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Standard User TygerTyger2010
(learned) Fri 06-Mar-15 10:48:11
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Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear about


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My local exchange has just been enabled for FTTC (Yay!). So I want to upgrade my Zen 8000 Active to the Unlimited Fibre 1 package.

Some general questions and just how to go about it. I have a modern NTE-5 and a standard BT Openreach Filtered faceplate.

Am I correct in saying that the standard filtered faceplate that I have won't have to be changed when moving from ADSL to VDSL/FTTC, or do I need a new Faceplate/Filter ?

As an existing customer do I still get the free Technicolor VDSL modem router from Zen, or is that for new customers only ? If so I pay £6.95 postage only on that ?

I don't want to have an engineer install, I feel sure I can manage it all myself. In fact it is just a hassle to me for A BTO engineer to visit. .

I intend to stay with BT as my landline provider, so I am correct in saying that there is a £5.40 per month surcharge on that on top of the monthly cost (£27) of the fibre package, making it £32.40 p/m ?

I'm correct in thinking will also have to pay the £30 Activation fee as well ?

How should I best go about ordering the new package, online or by phoning up Zen. What do you think is the best method with Zen ?

Anything else I might have missed ?

Thanks for any help you may have for me on this subject, It is all a *tiny* bit confusing the way Zen lay it out, so I just need a few points cleared up.

My stats from BT :

DOWNSTREAM UPSTREAM

FTTC RANGE A (CLEAN) : HIGH: 54.4 LOW: 35.5 HIGH 13.9 LOW: 8.4 DOWNSTREAM RANGE -- AVAILABILITY: AVAILABLE

FTTC RANGE B (IMPACTED): HIGH: 46.8 LOW:25.7 HIGH 13.9 LOW: 6 DOWNSTREAM RANGE --, AVAILABILITY: AVAILABLE.

Soooo... are those figures good or bad ?? I need to swot up a bit on FTTC terminology methinks . Any good websites that explain it well ? I understand the basics of FTTC.

ZeN 8000 Active

8128/488 Downstream Attenuation: 13dB SNR: 17.3dB
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 06-Mar-15 12:46:34
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: TygerTyger2010] [link to this post]
 
Your basic understanding of the charges is correct. Unlimited Fibre 1 without Zen line rental would be £27 plus £5.40 surcharge per month - a total of £32.40 including VAT. Unlimited Fibre 2 would be £3 per month more, though I can see why you feel that the likely modest speed gains (if any) over Unlimited Fibre 1 don't justify paying this charge.

It's worth considering moving your line rental to Zen, as you will probably save money by doing so (assuming you are out of minimum contract period with your existing provider), though it's entirely up to you whether to keep things separate or not. I kept my phone line rental with BT Retail for a long time, but finally switched to Zen line rental in October and am pleased with the money I'm saving.


You're probably better contacting Zen sales about the one-off charges and the possibility of self-install.


You would probably get away using your existing faceplate filter with FTTC, though, personally, I would change it for the new Openreach FTTC faceplate filter.

The FTTC filter is an interstitial plate, which goes between the NTE5 body and the NTE5 faceplate. If your existing filter is an 'all in one' design that is both the filter and the faceplate, this means you will need the faceplate from an NTE5 (if necessary, buy an NTE5 - you're only after the faceplate, which you can legally change, and do not need to touch the body of the existing Openreach NTE5). You will also need a Krone tool if there are hardwired extensions to move the extension wiring from the existing filter to the NTE5 faceplate.


So far as the prediction goes, a FTTC faceplate filter means you should be looking at the 'Clean' line. The predictions are only a guide and your speed can change after installation due to the crosstalk from additional FTTC users. I think there's a reasonable chance you will get the full 40/10 speed of Unlimited Fibre 1, though nothing is certain.

Standard User TygerTyger2010
(learned) Fri 06-Mar-15 13:50:36
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I'm with BT as my landline provider. It is only for data. I make few voice calls on the line. I use my mobile/VOIP for most things voice. Zen seem expensive in comparison. Also might cause complications switching from BT to Zen as my telco. There is a VERY long and VERY PAINFUL story of BT cocking up the install of my line when I moved into this house in 2009. It was Zen Technical support that sorted it all out for me eventually and got BTO to come out and fix it. Zen got a Gold Medal that time. I'm afraid BTO might bork the whole thing up again.

However That is a story for another day... Just think things like the neigbour across the road ended up with my number, me no number and no BB, and It took them a month to get his line and broadband back up. A disaster. Anyhow I digress.

I actually have the original faceplate from the NTE5 sitting in my spares cupboard. I was using a dongle filter at first, but I bought a filtered faceplate from, ... I think it was clarity.it at the time, and fitted it myself. So assuming I was using my existing faceplate; I would plug in the old NTE5 faceplate first or ?? ... Nah I'm getting confused here I probably would just go out and buy a new FTTC faceplate. I'm seriously trying to avoid a BTO install here. I'm still traumatisied wink

Any recommendations as to where might I best purchase an FTTC faceplate online ??

