back to article BT to rent cheaper FTTP lines to ISPs - if they stump up £1k a go

BT will demand pricey one-off construction and installation fees from ISP providers that want to offer blistering fast fibre products to their customers. The national telco said it was up to those companies to decide whether to pass on the costs, which are expected to start at about £500 and could climb to well above £1,000 in …


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  1. john loader

    may be worth it

    But only if an ISP could link a cluster of customers. Put it into my house, serve 9 others wirelessly and at worst we'd have 30Meg if we all download together. Bet that's not allowed though!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: may be worth it

      For a grand I'd pay to get a 300 Meg connection.

      Beats the hell out of the 6-7 Meg I get at the moment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: may be worth it

        AOL. How might I go about getting FTTP? BT installed FTTC in my village in March but refuse to offer it to anyone here as we're stuck with aluminium cable from the cabinets to premises. So we get a few hundred kb/s. I wouldn't hesitate to pay £500 one-off and £38/month for something measure in the tens of megabits, let alone hundreds :(

    2. Circadian

      Re: may be worth it

      Shame that they will most likely keep "fair usage" policies in place that limit monthly downloads to 2Gbytes (or something ridiculously low). Seems like the speed of the network keeps increasing, but all it really means is that you hit allowed limits in minutes instead of hours...

      1. Gizzit101

        Re: may be worth it

        Hmm, I live 50 feet from my exchange - when I moved into this flat 12 years ago, and requested a broadband connection, the BT engineers ripped out fibre and replaced it with copper.

        Reckon I have a case to get it reinstated at no cost? Neither do I.

    3. Lost in Cyberspace

      Re: may be worth it

      I've just witnessed a 3-mile roadworks/fibre installation to a new £40m superstore development out of town. And I live in an area that doesn't yet have any BT Infinity.

      The installation cost was still probably a drop in the ocean for them, all relative I suppose.

      If a business makes even £100k profit a year £1k isn't that big a deal. I don't think this product will be pitched at the average IT enthusiast/professional just yet

  2. Magister

    Give us the service...

    ...and we will pay for it.

    I'd be more than happy to pay these sorts of one-off fees. I had to arrange for a leased line install at the beginning of last year and the installation fee for that was more than two grand.

    I've been making the point to BT for many years that we need the connectivity now in order for the business to be a global player; and I've been able to demonstrate that we would use the faster connectivity if it were available.

    We were getting by, but there is no question that the lack of a modern service offer from BT was starting to adversely impact the business; we had no option but to go to a different supplier this year and already we are starting to see some of the benefits.

    I'd bet that there are a lot of other SMEs and even larger firms that could really make use of better connectivity; and once they see the advantages, they would take the same view that the ROI makes the costs of the fees a very small price to pay.

  3. nsld

    I am currently pricing up for new offices

    And I would happily pay those prices for 330MBPS as opposed to a £7k install and £12K per year for a 100Mbps circuit which is the typical fibre quote I am getting.

    Or have I missed something?

    1. Ian 62

      Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

      Doesnt the fibre still suffer from the same contention ratio and QOS issues as regular old copper?

      Where as your 100Mbps circuit..should be...100Mbps just for you?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. boony

        Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

        Yep - the £12K pa would be your 100Mbps, not a shared WBC (Wholesale Broadband Connect) contended offering. If your requirements are not business critical, then go for a xDSL or PON link, but if they are business critical go for your £12Kpa quote. Alternatively you can get a bonded EFM service from many players for about £2Kpa with all the lovely SLA figures required.

    2. Steve Foster

      "Or have I missed something?"

      Yes, the cynical might think that this is simply BT protecting its leased line business...

    3. theblackhand

      Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

      I'm assuming that these lines will have the standard home SLA's on them (upto 3 day response, best effort to fix within 2 weeks and the possibility that you may get offered an alternative service if the line cannot be fixed within this timeframe).

      Your £12k a year gives you a slightly better response and beating up the telco might even give you more...

    4. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

      > Or have I missed something?

      Yes contention. With a leased line you'll continue to miss it :)

      You'll also be able to shout at someone and the problem will be fixed. In fact they might not even need to be shouted at - they'll sometimes be on the case before you even pick up the phone.


      Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

      Yes - it's still an asynchronous service, so it's only 30Mbps upstream.

      Your 100Mbps leased line will be the same upstream and downstream.

    6. Bob H

      Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

      Agreed, our local cabinet has been skipped by FTTC, I assume because the rest of the road has Virgin. Unfortunately my building doesn't have Virgin so I can't get any next generation services. We had a BTNet fibre line but I got an EFM about 30% cheaper for a 5x faster service. So if they would provide FTTP on my old fibre then I would get very excited.

