back to article Why won't you copper-ate? Openreach offers capped fibre line rental to wholesalers in bid to shift all that FTTP

In an attempt to pull costly support from its copper network, Openreach has agreed to cap wholesale costs for providers who stop selling copper-based broadband products in areas where FTTP is available. The announcement has come as Openreach moves forward with the removal of its legacy copper and PSTN-based fixed-line products …

  1. Ace2

    26M premises…

    What proportion of the UK is that?

    1. Crypto Monad

      Re: 26M premises…

      About 30M properties in the UK in total.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: 26M premises…

        I guess I'm one of the left overs. Problem of being in the country side... Well a village of 4500 people with 3 large towns within 6 miles.

        Still the country park over the river, population 0, has fibre.

        Sigh.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 26M premises…

          It is, I am reliably informed nothing to do with being in a place with a tiny population.

          Try being in a place with nearly 200 times the population of yours, a designated fibre first city, in an area openreach specifically declare as completed in their fibre program, a fibre first pole erected over two years ago clearly visible 100m away with absolutely no services on it, no FTTC despite other areas nearer and further from the exchange having it for a decade, no prospect of FTTP, and still stuck on flakey copper forever.

          Rest assured you will emphatically not be the last in the UK to get fibre, Openreach decided that was us, right here, a very long time ago.

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Openreach offers capped fibre line rental to wholesalers ..."

    You can bet the savings won't get passed on to users like us though. I'm currently on an adequate and affordable FTTC service, but I'm expecting a price hike when the only offering is FTTP.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: "Openreach offers capped fibre line rental to wholesalers ..."

      Plus, digging up our front patio etc etc which no doubt I'll be expected to fund...

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: "Openreach offers capped fibre line rental to wholesalers ..."

        City Fibre seem to be moling cables in given they have been cabling up Dundee lately and driving through various streets with hardpaved gardens I noticed plenty of fresh trenches in the pavement to run a duct, but no disturbed garden paving or concrete, no wonder, the duct from street to house is of a smaller diamter than a mains gas pipe at most 25mm in diameter and possibly smaller.

        https://youtu.be/glpsaCSvZsI - cable mole, basically just a hydraulic ram and only needs a small pit dug close to the house

  3. happy but not clappy
    Facepalm

    I'd love it, but bt isn't playing

    Bit players are getting in on this (trooli.com down our way, fibre boxes on telepgraph poles everywhere), but BT is really trying to prevent this.

    I got fooled by a 2 year lock-in for a discount, so it will cost me £600 to buy out the contract. I'd rather BT offered the upgrade but nope. No upgrade. No plans. Stuck on ADSL, no doubt until they are forced to offer it.

  4. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Ofcom Area 2

    As soon as Starlink offers UK dialtone, the whole of the UK is potentially in this category

    I'm beinh bombarded with adverts for FTTH - the rollout ended about 200 yards up the street and it's not due for the rest of my area until 2026

    With rotting copper in the ground and the VDSL circuit dropping out every time it rains plus PPPoE flapping wildly under load - Openreach claiming there's nothing wrong with it - I expect they'll be losing most of their customers very quickly if Starlink's density claims are supported. 300MB/s at the current advertised price undercuts what ISPs are selling it for, let alone the claimed increases in speeds in the pipeline

    1. gryphon

      Re: Ofcom Area 2

      Maybe. But Starlink is $99 a month which is about £70 at the moment. Plus VAT. So not a cheap option by any means. Oh and $500 or so upfront costs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ofcom Area 2

        And not for densly populated areas, requiring a full view of the sky 25 degrees above the horizon (changing later to 40), if not you will have intermittent connectivity and or low bandwidth.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Alien

    I predict an almighty shambles

    As most ISP's can't even roll out IPv6 to the masses switching to a copper-free network is going to work very well, NOT.

    Then most ISP's are still rolling out FTTC broadband to the great unwashed there is an awful lot of kit that is going to endup in landfill in 2025/26.

    The words,

    "Another fine mess" seem quite apt really.

    Get your 4G/5G/6G/7G/Starlink backup plans in place for when the whole UK PSTN goes TITSUP probably on 1st April.

    1. CountCadaver

      Re: I predict an almighty shambles

      Zen have been shipping a Fritzbox 7530 for the last few years and it can be configured as both a VDSL router with an inbuilt modem but also has a WAN port for connection to a Fibre modem. Also gets regular updates from vendor. Just a shame Zen's ability to fault find is non existent.....plus they try their damndest to avoid involving openreach (even the openreach guys i've spoken to have noted it and said they over egg the potential for charging by openreach...generally only levy a charge if there is damage thats clearly been done by the occupier - broken nte, dog chewed wiring etc etc....

  6. Mishak

    "Known issues"

    I recently upgraded to a 900/100 connection with a 450/50 minimum service level.

    Upload has been solid, but downloads are sometimes as low as 230 and vary wildly. I let my ISP know and they raised a fault with Openreach.

