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The rollout of superfast broadband in the UK continues to dominate the headlines as BT and the Government (along with other ISPs and organisations) continue to invest heavily in delivering these services.

Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales

Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales

BT’s investment has focused on delivering fibre based broadband and in particular FTTC, so we decided to take a look at their progress since the initial targets were set back in 2008:

At the start of the programme a £1.5billion investment was promised from BT with a target of reaching 40% UK coverage by 2012.This was quickly increased to £2.5billion with a 66% coverage target by 2014.

Fibre rollout infographic

The latest news announces that BT met their 66% coverage by Spring 2014 target (originally end of 2015) well ahead of schedule with over 19million premises surpassed. Further reports from ISPReview.co.uk state a new target of 80% UK coverage by Spring 2015 and a Government target using BDUK funding across all providers (including Virgin Media) of 95% coverage by 2017.

This is obviously great news for resellers as these highly demanded services are now available to more of your customers both new and existing, providing you with valuable opportunities.

FTTP

However, it’s not all been plain sailing for BT. In 2013, BT abandoned its original FTTP target of 1million premises, which it had actually increased to 2.5million premises in 2009. By the end of 2012 it had only serviced 100,000 premises due to higher than expected roll out costs and the service being more challenging to set up than originally expected. The expected engineer time was 2 hours but in practice it was reported to be taking up to 7 hours for two engineers.

Therefore, in April 2013, BT announced its Fibre on Demand (FoD) service to bridge the gap. However, the potentially high install costs of the service mean it’s only really suitable for business customers and is still currently in trial stages.

It’s important to point out that FTTP is still very much available and delivers speeds of up to 330Mbps, making it a viable alternative to Ethernet services where speed is important but budget constraints are tight. Similarly, its slightly slower cousin FTTC, which provides speeds of up to 80Mbps, is proving very popular amongst both business and residential customers and as the rollout continues at pace its availability is significantly increasing.

How can you benefit from fibre?

So, as you can see fibre broadband is very much available now across a large percentage of the country and from what we are hearing from our partners it’s in high demand. What are your experiences? Are your customers asking about fibre broadband? Are you actively promoting and up-selling it?

By providing fibre based broadband services as opposed to traditional ADSL/2+ services you are more likely to tie your customers into longer term contracts, often 12- 24 months. By providing the latest broadband technologies you are more likely to retain existing customers looking to upgrade and attract new customers whilst also potentially making more revenue per connection.

But to truly benefit from fibre broadband you can’t just sit back and wait for your customers to come to you as they discover fibre broadband is available in their area. By adopting that type of approach you leave yourself open to the threat of competitors, especially the widely advertised services of the largest providers e.g. BT Infinity. Instead, you could really cash in if you are proactive, and as an Entanet partner our  ‘upgradeable accounts’ report in synergi can help you  identify which customers could move to fibre broadband, enabling you to use this information to run a targeted promotional campaign.

The investment made by BT, the Government and the other ISPs and organisations (e.g. B4RN) involved with the superfast rollout is ensuring that the UK has one of the fastest broadband networks in the world and certainly in Europe, supporting the growth of our economy and ensuring access to ‘superfast’ (+25Mbps) services for the majority of the population. As a reseller, this is the time to get involved and take full advantage of the opportunities arising from this investment and the expanding availability.

To find out more about fibre broadband services available from Entanet and how we can help you identify potential customers call 0333 101 0000 or email partnersales.enta.net.

Have your say!

What do you think about the progress of the superfast rollout? Do you think BT is doing enough to deliver fibre services across the UK? Are you experiencing high demand for fibre broadband? Are you already taking full advantage of these market opportunities? Let us know your thoughts and share your experiences by leaving us a comment below

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One Response to “Focus on fibre: How can resellers benefit from the rollout’s progress?”

  1. Great question Steve. The definitive answer for a particular premise is to enter the directory number into the checker in our partner portal, synergi. We say this because a premise may be served by more than one cabinet, and not all cabinets in an exchange area are necessarily enabled.

    For an approximate idea for an area the simplest and best source is http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/. It’s worth bearing in mind that Openreach are subject to contractual penalties for late delivery in BDUK areas, and the effect of this is that we have known cabinets to be enabled earlier than their published estimates to avoid these; also as their site makes clear it can take two weeks after an exchange goes live for it to appear as accepting orders. Live cabinets also go out of service weekly through lack of capacity or external damage, and plans for new cabinets can change weekly depending on resource and demand. All of which means that directory number is definitely the thing to check for any degree of accuracy.

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