This page will contain more questions as they are asked.
Question: What are the benefits of FTTP?
Answer: FTTP will provide broadband speeds up to 1 Gigabit, depending on the premises’ contract with their internet service provider (ISP). Higher speeds mean wider bandwidth for higher usage and greater reliability.
Question: My broadband speed is pretty good now, why would I want to upgrade?
Answer: Technology evolves at a great rate and the speed requirements to use online services is ever increasing, from streaming services and video conferencing to internet connected appliances, the demand for bandwidth will get greater over time. Installation of gigabit capable broadband (FTTP) will immediately enable you to improve the speed and reliability of your broadband service and lay the foundation for future improvements. This Which? article is useful.
Question: How do I apply for my FTTP voucher?
Answer: The application process is straightforward. Premises will have to confirm that their current broadband speed is less than 100Mbs and agree to take out a 12-month contract with one of the FTTP capable ISPs. The application will be on the Openreach portal once our build goes live. The project deadline for applications is Monday 15 March 2021.
Question: How much will FTTP cost?
Answer: Installation will be free of charge if enough premises apply for Gigabit Broadband Vouchers of £7,000. Premises applying for a voucher have to take out a 12-month contract with a FTTP capable internet service provider which may involve additional cost. See our guide to ISPs here.
Question: Will I have to change my internet service provider (ISP)?
Answer: Not necessarily. There are many ISPs that provide FTTP and the number is growing all the time. See below for a list of current FTTP providers.
Question: Which ISPs work with FTTP?
Answer: These are currently: Andrew & Arnold, Aquiss, BT, Cerberus Network, Fibre Net, Giganet, Sky, Structured Communications, TalkTalk and Zen. This list will increase over time as more ISPs get on board with this new technology. We have produced a guide to FTTP compatible providers, their services and costs. Click here.
Question: My ISP contract is due for renewal, what should I do if I want to apply for FTTP?
Answer: It would be a good idea to go for a contract with one of the FTTP providers listed above. If you are already with one of these providers, then try to get a rolling contract. Most will allow you to upgrade once FTTP becomes available.
Question: I didn’t express an interest at first, is it now too late?
Answer: No, it isn’t too late. You will be able to apply for a voucher once the portal is open. We will let you know when that happens. All premises in Aston Tirrold and Aston Upthorpe will be able to have FTTP from this project except:
• Carrimers, Upper Hill, Lower Hill farms and associated premises which will receive FTTP through another Oxfordshire programme which is currently being rolled out:
• Five Aston Tirrold residences near South Moreton which are connected to Didcot telephone exchange not the Blewbury exchange like the rest of us; however, we understand that the Moretons may well start a similar FTTP project and we’ve already asked for these five premises to be included.
Question: How will FTTP be installed? Will it be very disruptive?
Answer: Openreach have told us that they will use the existing routes to premises by replacing the current copper only cables with fibre and copper cables. They will do this using existing underground ducts to premises and the overhead cable routes from poles to premises.
Question: When will we get FTTP in the Astons?
Answer: The application process runs until the end of March and then Openreach say that it will take about nine months to deliver the project. They use the first six months to obtain all the necessary planning permissions and regulatory approvals before taking about three months to deliver the infrastructure on the ground. That would give a completion date in early 2022.
Question: Do I need to do anything right now?
Answer: Keep your eyes open for communication from the FTTP group that the Openreach portal is open for applications. At that point you are able to apply for your voucher. The process is quick and straightforward. Further guidance on application will be available when the portal opens.
Question: Do I keep my existing phone line?
Answer: FTTP does not need a normal phone line so keeping a landline is optional. The current copper wire PSTN phone service is due to be retired in 2025 so there is a push towards voice over IP services (VOIP) and this is included with some service providers but others charge an additional fee for the service.
Question: What is VOIP?
Answer: VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol which is a technology that allows the telephone service to be delivered over your internet connection rather than via a phone company. The technology has improved vastly over the past few years, and VOIP calls are now usually crystal-clear negating the need for a separate phone line.
Question: If I choose VOIP can I keep my phone number?
Answer: Yes, most FTTP providers that offer a phone service will also allow you to keep your existing phone number but please check with the FTTP provider that you are considering.