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Openreach Discounts Proactive UK Copper to FTTP Upgrades

Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2023 (11:43 am) - Score 3,192

Network access provider Openreach (BT) has made it easier for UK broadband ISPs that want to migrate existing customers on slower copper-based ADSL, FTTC (VDSL2) and G.fast lines to faster full fibre (FTTP) ones, which they’ve done by introducing a new discount for their related “Proactive Upgrades” service.

The time-limited special offer, which will run from 28th August 2023 to 31st March 2024, will essentially rebate the first appointment amendment and standard cancellation charges for Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) orders where the orders are part of “Proactive Upgrades” and meet the right criteria (i.e. this is naturally aimed at internal ISP upgrades for existing, not new, customers).

A spokesperson for Openreach told ISPreview: “Proactive migrations arise where a Communications Provider proposes an upgrade to FTTP to its own ADSL/VDSL/GFast broadband customers, at the same time booking an appointment for an Openreach engineer to carry out the upgrade. The end customer is able to confirm, reject or select a different appointment.

The move should make it easier for broadband providers to shift existing customers in FTTP enabled areas off their older copper-based and hybrid-fibre connections.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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28 Responses
  1. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

    Good idea. Aside from the initial disruption of the install works for everyone.

    Obviously Openreach are doing this for their own commercial reasons but one of those where everyone wins.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      One of the reasons I did not want fibre was because of the initial disruption, but it was not too bad, could have been worse.

      Openreach is doing this for their own commercial reasons, I think they are finding it difficult to get people to move to Fibre, what ever the Openreach fan boys say.

    2. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      Going by the numbers you think wrong: they’re installing at quite a clip.

      Not Openreach fanboyism just basic facts. The uptake is ahead of expectations and they want to accelerate it. The sooner everyone is on FTTP the sooner they can be rid of the copper and many exchanges.

      That said if you think they’re lying about the take up then they’ve committed a crime and you should highlight it to the police.

    3. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      These are the facts from their latest results. Again if you think this is fraudulent they should be reported to the authorities. This growth before this discount and really doesn’t indicate they’re having difficulty. If anything the difficulty is getting the installs done.

      FTTP footprint expanded to 11m premises, 44% completion of 25m target, with a further c.6.2m where initial build is underway; 718k premises passed in the quarter at an average build rate of 55k per week

      Customer demand in Openreach for FTTP increased with Q1 orders up 34% year-on-year and net adds of 383k, bringing network take-up rate to 32%; total FTTP connections grew to 3.5m

      Retail FTTP base grew year-on-year by 50% to 2.0m of which Consumer 1.9m and Business 0.1m; 5G base 9.2m, up 53% year-on-year

    4. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      They are carrying out upgrades in our area at quite a rate at the minute. I see one of their contractors vans in our area most days at the minute so I don’t think they are struggling. The transition was Always going to be evolution rather than revolution once they got through the early adopters. Most people will get it when reconstructing.

    5. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      I agree with XGS IS On. I see Openreach vans all the time around my place and I know FTTP has been provisioned in all poles already. My two next door neighbours have upgraded to FTTP at the time of renewal. One was on BT the other on EE. Both got told FTTP is better (which it is) and got offered better deals on FTTP so it’s a no brainer. ISPs were already doing this since they want to protect their customer base by having customers on faster plans

    6. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Well, I see very few Openbreach vans around here, granted I only live in a small part of the city and people could be updating in other parts. As for thinking it is fraudulent or they are laying, I never said that, but all companies and government for that matter bend the truth, it is a fact of life.

      I have no problem with people going to FTTP, but forcing people is a different thing, as I have said before, I only moved because it was cheaper to go with the alt net than stay as I was, I was happy to stay on FTTC. Price is what will get a lot of people moving

    7. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      They are numbers with specific meanings. They can’t bend the truth with them, they are either accurate or they aren’t.

      No small area of anywhere is a guide to over a third of the nation as a whole.

      The facts are that they were building at 50+ thousand premises a week and installing so quickly that uptake rose considerably despite the build speed. Any full fibre builder would love to be in that position.

      You could just admit you were mistaken.

    8. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @XGS Is On.

      Oh come on, do you really believe they are all perfect and no rule is bent?
      I never said a small area was a guide, just saying what it is like around here and what other people tell me in other cities/towns
      As i have said before, if it is all going to plan, then there would be no need to force people onto FTTP and that is what they are doing in some places.

      Not enough people changing, so let’s force them to change by giving them no choice. Like supermarkets with their loyalty cards now, don’t have a card, then don’t have offers, doing that because people were not bothering with loyalty cards, like Microsoft and Windows 10, we will force you to Windows 10 by tricking you.

      Fed up with being pushed to do things I don’t want to do by companies and the government.

    9. Avatar photo Jonny says:

      Nobody is being forced to move onto FTTP by Openreach. Anyone who doesn’t want Openreach FTTP can take service from an altnet, they can stay on SOGEA if they can find an ISP willing to provide it, move to a 4G or 5G service, or not have an internet connection.

    10. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      @Jonny, so they are still going to be forced to move from where they were.

