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ISP Choices on Openreach’s UK FTTP Broadband Network 2021

Saturday, May 29th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 19,080
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In this short article we attempt to clear up some of the confusion over ISP choices on Openreach’s new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “ultrafast broadband” (100Mbps+) network, which usually occurs once people realise that it’s not yet available from all the UK market’s internet providers.

Historically people have tended to assume that all the most popular ISPs, except for Virgin Media, will support Openreach’s latest technologies, but that isn’t always the case. Several reasons for this exists, although the key issues relate to limited network availability, capacity (some ISPs have to upgrade first), the cost / time required to adapt existing systems to a new product and the fact that the market today is full of many alternative FTTP networks (summary).

NOTE: Openreach covers c.4.8 million UK premises with FTTP (build rate of c.43,000 per week) and they’re investing c.£15bn to reach 25 million by December 2026.

Nevertheless, over the past couple of years many more providers have begun to offer Openreach based FTTP packages, including major ISPs like Sky Broadband and TalkTalk that initially appeared to shun it. At the end of the day none of the main ISPs can afford to ignore the network provider’s significant commitment to build, which will make it the largest full fibre operator in the UK.

Suffice to say that many consumers have been left feeling confused about what their choices are. In response, we’ve extracted a few of the more consumer friendly Openreach-based options from our UK ISP Listings to help. But this guide is not intended to be an exhaustive list, just a reasonably reflective one.

ISP Options for Openreach’s FTTP Network

In order to narrow this list down we’re only going to cover those ISPs that offer packages based off Openreach’s 160Mbps download / 30Mbps upload tier at more consumer affordable prices. This package is probably one of the network’s most popular “ultrafast broadband” tiers due to its attractive balance of speed and affordability. On ISPs that don’t offer this, we’ll take the closest ultrafast tier (usually 115Mbps or 100Mbps) – listed separately at the bottom of the table.

On top of that we’ve excluded some of the more expensive business focused providers, as well as those that lacked enough package detail, failed to clearly display whether their prices included VAT, or where we couldn’t be certain whether the packages were even Openreach based. We have not taken a view on the service quality of these providers, so the list below should NOT be taken as a table of recommendations.

Something else to note is that we aren’t highlighting any of the other value added features that may come with these packages, such as cloud backup, static IP addresses, access to public WiFi hotspots and phone services etc. The table below is merely intended as a quick guide to the cheapest monthly options.

NOTE: All of these packages include unlimited data usage, except AAISP’s where we used their 2 TeraByte option. Some ISPs discount the price for their first contract term, so for those we’ve put the post-contract price in brackets. Data is from early April 2021.

Summary of 160Mbps UK ISP Plans (Openreach)

ISP Price Upfront (New Install) Contract Free Router
TalkTalk £32 (£39.95) £4.95 24 Yes
Sky Broadband £35 (£40) £9.95 18 Yes
EE £39 (£44) £25 18 Yes
BT £39.99 (£47.99) £9.99 24 Yes
iDNET £42 £60 12 No
Vispa £46 (£52) £7.95 12 No
Optanet £48 £0 24 Yes
Aquiss £48 £0 12 No
Freeola £49.99 £48 12 No
Cerberus Networks £52.80 £48 12 Yes
Juice Broadband £52.99 ? 12 Yes
Structured Communications £52.99 £60 12 Yes
Distance Voice £55.14 £64.80 12 No
Spectrum Internet £56.99 £49 24 Yes
Spitfire £58.80 £15 24 Yes
AAISP £60 £100 12 Yes
I Need Broadband £69.99 £49.99 24 Yes
         
Vodafone (115/20Mbps tier) £26 (£29) £0 24 Yes
Pulse 8 (115/20Mbps tier) £36 £99 1 No
Zen Internet (115/20Mbps tier) £38.99 £29.99 18 Yes
No One (Trunk Networks) (115/20Mbps tier) * £39.99 £0.00 24 Yes
1310 (115/20Mbps tier) £46.20 ? 12 No
Giganet (220/30Mbps tier) * £35-£59 £9.95-£55 12-24 Yes
  • Vispa also gives the option of a 24-month term with a free router, but we couldn’t see the monthly pricing for this on their website without first ordering.
  • No One is the residential outlet of Trunk Networks and seems similar to Leetline, as such we’ve used the consumer prices for No One above.
  • Giganet has some unbundled exchanges via Openreach, which are cheaper than their regular FTTP packages. Sadly they don’t offer the 115Mbps or 160Mbps tiers, so we used 220Mbps (30Mbps upload).

