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Rival UK ISPs Raise Alarm Over Full Fibre Competition and Openreach

Sunday, December 30th, 2018 (9:40 am) - Score 9,732
chancellor uk fttp openreach

A number of broadband ISPs including TalkTalk, Hyperoptic, Cityfibre and Gigaclear, as well as the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA), have written to the UK Government and Ofcom in the hope of encouraging tougher measures to prevent Openreach (BT) from hampering “full fibre” (FTTP) competition.

The government has already made clear that they want 15 million premises to have access to Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband by 2025 and then nationwide to all by 2033 (here), although the latter date would require a huge public investment (i.e. not commercially viable in rural areas without it) and is currently just a largely unfunded aspiration.

For its part Openreach have already committed to roll-out FTTP to 3 million premises by the end of 2020 (March 2021 financial) and they’re in the process of negotiating to ensure a favourable regulatory environment, which could enable them to extend this deployment to 10 million premises by around 2025. At present nearly all of this work reflects a purely commercial investment.

However Openreach are not the only game in town. Over the past couple of years a growing number of alternative network (AltNet) ISPs have committed to do major roll-outs (see our ‘Summary of Full Fibre Broadband Plans‘). For example, Cityfibre have committed £2.5bn to deliver 5 million FTTH premises alongside Vodafone (here), while Hyperoptic plan 2 million by 2021 or possibly 5 million by 2024 (here) and Virgin Media are hoping to add 2 million.

Nearly all of this battle is taking place in commercially competitive urban areas, but some ISPs still fear that Openreach could use their weight in an anti-competitive way. For example, Cityfibre was less than pleased when, after announcing their intention to cover the city of Coventry, Openreach came out and did the same (here and here).

Balancing the threat from such overbuild is difficult precisely because, at this stage, we’re mostly talking about urban markets that have always been aggressively commercially competitive areas. Openreach and Virgin Media have both overbuilt each other and will continue to do so. Naturally the more players that venture into this market, the tougher it becomes to gain a return on such significant investments.

Calls for Monitoring Openreach

Over the past couple of years we’ve already seen Openreach become a “legally separate” company from BT, with its own largely independent board. Nevertheless rival ISPs remain concerned that BT could try to frustrate competition in the new “full fibre” market and they’ve once again called on the Government to take a tougher line.

In particular The Sunday Times (paywall) reports that the ISPs want to see a new “early warning system” introduced to ensure a level playing field. This would be intended to tackle anti-competitive behaviour, although as usual the devil will be in the detail. Sadly the article doesn’t explain what key performance indicators such a system would use or how it might respond when triggered.

The letter alleges that Openreach still has the motive to “completely undermine” competition and that they seek to both protect their legacy products and establish themselves as the “monopoly full-fibre provider.” This seems unlikely to happen, albeit only while the market remains as competitive as it is today.

The Response

In response the Government’s culture secretary, Jeremy Wright MP, merely said that they’re continuing to monitor how negotiations are going. Meanwhile Ofcom added that they “remain vigilant” of situations where Openreach could use a “first-mover advantage” and “specific predatory actions” to undermine rival altnets.

Finally, Openreach noted how they are already a highly regulated business and will work closely with Ofcom and the Government in order to fulfil their commitments regarding transparency. We should add that the Government have so far shown little interest in preventing commercial overbuild by rivals, particularly in urban areas where aggressive competition is a fact of life (i.e. they opted not to act in the Future Telecoms Review).

Nevertheless we shouldn’t forget that Openreach’s current FTTP products tend to be significantly more expensive and slower than the ones now being built by rivals (i.e. when compared at the same price points). Indeed there is no guarantee that Openreach will remain the main provider for such services into the future either.

At present nobody has a true dominance in FTTP and it would be a mistake to assume that Openreach are the only ones to seek such a position going forward. The UK market is going through a rapid pace of change.

NOTE: Pictured Top – Chancellor Philip Hammond and an Openreach FTTP engineer.

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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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194 Responses
  1. Avatar Star Man

    Isn’t this a classic case of the alt nets wanting their cake and eating it?

    For years, these same companies have been calling on Openreach to do more, and now they are they want them to build in areas where they aren’t. That’s not how competition works i’m afraid.

    Lots of alt nets talking about full fibre, but not many building, and certainly not at scale!

    • Avatar joseph

      “For years, these same companies have been calling on Openreach to do more”

      And for years they did not.

    • Avatar alex

      I think you’ll find they were helping to roll out superfast to 95% of the country.

      Alt nets have had years to build their own networks and bring fibre to millions, but instead decided to keep on hitting the big guys with a stick.

      About time everyone built as much as they talked about and stopped playing out arguments in the press.

    • Avatar joseph

      “I think you’ll find they were helping to roll out superfast to 95% of the country.”

      Since when was that “full fibre”?

    • Avatar bob

      Maybe hes talking about the superfast rollout a mish mash of FTTC and FTTP where BT initially aimed to bring FTTP to 2 Million, but as you correctly say all these years (almost an entire decade) did not.

      I wonder how their current 3 Million aim is going considering they are not reaching monthly targets needed for that either. Hohum.

    • Avatar joseph

      “I wonder how their current 3 Million aim is going considering they are not reaching monthly targets needed for that either. Hohum.”

      Yep based on TBB info this year they seem to be more and more behind. I do not think they have hit the earlier required targets of 100,000 per month mentioned briefly here…
      thinkbroadband.com/news/7937-3-million-openreach-full-fibre-premises-planned-by-2020

      and about 3 months ago it seems they still were not reaching the required 89,000+ per month…
      thinkbroadband.com/news/8187-1-4-million-premises-now-with-ultrafast-broadband-option-via-openreach

      Unfortunatly unless they get a shift on and now deliver way in excess of original needed per month premises the 3 million by end of 2020 looks highly unlikely AGAIN!

    • Avatar Rahul

      That’s exactly why I am skeptical of OR achieving their Fibre First 3 million target.

      The fact of the matter is OR haven’t even upgraded areas such as my own Bishopsgate EO Line last decade with FTTC even when it said for the last 10 years that I am In Scope – Plan for Superfast but “haven’t started work yet.”

      If OR can’t get FTTC last 10 years in areas where they promised, how are they going to achieve 3 million FTTP by end of 2020?

      Roaming around the City of London in areas such as Monument, Moorgate, Bishopsgate, Clerkenwell, etc last several months I have yet to see any Openreach works laying Fibre cables yet!

      I’m starting to think Fibre First is a hoax to relief the pressure from the criticisms received from Government & Ofcom! But surely that’s not very wise because if they don’t achieve their targets they will be under greater criticism+humiliation than ever before.

    • Avatar Andrew

      I feel for you Rahul and your EO line. I’m interested to know how many other operators are providing fibre in your area and what they’re doing RE coverage.

    • Avatar Fastman

      Rahul

      you have 2 issues I your an EO line , secondly your building wont play ball , as per my email the other day . Openreach could have FTTP the whole of London but if your building wont agree the wayleave nothing will happen. how much FTTP Openreach deliver is almost irrelevant in your case and whether you think its capable of delivering that amount is immaterial as you clearly have no interest n helping either yourself or your community to gain a resolution .

    • Avatar gerarda

      Alex

      Openreach rolled out FTTC to about 65% of the country. The remaining 30% was done with a public subsidy following a tender which was designed so that only they were the only bidders.

      Did you really expect other companies to build in tohse areas knowing they were gonig to come up against subsidised competition?

    • Avatar bob

      “you clearly have no interest n helping either yourself or your community to gain a resolution .”

      LOL can Openreach not sort matters out like his on their own?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Bob – ‘can Openreach not sort matters out like his on their own?’

      Other suppliers could do this, eg. Hyperoptic.

    • Avatar joseph

      Fastman is blaming the building, does it or its owner like Hyperoptic better than Openreach?

    • Avatar Icaras

      @Rahul

      Look at roadworks.org for Wallasey (Wirral), Fibre First is no hoax and there’s a huge amount of work going on there right now to enable FTTP in an area with virtually 100% FTTC coverage and 60% VM coverage.

