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ISP BT UK Confirms Plan to Launch Gigabit Home Broadband

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 (11:28 am) - Score 17,449
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Last week we revealed that UK ISP BT had begun consumer trials of a new 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband package – ‘Full Fibre 900 HALO‘ – using Openreach’s national network (here). As predicted the provider has today officially confirmed that such a product will be launched “later this month.”

At present Openreach’s full fibre network covers 2.1 million UK premises and this will rise to 4 million by March 2021, with the network access provider expected to target 15 million by around 2025. Sadly the fastest consumer tier available on this platform right now is a 330Mbps (50Mbps upload) service, but the operator intends to launch two new tiers – 500Mbps (75Mbps upload) and 1000Mbps (115Mbps) – on 23rd March 2020 for ISPs to adopt.

As per last week’s report, we had been expecting BT to be one of the first retail ISPs to adopt the new tiers and they’ve just made it official. The service will apparently form part of a “new range of next generation Full Fibre plans,” but sadly further information on pricing and availability for new and existing customers has not yet been revealed.

BT Statement

BT’s new gigabit home broadband service will offer customers a best in class broadband experience, ensuring it is perfect for busy connected homes where multiple online devices stream, browse, monitor and game at once and at the busiest times. It will also provide a future proof connection to enable homes to make the most of new high-bandwidth products and services such as 8K video, online gaming and the increasingly connected smart home. BT’s service will also offer ultrafast upload speeds – perfect for live online gaming, smart security camera monitoring, home working and video calling.

BT’s new gigabit service will be available in hundreds of cities, towns and villages across the UK, including rolling out across Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leeds, London and Manchester from later this month, totalling more than two million households, and giving BT the biggest Full Fibre network reach of any provider in the UK. Beyond this, BT has an ambition to reach around half of homes in the UK by the end of 2025.

The indication we’ve had from other sources and the existing trial is that BT may initially launch their Gigabit package as a top-end premium service for customers who already take their paid HALO add-on. The latter gives subscribers’ access to BT’s Home Tech Experts, a Smart Hub 2 router, the Complete Wi-Fi guarantee (mesh system), a mobile data boost, faster mobile speeds and a mobile broadband backup if your fixed line goes down.

Given the recent news from BT’s wholesale division (here), all eyes are likely to be fixed on how much BT’s consumer division chooses to charge for this service. If the service is too expensive then it could put the ISP at a big disadvantage in areas where rivals (e.g. Cityfibre, Virgin Media, Hyperoptic etc.) are able to offer potentially cheaper gigabit speed connections.

Likewise it’s hoped that BT won’t restrict access to their Gigabit tier to only those who take their HALO service, since not everybody wants to pay the extra for that, especially if they already have their own mesh WiFi system and use a different mobile operator.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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80 Responses
  1. David says:

    “Full Fibre” but it’s asymmetric. In my understanding “Full Fibre” should be 1Gbps/1Gbps and not 10:1 connection, currently, I am on 330Mbps/50Mbps (6.6:1) and only 500Mbps/75Mbps connection will keep that ratio.

    I would like BT to offer symmetric connections to residential properties rather than false advertise it as “Full Fibre”.

    1. joe says:

      FF definition has nothing to do with being symmetric. It can be or not as needed in a package.

    2. New_Londoner says:

      @David
      There is nothing about FTTP (aka “full fibre”) that requires it to be symmetric, therefore it certainly isn’t false advertising to claim that a non-symmetric connection is full fibre. The only requirement is that the connection to the premise is fibre end-to-end from the exchange / headend as opposed to being a hybrid fibre solution like FTTC or HFC. The service that runs over the fibre has no bearing on whether it is FTTP or not.

    3. JmJohnson says:

      It’s not false advertising… “Full Fibre” is the physical infrastructure to your premises.
      The service delivered over that physical infrastructure will depend on the tier you order.
      Much like how you can get 40/10, 80/20 etc over “Full Fibre” atm.
      Leased lines describe this better with fibre leased line on a 100/100Mb bearer (as an example).

    4. Mike says:

      I suspect the limited upload speed is to prevent competition with their much more expensive business plans.

    5. joe says:

      @Mike Mostly demand though LL competition is a factor.

