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Openreach to Withdraw Old Ultrafast FTTP Broadband ISP Products by 2014

Friday, October 26th, 2012 (8:44 am) - Score 2,794
fibre optic cable spectrum colours

BTOpenreach, which manages access to BT’s UK telecoms network, has outlined plans to streamline its portfolio by slashing the number of ultrafast fibre optic broadband (FTTP) products from ten to five by March 2014. This includes the anticipated introduction of a new 220Mbps service in summer 2013.

The following product variants will be withdrawn from new supply in September 2013: 40/15Mb (i.e.40Mbps download / 15Mbps upload), 100/15Mb, 110/15, 100/30 and 330/20. However ISPs will continue to support these “legacy” products until their complete withdrawal in March 2014. As a result the new “rationalisedFibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) product range will be as follows.

The New Fibre-to-the-Premises Product Range (Download/Upload)

• 40/2 Mb
• 40/10 Mb
• 80/20 Mb
• 220/20 Mb
• 330/30 Mb

Regular readers will be quick to spot that BT’s new 220Mbps (20Mbps upload) service, which was first detailed in May 2012 (here), has now appeared in the list. Until now we only knew that it would launch sometime in 2013, yet Openreach has now confirmed that it will surface during summer 2013. On top of that the 330Mbps option now comes with 30Mbps upload speeds.

The new 220Mbps option will be a cheaper service than 330Mbps and should somewhat act as a replacement for the older 100Mbps and 110Mbps products at a similar price point.

Openreach Statement

Openreach has consulted with the NGA Working Group currently consuming GEA-FTTP products, taking into account current and future plans. This has directly informed our approach here. The revised portfolio provides our customers with a much simpler and more defined group of products from which to choose, allowing them to match the right GEA-FTTP product to their needs more easily.

This notification provides up to 10 months’ notice of the withdrawal of the GEA-FTTP profiles mentioned above from new supply, and 16 months’ notice of the full withdrawal of the legacy products. Openreach Customer Engagement Managers will provide Industry with progress reports on their legacy products and work with them in order to complete the migration before March 2014.”

In addition Openreach has also deferred the end date of the current Special Offer on rental of their top 330Mbps product from 31st January 2013 to 30st June 2013. As a result ISPs can take the service for a significantly cheaper wholesale price (i.e. £187.32 PA for the transition service and £288 for the data-only variant) for another 6 months. So far most ISPs have decided to stick with the more manageable 100Mbps and 110Mbps products (capacity cost is the big concern at 330Mbps); BT Retail’s new 160Mbps package notwithstanding.

At present BT’s FTTP service suffers from extremely limited coverage and thus only a smaller number of ISPs have bothered to launch related packages. This could improve next Spring 2013 when BT introduces its new FTTP-on-Demand product that will make the service available anywhere that their slower FTTC solution can already go (i.e. 66% of the UK by 2014). But this will be very expensive to install and is thus aimed more towards business users and home owners with extremely deep pockets.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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65 Responses
  1. Avatar Sheffield Owl

    For many users any fibre connection is just a dream that seems it will never come true.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Why not? From next year if that is your dream and you are in a FTTC area you will be able to buy it

    • Avatar Jim

      Yes I don’t even have FTTC in my area yet so that would be good start let alone FTTH! (papworth Everard – approx 10 miles from Cambridge). although fibre is about 2 miles down the road. Cant event get 1mb download

      FibreFred – i think that what Sheffield Owl was trying to say.

  2. Avatar Kyle

    Confused as to how BT can offer a 160/30 service as it’s not listed in the BTO list of products above? Is this a tailored package for BT Retail?

    • Easy, they pick the 330Mbps option and simply cap the top speed. Also it’s still 20Mbps uploads on their site and not 30Mbps. I imagine they’ll swap to using Openreach’s 220Mbps product right when the extra discount period for 330Mbps runs out.

  3. Avatar Deduction

    QUOTE”At present BT’s FTTP service suffers from extremely limited coverage and thus only a smaller number of ISPs have bothered to launch related packages. This could improve next Spring 2013 when BT introduces its new FTTP-on-Demand product that will make the service available anywhere that their slower FTTC solution can already go”

    Although users should be aware the ON DEMAND product is GPON and not GEA based product and thus the various speeds listed in the news item may or may not be available with that product.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Oh no, we aren’t going to start all this again are we? 🙂

      FTTP is GEA GPON Based
      FTTP “on demand” is GEA GPON Based

      Same products the only difference is that the “on demand” bit covers the proactive build.

