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Ofcom Propose NOT to Block Openreach’s UK FTTP Price Cuts UPDATE

Friday, Feb 3rd, 2023 (7:44 am) - Score 4,768
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Ofcom has today opened an expected consultation into Openreach’s ‘Equinox 2‘ discount scheme, which will further reduce the wholesale prices of their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband products for ISPs and thus consumers. But their “provisional” view is “not intervene“, which is likely to anger alternative networks (AltNets).

As we reported at the end of last year (here), Openreach are preparing to introduce another round of wholesale discounts on their FTTP products from April 2023. The move will help their ISPs to stay competitive with newer AltNets (Summary of UK Full Fibre Builds) and further reduce the price of related packages, which will in turn boost take-up by consumers and aid the move away from copper lines.

NOTE: BT are investing up to £15bn to cover 25 million premises with FTTP by December 2026 (80%+ of the UK). So far, they’ve already completed 9.6 million.

The discounts themselves are not as dramatic as the Equinox 1 offer, with smaller changes to rentals and some reductions in connection charges. Nevertheless, more than a few AltNets view the move as being anticompetitive (here), with CityFibre even going so far as to lodge a Competition Act complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Ofcom (here).

According to CityFibre, Openreach are “undertaking an aggressive strategy to foreclose infrastructure competition in the UK fibre broadband market.” Such AltNets, which carry a lot of risk due to being in the earliest stages of investment and competitive infrastructure build, have previously enjoyed a market where Openreach was traditionally much more expensive. This made it easier for them to grow take-up, attract investment and gain support from third-party ISPs to their equivalent wholesale options.

The flip side of this is that ISPs on Openreach’s network often feel as if they’re being left at a competitive disadvantage versus often significantly cheaper AltNets. Such providers have thus put pressure on Openreach to adapt and stay competitive, hence the discounts, which in-turn also helps to boost take-up by consumers and aid the move away from older copper lines. Consumers are generally pleased to see fibre prices fall, especially in this climate.

As per usual, Openreach are required to notify new pricing to Ofcom 90 days before it launches, which gives the regulator time to prepare and launch a short consultation on the changes. The latest consultation on all this has now been launched, and they’ve provisionally decided that the discounts are not likely to be considered anticompetitive. But there is an olive branch of sorts for AltNets.

NOTE: Not all AltNets offer viable wholesale access like Cityfibre and quite a few are more vertically integrated (third-party ISPs cannot join).

Ofcom’s Statement

We have carefully assessed Openreach’s offer – taking into account the interests of consumers, as well as the impact on competitors and retail broadband providers.

Our provisional view is that we should not intervene to prevent Openreach from introducing Equinox 2. We consider the offer is not anti-competitive and is consistent with the rules we consulted on before introducing them under our market review in 2021. Maintaining these rules for the period of the review is also important to achieving certainty for all companies looking to invest in broadband networks.

In our provisional view, the proposed offer is consistent with our primary strategic goal of promoting investment in high-speed networks to deliver fast, affordable broadband to people and business across the UK.

We are now inviting responses to our consultation by 5pm on 4th March 2023, before deciding how to proceed. We intend to publish our final decision before the end of March 2023.

We are also alive to the concerns of some market participants that Openreach’s practice of amending its full-fibre prices could act as a barrier to competitors’ entry and expansion in the market. As this could potentially affect the level playing field we want to see, we are gathering evidence to decide whether we should investigate this matter in more detail.

As ever, the challenge in all this is with figuring out where to draw the line when trying to balance the vested interest of both sides. Ofcom has allowed Openreach plenty of flexibility to stay competitive, as may seem only fair in such an aggressively competitive market – this is part of the reason why the dominant player opted to invest so much money into FTTP in the first place. On the other hand, choosing not to invest might have been suicide.

However, as the market becomes more competitive, then Ofcom’s regulation actually tends to soften, not harden, and indeed their analytical framework remains more “concerned with the promotion of competition rather than the protection of competition as under competition law” (Ofcom quote).

Suffice to say, Ofcom’s provisional view shouldn’t shock anybody and is consistent with their past rulings, but AltNets will still challenge this as much as possible over the next few weeks. Ultimately, we suspect Ofcom will hold to their provisional view, and indeed blocking Openreach from being able to reduce their prices, in the current climate, would not go down well with consumers.

