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Openreach Says “copper will run out of steam” and Calls for FTTP Support

Thursday, October 26th, 2017 (5:39 pm) - Score 6,600
bt fibre optic cable bloom

Openreach’s (BT) Chairman, Mike McTighe, has told the Broadband World Forum that “we are getting to the point where the copper will run out of steam” and there’s a need to focus on “full fibre” (FTTP/H), but he warned that this could only be done with ISP support and “increases in wholesale pricing.”

Openreach is currently in the process of rolling out their Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband network to 2 million premises by 2020, while the majority of their other deployments remain dominated by much cheaper hybrid fibre / copper solutions like FTTC and G.fast (both are quick to deploy but remain much slower and less reliable than a “full fibre” network).

Since the summer Openreach has been consulting upon an aspiration to conduct a large-scale deployment of FTTP (here), possibly to 10 million premises by around 2025, which they say could cost £300-600 per premises passed (total of between £3bn to £6bn); plus £175 – £200 to connect. Deploying to 20 million would cost more than double as costs increase disproportionately when coverage is extended into harder areas.

However Openreach has made no secret of the fact that they can’t do this alone and to that end they’ve been examining different models (e.g. co-investment with ISPs), as well as calling for a softer regulatory regime. On top of that they’d probably need to retire their copper network in tandem with the new FTTP one going live, which is necessary in order to keep costs under control. All of these points have once again been made at the BWF.

Mike McTighe, Openreach Chairman, said (UBB2020):

“It is imperative that we don’t end up trying to manage and run two networks. We need the ability to switch off the copper network and in support of that we are going to need modest increases in wholesale pricing of services to retail service providers.

Openreach wants to build and deploy a full fibre network for the UK but it will take a long time and we have to get started. We need the industry… to get behind this and figure out collectively how to make it happen, and we need the government and Ofcom to play their part if we are to come up with a compelling investment case that we can take to shareholders.

We cannot do this on our own.”

McTighe also called upon the industry’s ISPs (likely targets being TalkTalk, Sky Broadband and Vodafone) to “stop bickering” about broadband and support their proposals. But such sharp words are unlikely to sooth over years of built-up distrust and scepticism about the operator’s motives, forged as they were through years of competitive disputes.

On top of that Openreach also faces a regulator that often seems fixated on maintaining lower pricing and competition through hard regulation (the Government has cautioned Ofcom about this). Unpicking years of complex rules around copper lines will be no easy task and there’s plenty of scope for the odd legal challenge, unless the industry can find a more productive way forward.

Suffice to say that, with so many different viewpoints and competing interests involved, it’s hard to see how any of this will result in a neat agreement that everybody can agree on. In the meantime Openreach have told ISPreview.co.uk to expect an update on their FTTP consultation when BT publishes their Q2 results next week.

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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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71 Responses
  1. Avatar Ultraspeedy

    What about their G.FAST plans for the next several years?

    • The cost of G.fast is small next to FTTP, so it’s perhaps best thought of as an interim solution because rolling out “full fibre” will take a very long time. Eventually even G.fast will be replaced, assuming a viable model for FTTP/H can be agreed.

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      It’s cheap and fast to deploy. The full fibre picture is much longer term, and as the article points out, the way that Ofcom currently choose to regulate the market and allow SPs to effectively block copper retirement would have to changed.

      Whether Ofcom will listen is another thing – they are intent on competition at the network infrastructure level, so it’s unclear they are going to allow OR any freedom.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      Well yes i would had thought it cheaper and also agree plonking another cabinet would be quicker but BT are stating 10 million G.Fast by 2020 and 10 million FTTH/P by 2025.

      If they forgot all about G.Fast that would probably shave another year or more off the FTTP rollout. There is also the obvious question of how many of the G.Fast lines they are concentrating on will in around 5 years or even less be replaced with FTTH? I suspect those that support BT would say none, but i have not seen anything that says that. Even if there was if G.Fast has low take up i suspect that plan would change.

      The more you look at G.Fast the more of a waste of time and money (even if it is little investment for BT) it seems to be IMO. Given what BT have said G.Fast may only have a 5 year life span which you could argue for an interim solution is fine, but again that seems silly as some will already be tied into a 18+ month contract with their current providers, so for some it would mean only a 3 year (ish) wait for FTTH/P anyway.

