back to article Go on, eat your fibre, new build contractors. It's free! OpenReach lowers limit for free FTTP connections

Good news for much-maligned new-build contractors in the UK - equally maligned broadband infrastructure provider OpenReach today said it will drop the threshold for installing gigabit-capable fibre-to-the-premises connections to new build developments - from 30 houses to just 20. This new threshold will take effect later this …

  1. JetSetJim

    While I welcome this, I assume this means that the exchange the FTTP is connecting to will also be upgraded to allow it to connect? Or is that a pipe dream?

    1. Baldrickk

      I have FTTP... I just wish I could get the same upload data-rate as download data-rate through the connection.

      It seems that the infrastructure just isn't geared to operate at symmetric speeds, despite the fibre and protocol being capable of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Openreach FTTP uses GPON with a 32-way split, the speeds offered fit this. If you want symmetric speeds that's available via point to point rather than shared fibre - but of course at a higher cost.

      2. vulture65537

        Higher upload speeds would help a lot with backups to cloud.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FTTP works over a much longer distance than copper circuits so it doesn't need to be fed from a particularly local exchange. If the nearest one is smaller, there's a fair chance that lines will be connecting to a bigger exchange further away. So if you're wondering if this means copper lines will get faster too - probably not.

  2. UncleNick

    And what are the chances of said fibre being of any use once Bob and his mates have run a building site across it for a few months? Assuming it can even be *found* afterwards...

    1. SWCD

      They could do it over poles of course, as my FTTPoD.

      No chance of it being dug up, but there's a pair of trainers hanging over mine about 100m away :-\

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The ducting will go in early, but fibre will often be blown through later.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot if you live in a flat already?

    From Openreach's FTTP page:

    Multi-Dwelling Units (MDU) and Multi-Occupancy Units (MOU)

    We recommend that you discuss the property type with your end customer to establish whether their premises is a multi-dwelling unit (MDU), i.e. apartment block, or multi-occupancy business unit (MOU), prior to the order being raised. Any orders received for MDUs or MOUs will be rejected.

    What's the betting that this applies even if the flat, like mine, is on the ground floor with its own private entrance. The existing Openreach copper line appears out of the ground next to said door, up the wall in some capping and through the wall into the hall. It doesn't run through any shared/communal areas of the block.

    1. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: Wot if you live in a flat already?

      That doesn't even make sense anyway! Why wouldn't they want to install into an MDU or MOU, if there are going to be 20+ lines connected? What does it differ if its a 20 apartment block vs a 20 building development?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Wow, what a pain

    I went to the Openreach homepage to try and check out what kinds of FTTP were on offer. I was expecting something like with Orange (France), where they practically throw the information at you. All I got was a load of marketing across the face and, eventually, a request for a post code.

    I tried finding the postcode of Devon, mentioned in the article, but I don't think I got anything useful because I never got beyond that request page.

    So I Googled to try and find the types of contracts and their prices, and man, was that a painful experience. It is unbelievable for me that it took so long to finally get this data.

    Second surprise : the prices. A year-on-year 1Gbps contract is almost twice what I pay. If, however, you sign up for the 3-year stretch, then you're getting around my price. Obviously, Openreach is pushing people to long contracts, which is understandable.

    Third surprise : Openreach is only giving you Internet access. There does not appear to be a phone/Internet/TV bundle going on. So not only is Openreach more expensive unless you sign on for the duration, but you're also getting much less than I am.Oh well, at least it appears that you're getting a better deal than the Yanks.

    BTW, does Openreach also limit their "unlimited" contracts ? Because I actually didn't find any mention of unlimited anywhere. That would really be the kicker.

    1. trolleybus

      Re: Wow, what a pain

      I'm confused. Openreach are wholesale only, so I'm not surprised you had difficulty finding prices.

      1. SWCD

        Re: Wow, what a pain

        OpenReach definitely publish prices. I remember having a flick through them before ordering my fibre product. Was surprised at the sheer amount of profit one outfit wanted from me, charging literally thousands over the OpenReach cost.. And wanted to hold me to a 3yr contract when OpenReach's was 1yr!

        1. Vince

          Re: Wow, what a pain

          Well given Openreach only provides the circuit, but not the way for it to get to the internet, not the routing, peering, transit, support and so on, it isn't that amazing that the cost you have to pay is more than the Openreach cost.

          In other news, when I buy bread, the cost is considerably more than the flour. Who would have thought it.