    11. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Giving incorrect numbers like that on an investor release isn’t bending the rules, Ad, it’s defrauding investors.

      Again I really don’t understand why you’re doubling down. You were wrong. It happens to all of us. Apart from you, apparently.

    12. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Having read the rest of your diatribe they don’t need to force anyone off copper, they’re doing it because it’s a waste of money running both networks.

      Nothing to do with things not going to plan. The uptake is fine. The plans to stop selling copper were put to Ofcom years ago, as required by regulations.

      You seem to want to tell businesses what they must sell. Seems choice and compulsion should only go one way for you. World doesn’t work that way.

      Regardless doesn’t change that you made a factual statement that was wrong and writing paragraphs of irrelevance rather than owning it makes you look petulant.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  2. Avatar photo Anonymousse says:

    Openreach making discounts, Greg Mesch/Cityfibre isn’t going to like this.

    1. Avatar photo Go Greg says:

      Go go Greg, take them to court, how dare they try and make FTTP cheaper for the British consumers.

    2. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      He’s not got any legitimate grounds for complaint. Even with Openreach discounts CityFibre’s wholesale rate is still less than Openreach. Unless he was thinking of raising prices in an attempt to stop hemorrhaging cash that is…..

    3. Avatar photo Del says:

      Last figures I saw, Cityfibre were losing £4m a week, it’s going to be even more now with the latest interest rate rise.

      Makes you wonder how long they can keep going at that rate.

  3. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    The upgrade to FTTP was less of a hassle as the upgrade was from aDSL to vDSL with Plusnet in 2014. For this I needed an engineer to come and remove my BT face plate off the wall and put in a new filtered BT faceplace in its place to get the vDSL connection to my house. It took him about 2hrs. With FTTP they just put an ONT on the wall at the place of my choice and then just connected the router to it. Took them about 30mins.

    1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      2 hours is a long time for a switch to VDSL, it only takes that long if you’re line is struggling to meet spec. Aluminium or just old copper lines aren’t an uncommon issue for FTTC while FTTP is very unlikely to have issues unless the build team did the deployment incorrectly.

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      2 hours? Wow, 15 minutes if that when I had VDSL and that was on a line that had been disconnected for 2 years. It did take an hour or so for Plusnet to register it, for some reason. I think it took less than a couple of hours to put FTTP in, they were pretty good I must admit, as soon as thE van was here, the bloke jumped out and had the ladder against the pole, the woman went into the house with me to see where the ONT was going and in a couple of minutes had the drill out to drill a hole in the wall. That took a bit longer as the wall is a pain to drill into. As she was doing the inside, the bloke had the fibre from the pole, attached to the house and running down the wall, ready for the splice box. Very efficient I must admit and nice people.
      the only part that disappointed me was they did not splice the fibre, they used connectors, I wanted to watch the splicing 🙂

  4. Avatar photo MilesT says:

    @Mark bit of an “eats shoots and leaves” title to the article, could be read two conflicting ways (promotion vs.discouragement)

  5. Avatar photo MilesT says:

    Presumably comes with a requirement to transition to Digital Voice at the same time? Or is there a way of getting a broadband only second connection and keeping the POTS copper landline for now (or even keeping an ADSL/VDSL as a backup if you want to pay the extra cost per month)

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      Will come with a migration to a digital voice service (if the isp provides one – Plus network currently don’t). Don’t forget in 5 weeks time you will no longer be able to order a new PSTN line or keep one when recontracting. You will be required to migrate to VOIP regardless of whether you are on copper or fibre broadband.

    2. Avatar photo Ivor says:

      BT (as an ISP) has been strongly pushing DV for new customers or anyone who recontracts for some time, even while forced migrations were paused. As said, in a few weeks time PSTN is likely to be on total stop sell anyway.

      I’m not sure what paths Openreach allows but I would suspect the ISPs would want you to move to a VoIP based service or no phone service at all at the same time – it’s much cheaper for them as they would no longer have to pay for WLR, and Openreach would be happy to have less copper to maintain.

    3. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      @Big Dave: Pretty scary when you put it like that – even more so when you think we’re only two years five months from PSTN switch off. I’ll be surprised if they don’t have to slip the date, but this is all transformational for the industry, and it’s soooo close.

      I’m pleased I’ve already made the leap, and have a VOIP line with A&A, independent of my Aquiss FTTP broadband contract (not to mention my own domain and email). A very far cry from the days gone by when landline, broadband and email were by default a bundle provided by the same company to whatever standards that suited them.

    4. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      @Andrew G

      Yes September 5th is fast looming (whether it’s the first day you can’t or the last day you can I’m not sure). Given that the vast majority of phone calls are on mobiles I don’t see (relativity speaking) causing to many problems. Come to think of it my neighbours on copper broadband have unplugged the phone altogether and just use the line purely for broadband.

  6. Avatar photo Fibre Scriber says:

    What happens to customers on ADSL, who are paying for something like BT Basic, or similar, I wonder?

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      They can restict the to whatever they like so I don’t see it as much of an issue.

Comments are closed

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