back to article Openreach hits halfway mark in quest to hook up 25M premises with fiber broadband

Openreach claims it has reached the halfway point in its goal of rolling out fiber broadband to 25 million UK premises by the end of 2026. Openreach, the infrastructure arm of BT, said it has made fiber access available to 12.5 million homes, businesses, and public services across the country as it continues the program to …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I doubt redundancies will stop with Janssen's departure. It's been SOP at DT for decades. It's a wonder there's anybody left there at all by now.

    1. low_resolution_foxxes

      Depends how you look at them really.

      FTTP requires less infrastructure and premises, it is also far more reliable than copper - resulting in cheaper O&M/repair works after storms

      I'm not sure they're firing many from the other departments. It's a traditional sign of "more efficient process needs fewer workers". Although they did joke about bringing in AI in the software coding teams and customer service departments.

  2. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

    I do hate how broadband has become a byword for internet access. Last time I checked the fibre system being rolled out was a wideband tech, not broadband.

    1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

      Actually, it's narrowband - your signal is carried on a single narrow carrier frequency (infra red).

      1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

        Your signal isn't the only one on a GPON fibre, for a 10 subscriber system you have 20 carriers down that fibre.

        1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

          However, for each subscriber the signal is narrowband.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        All carrier frequencies are the same width: it is a single frequency. So describing something as "narrowband" because the information is modulated onto a carrier is incorrect.

        You can describe the conveyance of data over fibre as narrowband because the bandwidth is zero. And the reason it is zero is because amplitude modulation of the laser light intensity is performed, and the laser is monochromatic. There is no signal spread in the frequency domain when information is transmitted.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FIBRE

    When writing about UK broadband, it would be nice if you used UK spellings...

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: FIBRE

      Yeah they're getting ridiculous with the septic spellings

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's here

    In that they've been and wired in a 'telegraph' pole and I've gotten an offer from my ISP to hook me up.

    Now a month or two back, when I was getting high latency and poor speeds (up and down), I would have been sorely tempted but in redecorating the front parlour, I moved the router and the telephone extension wire to it and speeds are up around where they are supposed to be.

    Now anecdote =/= data but for the moment the need for speed has diminished, and I'll wait until contract renewal to see if they can make me an offer I cannot refuse.

    1. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: It's here

      I've just moved house, Openreach are not fitting any more landlines in the local exchange, so I had no option but to go with fibre, I'm now getting a steady 300mbps for £2.50 a month cheaper than I was paying for 20mbps at my last address.

      Running fibre from the telegraph poles is handy, but I worry about how resiliant the fibre is

      1. Chloe Cresswell Silver badge

        Re: It's here

        OR are using self supporting fibre - the steel guide wire that takes the load is part of the cable itself. As opposed to the older system of running a cable that is a tube from the pole, and blowing a separate fibre though it.

      2. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: It's here

        I have a segment of the o/r fibre they're using in the fareham area (an offcut from my work colleague's install). it is a mix of kevlar and nylon strength members, and a double sheathed single mode fibre in an outer black PE jacket. Looks very much like normal dropwire. I wouldn't have any worries about the initial strength, but over the decades, who knows with manmade materials?

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: It's here

        >” I worry about how resiliant the fibre is”

        Much I suspect depends on the cable clamps used to tension the overhead fibre.

        The ones Openreach used on the overhead line for one on my sites incorporate a cable cutter that triggers if the cable becomes over tensioned, such as would happen if a tree fell on the line (or youths decide to swing on it).

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's here

        Extremely resilient. At least the sample I have. I'm the local "tech guy" so people drop off scraps of cable and various old tat all the time. I have about 7m of what I think is broadband fibre optic cable...it may not be BT though, could be Virgin.

