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ISP TalkTalk Prep Openreach FTTP Ultrafast Broadband for July

Monday, June 15th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 14,055
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Broadband ISP TalkTalk UK has informed ISPreview.co.uk that they intend to start offering ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) packages via Openreach’s national network from July 2020, which follows a limited six month long customer trial that began last December 2019.

At present if you want “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) speeds from TalkTalk then you can either take their hybrid-fibre G.fast (Openreach) based products (covers 2.8 million UK premises) or, if you’re very lucky, you might be within reach of their now Cityfibre owned FibreNation FTTP platform (e.g. York, Dewsbury etc.). In the future TalkTalk will also gain access to the rest of Cityfibre’s full fibre network.

NOTE: Openreach’s FTTP network currently covers 2.6 million premises.

On top of that the ISP has also been working to develop FTTP packages via Openreach’s national network and the first trials began at the end of 2019 (here). Sadly yesterday’s results report didn’t mention when this new service would start to become more widely available, but the provider’s CEO later gave the following spoken remark to investors.

Tristia Harrison, CEO of TalkTalk, said:

“Plus we have our Fibre to the Premise trials with Openreach well underway and we’ll be scaling those from July.”

A spokesperson for the ISP later confirmed to us that they “will have FTTP offerings from July and we’ll share more detail nearer the time” (this will be a soft launch of their data-only products). At this stage we don’t know precisely which FTTP tiers they’ll offer, although no doubt one of them will be a 100Mbps+ class package like the trial. We should add that everyone on the trial made use of the provider’s current Wi-Fi Hub router.

TalkTalk has also been experimenting with faster FTTP packages and, in order to stay competitive with BT, they may need to adopt Openreach’s top tiers up to 1Gbps. However, given the associated capacity demands and costs of catering for those, we wouldn’t be surprised if they initially launched with sub-1Gbps packages. We’ll know soon enough.

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54 Responses
  1. Avatar Laurence "GreenReaper" Parry says:

    No wonder BT immediately offered us 24-month retention contracts once FTTP became available: £39.99 for 100/20 Mbps avg (110/30 max) tier, £49.99 for the 500/65 (550/75) tier, £54.99 for the 900/100 (1000/115) tier, all with “Halo 1”. The last two being ~1.8ish and 1.75 the cost Openreach charges, excluding VAT.

    Our existing retention package lasts to Christmas and is £20 for what ends up being 45/7. Is it worth it to increase that tenfold for 2.5x the current payment? Or 2.0x given the option we have for renewing it? If we use it, yes – and I run a site which probably could. But despite the massive differential, I suspect many will be happy with FTTC. They’ll have to force-migrate if they want us all off copper.

    1. Avatar 5G_Infinity says:

      Re last question re FTTC, many have found that FTTC is okay for streaming etc but is becoming challenged when every is on Zoom/Teams/etc everyday for work or speaking with family.

      Have colleagues who’d loved to have 20 or 30Mbps up as a minimum, 50 is better when on Zooms and having to send 10 to 20MB powerpoints etc.

  2. Avatar Jason says:

    Im happy with FTTC speeds of up to 80 and i get 79.5 seem pretty decent to me.

    Runs my whole house easily .

    Il be staying with FTTC even if FTTP comes to my area. At the present time i just dont need 1gb broadband

    1. Avatar Phil says:

      @Jason

      You can still move from FTTC to FTTP and buy an 80/20 product, it isn’t all about speed. FTTP is simply more reliable, immune to interference and intermittent faults you tend to get with ageing copper wire. If you are close to the cabinet you will probably have a reliable connection anyway, but it can still be knocked offline by a thunderstorm or suffer bursts of interference causing packet loss.

      When something costs the same but offers better reliability and in the future allows you to increase your speeds, why would you not go FTTP if you have the chance?

    2. Avatar Jonathan says:

      @phill ignorance

  3. Avatar Stuart says:

    I am not bothered about super fast connection. Super stability of 50 Mbs would suit me just fine.

    1. Avatar Oliver says:

      I moved to FTTP a couple of years ago and took out a 50 meg connection (previously had about 12 down and .5 up) so didn’t see the need for higher speed. The stability improvement was incredible – I used to get variation in speed daily and the connection would drop out every two days. Had about 12 engineer visits in 3 years to try and sort it.
      It has transformed working from home (which I do two to three days a week) and have now gone for the fibre 500 offer.

