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Fibre to the Premises

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  • #60976
    Participant
    Tippon
    @tippon

    Basically, what should I expect?

    I’ve mentioned in some other threads that I’ve been having problems with my FTTC that have been getting worse over time. As far as I’m aware, there’s a problem between the local cabinet (the small green box in the street) and the buildings it serves. I’ve been told that it’s possibly a junction box that floods and causes problems, but it’s never been found or fixed. I’ve got Talktalk investigating, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

    I emailed Openreach as I’m fed up of waiting, and they’ve come back and told me that FTTP is available. I can’t check the details with Talktalk, as their site just defaults to my existing contract and won’t show me any upgrades*. BT though list a few options, but this is where I get a bit confused.

    As I understand it, FTTP means that I get the headline speed, as the copper line is taken out of the equation, and it’s fibre all the way. BT seem to support this, saying that my speeds would be 150Mb for the 100Mb package, 300 for the 300, and 910 for the 900 package. So far so good. But, they’ve then got a Stay Fast Guarantee, and this gives 100Mb for the 100Mb package, then 150 for the 300, and 455 for the 900, so half for the second two options.

    With FTTC and normal broadband, the guarantee is the speed I generally get, so I’m a bit confused. Is this likely to be my speed, or are they just covering their own backs?

     

    *I’ve only just set up a new contract with TT, under the condition that they fix my connection. If they can’t or won’t, I can walk away penalty free.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #60984
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    I am never sure about these “guaranteed” speeds, marketing fluff I think.

    It meant something with ADSL but all fibre? Maybe it gives them some headroom if they have to take bits of kit offline increasing contention.

    #60986
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    Just looked at my TalkTalk contract and it’s out at the end of this month :yahoo: The 4G trial has fallen on it’s arse after lock down, it’s just not reliable enough. I would imagine our estate is stuffed full of home workers looking at the cars that are parked up 24 / 7 now. I think it will take 5G but God knows when that will be now.

    I looked on the BT site and I can get FTTP (that explains all the work they’ve been doing) but I decided that FTTC speeds are fast enough plus I want to make sure I can keep my Draytek router.

    The cost difference of >40mbps is now so small I’m going faster, if only to get the quicker upload speeds. I cannot wean the Mrs off the landline (and her family, they all have mobiles!) so I need a calls package.

    Ended up with Vodaphone Superfast 2 Extra – 63/20 unlimited everything plus a free Apple TV and a years subscription. The Apple TV didn’t seal the deal it was the cost saving plus faster speeds and I know they have no issues with Openreach approved 3rd party routers – because unlike a lot of others they say so!

    There’s also no cost increases plus the end of contract price is only £1 more, unlike a lot of others.

    The TT subscription ends on the 31st but Vodaphone can only switch Mon – Fri so the 28th it is. TT have just told me they’ll be charging my 84 pence to leave early. FFS, I’ll be glad to be rid of them. Just working out how much renewing with them would cost was a nightmare, they hide costs like the phone package – which they are quite upfront about doing!

     

     

    #60993
    Participant
    Tippon
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 4,139

    I’ll be ringing Talktalk to get this changed. I can’t even see Talktalk’s pricing, they’re hiding behind a phone number, so I can see me cancelling. Three have lost my trust though, as I’ve got a Three broadband contract set up and active at this address, but actually in my father’s house about a mile away, and today, after over a month of questioning why I can’t set up a new contract for any similar postcodes, they’ve told me that broadband isn’t available in this area. No reply since telling them that I’ve already got one account…

    I’m quite fancying the Vodafone and Apple TV setup, but I need to have a proper look at what shows are on it that I can’t already get, and what TT will do for me. I’d be happy to stay with them for now if they switch me to FTTP, as it should get rid of all the problems I’ve been having, and will fix them for the future too. Like I say though, the lack of pricing info and having to talk to a sales person puts me right off.