    • Avatar Rahul

      @Andrew: Yes, it is frustrating to be on an EO Line especially since I’ve had a few occasions over the months where the Fibre Journey checker went to Connect Stage and even on one occasion on a plan for FTTP. I was excited initially thinking “finally”! But checker reverted back to In Scope and it has been that way for 10 years now. I’ve never seen the Checker show Exploring Solutions. I was thinking that if OR had no plans at all for my area then my Journey Checker should not stay at In Scope.

      I live in Aldgate area situated between Commercial Street and Leman Street. The most dominant provider is Hyperoptic with a couple of new builds like Wiverton Tower Aldate that has both overbuild FTTP from BT Openreach and Hyperoptic.

      From counting the spots in my area, there are approximately 30 buildings around less than 5-10 minutes walk off each other all have Hyperoptic either Accepting orders or agreements granted!

      The problem is that those buildings are under different management companies who easily granted wayleave permissions. I even used these references to try and convince my authority to make an agreement. But they ignore those examples to these buildings around me.

      The authority does not want FTTP at this stage because of the roadworks digging and they don’t want internal building drilling works. They are looking at FTTC as the solution. But I told them that being on an EO Line there’s little hope on that happening either. I told the manager “when will the agreement happen, after 10-15 years?” He laughed and said “no, it will be sooner than that but at the moment other matters need to be addressed like Fire Safety and new cladding replacement” which will happen in the new years at the end of January.
      Once that happens, I am hoping for some progress. Eventually I think an agreement will happen, but it is going to be a long frustrating wait. Wayleaves and red tapes are something the government needs to address to make Fibre coverage expand smoothly. It has to become a legality just like with Aerial TV if it goes down the management is legally obliged to fix the signal.

  2. Avatar Larry Platt

    I have had fttp for 4 years nightmare with Bt moved to Cerberus a year ago but am very limited who I can have

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Your choice may be limited, but not as limited as most of us – areas served by Altnets tend to have a choice of one provider. Those of us left out of superfast deployment have a choice of ADSL2+ or 3G/4G if we’re lucky enough to have a decent signal.

  3. Avatar Gary

    I know this is complicated but, the Alts want to curb anti-competition by being allowed to cherry pick the areas they wish to cover and AND have a monopoly in those areas by preventing overbuild by Openreach, /cough

    As much as I loath the practice of overbuild and choice for some and No build and zero option, let alone choice for others If its competition they want then competition it is, If you handicap one competitor then its not competition anymore.

    • Avatar Joe

      the alt nets want to ensure the OR can’t use its effective monopoly to squash rivals by undercutting

    • Avatar CarlT

      Sounds more like they want the market to themselves for a time, having not built FTTP earlier for the exact same reasons Openreach didn’t.

      Tough.

      Either let’s have an NBN or let the infrastructure competition run. Both approaches have merit. Preventing the incumbent from investing having regulated and badgered them into doing so is absurd.

    • Avatar bob

      “I know this is complicated but, the Alts want to curb anti-competition by being allowed to cherry pick the areas they wish to cover and AND have a monopoly in those areas by preventing overbuild by Openreach”

      Errrmmm Not sure i follow that logic.

      If you have 2 companies….
      One company is tiny
      One company is large

      The tiny company builds first and then the big company comes along and overbuilds how is it the first tiny company cherry picking.

      Surely if the location was that valuable the big company would have the sense to rollout there well before the small fish could even afford to or even think about it?

      Are you saying the big company is stupid and dunno where the most profitable locations are?

      Or are you saying the big company is smart enough to wait for the small fish to roll out somewhere to see if their is profit to be made at that location and so then they rollout at that location also?

      ^^^ Either example i personally would not say is a good thing.

    • Avatar Joe

      @Bob in other industries the monopoly has built in areas simple to make the area unviable to the smaller rival (after they have spent the money) simply to try to force them out of biz.

    • Avatar bob

      So its answer B) “Or are you saying the big company is smart enough to wait for the small fish to roll out somewhere to see if their is profit to be made at that location and so then they rollout at that location also?”

      Sounds predatory to me and is pretty much the small players complaint.

    • Avatar Fastman

      Bob

      The tiny company builds first and then the big company comes along and overbuilds how is it the first tiny company cherry picking.

      not sure where you are referring to in this, But I assume its not B4RN who chose not to complete the Open market Review confirming any build plans and therefore council was left with no alternative response than to include those area in the Lancashire contract, having not done so would have left those villages uncovered as a solution

      The fact the B4Rn chose to build regardless of not completing the OMR has created the “overbuild” scenario that forgets the facts and focuses on the “Hype” of Overbuild

      if it something else please advise and provide evidence

    • Avatar bob

      “not sure where you are referring to in this, But I assume its not B4RN who chose not to complete the Open market Review”

      You would be sure of an example that is not B4RN if you had even bothered to read the news item. Then again i expect nothing more than denial from BT.

  4. Avatar CarlT

    Oh for heaven’s sake.

  5. Avatar Jack england

    Altnets should give their networks over to Openrewch it’ll happen eventually anyway. I’ve seen these networks going in you are forced to use the altnets own package you can’t have bt, sky or virgin down it like you can with openreach

    • Avatar bob

      “or virgin down it like you can with openreach”

      Openreach now in the Docsis market with their main rival eh? Who would had thought. {giggle}

    • Avatar Spurple

      @bob, no its the other way round. Virgin Media used to be in the xDSL business using OpenReach infrastructure.

    • Avatar joseph

      Virgin have not done ADSL for years. So as pointed out his statement about being able to have Virgin via Openreach is wrong. But you knew that already so not sure what your point was.

    • Avatar bob

      He had no point from the start.

  6. Avatar Tim

    Simple solution. Build where BT won’t, altnets should build their networks in small towns, villages and rural communities. If they are like B4RN and provide a gig for the price of 40Mbps from BT then they will get the customers.

    • Avatar bob

      Or a better solution let them build where they please and have them wholesale to BT, much like Openreach areas do to BT Retail and everyone else. Im sure the BT Group would be happy to have an equal business model.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      So why are they not building everywhere?

    • Avatar joseph

      “So why are they not building everywhere?”

      Are you refering to Openreach or Altnets… Because neither seem to build “EVERYWHERE”

    • Avatar Joe

      Nope that financial suicide

    • Avatar bob

      I never said either AltNets or Openreach should build everywhere, so not sure where that comes into it.

      If you want true like for like competition then an area should be first gets to an area gets to build it, others that then want to offer access via whats built, purchase it via wholesale agreements. Thats how Openreach operate is it not?

      So the only question remains then is why does the BT group not buy access via wholesale agreements (which some of the altnets mentioned in this story do have available before the BT observers say they do not) rather then try to bully them by having their Openreach division rock up and start overbuilding?

      Is it because they like being able to charge others for wholesale agreements but do not want to be tied to them there self? Or something else?

    • Avatar Chris

      @Bob
      The reason they won’t wholesale with many tiny providers is that it’s too difficult to provide a consistent national product with common service levels where the last mile connection will have variable non consistsnt access agreements and service levels. As an example, the isp is now liable for charges when things aren’t fixed properly, it’s easier to deal with 1 national set of agreements but with the altnets they will need to combine several agreements (national and local) which will incur additional complexity and cost making it harder to support the product.

      No one seems to have asked why Virgin don’t wholesale their network, they’re a more obvious case for wholesaling but haven’t done so since not tied up with aol in 2003.

    • Avatar bob

      “The reason they won’t wholesale with many tiny providers is that it’s too difficult to provide a consistent national product with common service levels”

      Nonsense, and even if it was not why then do they not provide wholesale services from others which are just as big.

      Why has BT not in years gone by in areas that Openreach could not provide ADSL2 wholesaled an ADSL2 product from those that can?

