Sponsored

Do ISP's Throttle FTTH/P?

Drappehs

Member
I am planning on purchasing a FTTH/P installation and broadband to my farm and have been searching a lot of plans recently.

If all fibre optic cabling is equal, why do BT and a lot of the other ISP's offer multiple plans which have an array of tiered download and upload speed plans for FTTH/P when technically it uses the exact same fibre optic cabling?

Would they just be throttling the speed I can receive on my FTTH/P connection if I didn't pay for the most expensive plan even though from a technical point of view, there is no reason I shouldn't be able to receive the full bandwidth of my FTTH/P line?

Is there a technical limitation of fibre which explains this bizarre setup or is this how ISP are making their £££?
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
It's how ISPs are making the money. :)
Technically higher speeds do translate in increased load on the upstream network infrastructure, but the limits are mostly for the money, can't say I disagree tbh, it does make commercial sense.
 

Drappehs

Member
Thanks for that info Lucian!

Do you have any sources/recommended reading to back this up?

I believe you. I'd just be interested in learning more about how ISPs justify this approach. Have any publicly explained this is simply a pricing structure model for profit and not representative or any technical limitation?

Also would love to learn more about the affects and costs high speed upstream/downstream have on network infrastructure compared to low upstream/downstream

Anyway, thanks for the quick reply!
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Thanks for that info Lucian!

Do you have any sources/recommended reading to back this up?

It's kind of how networks have worked for a very.. long time. Capacity costs money and there are technical limitations on its supply, so to make consumer broadband affordable you have to share it (contention). You can buy a dedicated leased line if you want uncontended capacity and that'll give you an idea of what that costs to do properly :).

You don't really need documentation to understand the basic principles at work here, but a course in IT/Networking and business might help.
 

Meatball

Pro Member
Whilst it is true that they are in business to make money and up-sell capacity that they hope you will never use the speed tiers on fixed broadband are based on the underlying network providers network.

The fibre to your premises theoretically could support a data centre but typically for consumer and SME the broadband is a shared service to reduce costs to make it affordable.

Your fibre will join with others from other premises at a passive splitter onto a single fibre all the way back to an OLT. The generation of technology will determine the capacity of that OLT link. The network provider will offer a mix of products based on its capacity and splitter ratios to ensure each product performs and that there is a guaranteed minimum (often 50%).
The higher the capacity allocated to you the more you pay. My understanding is that OR currently set fixed products whereas Cityfibre allow a burst mode on some products (where speeds can exceed the normal setting if capacity is free). Basically though they don't want someone to subscribe to a lower tier paying less and then hogging the wider capacity of the link (down or up).

If the take-up of the higher speed products is high then the network provider can re-engineer using additional fibres to an OLT and lowering the splitter ratio or introducing newer generations of equipment.

But of course the network provider access is often the smaller percentage of the overall cost. You then share the data capacity back through the ISPs network equipment and their gateway(s) to the Internet or direct links to content providers. Theoretically the level of consolidation and scale here should be high, not always seen in the prices charged but there is a lot going on.

We have become used to the line speed being the limiting factor. Going forward with FTTP we will pay for what we need but it is yet to be seen if the ISPs can maintain the service speeds they are selling.
 

Workbench 1.3

Casual Member
I am planning on purchasing a FTTH/P installation and broadband to my farm and have been searching a lot of plans recently.

If all fibre optic cabling is equal, why do BT and a lot of the other ISP's offer multiple plans which have an array of tiered download and upload speed plans for FTTH/P when technically it uses the exact same fibre optic cabling?

Would they just be throttling the speed I can receive on my FTTH/P connection if I didn't pay for the most expensive plan even though from a technical point of view, there is no reason I shouldn't be able to receive the full bandwidth of my FTTH/P line?

