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Openreach’s FTTP Rollout May Add £7 Per Month to UK Broadband Prices

Monday, December 4th, 2017 (8:43 am) - Score 7,605

The CEO of Ofcom, Sharon White, has claimed that Openreach’s (BT) aspiration to conduct a “large-scale” rollout of 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband to 10 million UK homes and businesses by around 2025 is “dependent on up to £7 a month being added to broadband bills.”

At present most of Openreach’s primary broadband services use slower hybrid fibre technologies (e.g. up to 80Mbps capable FTTC VDSL2), although they do expect to reach 10 million premises with their up to 160-330Mbps FTTC G.fast solution by around 2020. Outside of that they’re also rolling out “full fibreFTTP broadband to 2 million premises by 2020 but Ofcom, the Government and pretty much everybody else wants more.

In keeping with that Openreach have been busy consulting on and preparing a new network strategy (due to be published by the end of 2017 but it might be delayed) to support their aspiration for 10 million FTTP premises. The strategy estimated that it could cost £300-600 per premises passed (total of between £3bn to £6bn) to conduct such a deployment, plus £175 – £200 to connect a customer.

However Sharon White states that BT owns a vast network of cable ducts and on Friday she claimed that “around 90% of them have space to lay new fibre optic cable … We estimate that using these existing ducts and poles can halve the up-front cost of laying fibre networks. That would take the average cost of providing a home or business with full fibre from around £500 to £250.”

In order to help fund this the operator has been proposing various changes, such as softer regulation, higher wholesale prices, co-investment deals with other ISPs, a phased migration (i.e. switching off old copper networks as FTTP goes live, which could create a lot of problems if the prices are radically different, as well as competition concerns from existing unbundled ISPs etc.), improved planning and traffic management processes, favourable changes to business rates and so forth (more details).

Nevertheless Ofcom suggests that Openreach are in danger of dragging their feet and being left behind by rivals such as Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, Virgin Media, Cityfibre, Vodafone and others that have all recently been making some significant commitments.

Sharon White, Ofcom CEO, said:

“If all the major broadband providers come good on their public commitments, full fibre broadband will reach up to six million premises, or 20% of the country, by 2020. That would be a step forward from today’s 3%, but still leave the UK trailing other countries. To catch up, we need still bolder commitments.

And the biggest player remains BT. We welcome Openreach’s commitment to reach two million homes with full fibre by 2020. The company has also outlined plans to reach 10 million by the mid-2020s, but dependent on up to £7 a month being added to broadband bills.

We expect BT to go further, and make a reality of the ambition it has set itself to be – and I quote – “a national champion with the scale and expertise to meet Britain’s future communications needs”. We recognise, of course, the competing priorities that any major operator faces – be it investing in sports or other content rights, dividends, pensions or its broadband infrastructure.

But the national priority is clear. Competition for fibre is growing, as will consumer demand for it. As the owner of Openreach – the national telecoms network which is becoming more independent from BT – it should act in the interest of all of its customers who rely on it, as well as its shareholders.”

The thought of having to pay £7 per month extra for full fibre broadband is perhaps, in this market of extreme price sensitivity and low cost models, something that would cause many people to shake their heads. Lest we forget that Openreach’s existing wholesale FTTP products are by no means the cheapest in the market. On the other hand we don’t yet know precisely what this £7 increase represents, so take with a pinch of salt.

Indeed if the cost of FTTP is set too high then it will make it significantly more difficult for Openreach and ISPs to entice consumers to adopt the service at a mass market level. Such pricing could also create anger if users are forced off older / slower but cheaper networks and required to pay the premium.

On the other hand if the wholesale price is set too low then the operator may struggle to make a reasonable return on their investment and that could hinder the scope of any planned rollout. Ofcom have of course shown that they generally prefer lower prices for consumers, which creates somewhat of a conflict. The regulator also won’t want to do anything that upsets competition too much.

As Sharon White concluded, “BT has the financial and technical wherewithal to transform its digital infrastructure for the modern era. The question for BT is – does it lead the transformation today as the self-proclaimed national champion? Or does it follow, playing catch-up on its nimbler rivals?

