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UPD BT Openreach Offer 6 Months Free FTTC Broadband in Certain Areas

Friday, December 16th, 2016 (7:48 am) - Score 1,130

Openreach (BT) will shortly begin offering ISPs 6 months of free rental on new PCP Only (Self-Install) FTTC / VDSL2 based “fibre broadband” connections when taken as a Simultaneous Provide service (e.g. broadband and phone line rental at the same time), but only on “eligible [street] cabinets“.

A similar promotion was offered to ISPs last month (here), but that didn’t apply to Simultaneous Provide (SIM) installations and was only applicable to those who receive slow sub-10Mbps speeds via their existing copper lines (e.g. ADSL). This may have been useful for Openreach’s 18Mbps profile trial (here) or their separate testing of Long Reach VDSL (here).

However the new promotion doesn’t impose any eligibility criteria in terms of line speed and is also applicable to all of Openreach’s 40-80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet broadband tiers, when taken with SIM.

Special offer details:

* It’ll run for three months from Wednesday 1st February until Sunday 30th April 2017 inclusive.

* Eligible lines will benefit from six months free rental on new FTTC connections across 40/2Mbps, 40/10Mbps, 55/10Mbps and 80/20Mbps speed tiers.

* The discount is applicable to brand new [Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)] and [Metallic Path facility (MPF)] provides and WLR and MPF Start of Stopped lines, which are more than 90 days old.

* It can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer.

The key phrase in all this is “eligible NGA cabinets” and Openreach’s briefing, which normally clarifies the context of such promotions, doesn’t offer any public information on which areas are likely to benefit from the discount. We put the question to Openreach after end-of-play yesterday afternoon (a bit too late for a reply) and are awaiting further details.

At present our strong suspicion is that the offer could be mated to the forthcoming extension of Openreach’s LR-VDSL trial into Ashcott (Somerset) and Peatling Magna (Leicestershire) during early 2017, although this doesn’t strictly have to be taken as a SIM provide but it may be a way to help encourage locals off ADSL (LR-VDSL works best when ADSL is switched off). A deployment of their 18Mbps tier could be another possible reason.

We highly doubt that Openreach would be willing to gift 6 months of free FTTC rental to ISPs for the whole of the United Kingdom, so expect an update to this news when BT responds. As usual we should point out that it’s entirely up to ISPs whether discounts like this are passed on.

UPDATE 2:48pm

Openreach has said that the offer will be “available on a select number of cabinets nationwide“, although they wouldn’t be drawn on which locations may benefit and suggested that it is not to do with any of their technical trials.

Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. Steve Jones says:

    I’m not sure how this will play out against retail offerings. It might be an incentive to ISPs, but unless it’s turned into a sales initiative with the retail providers, which means targeting potential consumers on those cabinets with, presumably, some form if incentive, then where’s it going to go? Are retail ISPs going to engage on sales initiatives around particular cabinets? It all sounds rather complicated to me.

    Perhaps this is some form of sweetener for the LR VDSL initiative (which really requires some form of ANFP revision to be optimised), but it has to be matched with some retail initiative.

  2. joe pineapples says:

    As they say on Hotdeals…..’Release The Geese!!’

  3. gpmgroup says:

    “LR-VDSL works best when ADSL is switched off”

    Does ordinary VDSL work better when ADSL is switched off? If not will switching off ADSL mean a better version of VDSL can be released?

    1. Steve Jones says:

      If ADSL is switched off, that doesn’t make much difference, if any, to VDSL performance. Perhaps a fraction less general interference. The real gain is if the VDSL frequency plan/power masking is altered so that it can re-use the ADSL frequencies. In essence, that’s what’s needed to make LR VDSL work, and if those ADSL frequencies could be re-used any cabinet would benefit.

      The ANFP (which controls the power masking and frequency plans for ADSL, VDSL and other services) is rather complicated with FTTC. The aim is to make sure that ADSL frequencies aren’t subject to interference which would swamp them at the cabinet. However, as cabinets are located further from the exchange, the higher ADSL frequencies are attenuated so much as to be useless and the ANFP allows for those frequencies to be used at higher power for VDSL. If there was no ADSL services, then all those frequencies could be used at the full allowable power which would benefit VDSL speeds in general.

    2. gpmgroup says:

      Thanks Steve!

  4. John says:

    Be a real bugger if my cab is included – seeing as I just paid for a new line/VDSL install.

  5. WebDude says:

    Worse than useless if Openreach won’t disclose which cabinets well in advance.

    Not a criticism of ISPr, just Openreach.

    While I’d like to benefit, think I will not hold my breath on off chance my area included.

    I suspect the ISPs will not pass on saving as too messy saying only 5% eligible (a guess … may be 2% or 1% )

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