    6. David says:

      I agree and disagree with all the comments. Don’t get me wrong I am happy that they introducing such speeds to the residential market, as I will most likely upgrade, but why not offer symmetric connections on such fast technology?

    7. joe says:

      @David Facts aren’t optional.

      The demand for sym connections is tiny. BT has a risk of cannibalising its own LL if it offered it widely but if enough demand existed it would have to offer it or its rivals would.

    8. NE555 says:

      There are existing 500/165 and 1000/220 services available on Openreach FTTP, but there are very few resellers. One charges £140 and £200+VAT per month respectively, and a £500+VAT setup fee.

      BT are supposed to be trialling 500/500 and 1000/1000 over FTTP: https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/06/openreach-set-to-trial-symmetric-1gbps-uk-fttp-broadband-speeds.html

      You can expect those to be even more expensive.

      Competition from altnets is unlikely to have an impact for a long time: even in their most ambitious plans, Cityfibre are expecting to hit only 20-25% of the market.

    9. NE555 says:

      A more recent article:
      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/02/openreach-test-xgs-pon-ahead-of-symmetric-fttp-speed-trial.html

      This suggests that 500/500 and 1000/1000 may be at the same price as the 500/165 and 1000/220 tiers – although it’s unclear if that’s just for the trial.

    10. James Band says:

      No one should be able to market broadband as “Super Fast” or “Fibre” unless it is FTTP. That is to say that FTTC should not have “Fibre” in marketing since it’s misleading to people that they are somehow getting Fibre broadband.

      One would have thought Fibre is Fibre. It shouldn’t be full fibre, fullest fibre, almost full fibre. Fibre to the Property I would say is full fibre, but symmetrical should be designated as the best product.

      Gigabit should not be used unless the download speed is 1000 (or 900).

    11. New_Londoner says:

      @James Band
      Clearly you can make up your own definitions for your personal use but don’t expect the industry to adopt them. You shouldn’t seek to redefine terms simply because you are lazy and can’t be bothered to specify exactly what you mean.

      For example, from an industry perspective, “fibre” broadband can certainly apply to FTTC or FTTN just as much as FTTP – to be more precise simply use the more specific term. Equally it can use the phrase “gigabit” broadband for both asymmetric gigabit and symmetric download services, again to be more precise you need to specify whether a given service is symmetric or not.

      Imagine trying to insist that you can only use the term “car” to apply to an electric four wheel drive SUV because that suits your personal world view. You’d rightly get complaints from V-Twin Morgan Three Wheeler owners amongst many others!

    12. James Band says:

      New_Londoner

      You aren’t making an accurate comparison. In the car analogy it would be akin to car manufacturers marketing HYBRID cars (that use fossil fuel and only partly electricity) as an Electric car.

      Fibre Broadband should mean fibre all the way to the premises. Fibre to a Cabinet miles away and copper to your house should not be sold as Fibre broadband. And selling the same “Superfast Fibre Broadband”, based on FTTC where one house gets 30Mbps and the other gets 1Mbps is surely not justifiable.

      Full Fibre (FTTP) to all premises will allow a free market where any ISP can sell whatever speed as separate products.

    13. New_Londoner says:

      @James Band
      Sorry but I disagree. The global industry decided some time ago that there were a range of different type of fibre broadband, some of which I listed in my earlier post. You’re welcome to come up with your own personal definitions but cannot impose them on others.

      Full fibre is simply an alternative way of saying FTTP, does not imply any particular service runs over the fibre, that’s an entirely separate discussion. There is no requirement to be offering symmetric services for it to be called FTTP or full fibre, nor indeed to be offering any type of gigabit-capable service.

      As I say, by all means use full fibre to mean symmetric-only gigabit services if you wish, just don’t expect the rest of the world to agree with you or follow suit.

    14. James Band says:

      New_Londoner

      I don’t think you read my post. I was talking about ISPs marketing FTTC as Fibre broadband, when it’s Fibre to the Cabinet and copper to the property. That is not the spirit of what Fibre broadband is (which is FTTP).

      Furthermore, charging two properties on FTTC the same price (e.g.£30) when one gets 30Mbps and one gets 1Mbps on the SAME product is surely not right.

