and jokes abound about how “I paid for your gas installation” all in good humour.

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