FTTP On Demand Launch

Openreach have announced that their new FTTP On Demand product will launch on 29th April 2013, although it is likely that ISPs will take some time to work out how they will market the product. The prices to be charged to ISPs and the calculation method for the distance related charge can be found here. Further analysis and discussion can be read at ThinkBroadband.

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35 Responses to FTTP On Demand Launch

  1. David Nye says:

    You can find the distance to the Ewhurst “node” (believed to be near the entrance to Sayers Croft) by using the Surrey Interactive Map. That’s over 2km in my case, so price subject to survey, but over £4,000 in any case.

  2. Walter says:

    The article here suggests that Fibre on Demand might be more of a political statement rather than a practical solution for the unfortunates, especially those where there aren’t any ducts to accommodate new fibre cables. Given the investments made so far, it seems obvious that there will be a strong requirement to gain the maximum return on investment despite the serious performance shortfall for all over say 1 Km from the FTTCabinet.


    It seems likely that political aspirations will be satisfied by providing a minimum of 2 Mbps. (The equivalent of providing a user with a morse key – according to Peter Cochrane former BT CTO.)

    There does not yet appear to be sufficient enthusiasm for a true Fibre To The Home project which would probably take 18 months minimum to install. It also seems likely that, were that to be initiated, it would have to be a solution without any BT components.

    You might be interested to see what’s involved from a highly committed local community already well on their way.


  3. David Nye says:

    On launch date FTTP On Demand has limited availability and roll-out could take another year or so. List of exchanges and further details here.

  4. David Nye says:

    BT Retail launched their FTTP On Demand (FOD) product for business customers last week. The product name is “BT Infinity for Business option 3″, but availability is apparently still very limited at present. There is currently very little information on-line, so any business wanting further information at this stage, such as an availability check or quotation, should contact BT Business Sales. Other ISPs plan to launch FOD first as a residential product; AAISP seem to be the most advanced in their plans.

  5. Walter says:

    BT have effectively precluded any of their domestic customers from obtaining FoD by stating it is still being considered, even though there’s no sign of any product being available yet for most of the UK.

  6. David Nye says:

    Thanks for posting that link Walter, and I agree that the target market is confused at present. It is important to note that the above commentary refers only to BT Retail. Other ISPs have already announced that they will offer FoD to domestic customers. According to Mike Galvin (MD Network Investment of BT Openreach) the service turns a previously high-end product into a widely available, mass market one. But he also thinks that the national roll-out will take until December 2014 to reach all FTTC enabled exchanges. See UK ISPs Confused But Supportive of 330Mbps Fibre on Demand Broadband for revealing statements from some leading ISPs on this important product.

  7. David Nye says:

    I see that FoD is also now showing on the BT Wholesale availability checker, for those few exchanges which have been enabled so far. See this example of an availability check with FTTP On Demand. This confirms it is available to domestic and business customers. Now we just need the first ISPs to actually start selling the service.

  8. Walter says:

    This document still says it is only available in pilot areas:-


    Given that the Fibre Distribution Node is near the Sayer’s Croft entrance and that the existing ducts are quite full in many places, and other areas have no ducts at all, I suggest this product for much of Ewhurst will not be available in the foreseeable future, even if you could afford to pay the installation charges in thousands of pounds.

  9. David Nye says:

    That BT document link above is now out of date; see the full list of exchanges here.

  10. Walter says:

    I would rather see a list provided directly by the BT Group. My other comments still apply.

  11. David Nye says:

    If anyone wants to know what FTTP installations involve in practice, read through the comments posted by our close neighbours in Capel following their success in the “Race to Infinity”. Also, note that in the Capel Exchange FTTC areas: “Some remote properties (about 40) will see little or no uplift. Some remote properties (about 80) will see uplift (up to 14.9Mbps) but will not get Infinity (15Mbps+).”

  12. David Nye says:

    Simon has posted a new Capel status report he has received from Openreach at http://fastcapelbroadband.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/overall-exchange-status.html?showComment=1384557363615

    In summary, the FTTC element is complete, apart from one brand new cabinet they are getting to shorten some very long lines. The FTTP installation is due to complete early next year, although of course fibre is only laid right to the premises once the service is ordered, usually by digging up the gardens. Note this is not “FTTP on demand”, so these customers are not having to pay the full installation costs.