      Or to put it another way even though i can only speak for myself… If i had just signed an FTTC contract for 18 months (call it November 2017) and found out tomorrow G.Fast was coming say May 2018, i would not care or even bother with it considering i would not be out of my FTTC contract until early 2019 (1-5 years {depend on where you live} away from a possible FTTH further upgrade/solution).

      Personally i think BT should focus on 1 rollout be that G.Fast or FTTH, its less worry, ultimately in the end less work and less cost.

      PS come 2030 or further along when most of the country could have FTTH, what will happen to all the old G.Fast and FTTC cabinets, no doubt some people will still be using older products in some areas but in others will they just be left to rust away? Much like a old POTS cabinet near me which was decommissioned due to new home building and no longer used has been decaying away for the past 10+ years.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Given some of the conditions given by Openreach for mass deployment, either here or back in August, you’d expect whole areas to be done and copper switched off. Hard to avoid overlap with G.Fast premises that way.

      Of course, the pod can be taken away and reused elsewhere.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      “Of course, the pod can be taken away and reused elsewhere.”

      Wouldn’t doing that equal more time and money?

      No matter how cheap something is to deploy there comes a point when the cost is not worth it.

      It looks like G.Fast is only going to have a short life span IF BT are finally going to FTTH/P large chunks of the population.

      G.Fast of any product i have seen has the worst specs when it comes to optimal distance.

      There is potential spectrum farming issues down the road.

      The pricing for it (especially the 330Mb variant) to ISPs is not that cheap either.

      I see it ending up as nothing more than a white elephant.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Yes, it will cost to move a pod. But, with fibre & power present at any destination, it is still cheaper than the cost of the pod. The reverse of the FTTC rollout.

      And it is all hypothetical anyway, and entirely fluid. We have no idea whether a partnership will happen, and what the impact on a G.Fast rollout would be. It might get canned. It might get sped up. The two could go head to head.

      I do recall Nesta (?) calculating in 2016 that the nett cost of rolling out G.Fast in 2016, followed by FTTP in 2023, was the same as starting FTTP in 2016. That’s 8 years, so not far off your hypothetical 5 years.

      My suspicion is that there wouldn’t be total overlap in the plans. Maybe a third, or so.

  2. Avatar Chris P

    Will be interesting to see which ISP’s stand up and announce an interest to join OpenReach, i suspect they’ll just bicker about lack of access to whatever though.

    Its also interesting that OFCOM have mandated a reduced line rental for those with just a voice line & now OR are bringing into the conversation that it’ll cost too much to run both a copper and fibre network, wanting to remove copper as fibre is installed. This leaves OFCOM in a sticky situation if OR are allowed to remove copper and those that are on cheaper voice only copper lines are forced to upgrade to fibre with voip on top, unless OR discount those too, which i would doubt.

    Are we seeing OR & BT starting to set the agenda and out manoeuvre OFCOM. Would be good to see a change of direction at OFCOM. Sharron’s skills are sorely needed in the energy market, OFGEN, or whatever its called, could use her talent.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Sorry but it won’t be that interesting as none of them will stand up.

      Other ISP’s want BT to pay for most or preferably all of the cost for deploying FTTP, and if it doesn’t happen they’ll just continue to snipe from the sidelines.

      Ofcom want competition, but sadly they (other ISPs) won’t step up to do the hard and costly part.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      I suspect some would be happy to help BT financially, but they have seen what happens when they do not… BT go to government instead. I have no doubt like FTTC did FTTH will in some parts be funded by the tax payer. Id like to think a better plan would happen this time but, big organisations and government in this country have never been the sharpest tools when it comes to future planning.

    • Avatar Chris P

      just as this well repeated article outlines.


      This is all very complex, trying to distil it in just a few words & paragraphs is pointless as it will always fail to address key aspects that play a part in shaping any replacement of the current implementation.

      In addition, our internet needs will be vastly different in 5 years.
      no matter how fast our connections, most connect to it wirelessly limiting the ability to utilise the full bandwidth.