      Your car analogy is incorrect, because both the examples you gave are cars. The electric car analogy I presented better reflects what I mentioned. At no point did I impose my personal definition on the market. It is plain common sense. The only people misleading people are the ISPs and the regulator is useless if it permits this.

    15. David says:

      900 down 115 up £59.99 a month 24 month contract saw that a day or so before they halted all orders due to Covid 19

  2. Mark says:

    The fact BT is launching full-fibre that is not symmetrical like every other provider is doing is laughable.

    Luckily cityfibre have announced rollout within my region so it won’t affect me

    1. FibreBubble says:

      Every other provider apart from Virgin and those on the Openreach platform. So “every other” is actually very little of the market.

    2. mike says:

      Virgin’s network is mostly coax, not full fibre

    3. New_Londoner says:

      @Mike
      Whilst it is true that the majority of Virgin’s network is hybrid coax, some is not. In absolute terms it has more FTTP than most if not all of the altnets, remembering that most of these have more coverage in press releases than actual fibre.

    4. James Band says:

      You’re lucky that CityFibre are in your area.

      So are areas that are finally Openreach FTTP ready (and say up to 1000 on the DSL checker) essentially ready to get 1000/115?

      Will the likes of Vodafone actually be able to offer anything to Openreach FTTP households? Because their entire Gigafast pricing is based on a symmetrical service on CityFibre?

    5. Dazier Official says:

      VIRGIN uses DOCSIS 3.1 Which it can do 10Gbps down/up. This means Virgin Media can keep up with Full Fibre ISPs

    6. Connor says:

      @Dazier Official, actually Virgin’s network is currently 3.0 with the 3.1-based “GigOne” service getting slowly rolled out. And those 10gbps upload figures is actually for 3.1 full duplex which Virgin Media AFAIK not running.

    7. mike says:

      And also their upstream currently uses DOCSIS 3.0 even on the 1Gbps service

  3. Tim says:

    It’s good news as far as I’m concerned.

  4. CarlT says:

    All about the price for me. Symmetrical would be good however this is progress and I’m delighted to see it.

    Openreach are in a slightly odd position. Vodafone will clearly tolerate far more contention than Openreach’s customers will. Openreach are avoiding being the bottleneck, CityFibre, selling a gigabit upload on a 1.24 Gbit, before overheads, pipe are not.

    1. Spoffle says:

      Are CityFibre using 1.24Gb aggregation/splitter nodes?

  5. Chris says:

    I can’t wait to upgrade to it. The only time I want it faster to be honest is downloading massive games for the Xbox one X. And they will only get bigger for the Xbox series X. So could not come at a better time.

    1. James Band says:

      I concur. It’s about damn time.

      Will any household that is FTTP ready on the DSL checker be able to get the Gigabit service, or only the cities mentioned above? I’d have thought even a rural property that has a “up to 1000” FTTP status on the DSL checker is good to go?

      What about the pricing though? Given Vodafone are selling 900/900 (via CityFibre) for £40 a month, you’d have thought that BT (or Vodafone or whoever) would sell a Gigabit 1000/115 service for around the £50 a month at most?

    2. Samantha says:

      @James

      My house is 1000/220 but max I can get is 350/50 on the Res side so I will let you know if that changes. I am in the sticks, small exchange under 2000 connections

    3. Ixel says:

      My address claims I can support up to 1000/220. I’ve not tried placing an order for either 1000/220 or 550/165, so can’t confirm if this is actually the case. I’d like to hope it is.

      I’m waiting to see what pricing shows up on another ISP soon for the new upcoming FTTP packages (albeit BT Wholesale are apparently being overpriced sadly) before I decide to go for either 330/50, 550/75. 550/165, or 1000/115 (regrading from FTTPoD 330/30).

    4. James Band says:

      @Samantha

      Thank you. Likewise! Currently had to use 4G all this time for decent internet. I now see that my house is 1000/220 on the DSL checker FTTP ready, in a relatively rural area. Have had conflicting communication from Vodafone about them being able to offer FTTP, although CityFibre is about 50-60 miles away in a city.

      I can also only see 330/50 on the Consumer side (e.g. BT, Zen) at the moment. Perhaps this will change by the end of the month with a new 900 package on offer?

