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BT to Propose Full Fibre Move and Copper Switch Off by 2027 UPDATE

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 (7:41 am) - Score 5,663
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Reports this morning claim that BT (Openreach) are in “secret” negotiations with the government and UK ISPs about a new six point plan, which could see the last of their old copper phone lines being switched off by 2027 and replaced by “full fibre” (FTTP) broadband. Provided everybody agrees of course.

The Sky News report is perhaps being a touch sensationalist in their language by describing the aforementioned talks as “secret,” not least since both Openreach (here) and Ofcom (here) have been running significant industry consultations on this very subject since March 2019. In fact many of the details highlighted in Sky’s report have already been covered in our previous summaries of those consultations.

The difference since then has of course been the change in political leadership, which initially saw the original full fibre for all target go from 2033 to 2025, although a recent reality-check by the new Government means that we now fully expect this to be watered down to “gigabit-capable” (i.e. enabling other Gigabit technologies, such as Virgin Media’s hybrid fibre coax network, to be included).

The culture secretary, Nicky Morgan MP, is due to meet ISP bosses (BT, Cityfibre, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Sky Broadband etc.) today in order to discuss the plan and to hopefully find some agreement (crucial since removing copper is a massive industry undertaking and some unbundled ISPs have made a big investment in it).

We are also expecting Openreach to publish some more details, possibly today or tomorrow, on the outcome of their consultation and will update this article according.

A Spokesman for DCMS gave a recycled statement:

“We are investing over £650m in full fibre broadband until the end of 2021 and are committed to creating the right opportunities for investment as we speed up the roll-out of this technology.”

Just to be clear, the copper switch off plan is largely related to Openreach’s own network as nobody seriously expects Virgin Media to pull their coaxial copper cables out of the ground, not least since they’ll shortly be upgraded via DOCSIS 3.1 technology to deliver top speeds of 1Gbps (50Mbps upload) across their entire network by the end of 2021 (here). Elsewhere KCOM has finished their FTTP rollout and are thus well placed to be the first to cull copper.

Meanwhile the 2027 date talked about above could thus be taken by some as a reflection of how long it will now take before Openreach’s entire network is converted to 1Gbps+ capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology, which is obviously three years past Boris’s originally proposed 2025 deadline.

However the 2027 date should be taken with a pinch of salt because they need to allow some time for customer migration between the old and new platforms, which would begin once an exchange area had been declared “ultrafast enabled” (i.e. once 75% of premises in that exchange are able to receive an “ultrafast” 100Mbps+ service via FTTP, G.fast etc.).

The consultations suggested a 3 year period for final migration, which if we go with 2027 would align to Boris’s 2025 date or it could mean 3 years after 2027 (2030). By comparison, under the old approach, this might not have been realistically achievable until a few years after 2033 (c.2036) and at the time even that seemed ambitious.

openreach copper switch-off migration path

We should point out that Openreach are working to test the practicalities of all this as part of their new FTTP broadband Exchange Upgrade Trial in Salisbury (here). Some people will no doubt point out that encouraging customers to adopt FTTP could be difficult due to the higher cost, although the plan is to offer a 40Mbps (10Mbps upload) “anchor” service at a lower price (likely regulated pricing) to help tempt users off older ADSL2+ lines.

As ever there are currently a mass of complicated problems yet to be fully agreed and resolved. Key issues exist around funding (several billion will be needed to do the final 10-20%), wayleaves (still an obstruction in many areas), business rates (the current 5 year holiday on new fibre in England is far too short), the extra cost and confusion for consumers, getting access to existing buildings / MDUs (consultations on-going), finding enough skilled engineers, the need for softer regulation, competition (some ISPs still have big investments in copper and are building their own rival FTTP – might incentivise them to be more unhelpful than helpful etc.) and the possibility of related legal challenges.

