Where I live (in Stamford, Lincolnshire) the best BT service, which I have, is FTTC and I get about 49 mbps down and 13 mbps up. It is generally adequate for my needs at the moment. My BT line is a buried cable (house built in 2000).
Over the last year or so I've noticed a lot of installation work on the poles and manholes around here and some trenches have been dug too. I spoke to men working in a manhole outside my house and they said they were installing full fibre broadband for a company called Lightspeed. No mention of Openreach.
I am now able to order FTTP from not one, but two different suppliers, but not BT. A company called UPP offers three choices: 200/500 or 900 mbps and another company, Lightspeed, offers a 1 Gbps service.
I am reluctant to go with either company because as far as I can see they are both quite small, and I'd worry about them going bust (like utility companies did recently). I would rather wait for BT to provide a FTTP service, and I'd be happy to pay a little more for a BT service.
My questions: now that FTTP is available from 2 suppliers, I assume that the infracstructure is in place for any company, including BT, to supply me. Is this so? Does the fact that 2 small companies have live offers mean that, in due course, BT will have an FTTP offer too? Anyone know why BT aren't offering now when 2 other companies are?
Openreach are required to offer their infrastructure to all suppliers but the converse is not true. Alt nets do not have to offer their infrastructure to all. BT will only use Openreach infrastructure not anybody else's
Stamford is on Openreaches Rural FTTP Build Project.
They’re building there right now as I type so it should be available to you sooner rather than later.
As above, BT can only supply FTTP via the Openreach network, so cannot make use of the recently installed infrastructure. I would think it's highly unlikely that Openreach will be duplicating that infrastructure any time soon, if ever. So if you want FTTP you'll have to go with one of the new guys. Couple of things to bear in mind:
If you're in contract with BT you'll have to wait until that contract ends or pay the balance to leave. Waiting is probably best as it allows others to be the guinea pigs.
The fibre providers tend not to have a phone service. So if you want a landline you would have to make your own VOIP provision & be prepared to possibly lose your number.
As already stated physical infrastructure access isn’t a 2 way street , Openreach ( what BT use ) have to offer access to others, but if another Communication Provider (CP) wants to build their own network, they don’t have to offer access to anyone else….., if an Alternative Network provider (Alt Net) does have several ISP available, sometimes they genuinely offer wholesale access to others ( but BT would never use them ) or sometimes it’s an illusion, the ISPs may have different names , but are part of the same parent group , it just gives the impression of choice .
If you want to stick with BT , you could contact Openreach and ask if FTTP is likely in the short term, in the longer term ( possibly 8 years ) everywhere will have OR ( and therefore BT ) FTTP , but obviously in any list , there are those at the top and those near the bottom
Thanks for these responses.
I will definitely wait a bit before doing anything.
It is interesting, though, that TWO separate companies are offering FTTP services, which are of different speeds. I am not sure what this implies for the infrastructure, although I have seen Lightspeed logos on some of the pole installations.
When the men were working in the manhole near my house they showed me a buried fibre cable which had come from a nearby fibre-enabled pole. Interestingly, that pole was fed from a different cabinet for FTTC purposes than the cabinet feeding my FTTC copper line. They had dug a new trench for the fibre line. They showed me a terminal block which had 4 outlets, corresponding to the 4 houses of which mine is one. It seems to be inconceivable that BT, should they ever offer FTTP, will have the road up again to install a (presumably) similar bit of fibre cable. But it is definitely the case that the new fibre cable was installed by Lightspeed, not OR.
I wouldn't worry too much about a small FTTP provider going bust, if anything they will be bought out by one of the bigger providers just as happened with all the cable tv suppliers.
TBH , it’s probable that the difference between company’s that advertise 900 and 1Gb is semantic, 1Gb speed doesn’t really deliver 1Gb throughput, there are ‘overheads’ that eat into that , so typically a 1Gb service will deliver ‘speeds’ of 960Mb , BT ( for example ) advertise 900 and consider over delivering 960 is better than the potential of customers ‘moaning’ about ‘only’ getting 960Mb when expecting 1000Mb, under promise and over deliver is better than over promise and under deliver.
If there are genuinely two operators that can use the fibre on a wholesale basis , ( rather than two ISP brands of the same group) they may effectively only ‘rent’ the fibre ‘cable’ and not any optical equipment, they interconnect in whatever way the network provider specifies, and deliver whatever product they want to their end user , it may be similar to what OR provide (GPON) but doesn’t have to be.
Theoretically BT Consumer as an ISP could sign up with other network providers on a wholesale basis , if that network provider offers wholesale access terms, but they don’t , they exclusively use Openreach networks , so if your OR based current service is via a buried cable and OR install a network it will either be more excavation to put new duct/cables underground or they switch from underground to overhead and put up new poles if necessary
No need to contact Openreach to ask if they’re building in Stamford.
I would bet the entire contents of my Bank Account and ISA Savings Account on the fact they’re building there Right Now, and I don’t mean thinking about it, I mean they literally have Cable Gangs and Jointers Building it.
I know this as I helped with the Construction of the Head Ends in Stamford for the Openreach Chief Engineers Rural Build Programme.
Thanks. Is it the case that BT will have everywhere on FTTP eventually. If so, what is the point of these tiddler outfits such as UPP & Lightspeed and what will become of them?