Could it be that the market around BT is changing more rapidly than they are able to adapt and that the tough negotiating tactics of old no longer hold as much sway or does regulation tie their hands too tightly? Time will tell. We have asked Openreach for a comment and are awaiting their reply, although it will probably be much the same as they said in October (here).

UPDATE 11:08am

We’ve done a bit of digging into the £7 figure and it appears to reflect an estimate of the incremental value per line that Openreach would need to recover in order to fund the roll-out. On top of that it also appears to be an upper estimate and the real figure might well be lower, at least for that first 10 million premises.

The key aspect here is that such an incremental value change is not quite the same thing as Ofcom’s suggestion of “£7 a month being added to broadband bills,” not least because, as suggested earlier, the cost could be recovered via a number of different methods or approaches (i.e. not merely converting it directly into a wholesale price increase).

For example, you could mitigate such costs by having a longer business rates holiday for new fibre (or lower rates for existing fibre) or encouraging another operator to help fund the deployment costs etc.

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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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76 Responses
  1. Avatar jeep says:

    Icould scrabble together £250 if they would put fibre to my home for that cost.

  2. Avatar Davek says:

    No no no… I am not going to pay any more for a sub 1mbs speed.
    The price for phone and broadband service has gone up nearly 100% in the last 15 years with no prospect of any improvements for another 4 years.

    1. Avatar Asrab says:

      Isn’t the price increase limited to FTTP services only ? or they trying to milk the whole copper market as well ,

    2. Avatar AndyH says:

      There is no price increase and no ‘milking’ of copper assets.

      This is purely a discussion between OFCOM and BT about what is needed for a wider scale FTTP deployment. The consultation said that it would require an investment of £3-6bn to reach 10 million premises, now the question is under what conditions can that investment be made.

    3. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      The cost difference applies only to FTTP lines, not xDSL services. So if you did end up paying an extra £7, that would be for an FTTP service, not the existing ADSL one.

  3. Avatar Ixel says:

    If this meant paying more for the FTTP connection per month and not having the amount added on to my FTTC just to find I’m not getting FTTP for many years to come then sure. I don’t mind paying up to 10 pounds a month more for having FTTP installed plus a fair installation fee (no more than a few hundred pounds at most). However if it means my FTTC connection will get this increased cost with FTTP not coming anytime soon then I’m against it.

  4. Avatar Bob2002 says:

    If you’re wondering about the photo, all the burly guys with dirt covered clothes, holding spades – and the woman in the centre holding a spade but completely clean – it’s a bit of gender tokenism for International Women’s Day apparently.

    1. Avatar spurple says:

      I thought it was just a reporter who was eager to feature in her own story and so borrowed a high-viz jacket and unused shovel and photobombed them.

  5. Avatar AndyH says:

    It’s interesting that she Sharon White claims the UK only has 3% full fibre today.

    Openreach have covered over 500,000 premises with FTTP now, so that is 1.72% covered. Are the other providers only covering 370,000 premises/1.28% of premises?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Tracking FTTP, particularly identifying the difference between live and partially complete builds, is no easy task. The data changes on a daily basis so 3% could already be considered out of date but I’d say it’s a reasonable figure given known progress and the slow rollout pace of such technologies. The deployment is however ramping up quite quickly.


    2. Avatar AndyH says:

      Certainly Openreach publish their FTTP THP numbers every week to customers and there are monthly meetings with stakeholders where I believe someone from OFCOM sits in, so they should know their numbers fairly well.

      In terms of the other operators, some publish their breakdowns (e.g. KCOM https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2017/10/kcom-detail-q4-2017-fttp-broadband-rollout-12450-premises-hull.html) and some don’t (I think we already talked about Virgin’s breakdown).

      I am fairly sure that if you went through the latest financial reports and investor conf calls, we’re closer to 5-6% of full fibre coverage in the UK now. It would be useful if providers reported their numbers to OFCOM and in turn, OFCOM provides a more accurate picture of the UK overall as it’s changing quarter by quarter now.

