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Standard User eckiedoo
(committed) Fri 06-Jun-14 12:10:28
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FTTC Upgrade Experiences

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My experiences of moving to FTTC

I have been with Freeserve/Wanadoo/Orange/EE since about 1999, from Dial-up through the various upgrades, to going on to FTTC yesterday, with no complaints about the service generally, aprt from the Orange/Freeserve e-mail at periods over the past year.

The Download/Upload speeds for each variety have generally been good.

As FTTC has recently been rolled out in this area, I decided to upgrade to the 40/10 variety, as it is a minimal cost increase and I rarely watch films and the like.

1286 Metres – Stated BRAS Line Length to Exchange

about 250 Metres - Probable Line Length from PCP to house.
Plus 50 Metres - Probable Link Length from FTTC to PCP

Old NTE – One simple phone socket, no built-in splitter.

There has been no change to the phone extensions within the house, apart from fitting the supplied VDSL splitters to the bedroom outlet where the modem/routers reside, about 10 metres; and to the downstairs outlet for the cordless phone system, again about 10 metres.

Not the “cleanest” of internal wiring, eg along skirtiung boards, under carpets etc.

2013 Summer - FTTC Release Date given as “31/5/2014”

Over the remainder of 2013, signs of preparation for Fibre “all over town”.

November 2013 – Footings for local FTTC Cabinet started, Kelly mainly.

Late April 2014 – FTTC Cabinet apparently went “live”, as I found one Test dated about then.

18th May 2014 - Ordered FTTC 40/10 from EE

During this period from Ordering to Installing, I have been doing frequent Speed Tests; and several QLTs, in case there were/are subsequent problems, so have plenty of evidence as to the Quality of the line etc.

21st May 2014 - Bright Box 2 arrived, did not fit through letter box.

25th May 2014 – Phoned EE Helpline; but it was unable to enlarge on the very brief information in “My Account”.

4th June 2014 – Phoned EE Helpline, as there had been no contact about possible appointments etc.

A very helpful responder!
I explained why, partly as I had expected there to be a change from the elderly NTE, an FTTC Modem etc.

Not required!
Had a longish talk with him; and he was interested in some of my set-up etc.

I had avoided doing anything with the EE BB 2 Router, as I did not want to upset any of its installation settings etc.

However, I now plunged in, using a short Ethernet cable to link it to the BB 1; and I was particularly interested in its claimed 5 GHz Wifi.

Having inSSIDer installed on all three PCs, it was interesting that it was the oldest, 4 years, that had working 5 GHz and the BB 2 showed up as “5GHz-xyz” whilst the 2.4 version was “xyz” only.

I also found that our HP Printer will apparently only accept one set of WiFi information at a time, unlike the PCs, which can have several, automatic connecting to the strongest available.

5th June 2014 – Going upstairs passing our front door just about Noon, I spotted a white van parked near the PCP, so went out and across. Two pleasant Kelly employees, who happened to be literally linking up the FTTC line to my phone line at that moment, incidentally using 17070 to confirm.

I also now have a general idea of where my line is in the PCP and its link to the FTTC.

On returning home, I noted that the BB 1 LEDs were all off, so swapped in the BB 2.

Waited a few minutes, then switched the BB 2 on. It took about 3 minutes to establish full connection.

Then checked that all three PCs were making connection, changed the WiFi data on the HP Printer, again checking that connection was made by doing a print from each PC.

The Notification e-mail from EE is timed "12:55 pm", good going, about 45 minutes after physical completion.


WiFi Comparison
I took advantage of the situation to use inSSIDer to do some tests around the house and garden, at 10 locations where we are likely to use the ACER Laptop (both WiFi Bands) and the ASUS Netbook.

I have CONNECTIFY installed on all three PCs, so started it on the static HP Tower. Recently I opened it up, to find that its WiFi unit, installed on the Mother Board, is almost identical to one that I had removed from a failed ACER Netbook several months back.

A significant difference is that only one of the two co-ax outlets is connected, the very thin co-ax cable running forward, passing through the metal front of the box, presumably to the aerial, sandwiched between that metal front and the”fancier” plastic front panel.

The following are the averaged figures of readings taken at 8 defined locations around the house and 2 defined locations in the garden

Because of frequent fluctuations, they are only “indicative” rather than “accurate”.

However an interesting exercise.

Bright Box 1
Band 2.4 GHz
Ch 6 + 10, 300 MHz
Signal, -52.0 db

Bright Box 2
Band 2.4 GHz
Ch 1, 144 MHz
Signal, -50.9 db

Band 5 GHz
Ch 36 + 40, 300 MHz
Signal, -60.9 db

Band 2.4 GHz
Ch 6, 150 MHz
Signal, -64.3 db

Edited by eckiedoo (Fri 06-Jun-14 12:29:08)

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