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BT Build FTTP and G.fast Broadband to 4.9 Million UK Premises

Thursday, January 30th, 2020 (9:55 am) - Score 7,385

The BT Group’s results for Q3 2019/20 (financial) have revealed that Openreach has expanded their “ultrafast broadband” ISP network to cover 4.88 million UK premises (up from 4.2m last quarter), which includes 2.156m on FTTP (up from 1.81m) and 2.725m on G.fast (up from 2.42m). But the Gov’s Huawei decision will cost £500m!

Clearly the big news today stems from the Government’s decision to allow Huawei into non-core parts of the UK mobile (5G) and fixed broadband networks (here). In response BT said the new guidance will “have some impact on our 5G rollout plans and the equipment used in our FTTP network build going forwards.” The impact is significant and estimated at around £500m over the next 5 years, but not much context is provided for this figure.

Otherwise, since the last update, the operator has managed to launch their new converged – Halo – 5G and fixed broadband plans (here), purchased the entire UK estate of InLinkUK smart WiFi kiosks (here), experimented with their own DNS over HTTPS (DoH) servers (here), scooped the contract for Scotland’s R100 project (here), deployed 5G to more areas via EE (here) and confirmed that they were no longer deploying copper broadband at larger new build home sites (here).

On top of that BT has managed to bring 100% of their customer service calls back to the UK and Ireland (here), while Openreach has expanded their FTTP discounts to include smaller new build home developments (here) and they’re now deploying to 250,000 “harder to reach” premises (here). Suffice to say that it’s been a fairly busy three months.

Financial Highlights – BT’s Quarterly Change
* BT Group revenue = £5,779m (down from £5,780m)
* BT Group profit after tax = £458m (down from £563m)
* BT Group total net debt = -£18,234m (from -£18,347m)

The KPIs for BT’s results also noted that the gross BDUK grant funding deferral (clawback) included in capacity/network was: 2014/15: £29m; 2015/16: £229m; 2016/17: £188m; 2017/18: £112m; 2018/19: £213m (total clawback so far = £771m). This reflects public money that can be returned by BT and reinvested by local authorities to help “superfast broadband” coverage (potentially pushing it to 98% of the UK).

Sadly BT no longer provide customer figures for their own retail broadband ISP, although we note that 77.1% of their consumer broadband base now take a “superfast broadband” service (up from 75.8% last quarter – mostly FTTC) and this drops to just 2.1% (up from 1.6%) for their “ultrafast broadband” (FTTP/G.fast) products.

Openreach’s Network

The table below offers a breakdown of fixed line network coverage and take-up by technology on Openreach’s national UK network, which covers the totals for all ISPs combined (e.g. BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Zen Internet, Vodafone etc.).

Otherwise the rollout of full fibre lines remains the dominant one among the two “ultrafast” technologies, with FTTP adding 346,000 premises (up from +296K last quarter) and hybrid fibre G.fast adding 308,000 premises (up from +251K last quarter).

openreach_q3_2019-20_network_coverage_and_takeup

The results reveal that take-up of FTTP is 21.57% (down from 22.32% last quarter), while G.fast stands at 2.5% (up from 2.11% last quarter), although such figures don’t tell the whole story. Both technologies have been ramping up their roll-out and so adoption is likely to trail a bit (i.e. it’s dynamically impacted by lots of factors like consumer choice, awareness and deployment pace).

Openreach also appear to have more or less hit their current target of 2.73 million G.fast premises by March 2020, although the technology is under review and as such we no longer know how far it will go after March or if they’ll go full steam on FTTP instead (the latter is expected). One positive point is that several of the major ISPs have now launched G.fast packages, which will aid take-up even if the technology is on the way out.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT Group, said:

“BT delivered results slightly below our expectations for the third quarter of the year, but we remain on track to meet our outlook for the full year.

We continue to invest in the business. During the quarter we launched Halo, the UK’s ultimate converged plan, which will give homes and businesses the best connection and service. We’ve continued to use our national scale and local presence across the UK to provide customers with the best possible experience, for example by meeting our promise to answer all customer calls in the UK and Ireland and bringing BT sales and service back to the high street in nearly 500 BT/EE stores.