      Read all about it:-

      http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/fibretothepremisesondemand/fttpod.do

      “FTTP on Demand will mean you will be able to order the GEA-FTTP 330/30Mbit/s product variant for your customers who are within an FTTC exchange area and are served by an FTTC enabled cabinet.”

      I know you keep getting confused and think it is different tech, reliant on a cab etc etc, it is the same product as FTTP just a different wrap, plain to see if you read what is available

  4. Avatar Deduction

    Err no and if you click the PDF fact sheet from your link at the bottom of the page you will see the diagram that shows its GPON based

    • Avatar FibreFred

      What did I say? GPON! Both are, do you even understand the term GEA?

    • Avatar Deduction

      Talking of new products, end of 2012 is approaching, where is that nice shiny new profile 30 FTTC with 200+Mb speeds you were also touting all year in the comments?

      Something else i said over and over didn’t exist and wouldn’t.

      You seem to have a faulty crystal ball.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Maybe you are confusing me with someone else? I’ve never said anything of the sort for FTTC. Hopefully you understand FTTP on demand now anyway and will stop trying to tell everyone its not true FTTP and not as good as the other offering, its the same product which I’ve said all along but you weren’t having ir

    • Avatar Deduction

      quote”Maybe you are confusing me with someone else?”

      Nah you just haven’t had your New_Londoner blue pill today.

      FTTP and ONDEMAND are not the same thing or the same product, even BTs own pricing is different.

      Heres a question if its the same, whats the contention ratio on the ON DEMAND product?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Arr that would explain it, seen as I’m not New_Londoner, you’d have to ask him about his predictions.

      What pricing? FTTP on demand is on trial there is no pricing. Can you actually read, did you read the website its very clear.

      The reason you are confused (and wrong) is that you didn’t understand the term GEA

      You seemed to believe it meant point to point fibre, wrong. GEA isn’t a piece of technology it is a BT marketing term “Generic Ethernet Access”.

      GEA FTTP (which you’ve loved all year) is GPON.

      FTTP on demand allows you to order the above, there is no mystical second technical offering , on demand is just a term to allow you to order GEA FTTP and pay for the installation (the proactive build) yourself.

      I know it must hurt being wrong but sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up,

      “When it comes to equipment and product specification, the FTTP on Demand service will be identical to that of the standard GEA-FTTP 330/30 Mbit/s product. Apart from the proactive plan and build, your customer will experience no difference in service to other GEA-FTTP customers and will be able to benefit from download speeds of up to 330 Mbit/s and upload speeds of up to 30 Mbit/s.”

      Not the best start to your weekend but.. there you go 🙂

  5. Avatar Deduction

    Oh and talking of the ON DEMAND PRODUCT…
    quote”…….This could improve next SPRING 2013 when BT introduces its new FTTP-on-Demand product that will make the service available anywhere that their slower FTTC solution can already go (i.e. 66% of the UK by 2014).”

    Now what date did i guess earlier in the year…
    http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/05/bt-detail-11th-june-uk-launch-and-prices-for-330mbps-fibre-optic-broadband.html#comment-5945

    Wanna still leave your money on the table for speed guess ON DEMAND will go at?
    Or just pay me now for getting the date period its going to be released?

    LOL

  6. Avatar Zemadeiran

    It’s always interesting watching you two fight 🙂

    Will do a proper post later.

    • Avatar Fibrefred

      There’s not much to fight about zem it just consists of me posting links and making him look foolish. He’s been banging this drum for ages and looks a right muppet now

    • Avatar Deduction

      If i look like a Muppet, i imagine you look like the Teletubbies. I hear nothing they had to say made sense either. Ahhh abuse, run along and complain you can not take what you like to dish out.

  7. Avatar zemadeiran

    We are all in the same boat 🙂

    We are all Geeks at heart otherwise the great subject of broadband would not be of interest. While normal human beings are out getting pissed we are arguing about how data should be delivered…

    From a personal standpoint, working from home I would prefer a much higher upload due to ftp’ing work files etc. I do not see the benefit of anything above 100mbps on the download for normal folk until everyone is hooked up to fiber and everything is delivered down it.

