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Standard User scott3
(newbie) Sat 25-Jan-14 21:12:06
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Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


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I've read a lot of comments about fibre optic broadband being more stable than ADSL. Most of these seem to be based on the fact that glass tubing eliminates electrical interference. However, as the signal will have to travel along copper wiring from the cabinet to my house, I was wondering whether FTTC really would prove more stable than ADSL.

At the moment, my ADSL connection drops once-to-twice per day. Not the end of the world by any means, but can be problematic if a credit card payment is processing, or frustrating if I'm watching a movie.

I have to use G.DMT modulation - ADSL2 is highly unstable - and the speed is around 3.6 Mbps. The FTTC speed I'm predicted is 15 Mbps (I know this is also Openreach's minimum sync speed for fibre optic broadband). The main reasons for the relatively slow speeds are likely to be a combination of my distance from the cabinet and the fact my house is connected by overhead, rather than underground, cabling. The speed isn't a massive concern, though - my main priority is a more stable connection.

There is a little noise on my line. This is audible via a BT quiet line test, and my upstream SNR margin is typically around 10 dB.

The most likely culprit is one - or all - of five extensions. I could rewire these, but there would be a cost both in terms of time and money, with no guarantee that my connection would become any more stable. By contract, FTTC would only be a few quid extra per month, so this seems like the more attractive option.

Do you think upgrading to FTTC would result in a more stable connection? Have people here found this to be the case after switching?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sat 25-Jan-14 21:46:55
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: scott3] [link to this post]
 
Cannot say would with absolute certainty, but enough people have said that things are more stable and not just faster. Removing the big chunk of copper does go a long way to improving things, but radio interference can still be an issue.

To give a real answer would need a study to be made of what is causing your instability now and analyse if it also causes burst noise into the VDSL2 frequency range. So the reality is that the only way to know is to try it.

You say you have extensions, do you use a master socket faceplate filter, that is usually the best way to remove the effect of your own wiring and is even more important with VDSL2

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sat 25-Jan-14 22:06:27
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: scott3] [link to this post]
 
If you have definite noise on the line, in the form of crackles, buzzes or the like, then it would be worthwhile doing this test. I suggest you do it anyway smile. Unless it is Sky or TalkTalk based, in which case I don't think it will work.

Re the line dropping that frequently, that does suggest a serious problem somewhere. I'll come back to that at the end of this post.

An FTTC connection can help in two ways.

First, with an engineer install, (these are being phased out as the default by some major ISPs as of 31 Dec 2013 but in cases of doubt it should still be available), the home wiring becomes isolated from the FTTC connection. So you could forget that worry. In any case, even with a self-install, there is nothing to stop you implementing what the engineer does, to achieve that isolation.

Second, my line had a big problem with disconnections on ADSLx. A long story, but I put up with it for a long time, until FTTC was available to me. I knew the line problem was with the e-side (98.4932% probability) and FTTC eliminates that. (E-side is from the cabinet to the exchange, D-side is from the cabinet to you).

Problem gone. My connection is rock-solid. Has been since I got FTTC in Feb 2011. If any interference is occurring on the e-side of your line then FTTC should solve it for you as well.

That leaves the d-side, which if you have an ongoing problem on FTTC needs to be investigated ASAP.

Re your disconnections. Which ISP is it please, and what make and model of router have you got? We may be able to suggest some diagnostics for you.

Have a read of my Troubleshooting section.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 59.4/14.4Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.


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Standard User WWWombat
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 25-Jan-14 23:05:33
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Re the line dropping that frequently, that does suggest a serious problem somewhere. I'll come back to that at the end of this post.

I'll just add that we do have problems with out voice line, with some audible noises at times, and even one time when it has cut out.

But the FTTC connection carries on fine at 80/20. DLM usually stays silent, but it has intervened twice in 2 years now, for 2-3 weeks at a time.

Our voice line problem is undoubtedly on the E-side somewhere. That's obvious because we know for sure that the noise doesn't interfere with FTTC, but it would be statistically true even were it not quite so obvious - with near 3km of line, but only 400 metres on the D-side.
Standard User Chrysalis
(legend) Sun 26-Jan-14 09:08:54
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: scott3] [link to this post]
 
in my case there is no comparison, even the occasions I have had a fault opened, actual stability is still generally ok.

some others on here like kwikbreaks who had a dodgy adsl service seem to have seen much improvement on FTTC.

The majority of the time the loop length with FTTC is reduced and as such the line will be more resistant to external interference. Crosstalk is an issue but crosstalk tends to cause steady streams of errors and loss of sync speed versus actual line instability.

Edited by Chrysalis (Sun 26-Jan-14 09:09:23)

Standard User fibreplease
(newbie) Mon 27-Jan-14 15:38:27
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
I too had exchange side noise on my line that used to cause disconnects on my ADSL. Usually once a day. Nothing awful, just a bit annoying. Now on FTTC 80/20 (my cabinet is very close) I get no disconnects at all.

I guess it all depends on distances as usual. I probably eliminated more than 95% of my line that is subject to noise when switching from 4.5Mbps ADSL to FTTC.

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre @ 75Mbps
Netgear WNDR3700

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Standard User Alnath
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 27-Jan-14 18:33:18
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: scott3] [link to this post]
 
Mine has been great, no going off with every flash of lightning like it used to when i was on ADSL but i am guessing this is because i am down to 50m of copper rather than 3.5km of it.
Standard User ukhardy07
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 27-Jan-14 20:01:17
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Re: Is FTTC more stable than ADSL?


[re: scott3] [link to this post]
 
Usually yes as the fibre connection eliminates a large chunk of copper. In your case your predicted speed is only 15Mbps. This indicates really that the lines quite long to the fibre cabinet so it's probably you will keep a lot more copper than most people do. As such it's more likely your issue will stay. If your predicted fibre speeds were 60Mbps I would say there's a huge chance it will solve the issue....
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