Underpinning the ongoing development of market-leading propositions, we continue to invest in the best converged network. We welcomed the direction of Ofcom’s recent consultation, which is an important step forward towards a widely-shared ambition to invest in fibre across the whole of the UK. We’re also investing in 5G, making it available in over 50 locations, with the first customers enjoying a great experience.

The security of our network is paramount for BT. We therefore welcome and are supportive of the clarity provided by Government around the use of certain vendors in networks across the UK and agree that the priority should be the security of the UK’s communications infrastructure. We are in the process of reviewing the guidance in detail to determine the full impact on our plans and at this time estimate an impact of around £500 million over the next 5 years.

I’m really excited about the long-term prospects for this great company and I‘m confident our plans will enable us to be bolder, smarter, and faster to ensure that we remain successful and create a better BT for the future.”

Going forwards into 2020 we suspect that one of the BT Group’s biggest challenges could stem from what happens with Virgin Media and whether or not that operator splits off their network to wholesale under the new Liberty Networks division (here). Such a move would provide Openreach with a significant national competitor at infrastructure level and isn’t likely to do BT’s share price much good. How they respond to that will be key.

Otherwise we note that FTTP broadband build pace was 23,000 premises passed per week in October 2019, then 26,000 premises in January 2020 and Openreach expects to exit 2019/20 (i.e. next quarter) with an impressive run rate of around 30,000 per week.

 

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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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50 Responses
  1. Avatar NGA for all

    Clawback back up to £771m wow – that makes 98%+ with 1m FTTP really possible. North Lanarkshire p61-p62 https://mars.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/egenda/images/att90422.pdf published and itemised some FTTC costs, Cabinet + install + connection ~£15k. Huawei cab <£5k including install.

    I hope BT make clear what they could do with these funds if they were converted into coverage and announce a true up so their capital contributions can be clearly seen.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Where does the <£5k come from?

    • Avatar CarlT

      Page 61 is the back cover. There is no page 62.

      Thanks for the document though – it totally undermines your points.

      North Lanarkshire mentions 182 cabinets. 149 ‘standard’ FTTC installs passing 22,125 premises and 33 all-in-one solutions passing 4,880.

      FTTP passing 513 premises.

      ‘The pre-contract modelling identified an average anticipated cost for North Lanarkshire funded premises to be £795 per premises passed. The programme has used innovation to manage costs and directly benefit North Lanarkshire funded build. The efficiencies achieved have reduced the cost per premise to £425 and this has enabled the programme to deliver more than originally anticipated.’

      26,672 premises were uplifted to >24 Mb so eligible for subsidy.

      Cost per premises passed per the above across the programme £425. £425 * 26,672 = £11,335,600.

      Assuming the FTTP was at the extreme of £4k per premises passed cost of the cabinets came out at £51k a piece.

      ( £11,335,600 – (4000 * 513) ) / 182 = £51,008.79.

      Where your numbers came from is a mystery to me and they don’t matter anyway.

      The subsidy is per premises passed not per cabinet. A cabinet install costing £15k that passes 50 premises isn’t eligible for zero subsidy because it only cost £15k.

      May I politely suggest you abandon this fixation with cost per cabinet and focus on what matters – cost per premises passed.

      I don’t get why someone so apparently involved in this and who is so fixated by it continues to obsess over off-the-cuff marketing comments and spiel about 100k costs per cabinet rather than focusing on what matters.

      That you make claims about costs per cabinet then completely undermine them with your own evidence is a highlight though – thanks for that.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      P61 or 62 of the doc referenced. The cost if install, connecting up including the spine is less than £15K. Can number is itemised.
      M1 Morrison Utility Services £497.69 Connection from Fibre Node to DSLAM Cabinet
      M1 Morrison Utility Services £2,271.25 Connection from Fibre Node to DSLAM Cabinet
      M1 Tyco Electonics £13.41 Fibre Connectivity Non VDS
      M1 Tyco Electonics £21.48 Closures (non VDS)
      M1 Corning Cable System £45.09 Blown Fibre Bundle (non VDS)
      M1 Emtelle UK Ltd £430.62 Blown Fibre Bundle (non VDS)
      M1 Emtelle UK Ltd £6.27 Blown Fibre Bundle (non VDS)
      M1 Independent Twine Manufuring £31.76 Draw rope (non VDS)
      M1 Tyco Electonics £10.74 Closures (non VDS)
      M2 Morrison Utility Services £169.88 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet
      M2 Morrison Utility Services £1,166.96 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet
      M2 Morrison Utility Services £5,333.02 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet
      M2 3M United Kingdom £95.66 PCP Stores (non VDS)
      M2 3M United Kingdom £12.12 PCP Stores (non VDS)
      M2 3M United Kingdom £95.96 PCP Stores (non VDS)
      M2 Comtec Cable accessories £9.50 Cable Stores
      M2 Tyco Electonics £3.78 Fibre Connectivity Non VDS
      M2 Joseph Greave & Son Ltd £0.08 Cable Stores (nonVDS)

