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BT Openreach Cuts UK 100Mbps and 1Gbps Ethernet Prices

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 (1:55 pm) - Score 7,193
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Openreach (BT) has today announced another round of sharp Ethernet (EAD, WES, WEES and BES) price reductions for their business customers and ISPs, which will be introduced from 1st April 2017 and apply to a number of their 100Mbps and 1Gbps speed products.

Most of the reductions are part of Openreach’s current regulatory requirements, although they’ve also launched a special offer for EAD 100Mbps connections that runs from 1st April to 31st December 2017. This offer cuts the one-off connection charge by up to -77% (a discount of at most -£2,250 on the top product).

Otherwise you can view the full table of changes here.

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59 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW

    If you combine this offer with the proposed £3,000 voucher scheme, you’re going to find even more ECCs being squashed on fibre leased lines.


    • Avatar craski

      ECC’s are not the only problem though and while “Is available nationally” may be true, it certainly isnt at the prices they suggest. I checked leased line costs for two business premises near me, both are within a few hundred metres of an FTTC cabinet (not sure where the aggregation node is through) and for a 300Mb leased line on a 1000Mb bearer the cheapest monthly cost came back at £1032/month based on a 3 year contract.

      Mind you, I’d be more likely to pay this than £840/Month for a 500GB/Month satellite connection!

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Craski – FoD ought to work to create a FTTP GPON service for those business customers adjacent to the CAB. Has this been discussed as an option? This ought to be accommodated not just in the new voucher scheme but in spending the underspends, gainshare and capital. Even the cable connecting AGN to cabinet will have many many spares so you would hope to avoid the private circuit costs.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA for All – You do realise the difference between the fibre build for GPON and the fibre going to a FTTC cabinet? It has been pointed out to you before….

    • Avatar craski

      @NGA – I’ve read recently on TBB that a guy in Inverness has managed to order FOD via FluidData so might contact them for a quote. I must admit thought that I also read on TBB that from a guy who has FTTP that his ~300Mb connection can in theory be allowed to drop to 40Mb and because there is no SLA as such anything over 40 is considered OK. Not sure I could live with paying >£300 / month for a service that can lose quite so much speed.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH – Thank you, the components are understood, but what switch will be or is deployed at every handover point to support fibre extension activity.

    • Avatar AndyH

      What ‘switch’ are you referring to? Perhaps watch this – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouSB_3c_fm8

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH – For Craski’s sake why not explain how customers too far away from a cabinet to see a benefit can order a fibre extension over subsidised infrastructure? The new vouchers and indeed much of £325m BT capital deferral (and growing) will be pointed at solving this problem.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA – I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. What is a fibre extension?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH – a fibre extension can take the form of single fibre connection like you currently define FoD or you can plan a small FTTP-GPON network beyond the reach of the cabinet.
      The Video shows the OLT but not the switch used but thanks.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA – I really have no idea what you’re trying to say here. The OLT has a L2 switch built in….

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH – Fine it is simple layer 2 switch which can be configured to support connectivity to cabinets and if you choose run GPON on separate ports. You could establish EAD if you choose from the same switch. If you view your video you will find videos from Surrey in the same window, showing BT deploying FTTP out beyond the operating reach of the cabinet. There is also a gentleman from Wales who was supplied duct and managed to get FTTP up a 3km track. These are fibre extensions or extensions to you the fibre network.

    • Avatar CarlT

      The major cost here isn’t getting the fibre there, it’s the 1Gbps of guaranteed bandwidth that needs nailing up. In that instance BDUK covers AN to L2S. If they took service from BT Retail the commercial bit would be AN to premises, and L2S to Internet. The subsidised bit isn’t really much in the grand scheme.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA – I’m really not sure where to begin with your posts here. You understand that what Openreach provide is an ethernet circuit right? There is no OLT used because EAD is an active network (either copper/fibre – switch to switch). There is no sharing, what you buy is what you get.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      @andyH – Craski question was not exclusively an EAD issue, it was how best to achieve a fibre service. MikeW referred to a voucher, it is unlikely future versions of the vouchers will be used for private circuits. But it should support a FoD product which is further productised into a more generally available FTTP-GPON service for locations where Cabinet based solutions do not work.
      A little off track, but broadband vouchers should not be used to fund private circuits. Private circuits are not a solution to poor broadband. If you provision private circuits you can plan more FTTP.

    • Avatar AndyH

      “MikeW referred to a voucher, it is unlikely future versions of the vouchers will be used for private circuits.”