      What would be interesting is if either Vodafone offer to do FTTP on Openreach lines, or if the other Consumer packages for 1000/220 will be priced similarly to the Gigafast £40 a month!

    5. James Band says:

      @Ixel

      Indeed, we’re all hoping that we can get a decent Consumer price for a 1000/115 package. I can well imagine you’d want to regrade from the FTTPoD cost! Just have to see whether the likes of BT will offer a price that is competitive with Vodafone (currently £40 a month for 900/900), or whether Vodafone will actually start selling FTTP on Openreach.

    6. Oliver says:

      @James if the exchange is gigabit capable then you should be able to order at launch. Some exchanges using older kit will come back on the ADSL checker page as topping out at 330. Those are the ones where they will be restricted in what you can order come 23rd(?) march.

    7. James Band says:

      @Oliver

      Excellent. Currently can see “up to 1000” FTTP available on the DSL checker. It’s great if Gigabit products are available to all areas at launch.

      Surely the price needs to be similar to Vodafone Gigafast to be competitive and marketable?

      Isn’t a Wifi Mesh with Powerline backhaul (like the Devolo Powerline Magic Wifi, TP Link Deco) better than a purely Wifi mesh like Google Wifi and BT’s Halo Mesh (that they’re trying to amalgamate into the Ultrafast 900 product)?

  6. Peter says:

    I wonder if BT Business is likely to start selling the packages at the same time, right now they don’t even sell the 500/165 or 1000/220 that has been available for a while.

  7. BT says:

    It’s will be very very very expensive! Not worth it!

    1. AnotherTim says:

      May not be worth it to you, but if I could get it I would happily pay.

    2. Oliver says:

      The top tier will be expensive, bit hopefully the slower speed products (i.e 330, currently the fastest) should come down in price once the faster speeds go live. That’s what I’m hoping for!

  8. Wayne says:

    They should give everyone a decent speed before they start increasing it for the few lucky areas

    1. AnotherTim says:

      There is no longer any political interest in improving the slowest lines – USO has that “sorted”. Interest is in bragging about building FTTP for as many people as possible.

    2. A_Builder says:

      There are a lot of EO and rural lines being upgraded to FTTP now.

    3. James Band says:

      The USO is laughable. For the guarantee of 10Mbps and in some cases a £40 a month price tag, you can get 1000Mbps for almost half the price in Singapore.

      The only way to ensure that everyone gets “Full Fibre” is to mandate by law that all copper lines must be converted to Fibre by 2025. At that point, it’s no longer a case of IF companies/Openreach have to upgrade all existing houses, but how. They will find a way to make a profit. If necessary, use subsidies like the Wind farms became profitable in the UK.

      If 99% of UK houses get an electricity line and water, then all houses which have a telephone line must have a Fibre line to their property. No copper should remain on the network.

      The way things are going now would be the equivalent of every electricity company building 4 or 5 lines to every house in the country to offer their individual services versus one network managed by UK PowerNetworks. We could easily have Openreach separated from BT in totality to form an entirely separate company (thus no conflict of interests) and Openreach can choose to conduct its business/build the fibre (required by LAW) by doing it itself, or sub contracting out to the likes of CityFibre etc.

      To account for the current “alt nets”, give them a proportionate share holding of the new Openreach company to reward them for what they have built thus far. And rename Openreach something like “Royal Fibre”.

    4. A_Builder says:

      @James Band

      I think one J Corbyn suggested that. It didn’t go down well with the voters.

      Whilst I do have mild concerns on coverage I’d rather the accelerating deployment of FTTP continued unimpeded and rather the focus on fiddling was diverted to breaking down barriers to enable wider and faster deployment.

    5. James Band says:

      A_Builder

      As much as Corbynista is crazy, I’d have said that was one of the only things that may have gone down well with everyone. But what I’m suggesting is not nationalisation. Instead I’m advocating creating a genuine free market, and breaking up an oligopoly, as well as curtailing the machinations of an unaccountable entity like Spectre.