      Dslam Cabinet £3,451.67
      Installation & Commisioning £669.00
      Dslam Card £242.09

      Total so far £14,578.03

      The small cabinet under £3k.

      This grouping of costs was presented as an average £32k worth in the 2013 NAO report.

      Planning and overheads now needed.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Carl – the PDF is 100 pages so it is page 61-and 62 of the 100 page doc.

      As above with the overheads to add.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Sorry notes.

      Cost per premises passed on page 4 of the document. Section 2.3 paragraph iv.

      Key facts on page 11 of the North Lanarkshire section, page 18 of the document overall for FTTP, FTTC, premises at >24 Mb and number of cabinets erected.

      There is no itemisation on the link provided of individual unit costs.

    • Avatar CarlT

      I have downloaded that document as a straight PDF. I have viewed it on the website. It does not have 100 pages, it has an end cover at 61.

      I would strongly suggest revisiting that list.

      M2 Morrison Utility Services £169.88 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet
      M2 Morrison Utility Services £1,166.96 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet
      M2 Morrison Utility Services £5,333.02 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet

      So which is it? You are aware that the cost of electricity supply varies per cabinet and involves the local power company, right?

      M1 Morrison Utility Services £497.69 Connection from Fibre Node to DSLAM Cabinet
      M1 Morrison Utility Services £2,271.25 Connection from Fibre Node to DSLAM Cabinet

      So which is it? Fixed cost whatever the distance and complexity? What happens if civils work is needed to clear spine routes? Are these done for free? Presumably the spine fibre to get to the node is free too, right?

      The headend build, construction and costs alongside power, cooling, etc, is all free too I guess?

      I am utterly lost as to where you’ve found these numbers or what a bunch of them are, however those of us who aren’t semi-retired are busy so I’ll leave the mysteries of where these are, what they are, and the rather hilarious idea that this one document apparently claims costs of over 51k per cabinet and 15k per cabinet and neither the Scottish or North Lanarkshire authorities batted an eyelid to others to work out.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Carl .. That might be what these poor people contributed to the project but the underlying costs are very different.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Carl .. https://mars.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/egenda/images/att90422.pdf

      I was answering a simple question for FACTS, before you jumped in.

      Try again .. Costs are associated with same cab.
      Of course there is variation, but at least you have some references you were requesting. DSLAMs really cheap.

      Headend is a shared cost but there is a reference for that £320. There is itemisation for a copper re-arrangement for a different cab. But Headend was itemised separately by the NAO.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      What cabinet are these costs referring to that you’ve posted

      it looks to be multiple cabinets as for same service there is a massive range of pricing.

      Have looked and definitely not in the North Lanarkshire document, which you imply they are from.

      My guess is that you’ve had an invoice leaked to you and you are using that one to extrapolate from 1 or 2 cabinets costs to the full population across the UK.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Andrew, Try again looking at it. Your guessing wrong. https://mars.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/egenda/images/att90422.pdf 100 pages. It from early 2019.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      I think you may be pasting in the wrong link since there is NOTHING to the level of detail for cabinet costs that you suggest in the document.

      Have searched for various words in the PDF that you mention in your costs list post but they are not present.

      Perhaps a screen shot of what you are seeing might help explain things better.

      So which cabinet in North Lanarkshire do the costs you mention apply to?

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Andrew I sent the doc and the ref to ISP review.

    • @NGA for all. Oh god, please leave me out of this fantasy of broadband accounting. People have been over and over the many flaws in some of your assumptions a thousand times. I’ve long since got bored of it.

