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BT Openreach Launch New 55Mbps FTTC and FTTP Broadband Speed

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 (12:31 pm) by Mark Jackson (Score 4,837)
bt_openreach_van

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).

Openreach’s Announcement

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.

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28 Responses
  1. dave

    I would rather they increased the upload speed of the 40mb/2mb tier to 4-5mbps instead as this the only upload speed available on the 40mbps tier from talktalk which has a lot of customers.

    • Ignition

      If they did that they’d have to charge more for it, too. TalkTalk make the decision to go with 40/2 rather than 40/10.

      Openreach can’t upgrade existing products, they have to release new ones and retire the older ones.

  2. Noel

    More fiddling while the BT-Openreach ship goes down – who on earth says ’40 Mbps is too slow, but 80 Mbps is too fast?’

    Millions of us are saying ‘Please please give us even 10 Mbps!!’

    • Ignition

      Given Openreach serve and answer to their customers, OLOs and BT Wholesale, I would imagine it’d be those customers who want an FTTC tier that competes directly with Virgin Media’s SuperFibre 50.

    • Darren Reid

      People like me whos max sync speed is 57000Kbps. Also those who want 4K channels.

    • AndyH

      OR provide speed tiers based on what their customers ask for – so this new speed tier will be on the back of what ISPs have asked for.

    • MikeW

      An “interesting” choice of speed – but I guess it really tells us that Openreach have chosen the sync speed so it can be sold, at retail level, as “up to 50”.

      I agree with Ignition that it appears to be for direct competition with VM.

    • Al

      Sure the new 55/10 might be compete with VM. But I think Noel’s point is for those of us who are stuck in the slow lane it seems like it seems more like fiddling.

      Great I’ll have another choice of speed to pick from when fibre finally arrives, but at the moment I don’t care how many different speed packages that are offered all I care about is when I will actually get fibre. I’m virtually certain it’s coming but the when and where site is next to useless it still says my area is under review. Yet I’ve noticed coils of fibre cables behind telepgraph poles down my street new nodes at the top of poles with those fibre cables being wired up to them. Seems like a lot of work for an area that is under review.

    • FibreFred

      So what’s the answer then?

      Don’t create any new service lines, don’t rollout any more FTTP, don’t bring back FoD don’t trial or rollout G.Fast until everyone has FTTC?

    • GNewton

      @Noel: “More fiddling while the BT-Openreach ship goes down – who on earth says ’40 Mbps is too slow, but 80 Mbps is too fast?’”

      First BT needs to sort out its own mess which is mainly caused by Openreach. All major review sites, such as Trustpilot, ISPReview, TBB, etc confirm that. Nobody in his/her right frame of mind what buy a consumer item like a washing machine, cooker, etc when it’s only rated 1 out of 5, it then usually doesn’t make a difference when the same manufacturer introduces a mid-priced product with the same inherent weaknesses.

    • Ignition

      Strange how Andrews and Arnold, Zen Internet, and others, are highly regarded despite using that same Openreach network given Openreach are apparently the main cause of issues.

    • GNewton

      @Ignition: How would you sort out the BT mess?

      AAISP uses both BT and TalkTalk backbones, and they are better in dealing with Openreach than other ISPs, thus shielding the end customer from some of the horrible experiences you read about on the various review sites. And yes, many issues are caused by Openreach, though some failings can also be traced back to the incompetence of BT’s end customer facing businesses. The point is, introducing a new 55/10 Mbps product won’t make much of a difference unless the underlying issues can be sorted out, once and for all. Whether Ofcom will be up to the task remains to be seen. At the moment, the UK does not have a bright future as regards fibre broadband.

    • TheFacts

      Bright future? Many had a few meg or less a few years ago and now have significantly faster speeds. Where are people here saying eg. 50M is not enough?

    • Ignition

      The new 55/10 product isn’t there to ‘sort out the issues’. It’s there to fulfil a specific customer requirement, which is either for a product that competes directly with VM or something that better serves BT Retail’s UHD product.

      I’m sure there’ll be immediate accusations of bias with Openreach possibly doing that to support a BT Retail requirement, however it’s a pretty minor change in the grand scheme. I’m sure if another provider of that scale made such a modest request to Openreach it’d be fulfilled.

      The UK doesn’t have the brightest future, however for that I’d allocate a large proportion of the blame to the environment the regulator has produced and the failure of altnets to invest despite that environment. BT are doing what any privately held incumbent would in the circumstances.

    • GNewton

      @TheFacts: Many users can’t even get a 50Mbps service. And in any case, 50Mbps is just an average thing which should have been there for most many years ago. The point is BT has serious issues which need to be sorted out, and which Ofcom will address one way or the other. Whether Ofcom will recommend a split-up of BT (as suggested by many users and businesses), or just introduce a better regulation of Openreach, remains to be seen.

