Openreach have now confirmed the rumoured price indication of £1,500 for an average “FTTP on demand” connection. This example includes £1,000 contribution towards the cost of running fibre optic cable for 500m, plus the £500 fixed installation fee. Once connected, stable download speeds of 40 Mbps, 80 Mbps, 110 Mbps, 220 Mbps and 330 Mbps should be available. At the lower end, monthly fees should be comparable to FTTC services, rising to perhaps around £80 per month for the fastest service (330 Mbps downstream and 30 Mbps upstream). This is how BT announced the price indication:
FTTP on Demand offers downstream speeds of 330Mbit/s and upstream speeds of 30Mbit/s, and will be available to premises served by GEA-FTTC enabled cabinets for the first time – not just from those exchanges that currently offer FTTP. FTTP on Demand is expected to be of most interest to small and medium sized businesses who may wish to take advantage of the faster speeds on offer. As Openreach has previously indicated, CPs will be charged a distance based construction charge for FTTP on Demand due to the extra work involved in providing a direct fibre connection. These charges are currently being finalised and will be released closer to the launch date. They will be based on a series of price bands relating to the distance between the premise and the NGA Aggregation Node. Premises are on average around 500m away from an NGA Aggregation Node and will incur a charge of around a £1,000. Those that are closer will face a lesser charge and those further away a higher one. This is in addition to an installation fee of £500 for the service.
The full text of the briefing can be found here, and more in depth interpretation by ThinkBroadband here. Openreach hope to launch the product soon after the phase 2 pilot ends in April 2013. Residential customers currently able to get “superfast” speeds on FTTC services are unlikely to be interested at those prices. But those more than 1km from their FTTC cabinet, who can afford the 4 figure costs, may finally be able to get the fast and reliable broadband connection they want, especially if working from home.
Meanwhile, all Surrey County Council (SCC) contacts have failed to respond to my request for details of what their contract with BT will deliver for those of us unable to get “superfast” speeds (e.g. 24Mbps) from BT’s FTTC services. All we have been told by SCC is that “nearly 100%” of premises will be connected to a FTTC enabled cabinet, and that they will investigate solutions for the few exceptions. This completely fails to address the large numbers who will have so called “fibre” services available, but are too far from their cabinet for this to be of much benefit. Will we eventually be told that we must each pay thousands for “FTTP on demand”, or be left behind?