In a surprise move BTOpenreach has today unveiled a new middle tier bandwidth product for their Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “fibre broadband” services, which offers download speeds of up to 55Mbps and uploads of 10Mbps.
The service, which Openreach hopes will be picked up and sold on to consumers by ISPs, should be officially introduced on 16th January 2016 and is said to attract a monthly fee of £8.40 +vat per month. Obviously this is not the price that end-users will pay as it doesn’t factor VAT (20%), usage allowances, additional services or the need for a profit margin etc.
At present Openreach’s most dominant “fibre broadband” service uses their FTTC technology, which tends to offer a mix of ‘up to’ 40Mbps or ‘up to’ 80Mbps tiers via VDSL. Meanwhile the ultrafast capable FTTP product can deliver the same tiers, but the use of pure fibre optic lines also enables it to hit a top speed of 330Mbps (expected to reach 1000Mbps in the not too distant future).
To increase the choice of speeds available for end customers and enhance the options available to our CPs, Openreach is pleased to announce the introduction of a new GEA-FTTC and GEA-FTTP Bandwidth variant at 55/10 Mbps. This product will follow the same rules of our currently available tiers on GEA-FTTC and GEA-FTTP.
* The monthly rental price for the 55/10 Mbps tier is £8.40.
* This will be available to order on 16 January 2016 (R3050).
* All terms and conditions that apply to existing GEA-FTTC and GEA-FTTP tiers (i.e. 40/2, 40/10, and 80/2) will apply to 55/10.
* ACCN Ref OR424.
The new 55Mbps option slots roughly in the middle of existing FTTC tiers and runs quite close to the general average performance of the service, indeed a lot of other countries actually sell their FTTC / VDSL products as 50Mbps services.
In terms of price, Openreach’s bottom 40/2 (40Mbps download / 2Mbps upload) tier costs the equivalent of £6.90 +vat per month (again this is just the raw wholesale rental) and boosting the upload rate to 10Mbps pushes this to £7.40. By comparison the top 80/20 tier costs £9.95 per month, although you need a very good quality line and ISP to get the top performance out of that.