      My exchange had ADSL2+ available from the likes of Easynet back in the day, and later on from the likes of Talk Talk well before BT installed ADSL2 (5+ years for Easynet and around 3+ years for Talk Talk). Why did BT never offer ADSL2 from Easynet or Talk Talk who were both more than capable of suppling residential and business users with a range of service levels?

      BT like to control and dominate the market, wholesaling products to others but they do not seem to want to buy from others and would sooner overbuild or compete directly. Nothing wrong with that but you can not act one way and want others to act another.

    • Avatar joseph

      That is actual good point i have never thought of. Why in exchanges BT had problems or just had not upgraded to ADSL2+ did they never buy wholesale from someone that already had a ADSL2+ presence at the exchange and offered wholesale solutions?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Joseph – why would Talktalk or Sky want to wholesale to BT knowing they would be installing their own equipment in the future? Plus the cost of setting up the connectivity and support.

    • Avatar joseph

      How would they know BT would install their own equipment in the future? Also that does not explain why BT for many years at many exchanges did not offer ADSL2 via another supplier that already had a ADSL2+ presence at the exchange.

      Infact to solve this argument do BT sell from anyone other than Openreach? Many other ISPs sell both BT products as well as Talk Talk and other providers so do not understand why BT Retail can not.

    • Avatar 125us

      @Joseph
      Most of those smaller operators don’t wholesale at all. They’re not under any regulatory requirement to do so and it’s a fairly complicated thing to enable in terms of NNI and OSS work (network interconnect and billing and repair processes). If an operator hasn’t built their operation to be wholesaled from day one it’s almost impossible. I’m not seeing what their motivation to wholesale is – it would make things easier for their competition and turn first mover advantage into a disadvantange – why go to the expense of building out a network when you can just wait for others and lease their one?

      The requirement to wholesale was why almost all of the BDUK bidders dropped out. The cost of creating a wholesale option ruined their business cases.

    • Avatar joseph

      “Most of those smaller operators don’t wholesale at all.”

      Talk Talk have wholesaled for years so in the case of ADSL2+ and prior exchanges not having BT upgrades BT could have bought from them.

      2 out of the 3 mentioned smaller FTTP providers mentioned in the news item also do wholesale. SO nope that does not make sense or answer things.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – BT Retail could have bought from TalkTalk but chose not to, as mentioned elsewhere here the interconnect and support set up is not trivial and in this case would not be a long term solution. How many connections would benefit now?

      In the same way as Talktalk moved their customers from BT ADSL to LLU as soon as they could.

    • Avatar joseph

      “In the same way as Talktalk moved their customers from BT ADSL to LLU as soon as they could.”

      Exactly and BT could have done the same thing, offered ADSL2+ from Talk Talk and then move customers to their own product as soon as possible but didn’t. Some exchanges had LLU ADSL2+ solutions 5+ years before BT offered it.

      The fact BT choose not to offer the end user better solutions/products when it could to speaks volumes.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – Maybe TalkTalk would not wholesale to BT Retail and not permit onwards wholesale to the BT Wholesale customers.

      Do you have numbers of lines that would have benefited and for how long?

  7. Avatar Jonny

    I’m not really sure why TalkTalk are getting involved in this, having taken previous opportunities to call out Openreach for not building enough fibre.

  8. Avatar A_Builder

    OK, lets be 100% fair and admit that BT/OR have form in spoiler overbuilds and have had for ages.

    OR are overbuilding either
    a) to protect a market position
    b) to ‘prove’ that some areas of FTTP are not viable
    c) to test viability of overbuild and see what the reaction to it is

    Option (b) is not as stupid as it sounds as there will be internal politics in OR and some people will want some sub projects to fail on a told-you-so basis. Although this may be part of another wider begging bowl strategy. In my experience you do get some pretty bizarre behaviours at the top of large companies.

    I’m not so sure that the take-up of OR FTTP would be that amazing given both the premium price and the limited upload speeds.

    On the other hand unless you can persuade Santa to put a lot of fibre in his sleigh for next year, we have missed this year, someone will have to pay for all this nice network. That would give a whole new angle on a cloudy network.

  9. Avatar Rob

    Will OR allow third parties to use FTTP infrastructure?
    Altnets could go in with a daft bid knowing OR would undercut and save a packet on civil works, and then stick a NE in OR exchange.

    • Avatar Or

      anyone can use or infrastructure. The reason they don’t is because why would they pay for something that is not theirs yet they turn when or won’t upgrade as or will try not to make a loss and only will make a profit like any business to succeed and not fail.
      It is about time ofcom came down on those who abuse or and bt.

  10. Avatar Brian

    If you look at a poorly served area with only BT ADSL and not brilliant mobile signals, BT do not have a commercial case to upgrade the area, as they have the fixed line monopoly and so people are paying them anyway, so the rate of return on investment is very poor. Altnet comes along and offers the residents something better, so BTs income falls, now if they carry out upgrades to maintain customer numbers, the rate of return looks much better to them.

    But it would be better if they were stopped from carrying out the tactic used by large bus operators where they used their size to outnumber and undercut smaller operators to force them out of business

    • Avatar A_Builder

      TBH there is an alternative point of view with rural and semi rural particularly when the cabling and poles are old and maintenance starts to get expensive.

      That is a natural business driver to upgrade.

      Unfortunately the copperheads at OR managed to scupper a good few natural business conversions to full fibre.

      Getting off topic – one of the things that has always perplexed me is why ADSL was never offered from the DSLAM to shorten line length over lines too long for VDSL benefit. Now don’t say OFCOM as there is no technical reason why that cannot be an alternate to exchange ADSL and why the two can’t happily coexist. Provided they are not both connected of course. Whilst I appreciate that ADSL is sunset technology it is still vital for a lot of rural.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @AB – Because of LLU.

    • Avatar joseph

      The system AB suggests could also be done via an LLU arrangement, you just let them put their own cards in the cabinet. Much like they put their own gear in the exchange. A similar thing happens in Germany.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      No reason they cannot do sub loop unbundling.

    • Avatar Brian

      Can’t see any complications with LLU on the exchanges where there is none, which are also likely to be more rural exchanges with longer line lengths where ADSL from the cabinet would be a definite benefit.

    • Avatar bob

      Blaming LLU is just another poor defence from BT. As Joseph points out providers in Germany that provide LLU can do so from cabinets.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Joseph – it’s not just the cards, it needs the chassis, power, backhaul. Hence sub loop unbundling.

    • Avatar joseph

      It is no different to equipment at the exchange then and as stated LLU is done via cabinets elsewhere in the world, there is no reason to blame LLU.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @TheFacts

      My understanding is that it is perfectly possible to purchase multi mode cards that can do ADSL/VDSL/GFast on a single card now. The switching of frequency ranges is purely in the software.

      There have been ADSL2+ cards available for ages from Huwei for their DSLAM’s.

      At some point this is going to be a real thing if exchange ADSL is going to be switched off.

      I suspect not everyone will be happy with the prospect and indeed it makes no sense at all if totally new cabs are required. But where there is an existing DSLAM that can be expanded – maybe a sidebay – and the copper is handy and goes off afar then it could be a relatively cost effective interim step.

      My only proviso on this would be that where OR are allowed to use this methodology they have to make a binding commitment to upgrade the ADSL to fibre in a fixed timeframe. And why do they have to do something: this is after all about saving OR money so they should not get a free ride. So they only use it very selectively.

      And I wrote that last sentence with my BT shares in mind…..

  11. Avatar Meadmodj

    If altnets want to protect themselves then it needs to be equitable with coverage commitments (not missing out premises), open wholesale products (publically declared pricing), price control (to stop altnet monopolies) and fair access to a wider range of ISPs to give customer choice.

    The government needs to either have a single infrastructure policy or a competitive market one. Anything in the middle is just handing profit to private companies.

    • Avatar joseph

      “it needs to be equitable with coverage commitments (not missing out premises)”

      Openreach need to meet that first with swafts of streets only having one side capable of FTTP.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      There will always be a roll-out perimeter but I was referring to islands of missing premises. If OR are doing this then the FTTH coverage obligation should apply to all.