      But for the record, the document you sent me is not the same as the one you’ve linked to the others. It’s similar, but only up to a point. The one linked is missing masses of pages.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      If the things like “M2 Morrison Utility Services £1,166.96 Prov of Mains Electricity Supply to DSLAM Cabinet” are actually in the document at https://mars.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/egenda/images/att90422.pdf why the backdoor route of emailing to Mark?

      All I want to understand is what page in this document the invoice details are on, so that can run analysis and run it as a news story, since a council publishing this level of detail is unprecedented.

      Also would like to understand why at least two of us cannot find what you are talking about in the download.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Mark, it may have changed I have sent to Andrew. Sorry your bored but it is material to reach 98%+ when the evidence emerges for a <£5k cabinet, and £15k to fully connect up before the overheads are charged.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      Mr Mike Kiely what you emailed does not match what you have linked to.

      Two different documents the one you have linked to in the comments is missing the part
      “Management and Assurance of Local Authority Contributions – a Detailed Guide”

      The example on page 52 of the email PDF talks about ESHAR cabinets 1 and 11 and seems to be the costings you posted.

      The document also has some VERY IMPORTANT things to say
      “In line with all BDUK contracts, DSSB programme spend is recorded as a ‘build cost per structure’ following detailed engineering estimates and then actual costs, and an apportionment of non-build costs as described below.
      The total cost of the programme is made up of two elements, the direct structure cost and the non-structure cost. The non-structure cost is made up of mainly planning, civils and PMO costs and these costs are allocated across the structures using a metric that takes into consideration the type of technology deployed, the geo-type classification of the location it is deployed in, and any peculiar challenges that are associated with such deployment.”

      The extract for cab 1 and 11 is the cost per structure part I believe and there is the non-structure cost to add. Also we have no knowledge of where this two cabinets sit in the distribution of costs. So concluding that ALL VDSL2 cabinets can be delivered for £15,000 each is pure fantasy.

      So well done for wasting an afternoon.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Andrew, PSTN network segments are consistent in design and distances between elements for the most part. But you at least can no longer deny the cost of cab or the install cost and you have an itemisation of elements including the links back to to a hub.

    • Avatar The Facts

      Link to full document please.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      I am not the one obsessing about the costs.

      Am happy enough seeing the various announcements about gainshare and cost savings as local authorities decide to go further, no obligation or them to do so of course.

      Used to sit down and work out the rough cabinet costs based on what was delivered and amount of FTTP etc i.e. effectively what CarlT did above. It has been clear that BT has not run off with the money and has been delivering as per contracts. The BDUK contracts are a rare Government thing where things are coming in under cost.

      As for the elements being consistent, why is there so much variation in the costing of elements like power in even that small sample? Suggests that not everything is consistent. Another example that will vary is position of VDSL2 cab relative to PCP and cost of duct work due to distance.

      I refute your claim that I am in denial and you need to do people a favour by hosting and linking to the copy of the document you have, assuming you have permission to republish it.

    • Avatar The Facts

      ‘The BDUK contracts are a rare Government thing where things are coming in under cost.’

      Unlike HS2 where the build hasn’t even properly started.

      And electrification of the Great Western line where they discovered piling wasn’t easy due to stuff in the ground.

      And then there is Gigaclear in CDSland…

    • Avatar NGA for all

      @Facts ..pdf number just search..I answered your question <£5k.

      It is successful after 7 Parliamentary inquiries and there is much more to come. There is still no reporting of a required capital investment of more than £500m.

      It would be a poor show 17% if 6m rural are without upgrades if this money is returned to LDP and Treasury. You can agree that cannot be in BT's interest.

      Why do you wish to compare a relative start-up with an incumbent operator?

    • Avatar CarlT

      So I have this document. NGA – once you start leaking people get curious and ask other people. We then find out from other people that you aren’t the only person that has the document and when they read you’re sending it out to journalists they get a lot more free about sharing.

      It is not the case that the costs cover deployment right back to the headend. There is no mention at all of anything cabinet specific beyond the link to the local aggregation node only mention of some civils / signage work at Coatbridge which is nothing to do with the cabinets in question.

      There is no mention of costs to build the aggregation node or deploy spine fibre to it, only of costs to get from the cabinet to the aggregation node.

      There is no mention of any costs involved in the planning or, actually, any costs other than those itemised and they are not specific as the job references are not detailed.