I don't have any hardwired extensions. Only x1 dect phone in the house with 2 handsets plugged into the main socket here beside my computer.

I imagined that the BT line check for fibre was probably on the conservative side at 35.5Mbits. This is a small rural village of 1,800 I doubt anybody is further than 1km from a cabinet. I suspect they are physically installed near the village exchange.

I am about 0.5km from the exchange crowfly distance. The engineer in 2009 said I was 700 line meters from the exchange. Though that is for ADSL Max of course, not to a fibre cabinet, I'm almost certain the nearest cabinet to me is next to the exchange, or as near makes no difference. There has been a ton of BTO vans in the village these few weeks. I saw two this morning out shopping.



Regards, Tyger

ZeN 8000 Active

8128/488 Downstream Attenuation: 13dB SNR: 17.3dB


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Standard User Jax2
(regular) Fri 06-Mar-15 14:01:04
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: TygerTyger2010] [link to this post]
 
When I moved to Zen from another provider I also moved my phone line to Zen as it was considerably cheaper line rental only (I use a mobile phone for outgoing calls). The fact that Zen was both my ISP and the phone line provider proved very useful when I had a somewhat convoluted problem, there was no way I could end up "pig in the middle" with BT blaming the broadband connection and Zen blaming the phone line. As Zen had both they could approach the problems in what they considered the best way.
Something to bear in mind anyway.
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 06-Mar-15 14:17:05
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: TygerTyger2010] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
I'm with BT as my landline provider. It is only for data. I make few voice calls on the line. I use my mobile/VOIP for most things voice. Zen seem expensive in comparison. Also might cause complications switching from BT to Zen as my telco. There is a VERY long and VERY PAINFUL story of BT cocking up the install of my line when I moved into this house in 2009. It was Zen Technical support that sorted it all out for me eventually and got BTO to come out and fix it. Zen got a Gold Medal that time. I'm afraid BTO might bork the whole thing up again.

However That is a story for another day... Just think things like the neigbour across the road ended up with my number, me no number and no BB, and It took them a month to get his line and broadband back up. A disaster. Anyhow I digress.

Zen's line rental as part of a fibre and line rental package is £16.99 per month - exactly the same as the headline BT Retail line rental cost. Deducting the £5.40 per month surcharge you wouldn't be paying if you moved your line rental to Zen, this means you would have to pay BT Retail less than £11.59 per month otherwise you'd save money with Zen line rental.

The best deal that is universally available from BT Retail is Line Rental Saver - pay 10 months' line rental in advance for 12 months of service. This works out at the equivalent of £14.16 per month.


The MSANs that Zen have rolled out to those exchanges where they have presence are capable of providing voice service if the appropriate line cards are installed, but I don't believe Zen are currently using their equipment to provide voice service. Zen have presence at my exchange and my FTTC goes over the Zen network, though my voice service is currently provided by the same wholesale voice service (WLR3) as BT Retail use.

The migration from BT Retail to Zen voice service involved no down time and no hardware changes at the exchange - just ownership of the existing WLR3 service moving to Zen. The only side effect of this was that the call diversion settings were reset, though I was expecting this to happen.

If Zen start to offer voice service using their own equipment, they would be entitled to move my line over to their own voice service.

In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
I actually have the original faceplate from the NTE5 sitting in my spares cupboard. I was using a dongle filter at first, but I bought a filtered faceplate from, ... I think it was clarity.it at the time, and fitted it myself. So assuming I was using my existing faceplate; I would plug in the old NTE5 faceplate first or ?? ... Nah I'm getting confused here I probably would just go out and buy a new FTTC faceplate. I'm seriously trying to avoid a BTO install here. I'm still traumatisied wink

MrSaffron's web site shows how it all goes together (click to link). As you have no hardwired extensions, all you will need to do is insert the NTE5 faceplate in the front of the FTTC faceplate filter, then install that assembly in place of your existing faceplate filter.

You can do this now if you wish - the FTTC filter works perfectly well for ADSL.

In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
Any recommendations as to where might I best purchase an FTTC faceplate online ??

I haven't been keeping up with suppliers.

In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
I don't have any hardwired extensions. Only x1 dect phone in the house with 2 handsets plugged into the main socket here beside my computer.

That makes things easier, as there are no hardwired extensions to reinstate when you change the filter.

In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
I imagined that the BT line check for fibre was probably on the conservative side at 35.5Mbits. This is a small rural village of 1,800 I doubt anybody is further than 1km from a cabinet. I suspect they are physically installed near the village exchange.

I am about 0.5km from the exchange crowfly distance. The engineer in 2009 said I was 700 line meters from the exchange. Though that is for ADSL Max of course, not to a fibre cabinet, I'm almost certain the nearest cabinet to me is next to the exchange, or as near makes no difference. There has been a ton of BTO vans in the village these few weeks. I saw two this morning out shopping.

