back to article UK's Openreach sends full fibre to Coventry

Full-fibre broadband has reached Coventry, Openreach has declared – while adding that it had made 600k new FTTP connections. The fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) deployment is now available to "tens of thousands" of domestic and commercial buildings across the city, with the Radford area being the first to receive a working …

  1. JetSetJim Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Question?

    With OpenReach saying it's "available" in Coventry, does that mean fibre runs past each home with a breakout pot? Or just that the exchange has a bank of fibre terminators (presumably with a juicy backhaul fibre link) and that they would then start trenching on receipt of an order? And what is the cost to install it from Openreach considering it's not yet considered part of the mandatory provision requirements for a house?

    The smaller players like Gigaclear charge a similar amount to BT for a new connection, possibly a bit more for trenching the fibre to the house from the roadside (unless you DIY), and the cost of a decent fibre service with Gigaclear is a bit more than your BT DSL service (admitedly at a much higher line rate).

    It still looks like Openreach are dragging their heels...

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Question?

      There should already be fibre from the exchange to the green cabinet. So they just need to change the equipment in the cabinet and replace the copper wire with a fiber one.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Trenching

      ROFL for that. All the lines in my area arrive at the premises via an overhead line from a nearby pole. Remember those things? Long bits of wood sunk into the ground. None of that new fangled stuff in trenches here. :) :) /s

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Trenching

        We got trenching in our village as presumably BT wouldn't let them run overheads on their poles - they're mostly in verges, so probably cheap to install. Ironically I have a BT pole at the edge of my boundary, but OpenReach couldn't pull enough thumbs out of their collective arses to run a cable with over 3 months notice. Fortunately the amount of trenching required for fibre was within scope of the standard installation cost.

        I seem to recall reading that OR had an overhead "cable" that had a fibre core that they could use on new deployments to make it easier to swap folks across - but I don't have any BT/OR stuff in my house.

    3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Question?

      It still looks like Openreach are dragging their heels...

      Or fibre. But politics. So Openreach is an infrastructure company doing wholesale stuff. So turning fibre into a useful service would presumably require <someone> renting the fibre off Openreach and then renting it to people in a small chunk of Coventry.

      So if say, Electric Eel Ltd wanted to PoP Coventry and try convincing customers in the supply area that they really should switch to my service, I could. But then I'd have to PoP Coventry, arrange fibre to Openreach, rent collo in their termination space and figure out how to connect Coventry to the Internet at large.. But seeing as Coventry isn't a popular destination for fibre back to London.. My business plan would go no further than this post. Especially as the subset of people in the coverage area who're willing to pay >£40, ie more than a plain'ol FTTC Infinity service is very small.

      1. Jon 37

        Re: Question?

        BT Wholesale* offer a deal where your Electric Eel ISP can set up a single datacenter anywhere in the UK, get two or more fiber links from that data to the BT core network, then you can sell FTTP, FTTC and ADSL to anyone with a BT line. BT Wholesale will set up what's basically** a VPN tunnel from each customer to your datacenter. It uses BT equipment to terminate the FTTP/FTTC/ADSL connection and the BT core network to transfer the data to you. You then have to buy a big Internet connection from someone else, and route your customer's traffic to & from the Internet. It doesn't much matter what technology your customer is using, it looks more-or-less the same to your ISP, although the ISP will have to pay BT a different set of charges.

        There are other wholesale providers, e.g. TalkTalk, who can offer the same deal - in that case TalkTalk will use their own equipment in the exchanges to terminate the traffic, so TalkTalk only have to deal with BT Openreach not BT Wholesale.

        Most small national ISPs will use a wholesale provider. That's because the cost of installing equipment in every exchange, and setting up fiber backhaul from each exchange, is prohibitive unless you can split it among a huge number of customers.

        (* There are 3 relevant parts of BT: BT Retail, BT Wholesale, and BT Openreach. BT Retail sells phone & Internet services to consumers and businesses; in turn it pays BT Wholesale to use its national network infrastructure, which in turn pays BT Openreach to use its exchanges and "last mile" copper/fiber wires.)

