back to article Openreach hints at fibre network strategy rethink

"Collaboration" was the watchword from Openreach chief exec Clive Selley during BT's results this morning. An interesting expression given accusations it previously used its market heft to the disadvantage of its communications providers. Of course, that was before British telco BT finally agreed to a legal separation of its …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    FTTP?

    If they'd install it people would use it and more than likely pay for it.

    However, a lot of punters have their last 20-30m delivered overhead. AFAIK, BT won't put Fibre in in these places. Other countries can do it so come on BT, get rid of the last bit of copper. If you do that then I'm sure people will open their wallets.

    How's about doing some trials? You never know they might be a success.

    1. Chloe Cresswell

      Re: FTTP?

      You can ignore "other countries" in this, and just look at KCom.. that's how KC do their FTTP for the most part, a semi-rigid tube from the pole to the building, and blow the fibre though that.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: FTTP?

      Dunno - we've been 'about to get' FTTP for the last couple of years, and they're now hoping a couple of months away. Every line into a house is overhead and we have lengthy reels of fibre ready and waiting, hanging off every telegraph pole.

    3. John Sager

      Re: FTTP?

      I wonder if this is why, when I last enquired, we're going to get FTTP on our DP (in a year...)? I was very surprised at this. A FTTC cabinet went live in our village recently, and although it is <100m from me, my DP and another one close by are EO lines. The other DP is supposed to be re-parented on the cabinet very soon but, although it would be easier & cheaper to put both on the cabinet at the same time, mine is to be FTTP. I shan't complain though (except for the extra wait), if that's what actually happens.

    4. Tom 64
      Windows

      Re: FTTP?

      > "get rid of the last bit of copper."

      That would require them to, you know... make investments in infrastructure rather than milk the old stuff for every penny, while wasting further time and money on 'consulting'.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't want to pay more. I want better speeds for the same price.

    Countries who invested in fibre (or didn't have legacy copper to begin with) are laughing at us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tied, same old argument, it's just not true.

      They said the same about mobile phones at one point. Why does anyone feel it necessary to pay circa $1000 for an iPhone or Samsung equivalent - because, in business (or just life), it's a tool you rely on. If you can rely on it and it makes you money, regards your line of work - you'll never think twice about what you're paying for it/paid for it. It has an intangible worth to you.

      It blends into the background and becomes the same as most other expenses required to do a job. But ultimately, BT need to make Ultrafast reliable and if reliability is key to reaching those higher 'ever rolling' price points, G.fast is not the technology to using.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tied, same old argument, it's just not true.

        Because it's a natural monopoly you should pay more? Bollocks.

        Infrastructure like road/rail/internet is best when built and owned by government, and delivered by strongly competing private companies.

        The fact that it's necessary for business / living is a good argument for making it as cheap as possible.

        I can ride my bike on the road for free, and drive my car for a nominal amount. The same arguments apply to the internet.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pointless G.fast is/was indeed fcuking Pointless. Now breath.

    For all the downvotes I've had getting this point across, it's been a long hard road, but I've never wavered.

    We have to start to make the switch to pure Fibre, and start NOW or Openreach will ever be a surrounded tangled mess of technologies, firmware, redundant outdated standards, Interference issues where Engineers spend more time trying to work out why the two links aren't communicating with each other.

    G.fast is ultimately a can of worms waiting to happen and BT have finally admitted it. And it takes a 'Pleb' like me to tell them.

    G.fast does nothing for lines of more than 500m (250m as the crow flies), and yes, you can do it with G.fast technologies, I've never said you can't, but each time, its another piece of tech to go wrong, another asset to be recorded, maintained. Another piece of tech that will slowly date, and become incompatible, as regards Firmware updates.

    The bullshit impractical headlines that you can get 1Gbps over 20m+, using ever better iterations of the same thing, is pointless because the Power supplies, computing power to calculate the vectoring, the costs of this kit rise exponentially. As stated, you need upto 25 G.fast nodes per (sq)2km, to achieve blanket coverage, and then its still a bamboozled, obfuscated 'up to' technology, even after all that installation of G.fast node coverage.