    • Avatar joseph

      If you look on TBB they have maps of where FTTP/H is available and you can narrow it down by ISP, there are plenty of examples of NOT only BT (before im accused of just picking on them) but other ISPs including Altnets and Virgin which have only done one side of a street or even just one end of a street. You can confirm this in many cases using the relevant ISPs checkers, feeding it the address/postcode and seeing some roads are only half covered.

      The difference is and why i say BT should meet the obligation you mention first about full coverage is no ISP AFAIK has had anywhere near the amount of funding BT Group/Openreach has.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – Maybe because the cost of connecting 5 at the end of one street is more than eg. 30 in another street. Presumably the local authority agreed to the funding being used in that way.

    • Avatar joseph

      Presumably you have no issues when other providers do the same then and you can hush about others coverage.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – no problem. Availability from any provider is usually down to asking about a specific property.

    • Avatar joseph

      Yet elsewhere in these comments you attack City Fibe and its coverage claims. So i think you do have an issue.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – I have no issue with any coverage claims.

      Your ADSL scheme made no sense though!

  12. Avatar AnotherTim

    I’d have more sympathy for the Altnets if they actually lived up to their hype. Gigaclear won the BDUK contract for Fastershire areas (including my area 3c) two tears ago, and to date they have completed zero FTTP connections in my area. They don’t even have a planned date to start the work (but it won’t be before 2020). Meanwhile BT/OR have upgraded my exchange to ADSL2+ without aid. So I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Altnets. If they want the business they have to actually do something to earn it.

    • Avatar joseph

      “Meanwhile BT/OR have upgraded my exchange to ADSL2+ without aid.”

      Do you mean VDSL?

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      No, I mean ADSL2+. It was ADSL Max.
      Gigaclear who have the Fastershire contract have done nothing here.

    • Avatar joseph

      Oh gawd how long did you have to wait for that? If only recent you must (or i hope) be one of the last exchanges.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Our exchange was upgraded Nov 2017. I moved into my current house in early 2014 when Fastershire were promising FTTC within a few months (work was in progress at the time). The whole exchange was EO, so they put a couple of cabinets in, but Fastershire refused to pay for the rerouting of bundles where some properties wouldn’t have got 30Mbps due to distance. BT’s plan for FTTP distribution nodes was refused as it wasn’t cost effective.
      Almost 5 years later there isn’t even a planned date for Gigaclear to start work on FTTP for the properties excluded from FTTC.

    • Avatar joseph

      “but Fastershire refused to pay for the rerouting of bundles where some properties wouldn’t have got 30Mbps due to distance”

      That seems fair, why would they pay anyone for a solution that does not meet requirements. It sounds like the problem in your area is placement or amount of cabinets. The whole gigaclear thing is another matter entirely, if they initially won a contract and another retailer has come along since they won, then yep i am not shocked they are no longer in any hurry.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @joseph, it would have met the “requirements” for some properties, just not all of them. Is it really better to leave those properties for an additional 5-7 years than merely double or treble their speed? EU rules for state funding require a “step-change” in speed. Fastershire chose 30Mbps as the minimum target, which excluded many properties from any improvement at all.
      Gigaclear won the contract for FTTP 2 years ago. No other providers have moved into the area. The only improvement is BT’s upgrade of ADSL MAX to ADSL2+ a year ago. Gigaclear (and fastershire) promised FTTP by the end of 2018. Gigaclear are now saying they *may* start the build in 2020. They are in no hurry because there is no competition, not because there is.
      Meanwhile, because we are “in plan” (even if there are no dates for the plan) we can’t get any form of help (no vouchers, no business grants etc).

    • Avatar joseph

      Im confused no where the 30Mb you where mentioning previously comes in, whos product and cabinets was that?

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @joseph, the 30Mbps is the minimum speed that Fastershire will provide funding for – not based on any technology, but just an arbitrary figure (which is above the overall BDUK threshold of 24Mbps). Both figures are in fact bad interpretations of the EU’s state aid requirements, where a “step-change” (generally regarded as improvements that double speed) is allowable even if the resulting speed is under the 24Mbps target.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @joseph, I just re-read your question, and I think I answered something different. The first round of Fastershire funding was BT and FTTC. All lines were previously EO, and fastershire only allowed bundles to be rerouted via the two new cabinets if all properties in that bundle would get at least 30Mbps.

    • Avatar joseph

      Yep your second post clears up my confusion. When i was i re-reading back and had seen you mention cabinets and some not being able to get 30Mb previously i was confused who in that regard you were talking about as it did not make any sense with regards to gigaclear products.

      With regards to fastershire not funding BT if they can not meet 24Mb (or strangely in your case the EU definition of superfast IE 30Mb). That is understandable as no BDUK or similar funds are supposed to be spent on sub 24Mb solutions. Ultimately its another flaw which happened in the funding processes and FTTC being used (and no before certain people say im bashing BT im not blaming BT it would be the same for any FTTC provider). In areas rural like yours it leaves a mish mash of haves and have nots.

      Its all a big cock up really for an area like yours funding needed to really be for a complete FTTP solution be it from BT, gigaclear or whoever to ensure everyone got their tax paying pennies worth.

      The fact (if gigaclear do finally do your area of the country) some will end up with FTTC and some with FTTP and some will have a choice of provider and some will not just demonstrates even more how stupid the whole process has been handled.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @joseph, yes, sorry for the confusion. One of the big problems with the EU (and probably the Brexit vote) is that the UK implements EU directives in the least advantageous way possible. BDUK is a prime example – as I have mentioned elsewhere the EU state aid rules for broadband require a step-change not an absolute figure (at least as a stepping-stone towards super/ultra-fast broadband). I know places in other EU countries where state aid has boosted broadband that is still below 24Mbps (let alone the Fastershire figure of 30Mbps) where that was a pragmatic way to improve broadband in a timely manner.
      Yet Fastershire view no improvement to be better than a doubling of speed if that would be under 30Mbps.

    • Avatar joseph

      “I know places in other EU countries where state aid has boosted broadband that is still below 24Mbps (let alone the Fastershire figure of 30Mbps) where that was a pragmatic way to improve broadband in a timely manner.
      Yet Fastershire view no improvement to be better than a doubling of speed if that would be under 30Mbps.”

      I can appreciate your frustration in that regard but the government had to IMO pick a minimum speed. It would be a bit silly again IMO for a really poorly served area to be given hundreds of thousand, perhaps even more to boost a few individual homes broadband into something which may still not even be double figures. I can only speak personally but if my area only had say 2-5Mb and the upgrades boosted me to 9-10Mb even though that may end up being more than double what i was getting i would not consider it value for money, i still would not be able to do anything with the connection which i could not do before (EG 4K video) everything i did previous is all i would still be able to do only twice as fast which when you are talking speeds so low can still be dead slow.

      As for the EU well if they have done what you state it would not shock me, they like imposing rules on others and breaking them thereself.

  13. Avatar FibreFred

    Sounds like the 80’s all over again. A plea to hold back BT so other operators can rollout.

    1) That isn’t competition
    2) We all know how well that worked out…. it’s the primary reason we don’t have widespread FTTP to day.

    • Avatar joseph

      Whats the primary reason since the 80s or… for the 40+ years since that Openreach have not done it?

      Sounds like a once child that grew up to be an adult still blaming its childhood for its failures in life.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Government would not let them.

    • Avatar Joe

      The 80s mass fibre rollout is a bit of a myth. The cost and maturity of the tech was not viable at the time.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Why a myth? Because you’d like it to be?

    • Avatar Joe

      There ws simply no way that BT would have paid the costs involved.

    • Avatar bob

      Well that was predictable no answer to why they could not do it in the near 3+ decades since the 80s.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Well I say they would have paid the costs involved.

      Useless argument countered.

      Bob, that is the primary reason as asked for. Everything else gets complicated after that.

      Just look at why BT didn’t want to rollout fttc for so long and what guarantees they wanted before they did.

