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Standard User olicuk
(newbie) Fri 26-Jun-15 11:45:50
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Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTTdP


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There is oft talk about FTTC being cheaper than FTTP to deploy, which is why Openreach and the BDUK programmes have rolled out very little of the latter; the sheer time and effort (by the time customers have been connected, if not in laying out the DPs) may be another reason, as there simply aren't the engineers available?

However with suggestions of ~£30k for an FTTC cabinet, on the face of it I do wonder why FTTP wouldn't be cheaper in areas that are relatively compact and have new/good ducting (eg/ new build developments). Are there any ideas of cost around?

And should developers not give Openreach a guarantee on the ducting they've installed, ie/ that they've not gone and blocked it, so Openreach should take advantage of that to roll our fibre to new-build sites whilst they have recourse to the developer for problems?

It confuses me why cabinets serving new-build sites still seem to be targeted with only FTTC, even when FTTPoD is (was) available in that area, so the capability to provide FTTP must be available at the exchange level. There are 4 outstanding in Basingstoke, all new(ish) build, which BT have indicated will be implemented under the commercial programme, but which are still outstanding (out of only ~20 commercials outstanding in Hampshire, 1600 delivered).

Openreach were engaged with us, but have now gone quiet, we assume as they're prioritising BDUK work (but won't say so). Do also wonder if they've decided to cease deploying FTTC where they're paying, with G.Fast potentially around the corner, and in places it should be more straightforward to implement?

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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 26-Jun-15 12:21:27
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: olicuk] [link to this post]
 
Costs also vary between brownfield and greenfield, which is where developers come into the mix.

No sign of FTTC deployment ceasing in commercial footprint still seeing what look to be the odd cabinet come online, and even some signs of EO changes in London too.

Analysis Mason did the main stuff on C versus P costs, and recent like Gigaclear in Essex show the difference that can arise. Using B4RN as a guide is difficult since volunteer labour and free wayleaves makes a massive difference.

Remember FTTP includes all the fibre costs of FTTC but if serving say 40 homes, the extra metres of fibre splicing/chambers/manifolds to reach them. In many cases the cost of the fibre cabinet outweighs this by some margin and is faster to deploy too.

Some new build estates have seen FTTP appear, so it does happen but conditions need to be right or its just luck.

FTTrN and FTTdP is difficult to judge but will provide different price points. The dP trials are looking at using pluggable fibre so probably more like gigaclear where the final drop to each home is easier and cheaper to do hence the talk of a new FoD2 product. Using connectors with fibre introduces more attenuation but for residential size runs if probably not a problem.

The big elephant in the room is things like cost of power (FTTP does not need it), if a duct needs to be laid crossing a road and cost of returning road surface to standard.

Have seen some FTTP installs take multiple days to get up and running, due to building issues and finding suitable locations for the fibre ONT that needs power.

Size of engineer workforce is an issue.

On the BDUK work, I doubt there are many infrastructure projects that draw so many people into go over the data and reach many varied conclusions.

From a BT board viewpoint my expectation is that they've run the figures and decided that FTTC now is quick to deploy and gets take-up quick, and that with lots of fibre re-use possible a mix of dP and FTTP over the next decade will get us to an almost 100% fibre scenario around 2025 for roughly the same cost as starting national FTTP roll-out now, but without the slow roll-out scenario.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Andrue
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 26-Jun-15 12:25:24
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: olicuk] [link to this post]
 
I do wonder why BT are going with G.FAST. I was expecting they would just extend FTTPoD to all exchanges and let demand drive the fibre. But they clearly had a lot of problems with FTTPoD and have decided that it just isn't a viable solution. Like you I wonder why they had so many problems with it.

But there is one note on duct availability. Not all properties have ducting all the way to the front door as 'twere. I know mine doesn't. So to roll-out fibre on my estate BT would have to micro-trench everyone's garden or driveway. I suspect that's the biggest stumbling block.

But I don't really know. It'd be good to hear what other people think. Is G.FAST really the best practical next step? And why?

---
Andrue Cope
Brackley, UK


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 26-Jun-15 13:02:54
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: Andrue] [link to this post]
 
g.fast avoids the need to cross roads for every property for example.

I think some have got confused by the first stage g.fast roll-out likely to be just cabinet based rather than actually on the dp for properties.

Basically BT long term plan is a stepped approach, pushing fibre closer and closer, and as a firm with an existing network in place this makes sense.

For the new entrants going for FTTH from the start makes more sense, it will be interesting to see how CityFibre and Sky's own FTTH stuff plays out. If Sky and TalkTalk get good signup rates that affect openreach then BT board may change things up a gear.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User godsell4
(regular) Fri 26-Jun-15 13:12:26
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: olicuk] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by olicuk:
And should developers not give Openreach a guarantee on the ducting they've installed, ie/ that they've not gone and blocked it, so Openreach should take advantage of that to roll our fibre to new-build sites whilst they have recourse to the developer for problems?