      In the United States, the Standard Oil company was broken up by law into multiple private entities. What I am saying is totally break off Openreach from any connection to any ISP (i.e. BT) so there is zero conflict of interests. The renaming was merely to give it some style (e.g. Royal Fibre). But ultimately Openreach in my scenario would be a private company that was free to make profits, however, it would be required to follow a new law stating that ALL LINES must be Fibre and banning copper completely from the network by 2025.

      That way, the current deployment can continue and remaining balance of lines currently not on the rollout plan will become compulsory. It’s then merely a case of Openreach working out if it’s cheaper for them to build the rest themselves, or subcontract out the build to others. It is highly likely that they will still make a profit, because at this point, it is law that the copper lines have to be upgraded, so someone is going to do it to make the money, it’s just a case of whom.

      It’s no different to having contractors to build the Olympic Stadium. I merely suggested the Wind Farm example, because the government subsidies for Wind Turbines worked – now no subsidies are needed and the industry is profitable – it’s one of the few things in modern times we have become a world leader in versus our abysmal ranking on the OECD FTTP report. I’d rather the government spend money subsidising a single fibre network than giving that money to Councils to spend on Fibre – most of which has been wasted not getting things done.

      Once again, the Openreach/Royal Fibre I am suggesting is not a nationalised entity, but a separate private company modelled on UKPowerNetworks. In the UK you don’t get different electricity companies building multiple electricity lines to the same properties, whilst saying it’s unprofitable to give electricity at all to certain regions.

    6. Stina Sanders says:

      That isn’t what J Corbyn offered. He wanted nationalisation.

      Splitting Openreach from BT and mandating by legislation that all telephone/broadband lines have to be Full Fibre by 2025 is a very different kettle of fish. At least that would force them to get on with it and get it done. So I agree with James Bond.

      The prices for BT’s Full Fibre 900 better be close to Vodafone’s Gigafast. Ideally everyone should get to choose any ISP anywhere you live. Otherwise we don’t live in a free market.

    7. AnotherTim says:

      @A_Builder, “There are a lot of EO and rural lines being upgraded to FTTP now.” – at the current rate of change, the EO and sub-USO rural lines won’t be upgraded very much sooner than we will reach 100% FTTP.
      e.g. in the Forest of Dean there are still ~12% sub-USO – it has dropped by ~1% in the last year.

    8. CarlT says:

      Banning copper by 2025 is not realistic. Nothing else to be said. Not even Boris Johnson in his world of alternative facts thinks that’s viable.

      Enough about Singapore. It is a city state, we aren’t. Apply that restriction to all cities above 500k population by all means, but that won’t really work for what is I suspect what you have in mind.

      Either way I have little appetite to subsidise a bunch of rural deployment having done it for years already though paying higher prices and taxes.

    9. James Band says:

      CarlT

      Firstly London is not as Full Fibre ready as Singapore. Secondly, there are plenty of larger states listed on the OECD table which are miles ahead of the UK in Full Fibre FTTP rollout. To selectively seize lines from someone and then dismiss concerns, or questions is ridiculous. Either respond to something in totality, or don’t respond at all. Pretty sure Lithuania, Estonia, Japan, South Korea etc are all higher up on that table than we are.

      And it is silly to say that people in cities subsidy those in rural areas by paying taxes. As if those in rural areas don’t pay tax? I don’t think even delusional out of touch politicians would state something so blatantly untrue. Plenty of people and businesses pay plenty of tax in rural areas.

      Plenty of rural areas and regions would be pretty sick and tired of paying their taxes and yet only London gets fast trains and extensively subsidised transport that at least is somewhat comparable to the rest of the world, whilst the rest of us have to ride on 1970/80s trains which frequently break down, get no broadband etc. But we are a nation and we pay national taxes.

      It is not beyond the realms of possibility, nor common sense, to simply legislate that copper lines have to be full fibre. If we can deliver electricity lines without overbuild to virtually every property and water as well, then we should not be having a fibre rollout that is ad hoc and unequal.

      Furthermore, I am sure that people would be irritated in rural areas/city areas/any are where they get 1Mbps broadband and yet have to pay the same as someone on FTTC who gets 30Mbps. So who is subsidising whom. Not benchmarking ourselves against other countries that are more efficient is not going to make us a more productive country nor let us claim to be a bastion for business etc. The excuse that places like Singapore are city states is old and irrelevant. If Singapore had a mass 100 times what it has now, it would still get the job done. Does London even have FTTP all round? And any FTTP property in the UK should be able to get reasonably priced Fibre. It would be stupid not to get this right as a nation since the home working, entrepreneurial and business multiplier effect would be immense. It would be akin to not giving electricity to rural Britain.