      I keep hearing about FTTP but as yet I haven't seen an ISP offering it.

      Coincidently the nice lady at VM Business who called me the other day to explain why our building couldn't be connected (even if it is over the road from a cabinet) said that the order from on high is that no new lines are to be dragged in to connect new sites, but in the new year that policy is likely to change. So Virgin may yet start new installations for business customers like me.

      1. G4Z

        Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

        Do NOT get virgin. Do a quick google on virgin complaints November 2012 to see how many complaints there are about speeds and latency on the forums. Fair enough they may have a business product which I don't know about but I can say I wouldn't trust them with my business given that I have had a totally shit connection from them fro the last 3 months. In fact last week I ordered ADSL24 which will be fitted next week and then I will be getting out of my virgin contract.

        Trust me, AVOID.

      2. nsld

        Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

        Interesting as VM are on the people who have quoted and they have not said anything about not pulling new fibre,

        Her indoors who used to sell that kind of stuff was telling me about the good old days when a 2MB leased line was billed for around £87K per year!

        Ah the joys of procurement

        1. Bob H

          Re: I am currently pricing up for new offices

          VM offer BTNet if they can't service you with their own service and they don't tell you initially that it isn't VM providing the connectivity, there is a massive difference in cost between their own service and the BT Openreach version.

          As for VM reliability, I've had them for two years and hardly had a problem at all (excluding the slightly questionable router software). I'll never depend on just one method connectivity for our office anyway.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT in control as ever, monopolistic as usual. Dictating what their competitors have to do.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Nothing to stop other carriers installing their own lines and BT have never had a monopoly on fibre, in fact they are helping break Virgins.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >in fact they are helping break Virgins.

        F*cking us extra roughly, as usual.

      2. James 100

        "BT have never had a monopoly on fibre, in fact they are helping break Virgins."

        Virgin still aren't offering a genuine "fibre" service - which FTTP is - they just offer the same old copper coax cable modem service, but with faster (DOCSIS 3.0) modulation.

        That's the problem with letting BT and Virgin get away with lying about their current services being "fibre" because there's fibre beyond the 100m or so of copper that goes to your house (which, of course, cable modems have always had, ever since they were half-megabit services) - when BT offer a genuine fibre service which really does connect fibre to your home, it gets confused with the fake-fibre services.

        1. Bob H

          Woe is me, *only* DOCSIS 3.0! A mere 400 Mbit/sec downstream and 100 Mbit/sec upstream...


          I have no problem with coax for the last meters because I am not operating a data centre. Yes, virgin shouldn't talk about their offering like it is FTTP, but their system is theoretically fast enough that that the distinction is moot.

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      > Dictating what their competitors have to do.

      Not really. Nothing to stop the competitors from digging up the roads and laying their own fibre. Might be hard to do for as little as £1K/punter though, without big economies of scale.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        but can you pull a fibre through the existing BT conduit?

        BT shouldn’t have to dig the road up - its quick job to pull through a fibre in an already existing hole.

        I'd be happy to dig up the road - but you might get annoyed and so might BT and the gas and electricity if I dug through it.

        I wish I had a monopoly....

        1. boony

          Re: but can you pull a fibre through the existing BT conduit?

          You can in theory and indeed utilities and telcos have tried this approach over the years. However, in reality, a great deal of the fibre access ducts of both BT and Virgin are near capacity in urban areas, with overbuild a common factor. This is common accross most developed countries.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: but can you pull a fibre through the existing BT conduit?

          Good luck with that.

          What with flooded ducts, collapsed ducts, blocked ducts and so on and so on.

          We had to half just over 2 miles of ducting replaced as one had completely collapsed. And as I said before sod all stopping another Telco laying their own aprt from it will cost them 100x that price to do so.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Hang on a sec

    Isn't BT being publicly funded for rolling out fast connections already?

    1. Spasch

      Re: Hang on a sec

      No, they're only spending their own money. The BDUK funding has yet to start rolling, even in this areas where the bids have been completed. BDUK money is going or be used (primarily) for rural areas where BT have deemed it to be uneconomical.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hang on a sec

        Not quite - in England, they've had a bit of EU money to roll out FTTC (and other solutions for the very very rural in Cornish terms) to something like 98% of Cornwall (however BT is contributing more than 50% of the funds), and I think they've had money to do Northern Ireland too.

        It is only BDUK that is stalling but there are other projects that don't have anything to do with it.

  6. Arrrggghh-otron

    So are google losing money on their fibre project (presumably to gain from advertising later on) when they can wave the install fee of $300?

    Then again BT have never really done stuff cheap. I remember having to pay to get ADSL provisioned when it was all shiny and new. I'm sure FTTP will get cheaper in the UK at some point.