        Either way, when I tried to cut it for a clean cross section to have a look inside it took me ages. It is seriously tough stuff...extremely stiff. After slicing it, with a saw, I manage to get through about 4mm of extremely tough jacket (black, it's a really dense plastic) then beneath that is a layer of heavy duty foil about 0.5mm thick then there is a layer of what I think is nylon (it's white and extremely tough). The core of the cable is hollow copper (very stiff and quite thick) with loads of little fibres inside. Not sure how many, as I keep shattering them and it makes counting them quite difficult...if I had to guess though, probably at least 10.

        Some of the layers have a thin amount of sticky goo in them as well, presumably as extra weather protection.

        Anyway, it's pretty tough stuff...you could swing on it and not damage it. It's basically impossible to kink it, and coiling it up, I can bend the cable with my bare hands enough to make a 2m coil. It's impossible to bend it more.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: It's here

          The extremely stiff stuff does indeed sound like Virgin, have a few offcuts of that too. The longer ones are handy to use for routing cables under floors!

          Virgin also have multiple blown fibre duct variants with a solid fibreglass rod as the core, that stuff is awesome!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's here

            Indeed. Be nice if I could find an actual use for it...as it stands, I use the copper core to make small but sturdy pins for electronics projects. I've got a whole stash of extremely tough stuff that I use to fortify things...like loads of brass pins from old plugs etc...it's amazing how cheap and crap things have got over the last 10 years. With all the hard wearing scraps I've probably made a lot of products better and less prone to wear than they come.

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: It's here

      Telephone extension wire will feck your speeds right up. Put the router directly on the NTE 5, (without a filter if you no longer use landline phones) and use the ethernet to distribute round the house to your wifi AP etc... a few feet of poor quality 1980s extension kit can really ruin your speeds

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: It's here

        The post was a little ambiguous, I’ve seen some appalling multi-joined cabling between the BT/OR master socket and the outside world.

        With my own house (2003 build), the OR engineer discover the internal cabling was joined on the OR side of the master socket, once disconnected FTTC speeds and line stability improved.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: It's here

          Ah, alarm companies are notorious for cutting into the line before the NTE :\, The house didn't happen to have an ADT alarm did it?

    3. TkH11

      Re: It's here

      "I've gotten an offer".

      Can we ditch these silly American bastardisations of our English language please?

  5. David 140

    Is it just me, or are those external junction boxes REALLY bloody ugly?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You mean the 15 x 13cm FTTP junction box? Depends what you're expecting. I've got one by the front door, looks to me like a meat, modern utility installation. They could have used dark brown (as with Virgin Media's similar sized RFoG/FTTP junction box) that would have been a little less obvious, but if anybody cares that much about the colour, then a careful coat of Dulux Weathershield in "Conker" or "Monarch" will resolve the issue of it being grey.

      If it's the size that's a worry, hard luck, as that's down to the minimum bend radius of the fibre optic cable.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        I was assuming the OP meant the telegraph pole ones, which have between 4 and 12 individual fibre outlets. They DO make the top of the poles look cramped, especially when there may be a copper DP, a separate Toob DP, and maybe a couple of abandoned in place DACS II units (anyone remember the horror of finding your line was DACS'd during the dialup era?

    2. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

      Apparently you can have an internal fibre splice box - but you need to ask for it, and that means you need to know you can ask for it.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        There is a restriction on that

        It has to be VERY close to the incoming point, as the o/h or u/g fibre tends to be flammable, thus is restricted from use within buildings. Same reason BT/OR always used to terminate the dropwire either on the outside of the building or as soon as it entered.

        1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

          Re: There is a restriction on that

          Indeed, IIRC the outer sheath or external cabling is something like PE. Back in the days when I used to deal with this sort of thing, the rules was no more than 2m of "outside" cabling inside the building. Basically because of the nasties given off if it was involved in a fire.