    2. Avatar JamesP says:

      @Oliver

      I’m on a long line, lucky to get about 25Mbit down, but only 1Mbit up, it’s fine when things are stable but I’ve had engineers out to fix issues with instability over the past 5 years (replacing drop wires etc). We have fibre running past us to a village served only by ADSL (1Mbit if lucky), it’s a shame they didn’t provide us with access to future proof us a little more, it would have been easy to do!!

      I’m not fussed about ‘Ultrafast’, but wouldn’t mind 80/20 with the added stability and reliability, this would be perfect for my needs. I would migrate to FTTP as soon as I could if it was available!

  4. Avatar Openreach says:

    Don’t care I am happy with FTTC 80/20. Why should everyones need fastest speed – I don’t get it? It’s ok for businesses but not really for home residential. Would be nice if Openreach change FTTC speed eg: 50/20 and 90/30 instead of 40/10 and 80/20

    1. Avatar Max says:

      That’s like saying, why do we need free speech? I don’t use it, so why do I need it? You will eventually need faster speeds, you may not think you do now, but 10 years down the line you never know what you will need.

    2. Avatar James™ says:

      I need faster speeds as a gamer who has massive update files to download and someone who uses the cloud with video and animation files the increased upload speed would also help

      So let not just think about yourself, there are large family homes who might have multiple games consoles downloading updates and smart TVs streaming in 4K

    3. Avatar CarlT says:

      A note for the unaware: the above was written by a man with a rather changeable view.

      Alternates between 80/20 being fine and fixating over FTTP.

  5. Avatar A_Builder says:

    I am pretty astonished by the negative comments over speed above.

    What about the large % people who are more than the requisite distance from the PCP who cannot get decent speeds? But who can get what THEY want with FTTP.

    What about the increased reliability of FTTP?

    What about the reduced latency of FTTP?

    That is a luddite take on technology. FTTP is better than copper in every respect and it is the future. And dare I say it a pretty selfish view point.

    “Would be nice if Openreach change FTTC speed eg: 50/20 and 90/30 instead of 40/10 and 80/20”

    OR won’t bother lifting the caps on FTTC and re-profiling now: FTTC is sunset technology. The only way this would have happened is if, rather than going down the Gfast dead end, OR had re-profiled FTTC to 35a which does allow for much higher speeds. They did and that is just history as they say.

    Forced migrations will need to happen – no doubt about – it is called progress.

    1. Avatar JamesP says:

      The issue for me is that Openreach appear to be treating areas that already have decent speeds from FTTC with priority, therefore take up will be lower until there is such time that higher speeds are required. Openreach will say these areas are ‘more profitable’ to roll out to, in the short/medium term I do disagree – rolling out to poorly served areas with speeds less than ‘Superfast/30Mbit’ will likely result in a far higher take up percentage.

      As the comments on here suggest, many consumers that are already fairly close to their PCP will be happy with their current speeds and not likely to switch to FTTP.

      One local village to me (Chislet – CT3 4**) has had FTTP rolled out, but 95% of the properties covered will be likely getting download speeds in excess of 60Mbit as the PCP is located in the centre of the village – properties further away from the PCP, with the lower speeds, are not served by this FTTP rollout. This approach doesn’t make sense to me (of course, coverage will likely expand to reach these areas in future, but why not work with an outside in approach with priority?).

    2. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      @JamesP. Openreach are a commercial company and are prioritising where market data and other engineering priorities allow the initial implementation of FTTP. They are following a contiguous strategy so you will see Fibre First in certain areas with these joining up medium term. In addition OR are competing on New Developments and BDUK.
      FTTP practice has dropped in cost and will continue to do so. Going forward there will be cut off point where FTTC in a particular area becomes uneconomical to retain and OR can with draw it by Cabinet area or by Exchange. It is in their interests not to support multiple technologies and will wish to migrate as soon as they can after FTTP coverage but this will happen over time as they will have to support it as long as they have ISP contracts. However it is also in the interests of the ISPs that a customer uses FTTP where it is available as it provides greater reliability, resilience and speed consistency as well as removing significant support costs.
      ISPs are starting to focus on the speed of the service rather than the underlying technology, there will increasingly be little differential between line technologies and they are already conservative regarding what can be supported on DSL lines.
      OR will obviously be in competition from VM and Altnets but their pricing has to reflect the cost of FTTP with a meaningful return.
      What we may see is less national pricing and more geographical ones reflecting the underlying cost and competition with a base price set for the entry level product as running and 80/20 will not be a lot cheaper that 500/50.
      BT may technically/tactically tinker with FTTC but it is not now going to invest significantly anything in it now.