On top of that we’d still view the timeline as being incredibly difficult to achieve, even with the softening of language from “full fibre” to “gigabit“. We are assuming from this that operators will still need to rollout full fibre or other Gigabit capable technologies to the final c.45% of unserved premises (Virgin already does most of the other c.50% in urban areas) and achieving that by 2025 or even 2027 would be an incredible feat.

Much will thus depend upon how flexible the Government is with their technology mix in the forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS). Ofcom are then aiming to publish full details of their final industry-agreed approach in December 2019.

One other X factor (no, not Simon Cowell.. uggh) in all this is whether or not we’re about to be hit by another General Election and thus potentially another big change of policy at the last minute, which could change everything.. again. On the other hand it might be politically tedious for a different government to water down the 2025 date, without looking less ambitious.

We should also add that 2025 was the original date proposed for switching off the old analogue phone (PSTN) services and moving to all-IP (VoIP etc.) networks, which is not the same as completely switching off the old copper network; but that was before Boris’s target. Suffice to say there’s a lot of confusion about what is going to happen and when as the dates seem to now be aligned.

In any case the idea that copper could be completely switched off by 2027 still seems a touch fanciful.

UPDATE 9:27am

Cityfibre has warned about the perceived risk to focusing too much on Openreach as the fix for everything.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

“In light of our funded and mobilised Gigabit City programme to deploy wholesale full fibre infrastructure to at least five million homes, Ofcom’s exclusive focus on BT Openreach as the vehicle for migration from copper to fibre is wrong.

Retiring the copper network needs to be managed in a way that promotes competition, benefiting every builder of fibre networks, rather than simply reinforcing BT Openreach’s existing market dominance. Consumers should have the power to switch to any full fibre network.

CityFibre stands ready to play its part in transferring the nation’s homes and businesses onto a new generation of fibre networks.”

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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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57 Responses
  1. Avatar A_Builder

    “Key issues exist around funding (several billion will be needed to do the final 10-20%)”

    Maybe.

    But as we discussed on another thread 43k sub USO mostly went straight to FTTP in half a year.

    At that rate of progress it is a 7 year project.

    Given that the distribution appears (based on guesswork) to be pretty even on the difficulty of the instal (line length) then there is hope.

    Also, in the 600k there must be EO’s and these will be fixed en mass by OR before switch off so that should be a self fixing problem. Not before time.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      You can move all the sub USO to FTTP but that leaves millions of others not on FTTP so copper has to remain…

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Andrew, By finishing BDUK rural, which would mean ‘superfast’ becomes the B-USO, using the monies within the programme, the Government no longer needs to be involved in the fibre migration plan.

      People will be able order a ‘superfast’ service if they want it and upgrade to full fibre went the market is ready.

      Amend the B-USO and hunt down completion of BDUK rural and the Gov will not need to spend £2-£5bn.

    • @NGA. You want the industry to pay billions for a FTTP USO, which only Openreach and KCOM will deliver? The competition arguments should be interesting for that one, deliverability in some areas would take a heck of a lot longer than 12 months, and ISPs will have to put up prices massively for consumers. I can’t see the industry agreeing to that. USOs are intended as a legally binding minimum.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Mark, you mis-understand. If BDUK completes rural superfast – with the funds available, with lots of FTTP at the edge, then the migration can be let to industry. You will not need an industry funded B-USO if you understand the monies owed, what is and is not contracted, what is pending. I begin to document here. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bduk-reach-99-superfast-fibre-access-mike-kiely/

      All customers should be able to order a superfast service, where 11-12% FTTP (of the intervention) is deployed for in-fill. Once done the need to support a migration can be let to Ofcom and industry.

      The Broadband chapter of yesterday EFRA report maps out the need to finish BDUK rural activity. It is worth a read.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @AF

      “You can move all the sub USO to FTTP but that leaves millions of others not on FTTP so copper has to remain…”

      I totally agree with you but we are a bit at crossed purposes.

      My comment was more about the actually very good progress being made getting rid of the sub USO which apart from some EO’s is largely sub commercially economic.