    #60997
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    Thought I’ll be back to more boxes under the TV, however the Apple TV does Disney, Netflix and Amazon Prime and 4K too.

    Even with a brand new “smart” TV it seems separate boxes and remotes are unavoidable.

    #60999
    Participant
    JayCeeDee
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 5,638

    Even with a brand new “smart” TV it seems separate boxes and remotes are unavoidable.

    I think the ‘let down’ of this practise falls to the processing power of smart TV’s.

    I have a 3yo Sony smart tv with ( 66Meg fibre ) internet fed to it via a switch. Netflix has its own button on the remote, Prime Video , iPlayer etc, come via apps. Every time you select one of them, there is a waiting process with spinning wheels of doom telling you it’s loading, connecting, etc. It’s a time-consuming frustrating process, compared to the browser experience on my  ( i5 ) PC ( or even my iPad Pro ) – let alone the Sky box experience that seems to be the benchmark for ease of use and smooth transitions from Guide or Planner to watching your choice.

    On the browser there are no spinning wheels, no ‘loading’,  just straight into the home menu, click on your choice and straight into the programme, with the option of skipping the re-cap and straight back into watching the programme – all before the TV has finished logging in to your choice of provider.

    The whole process needs to be speeded up and simplified, or those boxes under the TV are there to stay for some time yet.

    #61010
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,933

    John, I’ll bet that most of the Sony wheel-spinning is due to its internal spyware making its own connection ‘home’. Link

    #61017
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    My new Panasonic is very fast at Netflix or iPlayer etc, the same as the Mk1 Amazon TV box.

    New project for the Pi: internet speed monitor

    Intended to properly measure the Three 4G service but tested on the TalkTalk FTTC 40 / 10 which is a lot more up and down than I expected.

    Set to poll every 30 minutes, you can set whatever interval you want though. It uses the speedtest.net api, InfluxDB and Grafana to display the data via a browser. Neat.

     

    #61113
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    24 hours on TT, set it to every 10 minutes in the end.

    The dramatic speed drops are on the hour which makes me think it’s something going on on the Pi rather than TT. Can’t be arsed to work out how to make Cron go off at say 3 minutes past the hour then every 10 minutes.

    4G next.

    #61151
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    Can you spot when I changed over?

    #61693
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    A line fault has stopped our change of ISP from TT to Vodaphone on Friday so we’re all back on the Three 4G service via a TP-Link router piped into the Ubiquiti AP.

    I’ve stopped obsessing with speed tests and am just using it. There are 4 of us mooching around the internet right now plus another online gaming with Netflix running on the TV. It’s been absolutely fine.

    #61695
    Participant
    Tippon
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 4,139

    My home install has stalled for the moment. TT messed me around again last week, and claimed that I registered a fault on the line, which I didn’t. That’s opened a process on their end that means I have to give them 30 days to resolve it. It’s a load of crap, but I gave them this week to see if they could fix my speeds before I switch away. They still haven’t responded, so it’s complaints to the CEO time. Time to lean on the ‘I’m disabled and my wife’s a nurse’ line.

    On top of that, I can’t run the networking cables either. We’ve got a balcony on the front of the house, and it was left to rot by the previous owner. We haven’t been any better. We had a friend’s company out to give us a quote to repair it in the week, and one of them put his foot straight through it. They went downstairs to check the supports, and a chunk of one came away in my friend’s hand. Hopefully it’s just that support, as it’s not attached to anything else. The next one over goes into the wall and holds up most of the balcony, so if that’s rotten, the whole thing has to come down even if it’s just to replace the single beam. We’re looking into the options now, so I can’t start running cables past it.

    #61699
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    I still think that there will be a way of pretty much moving to all wireless, a lot depends on where the master socket is located.

    The trick is to get a decent AP up high (mine is on the top landing ceiling) and cabled back to a cabinet in the garage via an external cable hidden behind a down pipe. The master socket is in the kitchen but a quick hole through the wall into the garage accommodated the RJ11 cable which is then extended to the cabinet via a Cat 5 cable and baluns.