      In the case of the exchange in question – https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=21349&cabinets=12367 – the costs would seem fairly obviously mainly in getting the fibre there. The cabinets themselves are fairly close together, some of them serve a good number of premises.

      You mentioned an itemisation for headened equipment. It mentions the Cumbernauld exchange but doesn’t give a cabinet. Good reason for that – it’s nothing at all to do with the exchange in question: Harthill’s parent exchange isn’t Cumbernauld, it’s Bathgate. It connects to Huawei OLT BAAELF at Bathgate.

      The Cumbernauld headend cost may relate to the FTTP cluster built in Cumbernauld in 2015 to take care of an exchange-only bundle, it may relate to one of the 16 BDUK cabinets a new Huawei OLT was installed for.

      I appreciate in your world getting fibre to an aggregation node or two from Bathgate to Harthill costs nothing but in reality I’d speculate a fair amounts of civils work, planning, traffic management, etc was involved.

      There is no indication whatsoever of what was actually charged by Openreach after their own contributions. These are not invoices, they are estimated costs and take no account of what Openreach actual bill. The document makes this clear as Andrew mentioned.

      ‘On the BDUK contracts spend is recorded against Estimates; the bulk of these are booked against structures and are visible in the MER. The costs associated with these estimates are then shown on the M0, M1, or M2 tab of the MPC.

      The first step will be to ‘stack’ the estimates from the MER so that you have a table of Estimate linked to Structure.

      Consolidate the M0, M1 & M2 tabs from the MPC onto a single tab. You will then be able to link the claimed value of each estimate from the MPC to the estimates in the MER. This will give you a rough cut of Build Cost per structure.’

      There is zero mention of M0 costs in the spreadsheet snippet so you don’t even have the build cost per structure correct.

      As noted you also completely ignored the non-structure costs even though these are specifically mentioned.

      ‘The non-structure cost is made up of mainly planning, civils and PMO costs and these costs are allocated across the structures using a metrics that takes into consideration the type of technology deployed, the geo-type classification of the location it is deployed in and the peculiar challenges that are associated with such deployment.’

      I repeat this section just for emphasis and highlight the key passage:

      The non-structure cost is made up of mainly planning, civils and PMO costs and *these costs are allocated across the structures* using a metrics that takes into consideration the type of technology deployed, the geo-type classification of the location it is deployed in and the peculiar challenges that are associated with such deployment.

      You have basically been leaked a document and done your usual Erin Broadbandovich with it.

      It’s also, frankly, insulting to the local authority staff that you make them out to be morons in that, despite having all this information to hand, in your world they still happily handed over 50 grand per structure and considered it good value for money. The implication being that they are either critically inept or criminally corrupt.

      Really not your finest hour.

    • Avatar NGA for all

      Carl T information as available on the web. I was posed a question I answered it. I gave a reference to a publicly document a PDF of at least 4 docs with a ref 90422 – it consists of 100 pages. You get upset and launch into one. I have not suggested this represents the full cost charged but we have significant elements of the costs and they are well below what has been portrayed.

      I am particularly interested in the BT contributions to allowable costs. This is the missing bit. The costs have dealt with, the clawback is dripping back, the capital element is so far not been reported upon.

      For the most part LDP may not be aware as to when it paid and how it was used to plan the rollout.

      I have not commented on LDPs, It is not as if they have much of a choice. 17% of the rural areas have not been upgraded but 1.1m Virginmedia customers have been overbuilt using public monies. This should and can be fixed.

      This is one more question @Facts has asked and I have answered with information in the public domain, which was available in 2012 but only appears in the public domain in 2019. It is most strange that folk wish to question it. You want the complete answer and I may or may not reach that but I am getting closer as more information is released.

    • Avatar CarlT

      It’s not a public document.

      I can make it public if you like?

      I didn’t ‘launch into one’ I simply showed how utterly misleading your remarks were.

      Your post here – https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/01/bt-build-fttp-and-g-fast-broadband-to-4-9-million-uk-premises.html#comment-216822 – is a massive extrapolation. Your various other comments showed you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/01/bt-build-fttp-and-g-fast-broadband-to-4-9-million-uk-premises.html#comment-216803

      ‘The cost if install, connecting up including the spine is less than £15K. ‘

      Is wrong. The cost of getting to the local aggregation node in the case of a single cabinet is that. There is nothing about the cost of building the aggregation node. There are no ‘M0’ costs listed whatever they may be so it seems clear that there are items missing given the document specifically mentions the cost of a structure as being the sum of M0, M1 and M2. There are none of the other costs that would be spread across the structures but would, of course, form a part of those costs as without them no structures.

