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Broadband ISP PlusNet UK Confirm FTTP to Launch Later in 2022

Saturday, January 15th, 2022 (12:01 am) - Score 14,784
Plusnet-Hub-Two-Router

Internet provider Plusnet has this week confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they will finally launch a new range of packages, which will be based off Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) powered broadband technology, at some point “later this year.” But it’s not the first time the UK ISP has promised to launch such products.

Some may have forgotten, but Plusnet – part of the BT Group – was originally one of the very first UK ISPs to trial Openreach’s full fibre service in 2010/11, but those trials came to an end in 2018 and since then customers have often complained of being left behind. Indeed, almost every other provider on the same network has since launched their own FTTP packages.

However, the first ray of hope began to shine in February 2021, after Plusnet’s Marketing Director, Sam Calvert, signalled that 2021 was “going to be a big year” for the ISP. Sam went on to predict both the launch of a new wireless router and full fibre, but only one of those materialised. The new Hub Two router (based on BT’s venerable Smart Hub 2 kit) launched in October 2021 (here) and will probably be used by a future FTTP package.

In April 2021 we noted that some of the provider’s support agents had informed customers that their FTTP service would finally launch during the summer of 2021 (here), although the ISP later clarified that the new service was actually expected to launch “a bit later” than that. The latest update from Plusnet is that it will now launch “later” in 2022. Make of that what you will.

A Spokesperson for Plusnet told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We are committed to delivering our customers value for money by focusing on reliable broadband and award winning service. We are excited to bring FTTP to our customers later this year. Full Fibre will offer our customers a game changing connection, giving them the benefit of our fastest speeds, our most reliable connection and all at the same great value you would expect from Plusnet.”

The difficulty for Plusnet, which in the past has tended to be positioned as BT’s lower-cost sub-brand, perhaps stems from their awkward position between the consumer divisions of BT and EE. Both of the latter two have already launched FTTP packages and have heavily embraced convergence with mobile, with EE often also appearing to be taking on the role of a lower cost sibling.

As such, it will be interesting to see how Plusnet chooses to position their future FTTP products, since they don’t have any of the convergence options of their bigger siblings. Mind you, many consumers have no interest in convergence, and would be happy with just a regular broadband-only or broadband and phone bundle, provided it’s competitively priced.

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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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43 Responses
  1. Peter says:

    I reckon their pricing might be on compare to TalkTalk.
    But I wonder what packages their go with, maybe maybe keep it simple with 1 or 2 others

    1. NE555 says:

      Talktalk don’t have an entry-level FTTP offering. Their cheapest FTTP is £35 per month (for 150M) – and it doesn’t come with any voice service.

      At the low end, the nearest competitors are BT and Sky, at around £28 per month for 40M or 80M FTTP (with digital voice).

      Plusnet are selling 40M FTTC at £22 per month, and it will be interesting to see how close they can get to that with FTTP. It’s tricky because at wholesale 40M FTTP is £1.70+VAT per month more expensive than FTTC (although for as long as BT own both Openreach and Plusnet, the extra money stays within the group)

    2. Damien says:

      They will probably do the same BT products with discounts and gift cards – nothing new will come of this

    3. occasionally factual says:

      @ne555

      Looking at BTs current offer on FTTP prices for me then they are matching TalkTalk at the 150Mbps speed

      Current prices without phone are

      Full Fibre Essential (36Mbps) £24.99
      Full Fibre 1 (50Mbps) £27.99
      Full Fibre 2 (74Mbps) £29.99
      Full Fibre 100 (150Mbps) £34.99
      Full Fibre 500 £44.99
      Full Fibre 900 £54.99

    4. occasionally factual says:

      Selecting phone & broadband package adds £5 per month to the prices above.

    5. NE555 says:

      This thread is about Plusnet, and Plusnet currently sell only cheap FTTC at 40M or 80M.

      Talktalk don’t currently compete in the low-cost FTTP space, only in the ultrafast space (150M and above, £35 and above).

      Hence if Plusnet decide to offer a 40M and/or 80M FTTP product, they won’t be competing with Talktalk.

      It is of course possible that Plusnet will do the same as Talktalk: launch only ultrafast FTTP. That will be a disappointment for people looking for a basic entry-level FTTP service. It also won’t help Openreach’s aspirations to move everyone off FTTC to FTTP where available, because price-sensitive consumers will stick on FTTC.