FTTC speeds depend primarily on the length and quality of the line from the cabinet to your home. If the cabinet is near the exchange, ~700m means you're a fair way from the cabinet, though you're predicted a substantial speed gain over ADSL, which is likely to be your primary interest.

Standard User TygerTyger2010
(learned) Fri 06-Mar-15 18:16:45
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: TygerTyger2010] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
Stuff I wrote....


So I phoned Zen. The technical support chap said that my existing faceplate filter would do just as well as an FTTC filter. You get the router free if you take out the phone package as well .. Which suits me as I would actually prefer to use Zen as my phone provider as well... There was an issue with the existing BT phone line. For obscure historical reasons it is in my Dad's name/bank A/C, although the house is mine and the bill comes through my letterbox. The Zen broadband is in my name and comes from my bank A/C.

When we tried to change the phone line onto my name a couple of years ago BT said it would be a cease/reprovide type situation and would cost £60, which I then thought would affect my Zen account by causing it to automatically cease so we just left the situation Status Quo as it were.

However, after explaining the situation, Zen said that wasn't the case and they could handle all of that their end and get the line transfered to my name with a Zen phone package etc all painlessly. Wires only install no problem for the fibre package.

ZeN 8000 Active

8128/488 Downstream Attenuation: 13dB SNR: 17.3dB
Standard User David_W
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 09-Mar-15 11:47:46
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: TygerTyger2010] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
So I phoned Zen. The technical support chap said that my existing faceplate filter would do just as well as an FTTC filter. You get the router free if you take out the phone package as well .. Which suits me as I would actually prefer to use Zen as my phone provider as well... There was an issue with the existing BT phone line. For obscure historical reasons it is in my Dad's name/bank A/C, although the house is mine and the bill comes through my letterbox. The Zen broadband is in my name and comes from my bank A/C.

When we tried to change the phone line onto my name a couple of years ago BT said it would be a cease/reprovide type situation and would cost £60, which I then thought would affect my Zen account by causing it to automatically cease so we just left the situation Status Quo as it were.

However, after explaining the situation, Zen said that wasn't the case and they could handle all of that their end and get the line transfered to my name with a Zen phone package etc all painlessly. Wires only install no problem for the fibre package.

This all sounds very positive.

As I said, personally I'd change the existing filter out of an abundance of caution (as the existing filter wasn't tested across the entire frequency band used for VDSL2), but it's likely to be perfectly adequate. It's easy enough to change it later.

We had a similar situation - a BT Retail account in one family member's name and the Zen account in another family member's name. When it came to moving the phone service over to Zen, the family member named on the BT account had to e-mail the Zen agent dealing with the order providing his contact details and confirming his assent to the transfer of the line.


Hopefully you can get an activation date soon.

Standard User TygerTyger2010
(learned) Tue 28-Apr-15 17:00:13
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Re: Upgrading Zen BB to FTTC. Some things I'm not clear abou


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by David_W:
In reply to a post by TygerTyger2010:
So I phoned Zen. The technical support chap said that my existing faceplate filter would do just as well as an FTTC filter. You get the router free if you take out the phone package as well .. Which suits me as I would actually prefer to use Zen as my phone provider as well... There was an issue with the existing BT phone line. For obscure historical reasons it is in my Dad's name/bank A/C, although the house is mine and the bill comes through my letterbox. The Zen broadband is in my name and comes from my bank A/C.

When we tried to change the phone line onto my name a couple of years ago BT said it would be a cease/reprovide type situation and would cost £60, which I then thought would affect my Zen account by causing it to automatically cease so we just left the situation Status Quo as it were.

However, after explaining the situation, Zen said that wasn't the case and they could handle all of that their end and get the line transfered to my name with a Zen phone package etc all painlessly. Wires only install no problem for the fibre package.

This all sounds very positive.

As I said, personally I'd change the existing filter out of an abundance of caution (as the existing filter wasn't tested across the entire frequency band used for VDSL2), but it's likely to be perfectly adequate. It's easy enough to change it later.

We had a similar situation - a BT Retail account in one family member's name and the Zen account in another family member's name. When it came to moving the phone service over to Zen, the family member named on the BT account had to e-mail the Zen agent dealing with the order providing his contact details and confirming his assent to the transfer of the line.


Hopefully you can get an activation date soon.


Well here's an update:

Phoned Zen last Thursday and ordered the fibre 1 unlimited @ £27 and Zen phone package. @ £16.99 Transferring the line to me was as easy as getting my dad to confirm the transfer by just verbally giving his assent over the phone to the zen agent.

Got the technicolor router, cables, manual and ....rather pitiful looking.... dongle filter in the box yesterday. I'll just use my existing filtered faceplate, and if I have any problems I'll change it to an FTTC one. I haven't set the router up yet. I'll do that before the due date and just use it as an ADSL modem. I assume that when it gets switched back on after the changeover it will be on VDSL. Due to get switched over next Thursday 7/5/15

Wish me luck smile

Tyger

ZeN 8000 Active

8128/488 Downstream Attenuation: 13dB SNR: 17.3dB
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