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Openreach’s Ultrafast FTTP Broadband Covers 435,000 UK Premises

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 (1:33 pm) - Score 4,021
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Openreach’s (BT) Managing Director of Infrastructure Delivery, Kim Mears, has revealed that the telecoms giant has increased their UK coverage of 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) broadband technology from 350,000 premises last year to 435,000 now and the ramp up continues.

The seemingly rapid increase in coverage reflects the national operator’s commitment to make pure fibre optic FTTP technology available to 2 million premises across the United Kingdom by 2020. The deployment phase for this has recently been ramping-up, although roughly half of the target reflects business connections and many of the rest are set to come from new build developments.

At present the fastest four speed profiles for ultrafast FTTP lines on Openreach’s network are 220Mbps download (20Mbps upload), 330Mbps (20-30Mbps up), 500Mbps (165Mbps up) and 1000Mbps (220Mbps up); most ISPs don’t offer the latter two as they’ve only recently been introduced. BTWholesale similarly expect to introduce a 160Mbps (30Mbps) and 330Mbps (50Mbps) profile during May 2017 to mirror the G.fast roll-out.

Kim Mears said (Kitz Forum):

“Less than a year ago, it was taking us an average of 50 days to provision Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) orders. That’s well over double the industry service level agreement (SLA) of 18 days. In some cases we had people waiting up to 200 days.

We knuckled down together to turn things around. We’ve started to change the way we work, introducing new tools and equipment. And with sheer bloody-mindedness, our Infrastructure Delivery team, CIO team, and chief engineer team have hammered average provision time down by 50% to just 21 days.

Not only that, but we’ve reduced the workstack and tails too – and our FTTP network availability is now at 99.5%. That means that when a customer wants to place an order, 99.5% of the time we’ve got the capacity ready and waiting to make it happen – and the processes and approach in place to deliver it fast.

We still have work to do to get to the industry standard of 18 days, but with big improvements planned over the next year, we’re confident our customers will soon notice the difference. “

However support among UK ISPs for Openreach’s native FTTP products is still weak, with nearly all of the other major broadband providers choosing to stick with their mass market hybrid-fibre (FTTC) and slow ADSL products (here). This may change as availability improves over the next few years, although the lack of a coverage plan beyond 2 million premises passed, not to mention the higher prices, may continue to hinder support.

Instead the big providers are much more likely to adopt ‘up to’ 330Mbps G.fast, which aims to cover 10 million premises by 2020 and possibly many more by 2025. Never the less you can still buy some reasonable FTTP packages on Openreach’s network from BT itself or ISPs like Zen Internet, iDNET and AAISP etc.

But don’t expect TalkTalk or Sky Broadband to join the club for a little while.

Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar NGA for all

    Would it not be more accurate to describe how Public Subsidy has had to drag FTTP from BT. Over 300k of these are BDUK and Cornwall paid. BDUK have already done their first few hundred k full fibre connections.

    We now need FoD2 in the form of a FTTP GPON. There is now at least £325m of a capital deferral, plus the underspends and those investment account balances with
    BT’s capital contribution with which to continue the work in the final 10%.

    • Avatar AndyH

      “Over 300k of these are BDUK and Cornwall paid.”

      Source?

    • As I recall around 85,000 FTTP premises came from Cornwall, which was funded by up to £78.5m from BT and up to £53.5m from Europe (ERDF). I also recall that they’d done at least 100,000 commercially pre-BDUK and Cornwall. Not sure what the exact BDUK linked spread of FTTP is though but it won’t be terribly big.

    • Avatar MikeW

      “FoD2 in the form of a FTTP GPON”

      Has it ever been anything else?

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      @NGA

      The capital deferrals are gradually being reinvested by the local BDUK projects via extensions. But the costs are going up. I notice on the latest extension announcement it’s now up to £2k per premises. That’s going to be the picture as smaller and more remote communities get connected up.

      No doubt there will be a bit more gain-share and a bit more underspend to come as take-up increases and there’s a reconciling of accounts, but we will see probably see FTTP connections, perhaps, in the 200-250k premises max region from that source. Useful, but not nationally transformative.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Steve, – Phase 2 is being done without touching clawback, and so that money has hardly been touched.