    6. Jordan says:

      On BTs site i see a sale on the full fibre plans, 500mbps is £40 and 1000mbps is £49.99 with 12 months of gamepass. But i would rather go with talktalk and get two eero routers instead of BTs bad router.

    7. occasionally factual says:

      @Jordan
      BT prices vary by region or whether you are an existing customer. BT offer regional discounts which come into effect when they release FTTP for a new area. So you and I can see different prices for the same product.

  2. JAH says:

    I don’t really understand why BT is keeping the EE and PlusNet brands separate, especially when EE can often have cheaper plans than PlusNet. Makes sense to me to consolidate PlusNet into EE.

    1. SM says:

      I’d imagine it wold come down to having to spend money to consolidate the brands, so just leave as is.

      I wonder how many customers migrate from one of the brands to another wanting to change provider due to tech issues or complaints about tech/cs, just to still effectively be with the same overall company…

      As for Plusnet FTTP, remind me of this story in January 2023…

    2. Tech3475 says:

      There’s probably marketing/business reasons.

      Given my experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are turned off by EE because they can’t receive the EE mobile customer discounts and they instead turn to “good, honest broadband from Yorkshire”.

      If anything, I’m surprised EE still exists and isn’t just BT, other than maybe brand recognition.

    3. Aled says:

      PlusNet are essentially seen as the stripped down budget side of BT broadband.

      PlusNet is selling basic 36 meg download for £21pm.

      Whereas essentially the same speed is £28pm direct from BT. £24pm from EE.

      My guess is BT/EE were the premium marketing segment, with PlusNet targeting the cost-sensitive market. Perhaps it was just hard getting the numbers to work for PlusNet selling a premium FTTP product, but recent developments mean their hand has been forced?

    4. Just a thought says:

      Many companies have different brands. It allows them to have different price/quality offerings, whilst making it clear the expectations should be different. Tesco Finest*, Tesco or Stockwell & Co. soup have a better expectation image than high price, price point and bargain.
      I would think there would be milage in BT-mobile and PlusnetMobile as VMNOs that use EE. With EE becoming more of an Openreach organisation, allowing them to sell wholesale to whoever without a customer front end.

    5. sometime maybe perhaps says:

      I wouldnt be surprised if we see plusnet retired as a brand and/or merged into EE when FTTP becomes the norm, or “Plusnet set to launch FTTP later in 2023” Maybe plusnet will exist only as a brand for legacy customers and those not yet able to get FTTP.
      They have been harping on about launching FTTP “soon” or “later this year” for some time and still nothing is announced.

    6. John jones says:

      As a former member of the sales team at plusnet. I can tell you that they’re designed for those who can’t pay/ won’t pay for BT prices even though BT does come with a number of value for money perks over plusnet. As for integrating with EE, it’s down to the antiquated system Plusnet use for there customers and they don’t use a the same billing engine as BT or EE who share systems. So if they wanted to merge they would have to manually transfer over a million customers details by hand to a new system which wouldn’t work

  3. Johnson says:

    See also Plusnet’s IPv6 trial which started in 2013 but came to nothing.

    1. Nerferder says:

      Are they the only isp that doesn’t support ipv6? It is farcical.

    2. Piranha says:

      They are one of many that do not support IPv6

    3. Jonny says:

      No. Out of the big ISPs (ones big enough to be included on the Ofcom complaint reports) only BT and Sky support IPv6.

  4. PN says:

    Plusnet been saying FTTP will be ready in 2021, now in 2022? – no, it will be in 2023!

  5. occasionally factual says:

    As a real life Plusnet FTTP customer – (I’m on their closed trial) – I doubt that it will be this year as well.
    For years now, the support staff on the forum have been blaming the back office systems for the company’s inability to offer FTTP. They used to “hack” the FTTP connection details into their system. And the infamous billing system upgrade put a pay to that. So when are Plusnet going to replace the back office systems so that they can move forward and how much pain are we the customer in for when they do it? Remember the billing system is still causing issues today many years down the line.

  6. Mick says:

    Requested a new hub2 from Plusnet to replace my hub1 which was over 5 years old. They came back and told me it was only available to new customers.