    The other thing I can't understand is why limit the uploads (I know, I know, the cost of infrastructure, backbone and peering etc etc), but I can't help think if Google can do it when why not BT...

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      > but I can't help think if Google can do it when why not BT...

      Whereabouts in the UK is Google rolling out FTTP?

      Different countries have different demographies, geographies, costings and regulations. What Google can do in the US has no bearing on what BT can do in the UK.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron


        "Whereabouts in the UK is Google rolling out FTTP?"

        I wasn't implying or suggesting that Google were rolling out FTTP in the UK. I even gave the price in dollars.

        What I was wondering was (ignoring the whys are wherefores of the asynchronous nature of BTs fibre offering), surely BT with the resources available to them (including government subsidies) could offer FTTP at a level your average consumer could afford.

        Can BT never make enough money back from long terms rentals to offer the install as a loss leader? Or are they simply not allowed due to regulation?

        1. Bob H

          Re: @AndrueC


          The problem with Google's proof of concept is just that, it is a proof of concept that it is possible to deliver gigabit fibre, not that it is economical to do so on a nationwide basis. Already there are problems with the Google project for example: not enough people in deprived areas have signed up even for the most basic package.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Adsl - stops you running a web business at home.

      I'd be quite happy to host my websites at home if I could get non-ADSL for a sensible price.

      1. Richard 45

        Re: Adsl - stops you running a web business at home.

        "Adsl - stops you running a web business at home"

        No it doesn't. I've been running a Qube3 server under the stairs since 2006 on ADSL, back when it was plain vanilla 256kps downstream. Now I'm on ADSL2+ it's a bit better for upstream. Having 8 static IPs helps.

      2. boony

        Re: Adsl - stops you running a web business at home.

        You can buy EFM from many providers for business purposes. You will be looking at around £200 - £400pm depending on speed and pairs.

  7. AndrueC Silver badge

    I think my concern here is why bother? If you have an FTTC enabled cabinet you can already probably get as much as you really need. It's the people stuck on ADSL/ADSL2+ who need the help. As for cost - that's going to depend on the CPs and how they package that for the market. I can't currently see a huge take-up though. That's way more bandwidth than anyone really needs.

    1. Aldous

      as much as you need

      in twenty years i predict that computers will be twice as powerful and so massive that only the 5 richest kings of europe will be able to afford them


      no one needs more than 640k memory

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: as much as you need

        Lol,yeah. However some parts of the world have had gigabit to the home for a while now and still no-one has come up with anything that actually needs it. The most bandwidth hungry application we have at the moment seems to be HDTV and even assuming that terrestrial and satellite convert to IPTV it's still only 10Mb/s for an HD channel.

        Furthermore everything is moving toward the cloud. That means expensive resources will be kept within the walls of a data centre. All we'll have is relatively dumb terminals. Given some of the restrictions that MS are trying to impose through the Win8 'Metro' UI the bandwidth requirements are going to shrink even further there.

        But you're right. We don't know really.

        1. ElNumbre

          Re: as much as you need

          4k, then 8k TV is round the corner.... These need massive amounts of bandwidth at the moment, and until someone comes up with an awesome compression algorithm, these super-pipes are going to be the least you'll need to have +k IPTV.

          Not that I believe TV over IP is viable in the near to mid-term future - nowt wrong with squirting it out over the air, although the broadcasters may like to save on not having to have big hunks of metal and silicon floating around the Earth.

          1. Bob H

            Re: as much as you need

            You do realise that 4k in the home isn't "around the corner"? IHS iSuppli states that 4k TVs will remain "negligible for the foreseeable future" and not account for more than 1% of the global market during the next five years. Don't believe the hype.

        2. Zack Mollusc

          Re: as much as you need

          I will need plenty of bandwidth if I am using cloud-based video editing and syncing.

          Website Duhsigners will no doubt be assuming everyone is using 1920x1200 desktops, they will have 100fps film clips as backgrounds for their vacuous cliche-filled masterpieces.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Excess Construction Charges

    The installation will still costs thousand due to the excess construction charges, which seem to have a charging system created by Wonga. You won't know the excess construction charges until you place an order and it'll take them several months to do the work...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1gbps ftw

    1gbps, no throttling, no cap (on the full package £50 per month), 3-5ms latency:

    Methinks its time to move to Bournemouth!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £500 setup...

    ... is about the same as the cost of a high-end smartphone. Amortize it over a 24 month contract and people will pay.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh how sweet

    You and your internet connections measured in *M*b. Good on you. You keep on going with your ancient tech.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh how sweet

      Nah - me and my internet connection measured in *k*b. I just come here for these science fiction stories of wonder.