      I foresee a future less reliant on wired, and more dependant on wireless. Wireless first will be the target manufacturers will be aiming for, integrated into your mobile tariff for seamless roaming, not just in your home but on guest wifi and mobile phone masts as you move about.

    • Avatar MikeW

      “I foresee a future less reliant on wired, and more dependant on wireless. Wireless first will be the target manufacturers will be aiming for, integrated into your mobile tariff for seamless roaming, not just in your home but on guest wifi and mobile phone masts as you move about.”

      I agree.

      High capacity wireless transceivers obviously requires a wired backhaul, so I doubt “wired” will disappear. It will just change emphasis, and be less visible at retail level.

    • Avatar PaulM

      “just as this well repeated article outlines.


      Has nothing to do with investment today.

      “In addition, our internet needs will be vastly different in 5 years.
      no matter how fast our connections, most connect to it wirelessly limiting the ability to utilise the full bandwidth.”

      BTs plans for the next 5 years do not seem to include any mass available or affordable home product which will do inexcess of 350Mbps. As for most using wireless speak for yourself, but regardless the latest AC wifi devices can manage 300Mb+ speeds.

      “I foresee a future less reliant on wired, and more dependant on wireless.”
      Ironic as when others have said that before you disagreed and argued with them.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      “I suspect some would be happy to help BT financially”

      Nice to see that is correct from the news item today.

  3. Avatar tonyp

    I’m wondering about a relative cost for UK FTTP service compared with other developed nations? For example, what do South Koreans charge and users pay for their FTTP services?

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      Which is wildly irrelevant to whatever it will cost in the UK. There was a lot of state intervention and guidance in South Korea at the infrastructure level with a lot more state money spent, even in absolute terms (and far higher per head).

      In any event, the cost structures are very different. If you want to make comparisons, it ought to be with countries rather more similar to the UK in social and economic terms. Perhaps Germany, France, The Netherlands and so on.

    • Avatar tonyp

      @Steve Jones, I should say that a cost comparison with other nations is highly relevant. I indicated South Korea because its high FTTP penetration and the high ‘net usage. It is hardly a backwater in global terms. State intervention maybe but BDUK is hardly private money assistance. Limited by EU rules on financial support and the empty treasury pockets methinks. Maybe BT shouldn’t have been privatised so state aid wouldn’t be a problem?

      But that still doesn’t offer any answer about cost of FTTP deployment in the UK compared with other countries. South Korea was off the top of my (bald) head but it could equally been European countries, the USA or Japan. Anyway, why is S. Korea so different from the UK?

      Deployment of FTTP is undeniably expensive in the short term but with decent high capacity fibre, the longer term will be assured. Of course our future needs will far exceed FTTP infrastructure but probably not in my lifetime. But then there will be very few people living outside urban areas.

    • Avatar Gadget

      UK population density 274/Km2, South Korea 524/Km2

    • Avatar MikeW

      Oops. My response to this ended up as a separate thread.

  4. Avatar Marty

    Is time sky and talk talk to get there act together Openreach want this not BT. Openrach have been legally separated from BT there no reason to say why the others can’t jump on board. Especially after Sky’s complaints in the past of wanting FTTP.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Legal separation of Openreach is not enough, Openreach is still 100% owned by BT, and even Openreach overall budget is set by BT, not Openreach. In order to have co-investment from other companies in a fibre access network, Openreach would have to become a genuinely independent company, and the regulatory framework would have to be changed. Also, the BT pensions burden would have to be addressed, it mustn’t stand in the way of needed fibre investments.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Didn’t we have exactly the same thread comments here https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2017/10/ofcom-ceo-says-key-test-openreach-co-investment-deal-rival.html?

      I’m interested to know why Openreach and a.n.other cannot build a new network together and why only Openreach being legally separated from BT is not enough?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Gadget, not because it makes business sense, simply because GNewton has a long standing hatred of BT, as far back and when he referred to himself as JNeuhoff (still does on another well known site)

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      “I’m interested to know why Openreach and a.n.other cannot build a new network together and why only Openreach being legally separated from BT is not enough?”

      That is an easy one because Organisations such as BT/Openreach, Sky, Talk Talk and other big players in this country can not even agree on basic costs, let along work together, discuss things, plan things and also all invest evenly.

