BT has announced that it will be greatly increasing the prices for its FTTP on Demand – also known as FoD (Fibre on Demand) – product.
As of May 1, the basic installation price for FTTP on Demand will rise from £500 to £750. As well as this, the monthly cost will increase from £38/month to £99/month for a 330Mbps service.
A BT spokesperson said: “This is clearly not a decision that we’ve taken lightly, but Openreach needed to take action or it risked losing too much money when fulfilling FoD orders.
“The alternative would have been to withdraw FoD from the market altogether, but we didn’t feel that was appropriate given we’ve invested heavily in the product and in training our engineers.”
You’re effectively replacing the copper last mile of an FTTC connection, turning the line into an FTTP connection. Because of this, the charges for FTTP on Demand vary depending on the length of the last mile.
Previously, you’d be charged a flat fee of £500 for FTTP on Demand and then £2/metre for however long the last mile would be. Costs of the distance-based charge will also rise from May 1, up to £3.50/metre.
Openreach estimates that more than half of premises, which would have expected to pay between £700 and £1,500 under the original pricing will face will face a total connection charge of between £1,100 and £2,500 after the new priced take effect.
FTTP on Demand is currently available at 142 BT exchanges and will be available from a total of 303 exchanges by the end of March this year. It’s available to business customers only – your mum and dad won’t be able to order in this for you no matter how nicely you ask.
When we talked to BT, a spokesperson told us that it will likely stay this way for the foreseeable.
The spokesperson said: “We believe FoD is unlikely to become a mass consumer product, certainly in the short term. Consumers don’t require speeds of up to 330Mbps currently, whilst the BSG has predicted that the average household will require a maximum of 19Mbps up until 2023.”
FTTC lines on the Openreach network currently provide top speeds of 80Mbps. Speeds decrease the further away you are from the cabinet, meaning unless there’s a cabinet right outside your house, you won’t get download speeds close to this.
However augmentations to FTTC technology are being trialled by BT at the moment and could see these top speeds increase.
BT’s spokesperson added: “The speeds delivered via FTTC also look likely to get faster all the time thanks to G.Fast/fibre to the distribution point and we are watching these developments with interest.”
G.fast can theoretically deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps over short distances. FTTdp (Fibre to the distribution point) can mitigate the distance difference of FTTC by bringing fibre closer to customers homes, stopping short of being a full FTTP connection itself.