The Planning Departments of all Local Councils should mandate such access is made possible in any new housing and business park planning applications.

PlusNet BBYW1
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 26-Jun-15 13:22:11
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: godsell4] [link to this post]
 
Actually just needs no legislation at all, just people to do some research before committing to a 25 financial year mortgage.

If people stop buying new builds that do not have decent broadband available already then developers will quickly change their ways.

The business scenario is different, since leased line and Ethernet available almost everywhere, just for a small 3 person firm that is not a video edit studio consumer type services provide enough speed, just need to stock up on the SLA options.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User TheEulerID
(member) Fri 26-Jun-15 14:07:33
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Yes, a lot of people thing that FTTC somehow debars moving to FTTP later (or maybe g.fast of course). The point about FTTC is that it's relatively cheap and fast to roll-out as it uses a lot less manpower. The cheap bit could be dealt with by throwing money at the project (if it was available), but I cannot see the manpower situation easing. The idea that we could somehow train and employ a new army of field staff to get anything approaching the speed of roll-out of FTTC is a non-starter.

As far as current costs go, it would be nice to know what the breakdown is between the actual costs of installing FTTC cabinets and that spend on getting the "E" side fibred up. In principle, the latter is a springboard for whatever comes next.

Personally I have some doubts about putting g.fast nodes very deep into the "D" side network due to the power issues as much as anything else. (And all those line-powered approaches, whether forward or reverse are unlikely to be light on resources). That said, I'm acutely aware that if there are a large number of properties like mine with direct-buried phone cable, the costs of running fibre to the home will be very high.

So I think the country will look like a patchwork quilt when it comes to broadband provision. There simply won't be some grand scheme which will unify technical standards in the manner of the phone network when it was brought together by the GPO in the early 20th century.

What, of course, we will have is increasingly insistent pressure groups to deal with those left behind. I don't think they will be pacified with satellite solutions.
Standard User olicuk
(newbie) Fri 26-Jun-15 14:22:11
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your insight Andrew in the other responses, and encouraging to hear there is still some commercial deployment ongoing elsewhere; all of the roadworks.org documented work in Hampshire at the moment is BDUK related.

On the subject of developers, I don't think consumer power is the answer; it's a nice ideal, but for most people there will be significant financial, school, environment, or other considerations that will outweigh the broadband status. A couple of years ago when I bought, I investigated, the council said they'd had agreement with Openreach that we'd be getting FTTP. That coupled with the proximity of two FTTC cabinets (~30m and ~100m), and the expected widespread deployment of 4G (which we have now from most networks, but it's not stable enough, nor is pricing/bundling good enough, to make it better than 3-4Mbit ADSL) ticked the 'ok' box, and for new build there weren't really any better options. It was a good time to buy, and because of the mortgage arrangements and offers from developers, new build was the only option for us. As much as my wife and I could have committed to commute another 30 mins each way a day to find a fibre-enabled development, or bought a 1-2 bed older rather than 4 bed new build property, understandably fibre lost!

Notwithstanding that, I don't understand why housebuilders don't commit to offering superfast on all of their developments, as I'm sure they could do so with none or very little additional outlay (far exceeded by 'discounts' etc they offer). But with the government backing housebuilding schemes to the benefit of developers, I do find it hard to justify why they don't mandate superfast provision to order for a development to qualify for these schemes - problem sorted - and to save them having to pick up the pieces later.

Even now a new Persimmon/David Wilson development for 1000+ properties has started nearby, on former council land, and still seems to lack any superfast provision... but houses there seem to be selling like hot cakes.

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Standard User TheEulerID
(member) Fri 26-Jun-15 14:27:39
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: olicuk] [link to this post]
 
Given that we have a rapidly increasing population (up by over half a million last year alone) and have a housing crisis on our hands, it's a seller's market for the builders.

However, there's no excuse for planning guidelines for larger developments not to include proper broadband provision. The incremental costs are trivial compare to the price of a house when installed at build time. I don't know if local authorities have the power to insist on this, but they can certainly require developers to contribute to the costs of enhanced infrastructure in the form of community centres, schools, roads and much else.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 26-Jun-15 14:50:10
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Re: Fibre infrastructure costs, FTTC vs FTTP vs FTTrN vs FTT


[re: TheEulerID] [link to this post]
 
To be blunt, if the UK Gov threw £30bn at the problem today, actual money in the bank account it will still take 5 to 10 years to do FTTP to everywhere.

Double the money and you could afford to hire lots more new staff and tempt over installers from Europe to work on a project knowing its only good money for 3 or 4 years.

Not sure firms like Virgin Media, City Fibre would allow this to happen either, the FTTC option from BT meant that there was enough of a gap to what they can do/plan to not panic them in their chosen markets. A system like the connected city vouchers would not work that well for FTTP building in rural areas, as you need a certain number to make it worthwhile.

BT could do a lot better though, the problems where they've left partially built FTTP is recurring theme to mail bag, but BDUK contracts take precedence due to penalty clauses.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
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