We’d like to add a few points about the above packages. Spectrum Internet only tends to sell their FTTP packages to parts of Wales and South West England. Meanwhile several ISPs, such as Zen Internet, Giganet and Vodafone, hide their FTTP packages behind an availability checker and that makes it a bit more tedious to see what they’re offering.

We also found that you had to go deeper in AAISP’s ordering system before the 160Mbps option is shown (oddly this only comes after you first pick an 80Mbps tier, which may cause confusion). Sadly, several of the ISPs also do not allow you to order their FTTP packages online and instead force you to go through the tedious hassle of ordering over the phone. A few others also made it difficult to see the upload speeds being offered.

A number of ISPs were excluded from our list for various different reasons and the most common were: 1) We couldn’t be sure whether the FTTP packages were Openreach based or not, 2) the ISP lacked a 100Mbps+ class tier, 3) the ISP was too expensive (£100+) / too business centric and, 5) key package / price details weren’t shown or easy to find at the time of checking.

The excluded providers (these are often still worth consideration) included Unchained ISP, Jibba Jabba, Gradwell and BitStreme. Finally, a quick look back at our original article from 2019 (here) shows that prices for the 160Mbps tier have generally fallen and often by a fair amount.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
34 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Talktalk 500mbps FTTP package (Openreach) says:

    Thought this was worth mentioning, first mentioned here:
    https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/07/isp-talktalk-uk-soft-launch-openreach-fttp-broadband-plans.html

    500mbps FTTP via Openreach network – £40 p/m

    Is available nationally, where Openreach FTTP has been rolled out?

    1. Avatar photo André says:

      Yes, but….. it’s TalkTalk
      Not even if they gave it away.

    2. Avatar photo Craig says:

      Nothing wrong with TalkTalk from a performance PoV, they are no better/worse than BT, Sky etc. Been with TT for donkeys years on FTTC and more recently on FTTP, and have always got line speeds 24/7.

    3. Avatar photo André says:

      Well, their customer service is often considered the worst around and they were the actor of the largest data breach ever in the UK, but I guess memories fade quickly…

    4. Avatar photo Craig says:

      TT forum support is pretty good actually, never had any problems getting issues resolved through the uk based TT OCEs.

      As for the TT data hack, as unacceptable as it was, no customer financial details were leaked. Compare that to the BA, Tesco bank and Sony PlayStation network hacks where customers card numbers WERE leaked. Hell even Ubiquiti was hacked recently, yet I don’t see people refusing to buy their kit anymore.

  2. Avatar photo Talktalk 500mbps - Correction says:

    For the TalkTalk 500mbps (data only) package, it’s currently £35 a month.

    I checked the price by putting an address in Worcester into the checker, that has Openreach FTTP available in that street. See link below:
    https://i.ibb.co/3YtgXkY/Talk-Talk-FTTP-availability.jpg

  3. Avatar photo NE555 says:

    Unfortunately the author has been caught out by Talktalk’s confusing branding.

    The £29.95 price shown is for “Fibre 150 Ultrafast”, but that is G.Fast not FTTP. See https://new.talktalk.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast

    If you want FTTP, you need to select “Future Fibre”: https://new.talktalk.co.uk/broadband/fttp

    The product is called simply “Fibre 150”, and is £32.00 per month, plus £4.95 setup.

    If a widely respected and experienced technical journalist is misled by this, what chance do consumers have!

    1. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      Also, Fibre 150 (FTTP) has a 24 month contract, as opposed to 18 months for G.Fast.

    2. Avatar photo GNewton says:

      “If a widely respected and experienced technical journalist is misled by this, what chance do consumers have!”

      All of this because the ASA couldn’t be bothered to do its job.

    3. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Just my mistake when manually checking all the results in a short space of time (too many windows open), which is quite a laborious process. Happens.

    4. Avatar photo Craig says:

      TT Fibre 150 (FTTP 160/30) works out at £28/m over 24 months, given that they’re currently offering the first 3 months free before being billed £32/m for the remaining 21 months.

  4. Avatar photo David Lomax says:

    This is useful. Could we have a similar like for like comparison of ‘Gigabit’ FTTP providers?

    1. Avatar photo James™ says:

      I second this!

  5. Avatar photo John says:

    Talktalk 160/30 at £30 is G.Fast only.
    It’s £32 on FTTP.

    1. Avatar photo John says:

      And FTTP has a minimum 24 month term, not the 18 month listed above.
      18 month is also the G.Fast minimum term.

  6. Avatar photo Guy Cashmore says:

    No mention of FluidOne? I have an OR FTTP service from them.

