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1Gbps FTTP Service Surfaces on BT Wholesale Availability Checker

Monday, May 21st, 2018 (7:11 pm) - Score 26,943

The official BT Wholesale Broadband Checker has received a small but interesting update and is now showing the operator’s top 1000Mbps download (220Mbps upload) tier for their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which Openreach are busy rolling out to 3 million UK premises.

Openreach actually launched their Gigabit “full fibre” tier, as well as a 500Mbps (165Mbps upload) option, all the way back in 2016 (here). Both tiers are priced and aimed more at premium business connections but by default only attract a 12 month contract. On top of that they won’t yet be available in every location where their FTTP technology has been rolled out.

The fact that a major wholesale supplier like BTWholesale has now picked up the product may slowly increase the number of ISPs that will offer it, although issues with capacity, demand and cost may yet limit uptake. The two faster tiers cost £505 +vat for connection (one-off) and the monthly rental is £90 +vat for 500Mbps and £135 +vat for a full Gigabit (data-only service). The prices are effective from 1st June 2018.

bt_wholesale_fttp_1gbps

The pricing is obviously dramatically more expensive than most alternative network providers are charging for a 1Gbps connection to the home and that’s before we even add extras at the ISP (VAT etc.), although Openreach’s optical fibre network faces some very different challenges and regulatory barriers to those of the more nimble AltNet ISPs.

In the meantime any residential users who want ultrafast will prefer the much more affordable 330Mbps tier, which on BT’s own retail platform only costs about £59.99 inc. VAT per month with a £59.99 setup charge (one-off). In fairness it’s not like the vast majority of consumers are going to need all of that speed anytime soon, let alone 500Mbps or 1Gbps.

Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting the BTWholesale news.

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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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50 Responses
  1. occasionally factual says:

    Availability of the new speeds reported 2 days before TTB on Plusnet FTTP Trial page. Nice for other forums to catch up!

    1. occasionally factual says:

      And reported kitz forum from the 18th so earlier again.

    2. CarlT says:

      Medals are in the post.

    3. occasionally factual says:

      @Carlt
      Glad you saw the humour in the posts.

  2. occasionally factual says:

    TBB not TTB!

  3. Jed Pause says:

    I just checked mine, it was updated today 1000/220,Ashford exchange, Surrey.. I’m on 330/30 for a few years.. Infinity 4.Would be interested other’s experience on how to upgrade, paying £52 now.. BT product page not showing it as an option after logging in

    1. CarlT says:

      BT aren’t selling it to home users. This is a BT Wholesale product, not a BT Retail / ISP product.

    2. CarlT says:

      As far as pricing goes even selling it at a loss as they are the 330 to you you’d still be looking at £162 a month just to cover the wholesale cost. This with their charging nothing for any of their other costs.

      I could afford it and am a huge fan of bandwidth but stuff that.

  4. mirdragon says:

    Our cabinet has been full for years and should have been upgraded last month, so no-one can upgrade to faster speeds or switch providers. They need to sort these upgrades out first before adding more speeds

    1. CarlT says:

      Your cabinet being full has absolutely nothing to do with the company that just released this, BT Wholesale. That would be Openreach, who released this product back in 2016.

    2. JamesMJohnson says:

      Not sure how a cabinet being full has anything to do with FTTP.
      My understanding was that FTTPoD and FTTC used cabinets (FTTPoD can use a aggregation node/PON if it’s nearer than the cab).
      FTTP used PONs connecting to the nearest aggregation node or the exchange.

      CarlIT is right… Openreach deploy/upgrade the infrastructure, BT Wholesale then decide when they want to resell it to ISPs.
      FTTC and FTTP are 2 different departments within Openreach deploying different infrastructure. Every VDSL engineer I’ve spoken to has no training regarding FTTP and knows very little about it.
      Apples and oranges.

  5. Skyrocket says:

    BTWholesale is rip off for 1000/220 £135 exc vat. No one will paying this amount of this money.

    1. CarlT says:

      Hi Max.

    2. New_Londoner says:

      Some businesses would pay that much but not many consumers, then again we don’t really need that much bandwidth anyway.

    3. MikeP says:

      @New_Londoner – just remember, no-one will ever need more than 640KB of memory.

    4. Phil says:

      @MikeP

      To be fair, it’s reaching the point of diminishing returns now – there isn’t a *killer* use case for 1Gbps in most cases that will drive adoption much beyond the 300/500Mbps services, and I suspect it will stay that way for some time.

      UltraHD streams top out at around 40-50Mbps, offline backup services are more reliant on upload speed, so 220up would be nice, but it’s not essential, and 50up is probably fine for most users.