      Even if they could i suspect after the deployment they would then squabble over who owns what and who should get what monies from what part of the deployment.

      Ofcom trying to make decisions on it all would be stuck like a deer in headlights, they can not even make half decent or fair rulings at the moment let alone with complications like mentioned above.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Ultraspeedy: Openreach doesn’t own the network. So how could others invest in this network with Openreach? They’d have to cooperate with BT which isn’t likely since ISPs like Sky, TalkTalk etc are competitors. Also, the current regulatory environment is stacked up against such co-investments, in whatever format that might be.

    • Avatar Down the Hole

      GNewton; Openreach own the entire network, BT Group are the patent company of Openreach. This is already a legal separation, but is even more so than normal due to regulation. BT Retail, the ISP, is separate to Openreach due to the same concepts, along with the same extra regulation.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Down the Hole: BT Group plc agreed to make Openreach a separate company back in March 2017, as Openreach Limited, with its own staff and management. But the network assets are owned by BT plc for land-contract reasons. Also, Openreach Limited is wholly owned by BT Group plc, BT plc’s parent holding company.

    • Avatar Steve Jones


      As it happens, OpenReach don’t own the network. That remains the property of BT Group. Openreach are simply the custodians of the network and the will be making the investment decisions.

      This might sound odd, and it is. However, it was done this way as BT Group remains the guarantor of the company pension scheme, and the pension fund trustees were deeply concerned about the potential loss of the asset. There was even talk of the pension scheme owning the network to cover the deficit. Ofcom were forced to go along with this as the Pension Fund Trustees could have stopped the whole thing in its tracks. Given BT will maintain title to the assets, presumably OR will have to pay some sort of rent or return on the value of those assets to BT. However, the accounting practices appear opaque.


      “Assets will be controlled by Openreach alone. Openreach will have control of those assets – such as the physical access network – required to deliver on its purpose. The Openreach Board will make decisions on building and maintaining these assets: BT will hand these powers to Openreach, while retaining a title of ownership.”

    • Avatar MikeW

      So presumably any new partnership won’t result in anyone investing “in” the assets owned by BT group.

      You might see a model where the partner owns, while Openreach operates. Or where Openreach owns, and the partner sells access.

      The partnership might not bring money in the short term, but rather brings business in the long term. It might not even be residential business.

    • Avatar PaulM

      “So presumably any new partnership won’t result in anyone investing “in” the assets owned by BT group.”

      What would BT offer to gain investment from other parties? Normally when a organisation wants people to invest they have to point out the benefits in investing your money. Easier said than done when you are company which is part of a group and what the group says over-rules what anyone else wants.

    • Avatar MikeW

      “What would BT offer to gain investment from other parties”

      Who says the answer lies in BT gaining investment?

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      “Who says the answer lies in BT gaining investment?”

      “….we are going to need modest increases in wholesale pricing of services to retail service providers…”

      “…if we are to come up with a compelling investment case that we can take to shareholders….”

      Sounds like they want money to me.

    • Avatar Carl T

      Interesting definition of investment, purchasing services from a company.

      They want regulatory freedom to charge more, they would also like commitments from potential customers to take up the services if they are built, neither of those are investment.

    • Avatar PaulM

      “They want regulatory freedom to charge more…….”

      Story states…
      “However Openreach has made no secret of the fact that they can’t do this alone and to that end they’ve been examining different models (e.g. co-investment with ISPs)…..”

      Do they want co-investment or to just charge more? Knowing BT they want the ability to give others it from both ends, spitroasted until they are out of business. Whats the point in co-investing if you may have to pay them more anyway?

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      Todays news item also points out others would be willing to share the investment risk, but BT still wanting to charge more.

  5. Avatar GNewton

    This is probably one of the rare occasions where I have to agree with BT, in particular with what its chairman Mike McTighe said about the need of future full-fibre investment. The prices for the current wholesale VDSL services need to be increased, the regulatory regime by Ofcom needs to be changed accordingly. Also, future full-fibre networks need to become a replacement of copper networks, to ensure better takeup. This will require an end to copper LLU, the latter will have to be phased out.

