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Openreach Improve UK FTTP Ultrafast Broadband Provision Process

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018 (7:07 am) - Score 6,570
outdoor fttp openreach install

Openreach (BT) appears to be making some improvements to their provision process for new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “ultrafast broadband” lines, which according to the ISPs we’ve spoken with should result in consumers receiving a more reliable activation date for their service.

The public briefing note for this change is about as vague as you can get and doesn’t tell us anything about what it actually means. Nevertheless we understand that the big advantage of this new process is that the date Openreach initially commit to completing the installation on (i.e. the planned activation date) is now far less likely to change.

Under the new process Openreach should have already carried out the necessary pre-work before advising of a final activation date, which in turn could result in fewer delayed activations and thus happier end-users (customers are rarely pleased when they have to rearrange days off work or change their schedules again). This in turn means fewer complaints for an ISP to tackle.

Overall ISPs are hoping for a much improved customer experience and one where expectations are better managed. Openreach are currently working to deploy their Gigabit capable FTTP network to cover 3 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2020 and it’s widely expected that this will then continue to reach 10 million premises by around 2025.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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20 Responses
  1. chris conder

    Great news. The only reason it happens is because of competition. If they don’t shape up OR’ll be shipped out. Good luck to all the engineers. Salt of the Earth.

    • Joe

      Probably more to do with maturing from a limited to a wider rollout process. It was inevitable.

    • CarlT

      Screw-ups cost Openreach time, money and goodwill. In terms of ultrafast they are the challenger to Virgin Media and they have no competition unless you are aware of a large wholesaler of FTTP that I’m not?

  2. Fastman

    what a riduculous statement as ever
    FTTP at Scale is not easy or simple

  3. Meadmodj

    It is simply economics. Fibre costs have reduced significantly enough to tip the balance within a pay back period required by the board/investors/shareholders. Previous OR investment in FTTP at the higher costs was held back by uncertainties caused by Ofcom and Openreach still have the best engineering practices.
    My view is it will be better now for OR to have a lower percentage of the overall broadband provision as we will be able to benchmark comparative FTTP products and the related ISP products available via them. Smaller companies will always be more versatile to specific situations but we expect utilities to be resilient and reliable.
    As they say, time will tell.

    • CarlT

      I’m not sure what any of that has to do with the story in question, Openreach refining management and install practices?

      Costs as a whole haven’t dropped significantly. They’re about the same as they have been for a while.

      As far as the best engineering practices go – very debatable. The cost reductions have actually come from Openreach adopting better practices as used by others. Their methods were extremely belaboured to the point of being absurd previously – they were splicing everything while others have been using connectorised, as now adopted by Openreach, since the 2000s. Their ‘trial’ of reduced cost deployment, IE using their existing duct infrastructure en masse, was in Swindon in 2017 if I recall.

      Like most big companies it takes an awfully long time for Openreach to change what they are actually doing in operation.

    • Gregory

      I was told by bduk that my fttp would be here by the end of March 2018 and yes you guested it still not here yet the last message was the connections would start from the 18th july but i have just been informed by Openreach that barring sorting out a wayleave i will be connected by march 2019, I won’t hold my breath, I cannot understand why the Openreach when can i get fibre website has told me for over a year we are getting fttp yippey but when, it appears Openreach want to do the easy stuff first to achieve connection targets where as rural communities I left to wait and wait and wait on a 1mb broadband connection.

    • Fastman

      Gregory

      wayleave can stall/ hold up / permanently stop any delivery (not just openreach suffer from wayleaves

      re BDUk , Openreach have a contract to deliver a certain number of premises for a certain amount per milestone (if one specific area gets tricky you then just deliver another structure something else earlier as Long as you hit the milestone that all that matters.

  4. un4h731x0rp3r0m

    Is there an activation/install charge for FTTP?

    If so and people are not getting their service installed or activated on the dates mentioned they may be interested in an Ofcom automatic compensation scheme which this site has mentioned in the past. I would highly suggest any ISPs reading and customers reading which have had failed activation/install appointments look into that.

