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Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Grandpa
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

I've just had my fibre installed by the BT engineer (Still got the internal work to do) and I had a bit of a chat with him and it got me thinking.
In the past I kept checking with PlusNet & the BT line checker etc. to see if and when it would be available,
and the response I would get back would be along the lines of "Your Cabinet has not been enabled yet please check back later"
As we don't have a cabinet (Hence the FTTP), then my cabinet was NEVER going to be enabled so I could have gone months without finding out that I could get it, if it wasn't for the fact my neighbour (With BT) got it installed.
It seems strange that BT install the network for the FTTP but do not inform the people that it effects that they can now get it,
It just makes me wonder how many other people throughout the country are still waiting to get fibre and could actually get it now or even months ago.
It might be an idea that when BT install the FTTP network in a given area, they then inform the residents it is now available or for the various ISP's to inform their customers of the fact it is now available. 
11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

The big problem is only one of the big 6 ISPs actually sells FTTP.
A lot of people want bundled TV, phone, internet packages which essentially prevents them from getting FTTP unless their CP offers it. Sky/TalkTalk/EE/3 seem to have zero interest in providing FTTP, even though there is nothing technically stopping them from doing so.
Openreach can't inform or advertise to people that FTTP is available or to sign up to it etc. due to their equivalence undertakings with OFCOM.
Grandpa
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