    • Avatar Fastman

      Mike McTighe, Openreach Chairman who an independent chairman that his statement –but you refer it as BT

    • Avatar GNewton

      @fastman: You are right. However, wouldn’t Mr McTighe still ultimately report to BT’s chief executive?

  6. Avatar RuralBroadbandSucks

    Is there any chance that those with less than 10 mbit will get the fibre first, or will it be the usual, priority for profitable urban areas who can already get 10-330mbit.
    Anyone know what happened to the £150 million the DUP secured for ‘ultrafast’ for Northern Ireland, as it seems to have dropped off the map.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      It is a business not a charity, so I expect the lines that cost less to replace with fibre will be done first (if/when it happens)

      To any business ROI is key.

    • Avatar Jim

      Unlikely rural will get upgraded. BT/OR had opportunity here in FOD when Fastershire stumped up the cash. Completely missed our area and took fibre further down the road to another rural area. Still waiting for Gigaclear to get their act together after waiting months so far.. don’t go blue waiting.

      Others always use the business and not charity card whenever they can but even when money is stumped up they still don’t provide…

    • Avatar h42422

      I would guess most of their FTTP investment will be in those areas already served by fast connections. They need to show impressive growth figures and if they started from the slowest connections (long rural lines, urban EO lines), they would not hit the targets they will be promising. They will also start bringing FTTP to all new builds by default, and a significant part of FTTP will actually be those instead of copper conversions.

      If they can agree on a binding USO, this could change for some. But I fear the slow broadband problem needs specific actions. An overall increase in FTTP spending will not benefit us by default.

  7. Avatar adslmax Real

    I remember back to old day when Labour Party under Gordon Brown want to added 50p tax to pay for full fibre.

    I think the government or isp have to put up £1 extra on line rental or broadband product as a £1 tax towards to growth money for full fibre. Openreach chairman is correct there WE CAN’T DO THIS ON OUR OWN.

    • Avatar Optimist

      There is no justification at all for a levy on broadband to pay for Openreach. ISPs that do not use it, like VM and wireless providers, pay for their own distribution infrastructure.

      In any case, telco bills are already subject to 20% VAT, which the Royal Mail escapes.

    • Avatar h42422

      @optimist: who should then fund this if not consumers in their bills? Should we spend public money instead? Or just ignore the whole issue and let OR do whatever they do with the money they have got and accept that very little will actually happen?

      I would say spending public money is the worse option. This would make those consumers who are already paying to Virgin and smaller fibre providers for their network investment pay for OR work as well, despite not using it. This would give competitive advantage to ISPs who do not invest in their own networks. ISPs could then decide whether they will absorb OR line rental increase or pass it to their customers. If OR network became too expensive, some ISPs might even be motivated to invest in building it, either jointly with OR or jointly with someone else.

      The current model seems to be that ISPs using OR network expect better infrastructure and better service for less money. Ofcom is currently listening to them, but this has stalled OR network improvements in areas not receiving BDUK money.

      I would rather pay £1/month more, even £5/month more if the extra money would be spent to upgrading infrastructure.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      I have no doubt if we had had the 50p tax idea implemented we would not be any better than we are at the moment.

    • Avatar Optimist


      Let each telco fund its own infrastructure, either independently like VM and wireless providers, or jointly with other telcos if they prefer. In so doing they may have to raise prices, lose customers or go bust – that’s business.

      What is unacceptable is to surcharge customers of telcos that do provide a complete service to bail out telcos with unsustainable business models.

    • Avatar h42422

      @optimist: This is exactly why taxpayer’s money should not be used and line rental prices should be increased instead. This is just not happening as it seems to be fiercely resisted by both consumers and ISPs.

      I understand taxpayer’s intervention in very remote, rural locations, though. This does not cost that much in the whole scale of things, and there is no way any commercial model will ever improve anything there.

    • Avatar Optimist

      h42422: It seems we agree then!

  8. Avatar adslmax Real

    Also it all Mrs Thatcher to blame for to private BT. If it wasn’t happen, then BT would be UK full fibre by now.