The more interesting development to watch may be CityFibre’s legal challenge, which could go to the very heart of how a competitive market is supposed to function, particularly in urban areas. On the other hand, the operator’s chances of outright victory in this approach seem questionable, although the devil is always in the detail. CityFibre is perhaps more concerned with setting precedent or rules for a possible Equinox 3, 4 etc. than blocking 2.

UPDATE 10:23am

The comments have started to come in.

Malcolm Corbett, INCA CEO (representing AltNets), said:

“INCA is frustrated by the preliminary view Ofcom has outlined in its consultation on BT Openreach’s Equinox 2 proposals. INCA is clear in its analysis of Equinox 2 that the scheme deliberately threatens competitiveness and makes it harder for new entrants to compete in the full fibre market.

INCA believes that, should Ofcom fail to block Equinox 2, £20bn of investment will be at risk, significantly slowing progress towards the roll out of full fibre connectivity broadband to all parts of the UK. In effect, a decision not to block Equinox 2 runs contrary to the Government’s policy of creating and maintaining a competitive market for broadband services in the UK.

Despite the combative comments made by the BT Chief Executive this week, which make the company’s monopolistic desires perfectly clear, Ofcom seems not to realise that through this proposal, BT is attempting to re-establish the monopoly it enjoyed in the copper market over the country’s full fibre future, which left the UK languishing at the bottom of international full fibre league tables. If the company is doing as well as Philip Jansen wants the markets to believe it is, price cutting can only be aimed at killing the competition.

It is abundantly clear that the best way to get networks built quickly and to ensure low prices for consumers in the long-term is to maintain a competitive wholesale broadband market. Should Ofcom fail to block the Equinox 2 proposal, it will be acting against that objective. INCA will engage with Ofcom’s consultation process and hopes that Ofcom will think carefully about the serious damage which will be inflicted on the UK’s proposed full fibre broadband roll out before making a final decision on whether to approve or decline BT Openreach’s self-interested and anti-competitive proposals.”

Mark Shurmer, MD of Regulatory Affairs at Openreach, said:

“We share Ofcom’s initial view that our new Full Fibre offer isn’t anti-competitive. Our customers wanted sharper pricing to help them upgrade their customers to faster, more reliable broadband connections, so this is good news for UK consumers and businesses. It also supports our continued multi-billion pound investment to upgrade the UK’s broadband infrastructure.”

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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
45 Responses
  1. Avatar photo AltBret says:

    Is this the beginning on the end for the altnets ? I’ve never understood how they could survive ? Having said that , it’s all so predictable , we’ve all seen it before with cable TV? I think i read on a previous post that any given builder needs 40% take up to make it viable , 40%!!! Simply not possible ?!?

    1. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      In order to see what may happen in the UK we can look at other markets to draw some conclusions. Spain is the top European country in terms of FTTP coverage (excluding Iceland as it’s too small) with about 70%. If you look at the FTTP prices in Spain (see https://images2.imgbox.com/49/57/3IU6ibXK_o.jpg) of the large telcos (Vodafone, Movistar and Orange) vs the Altnets you see a clear price gap. 1Gbps plan is priced €40-50 by the big Telcos and €30-31 by the Altnets. So clearly the Big Telcos are not willing to go lower since they can get away with charging more giving that their coverage is much larger and some people don’t have a choice. So I expect the UK to follow a similar pattern, Altnets will always be cheaper.

    2. Avatar photo Brahmagupta says:

      Green lantern

      You misunderstand how regulation works in the Uk vs elsewhere. If someone with SMP overachieves on the investment case, Ofcom would regulate pricing.

  2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    good to see it. there was too much “BT knobbling” going on in the past, e.g. the infamous FTTP debacle of the 80s to allow copper coax cable TV to grow, the artifically high BT wholesale pricing to encourage LLU, etc.

    The majority of users who will probably never see an altnet (while others get several choices) will benefit immensely.

    CityFibre and others need to realise that competition works both ways and if Openreach can offer a more compelling offer over a much wider area then that’s the way it is. Can’t just whine to the regulator every time BT wants to compete in what they insist is a competitive sector.

