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When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

atb48
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When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

That information regarding the closure of the FTTP trial is highly disturbing and very disappointing- I also have been with Plusnet for very many years.  Plusnet used to be the best ISP for technical support and a service provision that was forward thinking. Now, Plusnet cannot even say if, let alone when an FTTP service may be offered.

After a very long wait for Faster Broadband we now have Openreach drawing in fibres from today! They have chosen to install FTTP, as apparently FTTC is not viable in this rural setting.  Now, whilst checking out how I may upgrade my Plusnet account, I find the Plusnet did have a trial and now have no plans to provide me any faster broadband service

Yet ,I note that Openreach have recently announced an acceleration in the FTTP provision and a consultation  on the demise of the copper network.

Is Plusnet's plan to loose an increasing number of long-term customers and also to ignore the planned migration towards FTTP?   Now they seem to want to stand still on Internet Access Provision and don't care about long-standing customers. If Openreach only installs FTTP in an area then some of us either have to stay at 2Mbps ADSL or be forced to change our ISP!!  It is not that many would require the full FTTP bandwidth, or would want to pay that price, but a reduced speed equivalent to FTTC is the only way to get Faster Broadband. 

A recent Plusnet response to a long-standing customer in this situation stated "A shame to see you leave..."!!!!  Well then, do something about it!

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Superuser
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

This is a topic which has been raised by the SUs on a number of occasions. The answers seem to be predicated on a perception of a lack of demand for the higher speeds which FTTP can offer rather than the perception that for some FTTP is the only fibre offer in town (rural locations).

It does not help that the support skills and business processes (eg ISP migration) are quite different to those for delivering ADSL / FTTC. Unfortunately broadband delivery over FTTP appears not to be as simple as it being the same but using a different piece of ‘wire’. As I understand it,

Ofcom has not established the same industry practices as those which exist for the earlier technologies. It is all barking mad ... one does wonder if BT Wholesale deliberately made reselling FTTP harder so as to exclude some brands from joining in?
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Moderators Note
This topic has been moved from Community Site Feedback to Plusnet Feedback.

 

 

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beeceegee
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

There are rumours that SKY will announce an Openreach based FTTP service later in 2019. That will surely push PN into a definitive yes/no

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/04/isp-sky-broadband-to-launch-openreach-fttp-packages-in...

atb48
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Thanks for the comment - yes, there certainly seems to be a complete lack of knowledge regarding situations where only FTTP is being installed by Openreach.  I suspect that many, like myself, are not wanting the full FTTP speed but are only being offered FTTP as an access method. 

I was interested to note that PN's FTTP trial did indeed offer only a FTTC rated service speed - how well did those trials go?  There seems to be information.  I don't mind that PN does not offer full speed FTTP.  

If FTTP is more complex to run as a service offering then is that the full speed service or the reduced speed service that PN used in their trials?  I understand that PN staff would need to be trained in the FTTP access issues, and presumably that would also have to involve Openreach.  PN's trial presumably worked through any issues. So did did PN's trial decide it was too complex to offer a reduced speed service using FTTP access?  I don't even know if other ISPs do or intend offering "FTTC rates" when only FTTP is available in specific localities. It seems a new acronym is required!

Jonpe
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

I suspect BT want first pick of the lucrative FTTP market, leaving PN with ADSL and FTTC customers for the time being.

atb48
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Maybe I owe Plusnet an apology. Having looked further into the issue of "FTTP" it does seem to be a complex situation, and Plusnet's "FTTP Trial" maybe was "ahead of the game".

The real subject appears to be "Full-Fibre" rather than "FTTP" or "Ultrafast". "Full-Fibre" has been the subject of Parliamentary and Ofcom's papers for a few years, with several recent announcements. The House of Commons BRIEFING PAPER Number CBP 8392, 15 March 2019 - Full-fibre networks in the UK includes a statement that "Ofcom estimated in March 2018 that recently announced full-fibre investments could bring full-fibre coverage up to 20% of premises by 2020" also that "Openreach announced in February 2018 plans to connect 3 million homes and businesses to full-fibre by 2020, and extend this to 10 million by the mid-2020s". Openreach has significantly increased its original targets.

A highly relevant aspect of "Full-Fibre" is that it seen as the crucial means of providing faster Broadband to many rural areas, and also to new-builds. Companies such as "Structured Communications" quote residential-user costings for a range of speeds (40, 80, 160 & 300Mbps). Yet various other ISPs currently offering FTTP, including BT, seem to assume FTTP is only for those who want "ultrafast".

It is essential that, for the future success of "Full-Fibre" infrastructure, far more ISPs must plan to deliver a range of service speeds for the rapidly developing "Full-Fibre" scenario - not simply dub it as "FTTP"!

Plusnet has already trialled lower speed "FTTP" services, "Full-Fibre" is the planned future, there will be an increasing number of us who will only get any faster (greater then copper ADSL) Broadband by connecting to FTTP (PON - Passive Optical Network)  - it would seem fool-hardy for Plusnet to ignore this fast-developing future or to deny a (sensibly) faster service for its long-standing customers.

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Hi there.

Thanks for your interest in FTTP. 

Unfortunately we've currently no plans to share regarding if or when we'll be launching an FTTP product. 

 

The trial we had running mimicked the pricing and speeds of the FTTC packages, the process for higher FTTP speeds is basically the same bar changing the speed figure when ordering the service, although the costs are a lot greater.