      The next thing that could drive requirements for high, low latency, bandwidth would be moving more local compute intensive applications into the cloud, but that’s a way off.

    5. JamesMJohnson says:

      @Phil
      I agree… the biggest driver for uptake will be stability and low latency.
      I mean hey, I’d luv to have FTTP… getting fed up of Openreachs solution to fixing the intermitent errors on my line with interleaving (high value, I know all Openreach FTTC connections have interleaving).
      The normal response is “We can’t close the job until we clear these FEC errors.”
      The solution… let’s phone the office and manually set interleaving to a high value, it’s the only way to get above the handback threshold.
      Latency should be taken into consideration for whats acceptable.
      But as usual we have a group of people making policies that either don’t understand the industry they regulate or are giving in to pressure from BT.

  6. Juan says:

    Worth remembering that ISPs will still need to pay for bandwidth on top of these prices. At these speeds, the bandwidth costs will be significant.

    1. Spurple says:

      Not so much. Peering and contention for home users helps keep bandwidth costs down.

  7. Jed Pause says:

    @CarIT, yes fully aware this is BT Wholesale.. And that my ISP BT aren’t selling it yet.. But my question stems from past experience.. When adslchecker went to 330/20, BT started selling it soon after and I was able to upgrade over phone before their website showed and options..

    That’s why I ask the question I did!

    1. CarlT says:

      True, however those weren’t 150 quid a month, wholesale.

      I think it’s fair to say that until there’s a big price drop BT’s consumer division won’t be selling it. See the higher upload speed FTTP packages and the 330/30 pre-price cut.

  8. Rahul says:

    A couple of weeks ago out of curiosity I checked https://spectruminternet.com/home-broadband/full-fibre/ Spectrum Internet is the only FTTP provider currently, (if I am not mistaken) to offer 1Gbps for Home users via BT Openreach. Even though BT Checker shows as 330Mbps max across all the other providers.

    Full Fibre Broadband 1000/220

    £99.00
    per month first 6 months

    £159.00
    per month for remaining 6 months of your contract

    £599 activation fee

    But as we can see these are extremely expensive prices considering that the upload speed is only 220Mbps and not 1Gbps symmetrical like the other altnet FTTP providers!

    1. Technological says:

      @Rahul there is a difference between a headline speed from an altnet ISP offering 1Gbps and the actual committed information rate.

      I’m not aware of any ISP providing this information for any residential grade product, but at least with Openreach GEAFTTP you know where you stand in the access network – delivering the backhaul to support that CIR is a large part of the cost for ISP’s.

      As of tomorrow we’ll really start to see the effects of this – retail ISP’s can’t advertise a 1Gbps service anymore – the best case would be 940Mbps if they can dimension that as the average.

    2. CarlT says:

      I would presume Spectrum offer their service in a limited subset of exchanges, they actually specifically mention this, where they have their own CableLinks to Openreach, which is why they were advertising it while those using the BT Wholesale network were not.

      That and of course that they have to be doing this else they’d be losing money on that contract even if they weren’t paying themselves and their data network and bandwidth out to the Internet were free.

      They are buying from Openreach not using their own network so are beholden to the Openreach price list. They are paying Openreach £80 + VAT a month just to get the subscriber to the exchange, before the cost of interconnection with Openreach and their own expenses.

    3. Rahul says:

      @Technological I don’t know why ISP’s can’t advertise 1Gbps when I’ve clearly seen in various speed tests including screenshots from B4RN which did manage to hit 1000Mbps. But for me achieving a target of 940Mbps or 1000Mbps isn’t too big of a difference for me to complain.

      I would’ve thought that with FTTP now we should get speeds that are closer to the maximum advertised speed test results. This problem with speed target advertisements not being met is usually a thing with the 17Mbps ADSL packages and FTTC which is once again reliant on copper cables that handicap the speeds particularly when distance to exchange/cabinet is long.

      @CarlT But I don’t understand how Spectrum’s 40Mbps FTTP is priced more reasonably at £22 a month that is pretty much matched to the altnet prices.

      Also if Spectrum are buying from Openreach, then why are BT Openreach charging so much for their FTTP packages? Here’s another example Full Fibre Broadband 80Mbps Spectrum=£29 a month VS 76Mbps from BT £41 .99 a month!

    4. baby_frogmella says:

      @Rahul
      Reason Spectrum are cheaper is because they use their own backhaul network from the exchange onwards, ie they don’t use BT Wholesale. Bandwidth costs will form a large chunk of the monthly costs in addition to Openreach wholesale costs. In case you didn’t know Spectrum only serve selected exchanges in SW England/S Wales.