  12. Busby

    Not sure the infinity limits are described correctly. Had a line issue recently and the BT engineer showed me the results and I was getting 88meg assume I'm not the only person to get above the 80 limit mentioned in the article.

    Still useless for anything other than the BT wholesale speed test website obviously some sort of traffic management going on there. Still see you tube and iplayer buffering regularly and don't even think about torrents as it's throttled to a riddiculous extent except from midnight to 6am. By riddiculous I mean about 20kbs.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Yup, 80mbps down and 20 mbps up and only one down time of 3 mins in 10 months.

  14. DPR

    Something wrong surely

    my FTTC from Talktalk just clocked in at 116 Mbps this afternoon. Should I complain.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hahaha I pay less than 20GBP and have a 1GB FTTP link that gives me over 20Mb to the UK at most times.....

    Makes the UK and US seem stupidly expensive. I won't even mention the 50Mb cable link I use just in case that costs even less. Oops I did already. One benefit of living in HK I guess.

  16. h3

    Should be same speed each direction. This is deliberately gimped or not proper FTTP.

    1G bi directional.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agree 100%. Even the most horrible crappy old final -few-metres multimode fibre patch leads should do 1Gb/s per strand if we are just talking about hardware. Are Google using 2 strands, one up one down? Or can they do it on one fibre?

      Maybe the big telcos are using a single 10GBase-whatever fibre to the cabinet and hoping to share it out to 50 premises or so, hence your 200MBit/s on your individual fibre to your house? Mature technology since 2005/2008. Or even "better", a single 1GBase fibre, wouldn't like to share that out to a large block of flats, might explain a lot though ;)

      No doubt a telecoms engineer can help us out here ;)

      Seems proper off-the-shelf 100-Gbase has been out for only 2 years or so......therefore I wouldn't expect widespread enthusiasm for 1 or 2GB/s FTTP from the big telcos just yet.... not unless they get serious money shovelled at them.

  17. h3

    One thing that is great about the uk ....

    Is the national grid. (Look at the mess other countries have due to not building their systems properly).

    If we want world class broadband we have to do something similar. (No one will because they are stupid).

    BT are not a benefit to us at all. (They used to train the young quite well). If we can nationalise banks because they mess up we should be able to do the same again to BT and the Post Office who are both useless and providing worse and worse service.

    Some things are worth having done properly.

  18. BelieveItOrNot


    that's how much it costs for open reach to drill a hole thru your wall.

    if anyone needs a hole drilled I'll do it for £250

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    bet you it isn't.

    Unless BT provide a contract with that speed in it (that also covers latency), and guarantees no upstream throttling or bandwidth shaping - on any port on any protocol - then it isn't going to be 300Mbps.

    If they're giving that contract, then this is worth it. Uncontended, no throttling, no traffic shaping, no content filtering, nothing like that at all - just raw Internet access - that's worth it.

    Even if it isn't symmetrical.

    As long as it comes with a network diagram that the customer can put IP SLA monitoring on, for each hop.

    1. boony

      Re: 300Mbps?

      If that is what you want and need, then you can buy this now. It will cost c£20,000 - £30,000pa. For the IPSLA feature to work properly to measure RTD and , you will need a managed IP service, which costs more, unless you have your own PE router somewhere in a Telehouse and Network Reporting Tools. There is a reason consumer broadband is cheap.

      To be fair, you can form a community broadband scheme and buy an Ethernet service from a CP. You can then pay an SI to manage layer 3 for you including IPSLA features. Can cost in quite well, but you will need buy in from said community.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 300Mbps?

      I predict 60MBit/s tops on the fibre. Plus throttling down to 10% of that for anything torrent-y.

      Personally I''m on copper in Euroland and it tests out at 3.5MBit/s using speedtest but strangely never gets past 660kbit/s for pretty much anything real including legit HTTP downloads of Linux ISOs etc. from local servers :)

      And I'll have to start a community telco or WISP or move before we ever get anything faster, OK if you are in high-density housing blocks, they get fibre, or as near as. Maybe LTE will help out in the end but not cheaply :P

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    clueless luddite

    1 gig to the home , what a world we live in. soon you will be able to watch 100x the TV on your PC. Something that was never possible with that unreliable old thing called Television.

    Apart from streaming TV/Movies what is the benefit then? Maybe being spied on at wire speed by the gubbimint,.

    Maybe they should be paying us to have it.

  21. randommagic

    I've had zero downtime on Virgin Media since Virgin took over my connection. I don't have latency issues either. The amount of people who complain compared to the amount who have a service is still very small. I wouldn't imagine its any different for any other ISP.

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