    I’ll give the altnets credit for forcing BT to finally stop pretending that copper is the solution though.

    1. Avatar photo Iain says:

      Yeah, AltNets forced Openreach to finally roll out FTTP.

      Even with Equinox 2, Openreach Gigabit pricing is still ridiculously high compared to AltNets. As you say, competition and regulation should be pushing prices to be more reasonable, as opposed to keeping them artificially high.

    2. Avatar photo dave says:

      Rolling out fibre costs. Not all altnets will survive.

    3. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      Yeah, AltNets forced Openreach to finally roll out FTTP.

      really

      how many altnets were around when openreach were trialling 10000 premises for FTTP in bradwell abbey milton keynes in 2011 or so certainly pre BDUK

    4. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      Ivor your comment:

      “The majority of users who will probably never see an altnet”

      It’s not a reflection of reality. At the moment Altnets have more FTTP premises than Openreach (11.6m vs 10m). Altnets are expected to reach 29.9m premises by the end of 2025. 11.6m of 29m is not majority but from 2021 to 2022 Altnets added 6m premises so by the end of 2023 they should probably reach 40-50% of the UK. There is some overbuild in those numbers but certainly the target is there:

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/06/altnet-full-fibre-isps-target-29-9-million-uk-premises-by-2025.html

      We will see how the build progresses. We know that the Altnet build is going to overlap Openreach and VM, but it’s very likely the majority of the UK population will have at least one Altnet choice by 2025.

    5. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      @Fastman – yes really. Sure Openreach had FTTP in places, their rollout in Cornwall is notable, but they were also pretending that G.fast and FTTdp were the future.

      @greenlantern – It was more hyperbole than anything – many millions of users will still have an Openreach monopoly (it’s clear the altnets won’t be touching anything that isn’t an easy picking). 29 million seems to imply a lot of altnet vs altnet overbuilding, assuming they get anywhere close as economic realities come into play, the realisation that they can’t count on a permanently knobbled Openreach and the end of “free” money with rising interest rates.

    6. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      @Ivor While it’s true that interest rstes are up, economy is on down turn and the competition in the Altnet space is getting harder these things don’t have an immediate on investment. A lot of the times the money has already been committed, have a look at CityFibre:

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2023/02/cityfibre-restructures-to-keep-uk-fttp-plan-on-track-cuts-400-jobs.html

      “While our rollout is fully financed, these pressures only increase the importance of taking responsible financial and operational decisions.”

      So they have the money to fully fund their network targets. Having said that they can obviously adjust their build plans for maximum returns so we will have to see how that pans out. But like you said there are plenty of places where people don’t yet have Altnets. My street got FTTP enabled by Openreach more than a year ago but my pole wasn’t, as it was defective and needed a cherry picker. Only after Community Fibre installed their FTTP Openreach came back to finish it. So it’s clear to me that Altnets have more flexibility to do more complex installations and that Openreach feels treatened by them.

  3. Avatar photo Shreyas says:

    Major incumbent plays dirty to hold market share and stifle competition. Just insert country name here 🙂

    Did ofcom bother to ask how they are able to lower prices while increasing them for their end users with in contract price rises? Which is it – prices rising due to inflation or economies of scale. Lower prices on wholesale and increase prices for end users 🙂

    Toothless regulator, broken market sector

    1. Avatar photo So Many Dreamers says:

      @Shreyas

      “stifle competition”

      So youre all for keeping the Openreach prices high but happy for the Altnets to offer their service dirt cheap. So we should force all large companies to keep their pricing high so that should go for electric and food companies. Glad youre happy with the cost of living crisis.

  4. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    All part of BTs master plan to weaken the ALTNETS (Competition) so they buy them and then put up the prices and lower the services where available from symmetric to asymmetric (i.e. reduced service).

    BT don’t reduce prices “to be nice” for customers, it’s to erase competitors. Their end purpose is to milk you as much as they can and spend as little as they can because no serious competition (until the ALTNETS arrived then their whole strategy changed to waiting to do FTTP albeit a naffer asymmetric version with reduced upload speed compared to a number of symmetric ALTNETS).

