*Wordpress lost the first version of this post so this is the hastily rewritten version*
Last November I got involved with Openreach’s FTTP (Fibre to the premises) trial in Milton Keynes. It’s been a great year testing a ridiculously fast internet connection but it’s now sadly come to an end. BT have started offering a commercial product based on the technology so I assume the trial was a success.
The trial wasn’t handled directly by BT or Openreach. Instead I had to get connected by one of the smaller ISPs involved in the trial. It was through them that I learnt the trial was ending. They supplied me with prices for if I wished to keep the connection and stay with them.
I’ll focus on the lower scale of the pricing. The products based on the product I was trialling (100Mb down and 30Mb up) are going to be too high for most people (it starts at 78 + VAT a month). The consumer focussed product is 115 down and 14 up and comes in at £60 (it’s unknown whether this will require a phone line as yet so you might need to add £10 on to it). The same product from BT costs £35 but does require a phone line so its basically £45.
This is too much to pay. We’re looking at possibly £70 a month from a smaller ISP and £45 a month if you sell your soul to BT. Most people aren’t going to be able to afford paying that much for broadband. What’s the point in spending billions of pounds hooking everyone up to a fibre network and then pricing the majority of people out? This is why we shouldn’t leave developing the country’s infrastructure to private companies. Incidentally it would be interesting to find out why the discrepancy between BTs price and the price from the small ISP is so large. Are small ISPs being screwed by wholesale prices or are BT using their clout to sell the product at a loss?
I’m actually moving out of the area next year so this speed won’t be available to be me but the same problem is there for the slower FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) technology that covers most of the country. BT offer it for £28 a month which isn’t too bad but if you want to avoid BT you pay more than double for a limited service.
And who doesn’t want to avoid BT?