          At one previous employer, we had a new building put up, but of course the [expletives deleted] architect and project manager didn't come and ask me what we (in IT) wanted at a suitable time - in fact, they never asked at all. By the time I could get involved, things were too far gone - ducts laid, groundworks finished, surfaced paved, floors laid, etc., etc. So they'd arranged for all the services to come in around the same sensible place - except for phones which for some totally unfathomable reason the architect had arranged for the duct to come into reception. [rant mode]WTF do (did) people thing it was a good thing to put untidy phone systems on display in reception when they could be put just about anywhere else in the building. In our case, all the comms and IT stuff was in a room elsewhere - so the BT (this was pre Openreach days) guy did a neat inline joint. Each pair was jelly crimped from the external cable to internal CW1308, the whole lot wrapped with a layer of protection, then a neat heatshrink sleeve over the whole lot. It was a whole lot neater than a Krone box, though that would have been an acceptable alternative.

      2. Tony Mudd

        I was told by my installers that they don't really like the internal splice box. I don't know if it's more difficult to joint inside it.

        They ended up putting the external-sized box in my attic - they prefer it to be outside, so the fibres could be replaced without coming into the house, but I said I'd live with that risk.

        (shortly after that, the new fibre from the pole was run over a couple of times, but still works....)

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          I think the issue is as you note, access to the house. Internal splice boxes seem to be normal in commercial premises and leased line installations. Okay they are within a few metres of when the line enters the building.

          Also you can specify where the fibre enters the house, so it doesn’t have to be next to the front door or where the copper cable entered the house.

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Yes, when colleague had his fibre put in they said 'look you have a PS5 and a smart tv, and a nice unit in the corner the router could sit on, do you want the fibre there rather than in the hall?' He agreed, been happier with it there, only issue is the wifi a/p built into it isn't centrally located anymore but we knew that and I ran some cat6 for him to an AP in the loft

  6. Tron Silver badge

    Bollocks.

    quote: This will help unlock a raft of economic and social benefits by supporting new models of commerce, healthcare, and public services.

    This is the sort of BS you get from politicians. Just add the magic of a trending technology (+1G, Blockchain, MFA, Biometrics, AI) and life will be easier, everyone will be richer, and the uplands will be even more sunlit.

    Complete BS.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Bollocks.

      That useless fuck Boris Johnson promised 100% FTTP by 2025. (Accelerated from 2033).

      https://www.theregister.com/2019/07/17/boris_johnsons_promise_of_fullfibre_by_2025_is_pie_in_the_sky/

      <He also promised a great Brexit too …… and is a know to have habitual issues with truth >

  7. AndrueC Silver badge
    Stop

    That figure should be taken with pinch of salt, of course.

    Not really.

    It is industry practice to record 'properties passed' when rolling out cables. No-one counts actual connections because those will only be made as/when/if the property owners choose to take up the service and may never reach 100%.

    However what they shouldn't do is regard a property as passed just because it is in relatively close proximity to the cable. Most of the time it doesn't matter but if a property at the end of a street is accessed via a bridge over a canal it shouldn't be considered 'passed' unless the fibre has already been taken over the bridge or if the bridge is known to have viable ducting or suitable poles to carry the fibre.

    So if by 'pinch of salt' you imply that OR is lying, then no. OTOH if you mean that engineering always has a little wiggle room then maybe. Call it 12.5 million +/- 500 ;)

    1. Press any key

      So properties passed will include ones like mine where in August they installed equipment on the pole that serves me but still haven't actually made FTTP available to pointer punters?

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Meh

        Sadly, yes. I've heard of a few of those. It's usually down to head-end capacity but in one case it was because a wayleave agreement fell through. It's not really something to blame on the CP who laid the cable. They will be as pissed off about it (perhaps moreso) than you. They don't lay cables for fun or even to 'make up the numbers'. Unless they can connect customers to them they are an expensive loss.

        Do you know who installed the fibre? It might be worth contacting them to ask what the delay is. Sometimes knowing that there are customers actually chomping at the bit can concentrate minds and encourage them to solve whatever the problem is more quickly.

    2. Tony Mudd

      I'm sure there's no fiddling with the numbers there ......

