I read the article about Virgin's new double speed which will put even the most basic package up to 100meg. Admittedly the uploads are very poor which would put me off.
However, I think they might have made a serious strategic error here. Yes, they have good coverage of FTTC over most of the country (albeit with government subsidy in many). But:
1) Virgin is starting to aggressively rolling out to more of the country and will take customers from BT with better speeds I think, especially people further from cabinets
2) Small niche players are destroying BT in new build apartment blocks (and new build housing estates). Where I live in E20 there is both Hyperoptic and BT FTTP. However, the developers have done a deal with Hyperoptic where you get free broadband as a sweetner. Result: I haven't seen a single BT SSID walking round yet. Despite the probably very expensive BT FTTP rollout which is now going to waste. BT can't compete with that either on a regulatory level nor do I think they can be 'on the ground' enough to actually pen these deals if they could.
3) Sky and TalkTalks FTTH in York is further pushing them. If that took off to more cities, BT is going to have to maintain a local loop that virtually noone uses and isn't competitive, pushing up their cost base and reducing profits they can reinvest.
I'm not sure how they can come back from all this. I think they'll be left to run the last 20% or so of areas which are rural and by the nature are not profitable. They won't have the very profitable suburban/urban business to cross subsidise it with, as altnets, VM and sky/talktalk like rollouts will take all of the revenue here. They will have a USO to maintain all the [censored] copper loop though.
This leads me to two thoughts: BT know all this and are planning on giving up on it all and looking at other options which are less hassle. Like reselling football or mobile networks. Spin out openreach with all its pension liabilities, regulatory headaches and USO to curl up and slowly die.
or, BT will do a u-turn on GFast and start a much more aggressive FTTH rollout. However, from the FTTH we've seen in the past it doesn't look like the last mile infrastructure is in any kind of state to be able to do that.
Edited by mr_mojo (Mon 17-Aug-15 19:35:36)