    • Avatar Gordon

      No doubt it is also Thatchers fault Openreach can not even manage 2.5 Million premises in a single decade, even with government support and financial schemes in the decade….

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2009/10/09/bt-doubles-next-gen-uk-ftth-broadband-rollout-and-reveals-more-detail.html

      The argument they would had done the whole country by now 30 years ago is frankly laughable. The argument they would had also paid for it in its entirety is bordering on Loony Toons. Openreach obviously being the Porky Pig or Elmer Fudd of the story.

    • Avatar bob

      “The argument they would had also paid for it in its entirety is bordering on Loony Toons. Openreach obviously being the Porky Pig or Elmer Fudd of the story.”

      BT do not like Loony Toons, They cried not fair when their main competition used a certain Speedy Mouse in advertising 😉

    • Avatar Joe

      @Fred then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. BT had no credible source for the level of financial commitment that would have been needed for a fibre rollout on the 80s. The cost are huge now (with much cheaper fibre and an abundance of hardware). You’ve not countered anything wishful thinking isn’t finance.

      Thats not to say BT/OR couldn’t have started a rollout quicker than they have. We could have been where we are now 5-10 years ago (see Germany/Swi etc) but not in the 80s

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Joe, so there was no way to obtain the finance required in the 80s?

      None at all, simply not possible?

    • Avatar joseph

      “BT do not like Loony Toons, They cried not fair when their main competition used a certain Speedy Mouse in advertising ”

      Hey all the big boys like a nice speed character in marketing.

      Virgin Media had Speedy Gonzales and now Mr Bolt
      Sky have had Buzz Lightyear
      BT have had Erm…. Oscar Pistorius

      So we can all conclude when it come to Superfast BT are killing it.

      They are financial genius when it comes to choices with recognised figures for campaigns why would they not be for the actual rollouts 🙂
      (Shameful pointing and laughing mode off)

    • Avatar Gordon

      “@Fred then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. BT had no credible source for the level of financial commitment that would have been needed for a fibre rollout on the 80s.”

      If you believe the myth of a story that the BT club regularly post on here as a defence then at MANY of the time lines quoted in that story the government still had a majority share in BT.

      Which is probably why BT thought it was a good idea at the time, get the government to pay, the same as it seems they would like today.

      Perhaps if they can for once, just once, meet one of their AIMS of x million FTTP by x date then they might be deserving of some further help. Until then they can instead just keep having vague aims but failing.

    • Avatar Joe

      @Fred. I Don’t think so.

      While the Gov owned it there was no chance of money (all govs of all parties have been just terrible at infrastructure investment) Even when it was privatised you have to remember the time. We’d had a period 40-80s where the Tories would privatise and labour would then renationalise. Trying to secure private finance on the basis of a rollout costing billions to be paid back over decades when you had that lvl of uncertainty would only get prohibitive loan rates.

      As I say I don’t think the tech was ready then either but that was moot due to the above. However in the 2000s when it was clear BT was safe in the long term and the tech was practical/cheaper I do think they could have made the decision then and made a financial case for it and gained the finance on a sustainable basis. But the ‘sweat the copper’ brigade in BT won out and we are where we are.

  14. Avatar FibreBubble

    Sky and Vodafone are bigger firms than BT. They don’t need a regulator to protect them.

    The most anti-competitive practice in telecoms at the moment is the lock out of Openreach by altcos and Virgin in new housing developments.

    • Avatar joseph

      “The most anti-competitive practice in telecoms at the moment is the lock out of Openreach by altcos and Virgin in new housing developments.”

      Er that goes both ways a new housing development that awards its contract to Openreach (or anyone) will have stipulations in it others will not be rolling out there.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      How many ISPs use the Openreach network?

    • Avatar Andrew

      Over 600 ISPs use the Openreach network.

    • Avatar bob

      How many ISPs use a network is irrelevant to the topic of contracts to provide new builds. Plenty of new builds are done by Virgin and they do not wholesale to anyone, many of the ALtnets mentioned in this news item do wholesale though.

      Again deliberate derailment to avoid the questions raised.

    • Avatar mgjl

      Do these stipulations merely prevent the developer from working with more than one network operator during the construction of the development, or do they prevent any other operator from installing a network/duct (which would usually be permitted if the operator has Code Powers) after the development has been sold and highways on the development are under the control of the local highways authority?

    • Avatar joseph

      What can and can not be done on a new development can vary depending on the housing and the contracts as to what can be done. There are developments where the housing developer often still owns the land but you own the property (yeah dont ask me how that works). There are also rent to buy developments which are subject to all types of terms nowadays.

      Or in summary, loads of red tape and not as simple as you mention or things should be.

  15. Avatar Lindsay Tosh

    My rural company has finally got fibre availability. It has to be FTTP because of where we are and nobody other than BT will quote. I’m going to have to pay through the nose and far more than anyone on FTTC.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      BT refused to quote for any form of FTTP or leased line in my area because they said the cost was obviously going to be ridiculously expensive (>£40K without even looking into it in any detail – it is an 11 mile build). They suggested bonding two ADSL lines together for £200pm as an alternative. They have since upgraded the exchange to ADSL2+, but I mostly use Three 4G now.

    • Avatar Fastman

      Another tim , if its an 11 mile build I would have assumes some one looked at as that figures seems quite reasonable based on eh number of premises there could be and the likely network build

      these things are not cheap to build so someome will have validated that number tyo be externally provided based on the likely distance to usable fibre
      ]

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Yes, I don’t dispute BT’s costings. It is rather frustrating though as I have fibre running 20yds from my house which connects to the local exchange, and the nearest aggregation node (which is 11 miles away as the fibre flies). BT had planned a distribution node outside my house to serve the immediate area, but it was rejected by our BDUK as not cost effective. To be fair, I could get a leased line using TalkTalk backhaul for less (a 30 on 100 would cost under £20k over 3 years including estimated ECC).

    • Avatar bob

      “To be fair, I could get a leased line using TalkTalk backhaul for less (a 30 on 100 would cost under £20k over 3 years including estimated ECC).”

      Damn that really does ram home the some of the outrageous FTTP quotes 20K is half the price Openreach quoted you :O

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Yes it is less than half the price, but it is also a lower speed. If I wanted to match the 100/100 BT were looking at the costs are closer, as although the ECC is lower (TalkTalk is only about or 5 miles) the monthly fee is higher.

  16. Avatar Andrew

    Let all operators compete – simple. Alt nets want to compete with Openreach, bring it on I say.

    Let’s be clear though, these companies aren’t charities – including Openreach, they’re businesses and must be able to prove their own business cases to make a return.

    I feel for those areas without decent speeds, but this is an industry wide problem to address.

    • Avatar bob

      “Let all operators compete – simple. Alt nets want to compete with Openreach, bring it on I say.

      Let’s be clear though, these companies aren’t charities – including Openreach, they’re businesses and must be able to prove their own business cases to make a return.”

      All we need now then to make the little miracle of fair competition and not treating Providers as charities is for The BT Group to pay back all the subsidised parts of their rollout. And then give the same amounts to others to see what they manage to do. Fair is fair hand out the same handouts to all.

    • Avatar Andrew

      Why when everyone was able to bid for publically funded contracts?

      People tend to forget that two thirds of the country was deemed commercial and completed with private money.

    • Avatar Gordon

      “Why when everyone was able to bid for publically funded contracts?”

      You best go look up the actual findings from PAC

    • Avatar bob

      “People tend to forget that two thirds of the country was deemed commercial and completed with private money.”

      And practically for the remaining third who got the bulk of the cash?

      Who was allowed to bid is irrelevant, who GOT the money is not, if we are talking what is fair, equal competition.

      Either one business is a charity or its not, either all are treated to the same difficulties and benefits or not………. You do understand what fair and equal competition is dont you?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @bob – Who are all these companies who should have been funded? Look at the problems Gigaclear now have.

    • Avatar Jamie

      Why are you being so aggressive in your responses Gordon and Bob?