      My parents, who have Talk-Talk as their broadband provider (against my advice, but they've been lucky, nothing has gone wrong), had a fibre fitted to the house (just inside), but more than 6 months later, the broadband is still over the landline.

      No-one has discussed with them that the landline will go away.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        WTF?

        That doesn't imply any number fiddling. It proves that your parent's house has indeed been passed so should be counted in the statistics. Typically that implies service availability to those properties but there are sometimes delays in the fibre actually going live (as in the other poster I replied to who had the fibre but couldn't get a connection).

        However what you describe sounds mad. Utterly bonkers. Connecting a property to the fibre is only done to provide an active service. What you describe is akin to a restaurant letting you sit down, order a meal then tell you that the kitchen is closed. If this is the case then someone has cocked up big style. I'd be tempted to get your parents to switch to a different ISP and see what happens.

        As for the landline removal though that is a separate thing. There's no requirement to remove them so if it's not worth the effort they will leave them in situ.

      2. NeilPost Silver badge

        Here as in an Openreach 21CN area we got a free upgrade bump from copper to FTTP which included the incumbent Talk Talk Broadband.

        Went from a most ok 30/10 Mbit FTTC to a rock solid *70/20 Mbit. FTTP At contract expiry swapped out and pay a touch more for *150/30 Plusnet FTTP.

        *I guess despite the FTTP it’s throttled somewhere as the speed is still asynchronous.(most download far more than upload … but noting it).

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Meh

          *I guess despite the FTTP it’s throttled somewhere as the speed is still asynchronous.(most download far more than upload … but noting it).

          Rumour has it that BT are protecting their leased-line business.

          A leased lines should offer a more consistent service than residential due to their 1:1 contention as far as the CP's routers anyway but given how good residential broadband can be if you sign up for a decent ISP it would make sense for BT to be trying to retain a more obvious differentiation so as to justify the higher price tag.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Asymmetrical not asynchronous.

          Asynchronous/synchronous is to do with the individual bits being transmitted down the line, continually transmitting or not, presence of start and stop bits.

          Asymmetrical is where the upload and download speeds are not equal. Asymmetrical as in Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ASDL).

  8. Martin-73 Silver badge
    Windows

    Still looks awfully patchy

    Looking at the map linked, it's VERY patchy... unless they roll out loads of fibre REALLY quickly, the copper network is gonna live for another decade at least (so far as the customer is concerned, no doubt it'll be racks of VoIP ATA's at the exchange or cabinet)

    Icon because I still remember the test codes for the strowger exchange that was replaced by a txe4 , then a nortel system (system Y, not system x), then ... i moved :)

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Still looks awfully patchy

      Given FTTC seems to be unaffected by the POTS switch off, it is going to take a long time to get people off cabinet-to-the-home copper broadband.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Still looks awfully patchy

        Yeah, there's gonna be a lot of us left :( I'm one of them... no plans for FTTP in our exchange area. We have Toob available, but I want to stick with A&A, so their FTTP is useless to me

  9. ske1fr
    Mushroom

    Bye bye, BT OpenRetch

    I'm switching to CityFibre on Tuesday, lately my FTTC through OpenRetch has started buffering, and Zen are happy to switch me to the symmetrical CityFibre connection without penalty. I'll keep the ECI modem in case we move to a non-fttp place. OpenReach should be amputated from BT. Properly. If they're financially viable as an entity then perhaps they could rename themselves Axolotl, or *fish...

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Bye bye, BT OpenRetch

      City Fibre - complete wankers have been plaguing my town with illegal and highly dangerous wildcat roadwork's for months and months on end.

      1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

        Re: Bye bye, BT OpenRetch

        >>City Fibre - complete wankers have been plaguing my town with illegal and highly dangerous wildcat roadwork's for months and months on end.

        Not just City Fibre.... Just had fibre added to the street (South Wales Valleys) by Ogi/Spectrum comms - they tried to close the only road into/out of the valley for 3 days without permission. They failed.