  13. David Nye says:

    Openreach has apparently announced the next group of telephone exchange upgrades for fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) on-demand service, which is still in Early Market Deployment (EMD) phase. Another 82 exchanges around the UK are to be upgraded this month, which should take the total to 142 by the end of 2013, reports ISPreview.co.uk. Once again, none of these exchanges is in the South East. But Openreach then plans to upgrade another 161 by the end of March 2014 (i.e. taking the total to 303 exchanges and “passing” around 4.7 million premises).

  14. David Nye says:

    More evidence to support Walter’s view that FTTP-On-Demand was always more a political expedient than a genuine attempt to increase FTTP availability: Openreach announce FOD price increase.

  15. David Nye says:

    Forum post from someone who ordered a quote for FTTP on Demand for a cable length of 3.5 km in a rural environment. “placed an order in Nov 2013 and had a site survey in Feb this year and then finally got a price back in April of £19,500.”

  16. David Nye says:

    BT’s FTTP On Demand product pricing is “madness” according to one potential customer: http://recombu.com/digital/news/2892-a-year-for-330mbps-bt-fibre-on-demand-madness

    There is still no sign of a date for this upgrade in Cranleigh exchange.

  17. Walter says:

    In my opinion there is virtually no chance of fibre on demand for those outliers some well over 2 km from the Sayers Croft fibre aggregation point. Many of the ducts are now too full and those without ducts would require hundreds of new overhead poles to provide blanket coverage. It’s just not economically viable for the incumbent and would jeopardise their current investments too.

    Nobody demanded that a like-for-like solution was provided when BT destroyed our SEEDA grant-approved project so there isn’t the required fibre backbone in place. All we have is four fibres terminated in each cabinet and one spare 4 fibre tube each.

    The only way that the Surrey Hills will get true symmetric 1000 Mbps fibre at affordable prices will be to install an independent solution as B4RN.org.uk are doing now. (£30.00 per month and no need for a phone line.) I wonder whether there are enough residents keen enough to start such a project ?

  18. David Nye says:

    It seems that Openreach have finally started deployment of 330Mbps FTTP On Demand (FTTPoD, FoD, fibre on demand) in Surrey. The BT Availability checker at http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/ shows the product being available on many, perhaps most, Haslemere area numbers (01428 prefix e.g. 01428609609). However, I cannot find any official annoucement about this, nor any mention for the rest of Surrey. It is also quite hard to find an ISP offering the product. The high price makes it unattractive for residential use, so most large providers avoid it. For example, Andrews & Arnold say “Note that there is an option of FTTP on demand shown on availability checkers. This is a service which we are not selling because of the unreasonable costs and terms. We can, however, provide bonded FTTC lines as an alternative for customers wanting the higher speeds offered.” Monthly prices are quoted at http://www.idnet.net/data_products/fttpod.php

  19. David Nye says:

    For the record, the hard to find BT contact number for their FoD Business product is 0800 587 4787. Another ISP offering the product is Gradwell; monthly fee starts at £200 at http://www.gradwell.com/broadband/fttpod/. Installation costs as high as £35,000 have been quoted recently in other rural areas, presumably reflecting the sort of deployment difficulties mentioned earlier.

    However, anyone seriously interested, please contact us first, to discuss the possibility of a non-BT shared cost community project (BT contracts are not suitably extensible).

  20. Walter says:

    I am sorry to report more depressing news for Ewhurst residents. I now observe that Bramley, Shere, Abinger, Forest Green and Oakwood Hill have now been enabled for the very expensive, possibly mythical, 330 Mbps down and 30 Mbps up Fibre on Demand product. This includes some of the 42 properties connected to Shere – PCP 2 by Hound House railway bridge that are otherwise excluded from VDSL due to line quality and length. Strangely though Shere PCP 4 Albury has some exclusions around the Chilworth Road. Ewhurst and Cranleigh all seem excluded presumably as this was supposedly a commercial development.

    One obvious reason for these announcements in the SCC deployment areas is that it allows BT to escape from the critiscism of those unable to obtain VDSL services.
    Perhaps “let them eat (astronomically) priced cake” might be a suitable comment ?

