Budget ISP Plusnet will finally launch fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband packages, delivered over Openreach’s network, in the second half of this year.
Plusnet, part of the BT Group, was one of the first broadband providers to trial Openreach’s full-fibre infrastructure a decade ago. But those trials ended in 2018, just as Openreach’s rollout of full fibre was gaining steam.
While parent company BT and sibling EE have all launched products on the gigabit-capable network, alongside competitors Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone Broadband and Zen, Plusnet had yet to join. It’s now the only mainstream internet provider without a full fibre option.
But according to ISPreview, a launch of FTTP plans is imminent and will likely happen in the second half of this year.
Two customers told the site that Plusnet hinted its FTTP products would be arriving this summer. Plusnet clarified that the full-fibre options would launch a “bit later” than summer but can be expected within the next year.
A spokesperson said: “We’re always looking at new ways to provide simple, reliable broadband with award-winning service to our customers – including new products like full fibre and a new hub over the next year. We can’t share anything more right now, but when we’re ready, our customers will be the first to hear about it.”
Plusnet has given no indication of how its full-fibre plans will be priced. Traditionally, it’s been the most cost-conscious broadband brand in BT’s stable. But with BT and EE already offering very competitive prices for FTTP, Plusnet may struggle to distinguish itself.
When it launches, Plusnet’s full fibre will be available to the 4.5 million premises reached by Openreach’s FTTP network. The BT Group is already has been connecting 42,000 new premises a week to the network and expects to reach its goal of 20 million connections by the mid to late 2020s, at a cost of £12 billion.
If you don’t want to wait for Plusnet’s launch, you can sign up for full-fibre plans from nearly all important competitors, provided your home is already hooked up.
Meanwhile, Plusnet drew the ire of some customers in February by scrapping its popular Line Rental Saver. The scheme allowed customers to pay their line rental charges upfront at a discount of around 14%, saving them £30.36 per year. The discount was closed to new customers in April 2020 and has now been withdrawn for all existing customers renewing after 22 February 2021.
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