Having benefited from reports on here that SSE could offer me a static IP I thought I’d give some feedback on my install and maybe help someone else looking at the cheaper end of the FTTC market.
With FTTC having been imminent in my Somerset village for ages, I’d had my eye on FTTC options since the start of the year when I came out of contract with Plusnet. While I’m not a heavy user myself, I do host my own application servers so my “wish” list probably rates static IP and upload speeds higher than some others.
As a 13+ year Plusnet ADSL customer I was disappointed last year when they downgraded their 40/20 package to 40/2 and, as I’d feared, their anti-churn department wasn’t able to offer me anything competitive with SSE’s £25 FTTC package (cost incl. caller ID).
As others have mentioned, the switch over appears to include a two week cooling off period. This means over a month is required to transfer the line. I was phoned after the first two week period to book in my “engineer” visit (read Openreach Engineer) on the afternoon of the transfer date. Shortly after this call a Technicolor TG589vac turned up in the post.
On the day of transfer my Plusnet ADSL went dead first thing and I was home by midday to turn off all my equipment and plug the new one in (didn’t turn it on). At 13:00 I got a call from the OR guy saying he’d be about ½ hour but it was actually about an hour before he arrived. This was fine as he’d obviously been to the cab first.
Once at the house he plugged testing equipment into the test socket. I’d already fitted a vDSL interstitial myself in the past so I don’t know if he would have done this if I hadn’t had one? He then struggled to get any signal on his mobile phone to initiate the tests – finally achieving it by hanging out the window (this is fairly standard here).
I wasn’t able to wrangle an openreach modem out of him unfortunately as he only has one now for debugging tasks. He believed ISP all-in-ones will be the only option going forward.
His line stats suggested a best case scenario of 32Mbps so it’s probable the 80/20 - 40/20 profiles wouldn’t have achieved any better upload speed. The backhaul is Daisy wholesale and while my initial single thread speed tests were only around 5Mbps (as someone else here has reported?) they have since improved to > 25 Mbps.
The day after go-live I raised a ticket on their online system in order to request a static IP. 1 week later and without any response (although my IP had remained static in this time) I phoned the call centre and they were able to sort me a static IP over the phone (thanks Mike). This change seemed to cause some routing issues until I was able to get home and reconfigure my router to suit. I would suggest you have to phone them currently rather than relying on their online system.
I’m indifferent regarding the supplied hardware as I run my own pfSense router. But it was easy enough to switch into bridge mode for a while to replace my old Netgear DM111P adsl bridge. I’ve since (about 7 days in) switched to an Openreach HG612 3b. But that has only managed to squeeze maybe 1 or 2 Mbps extra from my line at most (it reports 24.2dB of line attenuation). I’ll probably give the TG589 a go as a dual band WAP for a while, given it’s supposed to be 1300ac with beam-forming.
For anyone having issues with the router, note it takes a long old time to boot (My firmware is currently lime 15.2). It comes pre-configured with a default email@example.com username. This allows it to make an initial connection and download your actual username and password. There doesn’t seem to be a way to get at the password in the router. Downloading the config to a .bin file I was unable to figure it out.
However, my router box included a piece of paper with a firstname.lastname@example.org username/password for a SSE Netintelligence product and I found this was also my PPP login details.
I can’t think of anything else worth adding, hopefully some of this might be useful for someone else out there considering the cheaper end of FTTC…