The Big Switch Off
Introduction of Speed Limits?
Openreach, the UK’s largest broadband infrastructure provider, is reportedly conducting trials of broadband speed limits aimed at encouraging customers to switch from copper to fibre broadband. The company is said to be testing a variety of approaches, such as reducing the speed of copper connections and offering discounts or other incentives to customers who upgrade to fibre.
The trials are part of Openreach’s efforts to phase out the use of copper broadband, which is slower and less reliable than fibre, and to switch all customers to full fibre by 2030. The company has already announced plans to stop selling copper-based products by 2025, but some customers may be reluctant to upgrade due to the higher cost of fibre or other reasons.
According to reports, the speed limits being tested are relatively modest, with copper connections being throttled to around 40Mbps or 55Mbps in some cases. This is still significantly faster than the minimum speeds guaranteed by Ofcom’s Universal Service Obligation (USO), which currently stands at 10Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps for uploads.
Openreach has not yet commented on the trials, but some consumer groups have expressed concern that the company may be using a heavy-handed approach to push customers towards fibre. Others have argued that the trials are a necessary step towards achieving the UK government’s goal of a full-fibre network by 2033.
It remains to be seen whether the trials will be successful in encouraging customers to switch to fibre broadband, or whether they will prove controversial among customers and regulators. However, as the demand for high-speed broadband continues to grow, it seems likely that Openreach and other broadband providers will need to find new ways to incentivize customers to upgrade to faster and more reliable connections. If you’re still on an ISDN or PTSN line, we can assist you in getting ready and preparing for this transition.