    3. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      As I said Andy, you sometimes have to take the figures that operators put out with a pinch of salt because they don’t always represent fully complete and live services on the premises passed measure. Some are better at this than others.

    4. Avatar NGA for all says:

      500,000 or 435,000 over OR OSS 26m is close to what you say.

      Ofcom sometimes use 28.5m lines and sometimes 30m, – so it difficult get above 3%.

      While the OR consultation is full of holes, Ofcom could at least suggest a few things and be supportive of a sunset date. The nature of the OR work is different.

      Is this a speech or a statement?

  6. Avatar TheManStan says:

    BT’s fault for keeping the network as an asset…

    Sharon can ask BT as a whole to invest as opposed to just Openreach.

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      One of the reasons for BT holding on to the ownership of the network assets, as opposed to Openreach, is to do with the huge pensions burden.

    2. Avatar AndyH says:

      @ GNewton

      What bearing does retaining the network assets have on their pension deficit?

    3. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      Quite a lot in this case. The BT pension fund trustees threatened to go to court over Ofcom’s separation plans as it is BT Group that has the legal responsibility to cover the pension deficit. If, as Ofcom planned, the title to the network assets was with OpenReach, with a plan to float the whole thing off, the pension trustees feared that BT Group would not be able to service the deficit. At the very least, the court case would have delayed any new restructuring by a couple of years, and it might well have scuppered it entirely. Ofcom did not want to lose face and, even worse, a court case. Hence a compromise was reached whereby BT Group would retain title to the assets as its net worth (perhaps £18bn) could, in extremis, be used to cover the pension deficit.

      Other options were considered – one even involved the pension fund being direct ownership of much of the network.


  7. Avatar TomTom says:

    I more than happy to pay £10 extra a month for full fibre to help Openreach to roll out more FTTP in UK. The copper wire are to retire soon. Good news from ofcom finally at last!

  8. Avatar Bernard says:

    Be aware, had fibre connect a year a go 23- 26 mbps.
    Signed a new contract and now the speed has been reduced to 15.50 mbps.
    BT informed me that this is acceptable.
    Openreach/ BT are a ripoff.

    1. Avatar Bob de Builder says:

      That service sounds like a hybrid connection and not full Fibre.

    2. Avatar GDS says:

      And because BT wanted us to believe FTTC was full fibre, not the crappy copper to the premises everyone actually has.

    3. Avatar Yanky Doodle says:

      Honestly Bernard….Must try harder. GDS….Also,your homework is incorrect. Please re-do your research starting with a company that’s now known as Virgin media.

    4. Avatar a says:

      id be tempted to cancel the direct debit, for lack to service.

      you can contact the ombudsman and make a complaint

  9. Avatar Jigsy says:

    So another price increase for absolutely nothing to happen in the long run.

    I’m not even shocked at this point.

    1. Avatar AndyH says:

      Where is an announced price increase?

      If people want FTTP, then there will be a cost attached to that. OFCOM has driven prices wholesale down and down, so whilst this is good for consumers, it’s created a situation where there is low incentive for investment in the UK.

    2. Avatar Asrab says:

      Andy :- Price increase is not announced i agree, but what else is this mounting to ? i am all for FTTP as long as its charged fairly, TBH £7 a month sounds reasonable to me if it ensures roll out happens sooner rather than later, of course once the cost is recovered it needs to reflect in the product pricing as well,

    3. Avatar GDS says:

      £7 a month on an already overpriced and underperforming product is a rip off.

      BT/Openreach’s offerings are well behind their competitors.

    4. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      Read the article properly. There is no price increased announced. None. Nothing. Not a penny. This is simply an estimate by Ofcom on how much the cost of an FTTP line would be over that of a copper line should OR achieve the 10m properties target that has been mooted. It has nothing to do with copper line wholesale costs which have been dramatically reduced over time when inflation is factored in.

    5. Avatar GNewton says:

      @SteveJones: Since Openreach doesn’t own the network, and its overall budget is set by BT, wouldn’t it be up to BT to direct at least some of its overall profits into fibre investments? Especially since no other company seems to come forward with an investment into Opereach, or with a joint project?