      Therefore this leaves a more commercially viable (note the more) solution set for OR, VM and the host of Alt Nets to tackle.

      TBH whilst withdrawing copper on an exchange by exchange basis may seem like a great idea right now, the more pragmatic side of me, sees it being more of a PCP by PCP switch off allowing the DSLAM’s to be powered down in tandem.

      Whilst I don’t think it will all happen by 2025 I can see most people having gig access by 2027 if you include VM into the equation.

      Actually the penny has just dropped, while I was writing this, about VM’s new venture. It is a new brand for them to offer symmetrical services over. So, just maybe, the elements of the existing VM network that can be easily converted to D4 symmetric will be moved to the new brand or they will be marketed under that brand. It would be too confusing to offer upload options on a geographical basis. As MJ and others have pointed out the old NTL and TeleWest networks are mostly hard, but not impossible, to upgrade to D4. Just a thought.

  2. Avatar Nobroadband

    Oh another service to disappear for the or rural community.
    No tv signal, No bank, No post office, No mail delivery, No paper delivery, No milk delivery
    And the next think go is the phone.
    Hopefully I will be dead by the time we upgrade the electricity service!

    • Avatar Dave2150

      Are you well?

      This news article is regarding upgrading copper lines to Fibre. Fibre can be used to provide a phone service. What do you not understand about this?

      Do you have a black and white TV, or have you upgraded to Colour? This is a similar affair. You need different kit (New TV that supports colour, new ONT/media converter that replaces your modem).

      For those extremely isolated few who choose to live at world’s end, you’re guaranteed to have either a service as fast as your current one, or faster.

  3. Avatar gerarda

    Openreach’s and BDUK’s track record of penny pinching is going prove a false economy in the long run.

    For example, leaving aside arguments over choice of technology, they delivered FTTP to all the properties in our postcode apart from the last 3 in the run from the exchange. Presumably on the grounds of cost per premise as these are all some 2-300 yards from any other property. At some stage to remove the copper Openreach will have to come back and install fibre as a separate exercise at a much higher cost than if they had done it all at one go

    • Avatar CarlT

      Won’t really cost much more, it’ll use the existing infrastructure and some new stuff that would’ve cost the same whatever but good to see you a ray of sunshine as ever, Gerard.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gerarda, fab you have subsidised FTTP, how far in metres are these properties, is another DP needed? It should be straightforward. There is a need for Ofcom to define a ‘reasonable request’. This case study might assist. Have they tried placing an order?

      Money is not the immediate block,orchestrating resource might be.

    • Avatar gerarda

      Carl Openreach sent 4 teams out to do the current infrastructure for around 80 properties. Doing the other 3 then would have been a fairly small marginal compared with sending another 4 teams out, road closure costs etc

    • Avatar A_Builder

      For once I’d agree with Gerarda on this.

      We do civil albeit not telecoms if we can help it.

      The cost of sending a team out to get permits, break road, trench road, lay duct, fill and make good and then agree handover isn’t linear some of those are fixed costs.

      We did some drains work on two nearby streets a few weeks back. To do 15 homes cost twice as much as the three homes we did a few months earlier. Very similar jobs.

      Moral need to differentiate fixed, linear and scalar costs…

  4. Avatar Ex Openreach Project Manager

    I was an Openreach Project Manager working on the BDUK Superfast Broadband rollout. The full UK FTTP will be done, eventually…
    Putting aside any political changes, there will be two main issues that delay the rollout:

    1. Budget adherence – all of the build operators will require government funding, this will be agreed on a cost per connection principle, as BDUK was, if a premise connection falls within the budget target then it will be progressed, if it doesn’t then it will have to wait for a later build phase when higher cost per connection budgets have been agreed with government, again as happened with BDUK. So the final 10% will be extremely high cost and politicians may decide it’s not worth the extra expense.

