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BT Openreach to Stop Replacing Faulty FTTC Modems from Jan 2017

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 (4:33 am) - Score 27,222

BTOpenreach has informed Internet Service Providers (ISP) that they intend to remove their Basic Install product for Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) based “fibre broadband” lines on 1st January 2016 and, a year after that, they’ll also stop support (replacement) for consumers who suffer faulty VDSL modems.

The plan caused somewhat of a snafu when it was first proposed last year (here), not least because the original proposal suggested removing the install service only a few short months prior to stopping replacement support for faulty modems (i.e. still inside the 12 month contract period).

However, under the amended dates, Openreach has wisely adjusted the timescales so that support for swapping faulty Openreach VDSL/FTTC modems will only come to an end 12 months after the service is withdrawn (i.e. in keeping with the contract). Still, it’s hard luck if you have an OR modem that breaks down after 2nd Jan 2017 because you’ll have to buy a replacement yourself.

Openreach’s Change

The amended dates from Openreach for the withdrawal of the VDSL supply and support area as below:

• Removal of Basic Install with Openreach Modem variants is put back to 1st January 2016

• No longer swapping Openreach modems on failure from 1st January 2017

Admittedly the market impact of this won’t be significant, at least not among the biggest ISPs, because most have already swapped to the PCP-Only (Self-Installation) method, which means they supply their own VDSL modems or routers with an integrated VDSL modem and no Openreach engineer needs to enter your home. But some smaller ISPs do still offer the Basic Install service and may be less pleased.

It’s worth pointing out that Openreach can still supply their own VDSL modems alongside the other Managed Install option, which could present some annoyance as this may create complications with the replacement of faulty hardware. Openreach have given a rough indication that they may eventually remove the OR modem option from this service too, although at present they’re still monitoring the feedback from ISPs.

A little more detail about the reasoning for all this can be found on Openreach’s CPE Enablement page.

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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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