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HOW Andysworld! ULTRAFAST (FTTP) Broadband was installed.

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

These are my notes, based on discussions with Openreach Engineers, recent discussions with friends (Thanks Peter) which also had FTTP installed in June/July 2018, and my observations of my installation on 3 July 2018.

There seems to be little documentation on the interweb, as to how FTTP/FTTH or Ultrafast broadband is now (July 2018) installed by Openreach. Openreach are now rolling out fibre over poles, because it’s a much cheaper method of delivering fibre to premises (FTTP). Engineers have informed me that deploying fibre underground by Openreach is stopping. (apart from new builds and estates!).

What I had read was out of date, not current, and now incorrect as of writing this (July 2018). It would appear that Openreach and their parent company BT, are reviewing installation techniques and procedures all the time, no doubt to make it quicker. At present based on discussions with Openreach Engineers, this is every 6 months. It may be possible in the future, that Openreach delivers FTTP as “wires” only, and you provide your own fibre router.

At present (July 2018):- Openreach

  • Do not blow fibre to the premises.
  • Do not use a fusion splicer to splice fibre or terminate in the property.

An 8 port fibre manifold is fitted to your telegraph pole which currently supplies your copper telephone line.

8 Fibre Connectors at top of pole

8 Fibre Connectors at top of pole

Fibre manifold before fitting my fibre cable

Fibre manifold before fitting my fibre cable

A ready made fibre cable is used to replace the existing copper telephone cable, this fibre cable is already pre-terminated at the pole end with the correct connector, these cables come in standard lengths, of 55m, 110m and longer. The new fibre cable is a “twin-ax” type infinity symbol looking cable. So only a single cable is connected from property to telegraph pole. This is the best picture I could get, sorry about the quality, normal service will resume as soon as possible!

The new "fibre cable" to house

The new "fibre cable" to house

  1. an armoured cable, and 4 outer layers protects the fragile internal fibre. (for FTTP – broadband)
  2. a copper 2 wire cable is also included. – this is used for copper telephone, and provision of telephone or ADSL 2/2+ if required.
  • Openreach usually fit the optical network terminator (ONT) next to the existing BT NTE5 master socket, but this can be changed, if asked nicely, so you do not need to have NTE5 and ONT near each other!*
  • ONT was secured and mounted on the wall.
  • The existing copper telephone cable at the eyebolt on the property is cut.
telephone line cut!

telephone line cut!

  • Pulley connected to the eyebolt. (I asked Openreach to insert a new eyebolt into the brick work, rather than use the existing on on the wooden soffit!)
  • The new fibre cable is secured to the end of the telephone (copper) line at the telegraph pole, and connects the fibre connector to the manifold on the pole.
fibre cable connected to manifold

fibre cable connected to manifold

  • The new fibre is pulled from the pole to the eyebolt, and it’s then secured. It has to be pulled from the pole, because it’s pre-terminated already when supplied.
  • Copper telephone line is re-connected at the telegraph pole.
  • A hole is drilled from inside the property to the outside, “through” the ONT (it’s done this way to stop any plaster falling of the wall internally, and it can be hidden easier on the outside!)
  • Copper telephone line is connected back to copper line on the property – (telephone restored)**
  • Fibre cable is inserted into building via hole.
  • The cable is stripped, fibre is cleaned, push fit fibre connector is used
  • Light tester is used to check the amount of light coming down the cable is within tolerance.***
  • Connected into ONT.****
External wiring to property notice two distinct cables copper and fibre!

External wiring to property notice two distinct cables copper and fibre! (connector and new eyebolt!)

The new ONT

Openreach Optical Network Terminator

Openreach Optical Network Terminator an AA battery is used to show the size of the ONT, which is massive! This has been used in installations since November 2017, and incorporates the ONT and Battery backup unit, in a special enclosure, to make it look a little smarter and cleaner! The unit is powered in the property, and if power is lost, the battery backup maintains it for 2 hours. (I've tested!)

Openreach Optical Network Terminator

Openreach Optical Network Terminator with panel open! Orange ethernet cable is to my router, green plug is the fibre through the wall!

I’m surprised there is no branding Openreach, or sticker…. just a blank whitebox! The charging light has no gone off, so only lit when charging!

Many Thanks to Peter, Paul, Mike (Openreach Engineer),  and Zen Internet.

*Lots of tea, coffee, sparkling water with ice, 2 plates of cookies and a plate of chocolate McVities digestives was offered and eaten by my two engineers! Keep them sweet!

**At present BT are the only company which have the FVA (Fibre Voice Access – e.g. telephone via Fibre), so at present until Zen have this product my fixed landline telephone lines still comes over copper!

***No fusion splicing!

****New ONT started being used in November 2017. It’s a large box, which incorporates the ONT and Battery Back unit, but all sealed in a larger box.