    Just my views 🙂

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I highly doubt BT (meaning Openreach in this case) would buy any AltNets, since in most of the relevant cases they’d already be expected to have overbuilt them with their own FTTP and have little need or desire to own a duplication.

    2. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

      Assuming an Altnet, going into administration, are the only one in an area, and in the absence of other interest, Openreach would likely inherit their customers anyway under OFCOMS supplier of last resort contingency plan.

    3. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      there is literally no reason for them to buy any of the altnets and having to deal with the integration hassles vs building their own network the way they want, using infrastructure they’ve already got in place. It would probably cost more to do that too.

      it is far more likely that consolidation will take place among the altnets once its realised that it isn’t the path to easy money that was originally thought.

      you seem to have a real bee in your bonnet around upload speeds.

    4. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      @anon – altnets go into business to get rid of the competition. We now see several building in the same area.

  5. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    so nobody disputed them milking people then…..

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      I doubt Open Reach would allowed to buy alt nets

  6. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    The ISP’s should do a deal/agreement where if an Altnet exists they will automatically put you on there and not Openreach unless you specifically ask to be on Openreach. This seems to be a fair way of doing things.

  7. Avatar photo Jason says:

    if it makes it cheaper for the consumer then why not. Thats the whole reason Openreach was created to make it fair and create competition. That means lowering prices. Well done to Openreach for sticking this in and trying to best competition by lowering prices. Fair game

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Thats the whole reason Openreach was created? wow, no the whole reason Openreach was created was
      (a) to make money
      (b) to make us think they were separate from BT

      Openreach are there to make even more money for the rich directors and shareholders. Not saying all shareholders are rich, but a lot are.
      Bloated Toad got the whole network dirt cheap when the phone network was sold off many years ago and we as consumers have been paying ever since.

      Do people really want Openreach to be the only network in the UK? It was bad enough when it was BT and Bt only for the phone until it had to open up to competition.

      While I am not that bothered about fibre myself, I am glad we have Alt nets, it gives Openreach and their BT masters a bit of a wake up call, just a shame that Ofcom is a total and compleate waste of space.
      The main problem here is that a lot of people will go for the simple option and get all the propaganda from their provider that they should change to their FTTP, so BT Openreach network. Unless people are in the know, Alt networks have got a disadvantage.
      i have said this before, a lot of people think they are on fibre with FTTC, because the way it was advertised and the propaganda rubbish that openreach put out at the time.

      Openreach need to be separated from BT into a separate company, but Ofcom don’t have the guts to do it.

    2. Avatar photo FibreBubble says:

      Hey Adrian. Please could you expand on BT shareholders getting the network dirt cheap when the phone network was sold off as they paid £1.30 a share for it at privatisation in 1984 and the share price today was £1.34

      Isn’t this simply a case of you making stuff up again.

    3. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      it was actually Virgin that started the whole “copper is fibre now” marketing stuff, but don’t let that get in the way of an Openreach rant.

      Who said they want Openreach to be the only company? What sensible people want is two-way competition, i.e. the altnets have to survive on their own merits and can’t rely on Openreach being forced into offering a non-competitive service so that theirs look more attractive. This has happened before and it does not benefit consumers, especially those who aren’t blessed with competition.

      However, it’s hard to see why overbuilding (and overbuilding the overbuilding) is really the best way to serve customers, where some get multiple choices and others get one or none. It’s the model that has been shown not to work in the US, it is wasteful for all involved. We don’t have multiple energy or water network companies but we somehow insist that we must have it for broadband.

    4. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Ivor the BT Bot.

    5. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      It’s a bit pointless to blame a public company (public in terms of stocks ownership) for trying to maximise their profit. It’s what companies do. So your BT rant is pretty much useless. Are all companies bad? Certainly not? Could BT be better? Certainly. But the issue is not BT but the fact that we have not made internet connectivity a public infrastructure project and build it it with public funds to then let the ISPs compete for customers. Too late for that now. Altnets are certainly good and they have given BT and VM a good kick in the butt. Yes there could be some overbuild but that will encourage more competition. It’s not clear to me that Altnet consolidation will end up with no Altnets at all. And BT/Openreach will probably not want to buy any troubled Altnets as they will have regulatory oversight, most likely high overlap in the network coverage and integration costs. So if an Altnet goes busted then the most likely candidate to take over will be another Altnet.