    There are also vague murmurings about eventually providing an ADSL service from a Fibre cabinet which would seem an ideal solution up to about 12 Mbps for those on longer lines. If you are of a technical disposition see Page 34 here:-


    However the gossip is that ECI FTTCabinets, as installed in Ewhurst and Cranleigh, will NOT be provided with this facility.

  21. David Nye says:

    I have confirmed with IDNet that their FTTPoD products are available to residential users, and that they do already have customers for these products. None are live yet, they say, because the minimum lead time is 60 working days, post survey, and excluding any additional works required to get the service installed. I have also confirmed that “commercial” cabinets in the Haslemere area code 01428 do already have FTTPoD availability. My own guess is that Openreach are now enabling this service without announcement or publicity when they are working on an exchange for other reasons. This could explain why “intervention” area 01483 exchanges are being enabled first.

  22. David Nye says:

    Excellent piece explaining the practical advantages of fibre over copper, and thus FTTP over FTTC. (Note the second half is aimed at service providers.) http://hiddenwires.co.uk/2014/product-article-connecting-the-home-the-age-of-fibre-has-arrived/

  23. David Nye says:

    Phil reports that Oakwood Hill now has FTTP on demand, and he believes there is already evidence of a customer using it in Elstead. This raises the possibility that Openreach are now enabling each exchange after BT have the first customer enquiry for the service (i.e. demand led).

  24. David Nye says:

    An increase in demand for FTTP On Demand has forced BT to suspend the acceptance of new orders while they catch up and ramp up their capacity for this product, which is still in “Early Market Deployment”. ISPreview article

  25. David Nye says:

    It seems that TalkTalk are also anticipating increasing demand for native FTTP:
    uswitch – + – techweekeurope – + – plusnet
    There may be a case for switching our services to them and drumming up demand on their forum?

  26. David Nye says:

    It appears that FTTP On Demand is to be re-launched in Wales later in the summer. Meanwhile SCC seem unaware that it was suspended, and point out that Guildford and Clandon exchanges have also been enabled for the service. They seem to think that other Surrey exchanges are still being enabled.

  27. David Nye says:

    The latest update of the Openreach exchange list at http://www.openreach.co.uk/accepting_orders_Excel appears to confirm the above, i.e. FTTP-On-Demand (FOD) is once again accepting orders, and many Surrey exchanges have been enabled. For example, the following extract indicates some nearby exchanges with FOD now available (for lines on FTTC enabled cabinets), as well as those where some people can now order “native” FTTP (shown as FTTC/P below, and WBC FTTP on the availability checker) i.e. FTTP at the same cost as FTTC. As far as I know, FOD can currently only be ordered as a business product from BT, although Openreach are willing to provide the service to any customer who can afford it with an eligible line via any participating ISP. The problem seems to be that other ISPs are not getting enough serious enquiries to justify getting involved.


  28. David Nye says:

    BT Group have recently confirmed that BT Wholesale still has its “stop sale” order in place i.e. order processing has been suspended (since January). However, in order to conform with some BDUK contracts, the product is theoretically available (where shown on the availability checker) from BT Openreach to any other CP that can provide backhaul from the fibre handover node. The pricing has not changed since January.

  29. Walter says:

    As they are ostensibly offering other CPs the chance of providing back-haul one might be excused from suggesting this is a quite ridiculous solution. If a CP has gone to the trouble of providing their own back-haul what could possibly persuade them not to complete the entire FTTH themselves and provide their own competitive solution themselves.

    One might also question the reason for this stance. The obvious one is that BT consider their 240 fibre feed into Ewhurst is grossly undersized, especially as many of the bundles are presumably used within the Cranleigh area.

  30. David Nye says:

    As far as I know, it is still not possible to order FTTP on Demand in Surrey, even for businesses where the service is shown as “available”. Please let me know if anyone has managed to even get a quote for the “FTTP on Demand” service in Surrey.

  31. David Nye says:

    The “stop sale” was quietly lifted by BT Wholesale earlier this year, but as far as I can establish, FTTP on Demand is still only available in Wales and parts of the South West, from Spectrum Internet. It appears that BT Business is not currently interested in selling the product anywhere, and other ISPs do not yet show any signs of re-launching. Meanwhile, http://www.dslchecker.bt.com still says that it is available in Walliswood, for example, but not Ewhurst or Ellens Green.

  32. David Nye says:

    Here’s a forum thread which pulls together all information on the current status of FTTPoD:

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