    3. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss says:

      @JamesP

      I would disagree that FTTP is being placed where FTTC exists currently. Data we have collected over the past 6 months from thousands of FTTP installs we have processed, shows that 78% of customers getting FTTP are from areas that only have ADSL. Furthermore, of those who only ADSL, 41% are coming from areas with ADSL speeds below 5Mbps

      I would quite happily say, backed with data, that at present, FTTP is being mainly deployed where higher speeds are needed.

    4. Avatar JamesP says:

      @Martin – To respond to your comments…
      “Data we have collected over the past 6 months from thousands of FTTP ‘installs’ we have processed”

      You have suggested that most people that are having ‘Installs’ only have access to ADSL or slower speeds – Does this not validate my point that those with slower speeds that are not served well by FTTC are more likely to sign up to an FTTP service? How many already with ‘Superfast’ FTTC are taking up a FTTP service?

      For my point above, take a look at post code ‘CT3 4EB’ (I used to live in this area as a child, wish I still did!) – this is well served by FTTC and the surrounding village has similar speeds available. FTTP was commissioned around December 19 in this area and having visited the area recently it does appear that only a small handful have migrated to FTTP so far (based on looking at the overhead CBTs).

      “I would quite happily say, backed with data, that at present, FTTP is being mainly deployed where higher speeds are needed.” – ‘Most’ areas where FTTP is being deployed are Fibre First Towns/Villages, these will generally have access to a fast service by FTTC already (Ramsgate/Broadstairs is local to me, I’m guessing that a good 90% will have access to Superfast FTTC speeds or Virgin Media already).

    5. Avatar Fastman says:

      likely to switch to FTTP.
      One local village to me (Chislet – CT3 4**) has had FTTP rolled out, but 95% of the properties covered will be likely getting download speeds in excess of 60Mbit as the PCP is located in the centre of the village – properties further away from the PCP, with the lower speeds, are not served by this FTTP rollout

      would be interesting to see what programme this was , was it BDUK is it a community fibre partnership or is is something else

    6. Avatar Laurence "GreenReapee" Parry says:

      There’s little question that FTTP brings benefits, for most outweighing losses such as power loss resilience. The question is whether those benefits are worth a ~50-150% price increase. For some they will be, for others they won’t. Same as always.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we have the option. But it’s an option with a non-trivial cost and limited benefit compared to the vast benefit of having the Internet at all.

      If FTTC is fast enough for all you want to do, relatively low-latency (~10ms is imperceptible for most), and stable (in my experience, moreso than Virgin, which had long outages overnight), the money might be better spent on, say, nicer food, or video games.

      It’s similar to HDD vs. SSD vs. NVMe. By now, most people aren’t going for HDD. But a regular SSD is most of the benefit, and good enough for most uses. NVMe is becoming mainstream simply because the price differential has reduced.

    7. Avatar A voice of reason says:

      @Fastman
      The Chislet exchange area was covered by FTTP via the commercial Rural Build programme. This is a testing programme predominantly by the Openreach Chief Engineers unit The programme is similar in concept to the Salisbury one but concentrated on cost per prem to provide FTTP on bulk to smaller rural exchange areas. These exchanges were picked to provide a mix of geographic and install types i.e. Duct/Overhead/DIG (direct in ground) The results of these programmes played an important role in making sure BT’s £12bn 20M prem investment in FTTP in the coming years is a sound one

    8. Avatar John Uncle says:

      @JamesP

      I concur. To me it would seem more sensible to rollout FTTP to rural properties – those who are suffering with 1Mbps ADSL/VDSL which constantly drops out and is unusable/unrelible. These households/businesses (yes business does exist outside of cities and towns) would jump to FTTP in a heartbeat.

      As a nation also, rolling out FTTP nationwide would bring immeasurable economic benefits if you provide that level playing field, connectivity and multiplier effect of having reliable gigabit capable internet to every property. If Openreach, BT, or whoever thought LONG TERM, then the investment would be worth it.

      I fully agree that uptake would most likely be greatest in areas with extremely poor internet speeds (rural, urban or whatever). If those who build fibre, and charge for abysmal FTTC speeds deem such properties unprofitable, then it should be a legal compulsion to only be able to proportionally charge a price in relation to speed. So the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk etc should not be allowed to sell FTTC broadband to a rural house that gets 1Mbps at the same price that someone gets 35Mbps.

      Genuine capitalism, a free market and investment is not exploitation and disproportionate pricing!