    2. Physical build issues – most late 1960s / 1970s housing estates were built with Direct In Ground buried armoured cables, right from the street cabinets to the premise access point, this whole network will require overlaying with a new duct & fibre network from the cabinets to the premise. The roadworks disruption will be massive, lengthy and cause wholesale complaints to all involved from government down. On these estates every single block paved driveway or beautiful laid out and manicured front garden will require a trench digging through it to the premise wall access point, permission to do this will not come easily.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      I would welcome a comment given your previous role on the following if you;

      1) Why could the clawback (£668m) not be used more dynamically to go deeper, given that was the original objective?
      2) How was the BT Capital contribution used in planning the initial phases? There is no public record of these funds. It is ok if they arrive last but as long as they arrive. When challenged the funds end up being ‘contracted’, ‘expected’, everything but actually paid?
      3) Where you permitted to pro-actively plan was once called the ‘mixed-economy’ solution – FTTC + FTTP in-fill where the cab did not work?

    • Avatar Ian

      Have to agree with the front garden issues…as much as i’d love FTTP i wouldn’t know which i’d be least angry about having dug up, lawn+hedging or driveway. Plus all of the drains run under everyone’s front gardens to complicate matters further.

    • Avatar Joe

      The reality is we need to dig the lawn etc up if we are to complete copper switch off. Long term replacing buried with ducts etc is a good thing anyway.

      I doubt they will play hard ball but personally I’d tell them to agree or, once there are only a few holdouts, cut the line.

  5. Avatar Ex Openreach Project Manager

    NGA For All – as a ‘Build’ PM I had no involvement in your points 1 & 2, so I would only be speculating if I comment. Your point 3, if I read you correctly, is roughly correct, we planned and executed FTTC + FTTP Infill mainly when there were sufficient connections, beyond a cabinet, that would be technically incapable of reaching the BDUK Superfast Broadband speed threshold but would cost in for a FTTP scheme.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Thank you. It is slightly perturbing that you job was restricted by not knowing 1 and 2. But Thank you. Congrats, There is huge amount for you and your colleagues to be proud of. I only regret Openreach were denied by BT Group the chance to do even more.

      Finally, from the structures put in, how easy is it to extend fibre beyond the cab. Did you allow for spare fibres, or spare blown tubing. The monies was budgeted for future proofing, how much were you allowed to actually do?

    • Avatar Gadget

      I’m slightly perturbed that you do not understand the function of a Project Manager – simply put to deliver the plan within the parameters of time, cost and quality – a task that is often non-trivial involves a lot of hard work (often thankless) and is not about your points 1 & 2.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget … he just said it does not have the budget data, not the full picture anyway. How does he do the most complete job he can if he does not know the budget?

      BT Group caused the further breakup of Openreach because of such sub-optimality. There is another £668m in your accounts which if BT Group are motivated properly would translate into a proposal for 99% superfast coverage.

      It would be good to see such an offer, rather than another squeeze using the ill-timed B-USO.

    • Avatar beany

      “he just said it does not have the budget data”

      LOL yes how do you manager and plan the development of something if you do not have the costings?

      You may as well just grab a map colour a whole area in where you want to deploy and then be told by the money stooges either NO, that costs too much or on the opposite YES, but why have you not planned to go bigger than this.

      Quite how you are supposed to plan or manage something when you do not know what the budget allows is quite amusing.

    • Avatar Gadget

      The PM will have the budget to build those PONs/Cabinets, and an agreed timescale and an agreed quality scheme. However NGA’s questions are about the Clawback and Capital contribution of the total contract, not about individual work-packages

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Gadget, the PM needs the total budget within which he costs the project. The budget ought to include BT capital contribution consistent with that in the contract.

      FTTP in-fill plus mutliple rounds of in-efficient procurement reduces what the engineers can do.

    • Avatar beany

      “NGA’s questions are about the Clawback and Capital contribution of the total contract, not about individual work-packages”

      If you do not know what the “total” budget is how are you supposed to know if your own “individual” work goes over that budget or not? You can not.