        FTTP doesn't bother me because the FTTC connection I have is sufficient, at the moment, and Ogi is £30/month for 150Mbps over fibre, which strikes me as a bit pricey when compared to other fibre offerings. I'll wait till OR supply fibre (2026) and see who to go with then.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Bye bye, BT OpenRetch

      I'm switching to CityFibre on Tuesday, lately my FTTC through OpenRetch has started buffering

      You can't buy FTTC through Openreach because they don't sell to end-users. The chances of Openreach's bit of the connection (from exchange to your cabinet) being congested are slim to zero. BT has historically done a very good job of managing the local loop and of running their Wholesale service. Go back to the 2000s and you could get issues but they got to grips with it and now the problems can almost always be blamed on the ISP for not buying enough capacity.

      Zen operate their own network in a lot of places (at least as far as the exchange) so if you're one of those places it would be Zen's fault for sure. But even if you're on Zen via BT Wholesale history tells us that Zen is still likely to blame. They used to be very good but seem to have gone a bit wobbly over the last couple of years.

      I've heard mixed things about the CF network so good luck with that. If the speed of FTTC was enough for you you could likely have just switched to another FTTC provider like A&A and gone back to a rock solid service.

      1. simpfeld

        Re: Bye bye, BT OpenRetch

        I hear you, but most broadband issues do still seem to be Openreach.

        All the issues I have had in different places are Openreach. A dodgy shotgun style cable being left by Openreach when it should have been replaced when we had broadband installed. A bad connection in the cabinet,tech showed us a bad plastic covered join.

        A horribly congested link from the Exchange (we were told, where Zen had no direct presence in that Exchange), it would be great during the day (65Mbs) but would drop top 0.1 Mbs in the evening even though the syncing speed was still very high.

        And of course they have the hardest job to provide broadband on an ancient physical infrastructure.

  10. Dwarf

    Copper

    Given that BT are removing Copper, since its valuable now and generally has been installed for a few decades so may be a bit corroded here and there, there is actually not a lot in it for the average punter. Sure, they will get a faster internet connection, but that's a by-product of the change to fibre running more modern protocols over the top of it.

    The real reason is that fibre has no value if removed by yobs and presented at the local scrap merchant, similarly, BT don't have to provide 48VDC down the wires, so that will save them a bob or two for each house per month.

    I wonder what householders will think when the power next goes out and their emergency phone no longer works. Yes, people have mobiles, but they don't work in all situations whereas a piece of wire will in more situations

    Personally, I won't bother with any upgrades until BT beg me to come in and replace the kit free of charge. After all, they have to provide the service come what may. I don't care how as long as it works. Infinity 2 is fast enough for most stuff these days.

    Please remember they are doing this for their benefit, not yours. Marketing are trying to spin it as a positive for you with the relevant price increase of course.

    I'll sit here with my Tea | Coffee | Beer | Single Malt | Paper, etc until they come knocking to do it for free

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: Copper

      The copper has value, but BT are not pulling the wires back and selling it to the local Metal Pikey’s.

      That would cost far too much. Switched off and left to rot in the ground/air unless if is easy and cost effective to dismantle.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Copper

        Yep there's literal TONS of lead sheathed paper insulated still in the ground, some actually still in use, despite OR's claims otherwise. (I believe the actual engineers over the hype)

    2. David Hicklin Bronze badge

      Re: Copper

      > their emergency phone no longer works

      You need some form of power backup, here a UPS drives the OR stuff as well as my network switch and wireless AP.

      That assumes of course that the Fibre link stays up at the other end !

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Copper

      Given that BT are removing Copper, since its valuable now and generally has been installed for a few decades so may be a bit corroded here and there, there is actually not a lot in it for the average punter. Sure, they will get a faster internet connection, but that's a by-product of the change to fibre running more modern protocols over the top of it.