Here are a couple of web links, which I’ve used to understand FTTP more!

What is FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) Broadband?

Peter’s Business Website

How to build a Fibre Network



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Coming to you via ULTRAFAST (FTTP) Broadband – Activated Today – Journey’s END!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Like a pig in muck (he he!), and doing broadband speedtests does not get boring!!!

The Openreach Engineers eventually turned-up today, they were supposed to visit on 29 June 2018, but did not arrive despite me taking a whole day off work, waiting for them from 8am – 6pm!

They arrived today at 11.45am, and finished the installation at approximately 2.30pm.

Switch over, occurred at approx 4pm and I’ve gone from:-

1.5Mbps !!!

1.5Mbps !!!

to

7442271213

157Mbps !!!

Almost 100x faster!!! (if I wanted I could up this to 330/40), lets see how we get on!

Where 98% of the UK Internet population used to be faster than me, the tables are turned, and my broadband internet, is now 98% faster than the rest of the UK!!!

I’ll blog later, an update as to how the installation was carried out, because the majority of the FTTP information on the internet is out of date!

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Partial Eclipse of the Sun on the top of Arras Hill (Weighton Wold)

Friday, March 20th, 2015

On the way to work, this morning, I took some pictures on the top of Arras Hill (Weighton Wold), 146 metres above sea level, at the triangulation point at Grid SE 91077 41626.

It got very cold, as the sun disappeared behind the moon.

img_3827

img_3862

img_3838

img_3829

img_3870

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Broadband throughput starts to increase…and I don’t know why…

Friday, November 5th, 2010

I noticed this evening when downloading an iso, that my download speed was in excess of 350kB/sec, this is double than normal! So I then decided to start running some tests again, and this is what I found.

SpeedTest.net 4 Nov 2010

SpeedTest.net 4 Nov 2010

Ping Test 4 Nov 2010

Ping Test 4 Nov 2010

ThinkBroadband Speed Test 4 Nov 2010

ThinkBroadband Speed Test 4 Nov 2010

Now whats odd about this, is my line 3.7km away from the Exchange, until now has only been able to support speeds from 1.6 – 2.0Mbps, and more recently 1.6Mbps, which has been okay, despite the fact that I pay for an upto 8Mbps service! (but that’s the price you pay to live in a CountryHouse). But it’s almost doubled to 2.9Mbps!

But what’s even weirder, is only a few days ago, I got a nice email from Eclispe Sales, trying to entice me onto a 12 month contract the email reads:-

“We are always trying to improve the products and services that we offer our customers and I would like a chance to discuss your current package with you.

By changing to our Business Bronze package, you could reduce your monthly cost to £19.95+vat and increase your fair usage allowance from 40gb to 50gb. You may also see an improvement in throughput speeds.

Please let us know when you would like us to call you. Alternatively, if having read this, you would like to change to the Business Bronze package, please reply to this email and we will change this for you.

Please note that if you switch to a new service, you will start a new 12 month contract. If you then decided to leave before the end of this 12 month period, an early termination fee would apply.”

I said we would consider this, but at only a £1 reduction a month, and quite happy now with existing service (despite over 20 months of issues, which touch wood have now been resolved!), We are reulctant to change, especially into a 12month contract!

It’s just odd now, our throughput starts to increase….

Until next time, when it’s back to normal!

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Broadband Woes Update

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Another BT Openreach engineer visited again last Friday to investigate my Broadband fault further, the first engineer that visited the property with his “BT Hawk”, found no fault on the line with the tests he conducted, and was surprised how good the quality of the line was considering it’s 3609 metres from the local telephone exchange. The second engineer brought with him the Remote Unit to connect to the end of my telephone line at the exchange to conduct a “full telephone line quality check” He had some initial issues with the earth bonding in either my property or the exchange to conduct the tests.

The issue I’ve been experiencing since January 2009 is a decrease in Sync speeds not throughput, although if your sync speed is low, this will affect your throughput, this took some explaining to the engineer, because he seemed to be getting confused with throughput, and kept telling me that speed tests and throughput will vary, he eventually agreed that Sync speed should not change much.

Noise Margin fault in progress

Noise Margin fault in progress, high SNR, until router reset

frosty outside tonight, high SNR, router disconnects and connects

frosty outside tonight, high SNR, router disconnects and connects

I’ve now narrowed down the fault to cooling down or warming up which causes the fault, so with these recent frosty evenings/mornings the sync speed has been very low, it remains stable throughout the day, but evenings and mornings have been the worse.

When he completed the “full telephone line quality check” the telephone line FAILED, the engineer did state that if this was a new Broadband service, it’s likely that BT would not guarantee service, but I made sure he was aware that broadband has been at the property before 2009 with no issue.