      I would be very surprised if this is the case. It would make the likes of VM very unhappy.

      “A little off track, but broadband vouchers should not be used to fund private circuits.”

      Why not? If I am a SME that requires a leased line (which has numerous benefits over FTTx), why should I be precluded from being able to use a connection voucher for a leased line?

      “Private circuits are not a solution to poor broadband. If you provision private circuits you can plan more FTTP.”

      Please explain how you plan more FTTP if you provision private circuits.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Isn’t the main feature of a private circuit that you have uncontended bandwidth in the backhaul/core network?

      Some providers of leased lines are willing to offer a combination of a GEA access circuit and a contention-free backhaul. That rather muddies the water between FTTC, FTTP and leased lines.

      Oh, and the voucher? They seem to be aimed at rural businesses. It would seem to me that they should be available for whatever form of digital access the business requires.

      It seems to me that @NFA is muddying the definition of “internet access” with broadband. The latter, of course, really refers to the way that DSL acts out of the normal voice band on copper. It doesn’t really apply to FTTP.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ Mike – That plus symmetrical speeds and the SLA/SLG.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Yeah – those components also tend to appear in leased line packages, too.

    • Avatar DTMark

      Guaranteed bandwidth does not require a physically private circuit. It only requires appropriate provisioning.

  2. Avatar wirelesspacman

    I can’t see any price reductions affecting EAD circuits except for a drop in the main link charge for resilient circuits. Only other price changes seem to be for “connection” charges when migrating from legacy WES etc to EAD

  3. Avatar GNewton

    I just checked some quotes for an address in a nearby town, to see whether BT really is competitive now with its latest price reductions. Results:

    TalkTalk EAD and Internet access 100Mb/s
    Install: £2827.50
    Monthly: £1216.03

    BT Etherflow at 100 Mbit/s on 100 Mbit/s Fibre Etherway with Internet access:
    Indstall: £2902.50
    Monthly: £2099.65

    So there is still a lot of scope for the monthly rental to come down in price for BT.

    Can’ find any FoD quotes or availability for the same place. For a small businesses it often makes more sense to relocate to an area where fibre broadband is available, or least decent line-bonded VDSL broadband, though these products are of course contented and of a lesser SLA.

    • Avatar AndyH

      Firstly, these are Openreach offerings in the news article. They provide connectivity to the exchange, but then you have to connect to the wider world.

      Secondly, no provider will have put these prices into their calculators yet.

      Thirdly, BT Wholesale’s ethernet products have various special offers and are quite competitive at the moment.

    • The Openreach EAD and EAD/LA promo in force today is £750 (<37%) off Gig install only so this new promo is much more generous covering both Gig & 100Mb.

      Virgin are fighting back with attractive pricing on their Internet leased lines. We had a couple of quotes generated on our portal today for Gig/Gig in both London & Manchester @ £608 p.m. with free install.

    • Avatar DTMark

      “This offer cuts the one-off connection charge by up to -77% (a discount of at most -£2,250 on the top product).”

      Let us all celebrate this enormous money-saver. A *discount* of £2,250 towards the installation of a broadband connection? “You couldn’t make it up”.

      It’s a sad indictment of the lack of competition and fibre penetration, enabling a monopolist to fleece businesses.

      Although as the above post indicates, things are improving. Slowly.

    • I guess you should try to understand things better, before posting silly comments DTMark.

      This is an ETHERNET CIRCUIT, it is not a broadband connection.

    • Avatar wirelesspacman

      To be fair though Graham, it is an Ethernet Circuit that is often used as the basis of providing a broadband connection.

    • EAD pricing is important because it is the tail component of most non-Virgin leased lines

      For a short range P2P an Openreach EAD will provide the complete link

      For a longer P2P the BT Wholesale national network will use EAD/LA for both tails

      For DIA (Direct Internet Access) the EAD will provide the tail from the network POP to the client premises. If the POP is a BT Exchange then it will be an EAD/LA. If the POP is elsewhere it will be a full fat EAD.

    • Avatar wireless pacman

      Excellent summary Barry

    • Avatar DTMark

      “it is an Ethernet Circuit that is often used as the basis of providing a broadband connection.”

      Yes, that’s the point. This is about the “installation charge”. I am at this moment pushing 50GB of files from one server to another @ 100Mbps and it’s taking ages.

      100Mbps is hardly “fast”. For these “discounts” of £2,250 we are talking about a farm ten miles from anywhere, aren’t we?