    6. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @FibreBubble, I know how much they paid, but it was said that the company was sold off cheap, should never have been privatised in the first place. I wonder how much the share prices went up to just after it was privatised and how many people flogged their shares pretty quick?

      BT have competition and maybe that is why the share prices are low.

    7. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @Ivor, We don’t have Virgin here and the only time I saw anything about cable was years ago when I went to Birmingham, I think it was Birmingham, and it was not Virgin then.
      Virgin did not put a load of posters on Openreach cabinets saying Fibre is here. You can understand why people are confused, myself openreach should have been done for false advertising.

      It was not me that said anything about one network, if it was government owned maybe, but since Bt is not government owned, I am glad they have competition and the more, the better, to a certain degree.
      I don’t disagree with you that alt nets should stand up on their own two feet as such, but when Openreach has a big advantage due to people already being on their network via FTTC and BT over the years have had public money from different sources including council tax from some councils and the TV Licence. How many alt nets got that?
      I read a few times over the years BT saying that some places would not pay them to increase the speed of broadband and then they get money from a public source.

      BT need to stand up on it’s own two feet as well

      Overbuilding is not a good thing, only so many customers at the end of the day. I doubt very much if we will get another network here, with Openreach and Zzoomm, I would like a third option, if/when I go to fibre, something that is off the Openreach network and is a bit cheaper than zzoomm.

      I have been looking at mobile network, three don’t do their home broadband via their mobile network here for some reason, I would have to buy a router and put a sim in myself. There are plenty of data only packages around that are cheaper than what I pay and have unlimited data, but a lot of them have 24 months contract I have noticed
      We will see what happens, Plusnet have already emailed me saying my broadband will go up to about £28 a month from the end of March.

      It is the long contracts I don’t like with Fibre.

    8. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @GreenLantern22, I agree with a lot of what you said, apart from the companies being bad/good. All large companies are bad, they use tricks to get other companies out of business, look for loopholes so they don’t pay tax or not so much tax and don’t care about the people they employ, we are just a number to them as long as the directors and CEO have their huge pay rise

      The one thing that scares me if I went for an altnet, if they go belly up Talk Talk may end up buying it. I hate that company more than I hate Openreach.

    9. Avatar photo Oggy says:

      So Adrian, since you know the price the network was sold for during the various tranches of sales of the UK government shares why don’t you give us the figures?

      And remember to convert that to 2023 prices as a fair indicator of the price.

    10. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I said I know how much they went for at the start or how much they were put up for at the start. I was around 18 years old then, at college, boozing, well a little bit and having fun ( where have those days gone? ), I’m just going by what I heard at the time and over the years that it was sold off too cheap.

    11. Avatar photo Oggy says:

      Oh Adrian, so you were boozing and don’t know values but you remember anecdotal evidence that it was sold off too cheap.

      FYI at 2023 rates, using officialdata.org to work out the inflation, the UK government received over £42bn.

      HTH

  8. Avatar photo BOb says:

    Well one of the things BT wants to do is to migrate people to FTTP so one way of doing that is to make FTTP cheaper

  9. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    Ivor, about your Virgin rant about being fibre; well in my area I’d take VM any day over FTTC. 45mbps vs 1gig download and 8mbps upload vs 52mbps. No competition!!

    Doesn’t matter the last leg from cabinet is coaxial as it’s more than capable of gig services over the coax and less prone to interference than BTs copper pair and most likely a newer cable with far fewer joins in it.

    An no, it was BT that were claiming FTTC was fast enough years ago (circa 2009) and nobody needed FTTP hence why they dragged their heels until competition and government grants made them. BT are useless in my opinion, we have asymmetric BT FTTP vs ALTNET symmetric services often cheaper. They could have done XGS-PON but penny counting means people who can only have BT have another waiting game for them to upgrade their network and whether they do all parts of it. Disgrace.

    1. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      I am not a purist but I agree that allowing ISPs to describe FTTC and HFC as “fibre internet” it’s a big con. Right now if I do a check on my BT line it offers me the “Full Fibre 100” plan which is only FTTC. This is a mustake that Ofcom should correct as it will help people understand the need to switch off the copper network by end of 2025. It will also incentivise VM to move away from HFC and start investing heavily in FTTP.