    10. joe says:

      Anyone who thinks you could legislate all ‘copper lines must be converted to Fibre by 2025’ has so little understanding of the realities of the phone network I don’t know where to start.

  9. James Band says:

    1. Will any household that is FTTP ready on the DSL checker be able to get the Gigabit service, or only the cities mentioned above? I’d have thought even a rural property that has an “up to 1000” FTTP status on the DSL checker is good to go?

    2. What about the pricing though? Given Vodafone are selling 900/900 (via CityFibre) for £40 a month, you’d have thought that BT (or Vodafone or whoever) would sell a Gigabit 1000/115 service for around the £50 a month at most?

    3. It would be a bit crazy if the price was going to be £100 a month. And what would Vodafone sell the Openreach 1000/115 as, if their current pricing is for Gigafast 900/900?

    To truly aspire for Full Fibre beyond limits, BT’s 900/115 to be at roughly the same price to look competitive and get uptake.

    1. James Band says:

      Also key things from the article:

      “If the service is too expensive then it could put the ISP at a big disadvantage in areas where rivals (e.g. Cityfibre, Virgin Media, Hyperoptic etc.) are able to offer potentially cheaper gigabit speed connections.

      Likewise it’s hoped that BT won’t restrict access to their Gigabit tier to only those who take their HALO service, since not everybody wants to pay the extra for that, especially if they already have their own mesh WiFi system and use a different mobile operator.”

      Exactly.

    2. CarlT says:

      Asking those rhetorical questions shows you haven’t a clue what you’re writing about.

      With that in mind further response is futile.

      Astonishing someone in that 10% that can purchase FTTP is so tetchy because it’s not the FTTP available to less than 1%.

    3. James Band says:

      CarlT

      They are valid questions. Not answering them and being pedantic, petty or snide is pointless. If you don’t have something intelligent to answer with, then remain silent.

    4. TrollFinder says:

      CarlT is generally like that. Best to just ignore him!

    5. David says:

      £100 a month is crazy eh? Suck up my price pal. I pay £598 to get 1Gbps both ways!

      Sounds like you would shit kittens if that was the bill. You get what you pay for and if someone was getting that for £100 I would be rather annoyed – even if cityfibre are coming to the area which might make it cheaper to about £200-£250 (as nearby towns with CF/GN can get it for)

    6. Jed P says:

      @CarIT, really?

      I don’t think so – why are your responses always so rude…. I see it more and more now and it is unnecessary one-upmanship or some hangup

      Yours isn’t the only view in town

    7. New_Londoner says:

      @James Band
      If BT does decide to restrict its consumer offering to Halo you can always use a different ISP as there are plenty of others on the Openreach network, including those offering FTTP. Whether any decide to match the pricing of Vodafone on City Fibre remains to be seen, especially as the level of contention on the Openreach network is likely to be lower.

    8. ur2thick says:

      Clearly, David has less brains than a can of tuna. Just because you pay £500~ for something providers like Vodafone can offer for £48~ doesn’t mean we should. Grow up, get a life

    9. James Band says:

      @David – Go to the Vodafone Gigafast webpage and see if they are selling FTTP 900/900 for £500 a month, £100 a month, or £40 a month.

      @TrollFinder – Sadly yes. Valid questions being ridiculed does not reduce the validity of the question.

    10. James Band says:

      @Jed P

      I agree. There is no need for such responses. Valid questions. Civilised discussion about them is the order of the day.

      I still find it somewhat ludicrous that an FTTP product via Openreach for a 1000/115 service would be priced non competitively versus the £40 a month 900/900 service with Vodafone Gigafast.