      Nah, BT don't have an active copper reclamation programme. If it's in the way (eg; blocking the duct to a property) they will pull it out but otherwise they seem happy to leave it where it is. They aren't even in a mad rush to turn off the copper system and seem happy to let that gradually happen for the most part.

      The speed from fibre isn't down to more modern protocols. In fact arguably that's a detriment since like most CPs they are using GPON which means sharing the fibre with your neighbours resulting in contention in the local loop that wasn't there before. With ADSL you get a dedicated line to the exchange. With FTTC it's dedicated to your cabinet. With FTTP it's dedicated to the end of your drive way..

      The speed from FTTP comes from fibre being a better physical media for the transmission of digital data, not from the protocols.

      Moving to fibre does have a big benefit for BT though and arguably more so than for most punters. It reduces their need for archaic, hard to source and costly analogue equipment. That is the real reason behind this push. BT want to avoid the expense of trying to keep the old PSTN system creaking along.

      1. TkH11

        Re: Copper

        They actually are on a mad rush to cease using copper. They have a PSTN switch off plan with a date which means just about everyone migrating from fixed line to VOIP over broadband.

        And they are rapidly rolling out FTTP. Although that is going to take a few more years. But I note where I live there is no confirmed year yet for rollout of FTTP.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Copper

      BT just gives you a call, sends a short cable over then pulls the plug. Our beautiful Bakelite rotary no longer rings. RIP

    5. TkH11

      Re: Copper

      You are perpetuating a lot of myths about the switch off of the PSTN network.

      Firstly, if you want your landline migrated to VOIP to work in a power cut, buy a UPS. And I don't see why the Telco should provide them for free, except in special cases like the disabled and elderly.

      Second, all of the VOIP infrastructure will be in data centres with backup power capability. Same applies to the mobile RAN network.

  11. idiotzoo

    They barely know what they’re doing

    Recently moved half a mile down the road from a house with openreach fttp. New house doesn’t have fibre available, even though much of the town does, eventually got a response from Openreach they have “no plans to install fibre at the moment” however on the day we moved in we were greeted by some fellas digging through the streetlight cabling while they installed fibre for openreach…

  12. nijam Silver badge

    How many of those 25m premises already have fibre courtesy (e.g.) City Fibre? (As we do at this location.) As a follow-up, why are they duplicating fibre connectivity when there is still much of the country as yet untouched?

    1. low_resolution_foxxes

      Gigabit broadband availability is surprisingly high, if you include Virgin Media I think it's in the ballpark of ~80%. Heavily skewed towards urban centres.

      FTTP is about 60% I think.

      1. TkH11

        Gigabit broadband 80%

        FTTP 60%

        What is gigabit broadband if it is not FTTP?

    2. NeilPost Silver badge

      Number of potential customer simply/low hanging fruit of installation.

    3. Lurko

      How many of those 25m premises already have fibre courtesy (e.g.) City Fibre? (As we do at this location.)

      https://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/9794-november-2023-update-on-broadband-availability-across-the-uk-nations-and-regions

      As a follow-up, why are they duplicating fibre connectivity when there is still much of the country as yet untouched?

      Because it's a low-regulation market, and government believe that competing physical infrastructure is better than having a national monopoly on infrastructure offering common carrier connections via wholesale. Once that decision was made, operators do their own thing, and simple economics means you chase the higher density lower cost-to-connect locations even if they're already offered FTTP by other providers. There's some locations with four or more separate physical FTTP networks:

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2023/11/braintree-first-uk-town-with-5-full-fibre-networks-overbuilding.html

      They won't all be successful, but this is what government policy has been pushing for.

      BDUK are offering subsidised contracts for lower density (high cost to serve) regions, but that appears to be a typical government screw up, that'll likely fall short of its ambitions.

    4. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      How many of those 25m premises already have fibre courtesy (e.g.) City Fibre? (As we do at this location.)

      Not all that many, over 1 million a couple of months ago.

      As a follow-up, why are they duplicating fibre connectivity when there is still much of the country as yet untouched?

