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Openreach Confirm Next UK FTTC 40Mbps Broadband Price Drop

Thursday, December 20th, 2018 (4:59 pm) - Score 9,649

As expected Openreach (BT) has today confirmed that the wholesale price of their 40Mbps (10Mbps upload) Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) broadband tier will drop by -£8.08 (-11.6%) from 1st April 2019. Some smaller changes for unbundled (LLU MPF and SMPF) and Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) are also confirmed.

The changes stem from the on-going impact of Ofcom’s most recent Wholesale Local Access (WLA) market review and its related charge controls (here), which among other changes are in the process of dropping the 40Mbps FTTC tier to such a low price point that it will make it much more attractive to those still on slower ADSL2+ broadband lines.

The following cost changes are NOT directly reflective of the price that ordinary consumers like you or I will pay at retail. As usual internet providers still have to add various costs on top, such as 20% VAT, network services, features and a profit margin etc. Some ISPs have already planned ahead with their existing discounts, while others may choose not to pass on any savings to their end-users.

Summary of key annual rental price changes

Product Current price Price from 01/04/2019 Change
WLR basic line rental



£0.26 (0.3%)

SMPF rental



£0.22 (3.7%)

MPF Discounted Rental (SML1 in tariff)



-£0.10 (-0.1%)

GEA-FTTC up to 40Mb downstream, 10Mb upstream



-£8.08 (-11.6%)

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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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31 Responses
  1. AnotherTim says:

    This may make FTTC more attractive to those still on ADSL2+, but of course it does nothing to help those of us that don’t have the option of FTTC.

  2. Tim says:

    Stop dropping the price and invest in improving coverage and rollout of FTTP.

    1. Jake says:

      But it’s ofcom forcing them to drop the price

  3. Michael V says:

    Dropping the price is great. When BT had control of openreach, prices were only ever rising. But more focus on FTTC & FTTP is still needed.

    1. 125us says:

      I don’t think that’s true. Ofcom set the prices and they’ve been on a steady decline since introduction. ISP retail pricing is not the same as Openreach component prices.

  4. Marion Bradley says:

    By need to lay fibre cables in the balsall heath area can’t get fibre cos I live in a grove the broadband is so bad my house is a busy house hold for internet it’s not enough especially online gaming to

  5. Openreach says:

    Dropping the price on fttc will not help openreach on investment growth for the future of full fibre to the home. Reduced price are bad news.

    1. Simon says:

      christ Phil just use 1 username will ya!? The way you type gives it away EVERY time dude!

  6. Simon says:

    Sorry I have never heard a Plusnet customer say “Reduced price are bad news.” before.

    I just need to take that in.. 🙂

    1. Mike says:

      Because they are penny pinchers?

    2. Joe says:

      People like cheap doesn’t mean its good for them in the long term. We could cut the prices of all infrastructure and ppl would love it until it failed because of no investment or proper maintenance.

    3. Simon says:


      No I was referring to the comment above fro someone who IS a PN subbie – and claims to have many referrals from such a “not good price drop” company

      See the irony?

    4. CarlT says:

      I dunno, man, you were one earlier this year so Plusnet can’t be that bad. 🙂

  7. D Knight says:

    I’m 120m from fttc enabled exchange but been told by openreach it’s not cost effective to upgrade me. So I’m stuck using 4G for my internet as 15Mbit ADSL is too slow.

    1. Gadget says:

      It is the cabinet that delivers the FTTC, not the exchange, so I’d guess you are either on an EO line or a small cabinet, and neither of which can commercially justify spending the money.

  8. Rahul says:

    I can sense that this is actually a marketing strategy from Openreach!

    In essence what their intention is, is to try and stop people from trying to switch to an FTTH/P package from altnet providers. That is their intention to stop the expansion of pure Fibre base providers by convincing people that an “FTTC package is better value for money, no need to look elsewhere.”

    While at the same time Openreach will try to gain momentum and expand their Fibre First project. That is what I am thinking, but I may be wrong, Openreach might not be that clever.

    Naturally it would make sense that Openreach will absolutely not want to see other altnet providers expanding their FTTH/P service. They will want to gradually lay their pure Fibre services across the UK while keeping their customers subscribed to their cheap FTTC packages so that way they can try and prevent altnet providers from investing in their rollout should they not have sufficient subscribers. In the short term this strategy might work, but in the long term this trick will not work.

    When Altnet providers further expand their territory over time, Openreach will lose ground, that’s for sure as eventually the customers will realise which is the better service. FTTC will be dead in 15-20 years time, provided that FTTP coverage expands above 60%. The only way you can kill FTTC as a service and its Openreach monopoly is to have greater expansion of FTTP. Once that happens no one will subscribe to an FTTC package no matter how cheap it is.