    1. Avatar photo James™ says:

      They are business focused

  7. Avatar photo Just cycling says:

    O.R recently installed FTTP in my road. Tried to order from current ISP which is Vodafone but they only offered me FTTC. Same with Talk Talk who didn’t offer me any FTTP choices. Hence ordered 900 package from BT. Was hoping for the SH3 but looks like that’s still 2 b released.
    Hopefully I can buy and connect my own wifi6 router to BT ONT?

  8. Avatar photo Aaron says:

    It would be interesting to see a list of Openreach ISPs who offer / have an option for a static IP.

    This will be a massive deciding factor for me when my renewal comes up soon.

    1. Avatar photo NE555 says:

      Pretty much the only “consumer” ISP who does a static IP is Zen. They don’t have a 160/30 tier, so it’s either 115/20 or 330/50 or more. Plusnet are rumoured to be starting FTTP later in the year, and they currently offer static IP on their residential service for a one-off £5 charge (that may or may not remain true for FTTP).

      Otherwise you’re looking at the more expensive, more business-focused options in that list. There are other options not listed there such as TalkTalk Business – who will give you static IPv4, but no IPv6 at all.

      If you are technically advanced, you could consider the AAISP L2TP service at £10/month. You can use this via any ISP, but is limited to 100Mbps and 1TB/month. It might be useful if you only need the static IP for inbound services.

    2. Avatar photo James™ says:

      Trunk networks consumer brand (No One) or gaming brand (Leetline) also can offer static IPs

    3. Avatar photo Eccles says:

      Freeola also offer /30 and /29 for a small additional monthly fee.

  9. Avatar photo Pete says:

    Mark, Very useful – could you think about a similar exercise for SME Business Users ?

  10. Avatar photo anon36748 says:

    Has anyone signed for Talktalk’s FTTP 500mbps Openreach package, and if so, is it any good?

    1. Avatar photo T Dugdale says:

      I took out the 500 Mbps FTTP package from Talktalk a few months ago, getting 450+ Mbps day and night. No issues at all

    2. Avatar photo anon36748 says:

      Good to know, is it possible to configure both the ONT / modem through a web interface? What router comes with the current Talktalk 500mbps FTTP package?

    3. Avatar photo T Dugdale says:

      The Openreach ONT is locked down so can’t login into this. Not too fussed though because with FTTP you ‘sync’ at the speed you pay for

      TT supplied me with their black Wi-Fi hub, it’s not bad but i prefer using my own router. Im using an Netgear RAX200 connected to the ONT and it works a treat.

    4. Avatar photo anon36748 says:

      Thanks for the info! Sings like the ONT won’t be a problem especially since you can connect whatever devices you need to, like a third party router or switch.

      Can most FTTC routers handle all the network traffic/packets on FTTP? Or, are special FTTP routers required?

      I will likely get my house wired up with ethernet, before Openreach builds to my area, so not too bothered about wireless.

    5. Avatar photo T Dugdale says:

      Any FTTC router which has a WAN port will work on FTTP, no need to spend money on new kit if you’re happy with your current setup.

  11. Avatar photo jamamoooto says:

    Talktalk Still part of BT so two both garbage companies reunited basically. You’ll get no quality from both of them. So go for Talktalk because you’ll save money. And enjoy your dial up modem.

    1. Avatar photo anon36748 says:

      I’d be happy with anything thats faster or more reliable than my £30 p/m FTTC 50mbps (max speed) connection. 10x the speed on 500mbps FTTP TalkTalk can’t be that bad can it?

  12. Avatar photo Matt Wallace says:

    We are with Zen internet on their 900mbps Tier for £52.49 per month EX VAT for 24 month and no Landline / Digital Phone. Very happy with the service and speeds received 930 DL 110 UL.

    The Openreach FTTP providers list Spectrum and Vodafone as being able to provide fibre products, but when you actually go to their websites and do a check it states we are currently unable to provide you with a service at the moment. we are connected to the Colyton exchange WWCOLY.

  13. Avatar photo Graham says:

    David Lomax: May 29, 2021
    Could we have a similar like for like comparison of ‘Gigabit’ FTTP providers?

    I’m with a FTTP provider which used the Gigabit scheme to connect the village.

    Current pricing, contract is 24months and price is fixed for 2 years.
    120/120 £19
    250/250 £29
    500/500 £39
    1000/1000 £60

    Voip comes extra but as I gave up using a landline years ago, not really an issue.

    They say the speed won’t fall below 80% I’m on 500/500 and currently I get around 480mbps down and 460mbps up. The supplied router does the biz with both WiFi channels not giving any grief at all with a good range on it – even though the user settings are a bit more restricted compared to the Fritzbox and TP link routers I’ve used. I get nearly 250mbps both up and down on the mobile phone. No complaints here.

Comments are closed

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