    I fully understand that BT do not want to undermine their business grade connection service’s and the revenue it brings in. I would however love to see a 100mbps synchronous package for home workers which should see us through for several years.

    I am in no way against BT/Openreach earning their money but they do have the luxury of being a national monopoly so why not give back a bit and change the landscape technology wise?

    I would look forward to FTTP on demand but as you know K&C council told Openreach to stick their cabinets. What will happen, K&C will be pressured by it’s residents to sort out an alternative be that Hyperoptic who by the way are based up the road from me or another firm coming in.

    I live in a block so FTTB look’s like the main option which is not a bad thing if they run back through the pavement box and on to the exchange. A 10gbps port for our block should be more than enough for the 80 flats in here.

    There are no cabinets around here just pavement boxes.

    BT being a private company in my opinion is a bad thing, they have a massive pension deficit and the majority of shares are owned by large corps with no interest in people, just the bottom line.

    We nearly had a full fiber roll out in the 80’s by BT before privatisation, but the iron bitch and her cronies put us back quite a bit.

    Anyhow, I have now had my Friday rant and wish everyone here a relaxing weekend.

    Fuck me, I did not even use one swear word in my post???

  8. Avatar zemadeiran

    The only real solution for multi tenant buildings like mine is FTTB.

    Splitting can be handled internally: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_optical_network

    We already have duct coming in via several pavement boxes for the main fiber cable.

    We know that GPON is aggregate bandwidth but as 10gbps ports are becoming defacto I see no problems in sharing that bandwidth between 100 properties for example.

    The cost lies in running single or multimode fiber to everyone’s flat via optical splitters. Terraced streets can also be handled in a similar fashion by running the main fiber cable along everyone’s gutter and splitting down at each house.

    You would only need a small box at the end of each row of houses in order serve that row.

    I do not see the big problem with running a bit of cable which boils down to labour costs. Just ask SKY how their install guy’s do things and what costs are involved.

    I am looking at this from a inner city/terraced street point of view and cannot comment when it comes to separate properties further out of town.

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      FTTB is exactly that – Fibre To The Building, not to each apartment. In the Hyperoptic model fibre goes into a switch in a comms room or basement which then delivers Gigabit Ethernet over copper to each apartment that takes the services. From there depending on the tier of service the customer subscribes to they are rate limited at some point in the network.

  9. Avatar Darren

    I’m very excited about the oportunity to have an FTTP connection. The speed tiers look good accept I’d like to see higher upload on the top ones.

  10. Avatar Neil McRae

    FTTP and FTTC is absolutely GEA!

    A pilot isn’t just about testing technology, its about testing the order process, fault process, customer understanding etc etc. But it is absolutely the same technology.

    Neil.

  11. Avatar Ignitionnet

    I understood that the FTTPoD pilot was to test order processes and the bespoke installation of the ‘on demand’ part of the product – the FTTPoD ‘network’ build which then allows delivery of a ‘standard’ FTTP install.

    The actual FTTP service delivered is, besides the bespoke installation of GPON kit, identical to the standard FTTP service as far as I know? Same pricing, same speeds, same everything?

  12. Avatar Stuart

    Hmm, interesting reading and I must say I agree with Fibre Fred.

    I work for a telco consultancy firm and can confirm the On-Demand trials are about the ordering process (have to move to a new version of the Openreach EMP software early next year) and the ability for Openreach to plan and install the fibre to the home. It’s a different install process to the current FTTP install method (i.e how they get the fibre to the house when you may already have FTTC installed), but the connectivity that goes on the in the exchange is the same. Most ISP’s will not consider “2k” for a cable link asexpensive. Sky and others already have installed cable link for the FTTC products.

    The expensive bit will be the install costs to the home (blowing fibre down the street ducts is not cheap!). Some ISP’s may absorb that cost (locking you in for 24 months for example) or you may have options to pay for that yourself to get a shorter contract.

    “FTTP” and “on-demand FTTP” will give the end use exactly the same experience as it’s the same technology that provides the end-to-end service.

  13. Avatar Ronski

    LOL, so funny just had to leave a reply, even I know that FibreFred is correct. The trial is testing the ordering, pricing and installation of the on demand part NOT the actual product. The end result is FTTP & FTTPod are the same after installation, although pricing may differ depending on how the on demand installation is paid for.

    The fibre link Deduction was on about is to allow unbundled operators such as Sky/TalkTalk to link their kit to the FTTC/FTTP network.

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