        (** Pedant's corner: It's not actually a VPN, there's no encryption and it's using standards that are moderately common amongst telcos but anyone else would consider wierd. But you get the idea).

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Question?

          (** Pedant's corner: It's not actually a VPN, there's no encryption and it's using standards that are moderately common amongst telcos but anyone else would consider wierd. But you get the idea).

          It's only weird if you swim at Layer 3. If you dive into Layer-2 with me, then it's all pretty standard. Which it sort of has to be given Openreach's structural seperation from the BT Mothership. So my point was because BT has SMP (Significant Market Power) wrt access products, I could buy services from Openreach. So for Radford, a little something from Openreach's 'Superfast' or 'Ultrafast' line. You can register to get the gory details and pricing.

          The other bits of BT (Business, Retail and Wholesale) buy the same products from Openreach on the same terms as it offers to competitors like Talk Talk etc who create their services using a mix of their own infrastructure, and services from Openreach or Wholesale. So like I said, to get access to those new Coventry FTTP builds, you'd have to deal with Openreach and build your own infrastructure, or deal via Wholesale or a competitor who's taken Openreach up on something like their bulk fibre offer.

          But such are the joys of a regulated environment. Like BT's death-like grip on their infrastructure so it gets to keep dark fibre options away from competitors.. Industry is slowly chipping away at that one though.

  2. Kingsley

    Be careful what you wish for

    I live on an estate which has only FTTP, no conventional copper, and once you're out of your year's cheap offer, the lowest package available from any of the available providers is ~£50 a month!

    1. Any mouse Cow turd

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      I live in a FTTP only house and was seriously looking to switch to Zen which offered £42 per month for internet but no phone so looked at a sipgate voip solution.

      I threatened to leave BT, said I was going to Zen for £42 instead of the £50 that BT wanted. In the end they did me a deal of £34 for 80/20MB broadband and £10 for a phone call package. The bonus being that the call package is a 30 day rolling contract vs the 18month broadband contract so I cancelled the phone and now get FTTP for £34 and a landline for pennies through VoIP :-)

      1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

        Re: Be careful what you wish for

        80/20 is FTTC Infintiy 2 rate, so you are not actually getting anything better than a fibre enabled copper line.

        in the mean time, the bt site says: "You can get speeds up to 256k with our Broadband Unlimited, and you can get BT TV."

        even when you need 2Mbps for BT TV

        please stop showing off, untill 100% of the uk has 2Mbps, let alone the 10mbps USO they are proposing, I'm sending BT to coventry.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Be careful what you wish for

          "80/20 is FTTC Infintiy 2 rate, so you are not actually getting anything better than a fibre enabled copper line."

          Aren't you?

          My VDSL2 line started at 80/20 and has degraded to 68/18 as more and more people have piled into the cabinet. At least with GPON the speed won't degrade (but WHY is it stupidly asymetric?)

          1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

            Re: Be careful what you wish for

            My VDSL2 line started at 80/20 and has degraded to 68/18

            Similar story here - my d/l went from 85 to around 40, and u/l from 20 to around 18. For a lot of my use cases, getting an u/l better than 10 is the more important factor rather than super-fast d/l.

            That said, having been one of the really early adopters for Superfats in my village, I do kind of resent others jumping on and slowing down the bandwagon.

          2. telecine

            Re: Be careful what you wish for

            same here I'm on 67/16 and dropping.....

            no alternatives.. that's the free market for ya!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One advantage of living in the country....

    I've just brought a house in the Yorkshire Dales. Lovely part of the world, babbling stream just outside the front door, etc etc. Decided to move the family to nicer surroundings and enjoy life more.

    One of the reasons for the specific house was the 1Gb fibre to the house. We've only partially moved in, and the wifi only has 100Mb, but we got a reliable 80Mb/sec download and upload. Looking forward to seeing what I can get with an actual ethernet cable.

    We have zero moible reception on EE, Vodafone and O2 so have put VOIP in from soho66.co.uk for £5 and got WiFi calling. For the first time in my life I don't have a BT landline in the house at all. Feels very odd.