      It would be no different to an organisation that gives everyone a company car and currently needing 1000 vehicles for the organisation. Then employing a manager who goes to the dealership asking for vehicles and expecting them to be able to purchase those vehicles without knowing what the budget for the vehicles is, let alone what the vehicles will be used for. Without knowing budgets he may as well go mad and buy all his employees each a Bugatti Veyron. Rinse an repeat that stupidity 1 year later for each and every local branch of the organisation and it soon becomes clear why anyone purchasing anything needs to know not only their budget but the total available at the organisation for replacing the vehicles.

      Regardless of any common sense though, i doubt the person in the little story here has anything to do with any budgets at Openreach and unless you do gadget i fail to see how or why you would think you would know any better or why things would be any different to how typical budging in an organisation would work.

    • Avatar Gadget

      Lets put it simply – total contract is for say 100 cabs (for example) across the county. The bid contains a cost for doing the job and contractual adjustments after completion for take-up (the clawback). The “build PM” has a list of locations, a list of stores and a voucher for x labour hours. The PMs job is to build the cabs at the desired locations with the kit provided and using the labour agreed to the agreed quality.
      That has absolutely nothing to do with the subsequent clawback or requirement to show capital or capitalised contribution, and also nothing to do with the contracting authority’s decision on what to do with the clawback or savings. simples

    • Avatar beany

      “Lets put it simply”

      Proceeds to give a description of a system where a third party and not a project manager arranges areas to be covered.

      “The PMs job is to build the cabs at the desired locations with the kit provided and using the labour agreed to the agreed quality.”

      That’s the contractors job and their leaders surely not a project managers?

      Reboot and… Try Again

  6. Avatar Joe

    ” Consumers should have the power to switch to any full fibre network.”

    Not very realistic

    • Avatar Occasionally Factual

      So are Cityfibre going to open wholesale all their fibre given Greg’s statement.

      Of course, I don’t think he really means that at all. He just wants Openreach to be hindered by any and all means so that his company can crate their own monopoly.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Agree they should be “Open” to all ISPs. At least on OR the customer can retain their favourite ISP.

      Ofcom have clearly stated that their preference is competition at network level.

      I expected something from Cityfibre like this. Perhaps they could choose a Rural community as one of their initial rollouts and how about a 100% coverage target rather than hoping to cover only 85% in a given area. OR is the only hope for the 15% + that they will be leaving.

      The focus for OR is that others are using their cables for LLU etc and that this isn’t just broadband its telephony as well. Cityfibre have a near clean sheet.

    • Avatar beany

      Cityfibre wholesale to anyone that wants to provide their services just like BT.
      A couple of their partners/sellers in addition to vodafone are Darklight and purebroadband.

      Salty BT commentary as usual.

  7. Avatar Ex Openreach Project Manager

    NGA For All
    The vast majority of urban located cabinets (with the exception of late 1960/70s housing estates) have a fairly comprehensive duct network beyond them to Secondary Cross Connection Points, DPs and other cabinets, so for premises served by these structures it is fairly easy to install a fibre to them. All of the fibre cables installed had spare capacity at the time of installation (which may or may not be spare now of course). All BFT contains spare tubes, so “Yes” we future proofed as we went on

  8. Avatar Net work

    Hello x openreach project manager. Don’t worry about the mono block, other solutions are all ready in use (sellotape with a fibre in it!) but do agree some of the no ducted estates will be a pain. Also, be careful what you say to Nga for all. He has an unhealthy obsession with claw back and takes every opertunity to slander BT. His ‘you should be proud’ comment is just designed to suck you in.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Wholly supportive of Openreach, but it has taken 7 Parliamentary inquiries to unpick some of BT group had planned for the subsidies. The latter was not in my opinion in the interests of OR engineering, customers or shareholders.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Net work .. If you check last quarters results for BT, you will find a £668m capital deferral. These monies and others are intend to complete works in rural areas. In most cases it should end in the pockets of OR engineers or your contractors.

