What is FTTP?

a) FTTP is a new technology that going to replace your existing broadband service. It replaces the copper broadband services that ADSL/ADSL2+ use by running fibre all the way from your local exchange to your property. As fibre doesn’t degrade the speed over distance and isn’t subject to the same kind of interference problems as copper you should see a faster and more reliable service.

b) You can keep your existing telephone but you will probably continue to pay a service charge for this. Or you can move to a slightly different service where you can use the fibre for making telephone calls. This service is called a VoIP service which sends telephone calls over the fibre broadband. There is a charge for this but it should be less expensive than your existing service. There are a number of VoIP providers you may want to contact to discuss their service and costs. They can also arrange to move your telephone number to the new service so your friends and family will still be able to contact you.

c) You will typically plug your telephone into the back of the fibre router or occasionally need a convertor called an ATA (Analogue Terminal Adaptor). Please see the Glossary of Terms at the bottom of the page.

What speed does FTTP run at?

a) This is dependent upon which ISP you decide to use and which package you sign up to, but typically an ISP will offer a range of speeds, at different prices, from 36Mbps to 900Mbps;

b) The Penallt Openreach proposal states “Openreach will deliver a fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) infrastructure – which has the capability to give download speeds of up to 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps)”.

c) The voucher scheme requires customers to purchase a service with a minimum speed of 30 Mbps

Will I need any building work done in my home?

a) No, at most you will need a hole drilled for the new Fibre connection and a new ONT box (see Glossary below). Your new fibre router which will be supplied by your ISP will connect to the ONT box. It also requires power, so it must be located near an electrical socket. In the future, services like TV and voice may be delivered using the ONT so think carefully where will be most convenient to install the ONT. The ONT has to be secured to a wall to prevent damaging the fibre.

What will Openreach provide under the scheme terms?

They state that “We’ll provide all civil works and associated fibre cabling from the splitter to the Connectorised Block Terminals (CBT)”. These CBTs act as hubs which supply several properties and will be either hung from existing nearby telegraph poles or will be buried underground.

When you ask for a fibre service from your chosen ISP, the ISP will then instruct Openreach to run a fibre from your nearest CBT to your ONT (see above). The fibre will run either overhead from “your” telegraph pole (just as for your existing copper telephone cable) or in an underground duct.

The ISP then takes over in providing your service.

Can I keep my existing ISP?

This depends if they support FTTP over Openreach’s Fibre Network. The list is growing and currently (May 2021) comprises:-

Andrews & Arnold Ltd Pine Media
Aquiss SKY
BT Spectrum Internet
Cerberus Networks Structured Communications
EE (unconfirmed) Syscomm
Fibrenet TalkTalk
Giganet Uno
LCC Communications Vodafone
Orbitalnet Zen

I’m out of contract with my current ISP – is it easy to switch provider?

Yes, and you need only to contact your chosen new provider and they will do the rest. See the Ofcom advice about this.

I’ve only recently signed a new contract with my ISP, will I have to pay a cancellation fee?

It is worth noting that the fibre will take a few months to be installed and you should keep an eye on when your contract period with your existing ISP ends. In the meantime you should investigate the following points:

a) Typically you would have signed a 12, 18 or 24 month contract with your existing ISP. What you do next depends on where you are in that contract period and who is your existing ISP;

b) Ask your existing ISP if they support an FTTP service delivered over Openreach’s fibre. If they do, then discuss with them how to transfer your contract to the new service. They should be more than happy to help you do this;

c) If you have to/want to move your contract to a new ISP then you have a couple of options:-

Option 1 – Run both services for a period until the contract with your old ISP comes to an end. The cost of this depends on how long the contracts overlap;

Option 2 – If your initial contract period comes to an end before the fibre is installed then you should discuss with your existing ISP moving to a monthly contract. This may cost you slightly more £ per month but could be more cost effective and only for a short period.

If your current ISP doesn’t support FTTP, then there will normally be no cancellation fee.

Will I need to change my router?

a) This will depend upon whether you have a router supplied by your current ISP or if you have purchased your own but your new ISP will advise you about this. Either way, you will need to change to a fibre router from your current cable router.

I have a connected Home Security system, will it be affected?

a) Some home alarm systems connect via your telephone to your security provider. You will need to confirm that this connection is a digital connection and your proposed move to a fibre broadband service.

Will my telephone number change?

a) If you use the VoIP service as described in the “What is FTTP” section above, you can transfer your number across to the new service. Alternatively you can keep your existing phone line and number.

Will it be more complicated to use than my existing broadband?

a) Once the installation is completed, the only change that you will notice is that the service will be faster and more reliable.

I work from home, will I be without broadband at any stage during this process?

a) There are various options to address this: You can either run both your existing service overlapping your new service or if you are staying with your existing ISP, they will ensure that the service moves without interruption.

Will there be any help in the early stages if I get confused and have additional questions?

a) It is planned for a ‘surgery’ to be held when Pelham Hall is able to open so that specific questions can be answered face to face before and after the switch over to the new fibre service – details to follow.

I’m happy with my current service, why should I bother to change?

a) BT have announced that their strategic goal is to replace all copper connections within the UK by 2027, so the change will happen within the next 7 years regardless of our decision;

b) TV services, such as Sky are due to move over to a broadband connect from a satellite within the next year or so. This will make a huge difference in watching ‘On Demand’ programmes or watching normal TV programmes;

c) If you have no or limited mobile signal, this service will enable most mobiles to use ‘Wi-fi Calling’ whereby instead of requiring a mobile signal, your mobile device will use your broadband connection;

d) If you experience fluctuations in your broadband speeds currently, it’s not unusual to experience fluctuates between 0.5Mbps to 15Mbps, this new service will be a lot more stable, faster and lower latency;

e) If you are currently using your land line for making telephone calls, this new service will enable free calls to anywhere in the world via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, as well as normal phone numbers via VOIP;

f) Most government and commercial services will move online, for the small group that haven’t so far, and so a stable service will become increasingly important;

g) And finally good news for house values as fibre broadband can increase this from between 3 and 6%.

FAQ from Openreach

Openreach have produced their own list of FAQs regarding the Community Fibre Project which you can access here.

 Glossary of Terms

FTTP – Fibre To The Property/Premises

No copper wires involved in the provision of broadband, each property is connected to the exchange via a fibre optic cable.

ISP – Internet Service Provider

The company that you pay for your broadband – This can be BT but is not restricted to them

ONT – Optical Network Terminal

Sounds very technical but is just an adaptor to enable you to connect devices to the Fibre connection.

VOIP – Voice over Internet Protocol

This is just a way that Voice communications can be carried over your new fibre connection, and works similarly to services such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype. You can keep your existing phone but you will need to add an Analog Telephone Adapter. A typical price is approximately £55.

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