Anyone wanting to install BT and Sky fibre broadband products without paying for an engineer will have to wait until New Year’s Eve.
The launch date for the long-awaited self install service has been announced by Openreach, BT’s network division, following extensive trials with ISPs including Sky.
FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based broadband services like BT Infinity and Sky Fibre currently require an Openreach engineer to visit your home and set everything up. This costs around £100 and and requires someone to be at home so the engineer can set everything up.
Self-install means that customers don’t have to wait around and can set up hardware in the home themselves.
Openreach has announced that the prices for self-install, which will still require an engineer to visit the nearby street cabinet, but not a customer’s home, will cost ISPs £49 a time. It’s up to ISPs how they choose to pass this cost on to customers, if at all.
Sky currently charges customers who order Sky Fibre Unlimited or Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro £50 for the full engineer visit, which sees an Openreach worker setting everything up in and out of the customers home. This costs Sky £99, but they save the customer £49.
This doesn’t automatically mean that the same discount will be applied for self-install and until the service launches its unlikely we’ll know any more. Sky has also yet to confirm whether or not it will be offering self-install on December 31 or not.
BT announced that self-install trials were taking place back in April and said that the service would be live by the end of the year. The last day of 2013 is cutting is as fine as you can, although some revellers may want to ring in the New Year by unboxing and installing a new router.
Update: A BT Broadband spokesperson told us that as of today, the BT Home Hub 5 will be able to replace the old BT Home Hub 4 and the white VDSL Openreach modem. The Home Hub 5 comes with a fibre broadband modem built in, meaning that you can have one box instead of two.
The spokesperson said: “For our existing Infinity customers there are offers available for them to switch to Hub 5 and get rid of their existing Hub and Openreach modem if they would like to do so.
“Currently customers joining BT Infinity all receive an engineer visit free of charge. This includes set up of their hub, connecting their main computer or device to their Broadband and a short demo to show the customer there is a working service.
“BT consumer are actively testing options that do not require an engineer visit in the home and are working to ensure this experience is optimised and provides no degradation in service verses the engineer install product that is offered today.”