      I think you will also find in BT to CMS inquiry (EWC00097)BT are intending to pay the first £1,000 per customer for FTTP which would be amazing if what they say is true,

      All we have seen is a discussion on the first £130m, nothing on the rest and this needs to climb throughout phase 2.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA

      That is not what BT said at all and you surely must know it.

      BT stated, “Openreach will cover the first £1,000 of any FTTP install”. This means two things:

      1) The FTTP infrastructure for the customer to be able to order FTTP must already be in place;
      2) Openreach will cover UP TO the first £1,000 for the FTTP installation.

      In the majority of installations, the cost will not get close to the £1,000 mark. However, if there is no ductwork or there are extensive civil works in order to install the FTTP service, then it is possible to pass the covered £1,000 limit.

      The significant cost in deploying FTTP is building the premises passed network. The actual installation cost is relatively low, although Openreach have tried to improve this.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH this is what BT put in writing to Parliament EWC0097 answer to 7,2
      Openreach will cover the first £1,000 of any FTTP install, the level of contribution from a CP and the decision on whether to pass any cost above the £1000 onto the end customer is at the discretion of the CP and the level of cost they cover varies.

      For the ordinary person ‘install’ includes anything it takes to get connected.

      If it was £500 without the qualifications it would be fantastic.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Remember that, in this context, the FTTP installation happens after (duh) the order for FTTP. Which happens only after the checker shows it to be available. Which happens only after the DP and manifold have been installed at the pole/chamber, or the connectorised DP in the case of NGA2.

      The £1,000 threshold is for installing the final drop where everything else was installed proactively.

      This isn’t about FTTP on demand. It isn’t £1,000 towards the construction charges for putting in splitters, DPs and manifolds.

      In this thread, mention of £1,000 is just a red herring.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ MikeW

      Exactly that or we have all missed BT’s press release about a £28.5bn investment in FTTP.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      MikeW – AndyH – total pedantic nonsense, either BT is willing to invest £1,000 or not. If it is less than that then just say so. You might as well replace the £1,000 with a £1,000,000 as it makes no difference. A drop wire and splitter!

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA

      I really struggle to see how on earth you are a consultant for subjects like this.

      The stated question, to which BT responded, was: What are the conditions under which the owner of a premise would be asked to make a contribution for a final drop of fibre or copper across their land?

      BT rightfully responded, that under the current USO for properties with no existing fixed line connection, BT will contribute up to £3,400 for the installation. Anything beyond that, will be up to the end user (assuming the ISP passes the cost on).

      BT then responded that for FTTP installations, they will cover the the first £1,000. I have only ever seen one example of a FTTP installation being in excess of £1,000, where someone had a long driveway and no ductwork.

      I have no idea what you mean by “a drop wire and a splitter”. The whole topic is about installation, the final drop, for FTTP where the infrastructure around already exists. It no way, shape or form do BT say they are writing blank cheques for nationwide FTTP. You are deliberately taking things out of their context to fit your cause.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH – This is silly, so an install does not include a final drop from a splitter to a persons home. We are only trying to see what your willing to invest in and BT made a reference to £1,000 worth of work. At least we know we cannot rely on BT for that amount of funding per FTTP connection which is not surprising. Have a good weekend.

    • Avatar AndyH

      @ NGA

      I am not sure what you find silly and we seem to be going round in circles.

      That £1,000 reference is purely what Openreach will cover for connecting you up to their FTTP network. It has nothing to do with building the FTTP network in the first place. That means that for the vast majority of end users, when they order FTTP, they will not have to pay any installation costs beyond what their ISP charges them as standard.

      Again, you are clutching at straws with this. BT never stated that this was “funding per FTTP connection”.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      AndyH – Nobody is expecting BT to fund the full bill, hence the £1.7bn BDUK funding, which is going to go further than folk imagined.

      BT is also investing heavily in new developments and re-furbs, including making payments to developers.

      All is really needed is some understanding as to whether in building fibre extensions BT will invest more say than a PSTN new provision in the same location? Some transparency is needed. It actually helps raise more funds or helps keep existing funds in place.

      Such a number should inform WLA 2017 new fibre provisions.

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