    It costs me the princely sum of £25+VAT per month which is actually less than I was paying for 70Mb connections in London with Zen. Not knocking Zen as they are a great company.

    Now the reason it only costs £25/month + VAT is that its a community based company from B4RN (https://b4rn.org.uk/) they do the technical but and the local villages do the hard work of actually laying cables. This keeps the cost down and everybody contributes the labour. I'm very lucky in that I had nothing to do as everybody else had done the work, however I invested £1,500 to help keep them going.

    As far as I'm concerned BT can keep their slow progress, I've already got 1GB and loving it.

  4. GreyWolf

    Removing the copper cuts us off

    We no mobile signal here. It's the shape of the land, and the fact that the nearest mast is a little short-arse (perhaps somebody wanted to "avoid harming the rural aspect" - fuck off, you townie). We are only two miles from an A-road, so this is not the Lake District or the Pennines.

    Thus we will have no way to make a 999 call and have the location automagically identified when they pull our copper cable out.

    There must be thousands of small pockets all over UK just like us.

    We had a machine gun post at the crossroads during WW2. May have to re-instate it.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Removing the copper cuts us off

      They are not saying they are going to get rid of landlines, just that they are getting rid of the old analogue tone dialed system.

      You will be able to use a SIP phone for your landline and it will automatically have location data when calling 999.

      Virgin Media already have a phone socket on the back of their 'Hub 3.0' router so you can use old phones as a SIP phone and so do Openreach FTTP modems.

      1. Is It Me

        Re: Removing the copper cuts us off

        New installs in France seem to be a ADSL type line with a VOIP to analogue convertor in the supplied modem/router box.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Removing the copper cuts us off

          New installs in France seem to be a ADSL type line with a VOIP to analogue convertor in the supplied modem/router box.

          Indeed. Hope you have it on a UPS.

          1. ivan5

            Re: Removing the copper cuts us off

            Hope you have it on a UPS

            Out in the little villages many of the Mairies have their computer systems, including the VOIP phone, on large UPSs and some even have a generator to back that up as well. I know of several people in my village that have UPS backed computing equipment, some of us also have a generator for the printers.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. robidy

        Re: Removing the copper cuts us off

        Remind me how a sip phone or homehub router work in a power cut?

        Rural places have multiple power cuts a year...often for hours...

  5. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    2025

    I can't see my bit of O/H being replaced by then.

    They can't use the fibre cabinet just up the road on my side - it belongs to everyone else.

  6. TStub

    Reaction to Gigaclear/ City Fibre

    BT is catching up on the minnows Gigaclear/ City Fibre (who have targeted BT's less loved urban areas) and to some degree Virgin Media who has recently started to invest again in Fibre roll out....some way to go though:

    https://www.choose.co.uk/news/2018/virgin-media-project-lightning-expansion-continues/

    Given future roll out of 5G too, I suspect most consumers and business will eventually have more options for high-speed connections and there will be continued regulatory pressure on the BT Group

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Reaction to Gigaclear/ City Fibre

      Sure - lots of options if you live in the cities, and nothing if live in the countryside.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: Reaction to Gigaclear/ City Fibre

        Gigaclear is doing a good job fibring up villages. Loads have been done in the Cotswolds.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, Brownhills West (WS87LX) still can't exceed the 1mb/s. Much prefer they actually managed to get FTTC rolled out first.

  8. David Roberts Silver badge

    Fibre does seem to be happening

    There has been ongoing work this year. We already have FTTC. All the poles have been sprouting chunky fibre termination points at the top. There has been a lot of digging up of bits of pavement where the ducting between the poles and the main ducts between the green cabinets have become damaged and/or blocked so they can't pull new cables.

    Given the number of poles enabled one would think that BT/OpenReach would be offering FTTP. No sign of that on the broadband checker, though.

    I could be tempted back to BT from my current VM cable by symmetric high speeds if the price was right, because of the occasional contention issues at peak times. Perhaps next year.

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