    6. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      It’s largely irrelevant who has title to the asset. If they are going to put (say) £5bn extra capex into the network, then that will mean that an increased revenue will be required to provide the payback and the return on investment. Depreciation will increase and, at least in the short term, other costs will not decrease, and it’s likely some others will increase (like rateable value after whatever holiday that the government might allow expires).

      If the copper network can be fully retired in the relevant areas (a debatable point as no such mechanism exists under the regulatory regime in place) then maybe some costs will ultimately go down if the promise of lower fault rates materialise, but that extra depreciation will be around for a long time.

      So that’s the name of the game – if you are a commercial enterprise and are putting money into an asset, then that’s with the prospect of earning a return. Extra capex will either need an increased revenue or some reduction in costs, whoever owns it, or if it’s a joint venture or not.

      I don’t know how Ofcom are doing their calculations but, on the face of it, if they are assuming all 10m properties will take up the service (or have no choice) then that implies a maximum gross income of £840m per year. However, 100% takeup is unlikely in the extreme, and even if forced FTTP migration was permitted, you can guarantee that there will be price protection for voice-only services and, possibly, some minimal level broadband service costs so migrated LLU ADSL users weren’t hit with a massive price rise.

      It might be that there would only be a net revenue gain on half those properties when those factors and takeup is taken into account (there will be VM competition too). There’s also the issue over loss of GEA-FTTC wholesale revenue.

      It’s very easy to see that the gross annual incremental revenue might be more like £400-£500m a year in reality. That would put an £5bn extra capex investment into perspective, whoever makes it.

    7. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Steve Jones: How exactly do you measure increased BT revenue being a result from increased investment into fibre networks?

    8. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      The increased revenue for the wholesale charges for the network are easy to work out if they are based on Ofcom’s estimate of an increase of £7 per month.

      Just what increase in revenue might be to retail ISP operators is another matter entirely. There are four large ISPs in the UK (VM, Sky, TalkTalk and BT) with others, like Vodafone, with ambitions to join them. Then there are dozens of other smaller ISPs. As such, there’s a lot of competition and if there is any increased revenue at the retail level, then it will accrue to all. In that this increased revenue, some will go to paying for the higher wholesale charges that Ofcom seem to think necessary to pay for the extra investment. Competition should also keep those retail profits under control.

      There really is no basis for claiming that BT Retail alone, of all ISPs should somehow provide increased funding for the network is unsupportable. As the network services are provided on an equivalence basis, then there is no basis for claiming that, somehow, the upstream parts of BT somehow should subsidise the network in a way that other customers do not.

      In any event, you also clearly don’t understand the regulatory process which is cost based (including a regulated return). If Ofcom are to regulate prices then they are required, in doing so, to allow that costs are recovered from the wholesale charges for the network. That will include the costs associated with network investments. The rest of BT might well provide extra capital, but the corollary is that costs will go up and so will the wholesale prices.

    9. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Steve Jones: Thank you for your explanations. I wasn’t talking about Sky, TalkTalk, but rather, my question was about BT. Sky, TalkTalk etc are customers of BT, or to be more precise, of one of the BT-owned divisions. Openreach, still wholly owned by BT, is quite limited in its investment capabilities. The same might not be true for BT as a whole. I am aware of the many regulatory restrictions imposed upon BT (some of them are a bit too restrictive, e.g. wholesale prices are too low, etc).

      I assume you as a shareholder of BT Group plc are interested in the overall performance of the BT Group plc (trading as BT). I am not sure whether it’s right to view matters of fibre investments from an isolated Openreach perspective only.

      Perhaps the £7.00 per month figure in return for additional 10 Million fibre lines is a starting point in this discussion.

    10. Avatar AndyH says:

      How is Openreach “quite limited in its investment capabilities”?

      Investments should only be made if they meet the company’s target IRR. This doesn’t change if a company is independent or wholly owned by another group.

