UK's Openreach admits 50k premises on 'gigabit-capable' FTTP network can't get gigabit speeds

330Mbps will have to do. Boohoo

Openreach has admitted that 50,000 premises covered by its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network can only get speeds of up to 330Mbps rather than the much-touted 1Gbps.

As of the last quarter, some 1.5 million homes are covered by the BT broadband division's FTTP network. The problem has come to light as more folk sign up to the service.

Fibre broadband

BT to up targets for FTTP rollout 'if the right conditions are met'


It's a legacy issue – kit from manufacturer ECI, which BT invested in 10 years ago, is slowing parts of the network down.

ISP Review first broke news of the issue and appears to have been on the money when it correctly estimated the number of premises affected.

Andrew Ferguson of ThinkBroadband said the hardware has not proved capable. "The problem is with the ECI head-ends, where all the traffic comes together [in the exchange]."

He said Openreach is using Huawei head-ends for the rest of its network, which supports 10Gbps links. However, the ECI gear does not.

The speed issue is affecting premises across the country, including in Leeds, Exeter and in and around London.

One customer, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Reg: "They continue to build ECI-constrained stuff.

"The property we're buying, to be completed early next year, will be constrained to 330."

He added: "It's a tad embarrassing doing 330Mbps over ultrafast, uber, super-duper FTTP when the competition are selling 350 and 500Mbps over a hybrid network.

"Going from faster cable to slower FTTP will be odd."

An Openreach spokesman said: "Only a tiny proportion of our FTTP footprint, covering less than 50,000 premises, is limited to 330Mbps download speeds – and we're constantly working on ways to upgrade and extend our network.

"We're investing billions of pounds into FTTP ahead of widespread consumer demand, and all of our current and future build is capable of offering gigabit speeds."

Openreach has plans to deploy full-fibre to 4 million homes by 2021, with BT making noises about 15 million by around 2025. However, Ofcom has criticised this figure as "not a firm commitment".

Snail on a leaf... looking surprised (yes, that's possible). Photo by SHUTTERSTOCK

March 2020: When you lucky, lucky Brits will have a legal right to a minimum of... 10Mbps


The regulator is keen to see Britain's pitiful fibre network improve from its current penetration of just 7 per cent of premises. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Minimal, systemd-free Alpine Linux releases version 3.16
    A widespread distro that many of its users don't even know they have

    Version 3.16.0 of Alpine Linux is out – one of the most significant of the many lightweight distros.

    Version 3.16.0 is worth a look, especially if you want to broaden your skills.

    Alpine is interesting because it's not just another me-too distro. It bucks a lot of the trends in modern Linux, and while it's not the easiest to set up, it's a great deal easier to get it working than it was a few releases ago.

    Continue reading
  • Verizon: Ransomware sees biggest jump in five years
    We're only here for DBIRs

    The cybersecurity landscape continues to expand and evolve rapidly, fueled in large part by the cat-and-mouse game between miscreants trying to get into corporate IT environments and those hired by enterprises and security vendors to keep them out.

    Despite all that, Verizon's annual security breach report is again showing that there are constants in the field, including that ransomware continues to be a fast-growing threat and that the "human element" still plays a central role in most security breaches, whether it's through social engineering, bad decisions, or similar.

    According to the US carrier's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) released this week [PDF], ransomware accounted for 25 percent of the observed security incidents that occurred between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021, and was present in 70 percent of all malware infections. Ransomware outbreaks increased 13 percent year-over-year, a larger increase than the previous five years combined.

    Continue reading
  • Slack-for-engineers Mattermost on open source and data sovereignty
    Control and access are becoming a hot button for orgs

    Interview "It's our data, it's our intellectual property. Being able to migrate it out those systems is near impossible... It was a real frustration for us."

    These were the words of communication and collaboration platform Mattermost's founder and CTO, Corey Hulen, speaking to The Register about open source, sovereignty and audio bridges.

    "Some of the history of Mattermost is exactly that problem," says Hulen of the issue of closed source software. "We were using proprietary tools – we were not a collaboration platform before, we were a games company before – [and] we were extremely frustrated because we couldn't get our intellectual property out of those systems..."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022