      This is like me saying that a house with a rebuild cost of £150k shouldn’t have cost £400k in the first place. It completely ignores a huge component of the costs: planning, architecture, legals, land, section 106, community infrastructure levy, etc, etc.

      Whether you like it or not you’re behaving less like someone seriously interested in this and more in the manner of a tabloid journalist with a grudge desperate to make something stick.

      As I also mentioned, it’s insulting of you to imply North Lanarkshire are either incompetent or corrupt in that they have access to far more information than you but paid 50k+ per structure.

      You are in the wrong place to not be called out on this. I have no problem whatsoever with Openreach being called out when they merit it and have done so here and in many other place but facts are important, the truth is important, not misleading people is important.

      You are reminding me more and more of a gaslighting politician.

      My offer to make the document public stands by the way. If, as you claim, it’s already public and indeed states what you claim it does, as you claim it does, making your case and painting me out as ‘having a go’ you should have no issues pre-empting me on this?

      I’ll even send it to a quite senior national TV/radio journalist I know if you’d like? Shouldn’t be a problem if it’s so cut and dry, no?

    • Avatar Gadget

      I’m separately interested in why one company taking public money and apparently delivering product is the subject of such close scrutiny whilst others, also recipients of public contracts and have had high profile delivery issues, are not apparently subject to the same window of your cost investigations. Do you have similar calculations for them?

    • Avatar CarlT

      For me one of the biggest problems here is a simple one. A fair arbiter with a genuine interest in getting at the truth would look at the evidence and form conclusions based on it. In this case the person ‘prosecuting the case’ has formed conclusions and continues to look for evidence for those conclusions, regardless of how precarious it may be.

      This evidence then gets extrapolated and those extrapolations are in turn used as citations for other comments in a self-citing chain.

      This would neither pass journalistic muster or academic.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      First BDUK funded cabinet went live in December 2012 in North Yorkshire, therefore not sure how anyone was able to comment on prices BT was charging councils since it could not have invoiced for any live BDUK cabinets in October 2012 as none existed.

    • Avatar TheTruth

      @CarlT

      To quote you from another recent news article

      “I need more palms and more faces to get close to adequately conveying my feelings on this comments thread.”

      This is ISP Review, not a court house.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Thank you for that insightful and useful contribution, random anonymous person.

      Unlike that thread everything here has been in direct response to claims made in a comment. That was turning a thread on roaming rules changing into a huge, pointless political debate.

      Claims were made here that’ll probably end up being presented as ‘evidence’ to some political or regulatory hearing or other which merited discussion.

      A tad different from ‘We won, you lost, get over it’.

      Again, thank you for your insightful contribution though. Made in the tradition of a variety of similarly named anonymous people both in this comments section and the ISPR forums.

  2. Avatar Philip Cheeseman

    I really hate how fttc is described as ‘superfast broadband’. I barely get 20mb and falling. I use to get 16mb on ADSL at my previous property so it really doesn’t seem faster. I’m not that far from the cabinet either… I’d happily pay more for faster but 4g is only 8mb. Seems BT or anyone else don’t want my money.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      BT is in a spot of bother. They are restructuring but that takes time to work through. The quarter results show BT’s debt has increased simply to finance the 4m FTTP target, PSTN and 5G. The arbitrary 35% Huawei hasn’t helped. The shares are dropping despite the better late than never prospects.

      Yes BT made some bad decisions in the past but they are not obliged to improve your broadband as its a free market. They will get to you eventually if an Altnet doesn’t undermine them before then. Significant Altnets are late on the scene and the “value add” ISPs continue to make profits without making any investment themselves. FTTP broadband progress may stall if Ofcom make the wrong moves.

      Basically BT/OR need more revenue to fund their FTTP. If the VM hybrid is opened up to key players like Sky then that will undermine OR’s FTTP investment further. The good news is BT have had to place a lot of bad new in the current year and will move on in better shape.