      However BT Group management seem equally happy to hand this money back while taking the opportunity to treat this as capital expenditure and recover costs while not completing the rural upgrades.

      Every opinion is evidenced in the hope the monies intended for the network do not disappear. If you think I am slandering, highlight exactly and I will deal with the question.

    • Avatar Rural Taxpayer

      BT/Openreach can suck a d!ck, I have been passed over too many times to care.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Rural Taxpayer .. you are owed an upgrade and an apology but perhaps not the explicit form of justice you have requested. The matter is documented on page 27 para 57 and 58 of the EFRA Broadband report..https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmenvfru/2223/2223.pdf

    • Avatar TheFacts

      @NGA- an apology from who for what? Still nobody agrees with your accusations…

  9. Avatar SheffieldGuy

    I bet lots of people think that this only effects small and rural area. Yet I live in the city centre of Sheffield, and I can tell you that we are still on ADSL2 only.
    There are thousands of us living in apartments waiting and waiting for BT to get their act together, no Virgin Media for us either.
    No doubt BT will manage to upgrade us just as 5G hits Sheffield and I for one will not be staying with them. Despicable incompetent company.

  10. Avatar Phil

    50Mbps upload speeds should not be called gigabit capable!

    One of the main driving forces for FTTP or faster connections is how it will help the economy and people working from home or smaller businesses, but these use cases need upload speed as well as download speeds. If two small businesses or home workers need to exchange large files in real time or near as, and its 1Gig down/50Meg up, connected to each other it’s just a 50Meg connection.

    We are in the same situation we’ve always been with broadband, false advertising in one shape or form.

    To really progress this industry then the companies involved need to be forced to be transparent and advertise their products correctly and truthfully. If that was the case we might have seen Openreach install FTTP that was capable of symmetrical connections and the likes of Virgin Media might have got around to upgrading their network to achieve the same. It should be unlawful to see a broadband product sold as 1Gig capable if all you can achieve in one of the directions is 50Meg.

    We know the alt-networks are able to install symmetrical active fibre, so it is possible.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      WLR withdrawal will still see copper products such as SOGEA and SOGFAST used in areas where that is the ‘fibre’ based service. In areas where its FTTP the aim is all on FTTP. A SOTAP product will exist for those not taking a broadband service and a low speed FTTP option for FTTP areas.

      My money is on there being a meeting to discuss FTTP roll-outs, but Sky News has confused the WLR withdrawal stuff with this, i.e. put 2 + 2 together to make 5. Reason – there was a WLR withdrawal meeting in London on Tuesday.

      If BT Group (note its BT Group) is saying it is changing its ambitions from 15 million FTTP to 100% of UK and also 100% connected (of those who want it) by 2027 then that is a massive change and will scare competitors.

      More likely meeting is about how the commercial firms can get as close to 100% as possible.

  11. Avatar Joe

    BT executives can propose whatever they want but a full switch off of the use of copper in the UK by 2027 won’t happen. This is the proposal of the installation of FTTP to every building in the UK that currently has a copper wire and a project to be delivered in 7-8 years from now. No chance. The “secret talks” with government mentioned will be a vehicle to extract tax payer investment whilst reducing doing what they propose.

    A full FTTP roll out and switch off of copper in the UK by 2035 is still optimistic.

    • Avatar Roger_Gooner

      @Joe: “BT executives can propose whatever they want but a full switch off of the use of copper in the UK by 2027 won’t happen. This is the proposal of the installation of FTTP to every building in the UK that currently has a copper wire and a project to be delivered in 7-8 years from now.”
      The switch off is about the withdrawal of PSTN, after which voice traffic will be carried over existing phone wires. It’s not dissimilar to the way that Virgin Media provides VoIP via its hub 3.0 over HFC, no financial case at all for ripping out perfectly good cabling to replace with fibre within the next few years. The complete replacement of legacy cabling with fibre will probably take decades.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @Joe

      I suspect that copper from PCP to drop will last longer than PCP to exchange as migrating people from ADSL -> VDSL/FTTP will make the entire exchange end redundant.