    Openreach engineer came out; I was very impressed with how he came across. He ran a few speed tests and agreed there was an issue. He called "the office', who got him to re-do all the "has the customer done..." checks and a speed test - which showed a speed of 680. "Ah", said the office person, "see, there is no fault"! He wasn't taking that as he seen speeds of about 260 a few minutes earlier, so he requested an escalation - it ended up with "level 3", which he didn't even know existed! He finally went away (no resolution) and said he would keep pushing the case - and mentioned that he has been told that "the line carrying my data was over capacity and I would be moved to another".

    Got an email from the ISP a few days later. This basically says they have been told by Openreach "there is a known problem in the area" and that "there is no estimated time to resolution". This is going to be fun :-(

    A new player is preparing to install their own fibre network in the area. If I'm lucky, the Openreach case will drag on long enough for me to be able to cancel and switch!

  7. Marcelo Rodrigues
    Unhappy

    I really hate this

    Ok, we don't need a symmetric connection at home, but how about upload no lower than 50% of upload speeds? Selling 1Gb/100Mb is a joke. It should be AT THE VERY LEAST 1Gb/250Mb. Honestly, it should be 1Gb/500Mb.

    "But I don't need 500Mb of upload!"

    Maybe. In that case, You shouldn't need 1Gb of download either.

    We do backups online. We send stuff to the cloud. Our mobile send our photos and movies to the cloud. We work from home, do videoconferences and just move data around. We, and everybody else in our home - at the same time.

    Upload less than 25% of the download speed should be criminal. 50% is a good compromise. Symmetrical is beautiful - but not strictly necessary.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: I really hate this

      I'd be happy with 1mb upload

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really hate this

      "Ok, we don't need a symmetric connection at home, but how about upload no lower than 50% of upload speeds? "

      There are already solutions for this in the form of "business grade" Internet connections with minimal contention for both local and international traffic. Only they cost a lot more.

      The reason consumer level services are cheap is that content can be cached/pushed out to ISP tiers and costs are reduced through over-subscription for downloads but uploads are still expensive because they probably aren't destined for the ISP's network.

      While there are technical limits behind xDSL/cable services delivering asymmetric speeds, the bigger driver is the economics and that will only change with consolidation between ISP's or content providers finding ways of lowering the cost of services to ISP's similar to how Netflix/Prime/Disney/etc handle VOD.

      1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: I really hate this

        But none of that argument makes sense for Openretch's fibre network.

        It makes sense for xDSl services as there's a direct tradeoff between frequencies used for downlink vs frequencies used for uplink. Before FTTC came along, we had customers (at my last job) on Annex M ADSL to get a higher uplink speed.

        Given the inherent bandwidth capacity of fibre, and that I'd be really surprised if they weren't using pairs of fibres everywhere but the last drop, it's hard to see any reasonable technical reason for the asymmetry. So basically it comes back to the marketing people in "punters are used to it, most are gullible enough not to question it, so we'll artificially screw up residential connections just so we can charge more for non-screwed-up lines" mode.

        1. CountCadaver

          Re: I really hate this

          Fibre City are doing towns around me by 2025...so I'm hoping mine is shortly after that as it would make sense as they are building outwards from nearest city...

          Vodafone are my mobile provider and have said they can do a deal on FTTP so waiting to see what happens....

          (Yes vodafone's support is in India but if its as decent as their mobile support was (surprisingly good and when they couldn't solve the issue they arranged for someone in the UK to contact me - all in all I was very pleased indeed.....unlike 3 whose 4G network with 5 bars of signal gave me....0.26mbps (yet on other side of mast gave me 15mbps both up and down and next town over 35mbps symmetrical with 3 to 4 bars of signal - yet according to them there was nothing wrong with that side of the mast, then it was "oh actually we were making changes and things will be much better now, no they weren't....)

      2. Marcelo Rodrigues
        Boffin

        Re: I really hate this

        "The reason consumer level services are cheap is that content can be cached/pushed out to ISP tiers and costs are reduced through over-subscription for downloads but uploads are still expensive because they probably aren't destined for the ISP's network."

        Not so much. This is my residential 500/500 connection. Costs me about US$ 30,3/month.

        This test here was done between my home and an ISP in Brasília. About 1200km apart one from another.

        https://www.speedtest.net/result/11668987014

        This is what I get if I test with an ISP on the nearest city (about 10km).

        https://www.speedtest.net/result/11669035820

        And this is what I get from another ISP, same city:

        https://www.speedtest.net/result/11669049592

        And, yes: these speeds are consistent with what I see on daily usage. This isn't a case of my ISP twisting the traffic shaping to look good. I really get this.

        As You can see, is quite possible to sell (and deliver) an upload that is about 50% of download. Yes, You need fiber or ethernet - and the article talks exactly about FTTP. So, no xDSL excuses here.

  8. anon01789

    this 'adjusted annually by the CPI inflation rate minus 1.25 per cent or zero, whichever is higher.' is naice. Here in Warwickshire with inflation near zero and bbr close to zero. sky demand 10% anual price rises, others such as Shell demand near 5%

  9. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    FAIL

    FTTC

    Is still copper. After all of the posters on the green cabinets, we still only get 13Mb/s.

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