The first place to have their broadband upgraded to fibre through the BDUK funding is the village of Ainderby Steeple in North Yorkshire.
The unveiling of this new cabinet is the first to be done through funding from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) pot of money that was set aside form the government to help roll out fibre optic broadband to areas where it was not commercially viable for BT to roll out to on their own.
BT won the contract for the funds for North Yorkshire in July earlier this year, having beaten Fujitsu to secure it. The pot of money set aside by the BDUK is £530m. The North Yorkshire contract was worth £17.8m from the BDUK, £10m invested by BT and £8.6m coming from the European Regional Development Fund. More areas of North Yorkshire are likely to have the new fibre cabinets also installed as part of the scheme.
Overall, the BDUK scheme has received criticism as so far all contracts for funding have been won by BT with Fujitsu even pulling out of contract negotiations in some instances.
BT Openreach have release new pricing for the wholesale price of their FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) and also indicated what their FTTP-on-Demand pricing is going to be.
The wholesale pricing of BT’s full fibre to the premises broadband that offers download speeds of up to 330Mb and 30Mb upload speeds is to be reduced from £60 per month to £38 per month offering a saving of 37%. This pricing is the price that other broadband providers will be charged by BT Openreach to allow them to use their fibre network.
The more exciting news for those who want full fibre broadband access is that BT have released initial indicative pricing that will be charged for anyone who wants to upgrade from a FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) broadband connection to a full FTTP connection. Providing that the premises is served by a GEA-FTTC (Generic Ethernet Access over Fibre to the Cabinet) then the upgrade to full fibre will be available to purchase, it is expected that small and medium sized businesses will be the main customers who will want to take advantage of the faster speed available.
The pricing of installing FTTP to a premises has not been fully finalised yet but BT have released some figures to give us an idea. Bearing in mind that the price charged to a customer will vary depending on the distance they are from their cabinet. The figures BT released were that on average premises are around 500m away from their exchange which would mean a charge of £1,000 plus a £500 installation fee for the service. Those closer than 500m will be charged less and those further away will be charged more although we do not have any extra figures to indicate what the distance markers and charges are going to be.
It is worth noting that the cost to BT will be significantly more than the price charged for one customer, however once BT have done the initial work to bring the FTTP-on-Demand to the specific area for one customer they won’t then have the extra charges needed to allow others in the same area to upgrade an connect to it.
All users who do want to upgrade after the first person has done so in a specific location will still incur the same charges as the first person, this means that over time BT will recoup their initial outlay that they had to pay extra for the initial costs incurred without all these costs being put on the first person to want the upgrade.
Over time however we do envisage the price for FTTP-on-Demand will possibly reduce but not for the initial time being.
Currently a FTTP-on-Demand pilot is in Phase 1 testing in the following areas for those who want to take part:
- High Wycombe
- Bristol South
- St Agnes Cornwall
- Edinburgh Waverley
- Basingstoke (from January 2013)
- Watford (from January 2013
- Cardiff Central (from January 2013)
- Manchester Central (from January 2013)
BT reduce full fibre broadband costs and release Fibre On Demand pricing