    11. James Band says:

      @New_Londoner

      Thank you. I guess, but right now the other supposed offerings by FTTP providers on Openreach appear even more crazily priced than BT. As far as the Halo offering goes, I understand that in principle the idea of a mesh network is a good idea. However, I personally feel that the “guarantee” of 30Mbps (and in some cases 10Mbps) on the BT website is extremely unsatisfactory versus a speed of 330 or 1000 into the house. Add to that the concept of a Powerline Mesh (where the Wifi Mesh has Powerline backhaul) probably being more suitable for larger properties and that a lot of people might opt to buy their own technology versus paying a monthly fee (I can understand flats might go with Halo though), then tying Halo into the product to justify a higher price doesn’t seem right.

      I am even more baffled by the BT TV offering. If it was Freesat, or IPTV then it might have some merit, but other than the BT Sports channel, you’re effectively paying for a TV Box to watch TV on your existing aerial. At this rate, companies might as well start charging for air we already breathe.

      One would hope that the level of contention on the Openreach network will be high if other players like Vodafone, Sky, TalkTalk or whoever start coming in with offerings. However, I still think given there are overbuilds (and that all pricing is national), that BT surely couldn’t launch a product of 1000/115 at anything more than say £50 a month, when Vodafone is offering 900/900 for £40 a month.

      At the end of the day, how are they going to be able to justify a higher price to a consumer in the marketing? If they want to charge £100 a month, BT sales personnel will have to start walking without their trousers on.

    12. James Band says:

      @ur2thick

      I must confess I am at a loss to explain the desire by some to pay more than the Vodafone price for FTTP, especially when the service is non symmetrical so technically inferior to the Vodafone product. In order to look competitive in marketing and frankly not have egg on their faces, the likes of BT would surely have to offer FTTP for the £50 mark. Vodafone have currently got the 900 product at £40 a month.

  10. John Nicol says:

    Behind the times and offering too little. I am on Vodafone Gigafast, 500/500 for £25 a month(Vodafone Sim owner so got additional £5 off) amazing compared to the 20meg fibre BT offered.

    1. Jed P says:

      Noted, however Vodafone is not all good news, I can’t get their service and I’m on a 1000mbps ready exchange… Vodafone have to put their kit into that exhange to get their service

      So it’s as useless as Hyperoptic and Gigaclear right now, so I will wait for BT

    2. James Band says:

      @John Nicol

      Very lucky. That’s the thing, Vodafone is doing 900/900 for £40 a month. And mobile customers can get discounts/negotiate as well. The prices for the BT products just seem ridiculous by comparison now. Let alone if they try to launch a 1000/115 product for anything more than £50 a month (which they currently charge now for 300/50 with a guarantee of only 150Mbps download).

    3. James Band says:

      @Jed P

      Agreed. Vodafone need to get their act together as well. I’ve had conflicting information from them whether they will offer FTTP via Openreach. The price of £40 a month for a 900/900 service is indeed fantastic. I can see I’m now FTTP ready (up to 1000) via Openreach, so like you am awaiting BT.

      I would have thought though that by Vodafone throwing down the gauntlet at £40 a month, that BT would have to offer the 1000 service for around £50 to look competitive and sane. Otherwise the marketing campaign would look ridiculous surely.

      So how do we get FTTP from any provider (like Sky, Vodafone etc). If you have FTTP available on Openreach, do Vodafone have to install kit/rent from the exchange? I already get my FTTC product from Vodafone (although I use 4G to use the internet), so I would have thought Vodafone could offer me something via FTTP, but right now I can’t see availability.

      It also raises the question of what Vodafone would charge for an Openreach 1000/115 service versus their own 900/900 Gigafast service, since one could argue the slower upload should mean a lower price as well. But at least if someone, anyone, offers a 1000 service for say £40-50 then we’d have an interesting market.

      The Halo thing alone doesn’t make a difference, since it doesn’t justify a £100 a month price tag. One can buy a good Mesh network for far cheaper than that.

  11. kaitlyn says:

    really weird that it’s not symmetric. people are saying the demand is low, but more and more people work from home, or are self employed streaming or making videos – and those activities really benefit from symmetric.

    i’m on hyperoptic’s 150/150 plan, it’s laughable that bt’s gigabit service would still have slower upload than my current offering.

    being able to upload a new video in a tenth of the time is not insignificant at all, and google and amazon’s servers can certainly receive gigabit at full speed.

    it’s not even a significant cost increase to offer a symmetric connection, since the various people who don’t make good use of it don’t increase the total amount of uploaded data. and even the home-based video workers usually aren’t going to use 10x the data, they’ll just upload the same amount of data in a tenth of the time.

    and as working from home instead of the office becomes more mainstream – hopefully people will be allowed to continue doing so even after covid19 is done with, after it’s shown to be as effective for getting work done – being able to upload as fast as the line allows is also going to get more important.

