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Author Topic: BT’s Landline Phone Bundling Full Fibre Packages Cause Confusion  (Read 553 times)


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  • Kitizen
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A newspaper has accused UK ISP BT of “forcing” their “full fibre” (FTTP) ultrafast broadband customers to pay for “unnecessary … landlines they don’t need,” while the provider itself says it only does this because they’re not seeing the “demand” for fibre without home phone lines. But you don’t have to buy FTTP from BT.

One oddity of the Telegraph‘s latest article is that a little over a year ago they were criticising BT for doing the exact opposite. How times change. Back in September 2017 the paper complained that customers of the provider’s Fibre-to-the-Premises packages were being left frustrated after finding that they couldn’t carry over their fixed line phone number to the service or when migrating between other FTTP ISPs.

The latter story largely focused on the issue of “new build” home developments, where Openreach may sometimes only deploy fibre optic cables as there really isn’t much need to add copper too. Crucially optical fibres use laser light to communicate and thus cannot carry the electrical signals that older style copper or aluminium phone lines need to function.

However, as part of the Government’s aim to achieve nationwide FTTP coverage by 2033, old metallic lines are now on the long road to retirement. So in the future if you want a voice service then it’s likely to be VoIP based (optional) rather than from an analogue phone. Similarly many people today only keep a copper phone line because they still need it for broadband and rarely make calls, but with FTTP the phone line is no longer strictly necessary.

This brings us back to the newspaper’s gripe, which is really just picking up on a feature of Openreach’s wholesale products that has been available to all ISPs for years (old news). Generally ISPs can choose whether they sell a data-only variant of FTTP (no phone) or a transition product, with the latter bundling the fibre with an old fashioned copper line so that consumers can still keep their old phone service.

As with the Telegraph’s original 2017 article, some consumers do get angry when they move to an FTTP package and lose their old phone line service in the process. So for now BT are often still taking the “transition” approach (where possible).

    A BT Spokesman said:

    “The vast majority of our customers have landlines and make calls as well as using the internet in their homes every day. When customers sign up for broadband, the price of the service includes the line rental to make the price as clear as possible.

    We’re currently not seeing the demand from our customers to take fibre without home phone lines, but we will continue to review our products and services to make sure we’re providing our customers with the best products and services for their needs.”
BT Infinity 2 - Smart Hub 6 - ECI Cab


  • Kitizen
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Re: BT’s Landline Phone Bundling Full Fibre Packages Cause Confusion
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2019, 11:56:27 AM »

It doesn't really matter what bit of cable the line rental is assigned to, it's still going to be paid. That's why the data-only FTTP wholesale prices are much higher than the transition product prices. If you don't pay copper line rental, you just end up paying more for the FTTP rental.