    • Avatar Steve Jones

      Nonsense. If you think a state-owned BT would be some sort of global leader in infrastructure investment you are living in cloud cuckoo land. Prior to privatisation, Post Office Telecoms employed 260,000 of the least productive workforce in the Western hemisphere charging outrageous prices for a truly outmoded network where the local network was dominated by ancient elecro-mechanical Strowger exchanges. So it succeeded in being fearsomely expensive and starved of investment apart from a few disastrously expensive projects like System X. The last Strowger exchange wasn’t decommissioned until 1995.

    • Avatar jc93

      @Steven Jones it wasn’t state owned when mass national fiber roll-out was proposed. As it says in the article by 1986 they had got the fiber to the home cost down to the point where it was cheaper to install than copper. They had even built two factories to help with the project but thatcher decided that what BT was doing would be anti-competitive and stopped them from proceeding. Like the article says if you want fiber roll-out at the cheapest cost you have to do it all in one go rather than what we are doing at the moment in tiny chunks. It only becomes cheaper if you do a nationwide roll-out which is what BT worked out in 1986.

  9. Avatar Steve Jones


    BT was privatised in November 1984 when the majority of the shares were sold, and the proposal to use fibre which was made was predicated on being allowed to carry video and dates from the end of that decade. In that it was made, it was designed to head off potential competition cable companies.

    As far as fibre being cheaper to roll-out, that would have only been for new builds. The monumental cost of a retrofit is another matter altogether.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      I thought the government owned shares up until something like 1993?

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      Given that just over 50% of shares were sold in the first tranche, the government lost control in 1984. There were two other tranches (at much higher prices) with the last in 1993.

      However, the government played no direct part in board decisions after 1984. The sole reason they hung onto shares was to optimise the revenue opportunities for the public accounts by not flooding the market and timing the sale appropriately. Tranche 1 went for £1.30 a share, tranche 2 for £3.35 and tranche 3 for £4.10.

      From a legal perspective, BT was no longer nationalised when it was publicly listed and more than half the shares were tradeable. That happened in 1984.

    • Avatar PaulM

      “BT was privatised in November 1984…”

      “However, the government played no direct part in board decisions after 1984. The sole reason they hung onto shares was to optimise the revenue opportunities for the public accounts by not flooding the market and timing the sale appropriately.”

      “BT was no longer nationalised when it was publicly listed”

      So it was not “PRIVATISED” in 1984, it was de-nationalised, there is a difference. Most think the railways are entirely “privatised” in much the same manner when they are not. What “part in board decisions” the government decided to take or not take is irrelevant. Back in 1984 they were still one of the largest share owners and if they wanted they could had been part of any decision making. If i own 30% of shares in a company and everyone else owns 70%, but nobody else in total has more than 30% i would still be the majority share holder. More than 30% of the holders from the 70% of other holders would need to vote against me.

      BT was therefore fully “PRIVATISED” (the government having no control) in 1994, not 1984……….. NO MATTER HOW MANY REPLIES YOU MAKE WILL NOT ALTER IT.

    • Avatar Steve Jones


      You have expended a lot of words on a spurious difference between “privatision” and “de-nationalisation”. Let’s just agree that in 1984 British Telecommunication was no longer under state control, which is what mattered.

      If you can find a formal definition of the legal definition of “privatised” and “de-nationalised” then it may be mildly relevant, but the issue in question which prompted all this was about what a state-controlled BT might look like.

      At the whole time this exercise was seen as privatisation.


    • Avatar AndyH

      BT was privatised in 1984 because more than 50% of shares were sold in a public listing. Journalists, economists and government officials all refer to 1984 as the privatisation of BT. The then trade minister, Norman Tebbit, referred to the privatisation of BT to parliament in 1984 – http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1984/may/02/british-telecom-privatisation

      The economic definition of privatisation is the shift of some, or all, responsibility for an organisation’s function from the public to private sector. By virtue of S61 and S64 of the Telecommunications Act 1984, the government relinquished normal shareholder control and functions in British Telecommunications plc.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      “BT was privatised in 1984 because more than 50% of shares were sold in a public listing. ”

      It does not work like that, in 1984 PaulM is correct the majority share holder was still the government.

      It would not matter if they allowed 80% of shares to be sold off and they kept 20% until 1993/4. If no individual owned more than 20% of the shares the government would still have the major share in the organisation, and if they so wanted control.

