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Openreach Discount 10Gbps Cablelinks for FTTP Broadband ISPs

Saturday, October 19th, 2019 (12:01 am) - Score 5,791

UK ISPs that make use of Openreach’s network via their “gigabit-capable” Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband products may be pleased to learn that the operator has discounted the price of their 10Gbps Cablelink services, which helps to provide the capacity for such full fibre connections.

Under the deal Openreach will – between 18th November 2019 and 31st March 2020 – reduce the 10 Gigabit GEA Cablelink connection charge from £1,042 to £521 +vat. This offer will apply to all GEA-FTTP only Layer 2 Switches UK wide and the discount will be limited to one 10G cablelink per FTTP only Layer 2 Switch per ISP (it is NOT available where a Layer 2 Switch is also supporting slower FTTC services).

The offer is said to be “aimed at encouraging [ISP] consumption and sales of FTTP on available infrastructure throughout the UK. It will enable CPs to future-proof their Cablelink infrastructure investment by making 10 Gigabit as affordable as 1 Gigabit for a limited duration.” Further details here.

Not so long ago a 10Gbps Cablelink would have cost £10,000 just for the connection charge. How times change.

Leave a Comment
25 Responses
  1. Avatar CarlT says:

    Very smart move on the part of Openreach. Encourages take up of the Cablelinks that’ll be needed to support the upcoming higher speed residential services.

    1. Avatar Vince says:

      A £500 or so adjustment will make absolutely sod all difference. They get the discount only on one, and trust me, £500 to an ISP is nothing as a one off cost adjustment in real terms.

    2. Avatar CarlT says:

      I’ll trust you but you’re wrong about them getting that discount on one, full stop.

      It’s one per OLT per provider.

    3. Avatar A_Builder says:

      Very useful if you have a FTTB/P tower block fed by 1 x 2.5G and it is getting saturated a quick and relatively cheap bandwidth upgrade.

      Now the Alt Nets are doing some many MDU’s I can see real demand for this and it should show readily in improved throughout

    4. Avatar CarlT says:

      This is of no benefit to altnets. Openreach GEA only.

    5. Avatar CarlT says:

      It also does nothing for capacity on the PON side and doesn’t apply to a single PON.

      In the unlikely event 32 punters are using a full GPON downstream the only solutions are to overlay the GPON with something else or to reduce the premises served by the PON.

      This is a discount on a port out the back of an Openreach OLT serving many PONs.

    6. Avatar A_Builder says:


      Yes I understand it link to potentially many PON’s and that the link is inside the exchange.

      An MDU like atower block likely has more than one PON, if that is the architecture.

      Some providers are using lower capacity links in the exchange, not long ago 10Gb was v expensive, increasing the capacity of the link will help with better service delivery/provision. That is all I’m saying OK badly expressed.

    7. Avatar CarlT says:

      This doesn’t really help with that. I’m not aware of a single instance of Cablelink congestion on FTTP-only kit. Can cram a lot of FTTC punters onto a gigabit Cablelink without issues and congestion would get very obvious really quickly.

      Backhaul out of the exchange a different matter and one that won’t be helped by this though pricing has been aggressive on it for a while.

      BT Wholesale won’t sell 500+ without a 10 Gb Cablelink. This helps them and Sky/TalkTalk get things ready for the low cost hyperfast stuff coming next year.

    8. Avatar NE555 says:

      I think the point is: this in exchanges where FTTC and FTTP are on separate layer 2 equipment, service providers were holding back from taking connections on the FTTP side because with few customers to serve, the cost didn’t justify it.

      This reduction in cost, together with increasing coverage of FTTP, helps to make it viable. Which in turn may encourage more service providers to start selling FTTP, hence more take-up of FTTP by end users – a virtuous circle.

    9. Avatar A_Builder says:

      @ NE555

      Very well put.

      But we are all agreed it is a GOOD thing…..

    10. Avatar CarlT says:

      Just need rid of the ECI poop now. No 10 Gb available on those at all and not really required as the 1G lines can address at most 128 FTTP punters.

  2. Avatar Drew says:

    They should get people running on 10 megabytes per second before they start worrying about gigabytes it would be nice to have decent internet instead of the crap speeds we get that we can’t even watch YouTube without it buffering

    1. Avatar Jake4 says:

      You know this is about the connection off Openreach’s network, not to people’s houses. This just basically means it’s going to be a bit cheaper for ISPs to sell FTTP if they pass this discount over to consumers.

  3. Avatar chris conder says:

    Yes how times are changing… shows what competition can do. People have short memories, I hope you have an archive of all your posts Mark. This could have happened 10 or more years ago instead of all the first round of funding going into obsolete fttc just to make a few go a bit faster.

    Bring on the trolls.

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      You clearly don’t understand what this is about.

    2. Avatar CarlT says:

      Cablelinks are nothing to do with availability of FTTP or FTTC, Chris.

      They are how providers connect to the Openreach equipment serving customers.

    3. Avatar A_Builder says:


      But costs impact on the business case for building.

      Lowers costs = better business case = more likely finance = higher rate of build out

    4. Avatar CarlT says:

      The only thing they will help with is the business case to connect directly to Openreach rather than via BT Wholesale.

      This will be aimed at getting Sky and TalkTalk on board with FTTP alongside making it more cost effective for Wholesale.

  4. Avatar Tim says:

    This is just a patch cable between the ISP’s rack in a Openreach exchange to the aggregation switch in the same exchange.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      Interestingly Tim the switches are part of the OLTs that serve customers.

      It’s a single chassis that may or may not have GPON line cards to serve FTTP and may or may not have cabinets connected to GigE ports on other line cards.

      All the same chassis, just the line cards that change, and in the case of this offer the chassis may only have PON cards and Cablelinks.

      The exception being the ECI stuff. The less said about the options Openreach took on that the better. The kit has no switching fabric backplane – can only connect to customers connected on the same line card.

      The PON cards on that stuff are 4 x GPON, 8 x GigE.

  5. Avatar Mark Dawson says:

    Nice header photo, wonder where that’s from

  6. Avatar Marty says:

    Will this help people get the same speeds up and down.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      This is nothing to do with that.

  7. Avatar David says:

    That’s a good price. I was charged £600 to have a connection from the box in the tree to my house – I know it’s not the same but this is good to see – Hopefully the link I am on does not get too bogged down but if it does they might be able to upgrade it further at the exchange as more people join

  8. Avatar Spurple says:

    Looking forward to the annual price rises next year for the same speeds.



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