      You frequently complain about the lack of FTTP services in the UK, so how do we fund widespread coverage? I am interested in an actual answer here rather than just another question or reference to FibreFred…

    11. Avatar GNewton says:

      @AndyH: My question was for Steve Jones, and it has nothing to do with a “FibreFred”, nor is it a complaint about the lack of fibre broadband.

      As regards your question about Openreach: A simple search will give you the exact figures of its annual revenue and operating income (off my memory: approximately £5Billion annual revenue) which is naturally only part of the overall revenue of BT.

    12. Avatar AndyH says:

      @ GNewton

      “My question was for Steve Jones, and it has nothing to do with a “FibreFred”, nor is it a complaint about the lack of fibre broadband.”

      Ever the politician with your responses. Happy to make comments and ask questions, unhappy to provide actual answers yourself.

    13. Avatar GNewton says:

      @AndyH: I am not here to argue with you, if you get offended with any questions posted here by forum members please feel free to get in touch with the forum moderator. As I said, this was a question for Steve Jones anyway.

    14. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      The principle is very simple. If investment is made into anything on a commercial basis, it has to at least payback. In the case of network infrastructure, that means the costs have to be at least covered by wholesale revenues in the case of BT. The whole principle of separation is that the investment cas

      As far as BT having more potential (as a group) to invest than does OR alone, then that’s true. However, that investment has to be split among all the business divisions and they will each have to produce a return. Stripping investment out of (say) retail operations at the expense of that business division and using it to subsidise the network infrastructure is simply not a viable long term strategy. It’s also possible that it will breach competition law to do this if it was seen as artificially reducing the prices in a market where BT has what’s called SMP.

      The principle is the same whoever owns the network asset. The business case for the investment has to stand on its own merits.

      In the case of fully vertically integrated companies which do not have the obligation to provide wholesale services, then they are far freer to take into account income from other areas. For example, VM can consider the impact on their revenue model in its entirety in network investments. With BT and its regulatory options, that’s simply not allowable.

    15. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Steve Jones: You are raising an interesting point here about whether to regard BT as a vertically integrated company in terms of network investment or not. It certainly has restrictions due to the regulatory framework imposed upon it by Ofcom. How exactly does BT control the annual budget for Openreach, and how exactly can Openreach invest in a network it doesn’t own? Or will future investments by Openreach cause Openreach to gain ownership of these new assets? The public still perceives BT as the responsible telecom company, probably rightly so.

    16. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      You raise a very interesting and critically important point in that there is a complete lack of transparency over how BT Group will set the financial targets for OR and how the capital investment budget will be decided. Frankly, Sharon White and Ofcom are political creatures with an ear to whatever mood music influential politicians are putting on the turntable. Note the way they have rapidly taken on the issue of not undermining fibre investment by minimising wholesale prices – could we ever imagine Ofcom promoting the idea that there may have to be a £7 increase in wholesale BB costs for OR’s fibre plans (which createe more room for competitors at the network level).

      How this will pan out, who knows. The issue will be over what criteria are used for capital investment. The £7 issue implies that some sort of modelling is going on and what they might expect BT to do.

  10. Avatar James A Keogh says:

    Open reach cable goes past our house less than 10 feet away and we can’t get broadband it’s a joke they have been rolling this out for years more like stretching it out bloody ridiculous

    1. Avatar Fastman says:

      suggest you engage community fibre partnership to see if you can do something with you community to use that cable if its possible

  11. Avatar Dude Lebowski says:

    Being 2 miles away from our cabinet, I imagine we are a fair bit above the £250 average cost, but if it meant going from <5Mpbs to FTTP, I would be happy to pay double or even quadruple that amount + an extra monthly premium. Hell, I'd even help them do whatever digging needs to be done!

    1. Avatar Fastman says:

      suggest you engage community fibre partnership to see if you can do something with you community to see if its possible

    2. Avatar Dude Lebowski says:

      @Fastman – I tried already, but was told at the time by my local Community Broadband Advisor that our postcode was included in an upcoming infill phase. No timeline was given though, and a year later I am still stuck with canned responses from Scotland Superfast, who can’t or won’t provide any further info. Not sure where to go for further info…

  12. Avatar Marty says:

    I’d happily pay seven pound extra a month for FTTP providing it’s under regulation without Ofcom (restructuring of BDUK for ultrafast FTTP? while completing the superfast programme) for the greater good FTTP doesn’t really exist where I live unless it’s done on demand.