    5. baby_frogmella says:

      As for BT Retail v Spectrum costs:

      Cost of BT Retail FTTP = Openreach wholesale charges + BT Wholesale charges + profit/admin charges etc

      Cost of Spectrum FTTP = Openreach wholesale charges + Spectrum LLU backhaul charges + profit/admin charges etc

    6. Technological says:

      @Rahul to achieve a 1Gbps speedtest would require a 10Gbps Ethernet port on the router and on the test device, it can’t be achieved on a 1Gbps port due to the overhead

    7. Rahul says:

      @Technological Well in that case no problem, I’ll simply buy a quality router for a few hundred pounds if the ISP that supplied the free router is not sufficiently strong enough. I’ll probably need to do that anyway as most of the times the free routers are crap.

      For me money spent on buying hardware is not a problem. I build Custom Gaming PCs where I spend enough money on decent motherboard, graphics card, processor, RAM, etc. I can spend a few hundred on a 10Gbps Ethernet router if that is what will be required. At least a router lasts a long time before getting outdated unlike PC hardware such as processors and video cards.

      But first let’s wait for FTTP to be laid/expanded then worry about hardware requirements. I am currently on a plan to get FTTP for my Bishopsgate Exchange. If I get FTTP supported then I’ll think about system upgrade including Solid State Drive, quality motherboard and new router.

      Of-course I’m going to assess the situation based on package prices. I’m also waiting for Hyperoptic where I am a Champion of my Building, need Wayleave to be completed by Building Managers. This is my biggest headache right now!

    8. CarlT says:

      The kit the ISP provides will have a 1Gb Ethernet port. Spending a few hundred pounds on a 10Gb router won’t really work.

      B4RN have one customer I believe on 10Gb, perhaps a few more as trials, but their service is delivered over Gigabit Ethernet for the most part. Fibre into the home, going through a media converter that outputs 1000Base-T.

    9. Rahul says:

      @CarlT These are the results I see on speedtest. http://i.imgur.com/ZZtqR97.jpg 1135Mbps. http://webro.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/speedtest.png 1076Mbps.

      It probably won’t hit 1000Mbps every time. But what I’ll be looking for is consistent results of over 900Mbps. Most results seem to show around 940Mbps on average which is perfectly fine for me. Now the next thing I would want is low pings preferably less than 5ms response time for online gaming to be lag-free. That’s perhaps even more important for me than hitting max speed targets.

      Finally the most important thing I am looking at is an internet that won’t drop out. ADSL and FTTC cannot promise to guarantee a stable connection at top speeds or when there are weather interference’s. Like at the moment I have to settle for a slower connection such as 11-12Mbps for connection to not drop for weeks on. This is probably my biggest motive for FTTP.

    10. CarlT says:

      Rahul. One of those speedtests is from Drexel University in the United States, and was done to a US server.

      I’m not sure I get your point on this? If the test is accurate the machine in question has a faster than gigabit NIC, if the machine has a gigabit NIC the test is wrong.

    11. Rahul says:

      The point I want to make, Carl is that the speeds are improvable at least via hardware changes. The Network interface controller is a hardware component that can be upgraded. So if the inbuilt NIC of a motherboard is not strong enough. You either have to buy a more powerful motherboard with faster inbuilt NIC or you buy a separate NIC and then a more powerful router as well.

      The truth is 1Gbps is not the ceiling point for FTTP. Those speeds go way beyond that. The ISP has the power to modify speed profiles accordingly. But currently most ISP’s don’t offer more than 1Gbps packages. But I’ve seen in Australia 10Gbps FTTP package.

      I’ve also seen speedtests of many users including yesterday I watched a speed test from a Hyperoptic user. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PAHGVTw798
      He’s signed up to the 150Mbps Hyperoptic package but he gets 173Mbps in speed test results.

      As I said before almost everyone who is on the ADSL up to 17Mbps can never achieve 17Mbps never-mind exceed the speed test result of the advertised package regardless of what they do due to the copper limitations.

    12. CarlT says:

      So your point is that there are optical links faster than a gigabit. I’m not sure this is news.

    13. CarlT says:

      Not aware of 10Gb being available in Australia to any extent, there’s no 10Gb product on the NBN and data caps are still an issue there.

      Singapore, however – https://www.singtel.com/personal/products-services/broadband/fibre-broadband-plans

    14. Rahul says:

      Not saying it’s news. I am saying it is possible to hit 1000Mbps in speedtest. You said 10Gb router won’t really work. I understand 10Gb router alone won’t work. We need faster than 1Gbps NIC port to also support faster gigabit speeds of the PC system mobo for faster speeds to be achievable.