      Similar has happened with the banks to an extend and (as PaulM) mentions the railways, only with the railways its only in the line infrastructure not the rolling stock. Things operate under a franchise system with the government and Department for Transport divisions deciding upon who is awarded the rights/franchise to run their rolling stock.

      The railway like BT in 1984 is “De-nationalised” (NOT whole government owned) it is not “privatised”. The difference as you do not seem to know is..

      Denationalise = When something is transferred in whole or part to the private sector for ownership.
      Privatised = When something is transferred in whole or part to the private sector for ownership AND CONTROL.

      NOTE the subtle but key difference.

      Between 1982 and 1991 The government allowed 50%+ of shares to be sold and announced its intention to privatise British Telecommunications. (note the word “INTENTION”)

      Even if you still want to argue based on government ownership or not that BT was privatised in 1984, you would be wrong because….

      It was not until 1991 that the duopoly shared by British Telecommunications and Mercury Communications came to an end which had been in operation since 1983.

      Im assuming you know what a duopoly is. (HINT its not a SINGULAR organisation).

    • Avatar PaulM

      “Even if you still want to argue based on government ownership or not that BT was privatised in 1984, you would be wrong because….
      It was not until 1991 that the duopoly shared by British Telecommunications and Mercury Communications came to an end which had been in operation since 1983.”


      Oh well that was predicted in advance….

      Now we are doomed to another thread with a melancholia desperately trying to be right to try to feel better.

    • Avatar Calum Watkins

      It looks to me like PaulM and Ultraspeedy (who look suspiciously like the same person) want to re-write history.

      You can argue the semantics of the term privatisation until you are blue in the face. The fact remains that in terms of history, 1984 marked the privatisation of BT. It’s in the newspapers, history books, government transcripts and it’s enshrined into the law.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “It looks to me like PaulM and Ultraspeedy”

      It’s the resident troll of many names, Carpetburn, aka Deduction, aka (lots of other names and cunning disguises).

    • Avatar PaulM

      Awww predictable. Cry when shown to be wrong, call people names, agree with itself, within an hour window, repeat. And all could be avoided if it knew how to use a dictionary, such a shame.

    • Avatar Ultraspeedy

      All i did was explain the differences between 2 words in addition to pointing out BT was a duoploy until 1991. Sorry if that upsets you.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      So you believe I’m this Calum guy then? 🙂 amusing.

      I post under one name only.

  10. Avatar jeep

    I for one would be happy to pay my isp extra 50p/nominal fee toward the cost of rolling out full fttp by whoever as long as the amount actually went toward it. I suspect if this was implemented then the arguments would begin about who gets it first? just get on with it 🙂

  11. Avatar MikeW

    80% of South Koreans live in apartment buildings. In the UK it is 18%. Significant differences in the model to cover people

    At the time fibre was deployed, the target was 100Mbps. A lot of South Koreans get FTTB rather than FTTP, with VDSL2 in the basement to premises leg, or LAN.

    There is now a fight between the two main providers to upgrade the copper. One is going for G.Fast, the other G.hn.

    Like most places, Korea doesn’t upgrade to fibre for the warm fuzzy idea of “future proofed”. They upgrade when necessary (hybrid fibre when it was the only way to reach 100Mbps) or cheap (new build).

    When the EU set targets of 100Mbps, the politicians likely thought it would cause the same outcome here, but technology for copper started getting in the way. Vectoring added to VDSL2 changed one outlook, as did improvements to DOCSIS. G.Fast popped up to spoil more parties.

    • Avatar spurple

      It doesn’t matter much why they deployed fibre. What matters is that looking from without, they sure look like they’re in a good place.

    • Avatar C. McCormick

      I agree, all these different ideas/techniques to send more down old metallic pairs has just delayed things.

      I could live with FTTC roll out, it was the only way to move things forward faster however G.fast does seem to be a stupid idea, specially when its initial roll out with be off the back of the recently built FTTC networks still leaving many behind.

      I actually expected Openreach’s next step in areas with FTTC to extend the fibre to properties using the FTTC cabs as the distribution or nodes.

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