    1. Ribble says:

      As previously mentioned, the price cuts to the 40/10 service were Ofcoms decisions to ” help BTs rivals compete for customers, while several build out their own full fibre networks”

    2. Fastman says:


      openreach deals with all providers (currently about 600) of which only about 1/3 of those offer Fibre the rest offer only copper

      you really have no idea now the broadband market works or how openreach actually operates

      as an aside when you funding your MDU , that your preferred vendor wont come to

    3. Rahul says:

      @Fastman: What is unbelievable? Ofcourse I know Openreach deals with all providers under their ADSL/FTTC network. That is the problem! It is their monopoly. That is only because most people currently have no better alternative outside the Openreach network!

      I read new articles regularly with great interest. We only have FTTP at roughly 5%-6% currently. It’s a small 2% jump from 8 months ago, but it is progress nonetheless.

      I’m saying when FTTP becomes widely available people are going to dump FTTC regardless of the price package on offer. FTTC will be obsolete. In most countries FTTC is not allowed to be classified as Superfast Fibre. In most European countries Fibre is either pure Fibre or no Fibre at all.

      It doesn’t surprise me that Ofcom has made changes to those prices. Do you think it’s fair that many packages up to 17Mbps cost more than FTTP packages at 40-200Mbps? Even after price drop 40Mbps FTTC is still more expensive than most 100-200Mbps FTTP that altnet providers offer. Openreach want to exploit maximum profits under this FTTC so-called Superfast broadband. Actually that is quite unbelievable if you think about it!

    4. TheFacts says:

      Most people, no.

    5. 125us says:

      @Rahul – Virgin now reach most homes and the mobile operators nearly all. There’s plenty of choice. If your argument is that Openreach is cheaper than the mobile operators, it’s not Openreach you have an issue with.

    6. CarlT says:

      I can sense that these walls of texts will be born from complaints over a personal lack of service than any kind of factual background.

    7. Joe says:

      ” Do you think it’s fair that many packages up to 17Mbps cost more than FTTP packages at 40-200Mbps? Even after price drop 40Mbps FTTC is still more expensive than most 100-200Mbps FTTP that altnet providers offer. ”

      Yes, the altnets are generally in commercial areas much of the adsl remaining is non commercial and the costs to OR outweigh it being worthwhile except that they are required to do it .

    8. Fastman says:


      Crazy I never mentioned fttc I said fibre

      The one thing you continue to ignore which is this the fundamental issue is not how much fttp is done because openreach could have covered the whole of the UK but if you live in an mdu (multi dwling unit) or a block of flats unless openreach or a provider had wayleaves or permission to fully fibre the building that building will remain uncovered.

      Your issue which you have widely broadcast on both isp review and think broadband is not about openreach it’s about your preferred provider (hyperoptic) don’t have permission from your building owners and therefore you blame openreach. Quite why I’m lost for words

    9. Rahul says:

      @Fastman: That’s correct. Of-course until the provider doesn’t get the wayleave permission the building will remain uncovered. But also living in a multi dwelling unit or a block of flats would mean there’s a greater probability for me to get FTTP eventually because it will be cheaper for Openreach, Hyperoptic, etc to install their service to a building with over 60+ units. They have no problem with that, should they be handed the permission.

      While on the other hand installing FTTP in individual houses in rural areas is indeed more expensive even if it is easier to get the permission for it. This also explains why Gigaclear 1Gbps is priced at £75 a month vs £50 for Hyperoptic and CommunityFibre since it is less economical for them to connect to houses.

      Now naturally I am frustrated that my building owners haven’t yet given wayleave consent, I mean who wouldn’t? My preferred provider was going to be Hyperoptic because as a Hyperoptic Champion should an agreement happen I will get 1Gbps free for a year and B) their packages are much cheaper than Openreach FTTP. I’ve given effort to inform all my neighbours to register their interest only for the agreement to not happen yet.

      My blame for Openreach is that if they hadn’t started in the first place with FTTC many years ago many of us on Exchange Only Lines wouldn’t be in this position that we are right now. Traditionally if they started their Fibre First project 10 years ago like in many other European countries, the wayleave issues will have been eased and by now our FTTP UK coverage would have been much higher. We would’ve even had FTTP overbuilds without issues as managements will have realised that granting wayleave would not have been a big deal.

      FTTC is an obstacle because many building owners think they already have Fibre and thus don’t bother to sign wayleave agreements for FTTP. While at the same time I am now having to wait for Openreach to install a new DSLAM cabinet for FTTC which initially was supposed to connect to my postcode address as shown in the Fibre Journey Checker. But later being told that it won’t cover my area and reverted back to In Scope. That is my frustration and the other folk in think broadband forum also expressed the same frustration.

    10. Fastman says:

      so you unhappy about something that going to be provided by Openreach out of their own commercial business case (ano not funded by you) who then chose to spend their money elsewhere or else found it too challenging to potentially site street furniture which made the FTTC untenable and the FTTP too difficult / un commercial

      Plans change all the time as deploying this stuff either FTTC or FTTP is not easy in any shape or form

    11. Rahul says:

      Of-course if there was FTTC but no Altnet FTTP then I will spend money for an FTTC package as there would be no better alternative yet. But side-by-side if we are to have both FTTC and FTTP from Altnet then the best logical choice barring any significant price difference, FTTP will always be generally the better choice. Plenty of buildings have both FTTC and FTTP from Altnet. Even Southwark area has FTTC and both FTTP from Community Fibre and Hyperoptic overbuild, can you believe it! From a commercial point of view at this stage that doesn’t make sense, does it?