    1. Tim oakham says:

      I messaged plus et on Facebook and asked for the new smart hub 2 and they said no problem and posted me one

  7. James says:

    Wait didn’t Plusnet used to offer FTTP, I remember watching a YouTube video once and there was someone with FTTP and Plusnet as the supplier?

    1. occasionally factual says:

      It was available to order as part of a trial which was closed to customers a few years back. Those on the trial were allowed to continue with their product but cannot get a discounted price nor change their speeds. And support is via the forum pages as the phone line staff don’t know about it.

    2. Hannah says:

      *most phone line staff don’t know about it – as with any call centre it depends who you speak to. any of the more experienced agents would know.

  8. Sam says:

    Smart hub 2 is a pile of crap.. its awful! Why no wifi 6!

    1. Ribble says:

      Smart hub 2 has been around nearly 4 years, before wifi 6. Probably be replaced or updated this year.

    2. Damian says:

      BT will bring out the Smart Hub 3. Plusnet will get it in 2025. I’ll be leaving for TalkTalk in a few months.

  9. Alex says:

    Too late for me, my plusnet service has been flawless but their lack of FTTP has forced me to jump ship to Talktalk. Equipment of £24pm for 150mbps FTTP if you factor in their current offers (eg. 3 months free).

    1. Alex says:

      Apologies, autocorrect. Equipment should read equivalent.

  10. Johnsonreed says:

    plusnet worst provider ever. They can’t even get their own infrastructure server. All they do is resell bt products big shame.

    1. anonymous says:

      They have their own ‘infrastructure servers’. They don’t have their own fibre in the ground for obvious reasons. They’re a budget ISP owned by BT.

      There are definitely complaints that could be made about them but this isn’t one.

    2. Hannah says:

      the majority of ISPs are selling phone/broadband purchased from Openreach onto customers. BT, Plusnet, EE, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, etc. There are a small number of suppliers who have their own infrastructure (like Virgin Media) but they are the exception, not the rule.

    3. ad47uk says:

      They have been pretty good to me in the last 4 years or more years I have been with them. i have been with worse and I have seen much worse, certainly for customer service, BT itself for a start and Talk Talk.

  11. Gary B says:

    I moved house…went from 50mb to 3mb no new Router no service for a month. Fitter came round with a “trainee” ripped off my MK brass socket put BT master socket on the wall ruined the attire. Service…well no router..service in a new build at 5mb max…when it works..and ad you have moved its a new contract..so the old one with three months to run renews for 24 months…so the mention of “routers are for new subscribers” is utterly and totally a BT fabrication.

  12. dennis gange says:

    Have always found plusnet to be a reliable provider. The only problem I find with them, like every other phone provider is the charges they levy for mobiles to connect to their landlines. Now that is something that needs correcting.

  13. ad47uk says:

    Makes no difference here, we don’t have out of reach fibre. I expect this will be my last 18 months with plusnet

  14. Carl Farrington says:

    Static IP included at no extra monthly cost with Plusnet.
    Somewhere itro £5 p/m extra with BT.
    That’s why I put my SME customers on Plusnet. It’s getting tough though when you know fttp is available but not on offer from your preferred supplier.

    1. Rupert Walker says:

      Static IP is the main reason I have been with them for the last 10 years. Service has been good for me but never had to call the help line, and don’t use the supplied hardware.
      I was getting ready to switch to Virgin fibre last year when they did our road but they refuse to supply due to a concrete drive.

  15. Sam says:

    I have the Plusnet FTTP-trial service. It is not really a trial as they are based on BT’s FTTP which is a fully supported commercial service. For an 80Mb package it was fairly priced compared to BT FTTC/FTTP few years ago. However, I am now stuck as a non-contract customer (it was available for customers with 18-month fixed pricing until recently) – this means I pay ~£5 more per month than the contract offer. This price is very close to a much faster package from BT themselves. I am planning to switch but the only issue is that after 18 months or so, BT would increase the price 2x and I will have to switch again. Plusnet’s service itself is quite stable.

    1. Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

      Probably 24 months with their new contracts. I thought they were expensive, for what you get, so didn’t go for them last time – but with current inflation, they become a better deal. See what prices are in the summer? After all, that hub with dish is meant to be coming out. And ultimately, switching has become less painful over the years.

  16. Lee says:

    My current plusnet contract ends in May this year, got my hopes up as fttp is being installed in the area thought I’d be able to stay with plusnet, but time will tell.

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