  6. Avatar Marty says:

    I’m on ECI hardware From time to time I notice the interference spikes even on a 70meg connection. Is their a chance of re-transmission problems with FTTP if it reach’s hits capacity with heavy usage?

    1. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      All technologies are based on a shared service and distributed demand at multiple points between your device and the distant device. Yes if all customers in a street were all to take up high speed products it would need to be re-engineered.

    2. Avatar HotDog says:

      No interference issues, but the technology Openreach currently uses is a shared connection of 2.4G, so you could theoretically not get maximum speeds, in reality its highly unlikely that would ever occur. Also what is likely to be the next generation of FTTP technology that Openreach would roll out doesn’t have the contention issue, everyone’s connection could get 10gbps up and down.

  7. Avatar Granola says:

    “via Openreach’s national network”

    Surely you meant “patchy” and not “national” ? It reads like FTTP is available throughout the nation.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I think you’re confusing universal with national, since the latter tends to mean common to a whole nation rather than an absolute (in terms of availability). But patchy national works too 🙂 .

  8. Avatar Declan M says:

    No thanks would rather have dial up than go back to Talk Talk thanks

  9. Avatar Ronski says:

    Will be interesting to see what prices they are, and whether it’s fixed or sticky IP address.

  10. Avatar adslmax says:

    TalkTalk FTTP 40/10 £22.99
    TalkTalk FTTP 80/20 £26.99 (I will take that!)

  11. Avatar Mark says:

    I’ve just placed an order with BT to have FTTP installed. I thought that talktalk were going to take ages to bring the product to market. I’m now considering canceling my order and waiting to see what price talktalk will have.

    1. Avatar Jayson says:

      They will definitely be cheaper for exactly the same product.

    2. Avatar adslmax says:

      Or if Plusnet ever bring in FTTP might be cheaper than TalkTalk but we all know PN are way behind for some weirdo reason.

    3. Avatar Jonny says:

      Keep your existing order open and just try to delay the internal works by claiming that you work nights or whatever, bumping it back so that doesn’t get installed until mid-July and then giving you the 14 days after the installation date as a cooling-off period. This way at least the physical work gets done. Just bear it mind it can take a few weeks for a ceased service to clear from an ONT so that a new connection order can be placed.

    4. Avatar Martin Pitt - Aquiss says:

      @Jonny

      14 days starts from the moment you place an order and not when a service goes live.

    5. Avatar Mark says:

      Thanks Martin for the clarification.

    6. Avatar John says:

      Not with BT it doesn’t Martin.

      The 14 days starts when service starts.

    7. Avatar Ian says:

      “From when the order is placed” which is basically taking advantage of the current situation isn’t it? I recently placed an order with AA that took over 3 weeks to be connected which turned out to perform worse than the talk talk I had before. In the end the cease was removed and charges were waived so in could move to BT who are currently offering fttp in my area from approx July. Barely had the connection for 5 days and was told my cooling off period has long expired. Any company who operates like this is disgusting.

  12. Avatar Love Broadband says:

    TalkTalk happily advertises UFO (Full Fibre) and when you speak to them; their staff have absolutely no clue about this product. They proceed to sell G.Fast which is not even available in my area. In fact I said why haven’t you offered me Dial Up?

    This company and staff are so clueless about their own products it is embarrassing.

    I think this woeful unacceptable failing at TalkTalk is a severe mismanagement problem and they need to replace the management and invest more than 50p in training each customer services agent.

    Like most people on here, I work in telecoms. I enjoy researching. But rarely does the sheer staggering incompetence of a company like this make me inexplicably angry like TalkTalk does.

    1. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

      Customers of other ISPs such as Plusnet and Virgin Media say exactly the same things, so TalkTalk is hardly alone in training its staff poorly.

    2. Avatar DaveyO says:

      Depends if you are in York / Dewsbury ? I’ll agree some staff re training needs to be done at TT. I’m a UFO customer and if I’m passed to offshore call centre they haven’t a clue what service I’m on.

    3. Avatar DaveyO says:

      And just to add if you are in a UFO area speaking to the right team makes a massive difference. 0800 2300272 is the one to call.

  13. Avatar Tony t says:

    That won’t work jonny. Your 14 days starts from signup not later.

  14. Avatar gc1 says:

    So with both Sky and TalkTalk about to launch products via Openreach FTTP, prices at last will become more competitive. Price wise they will probably be within a pound or two of each other. Which is likely to be the better (or least worst) for peak time performance ? I know TalkTalk has a rather poor reputation but how much of that is for customer service (or lack thereof) and how much for network congestion ?