      Speaking of funding, we have funded Openreach (indirectly) due to high price packages over the years. It was only about 1 year ago where I was paying Sky £33.75 per month for up to 17 Mbps. Surely this is a rip-off profit for both Sky and Openreach. They have milked enough cash over the years with their outdated copper service. Following a phone call they quickly dropped the price to £21.50 telling me that I have been a loyal customer for 15 years and they don’t want to lose me!

      Regarding commercial viability. The Fibre checker shows plan for superfast for over 10 years now, it was in the Connect stage saying it will be available within 4 months only for it to revert back to In Scope. That is where I am expressing unhappiness. Not to mention “Your area is currently in our plans to be upgraded with Fibre to the Premises” and then again plan changed to In Scope.

      If FTTC is untenable then the Fibre Checker should show Exploring Solutions instead of In Scope. But then again a few blocks of flats just next to my building has FTTC already connected to Bishopsgate Exchange and it was previously EO Line. Openreach upgraded them to a new cabinet a couple of years ago, but that cabinet does not connect to mine.

      Plans are undoubtedly not easy, but if the government want to achieve their 2033 100% FTTP aspiration progress needs to ramp up at a rapid pace. Over the last 1 year FTTP coverage has jumped from 3% to 6%. At this rate (3×10=30) in 10 years time the UK will only have achieved 30% FTTP coverage. My only speculation is that Openreach are confused and don’t know whether to upgrade most of our area with FTTC or FTTP hence why there is a such a delay in their decision making.

    12. Fastman says:


      et. But side-by-side if we are to have both FTTC and FTTP from Altnet then the best logical choice barring any significant price difference, FTTP will always be generally the better choice. Plenty of buildings have both FTTC and FTTP from Altnet. Even Southwark area has FTTC and both FTTP from Community Fibre and Hyperoptic overbuild, can you believe it! From a commercial point of view at this stage that doesn’t make sense, does it?

      this is nothing to do with openreach community fibre as an operator and community fibre partnership programme by openreach are not the same. so the FTTC you mention is nothing to do with openreach.

      as for subsidising openreach — hiliarious !!!!

      £10.00 per month on average per subscriber (line Rental) doesn’t build you a network in any shape or form.

      I wonder what email you write about hyperoptic but I actually assume you don’t

    13. Rahul says:

      @Fastman: You did not read correctly what I said. This is not Community Fibre Scheme from Openreach that I was talking about. It was the altnet provider Community Fibre.


      Your argument was about commercial viability. Which I am pointing that social housing Council of Southwark has secured deals with Community Fibre and Hyperoptic (2 separate FTTP network providers) that have overbuild installations in the exact same postcodes.

      If you actually do a random research on postcodes from any Southwark housing properties you’ll see both Hyperoptic and Community Fibre ISP’s already having their Fibre services available to order or have installation agreements.

      This debunks the theory that Fibre is not commercially viable in my area, when the rest of the City and Central London is no less commercially viable than Southwark area. It is simply that Southwark Council has overcome the wayleave barriers to sign those agreements.

      You also mention that I was going to spend money on another provider such as Hyperoptic so why should Openreach install their FTTC cabinet where I would choose not to contribute any funding from my own pocket? Well then again I could also argue what did the others contribute either to have their entitlement? As I have mentioned that there are areas that have them all supported regardless of any funding’s that were made from any residents. Openreach has over 5 billion pounds in profits as of 2014. They have more than enough to build an FTTP infrastructure from their existing source, but they choose to squeeze out maximum profits from the existing FTTC network instead, this naturally slows down the FTTP coverage. But you seem to deliberately ignore that and continue with your quarrelling.

    14. Fastman says:


      fttp is X more expensive to deploy and X more expensive to operate and sell

      those altnets have a captive market they get all the revenue so a community fibre (operator) do a 1000 homes they can guarantee they will be a sole provider and guarantee a return on their income. that changes the commercial . Openreach does not operate that way and never has and never will (incorrect figures and assumptions) . Actually openreach is a 5bn business not profit (anther error) , any additional profit over and above what openreach is allowed to make is returned to the market in charge controls reductions by Ofcom (that’s on record). an FTTP national network is about 25bn give or take and even if was available and built you would still be excluded due to your building and its wayleave issue, —

      Openreach is now actually deploying very little now FTTC now but lets not cloud the fact, your not covered in your building. even if FTTP had been blanket coverage in every address in London you would still not be covered as it would finish at the DP at the entrance to your door at the block of flats

  9. Bib says:

    So this is around 81p per month drop. That will not make me even think about switching from ADSL2 to FTTC, even if the ISPs pass on the full saving.

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