      Proviso being that this is only in areas where there is VDSL coverage.

      I don’t see many CP kicking up about retiring ADSL as it is a pain in the backside as it is so fault sensitive and these days there is next to no money in it.

      ADSL, if needed, can be provided from a DSLAM closer to the node.

    • Avatar Joe

      @Roger_Gooner

      “The switch off is about the withdrawal of PSTN, after which voice traffic will be carried over existing phone wires. It’s not dissimilar to the way that Virgin Media provides VoIP via its hub 3.0 over HFC, no financial case at all for ripping out perfectly good cabling to replace with fibre within the next few years. The complete replacement of legacy cabling with fibre will probably take decades.”

      That’s an interesting way of interpreting what was reported above:

      “Reports this morning claim that BT (Openreach) are in “secret” negotiations with the government and UK ISPs about a new six point plan, which could see the last of their old copper phone lines being switched off by 2027 and replaced by “full fibre” (FTTP) broadband.”

      Perhaps your interpretation is based on:

      “We should also add that 2025 was the original date proposed for switching off the old analogue phone (PSTN) services and moving to all-IP (VoIP etc.) networks, which is not the same as completely switching off the old copper network;”

      This is reporting that BT propose a full switch off of the use of copper by 2027 OR that BT has no intention of delivering FTTP everywhere by 2027. It’s the usual level of clarity emitted from BT it’s likely that this is a non-story as far as BT delivered FTTP goes. A BT FTTP offering everywhere in 7-8 years -> no chance.

  12. Avatar Branson Richard

    5G will leave all this copper nonsense (and the aluminium in my village) redundant. I’ve just signed up for VM so hoping their M200 package delivers.

  13. Avatar MarkP

    I’m still unclear, is the government’s “gigabit” aspiration referring to symmetrical speeds or only to download speed?

    If it’s download only, I really don’t think it will have such a big impact on people’s lives, or the economy.

    Fast upload speeds on the other hand could add lots more value in applications that aren’t even dreamed of yet.

  14. Avatar Dumbtelecom

    Why is it, when it comes to broadband every man and his dog is an expert? Yet these people don’t work in the industry, they are not technical and to be honest spout utter crap. Sheffieldguy, you have no bloody idea what your talking about and I suspect your a butcher or sales man or something, one thing is for sure, you know sod all about telecoms and the market. Same goes for Mr Branson, clueless.

  15. Avatar Mike Chenery

    No mention of the possible closure of all redundant telephone exchanges, when every consumer is moved to VOIP, due to this upgrade?

  16. Avatar Richard

    I wish i was on copper….What I see here is even more delays to my part of the world getting FTTC. They should finish what they started before moving forward or move the last 5% should be first to get FTTP.

  17. Avatar Richard

    BT/Openreach is changing its tune due to the success of private infrastructure providers in attracting funding. The danger is that the BT dinosaur will now finally move and fall on all the competition, crushing them. BT/Openreach should be allocated a proportion of FTTP subsidy and complete areas should be allocated to a wide range of competitors. Openreach can choose to serve these areas at its own cost or leave. That is the cost it should bear for failing to have a proper FTTP strategy for the past 20 years, while milking the copper asset. This copper is asset is even being renewed in some areas, old copper taken out and new copper going in. What a waste of resources.

    Remember that Openreach is not an open fibre service. It is a selection of network products open to all service providers that will one day be seen to restrict competition and innovation through the lack of dark fibre.

    There is a potentially better way, by separating the passive infrastructure from the active layers, but BT will never allow it.

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Cheapest Superfast ISPs
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    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £22.45 (*36.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Post Office £22.90 (*37.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Direct Save Telecom £22.95 (*29.95)
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
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