    • MikeW

      @GNewton
      I estimate that approx 70% of premises will be able to get 50Mbps speeds, if they chose to, when BDUK hits their 90% target in the next month or two. Add another 2-3% as the various SEP projects take hold. Possibly more as project lightning extends.

      What’s your idea of “many”?

    • TheFacts

      Many would have had 50M many years ago if the government had not stopped BT rolling out FTTP.

    • GNewton

      @TheFacts: “Many would have had 50M many years ago if the government had not stopped BT rolling out FTTP.”

      For how many years now has the government NOT stopped BT from rolling out FTTP?

    • MikeW

      The same amount of time that there has been a functionally-viable, but considerably more cost-effective alternative.

      Notice how the planned prospect of FTTP for a proportion disappeared out of the window when a second, still functionally-viable, even faster, still very cost-effective alternative appeared on the horizon.

  3. Live in London on BT broadband should get speeds of 42mbs but BT can not even get that 5 BT engineers later and they say that they can not do anything lets see what happens as at the mo I am getting 26 Mbps and they say 42mbs it’s a joke

  4. Graeme

    I personally would downgrade my 80/20 to this tier if it saved say £5 per month as I’m getting 61/12.

    • DTMark

      Isn’t that the danger, though, and why – generally – DSL products aren’t sold with “middling speed tiers”..

      ISPs who subscribe to OFCOM’s Speed code are, IIRC, required to downgrade the customer to a lower package if their speed isn’t high enough to warrant a more expensive one.

      So just as this might bring in extra revenue, it might equally lose revenue, and will probably just generate more complaints about speed.

  5. Darren

    Boooo, where is the 100/100 Mbps teir..

    I hope this doesn’t indicate what they beleive G.Fast will provide for most people.

    It seems G.Fast will be an decent uplift for very few and FTTC with the sometimes very low speeds it provides are here to stay for a very long time.

    • Ignition

      This is an FTTC tier, which has to be replicated on FTTP, nothing more, nothing less.

      To deliver 100Mb symmetrical would need VDSL 2 profile 30.

      FTTC is here to stay for a long time – BT spent enough that they need it to be around for a while to make their money back. G.fast won’t be a decent uplift for very few, despite what a blog written by a guy who thinks Hyperoptic use coax says.

      I say that as someone who, if G.fast were deployed at his cabinet, would get nothing at all out of it but my line is longer than the average and very circuitous.

    • Darren

      I’m aware of what it is, thanks.

      Profile 30 is no good for symetrical 100 Mbps, nor is G.Fast in existing cabs. Most will be without a decent uplift, especially on the upload.

      BT have talked about pushing fibre deeper and deeper into the network, why stop now. The next stage needs to be Fibre at the DP. If not then the majority will be without decent speeds rather than the majority with decent speeds going forward.

      I have not seen the blog post you speak of so can’t comment on it.

      Your line is a good example of why the Fibre needs to be pushed deeper sooner rather than later. My whole area is another, even better example, because it’s the layout of the roads rather than circuitous routeing. The lines take the shortest route but still the majority are over 3-400M.

    • MikeW

      “Profile 30 is no good for symetrical 100Mbps”

      This modem is sold as capable of 100/100 up to 300m, using the 30a profile:
      http://planetechusa.com/vc-231-100-100-mbps-ethernet-to-vdsl2-converter-30a-profile.html

      “nor is G.Fast in existing cabs”
      G.fast, as a protocol, is capable of variation in the relative downstream and upstream – and could indeed be chosen to give symmetrical rates. The only downside is that every line in the attached cabling would need to see the same split, so there is no opportunity to mix and match for different needs.

      There would certainly be an opportunity to choose symmetrical splits for business cabling, and asymmetric for residential cabling.

      A 100/100 speed, using a 200Mbps aggregate, is plausible out to 400m – if Sckipio is to be believed.

      “but still the majority [of lines] are over 3-400m”

      You might be right for your local area, but nationally, it isn’t as clear-cut as that. 400m is pretty much the median.
      http://postimg.org/image/bp372fcnn/

      BT’s initial target – 10m by 2020 – could be met using just the sub-400m lines (probably just sub-300m lines) with G.Fast nodes only at the PCPs.

      It would be unfortunate if it did – I’d much rather they started going deeper too, and there’ll probably be more demand there too. In fact, I think this rollout might be more suited for a demand-led rollout – even at best, it will be a relatively low demand level compared to FTTC.

  6. Simon

    Beggs the question, when are Openreach going to launch Profile 30a?

  7. RobertRM

    Well I am moving soon and my estimate is between 50-60mbps so 55 will do nicely.

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