  13. Avatar Ultraspeedy says:

    Typical BT cant rip the government off this time around so it will be the consumer.

  14. Avatar GNewton says:

    The article ends with the statement:

    “or encouraging another operator to help fund the deployment costs etc.”

    Why on earth would another operator invest in Openreach? Openreach doesn’t even own the network infrastructure, nor has it full control over its budget which is set by BT.

    1. Avatar Ultraspeedy says:

      I think they were hoping on a vodafone collaboration which they cold eventually ravage an incorporate into their own group. As voda have done a deal with cityfibre though they are on the look out again for someone else to be foolish enough to make a deal. It does not matter where the money comes from as long as its not their pockets which are emptied.

  15. Avatar Fastman says:

    Crazy Business has invested about in excess of 4bn + (may now even be closer to 5bn now on fibre broadband — not see anyone else offer any investment

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      To be fair VM are spending £3 billion to reach just 4 million premises. This is far more than Openreach reckon FTTP will cost per premises.

      Relative to our peers Openreach’s incremental investment has been fairly modest so far but looks like there’s a nice uptick coming.

    2. Avatar Ultraspeedy says:

      And all without asking others for money or help.

    3. Avatar MikeW says:

      I think BT reached around 66% of premises under their own steam. It’ll be nice when VM manage to catch up to that level.

    4. Avatar NGA for all says:

      How do you get £4bn? Ofcom are reporting BT £2.5bn is no more than £1.5bn on the initial 48,000 to 50,000 cabinets and fibre paths?

  16. Avatar Dave says:

    I’d pay another £7 per month if it meant true fibre to the home with unlimited potential capacity and end to the up-to distance issues!

    Better than the ~7K install cost of FTTPoD and £320 PM +VAT!

  17. Avatar John says:

    I’ve had FTTP since February, here in rural Wales – lucky me! HOWEVER, I’d love to have paid a premium of £7 a month for the service. Lack of competition (there’s really only BT or Zen for domestic customers) meant a premium of over £20 a month on my previous provider, plus a contribution to installation costs and buying a new router. Trouble is, it’s either FTTP or 1.6 mps – no brainer if you can afford it, infuriating if you can’t.

    1. Avatar Tigger says:

      Hoping to get FTTP Soon have you found it to be reliable

    2. Avatar John says:

      Tigger, FTTP has been fairly reliable, but only fairly. There are still dropouts which are not down to wifi, and those render VOIP questionable. Speed does drop during the business day, but not to a point that it is noticeable. Excellent support from Zen.

  18. Avatar finaldeest says:

    Make it an even £10 then and allow BT/Openreach to do an even bigger rollout.

    Why not also rip out the copper while their at it and recover some of the cost at the same time by recycling the scrap.

    FTTP is the future so the sooner we start the better.

    £7 extra per month for FTTP, Sounds good to me.

    1. Avatar Jonny says:

      Where are people getting this idea from that scrap copper cables are worth more than the labour cost of removing them?

    2. Avatar finaldeest says:

      I never said such a thing. Read the comment again.

      I said “recover SOME of the cost”, This does not suggest pay for the entire rollout.

    3. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      It’s you who ought to read Jonny’s comment properly. He’s not suggesting you said that the sale of scrap copper will fund the whole thing. His point is that, when the labour costs of recovering the copper are considered, that there might be no net revenue from the scrap. No doubt there will be some places where it makes sense, but in many cases it will cost more to remove than leave in the ground (especially where it’s direct buried cable as it was where I used to live).

      Scrap cable is not as valuable as people might think. The stuff is covered insulation which has the potential to produce damaging pollution unless done properly. The stick it on a bonfire and set light to it approach taken by copper cable thieves is not one that can be taken up by commercial companies.

    4. Avatar finaldeest says:

      Steve, you are correct so my apologies to Jonny. I will give myself a good slap for that.