      Because..I dunno. Investors and speculators. I've always thought it was silly and a waste of resources myself. I live in a small town in South Northamptonshire as of this year we have both Swish and Gigaclear available, both of whom found it necessary to dig up various (but not all) sections of pavement throughout the summer.

      Openreach will presumably be coming here next year and given that the above two had to dig up some of the pavements (renting ducting space from Openreach and found some of it blocked I'd wager) I'd assume Openreach will have to as well.

      So three companies digging up pavements and laying three sets of fibre cable. Unnecessary from a technical point of view because sharing physical media between different communication providers has been a solved problem for over thirty years. It even means that if you change ISP (eg; from Gigaclear to a BT based supplier) someone will have to come out and dig another trench and attach another ONT to your property. And in a few years mergers and consolidations will likely mean some of the fibres will become surplus to requirements anyway.

    5. TkH11

      Probably because they are not coordinating with the competitor, and why would they?

      They are in competition with each other.

  13. greenwood-IT

    We live in exciting times.. :-(

    I live in a small village, where broadband speed in some areas is still in single digits! Universal Obligation didn't arrive here. We currently have at least 4 providers flooding the area with fibre, and they are all behind schedule (Trooli is 2yrs late) and digging up different parts of the village. Trooli, Giganet, Vodafone and Openreach - why don't you talk to each other and either do different villages or share the ducting costs? As it stands, you're just covering the place in traffic lights and mud, as well as breaking the traditional phone lines when pulling fibres!

    PS: You also need to come up with some new product names, "Full Fibre" is the name of your 80Mb VDSL offering, which is in fact 50% Fibre.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: We live in exciting times.. :-(

      Openreach do allow their ducts to be shared. It's something called PIA. It's not free but Altnets are using the facility.

      Unfortunately ducts can get blocked or collapse or just become full. It's at that point that things go awry. As far as I know if an Altnet finds a blocked Openreach duct it will just install its own duct to bypass it. I don't think there's any provision in PIA for the company concerned to repair or upgrade the Openreach ducting nor to insist that Openreach do it.

      And to be fair if you were paying to rent space in someone else' ducts would you repair them for free?

      PS: You also need to come up with some new product names, "Full Fibre" is the name of your 80Mb VDSL offering, which is in fact 50% Fibre.

      Lol, yeah. Sort of. That boat sadly sailed many years ago when the ASA allowed Virgin to call their service 'fibre based'. But in %ge terms every telephone line in the UK is already 99% fibre. It's only the last kilometre or so between property and exchange which is often still copper.

  14. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge
    Flame

    44000/1347000

    >>Openreach said it has completed a four-year project of rolling out fiber in Wales, with the infrastructure capable of reaching more than 44,000 homes and businesses across the country.

    Oh that's great isn't it OR, well worth celebrating eh? 44k premises passed represents about 3% of the households in Wales.

    I guess I will just wait till 2026 - FTTC is fine by me for now.

    1. Lurko

      Re: 44000/1347000

      Do pay attention, that's one project.

      In Wales, Openreach FTTP capability is 48.6% of all properties, amounting to 774,000. There's another 250k+ properties with access to either FTTP altnets or Virgin Media. For the remainder of Wales it's going to be a long slow slog, simply because it is so undeveloped that the cost of connecting small villages in middle of nowhere is high, so it will only ever be done if subsidised.

      The locals seem to like it that way, and that's their choice, but fear not, the Senedd can conjure up the majority of the necessary money from the £1.4bn economic benefits their analysis attributes to the Welsh national 20 mph scheme.

  15. hairydog

    I find it hard to believe they care. There is fibre to the manhole 230 metres away from my house,

    Unfortunately, the fibre does not do the final leap to the pole feeding our connection, even though poles in the opposite direction get fibre.

    The pole after ours gets fibre from the other direction. Just our pole is without fibre.

    How hard would it be to let us have fttp? Too hard for Openreach, it seems.

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