      What I am saying is that at least there is hope for this to be achieved with hardware changes. The impression you were giving me, including the previous user Technological was that there was absolutely no hope of achieving more than 900Mbps in speedtest on a 1Gbps package when you can upgrade the router and NIC even if it costs money it is a one off expenditure.

      As for the 10Gbps, there are several articles here. https://www.smh.com.au/technology/nbn-paves-way-for-10gbps-to-the-home-with-fibre-trials-20170410-gvi54w.html
      https://www.zdnet.com/article/south-australia-goes-with-escapenet-as-isp-for-10gbps-adelaide-network/
      https://invest.sa.gov.au/news/roll-underway-australias-first-10gbps-fibre-optic-network/#.WwlsV1VKixA

      Ah, here it is, I wasn’t confabulating! https://www.tpg.com.au/tengigadelaide $598 per month. I I saw this package last year.

      Regardless of whether the 10Gb packages are available or not. The Fibre cables are capable of achieving those speeds, even much greater than that. We’ve seen articles here in ISPReview that the Fibre can achieve 100+Gbps just not practical at the moment. Which goes back to my previous point that the up to 1Gbps is not accurate in this case as speeds can reach that unlike with the copper up to 17Mbps packages..

  9. Chayne says:

    All I want is symmetrical download/upload speeds, is that too much to ask?

    1. 125us says:

      There are lots of providers who’ll sell you that today Chayne. Virgin, Colt, BT, ExponentialE.

    2. GNewton says:

      @125us: Would you be so kind to provide some links to these symmetric fibre broadband products?

    3. TheFacts says:

      @Chayne – why do you need symmetric? This could be considered 220M symmetric.

    4. Rahul says:

      Here are some symmetrical speeds. https://hyperoptic.com/price-plans/ https://communityfibre.co.uk/#packages If you can get sufficient residents to register their interest and manage to get your Building Authority to sign wayleave agreement then they’ll install in your apartment.

      But they only support apartment blocks, not individual houses.

      But if you live in rural areas you may be lucky to get Gigaclear that is also symmetrical. https://www.gigaclear.com/our-broadband-products/for-home/home-broadband-packages/#bottom

      As for BT Openreach there are no symmetrical upload speed packages that I can see from any provider that uses the BT Openreach network.

    5. GNewton says:

      @125us: I don’t think the original poster was asking asking about leased lines (to Chayne: please clarify!). Do any of thee big telecoms like BT offer symmetric broadband packages? A 50/50 package would be far more useful than 80/20 for many users. Some of the local smaller altnets like Gigaclear have clearly understood this important point. In other countries like in the US companies like Verizon with its FIOS have been doing it for ages.

    6. 125us says:

      Symmetric service was the only requirement stated. Symmetric service is available from lots of suppliers. What’s not widely available is symmetric service at broadband pricing.

    7. JTL says:

      In western Canada I have 150/150 FTTP (GPON) for ~$100/CAD a month.

      Regularly get speed tests of ~175mbps both ways

    8. CarlT says:

      People in the UK would be irate at the idea of paying that much for 150Mb. Nearly 58GBP.

      Here we think paying about that for 300/50 is expensive- have a hard enough time convincing people to take 80/20 for $50 CAD.

  10. John says:

    Excellent, bit pricey but cheaper then a leased line and faster than FTTPoD.

    220Mbps upload would do very nicely but I’d be happy with 50Mbps upload for now.

    It’s a shame upload/download bandwidth can’t be dynamically assigned by the end user. 80/20 is fine but when needing faster upload switching it to 20/80 or 50/50 via a slider in the modem config would be very handy. I guess that’s technically possible with FTTP but no such luck on FTTC or cable.

  11. Simon says:

    I just wish BT would publish a rollout plan, which areas they intend to equip first. Should be public information since technically their lines are on public land.

    1. Rahul says:

      Here’s the rollout plan in the City of London! https://www.ispreview.co.uk/wp-content/gallery/2018-article-illustrations/colc_fttp_openreach_map_plan.png

      You can see 8 exchanges on the map which should be completed by end of the year. However, I do not know if all 8 of these exchange areas will achieve 100% coverage. Maybe only some of the areas will contribute towards the first 3 million premises by the end of 2020 along with the other remaining 7 major cities.

      You can also check https://www.homeandbusiness.openreach.co.uk/fibre-broadband/when-can-i-get-fibre and enter in your postcode and address to see if your area is in their plans to be upgraded to FTTP. If you already have FTTC/G.Fast then most probably you won’t get FTTP for the foreseeable future. But if you’re on an Exchange Only Line with no FTTC then there is hope for FTTP.

    2. CarlT says:

      Where they are doing roadworks is public record. Their putting new fibre into their ducts they pay business rates to have under public land not so much.

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