          1. SWCD

            Re: Wow, what a pain

            Quite correct of course.

            Mind, my VDSL provider managed all that for £30/m, which included the OR charge for the bare line.

            And my current FTTPoD provider charged less for the install, less monthly, and only a 1yr contract.

            In other news.. Shop around for your bread.

  5. cdrcat

    Crazy fibre to the premises connections?

    Who's connected only their chicken coop?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if you build 20 houses in Devon?

  7. AndrueC Silver badge

    An example of that would be the Devon village of Templeton, where speeds hover well below 1 megabit. In 2017, villagers burned an effigy of an OpenReach van in protest about the business failing to deliver superfast broadband.

    Openreach said they couldn't do what DCC wanted for the price DCC was able to pay. A competitor stepped in saying they could do it. It now turns out that the competitor had misjudged the work required and it can no longer do what it promised either.

    I note that the villagers haven't burnt an effigy of a Gigaclear van yet. They probably still blame openreach :-/

    But never mind, DCC are soldiering bravely on.

  8. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    No FTTP here

    I live in a town that's close to many larger towns/cities and we still don't have fibre to the home yet... and there is no road map showing if it's ever coming... I have no idea if all of the houses they built just round the corner or are continuing to build around me have it either. We are literally in the middle of 5 major towns within 10-15 miles in all directions and on a major route between 2 of them... It's an up and coming area with masses of regeneration and building going on.

    I'm around 500m from my nearest cabinet (about 100m direct, but cables go up one street and down the other) and whilst I can get around 60-65Mb my actual speeds hover in the 44-49Mb range... just enough to give me a real world speed above the minimum 38Mb the ISP guarantees to provide.

    I keep complaining and suddenly I'm getting better speeds again... and slowly it drops over the next few months once more. The openreach engineer tells me that it's a good line with no noise and more than capable of supporting near to 70Mb (Best I used to get was 67Mb)... So I can only assume that my ISP 'Zen' is slowing things down... Wouldn't be the first time I've encountered it, I'm a heavy user 99% of everything I watch is streamed in HD/4K and as I work from home it's always in use aside from when I'm sleeping.

    I just want decent speeds, trying to stream 4 content to 2 devices at the same time whilst somebody is gaming/downloading and browsing... still causes issues when you've maxing out at around 38-39Mb especially with frequent drops below that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: my actual speeds hover in the 44-49Mb range ... I just want decent speeds

      I get a tenth of that, and I'm in fairly central London. Perhaps you are not doing too badly, all things considered?

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: my actual speeds hover in the 44-49Mb range ... I just want decent speeds

        3 5G or 4G Home Broadband and as an option?? ... as you live in central Londonshire.

        Be grateful... we are still waiting for an Underground and the equivalent massive infrastructure spend London gets to the detriment of everywhere else in the UK.

    2. Adam JC

      Re: No FTTP here

      I can 100% confirm it's not Zen, as we sell their connections and they don't apply traffic shaping to any of their services, either residential or business and never have done.

  9. pcoventry

    Been here since build on 2011 with 34 houses and not a sniff of any form of fibre literally still on ADSL and mobile here. In barnsley of all places. Virgin at the end of the road. Not good enough for us and they won't extend it either

  10. NeilPost Silver badge

    So in the end did Templeton get any fibre broadband??

    Did Virgin Media, Sky, Talk-Talk, Vodafone step into the void to provide anything??

    Any 4G there - hello 3, O2, Vodafone (Again), EE (BT again).

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Coverage Checker 4G for EX16 8BL in Templeton

      3 - ROFLMAO (Boo!!)

      Vodafone - Good Coverage Indoor and Outdoors

      O2 - Good coverage outdoors, patchy indoors

      EE- Great Coverage Outdoors, good indoors.

      Suggest you go for a 4G unlimited Home Broadband and fuck your landline off.

      1. EnviableOne Silver badge

        This is where Openreach and BT have now shot themselves in the foot

        with unlimited data plans like 3s at £18/m (and no fair usage cap) if you got the coverage, why pay for a landline.

        in templeton to get trully unlimited its £30 from Vf (but you get calls and texts too) but worth the money for the connection

        1. NeilPost Silver badge

          or Vf Throttled to 10Mbit for £26/m.

          Depending on the mast and contention in the area, you may not get any more for the extra £4.

          I’m a couple of miles from M6 J2 and only getting 11Mbit right now on VF Business SIM.

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