      We’re not talking about the installation charges just to supply a gig or two to someone in a business park unfortunate enough not to be served by an alternate infra provider..

    • Avatar GNewton

      @DTMark: Conventional broadband lines are pretty useless when it comes to modern day cloud storage needs, especially for uploads or backups. However, there are strategies to reduce the need for big uploads or even downloads.

      Basically if you use a remote VPS or dedicated hosting solution, with full control over your remote box, then your client connection can be reduced to a kind of the remote desktop, you keep all your data and software on the remote machine which of course has better upload/download connection, being located in a suitable hosting centre. Almost like the original idea of cloud services, but a bit beyond that. Of course, this approach is not suitable for every kind of business (like graphics designers), but may work for some.

      The bottom line is: Paying for a dedicated hosting service is cheaper than for an ultrafast line to your premise.

    • Avatar DTMark

      It was server-to-server. But one of the servers only has a 100Mbps port 🙁

    • Avatar MikeW

      Thanks here too, Barry.

      Can you give us an idea of how the ECC charges pan out for EAD circuits? What can you get for the standard charge before running into ECC’s, or what can an extra £1,000 get you?

    • ECC’s occur when the civil engineering cost to deliver the circuit is above a certain threshold.

      Most Tier 1 (BT Wholesale, TalkTalk, Vodafone) and Tier 2 network providers use Openreach EAD tails. Openreach include up to £2800 civil engineering cost in their quotations. If the cost of the dig + Fibre exceeds £2.8K then an ECC is raised for the excess. eg If the cost of the civils was £4K the ECC would be £1.2K. The client can choose to pay or cancel the order.

      Virgin On-Net is a little different. Depending on the ISP they may have £5K or £10K of ECC cover. But, and it is a big but, if the cost of the civils exceed the cover then 100% of the civil engineering cost falls on the client. eg Using an ISP with £10K cover if the civils come in at £9K the client pays nothing. If they come in at £11K the client is asked to pay £11K.

      Hope this helps.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Barry Ashdown: “Openreach include up to £2800 civil engineering cost in their quotations”

      How much does this typically cover? It almost certainly won’t be enough to even blow the simple fibre from lets say a cabinet 400 metres away to your office premise. I have the feeling that in almost all cases there will be significant ECCs.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ GNewton – Why make random statements without checking your facts first? Blowing fibre costs £2.07 per metre.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @AndyH: I have seen quotes higher than £2800 for 400 metres in the past for customers, the job is often more than just blowing fibre. If you want want to argue here again, as seems to be your tendency lately here on this forum, go elsewhere. This was a genuine question addressed to Barry.

    • Avatar AndyH

      “It almost certainly won’t be enough to even blow the simple fibre from lets say a cabinet 400 metres away to your office premise.”

      Clearly you know what you’re talking about…

    • Around 30% of EAD circuits incur the ECCs. However and as Barry points out above, the first £2,800 of ECCs are covered as part of the connection charge. The change to EAD connection costs back in 2014 was a positive and significant change to the structure of ECCs.

      This means that around 5% of EAD circuit orders will require to pay ECCs in excess of the £2,800 that is already covered. In general terms, this is normally in more rural areas or areas where there is no Openreach network node in close proximity to the customer premises.

      I am not sure why people are bringing up cabinets here as these are completely unrelated to EAD circuits.

    • Graham has it right.

      DIA circuits do not touch the street cabs – those are exclusively for Broadband. DIA is backhauled to the network POP mostly using Openreach EAD. It may pass the cab or even share some ducting but it is completely separate fibre.

      Where ECC come up in urban areas it may be possible to switch to another provider. We just had that in London where Virgin wanted £40K. We cancelled that order and went with BT Wholesale with no ECC. The confusion was because Virgin records are hopeless and they showed the site as on-net when it was anything but.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Thanks Barry, Graham.

      Am I reading that right – around 30% would incur ECCs, but 25% of them are covered by the “free” £2,800 limit?

      On the ECCs, I was wondering what kind of distances are necessary before busting over the £2.8k limit. Is it somewhere of the order of hundreds of metres, a couple of km, or over 5km?

      Or do those 5% of circuits (that get stung for ECCs above £2.8k) tend to be in exchange areas that don’t properly support EAD yet?

      Graham mentions that the excess tends to apply in rural areas, so hopefully some of those vouchers, combined with this offer, can slim down those excesses meaningfully.

      Some of those numbers relating to VM suggest it pays to shop around. A really good threshold at £10k, but really bad if you go over!