      Andrew is entitled to his opinion and makes some valid points.

    • Avatar Harrold

      I think Bob has an issue with BT, given every comment he’s made has been negative.

      Let’s have some constructive dialogue.

    • Avatar Gordon

      “Why are you being so aggressive in your responses Gordon and Bob?”

      My comment was not aggressive to him he should go look up what PAC had to say. He will then know a bit more about bids and what occured if he does.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Jamie I think you will find a lot of the comments on here are from the same BT bashing troll.

    • Avatar Gordon

      Probably more from the same BT loving one.

    • Avatar Jamie

      I’ve noticed Fibre Fred. All of this quoting stuff back at people is very weird. Very passive aggressive.

      As a newbie to this site I was hoping for a bit more balance in the comments rather than using the forum to bash the incumbent.

    • Avatar joseph

      So while you lot are having a multi personality disorder contest in the I love, I hate, He said, she said, troll this name call that department…

      Getting back on topic to answer Andrew and…

      “Why when everyone was able to bid for publically funded contracts?”

      1) Those without wholesale agreements were excluded from some contracts
      2) Wireless providers capable of meeting the government definition of 24Mb being “Super Fast” were also excluding from bidding. And where they did have a presence were not even including on government mapping.

      There are many other observations which have been made over awarded contracts which is probably why he was told to refer to PAC. So No not “everyone” was able to bid.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      How times have changed when a ferry comppany without any boats gets a government contract.

    • Avatar joseph

      Not sure what you mean @Thefacts. In the “FIBRE” broadband world which we are discussing none of them have the infrastructure before bidding. That is what some of the funding was for example to pay for cabinets.

    • Avatar Joe

      OR would have had extensive backhaul before the bids so its not quite the same for all

    • Avatar joseph

      “OR would have had extensive backhaul before the bids so its not quite the same for all”

      If that was a factor and considering OR have the biggest network then everyone was doomed from the start and it sounds like the bidding process was nothing more than a show of face from a government pretending to give everyone a chance.

    • Avatar Joe

      Its simply a case of saying OR had a much easier time bidding as they could show easy expansion. For the altnets they didn’t have the scale to compete and as its proved struggled to expand to meet even the bids they have won.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @TheFacts: “Who are all these companies who should have been funded? Look at the problems Gigaclear now have.”

      Rather than posting the same lame questions here how about you tell us how to finance a nationwide fibre network? Care to come up with a workable business model without burdening the taxpayers?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @GN – maybe there is not such a model, unless you have one.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @GNewton, what is wrong with burdening the taxpayers? Taxpayers pay for many infrastructure improvements. Politicians often refer to such expenditure as an “investment”, as it is expected to improve the economy in some way. I’s say that argument is more true for broadband than most other initiatives.

    • Avatar joseph

      @Joe another example of bidding being based on what a company has rather than what it could provide then. It really is a shame things went that route. Hardly a fair and unbias bidding process.

      @AnotherTim I tend to agree government/taxpayers could pay for it. The problem once you go down that road and why i personally would not want that is, who are you going to give the money to?

      If you give it all to Openreach then the market becomes less competitive. 1 network is 1 network no matter how many times BT defenders will try to say other ISPs offer a service via Openreach and that makes things ok it is still 1 network. If you give it all to altnets and they fail you have to bail them out with more money or start over.

      What the government should had done was offer incentives to local authority areas. Or individual streets to become connected, the voucher schemes we had were a step in the right direction but ultimately useless, lack of choice who you could use your voucher with and the small amount some were offered (3 grand voucher ain’t much use if BT or anyone wants 10’s of thousands from you).

      Personally although it would had taken a hell of a lot of planning and co-operation by government and providers i think they should had gone for a scheme where those that applied to deliver network roll outs all were given a slice of the pie.

      In a similar fashion to how spectrum for 4G and 5G is auctioned off, except you would bid in an area. HOWEVER… In the case of fixed line comms like FTTP you throw in the clause that nobody can overbuild what you are awarded, but you must wholesale it to others.

      IE anything FTTP Virgin or an altnet build they have to offer a wholesale solution to BT group……. BUT BT group can not just go overbuild rather than paying up. Oh and the same would be vice versa, IE BT/Openreach awarded contract Virgin/Altnets could not overbuild in their awarded area and would have to buy it wholesale from Openreach.

      We are well past that stage though of what would have been fair and given all network developers a slice of the pie plus added more wholesale business for them all and allowed joe public a choice of ISPs. Nope that ship has well and truely sailed and now we are stuffed with a overfunded still copper in the main service/s.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Joseph – you do realise that wholesaling to BT is actually to their 600 ISPs and setting up connectivity and support.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @joseph, I think there are two separate problems being conflated. One is the infrastructure, and the other is the provision of ISP services.
      I think there is a good case for the infrastructure to be managed by a single state regulated monopoly – it can be built and maintained by whoever bids, but it needs central oversight to ensure that the whole country is covered in a timely and efficient manner. Ofcom does not (currently) fill that function, and BDUK is actually making it worse.
      That infrastructure could then be sold on a wholesale basis to any ISPs that wanted to use it.
      This is the sort of arrangement we have for example with electricity. It isn’t totally free market – but then we wouldn’t want it to be. We already have a situation where some people have a choice of superfast providers (who are all competing by reducing their prices in an unsustainable way), while other have no prospect of even fast broadband, and pay more for ADSL/ADSL2+ than others pay for ultrafast.

    • Avatar joseph

      “@Joseph – you do realise that wholesaling to BT is actually to their 600 ISPs and setting up connectivity and support.”

      No it would not be. There is no reason BT retail (the retail provider) could not sell Talk Talk products the same way multiple ISPs sell both BT wholesale and Talk Talk wholesale products.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – probably because they do not want to. You are suggesting in an small number of locations BT Retail would sell their product delivered over TalkTalk LLU lines knowing they have plans to install BT ADSL+ in that exchange at a later date? Not worth the effort of setting up knowing there is no long term future. Particularly as many will be replaced by FTTC/P.

    • Avatar joseph

      “@J – probably because they do not want to”

      Oh well pardon me so BT do not want to have to buy a wholesale solution from a provider but everyone else must buy from them otherwise any FTTP rollout its an unfair rollout?
      Are you serious???

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Joseph – what is unfair? Not relevant now as ADSL+ virtually everywhere?

    • Avatar GNewton

      @AnotherTim: “what is wrong with burdening the taxpayers?”

      BT is a private company and has no need for taxpayer’s money. It should either be re-nationalised then, or be left alone (albeit subject to a stricter regulation preventing fibre overbuilts and preventing anti-competitive behavior and misuse of its SMP).

      Anyway, my point was that TheFacts has no constructive proposals for fibre builts.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      @GNewton, BT is a private company, and as such can decide not to make any improvements to unprofitable areas – just as the Altnets, and other private companies such as Virgin, TalkTalk, Vodafone, etc. do.
      Tax payers money is required to “bribe” them to cover those unprofitable areas – assuming the country as a whole doesn’t want to leave large parts of the country without fast broadband.

    • Avatar joseph

      “@Joseph – what is unfair? Not relevant now as ADSL+ virtually everywhere?”

      It is entirely relevant and if you re-read what i stated previous….
      ” In the case of fixed line comms like FTTP you throw in the clause that nobody can overbuild what you are awarded, but you must wholesale it to others.

      IE anything FTTP Virgin or an altnet build they have to offer a wholesale solution to BT group……. BUT BT group can not just go overbuild rather than paying up. Oh and the same would be vice versa, IE BT/Openreach awarded contract Virgin/Altnets could not overbuild in their awarded area and would have to buy it wholesale from Openreach.”

      You have just demonstrated you do not want everyone to have a fair share or the same rules to be applied to Openreach.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Joseph – So VM would have to wholesale their FTTP passed premises to BT Group, actually BT Wholesale, who would then wholesale to their 600 retail ISPs including BT Retail.