Hooraah!!! a fault! Now they can fix it and make my broadband better!

A RED alarm was given for AC Longitudinal Balance of 50 db. The BT Openreach Engineer stated this should be above 60 db for the line. From what I understand this is a measure of how well the pair is balanced and rejects external interference. The BT engineer called someone, asking to remain on the fault that had been found, because the customer was complaining of line drops, and then he requested to talk to the Service Provider (I don’t think this was Eclipse, but BT Wholesale), the engineer wasn’t certain that low AC Longitudinal Balance would cause this issue, but when speaking to the Service Provider and they looked at the logs, they could see lots of disconnects on the line, and state the Line Quality was poor.

The engineer wasn’t very happy that he would have to go off and explore the 3609m line to find the fault. He left the property at approx 9am. I saw him later at the BT cabinet in the villiage 2 miles away at 12noon. Whilst he was out, I took some photographs of his test equipment.

Later that afternoon (approx 4pm) he returned, telling me it had been a nightmare fault, and there were no spares on the pole or in the cable to the village as they are already DACS-ing lines on the pole (DACS – (Digital Access Carrier System) – It is a technology which allows two ordinary phone lines to be squeezed down a single copper pair.  Normally each phone line requires its own copper pair all the way to the exchange) but luckily they had found a unused telephone line on the pole (spare!?), it had been unused since 2006, this is a rented property in the hamlet, which is currently vacant (next door but one).

So they shifted my line on the pole to this line and retested, and now the AC Longitudinal Balance is 66 db, and passes the line quality test. The engineer was still sceptical that this wasn’t the issue, and suspects the equipment in the exchange of wire from the house to the pole.

But the line is now fixed and I’m happy to report at present, I’ve not encountered any line drops, sync speed decreases, or SNR increases.

My Broadband Speed Test

Noise Margin approx 9db

Noise Margin approx 9db after fault fixed

On a final note, it’s been very difficult to get this fault fixed, when you’ve got an Internet Service Provider (in my case Eclipse), circuit maintained by BT Wholesale and the actual telephone wire maintained by BT Openreach, and before when it was LLU-ed Tiscali!. Four different vendors trying to get one single fault fixed on the service. So it wouldn’t have made any difference in this case switch to another ISP, which so many people had been stating to me, over the last 18 months, the fault would have been carried to the new service provider, and they probably wouldn’t have had the logs to raise it with BT to get the fault cleared on the physical line!

So patience and constant badgering is the key….

The software used to generate the graphs is the fabulous RouterStats by john@vwlowen.co.uk

and was it all worth it, when this is the speed from my house with 3G from mobile network 3! (it was 2+ before I saved the results!), somethings not right, when wireless gives you faster broadband speed than wires!

My Broadband Speed Test

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Damn Eclipse Broadband

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

My broadband has been all over the place again recently, back in March Eclipse my ISP, suggested they would move my broadband line onto a different line card/circuit in the exchange, the Technical Support Engineer’s never really gave away anything tecnical as to what they are actually doing. But today after another discussion it now becomes clear that before I was on a Tiscali LLU circuit, I suspect but I cannot confirm, this, I was moved to this in January 2009, when all the issues started (maybe), although now being moved to a BT circuit, the same issues occurs, extreme hot or cold, the Signal-to-noise ratio rises, and the sync speed drops, and hence throughput is very very slow. Today was the final straw, my broadband speed was as follows at 15:30 GMT. I was told, that because my sync speed had dropped the Profile on the line was slow, and I would have to wait 72 hours before it would speed-up!

Router is reporting this G.DMT SHOWTIME 448000 192000 14.5 49.0

788504536

12717770677778827686

image001

and then later it gets worse…

788825150

I’ve not done anything, I’ve just returned from a Parish Council Meeting, and now the speed is backup to 2.2 – 2.4MB/s, this is the fastest it’s ever been, apart from that strange blip and changeover!

788868135

127179904749702514052

I put this here, so I can find it later, and refer Eclipse and BT to it! (it’s there test results!)

 For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-2500 Kbps.

For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-2500 Kbps.

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Wot No Broadband! Outage for 4 hours!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

I’ve had no broadband since 10.30am this morning when it went off. I had to phone a friend (Thanks Paul) to ask him to find the telephone number for my broadband supplied Eclipse, so I could give them a call to find out why I had no broadband (internet) connection. It would appear that Eclipe’s peering partner Tiscali had a fault, or the fault was between Eclipse’s servers and Tiscali’s infrastructure. The Technical Support person actually declared this time I was on a Tiscali product and not a BT product, this is not LLU because it’s not reached our exchange yet, but it’s not a BT product that I’m using.

All of Eclispe’s customers on Tiscali products were affected as far as I am aware.

Broadband came back on 32 minutes ago, according to router stats!

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