      As for the cost of recovery, This will vary as you pointed out. No point digging up buried cable for example but there are plenty of opportunities where it would be viable.

      Recycling is big business these days so no need to burn it on a bonfire.

    5. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Steve Jones: The question about the value of recycled copper wires is interesting.

      The 2016 prices were as follows: 1 kilo of heavy duty-wire = $2.00, with its PVC insulation on. Once it has been stripped (assuming 56% copper content) it would be worth $3.36

      Anyway, without a radical change of the regulatory framework this is not an option at the moment, but it could a worth a consideration in the future.

    6. Avatar Steve Jones says:


      Long ago, I did a calculation about the amount of copper that is in BT’s network based on publicly available information. It was triggered by a fanciful calculation by Tim Worstall in The Register where he had made two wildly incorrect assumptions and overestimated the value of the copper in BT’s network by a factor of 20.

      My calculations were that there was about 480,000 tonnes of copper in BT’s local network. As scrap copper wire, at current prices (about £3.50 a Kg), then that’s about £1.68nb. By the time the cost of stripping and disposing of the insulation is taken into account, then you might get two-thirds of that, so about £1.1bn. Just how much it would cost to recover the stuff from the ground and where it would be worthwhile is another thing entirely. It would also require every single service to be migrated off a multi-pair cable first so this would only defray any investment costs over a very long period.

  19. Avatar Mark says:

    We pay for two lines and two 4mb broadband connections. Because when one child is uploading their homework the entire internet goes down. And the upload speed is so bad it can take hours to upload those files. Fairness in this sector is a complete joke. I have been trying to get Openreach to help but they say I should consider 4G. I live 50 meters from an 80mb street cabinet and they want us to pay 100’s per month on rip off 4G data. Well done Wales. You obviously brought the right cigars for the right {enter choice words here}.

  20. Avatar dragoneast says:

    So basically, it’s everybody wants what suits them, and never mind anyone else. No wonder we have a problem.

    I work with a lot of people abroad, and never cease to be amazed with what they achieve by quietly getting on and making the best of things. We don’t. We just sit still, scream our heads off, and expect everything to come to us.

  21. Avatar Anthony English says:

    This is the same openreach who won’t provide fibre to our cabinet in the middle of Leith. Where the buildings either side of us and over the road are connected to a fibre enabled cabinet but ours is not. I’ve raised it with them and their response was essentially….you don’t have fibre because we didn’t give it you. So this does not surprise me! Openreach are a joke

    1. Avatar Gadget says:

      surely not just Openreach have declined to enable your cabinet – Openreach did not do it in their commercial rollout because it did not make economic sense, but also BDUK backed initiative also declined to spend the money to enable your cabinet. Hopefully you will be covered by the R100 Scottish Government programme.

    2. Avatar No comment says:


  22. Avatar Builder_UK says:

    Counties with no infrastructure in the ground whatsoever managed to provide FTTP services building new network so much easily and quickly and here we have Incumbent with huge network infrastructure with 90% capacity and struggling to provide FTTP services… Total farce! Incredible what a greed can do…

    1. Avatar AJW says:

      That is because the incumbent’s infrastructure is in tatters due to lack of investment and maintenence.

      If our village is anything to go they will have to replace 50% of their poles and unblock all their ducts to install FTTP.

    2. Avatar CarlT says:

      You just totally undermined your point. They had no infrastructure so it was build it from scratch. Openreach have an infrastructure that’s feeding them revenue so have to make the case around what additional income they will make. In new build areas they offer fibre to the premises.

  23. Avatar John Walker says:

    Talking about supplying 1gb FTTP is all well and good but shouldn’t they first upgrade ADSL customers to FTTC at least. My exchange is Fibre enabled, some streets near me have FTTC but my street”no current plans” and I’m sure there are many others like me.

  24. Avatar Simon says:

    If someone can actually get it. I see no harm, but if not then it will suck. I’d rather cut the cord than pay for someone else’s connection better than mine!

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      Unless you’ve FTTP delivered via BDUK you already are. See ya 🙂

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