      Whereas BT Wholesale now wholesale their FTTP to anyone who wants it.

      How would Code Powers restrict a company providing a product to a premises that wanted it?

    • Avatar joseph

      “So VM would have to wholesale their FTTP passed premises to BT Group, actually BT Wholesale, who would then wholesale to their 600 retail ISPs including BT Retail.”

      OMG are you just being obtuse?

      You award an area to a provider. NOBODY can then overbuild, the provider awarded that area has to wholesale and thus also retail their product to anyone that wants it.

      Which provider is irrelevant. If you give Virgin a big chunk of change then they should have to sell it wholesale as well as retail. If another ISP wanted to buy from them much like ISPs currently buy from BT, they would have to sell it to them.

      There would be no point wholesaling and then wholesaling it again because the initial company would already be offering it to 600, 1000, 1 million or whatever damn number of ISPs want it.

      My god explaining things to you is more tedious than teaching a young child.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Joseph – you need to explain the details.

      From the current position with broadband how would you allocate and award an area, what size would you base it on, and would you deal with existing rollouts?

      How would you deal with Code Powers? Ofcom cannot currently prevent a provider providing a service to a property, the awarding of Code Powers is the opposite.

      Vague ideas need explaining please.

    • Avatar joseph

      “@Joseph – you need to explain the details.”

      I already have.

      “From the current position with broadband how would you allocate and award an area, what size would you base it on, and would you deal with existing rollouts?”

      Again try to read i already explain my idea is what i think should have happened, NOT what can happen now.

      I even statement in my original comment at the end that…
      “We are well past that stage though of what would have been fair and given all network developers a slice of the pie plus added more wholesale business for them all and allowed joe public a choice of ISPs. Nope that ship has well and truely sailed and now we are stuffed with a overfunded still copper in the main service/s.”

      “Vague ideas need explaining please.”

      The only thing vague appears to be your comprehension level of what an idea would be or your reading ability.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – who were all those network developers with funding and experience that could have rolled out full fibre? Today we see Gigaclear struggling with government funding. Remember Selling.

  17. Avatar Rob

    Why is OR rolling out fibre in Coventry after Cityfibre said it would? OR did sweet FA for years so why has decided to act this way?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @Rob – because it and the 600 ISPs don’t want to lose any business.

    • Avatar joseph

      Why did they not do it before cityfibre then?

    • Avatar GNewton

      @joseph: “Why did they not do it before cityfibre then?”

      because of BT shareholders like TheFacts? Anyway, he doesn’t get the point.

    • Avatar AndyH

      Why have Cityfibre rolled out (or are rolling out) their fibre service to the parts of Milton Keynes that have had Openreach’s FTTP service since 2009?

    • Avatar joseph

      Err No read the news item…
      Cityfibre was less than pleased when, after announcing their intention to cover the city of Coventry, Openreach came out and did the same

      Why would OPenreach be announcing they are to cover the same area, if they had already done so back in 2009????????

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Joseph
      Ironically I think you misread the comments from @TheFacts, which were about Milton Keynes not Coventry.

    • Avatar joseph

      1. The comment was from an alias AndyH not Thefacts
      2. There is no irony i chose to ignore the stupid question because i was being polite in ignoring him/you/Thefacts/whoever you want to claim the third person is that asked because as is usual you have no idea what you are on about……..

      https://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/8253-more-full-fibre-for-milton-keynes

      QUOTE”So far there is no overlap with the Openreach FTTP network, but down in Bletchley the G.fast service is competing with the new full fibre service.”

      Who is City Fibre/Voda overbuilding with FTTP in Milton Keynes again huh???

      Good try though (well not really but you try).

  18. Avatar Rob

    So those 600 ISP’s told OR to provide FTTP? Does that then mean where OR have a rival they will put in a parallel FTTP network? CF and VF are working together and what’s the betting they will allow third parties to use their network?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      What’s the problem, the government has wanted competition in telecomms for the last 30 years?

      I agree it might be crazy, there is also VM in Coventry, but would be difficult to stop someone with Code Powers.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @GNewton: “What’s the problem, the government has wanted competition in telecomms for the last 30 years?”

      You just don’t get it, do you? How about building fibre networks on a larger scale, thus bring this country into the 21st century?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      How would you propose to fund this, from taxation? Like BDUK?

    • Avatar GNewton

      @TheFacts: “How would you propose to fund this, from taxation? ”

      The point is you don’t understand the issue here, as your repetition of your same lame questions here on this forum shows. It seems you are either a BT shareholder or employee, or have business ties to this company in some other ways, preventing you from seeing the real problems.

      You have failed to post any constructive suggestions, unlike some other posters here.

  19. Avatar Rob

    It’s anti-competition if you’re using your dominance and offering a service at a loss to destroy the competition.
    OK, there’s no evidence OR are doing that in Coventry but it is funny they are reacting to CF.

    • Avatar joseph

      He has failed earlier to explain why if an area is of high value BT being as big as they are have not rolled out their first but announce shortly after another smaller provider, or once BT see a smaller provider is doing well from an area.

      Either BT did not consider the area to be of value in the first place or they are trying to steal the success of a smaller provider. There is no other reason they would target a high value area only AFTER.

  20. Avatar Peter

    I’m not sure why @TheFacts wants to discuss ferry companies getting order from HMG having no boats on here?
    However since they do raise it – perhaps they were not aware that in today’s world many airlines especially the low cost one do not own a single plane – they are all leases from aircraft leasing companies. Indeed increasing even the leasing companies do not own the engines in the said planes as they themselves are leased!

    • Avatar GNewton

      You may have noticed TheFacts doesn’t have any constructive proposals here for deploying a nationwide fibre network, as shown by his lame comparison with ferry companies.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @GN – and your proposal is?

    • Avatar GNewton

      @TheFacts: You are the one who always pretends to know it all, judging by your frequent comments on other forum posters’ comments. So rather than criticizing others, do you have any realistic constructive proposals, other than your past notion of a tax-payer funded nationwide fibre?

    • Avatar joseph

      He did not like my proposal that you give everyone a fair share of FTTP rollout contracts, not allow any overbuilding in areas awarded (be it BT overbuilding an altnet or an altnet overbuilding BT) and then forcing whoever is awarded a contract to wholesale to the overs that can not overbuild in the location awarded.

      His response is BT may not want to buy wholesale from others…. But in the next breath he is always telling us how wonderful it is that BT provide to hundreds of ISPs.

      He does not know what he wants or what is fair just as long as BT have everything its own way.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @J – who is everyone and what determines a fair share, it’s the detail that matters?

    • Avatar joseph

      Oh gawd “everyone” as in every provider that wants to build a network.
      “Fair share” as in a provider gets the same amount of, or lack thereof help and financial.

      Seriously if you can not follow simple things then the whole debate is going to be lost on you.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Joseph
      The government has decided that it wants infrastructure competition so won’t be following your suggested approach, which mirrors that used with the cable companies in the 80s and didn’t go well.

      Besides, most companies seem interested primarily in urban areas, so overbuilding seems a natural consequence – at least until the less well funded ones fold and are acquired by larger groups. If you establish quasi monopolies (ignoring cable), all you’ll do is prolong the agony before the inevitable consolidation.

      The main problem is that this is a scale business also needing substantial patient capital. The transition from startup to mature operation is difficult, just ask Gigaclear! You also need to bear in mind the very limited interest in bidding for BDUK contracts as a possible indicator of the interest in participating in any government-led process.

      Apart from that ….. 😉

    • Avatar FibreFred

      “Fair Share” contracts. What a load of tosh. How would that work in reality? It wouldn’t.

      Just look at some of the bigger providers like Gigaclear and how they are struggling with what they have won?

      Imagine being in an area where an altnet won, but due to certain factors (insert anything here) they won’t start ot complete your FTTP for 5yrs+

      How is that fair on the customer? When another provider could provide a service quicker (an no, not BT necessarily , any provider).

      Nobody needs to be held back, no-one needs protection.