    I admit, it's an interesting technical achievement that you can get these speeds over copper, but you (BT/Ofcom) need to stand back and see the bigger picture, we already have the tried and tested means to achieve such speeds with fibre, we just need more innovative ways to roll fibre out quickly using pre-made click and connect cables, more reliable fusing methods such as variations on Intels thunderbolt light (not copper) cable technologies. Concentrate on the implementation of fibre cables, quick, cheap methods that improve the rollout process.

    I feel BT has used G.fast as a delaying tactic. That never ending , it's just over the horizon, nearly ready, sometime soon - utopia for BT, that never ultimately was.

    It was all sales talk and ney' engineering knickers.

    G.fast most dangerous security aspect? Far too easy to disrupt the vectored signals, with cheap low frequency signal generators, I think that alone makes it dead in the water for any sensitive rolllout/heavy industrial locations.

    Let's start concentrating on that 500m breakeven point, where FTTC/Fibre makes sense beyond. Removing bamboozling / obfuscation, is key to driving new sales of Fibre, so also concentrate on the backhaul. Make the speed achieveable real and constant.

    Sell the benefits, its far more flood proof/weather proof than FTTC/G.fast.

    But drop G.fast NOW BT, the UK deserves better.

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Oh dear god, please no...

    Openreach are now quoting that we will be able to place an order for fibre within two months - that's about teh sixth time they've got down to 'two months' over the last two years, but PLEASE finish off my village before you re-organise and change strategy!!!

    1. Adam Jarvis

      Re: Oh dear god, please no...

      That 2 month ball keeps getting kicked into the long grass regarding Superfast Cymru. Standard practice as regards BT. Not helped by the fact that all of the new non-existent publicity has been taken back, controlled by BT. It's almost as though BT have forgotten they signed a BDUK contract to have deliverables by a certain date.

  5. Oneman2Many

    I bet the 10m FTTP premises will be premises that VM already serve.

    Also I think VM annual report shows that 80% of people don't want to pay for top tier, I am guessing there isn't demand at the moment for FTTP. Good that they are doing it but it is going to take decades to payback. VM have realised this and have scaled back project lightning.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ofcom were hoodwinked.

      It was all just vapourware announcements by Virgin Media to prevent the full separation of Openreach at the time, "Look Ofcom competition is really working, we have big plans". Neither VM or BT wanted full Openreach separation (and it's still a distant Ofcom threat, remember, that part hasn't changed, if there isn't even greater degree of infrastructure spending by BT).

      Ultimately, the roose/flattery towards Ofcom (to show Ofcom's role was a worthy one) worked at the time, but doubt Ofcom are too pleased being hoodwinked like this.

      Ofcom (and Ofgem) regulators really need to stop being such Narcistical Organisations, looking for self praise/damage limitation against the regulator themselves, when there is vocal criticism of the regulator and its role, because its a factor telcom companies like BT will use to their own advantage against the regulator. It's a visible weakness of UK regulation, its own "narcissism", there to exploit.

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge

      I don't think that the kind of person who wants FTTP would have virgin... because their network is poorly maintained, not fibre optic, and throttled/censored. It's consumer grade AT BEST... and very often worse than that.

      If openreach would deploy FTTP via the mentioned method upthread: Overhead tubing from existing poles, they would likely find a ready market.

      One plea though, should openreach see this... Don't bundle a landline with it. That would be stupid. And therefore something that would likely happen :\

  6. Me, Here, Now, ish

    Decent ADSL would be a start

    The trouble with all this posturing is that they are looking to improve the services to those who already have a decent service.

    Those of us living in the wilds (sorry, more than 2Km from an exchange - your experience may vary) can only get very poor ADSL services, mine syncs at 900K down and about 100k up because the wire to the exchange takes such a circuitous route there's hardly anything left by the time it gets to me.

    BT refuse to move the circuit to the cabinet that is 1.5Km away because 'We don't do that kind of thing' and there are no plans to review service delivery to the 3 properties in the area because they are focusing on getting the nearest village up from 30Mb to 80Mb.

    It's laughable and not a single person in BT, Openreach or government gives a stuff.

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