    • Avatar The Facts

      @PC – FTTC is not described as ‘superfast broadband’, it is one way of providing it.

    • Avatar Fastman

      the one you you can be sure off you will get nothing under USO as you have confirmed you are over 10 m/bps

      sure some the people who will be well under USO and over the cost Threhold of USO I sure are really chuffed you only get 20 m/bps when most of those would love to be in your “predicament”

  3. Avatar NGA for all

    Mark – the clawback is to last year. In fact 17/18 has dropped by £48m compared to previous reporting. £229m was an accumulated number. It might be clearer next quarter. The clawback was reducing the last couple of quarters. They have not reported a number this quarter. It is likely money is being returned but not invested.

  4. Avatar Ianh

    They could help that take-up rate by not over building virgin and definitely not city fibre (they can’t compete on price), but nope. They continue to do it.

    I hope they produce a breakdown for the rural build take-up they’ve recently announced compared to the rest. I bet its miles better.

    • Avatar 125us

      Even if the take-up rate is smaller in cities, you’ll still get more customers and revenue that spending the same amount of money rurally. All about density and propensity.

      If your point held true, the altnets would be rushing to do rural areas before BT got there.

    • Avatar CarlT

      More profitable to build more cheaply in urban areas and retain / take customers from other operators than spend more reaching rural customers for just a couple of quid extra a month.

  5. Avatar OutintheValleys

    OR are supposed to be doing rural areas of South Wales, they’re classing Aberdare as rural…. Where I live more in the Valleys near Ferndale is more Rural than Aberdare as its a built up town to!
    They’ll never learn geography properly! Here’s to 2133 when we finally get a GigE connection rather than the flaky FTTC that we have currently.
    Nice to see that the speed of the builds are happening quicker though, just need to send them back to school to redo their geography of rural areas!

    • Avatar CarlT

      It’s not a ‘UK’s most rural’ competition. They’re spending their own money in areas that are more rural than the cities they’ve mostly done so far.

      The very most rural stuff will need subsidies.

  6. Avatar NE555

    “Government’s decision to allow Huawei into non-core parts of the [UK] networks … [will cost] around £500m over the next 5 years”

    That sounds back-to-front to me. How about:

    “Government’s decision NOT to allow Huawai into CORE parts of the [UK] networks … [will cost] around £500m over the next 5 years”

    • Avatar Fastman

      not sure why you think that –

    • Avatar NE555

      It sounds like the government *allowing* Huawei in will cost BT money.

      In other words, it sounds as if it would be cheaper for BT if Huawei were not allowed in.

    • Avatar Fastman

      this is what I love about this forum

      people who think they know something when they know absolutely nothing about

      the press release will be correct (

  7. Avatar Tony English

    Where I live, in leith, everybody gets fttc except our building. There are about 5 blocks of flats connected to our cabinet covering about 170 addresses which bt decided wasnt worth supplying fibre to. I complained to bt who eventually they gave us g.fast. The price for g.fast is extortionate because so few suppliers supply it So I’m stuck paying pretty much the same for adsl as my neighbor’s pay for fibre.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      Tony this is odd because G.fast is ONLY available where VDSL2 is also available.

      G.fast entry level 160 Mbps retails for around £36 to £40/m at the bottom end, so about same price as the faster FTTC services.

      If you are paying more than £25/m for ADSL you need to consider switching suppliers.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @AF

      Unless there was a rare GFast FTTB pod installed?

      It is MDU so not impossible and ironically one of the sorts of locations where it is likely to work better that the PCP blister approach?

      Just a thought.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      While technically possible it would be the first known instance and not give enough ports to service 170 premises.

      VDSL2 cabs in building basements has happened in a small number of cases.

    • Avatar John

      I don’t know if even allowed to install G.Fast without FTTC being present.

      OFCOM insist on OpenReach selling 40Mb on FTTP so consumers aren’t forced to consume more expensive packages than they need.

      Having only G.Fast would mean a minimum of 160Mb being purchased. They don’t sell any lower on G.Fast.

      Plenty confirmed FTTrN FTTC DSLAM’s out there.

      With the introduction of the new Huawei MA5818 DSLAM’s that can do both G.Fast and VDSL2 I don’t ever expect to see G.Fast installed on its own.

      Happy to be shown any estimates that show G.Fast without FTTC.

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