I would have thought BT could advertise the fact that FTTP is available in a given area so long as they do not push signing up with a particular ISP. (Totally impartial). If you look at the green cabinets that have been upgraded they have stickers on saying "Fast Fibre available here" its basically the same thing.
As for sky & TalkTalk not offering FTTP that is most likely going to change by next year as they have both made a deal with City Fibre to install a 1gb/s FTTP network, the first area where they are going to run it out is York (Where I live) but they plan to do more city's after that. http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/11149556.Updated__York_to_be_fastest_broadband_city/
The thing is if BT are rolling FTTP out to more and more areas and no one signs up to it basically because they do not know it is available at what point does the ISP's and BT start to say it is not cost effective?
Eventually BT will want to replace the whole system with Fibre so EVERYONE has FTTP and Voice over Fibre as it is much more reliable and can carry more data thus reducing their maintenance costs, The problem at the moment is the cost of installing it in the first place. The quicker they sign people up (No matter which ISP they go with) the quicker they will make a return on their investment thus allowing funds to upgrade the rest of the network quicker.
If a company produce a product for sale they usually advertise it as much as possible so as to get as many sales as possible, It just seems to me this is not happening with FTTP.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Openreach have to be completely impartial of other divisions of BT. They have to treat all CPs equally, so not to favour BT Retail for example. There are just over 10,000 FTTP end users on the Openreach GEA-FTTP network and I would imagine 80%+ are with BT Retail.
I'm aware of the TT/Sky deal with City Fibre. For some unknown reason, TT/Sky will not take the Openreach GEA-FTTP service. I have no idea why, because they could offer the 80/20 and 40/10 services alongside their current FTTC offerings. The Cityfibre deal looks like a test for TT/Sky to see the costs and complications involved in running their own fibre network. It's interesting that York already has FTTP in areas with Openreach, but Cityfibre will be micro-trenching the ducting for fibre and not using the existing Openreach ducts.
Openreach's commercial deployment of NGA (FTTC/P) essentially ends this year. They abandoned their very ambitious 2 million homes with FTTP plan quite some time ago due to the large costs involved, so any widescale FTTP deployment hasn't happened and probably won't happen in the next couple of decades.
We are a long long long way away from Openreach replacing copper for fibre. There are plenty of new technologies out there which will extend the longevity of copper networks (things like G.fast/vectoring/bonding/FTTDP).
FVA is something that should really be offered and promoted with the FTTP data service, but for some reason it isn't. It's actually more expensive now vs. wholesale line rental over copper for the CPs, which doesn't make too much sense. I'm not sure about the advantages, but one of the big issues is the need for the battery backup with the ONT as FVA will not work without this in the event of a power cut (GPON is a passive fibre network).
The problem is that FTTP represents such a small number of users (or potential users) that most ISPs are not interested in it. They would much more focus on FTTC and ADSL customers, who will represent a larger revenue source for them. Hopefully at some point this will change - competition is always good!
Grandpa
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Totally agree with what you have said Andy, I just find it strange that in the areas that they have gone to the expense of installing the FTTP network why they do not push its availability out to customers. Otherwise there is no point installing it in the first place.
I know there are a few places like myself where we are that close to the exchange that we don't have a cabinet and the only option is FTTP, and the cost of installing FTTP compared to someone miles away from the exchange is minimal in comparison So it would appear (At least in my area) BT are installing fibre for people such as myself  as a mater of course,
Even the BT engineer told me they have trained teams up to install FTTP but there is not that much work for them simply because people do not know its available.
As for Openreach been completely impartial, there must be a way of advertising the fact that FTTP is available without been biased towards a particular ISP and thus not breaching the regulations.
I just get the feeling after the trouble of getting FTTP installed that if they don't push the service a bit more and at least get some revenue back, BT & ISP's will indeed find it to expensive and will discontinue the service, Then where will that leave us all especially those that cannot get FTTC ?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Hi,
For customers opted in to marketing emails we send customers notifications when they can get FTTC but we don't with FTTP at the moment simply because we still consider it to be a trial. I don't know what BT Retail do but will do a bit of digging and see if I can find out.
The deployment of FTTP is now largely new builds (where Openreach install the ONT as part of the house build and leave a leaflet explaining what FTTP is), sites that can't get FTTC like exchange only lines or where there's a high cost of getting the cab installed.
Grandpa
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Cheers for that Dave, Its not just PlusNet, its the whole industry (Mainly BT Openreach). The FTTP infrastructure is increasing (Admittedly only in relatively small areas at the moment) but potential customers are oblivious to its existence as no one informs them that's its available (Whichever ISP they go with) and the information is not readily available, Take my area for example, The only people that know it is available are the ones that me and my neighbour have told and it was by pure chance that we found out it was available despite making numerous enquiries.
If I was a manufacturer and I designed a new singing all dancing product but then kept it secret and only told one or two people, I would never sell enough products to make a profit and at some point the production of that product would become non viable. My fear is that FTTP may go the same way. Sad
RobPN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 791
Thanks: 73
Fixes: 1
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Considering the fact that PN don't officially offer any FTTP packages (just the so-called trial), does anybody (Dave?) know what the position is regarding taking advantage of any of the cashback offers (e.g. Quidco) when ordering Fibre?
Clearly the normal PN ordering process doesn't allow someone who has FTTP available rather than FTTC to actually order it, so it seems those people would be forced to miss out on those offers.
I'm asking because a relative whose address is covered by FTTP and who doesn't presently have a phoneline or broadband of any description (other than his mobile connection) is considering getting connected up.
I noticed when I checked a few minutes ago that Quidco is offering £100 for a Fibre connection or £70 for DSL, so clearly he could take the £70 offer for the DSL then apply to go on the PN FTTP trial (which I believe would be the route presently required anyway by PN).  If his address was served by FTTC presumably he could go directly for that type of connection and get the £100 cashback which seems slightly unfair.
I guess the only compensation is the ability to have a FTTP connection rather than FTTC, which many people might give their [insert bodily parts here] for  Wink
Grandpa
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Quote
I guess the only compensation is the ability to have a FTTP connection rather than FTTC, which many people might give their [insert bodily parts here] for  Wink


At present there is no advantage to having FTTP over FTTC as the packages that PlusNet supply are the same.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

There are a couple of advantages - the speed advertised is what you get (i.e. 80/20 will sync at that speed). With FTTC, you are dependent on your distance to the cabinet and other factors. FTTP also has lower latency than FTTC, which might benefit gamers.
Grandpa
Grafter
Posts: 48
Registered: 05-10-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Agreed Andy but for the vast majority of people I doubt they would notice any REAL difference. admittedly though there are exceptions Smiley
The real advantage with FTTP is the greater speeds that it is capable of compared to FTTC, Only it is not really an option at the moment.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Low numbers of FTTP customers.??

Quote from: RobPN
Considering the fact that PN don't officially offer any FTTP packages (just the so-called trial), does anybody (Dave?) know what the position is regarding taking advantage of any of the cashback offers (e.g. Quidco) when ordering Fibre?

It isn't possible unfortunately, you could get the ADSL rate by signing up for ADSL but not the FTTC rate as that's only available on FTTC and we have no signup route to go straight to FTTP.