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      HFC has different significant flaws.

      VDSL has distance limitations but no practical issues with contention/congestion – Openreach do a good job keeping the backhaul up to scratch.

      HFC doesn’t have practical distance limitations but huge issues with contention/congestion, especially in studenty areas where every house is crammed with heavy users. Virgin have also really struggled to increase upload speeds, until relatively recently VDSL would still beat them. For a significant period of time Virgin also had data caps to try to reduce congestion.

      VDSL is itself a form of HFC (hybrid fibre-copper). If you think Virgin can call their network fibre, then so can Openreach!

      Openreach wasn’t deploying FTTC in 2009, at least not beyond initial trials. And maybe they know more than you do as to why they aren’t rolling out XGSPON…

      Call me a bot all you want – the reality is that Virgin started this nonsense and the rest of the industry had to follow. At least this “bot” knows how to reply to posts.

    3. Avatar photo GNewton says:

      @GreenLantern22: Agreed! BT calling a VDSL service “Superfast Fibre Broadband” is a fraudulent statement, as simple as that. It’s misleading many consumers here. All of this is a result of ASA not doing its job.

    4. Avatar photo Andrew Ferguson says:

      To greenlantern22 if bt is showing full fibre 100 when no full fibre available then time to complain, or get people like Mark or me to investigate

    5. Avatar photo Robbo says:

      @GreenLantern22 That’s not correct, Full fibre 100 is FTTP. The website offers Fibre Essential, 1 or 2 for FTTC.

    6. Avatar photo GNewton says:

      In fact, it gets even worse, BT currently misleads consumers with three different fraudulent offers:

      Fibre Essential (up to 36MB)
      Fibre 1 (up to 50MB)
      Fibre 2 (up to 73MB)

      None of these uses fibre broadband! And none of these has upload speeds even coming near to these offers.

  10. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

    So there you have it. Ivor thinks copper phone wire is better than thicker coax that has many times bandwidth and usually only used for short lengths from cabinet to home on HFC Virgin Media areas. Wow!

    Don’t disagree on latency because of the way DocSIS works, but in an area without design constraints and over utilisation I would still take HFC VM broadband over FTTC any day.

    BT were installing FTTC in 2009/2010 and the original debate was why bother and do fttp. At the time BT were obsessed with trenching and not using existing ducts and poles…

    1. Avatar photo The witcher says:

      Government intervention in the market scupperd the openreachs early FTTP build plan which was for 25% of all new housing to have FTTP. The BDUK contracts required them to put all their resources into FTTC to meet the contractual deadlines. It was only once the contracts had completed that it possible to contemplate resurrecting the FTTP program , and by then the altnets were snapping at their heels and PIA was forced on them.

  11. Avatar photo Ian says:

    Blocking this price cut would essentially doom Openreach to be an rural FTTP provider (since very few/no altnets are particularly interested in this expensive segment) which obviously wouldn’t be fair.

    I suspect the Altnets will always manage to provide a slightly cheaper/better service though and that’s fine, so long as Openreach are able to come close when competing directly I think they’ll be fine and to give them credit they are building out rural FTTP at a genuinely impressive rate since 2022.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      You say Altnets are cheaper, certainly not true here, Zzoomm offers a 150/150 service for £33 a month, plusnet is 145/30 for around £30 a month, so plusnet is cheaper. Most people are not going to notice a few Mb/s difference.
      But the upload is a lot better on ZZoomm and maybe for another £3 a month people may go for it for that, so yes you are right about service. But do all altnets offer symmetrical connections?

      The one problem with Altnets is they don’t normally offer anything slower or cheaper, they normally at around 100Mb/s or higher.
      openreach providers do offer slower services, well some do, plusnet offer a 74Mb/s for £25, for existing customers, they have a 36Mb/s connection on fibre. Vodafone will offer full fibre at 36Mbs to new customers.
      If Zzoomm offered 74Mb.s at a lower price I may be more interested in going to them when/if I change to fibre

  12. Avatar photo DR says:

    Cry harder AltNets. Using OR infra to speed their builds up, did they never expect OR to bite back? As soon as OR finish their build the majority of AltNets are done for.

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