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Standard User Harry_De_Bustard
(newbie) Thu 01-Sep-11 12:46:02
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Renting A Metallic Path


[link to this post]
 
This is as much to do with selection of a provider of a Metallic Path Facility (MPF) as anything and this seemed the best place to put this thread - though I'm open to correction.

I moved into a new home nearly four months ago and to date have managed fairy well with a Mobile Broadband service from Three. However, a change in my circumstances - i.e. a need for a much higher traffic cap as well as a faster service - means I'll be better off with a fixed line service. Given that my wife and I both have a "landline" number provided by Skype - calls to and from which we can make via our respective mobile devices - we want to avoid paying for a POTS voice service and we're not bothered about a VoIP service with the line which some suppliers can provide. I understand there are two options here...

1. Find a supplier which can provide a line of the Shared Metallic Path Facility (SMPF) variety and an ISP which can provide broadband via that.

2. Find a supplier which can provide both an MPF line and broadband via that.

I'd also like to know - and this is tied in somewhat with the above - how one can tell if the MPF provided by a supplier is Shared.

This looks quite difficult and I'd appreciate any pointers to resources where I can seek such - or recommendations of suppliers. I'd also like a "bare bones" service - i.e. putting my own kit in for the broadband - but that's not essential. (Any recommendations here for an ADSL/2/+ router which pumps out Ethernet would also be appreciated.) One other constraint is that I don't want to be tied into a contract of more than three months as I may move on after that - be it home or supplier/s. The three month contracts offered by "Be" look promising but being a tight-fisted Yorkshireman I'd rather not pay £10 a month for the (maybe Shared) Metallic Path Facility that they provide - and I''m not keen on the extra per month that they charge for it - nor the connection charge. In case it's of any use my exchange is this one.

Finally, I know I'm "lucky" enough to be be in the area where Digital Region are rolling out - my place being due to be connected in November - but their project plan doesn't fill me with confidence. (Look.) I'm also "lucky" in that I can't get BT Infinity yet - my wish being to avoid that company like The Plague given its continued dominance.) This is why I'm looking for an ADSL/2/+ service rather than a VDSL - and one which is better than, say, 5 Mbps - something I know one can never be sure of with basic ADSL until one's connected so an ADSL2 or ADSL2+ service might be the best to go for.
Standard User john2007
(legend) Thu 01-Sep-11 12:59:38
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: Harry_De_Bustard] [link to this post]
 
For broadband you have two basic choices: ADSL via a phone line, or cable from Virgin Media.

http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange_search will show if cable is available at your address.

ADSL/ADSL2+ have no speed guarantees. The speed you get depends on the distance between your home and the local BT exchange.

http://www.btwholesale.com/pages/static/Community/Br... will give you a speed estimate.

You will need a fixed line from the BT exchange and will need to pay circa £11 per month for line rental.

On top of that expect to pay say £15 per month for broadband.

If you mention your BT exchange you will get ISP suggestions.
Standard User john2007
(legend) Thu 01-Sep-11 13:01:22
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
You did mention your exchange.

Sky or Be for ADSL2+ both make sense. Both offer unlimited downloads.


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Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 01-Sep-11 13:26:45
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
You did mention your exchange.

Sky or Be for ADSL2+ both make sense. Both offer unlimited downloads.
Except sky the min contract term is 12mths, and the op has already said he has looked at be 3mth min term contracts,
Well now the op knows that there is no escape from paying line rental on an adsl/ 2 /2+ service with the bb service charge on top of that, it's gonna cost more that i think they planned on, and it you did decide on one of the 3mth be packages you would also ideally need to find a telephony provider who also did a 3mth min term as you bt is 12-or 18mths
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Thu 01-Sep-11 14:00:39
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: Harry_De_Bustard] [link to this post]
 
Only Sky & TalkTalk (or their resellers) provide Full LLU (MPF). All the other ISPs do Partial LLU (SMPF) based on a BT Wholesale WLR phone line, which you must rent from somebody in order to have ADSL BB.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 17 Meg Untweaked 19 Meg Tweaked WBC
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Thu 01-Sep-11 23:28:47
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: Harry_De_Bustard] [link to this post]
 
The best broadband performance is usually through an LLU service, the two most relevant to you being Be and Sky. Be because of the 3-month, (but expensive), contract, and the Sky because its price is so low you may be able to pay off the remaining time if you leave before 12-months, and still be in pocket.