      And what is an “Openreach node” as it applies to EADs?

      When I looked into BT’s design of the NGA aggregation node (ie being deployed for NGA broadband), it suggested that some of the spine fibre is allocated for “P2P BAU” purposes. Complete with warnings that the NGA and P2P allocations shouldn’t be mixed up.

      It would make sense if BT reused some of the fibre spine for EAD circuits back to the exchange (EAD/LA ?), though I guess that would be a head-end exchange rather than the local exchange. Is this what they mean by “P2P BAU” (which I guess is point-to-point business-as-usual)?

      If this were true, then the location of an NGA FTTC cabinet is immaterial, but the location of an NGA aggregation node is more useful.

    • Our experience is about 15% of orders hit chargeable ECC although sometimes we can maneuver around them as in the example above.

      Very rural locations such as remote farms are going hit significant ECC for sure. If they are several miles from any meaningful infrastructure the the ECC can be £100K+

      Urban areas are harder to predict. My London Virgin example involved digging up a chunk of Fleet Street with associated traffic management. Not only can this incur significant costs but it can enormously stretch delivery times.

      Where vouchers are available and if it hasn’t been used for quoted installation charges then it can be used to reduce the pain of ECC but the process of doing so can be messy if the issuing authority wants to see multiple quotes.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Barry: I would have thought that the only stretch of an actual new physical fibre to be deployed would be between a customer’s premise and the nearest aggregation node (the latter is usually located near a fibre cabinet for many areas), and from then on use existing fibre strands to the exchange and then the POP. Or am I missing something here?

    • Aggregation nodes are located in close proximity to an exchange, rather than fibre cabinets.

      In basic terms, ECCs are there to cover the cost of Openreach expanding their network beyond their current footprint. Once you start getting into the realms of a single rural business or premises in a remote location, you are easily into the £100,000+ bracket with ECCs, as Barry points out.

      Passive and active fibre connections are not interchangeable. An aggregation node will have a number of fibres allocated for NGA access and P2P builds.

      When placing an order for a EAD circuit, the order system looks for the nearest Y-node and T-node. A Y-node is an existing physical fibre connection in the same building and a T-node is the nearest fibre spine exterior to the property. In the cases of commercial areas where Openreach have provided existing circuits or anticipate future circuits, there will usually be an existing T-node in close proximity.

      It’s impossible to put a monetary figure on a specific distance for ECC charges. Civil works are expensive and it depends on what specifically needs to be done. I doubt Openreach have a large profit margin on ECCs as they contract for nearly all their civil work.

    • Avatar Chris P

      @GN, do you get it now?
      It costs what it costs and often isn’t cheap. If you need it you need to pay for it ormake do with BB offerings.

    • Avatar AndyH

      I think GNewton was telling porkies about seeing ECCs in excess of £2,800 for “400m in the past”.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Graham: Thank you for your post and taking your time to explain things which confirms that much more is involved than just blowing a short stretch of fibre. I was wrong with my assumption here. But I know the total leased line quotes given for some customer premises. And your and Barry’s post show that it often makes sense to shop around to find the best deal.

      BTW.: Please ignore the bickering by some posters here, like AndyH, it’s a pity that this is not a moderated forum.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ GNewton – Your hatred of BT/Openreach is clear for all to see. Why make statements like “I have the feeling that in almost all cases there will be significant ECCs” without doing your homework?

    • Avatar MikeW

      Again, thanks for the extra information

  4. Avatar fastman

    g-newton — who says its costs – @ GNewton – Why make random statements without checking your facts first? Blowing fibre costs £2.07 per metre.

  5. Avatar fastman

    g-newton it will depend on how the 500 metres is served and 400 metres form where. the distance from the cab is not applicable as its the distance from the agnode — and small distance cab be very expensive if that direct in ground in the verge or Direct in ground in the carriage way your costs would be thousands of pounds different

    • Avatar MikeW

      This made me wonder …

      Are the underlying civil engineering costs pretty similar, when you compare getting a USO copper voice line to somewhere new vs getting an EAD fibre somewhere new?

      And if you find that old work was direct-in-ground, is new stuff ducted as a matter of course?

  6. A couple of points to make. Firstly, if any ECC’s are identified on an order, you can simply cancel without penalty. Offnet orders will be offered around £2800 to cover these charges but if its over this then simply accept or cancel.
    Secondly, BT’s pricing will in the majority of cases still be more expensive if you go direct to them for a leased line. I know we have a few comparison sites on here which would easily beat going direct yet companies still do it.

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