    1. Ixel says:

      I suspect it’s not symmetric for a few reasons unfortunately.

      – XG-PON isn’t usually being used which offers greater bandwidth capacity (FTTP is essentially split into up to 32 connections), G-PON has a capacity of 2.48Gbps/1.24Gbps (downstream/upstream) while XG-PON has a capacity of 10Gbps/2.5Gbps I believe… but the technology is a little more expensive to rollout compared to G-PON
      – Customers on the Openreach network infrastructure might be more disagreeable to potential contention issues compared to those on alternative network infrastructures
      – It may potentially compete with their leased line services

      There is of course XG-PON2 which has a capacity of 10Gbps downstream and upstream but I don’t believe Openreach are using that, besides of which it requires even more funding than G-PON or XG-PON.

    2. James Band says:

      @Kaitlyn

      I agree

      You’d have thought that the symmetrical upload would be a priority. The benefits to home working and resultant multiplier effect for the economy would be immense.

      I suppose vested interests would not be keen on doing it, because it would affect leased lines (which charge a massive premium every month), since no one would bother with those anymore if a Full Symmetrical Fibre network was in place and you could get the same thing for a fraction of the price!

    3. A_Builder says:

      The issue is not just the PON itself but the headend in the exchange that needs to be XGS or 2XGS compatible. That is a very expensive bit of kit ATM.

      The cost of going up to XGS ATM is too high for OR to justify.

      Sure there will be a point in time where the costs of XGS drop, and it becomes the new standard. And this will be hastened by the development of newer and faster standards.

      Personally I do strongly support symmetrical.

      However, the pragmatist in me would rather more fibres got put down than worry too much about how the fibre is lit for now. Going from FTTC -> FTTP is for now a huge step forwards.

      This is a revisitable issue once the fibre is in place. And competition from Alt Nets and others will drive OR to do whatever is necessary to retain and grow usage base.

  12. Sid says:

    My area was one of the last G.Fast announcements. Nothing has been activated/built from what I can see. There’s been suggestion that these areas will go FTTP instead. Is there any update on this?

    1. David says:

      My area never even got announced. I sure hope so!

  13. fed up sky customer says:

    Be great if they made the rest of Basingstoke FTTP rather than leaving it at 80%.
    Half my road has it but the rest were left out for some reason and now they’re seen as “Rural” and this is the same all over basingstoke.

    1. Andrew Ferguson says:

      Since when was 80% of Basingstoke covered by a FTTP service?

    2. fed up sky customer says:

      @Andrew Ferguson

      Apologies I got confused (like many!!) with the compound terms and what they actually mean.
      This was my source:
      https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/basingstoke,E14000545

      Seems that “Fibre” has cable lumped in with it …Typical

      So the true value is 13.24% Either way for some reason BT decided to only lay fibre to half my road and when I call to inquire I get told the other half of my street is rural, So I told them they are skewing stats to keep work cost down and raised a formal complaint which has remained unanswered.

    3. New_Londoner says:

      @fed up sky customer
      I’m curious about the grounds for any complaint – it’s hardly unusual for a business to want to manage costs, otherwise they’d quickly go out of business! I appreciate that you may not like their decision but their shareholders would not want them to squander money if it’s not profitable to provide the service to you.

    4. Spurple says:

      Lol. Beats me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Makes me laugh, I live in Plymouth, 2 miles from my village Virgin offer 200mb, I’m on BT I get 3-5 mbs if I’m lucky on a good day. The problem they tell us is that our connection is at a village seven miles away further away from the city. We have been promised “super fast” broadband for the last five years. We are on copper lined still! Funny the £45 I am forced to pay is disgusting. When we try and complain all we get is the same old answer. “You get what you pay for”.

    1. The Facts says:

      CDS will help you.

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