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Standard User heathrow
(newbie) Thu 24-Dec-20 10:21:46
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An embarrassment of networks..

[link to this post]
I've been with Andrews and Arnold since 2003. Started in ADSL2 with a 0.5 Mbps link - that progressively got upgraded over time. Went to VDSL when FTTC rolled out in (I think 2011) at Colindale.

The service has always been excellent - but Openreach's lines have not. The problems aren't related to broadband. The copper is physically knackered. In the last two years I've had OR 5-6 times to fix the circuit after we've either totally lost voice or the line sounds like Rice Crispies. OR won't replace the copper - they just keep patching it,

Colindale exchange is being demolished at some point: All a bit mindboggling as it's one of the two major regional switching centres for North London (along with Wood Green). However, its service area is not in the Full Fibre yet.

I'm currently waiting for a VM tech to turn up (today) to install a circuit. I ordered VM on a £25 a month deal for 100 MBps to provide a backup. The original plan was to run this and hope that after 18 months we'd have fibre. Yes - two links. I'm a software developer and can't work without broadband.

However, Community Fibre are currently trenching further down the street and a check on their website indicates that they will be serving us,

So in 2021 I expect to have a CF circuit put in. At that point I will reluctantly leave A&A.

Well not totally - the plan is to migrate our voice service across to their VOIP service. The act of doing that will terminate the OR line...

Edited by heathrow (Thu 24-Dec-20 10:23:14)

Standard User njh
(newbie) Tue 05-Jan-21 12:05:23
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Re: An embarrassment of networks..

[re: heathrow] [link to this post]
That Colindale Exchange project looks like a big project! Not a very beautiful building - no loss to architecture!
They must be leaving some kind of Telephone Exchange equipment behind - just smaller? Underground?

In an all-fibre world, I wonder if we need Telephone Exchanges anymore? Just need fibre aggregation nodes? And maybe some slightly larger cabinet containing the OLT? And some big data centres.

I have been an AAISP customer since 2009 (Bogons before that!). Like you I switched from ADSL to VDSL when it became available. A couple of years ago Virgin Media dug up our road and put in FTTP. I was very excited and decided to give it a go. They gave me a very good deal to start with (100Mbps) and the download speed was much faster for downloads. However they didn't used to be very clear about their upload speeds, and found that my upload speed was less than VDSL. After calling them up (a day into my contact), they bumped me up to 200/20 for free. While I was on Virgin Media I used the AAISP L2TP service, so that I had static IPs and IPv6. But in the end Virgin Media's customer service, unreliable network and price increases were too annoying and I went back to VDSL.

If you have both Virgin and AAISP, I think you can use your VDSL login from Virgin to the L2TP endpoint and maintain the same IP address.

I have seen a couple of presentations by Community Fibre and have been really impressed by them. Sounds like you are lucky to be in their area.

Here is one that they did about rolling out IPv6 to their customers at the end of last year:

AAISP customer since 2009. FTTC 67/18. pfsense router running on PC Engines apu2.
Standard User heathrow
(newbie) Tue 05-Jan-21 21:13:08
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Re: An embarrassment of networks..

[re: njh] [link to this post]
I've bought an EdgeRouter X and am load-balancing both circuits.

The ERX is an excellent bit of kit - a bargain for £40.

All ipv6 traffic goes to AAISP. I've set 80/20 ratios for VM/AAISP for ipv4 traffic.

I hadn't considered setting up and L2TP tunnel over the VM circuit - but I don't think I can do that *and* have the Openreach link up at the same time.

Londonworks is showing that Community Fibre is doing work in my street this week to unblock ducts. CF are doing *a lot* of work in NW London now - this is for housing. Clearly they are using the Openreach PIA product.

I had avoided VM for years due to their legendary customer service reputation. On install, they didn't disappoint me with the preinstall involving two cowboy subcontractors who decided that the coax could go across paving slabs. I had to complain to VM who sent out one of their own techs.

The two cowboys came back and fixed their work while the very nice VM tech was doing the install. The tech's comments were priceless.

For Colindale, I'm assuming there will be a small retained area for telecoms. Of course, FTTP means that the fibre doesn't have to go to the exchange any more. I'm 99% sure Colindale is an OLO hostel, so complete closure seems a bad idea - particularly as it's a key node on BT's longer-distance network.

The site, however, is huge and I can see why its crying out for redevelopment.

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