We've made the decision to close the trial to any further customers not already on it in favour of focusing on developing new products, which may be an FTTP product or something else. I genuinely don't know what's ahead for this. Smiley

 

The real subject appears to be "Full-Fibre" rather than "FTTP" or "Ultrafast".

I think the article you've referenced is a little confusing. As far as I'm aware FTTP is full fibre or ultrafast, it's all the same thing but with different terms. It's fibre all the way to your property. There's no copper network used at all.

We can order FTTP from our suppliers at any offered speed we want up to 330mbps (and maybe even 1000mbps in some areas) however for the trial we made the decision to mimic the speeds of FTTC.

 

Hope this helps clarify things.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
atb48
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Thanks for the comments @Gandalf 

Yes, I'm fully aware that the concept of "Full-Fibre" is Fibre to the Premises, but the real significance is that it is a forward looking strategy and embraces a spectrum of speeds, not simply the ultrafast associated with "FTTP".

I am really shocked that, given the Government, Ofcom and Openreach large scale commitment to Full-Fibre for all of UK, that Plusnet appear to want to ignore the prospect and also deny access to faster Broadband to many of its long-standing customers. Over the years I've encouraged many people to join Plusnet in the believe it was a worthy ISP. We have waited many years for the Government backed "Faster Broadband for Suffolk", now to find out that the PON fibre that is currently being installed may require a move away from Plusnet.

The "clarification" simply underlines that Plusnet doesn't care.

Superuser
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Thanks for getting back to us.
I’m fairly confident that ultrafast is the same as FTTP along with full fibre. However I understand your point though of offering improved speeds. Unfortunately the trial we had running was simply a trial at the maximum speeds we offer for FTTC.

While I’m sorry if my response came off as uncaring, I can assure you we do care however I’m afraid that developing a new product isn’t something that’ll happen overnight.

I appreciate you’ve said you’re on standard broadband with likely no prospect for FTTC so when FTTP is installed in your area you’d need to move providers to take advantage of this, it’ll be sad to see you go but hopefully we’ll see you return if things change in the future and we bring out a product that’s available in your area.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
bmc
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

@atb48 

As far as I'm aware, only BT and Zen of the well known ISP's currently offer FTTP packages using the OpenReach network. There are several smaller providers.  I first heard that Sky were going to introduce FTTP last year so if it is the last quarter of 2019 when it happens that's around a years preparation for it.

 

PlusNet is a "value" ISP and will presumably take a commercial decision as to when to incur the costs of setting up for FTTP and then offering a product. There is trade off between spending money immediately or waiting until there is a greater availability. If that means losing a few customers in the interim then, while unfortunate, it is a commercial decision.

 

I believe PlusNet will offer FTTP in due course but I suspect there's a grain of truth in the argument that they don't want to take business away from their parent company.

 

Brian

Superuser
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

… or given that EE also do not offer the product, that the BT group will not allow its subsidiaries to market the FTTP offering, reserving that to just the province of BT Retail.

From a "within the industry" perspective I can perceive why BT Wholesale might wish to limit who can offer FTTP because unlike ADSL and FTTC there are no established ISP to ISP transfer processes akin to Gaining Provider Led migrations for FTTP.  From what I've heard transferring an operational FTTP service from one ISP to another is a right royal pain in the neck.

Some of this is apparently down to Ofcom having not established processes for this … however why the industry is not able to treat FTTP as just another connect service and apply the same commercial processes as per ADSL / FTTC is not visible to mere users!

atb48
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

@Gandalf said "I’m fairly confident that ultrafast is the same as FTTP along with full fibre" - well, that's sort of true. However Full Fibre is a strategy (backed by the Government, Ofcom and being fulfilled by various parties, including Openreach) leading to a fully fibre connected network and subsequent demise of the copper network.

FTTP is a fibre technique in which the fibre lands up in the Premises (Home or Business) and therefore can fulfil the envisaged Full Fibre future. However FTTP can take various forms as it can be used for Home use up to large enterprises - this can range from a PON (Passive optical Network) which sub divides the total fibre bandwidth to a single fibre that only serves a single entity.

Ultrafast is a term coined to indicate the very fast speed potentially achievable by Fibre to the Premises. However, especially for Home connections in areas where only FTTP is provided (never any FTTC) then the speed requirement is NOT always "Ultrafast" - the slower "FTTC" rates may well be more than adequate, and should be a a lower price.

Also @Gandalf stated "Unfortunately the trial we had running was simply a trial at the maximum speeds we offer for FTTC."   To me that was NOT "Unfortunate" - what is unfortunate is the assumption that all those being (only) connected via FTTP require "Ultrafast".  The Plusnet Trial was therefore "Fortunate" (future thinking), not "Unfortunate," in that it recognised the likely requirement for a range a speeds/costs.

There are very few ISPs offering FTTP services, and far fewer that understand that not all need or want to pay the "Ultrafast" premium.  However it does seem that much of the blame for this fiasco is due to the Government and Ofcom, who apparently have not understood or planned for the future "Full Fibre", requiring a spectrum of speeds and organised in a manner similar to that of FTTC services.

corringham
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Re: When will Plusnet offer FTTP?

Actually the way BT use the term "ultrafast" it includes Gfast as well as FTTP (ultrafast is just anything >= 100Mbps). Gfast is still copper from the cabinet to the premises, so isn't "full-fibre", or "FTTP", although it is "ultrafast". However, Plusnet don't offer that either, so the difference is somewhat academic.