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Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-18 11:32:00
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How to get any Broadband at all


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In the absence of, effectively, no copper-based broadband at all, due to line factors, is it ever possible for WBC FTTP instead to be provided to a domestic residence?

I've a brother and sister-in-law, retired, who live in Norfolk, quite close to the city of Norwich but in a village that, it seems, time has passed by and which Openreach and other broadband infrastructure providers have ignored. The village is Marlingford, which is served by the Honingham Exchange, about 8km away. Marlingford has no street cabinet of any sort, as far as I'm aware, and instead the copper telephone lines are supplied from a BT cabinet (Cabinet no.2) in a neighbouring village about 2km away. A few years ago, the surrounding villages were upgraded from ADSL status to FTTC. However, that didn't happen with Marlingford, and the village is still condemned to a well-below-par service. My brother's connection, for instance, supports just 200K bps. (No, that's not a typing error).

This sort of situation has been persisting there for some 10 - 15 years now. I'm now wanting to sell my Mac desktop computer to my brother, but he won't be able to do even quite common things with it, like upgrading its operating system, as the downloads involved are in the region of 5 - 6GB, and that'd take over a day to do on his connection. (In fact, the download would probably automatically abort some way through). Thus, his medieval Internet connection with the wider world is, more than ever before, now limiting what he and his wife can do. Other residents there have long since given up the fight. About 10 years ago, the village residents got together and explored alternative means of getting broadband. This even included things like 3G/4G and microwave relaying. But all were either impractical or were far too expensive.

His internal wiring scheme is basically okay, and his ISP is BT (btinternet.com). He uses a BT HomeHub. I've managed to acquire a Mk3 Openreach faceplate filter, and I've some spare Cat5e cable to hand, as well as tools and sundries, and so have offered to at least re-do his internal wiring when I next visit him and his wife, to try to screw a tad more speed out of the connection. But clearly without radical intervention from Openreach, they'll probably never ever get a timely, properly-usable broadband connection. Yes, there's now the Universal Service Obligation, but that doesn't have to be met till 2020, and anyway I suspect they'll simply be ignored again.

Using his landline telephone no. and exploring his results when I run the BT Broadband Checker at https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker
it's clear that he and the rest of the village are doomed to sub-megahertz ADSL and that even with that cabinet 2km away being VDSL-activated (which it basically is, I think), he'd still get only in the region of 10M bps. The VDSL figures from the checker table are 13.5M bps max (clean), 10.3M bps max (impacted), both being the downstream nos.

I notice, however, that FTTP On Demand (WBC FTTP) is available to the village via that cabinet. My understanding is that FTTP On Demand is normally for business premises only, but are there exceptions made to that? Could FTTP be supplied to residents at Marlingford, and at a reasonable per-resident tariff? After all, in other parts of the Kingdom, eg. mid-Wales, Openreach has been busy supplying FTTP to isolated hamlets. I'm sure my brother would be delighted with even a meagre 40M bps, over such a connection. In the meantime, he keeps being refused a VDSL connection by his ISP (presumably, because even that wouldn't support high enough bitrates?).

It seems to me that, in any event, any sort of remedial solution to this that would have any element of future-proofing in it would need to involve Openreach extending the existing fibre, at the distant cabinet, to the village. It might be that Openreach realised this years ago and that's why they and his ISP keep shaking their heads whenever he enquires with them about having a half-decent broadband connection.

To try to get everyone concerned out of this impass, I've also offered to write to a senior executive within BT or Openreach, to explain the situation and ask what can be done about it. But I've no name or any contact details to use for that. Does anyone here know of someone suitable within BT or Openreach to whom I could write or e-mail? Maybe even the very CEO of Openreach? The Marlingford case does seem to be an anomaly that's gone on for far too many years.

Edited by meditator (Thu 12-Apr-18 11:35:51)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 12-Apr-18 12:17:25
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
BDUK Norfolk is ongoing so spotting what they have in store for area is important.

Marlingford has a cabinet (5) that while outside village to the south west is giving options of 13 to 23 Mbps speeds in postcode such as NR9 5HJ

There is one postcode stuck on cabinet 2 a couple of kilometres away so exact location is important.

Fibre On Demand at 2km or more since it depends on where aggregation node is (which is not next to every cabinet) will be expensive £25,000 plus at a guess.

Fibre on Demand is available to residential, but providers selling it currently are business focussed.

If a number of residents are willing to put together money in a partnership then https://www.homeandbusiness.openreach.co.uk/fibre-br... may be possible.

Other options:
Fixed Wireless - the Wi-Spire people
Full Fibre from B4RN who have just started deployment in Scole
Roll your own wireless to someone nearby where the two house roofs can see each other and install a second line at the other house and wireless to relay it, assuming they have decent speeds

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 12-Apr-18 12:34:20
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
So the checker suggests a possible 13 meg on VDSL ?

I wouldn't say 13 meg was the ‘internet abyss’ you are claiming.

Yes they can get FTTP, but it will cost them to do so.


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 12-Apr-18 12:40:12
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: Zarjaz] [link to this post]
 
Missed the VDSL2 bit (as ever four things going on at once)

If provider is not willing to see and my bet is that this is BT Consumer (usually they start to mention a different product that is called anything buy Infinity), then lots of others will let you order so long as the checkers give something. Though it is possible this may change when the average speeds in advertising kick in.