    1. Avatar Matt says:

      I’ve been with talktalk for 7 years or so, fttc has always been decent with them. That’s with gaming, heavy P2P use, streaming etc. Always been reliable. They’re one of those companies you don’t want to be dealing tech support with, as I’ve heard they’re useless, but zero complaints from me.

  15. Avatar Burble says:

    Assuming a competitive price, I shall be ordering FTTP from TalkTalk ASAP, I went out of fixed term contract with TalkTalk 9 months ago, but they gave me the a discount on a rolling contract with the expectation of FTTP being available “soon”. Labours election broadband promises and then CV-19 meant “soon” moved on some months, but at last we are close.

    1. Avatar Burble says:

      p.s. I should say that I will most probably order the cheapest product, as I have no great need of ultrafast speeds, just want a reliable ‘superfast’ service. At the moment I can get faster speeds logging on to my nabours wifi via FON.

  16. Avatar FibreFred says:

    Are they still planning to build their own fttp network to 3m premises?

    1. Avatar John says:

      No they sold their Fibre Nation business/network to CityFibre.

      They will be selling FTTP over CityFibre’s network as part of that deal.

    2. Avatar FibreFred says:

      And to think, the full page ads in the press by Dido saying she was going to fibre the country because BT wasn’t, glad someone actually carried on.

      I said the trial wouldn’t grow past York and here we are.

    3. Avatar Jayson says:

      Well they did cover Harrogate, Dewsbury and Batley as well. The sale to City Fibre made a lot of sense to both parties as City Fibre are the major front runners taking on Openreach amongst many other smaller outfits (like Fibre Nation was).

  17. Avatar John Lobster says:

    What’s the latest with this? I called talk talk and they know nothing.

  18. Avatar Julian says:

    TalkTalk have now launched FTTP as a live regular rather than a trial service with its own dedicated phone line on 0800 049 6253 and its own website at shorturl.at/lxyPZ FTTP phone line only opens at 9am on weekdays but not sure what time it closes. Seems to be no way to order online, which is annoying as it means no Quidco or TopCashBack Cashback to further lower the price.

    I spoke to them this morning to confirm the details and it is indeed just a 150Mbps FTTP connection for £34.95 a month and 550Mbps for £39.95 a month with a not very attractive but BT mirroring 24 month contract term (unlike Sky FTTP where its 18 months). Unlike Sky there is no FTTP phone line service involved and also no free internet tv package such as the YouView box and free Amazon Prime service offered to TalkTalk’s normal FTTC broadband and phone customers. But it is a very cheap offer for a 550Mbps service for those working from home and also with teenage or grown up children using the connection. But they also don’t even offer their own service to port your phone number out to a Voip connection, even though this is possible with sipgate.co.uk for a one off £30 as advertised at https://basichelp.sipgate.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/204155912-Porting-my-existing-telephone-number-to-sipgate-basic

    However for me personally I may be better off with Sky’s 150Mbps service at £39.95 per month including free Signature tv package during the 18 month contract period with Sky Sports F1 then only £10 per month on top compared to a ridiculous £33.99 per month through Now Tv/Broadband for just the Sky Sports channels or £20 a month for them for regular TalkTalk FTTC customers but bizarrely this deal is not available via TalkTalk to their FTTP customers despite having a faster connection available to do so.

    1. Avatar Julian says:

      P.S. Just to add that TalkTalk’s FTTP adviser told me that their FTTP service is only currently available at around half the addresses where it is available from BT.

      My country village exchange is a larger one with both a Sky and a TalkTalk ADSL2+ LLU so I assume that TalkTalk is not yet offering FTTP on smaller rural exchanges with FTTP capability as BT Wholesale probably has higher FTTP pricing on these smaller rural FTTP capable telephone exchanges.

  19. Avatar Julian says:

    The short link I posted above to TalkTalk’s FTTP website doesn’t seem to work so the full link is http://www.talktalk.co.uk/shop/broadband/futurefibre?portalid=ppc-brand_generic&utm_medium=ppc&utm_campaign=broadbandna&utm_source=google&ds_kids=%257B_dstrackerid%257D&gclid=Cj0KCQjw-O35BRDVARIsAJU5mQVMDCALHWhzGzrnJyA6C4mjB6Hc8Ll-htIPzYrQcifA50-raRXQoxEaAnrsEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Also note that the terms and conditions for the FTTP service on that website are completely wrong and seem to relate to TalkTalk’s G.Fast services, including only an 18 month rather than a 24 month minimum contract term.

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