    Customers to seek compensation from their ISP and the ISPs to ensure they are being automatically compensated for every failed Openreach appointment to their customers.

  5. FullFibre

    BT, please, pull your finger out.. the yanks are taking over.. do you want that?

    • Fastman

      what on earth are you on about

      anyone can put up some cash — building an FTTP network to Scale is a bit more complicated that that

  6. Tim

    BT Openreach are still ignoring properties which can only get ADSL yet have fibre passing in the road. I really don’t understand their logic. There are loads of locations that could easily be connected to FTTH yet BT Openreach wait for BDUK funding.

    Oh wait I get it. All BT Openreach do is wait for government funding. Perhaps the government should stop funding and let other more proactive companies get on with their deployments.

    • Gadget

      Tim, just because some fibre passes close by there is still a lot of work and expense to bring FTTH to premises especially if there is no joint nearby.
      Equally if the properties are currently getting a decent speed from VDSL would the money not be better spent for all concerned to try to add additional properties from those with the slowest speeds?

    • Fastman

      tim

      there fibre passing, that might or might not be correct what sort of fibre is it, whos fibre is it, is it a local fibre or main core trunk fibre , you might live next to a motorway but no one is going to build you your own personal slip road onto to the motorway

    • Tim

      Openreach fibre feeding 3 more cabinets further away from the exchange. T-Node with 12 spare fibres is less than 500 meters away.

      So yes it would be easy to do FTTH here but BT keep ignoring us and quoted “£176,572 to connect 115 Premises”.

    • Meadmodj

      You cannot single out a particular company for the lack of FTTP, namely Openreach. The UK Government chose a competitive market model and no subsequent government have chose to change that, so there is no given right to broadband nor a specific underlying technology. Others have highlighted on these pages the reasons why we haven’t got 100% Fibre but at least things are now moving forward. BT is currently constrained by its current debt level but Openreach will be a significant investor in FTTP. Each of us will just have to await until a provider investment plan or a government initiative (BDUK) covers our area with FTTP. The alternative is to pay the going one off cost of provision to one of the many suppliers.

    • Fastman

      Tim

      There are fundamental differences on how an FTTC network or an FTTP network is constructed . FTTC requires some blown fibre tubing so you can sometimes extend fibre out from one cab to another (depending on what is available locally. FTTP means you have to find a part back the nearest aggregation node and then back to the exchange . a 12 fibre wont get you anything on either. that like trying to put an articulated lorry down a bridlepath

  7. A_Builder

    Any improvement in OR process is welcome.

    Currently it is a nightmare to get anything sorted when it goes a bit wrong. Or something non standard is delivered.

    As @CarlT says many of the improvements made to OR’s physical delivery are just from looking at how other people are doing it better. Imitation being the sincerest form of flattery etc. Learning is good +1 to OR for taking it on board.

    Whilst it is not relevant to this story I thought I would share a little recent experience of BT’s interaction with OR. Recently I had a very nice Scottish lady from BT call me in disbelief at the evolving mess that was in front of her. Fortunately we had a good laugh but neither she nor I could believe the mess that had been made of everything from billing (the wrong company) the wrong service type, attached to the wrong line and the wrong range of fixed IP addresses. Other than that everything was fine. Fortunately that location has very good 4G…… Nothing on the original order confirmation had been executed properly – literally nothing – that took weeks to resolve for one of our long suffering admins.

    I’d conclude from that the somewhere in the background stuff is being manually keyed from the BT system to the OR system hence the “Indian” interface being used…….that feels a bit of a 90’s solutions…..

  8. Fastman

    openreach deals with each providers via something called the equivalence management platford, so depends what was keyed in by the asking service provider (irrelevant of who that was)

  9. A_Builder

    @Fastman

    I had always understood that to be the case too.

    No matter it got sorted and I felt our admin who bore the brunt of resolving it deserved a small thank you for all the pain.

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