NOTE: I work from a link where the VDSL checker says 10 to 26 Mbps, and one line incurred DLM wrath so is down at 18 Mbps currently but other running at 28 Mbps

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-18 12:44:13
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
If your brother can persuade nearly everyone (and I do mean most of the village, not just one or two people) in the village that FTTP is the way to go then worth getting a FTTP On Demand quote from Cerberus. Unlike previous iterations, FTTPoD is now available to residential users (12 month contracts instead of 36 month ones). The new FTTPoD pricing is supposed to be more cost effective for mass orders, hence why you need more than just a few people on board.

https://www.cerberusnetworks.co.uk/connectivity-broa...

FluidOne FTTP On Demand 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User craski
(committed) Thu 12-Apr-18 12:50:35
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: Zarjaz] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Zarjaz:
I wouldn't say 13 meg was the ‘internet abyss’ you are claiming.

100% agree.
I know loads of people currently on circa 2Mb ADSL who would be delighted to receive 10Mb.

Zen Business FTTC BQM
Talk Talk Business FTTC BQM
IDNET ADSL BQM
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-18 13:17:06
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
If a number of residents are willing to put together money in a partnership then https://www.homeandbusiness.openreach.co.uk/fibre-br... may be possible.


I may be wrong, but I don't think Openreach will offer Community Fibre to the OP's brother as they will probably see 13 Meg on VDSL2 as not terribly slow. Openreach usually part fund Community Fibre projects so it appears the OP's brother will have to go 100% privately funded, eg FoD.

FluidOne FTTP On Demand 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-18 14:26:07
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Mr Saffron et al,

13M bps on FTTC? Sure, I'd agree that that's far from atrocious. But the point is that FTTC is NOT available to him! You'd be able to see this if you saw the official BT Broadband checker result table for his phone no./postcode (the postcode is NR9 5AG). Also, there's no immediate prospect of him or the rest of the village getting it. Cabinet 2, which is definitely what he's on and which again is confirmed at the head of the result, is essentially fibre-equipped (I've researched and followed its status over several years) but whenever he's tried to place an order on it, BT (his ISP) has refused it.

Cabinet 5 has got nothing to do with the vast majority of phonelines at Marlingford. Indeed, I think 5 might actually be at Barnham Broom or Barford. Five is not on the Honingham Exchange therefore.

If you read my script again, you'll learn that he and the rest of the village did, some years ago, get together and go through all other options, but all were either impractical, eg. line of sight issues, or far too expensive; there was not 100% concensus, in any event. The Norfolk BDUK funding scheme was amongst those things explored but no funding from that was forthcoming.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 12-Apr-18 14:38:28
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
It is a lot simpler now we have the location....

They are on cabinet 2 which is currently full (which is what the waiting list/waiters) which means that even those on top of the cabinet cannot order a service and thus everyone who is not already live is waiting on more capacity being added. Once that is done an order should be possible with speeds of 3 to 12 Mbps

Cabinet 5 is on the Honingham exchange see NR9 5HR and only went live in 2017 and as part of the phase II work in Norfolk, which I think is also set to deliver more cabinets on that exchange. Cab 2 went live as part of the phase 1 work in 2015.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User baby_frogmella
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-18 15:11:41
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
As Mr S says, FTTC cab#2 is full. It should get additional capacity added but it could take a few weeks/months/years, or in other words how long is a piece of string. It took Openreach nearly 3 years to add more capacity to my local FTTC cab ( second cab constructed). In the meantime your brother should check the BT dsl checker regularly, as it may show occasional availability for FTTC, eg a port becomes free when someone ceases their FTTC service.

FluidOne FTTP On Demand 330/30 Mbps
Linksys EA9500v2

Edited by baby_frogmella (Thu 12-Apr-18 15:41:33)

Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 12-Apr-18 15:38:00
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Postcode NR9 5HJ, which you quoted earlier, is an isolated church property outside of Marlingford, and somewhat closer to Cabinet 2 (which is on the A47 at Easton) than the village of Marlingford.

Postcode NR9 5HR is that of Home Farm, which again happens to be outside of the village but to the south-west instead. I've not been able to find a telephone no. for it but, in the Checker, that postcode again renders only a poor result - ADSL, at up to 2.5M bps.

FRom what you say, MrSaffron, what could have happened was that in 2015, when Cabinet 2 (which is actually in the village of Easton) went live re FTTC, all allocations were quickly nabbed by the inhabitants of Easton. So, as ever, it's a seemingly interminable waiting game for the people of Marlingford. I can definitely remember advising my brother to order FTTC when that Cabinet was first FTTC-enabled, but clearly he wasn't quick enough off the mark and, ever since, has been told that he simply can't have FTTC.

Unless Openreach provides additional capacity for FTTC at Cabinet 2, or instead decides to undertake a special case and extend the fibre from Cabinet 2 to what would have to be a new cabinet (it'd be the only cabinet) in Marlingford itself, my bruv and the other residents of Marlingford will remain in the Dark Ages. Jeez, they've already missed the ADSL Max era, and they then missed the coming of ADSL2. Now they're excluded from VDSL.
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 12-Apr-18 16:58:01
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Re: How to get any Broadband at all


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
But they aren’t ‘excluded from VDSL’ ???

There’s just a lack of capacity at present, it happens.

It seems like the chance to order has been around for a while too. Your posts seem to infer that your relatives are being treated like second class citizens internet wise .. this is clearly not so.

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