As has been said, speed is very dependent on distance from the exchange. You can get a guide to your address from two sources, though the first may rely on the second. Try them and see:-

1) Samknows mapping engine;
2) BT Wholesale Checker.

Please post all that the BT one says about your line in general. Some of it may look irrelevant to you, but it helps us assess the bits that are clearly relevant.

If the general ADSL2+ estimates are above 6Mbps then you have the above two options plus what I feel is your best one overall. If the ADSL2+ estimates are below 4Mbps then this third one is definitely what I recommend and is the lower of the "Extra" bundles on this Plusnet page.

Plusnet is 10-day notice for both line and broadband if you pay the upfront costs, which are suspended for a year then dropped if you sign for 12 months. That's the reason for this in fact being in your case my recommendation out of all three.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - IDNet Home Starter Fibre. Live BQM.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
Standard User Harry_De_Bustard
(newbie) Fri 02-Sep-11 09:54:08
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thank you for your extensive help - and the others who have contributed.

For your information the Sam Knows enquiry generated this...
ADSL available at ~6.5Mbps

BT Total broadband
TalkTalk non-LLU
Sky Connect (non-LLU)
AOL broadband (non-LLU)
Pipex broadband
Plusnet broadband
Tiscali broadband
And many more...

Cable services available...

Virgin Media broadband (20M)
Virgin Media digital TV
Virgin Media phone

BT 21CN services available

...whilst the BT enquiry generated the folllowing...
Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and our initial check on your address indicates that your line should be able to have an ADSL broadband service that provides a fixed line speed up to 2Mbps.

Our check also indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL Max broadband line speed of 6.5Mbps; typically the line speed would range between 5.5Mbps and 8Mbps.

Our check also indicates that your line currently supports an estimated ADSL2+ broadband line speed of 12Mbps; typically the line speed would range between 7Mbps and 17Mbps. Our test also indicates that your line could support an estimated ADSL 2+ Annex-M broadband upstream line speed of 1Mbps and downstream line speed of 12Mbps; typically the downstream speed would range between 7Mbps and 17Mbps.

...and I look forward to any further assistance you (and others) can offer.

P.S. I had a look at your site - which I found via one of your posts when researching this before starting this thread - and very useful it was too. Having said that you may wish to expand the Glossary to include the likes of these...

BSAN - Broadband Service Access Node
DSLAM - Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer
MPF - Metallic Path Facilities
PCP - Primary Cross-Connect Point
SMPF -Shared Metallic Path Facilities
SLU - Sub Loop Unbundling
MAC - Migration Authorisation Code
POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service
VDSL - Very High Bit Rate Digital Subscriber Line
MLC - Metallic Line Characteristics

...many of which came from someone who works for an ISP via a local (to me) forum.

Edited by Harry_De_Bustard (Fri 02-Sep-11 09:55:12)

Standard User ionic
(experienced) Fri 02-Sep-11 12:02:47
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: Harry_De_Bustard] [link to this post]
 
As virgin is in the area, you could look at their 9 month "student" package - most other suppliers are going to land you with a 12 month contract somewhere even if its just for the line. I don't think anyone does broadband only, no voice on DSL.
Standard User aramsay
(member) Sat 03-Sep-11 10:09:58
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: Harry_De_Bustard] [link to this post]
 
What you are asking about is called 'Naked DSL'

You can see from that link, that BT claim that there is not sufficient demand for it in the UK; although I would imagine that they are probably thinking of the lost revenue from no longer having to force people to have a 'phone line' when they don't need it.

I've also read in the past, that people with Naked DSL often found that their line got disconnected, as when an engineer went to a street cabinet to find a free pair to the exchange, as there was no dial tone on the line when they listened across the pair, they reused the connection back to the exchange.
Standard User Zarjaz
(knowledge is power) Sun 04-Sep-11 17:22:45
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Re: Renting A Metallic Path


[re: Harry_De_Bustard] [link to this post]
 
I'm also "lucky" in that I can't get BT Infinity yet - my wish being to avoid that company like The Plague given its continued dominance.)

You'll find yourself limited to Virgin then, as it's BT Openreach that will install and maintain you SMPF or MPF line.

how one can tell if the MPF provided by a supplier is Shared.

If you chosen supplier provides both PSTN and/or DSL from their own equipment in the exchange,then that would be MPF.. If the voice and DSL come via different suppliers, then that's SMPF.

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