      It’s market place that has been sitting their for years. Yes some providers might already have an advantage like BT and Virgin as they have been around longer, but so what. It’s like any other market, someone has already been there before and buily up a share.

      Think about the first search engines, there might and power didn’t stop others getting in on the act.

      This is how a market place operates, two fingers to those that think they deserve wrapping up in cotton wool.

      If you cannot complete don’t get in the game, just don’t cry about it and ask for special treatment.

      Rollout your service, if people want it they’ll buy it.

    • Avatar joseph

      Oh dear you are really angry at a persons idea arn’t you.

  21. Avatar Fastman

    I find this forum hilarious or deluded or both most of the time and no real view of the
    commercial world

    X complains that Openreach is over building city fibre network — hhmmm that would be the same city fibre that has been releasing press releases for umpteen years about X fttp and not actually delivering anything

    interesting the view of Gigaclear seems to have shifted now if not the little plucky altnet but is in now large recipient of BDUK money and has to deliver on that (no real improvement in fastershire or CDS area)

    going to be an interesting 2019 but lets be clear big FTTP deployments will only happen in urban areas where it is commercially easy to do and market conditions and Physical availability and access will determine how much will get done and more importanty there

    if Openreach is going to deliver X premises it will be X premises , what these x premises are will move in and out as any challenges or cost issues arise in the same way the BDUK has done . Any FTTP Commercial deployment will be in highly populated area and cities are a prime example so I would expect a number of players in a number of cities .. , That does not actually helps anyone is very sparse and rural locations even USO wont help those in 2020 as USOP say you can demand a 10 meg service in the same way you can demant a telephone service – if it costs more that X you pay the difference (another nuance that seems to have been forgotten in the USO discussion) through my might be able to aggregate your USO (allowance)

    • Avatar joseph

      “I find this forum hilarious or deluded or both most of the time and no real view of the
      commercial world

      X complains that Openreach is over building city fibre network — hhmmm that would be the same city fibre that has been releasing press releases for umpteen years about X fttp and not actually delivering anything”

      Yes it is very funny that is exactly what BT done back in 2009 with their aspirations of 2.5 Million premises with FTTP……….. One decade later, have they done it? Noooooooope.

      You could say the little business and any deception has learnt from the master overlord.

      Whats that you were saying about some being deluded????

    • Avatar Fastman

      josewph

      aspiration OF 25% fttp — that with Openreach commercial money (you get much more FTTC that would have have done with FTTP

      Actually covered significantly more with FTTC that with FTTP due to build cost of FTTP at the time

      had openreach built more FTTP at the time (2009 – 2012) the 95% coverage of greater that 30 M/BPS would be much less — (so openreach got on an delivered a proven technology that delivered the required premises in the required timescales (something other BDUK recipeints seems not to be able to do – cos its easy to deploy fttp – not)

      actually openreach is deploying now significantly more FTTP than FTTC now, as the deployment method has changed and now the cost model has changed,

      Im sure ISP review will follow the FTTP number that openreach are delivering

      Coventry was about city number 8 or 9 — a significant number of Coventry area exchanges were covered as part of openreach 2.5bn commercial investment

      im not centainly not deluded

      what amusing is a load of people moaned when Opereach scaled back FTTP and now a load of people are moaning that Openreach is scaling up FTTP deployment

      seems to be a common theme there !!!!–

    • Avatar joseph

      “aspiration OF 25% fttp”

      NO DIFFERENT TO CITYFIBRE and their ASPIRATIONS of x million premises covered.

      Or as i said to start “You could say the little business and any deception has learnt from the master overlord.”.

      Just shows you are now not about what is right, wrong, or indifferent. YOU just want everything BTs way. When BT do something wrong its ok, when someone else does the same thing though they are wrong.

    • Avatar Fastman

      when BT do something wrong its ok, when someone else does the same thing though they are wrong

      actually what have Bt Done wrong =– nothing as far as I can see

      they may not have done what you wanted them to do but that does not mean its wrong

      Im sure if BT had actually done something wrong Ofcom would be all over it

      most want their cake and eat it on this

    • Avatar joseph

      Aspirations there is nothing wrong with those……. Supporting one organisations aspirations while bashing anothers there is though.

      You try to figure out what you did in the short exchange.

      You try to figure out which company of the 2 mentioned is the bigger company which is full of the hot air and which is the smaller and cleverly copied the hot air which you and your initial post had an issue with.

      Good luck with that.

  22. Avatar Tom Bartlett

    When G.Fast runs off a BDUK funded cabinet, does the uptake contribute towards clawback?

    • Avatar Joe

      Gfast runs off a pod attached to a cabinet but afaik the answer is yes.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Seems unlikely as BDUK fund the VDSL cabinet.

    • Avatar Joe

      My assumption would be if there was no cabinet but then there was via BDUK then anything coming via it even gfast (pod) is still happening because of the public money so will be counted.

    • Avatar Fastman

      gfast is off the PCP be vert surprised if very many of BDUK cab get enabled for Gfast as most BDUK sevice small spread cab and mot wont be suitable for Gfast either ini terms of speed or in terms of Density to justify the commercial investment of deployment of Gfast

    • Avatar Joe

      Hard to call on that, I can think of local villages in my area where the cab was bduk and there are enough properties within Gfast range to fill a pod so…..

  23. Avatar CarlT

    Wow this has brought out some serious axe-grinding, mostly focused around people whose comments are based around screaming ‘What about me?!?!’.

    An entertaining start to 2019: thank you.

    • Avatar Fastman

      definitely

      going to be a Busy year as Ever CarlT – lots to do

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @CarlT

      Much as I like to be ‘informed’ I didn’t have the stomach to read all of the posts after skimming a selection.

      Happy New Year to all contributors. And better broadband to all men….sounds familiar somehow…..where have I heard that before?

      And thanks to @MJ for bring this feast of comment to us…….

      But lets be happy that at least some fibre is getting put in the ground somewhere….allegedly….and we could even try and be supportive of people actually doing stuff as opposed to talking about it.

      I will be happy (?) to read FTTP rollout and sign up statistics as they come in.

      Joking apart if OR do try and pull the old bus company (flooding routes with busses that a competitor has started on) stunt all over the place they do deserve to be sat on by OFCOM. Purely because it is a well recognised anti competitive practice.

      At present however I would be content if OFCOM sent them a memo along the lines of ‘we are keeping an eye on this’ and let everyone get on with building FTTP and instead focused efforts on making it cheaper quicker and easier to get the FTTP network built…..which is what everyone really wants anyway.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Definitely plenty of work going on. Tons of duct unblocking, pole replacement and pole install appearing on roadworks.org in the areas of the fibre cities scheduled for FTTP with the odd bit of traffic management for access to underground structures.

  24. Avatar Marty

    Jesus I’ve never seen so many comments based on a single article. Mostly from Max sorry Mark is on to a winner in 2019.

  25. Avatar Nea_Londoner

    I think the key issue here is that many of the network operators have similar commercial models, Openreach included, so it’s hardly surprising if many of them focus on the same areas. Whether their cumulative efforts cover many additional premises versus Openreach by itself remains to be seen – I suspect the 15 million or so premises passed is more like 11 million unique premises once overlapping plans are accounted for.

    Quite why the so-called alt-nets need any sort of protection from the free market is unclear when there are existing protections in the Competition Act, through the CMA etc. In reality this feels more like the sort of generic PR that certain operators and industry groups specialise in to deflect attention from limited results and/or to provide an excuse for lack of activity in the future.

  26. Avatar A_Builder

    What we are perhaps loosing sight of here is that there are two reasons for OR to invest

    1) commercial case high take up profitable spreadsheet stuff

    2) costs a fortune to maintain and so by investing some CAPEX OR save big time on the OPEX budget.

    These two business cases are quite different. Most what we see is case (1) at the moment but case (2) becomes more and more important as the network ages and I am a bit surprised that we have not seen more case (2) activity as some of the rural stuff must cost fortunes to maintain and has zero chance of ever providing USO.

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