    If the cable is impossible it is possible these days to get a mesh system working relatively easily. Generally the base unit is a router, so to avoid the dreaded double NAT you need a proper VDSL modem like the Vigor 130 that basically converts the VDSL into Ethernet. The base unit router deals with the ISP authentication, not the modem. The TP-Link Deco Range looks promising and is becoming a mature product.

    As ever, so much depends on the house layout and what the walls are made of. That’s why I favour the top down approach as ceilings are generally not so much of an issue as walls.

    On the TT front I had a call from their leavers Dept offering all sorts of price matching. I tried to tell them that price wasn’t the reason I was leaving it was their terrible customer service and things like data breaches. It just didn’t sink in, no apologies or anything just more banging on about cost and trying to slag off Vodaphone. In the end I had to say that I wouldn’t stay if they paid me, but the aggressive tactics were still being used so I just hung up.

    First day with Vodaphone and the long suspected line error has been identified (but not yet what it is) without looking at DNS caches on a single PC or disassembling the master socket. When I pointed out their router was showing the DSL connection stats whilst it was still on TT was enough to convince them the issue wasn’t on my premises so start checking the line. It took mere seconds for the fault to show up. TT will have none of that logical troubleshooting nonsense, you must follow their step by step process every single time. Even when you get to the end they are very threatening about costs if it’s still proved to be an issue on your premises. It’s all about making it difficult to complain (and therefore show up on stats) and the escalation process is non-existent. I had to prove it was their router by buying a third party one then everything started to work.

    #61709
    Participant
    Drezha
    @drezha
    Forumite Points: 3,140

    Generally the base unit is a router, so to avoid the dreaded double NAT you need a proper VDSL modem like the Vigor 130 that basically converts the VDSL into Ethernet.

    I had a look at routers the other day, and there generally seemed to be a far greater range of standalone routers these days, rather than the combined modem/router models that seemed to be a greater range when I bought my Nighthawk a few years ago.

    #61713
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,545

    You have to be careful with modems, they must just bridge the connection to whatever device will be doing the routing (or a standalone device). If they get involved in authentication they are no use. The only device listed on Broadbandbuyer is the Vigor 130.

    But as you say that then opens up all sorts of other routers like the Synology which are excellent and do now support a mesh system. But then Draytek now have a mesh system too. The 27xx series allow you to control 2 APs which should be more than enough for home and small offices. The big boy 28 / 29 will control 8 APs.

     

    #61742
    Participant
    Tippon
    @tippon
    Forumite Points: 4,139

    I did a quick signal check the other day to see exactly how bad the drop is. Standing in the living room I got -30dBm on the Android app Wifi Analyzer, but going the other side of the wall it dropped straight to -50dBm. I was less than 2ft from the router. Going through to the bedrooms sees it drop even more (the living room and kitchen are upstairs here). I’m in the office now and it’s about -65dBm. The phone is currently connecting, but the computer gets flaky. Ellen’s laptop doesn’t want to know. There are quite a few black spots around the house.

    When I’m on wifi I can remote into the media PC upstairs, but it’s literally a case of click the mouse, wait a minute or two, then see the result. When it’s cabled it’s like sitting in front of a slow computer – sometimes there’s a little bit of lag, but you don’t really notice it.

    The phone socket has to be in the upstairs living room, as there’s nowhere for it to come in on the landing, and I don’t want it in the bedrooms. I tried the TP-Link adaptor on the landing by the bedrooms, so pretty much over the office, and it was great. It was in just the right position to pick up where the router drops off. The powerline network doesn’t work though, so it was dropping out more than the wifi to the router was.

    I could probably run a cable from the upstairs living room to the attic, and with a bit of luck it would work, but if I’m going to run wires through walls, I’d rather get it done right and not have to worry about it again (especially now that I’ve bought the kit :unsure:   :yes: )

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