Is there a technical limitation of fibre which explains this bizarre setup or is this how ISP are making their £££?
You are one user of a shared network that has a finite capacity. Increasing capacity requires capital expenditure on equipment and opex payments to peering and backhaul providers and the rental of space in datacentres.
If you increase the amount of the shared bandwidth you’re using, you’ll be invited to pay more to reflect how much of the ISP’s cost is being incurred by you. You can of course refuse to share and demand your own dedicated connection, at which point the £500 a month bill should bring the economics into sharp focus. Your bill is more like £50 a month because you are sharing with other people and your ISP will be trying to run the contended parts of their network at as close to 100% as they dare. If you want all of it, you pay for all of it.
 

Drappehs

Member
Okay, after doing some further research... I have more questions.

Learning more about the network topology of FTTP. There seems to be to two options, GPON or PtP. Considering I'm not leasing a line (PtP) I am guessing my FTTP will be GPON. GPON supports 64 users at 2.488 Gb/s on the downstream, and a maximum upstream capacity of 1.244 Gb/s. If that is the case why then do users need to be throttled when the technology supports such high bandwidth for that many users connected to the network?
Especially if it may be using even more modern topology such as XG-PON or XGS-PON which could provide far faster speeds.

Also discovered most ISP don't actually own their network, they lease the line from BT Openreach does. Is Openreach preventing them from using the full capacity of the line? Or is this the ISP is doing?

My postcode only has 5 houses (3 are farms). What's stopping them from giving us the full bandwidth that GPON can deliver?
The more research I'm doing the more I feel these ISP's are trying to make money from nothing :(
 

GaryW

Regular Member
Okay, after doing some further research... I have more questions.

Learning more about the network topology of FTTP. There seems to be to two options, GPON or PtP. Considering I'm not leasing a line (PtP) I am guessing my FTTP will be GPON. GPON supports 64 users at 2.488 Gb/s on the downstream, and a maximum upstream capacity of 1.244 Gb/s. If that is the case why then do users need to be throttled when the technology supports such high bandwidth for that many users connected to the network?
Especially if it may be using even more modern topology such as XG-PON or XGS-PON which could provide far faster speeds.

Also discovered most ISP don't actually own their network, they lease the line from BT Openreach does. Is Openreach preventing them from using the full capacity of the line? Or is this the ISP is doing?

My postcode only has 5 houses (3 are farms). What's stopping them from giving us the full bandwidth that GPON can deliver?
The more research I'm doing the more I feel these ISP's are trying to make money from nothing :(
The 64 is an "up to" rather than fixed, and many providers work on up to 32 or up to 8 (for example) rather than up to 64. Even at 8:1, if everyone signed up for 1 Gb/s and simultaneously tried to use that capacity they'd be limited. Of course, the ISP could sell max 250ish Mb/s packages to avoid this, but the economics work out better for them if they over-subscribe. Now, if they pass on the cost benefits to the consumer it's a fairer trade-off, but it still doesn't help people who need the speeds they're paying for.

What's more perplexing is the low upload limits set by most ISPs - since GPON has a 2:1 ratio for up vs down, it's odd that BT for example use an 9:1 ish ratio for the almost 1 Gb/s download package. Of course, a cynic might say it's to drive people to business packages if they want to run a service from home....
 
Top
Promotion
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • NOW £22.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • TalkTalk £22.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSPRING
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*36.52)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £24.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Offer Code: SPRUCE20
  • Vodafone £26.00 (*29.00)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*44.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £29.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPERSPRING
  • TalkTalk £29.95 (*39.95)
    Speed: 145Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Promotion
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3206)
  2. BT (2920)
  3. FTTC (1849)
  4. Building Digital UK (1847)
  5. Politics (1826)
  6. Openreach (1745)
  7. Business (1588)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1371)
  9. FTTH (1355)
  10. Statistics (1346)
  11. 4G (1181)
  12. Fibre Optic (1127)
  13. Wireless Internet (1106)
  14. Virgin Media (1101)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1095)
  16. EE (785)
  17. Vodafone (777)
  18. TalkTalk (735)
  19. Sky Broadband (714)
  20. 5G (664)
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms  ,  Privacy and Cookie Policy  ,  Links  ,  Website Rules