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Standard User TimJ
(committed) Thu 26-Nov-20 00:55:51
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Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


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I am after some advice on behaf of a friend. I look after his PC and has he asked for my advice aboutFTTP, but it is outside of my knowledge.

He lives in a rural location and has an ADSL connect from Plusnet. For many months it has been very slow with frequent dropout. Eventually Plusnet sent out an Openreach engineer. He spent 6 hrs (yes 6 hrs!!) on his line and it is now reliable but my friend described it as dial-up speeds.

Before he left, the engineer said the solution was to get FTTP, and pointed to the pole 5 yards away and said that that 'wire' is the fibre and one of his neighbours is currently using it.

He contacted Plusnet who said they did not offer FTTP and he should contact BT. His questions to me were did he have to go with BT and he really wanted to keep his force9 email addresses was that possible?

I looked up the ADSL availability checker for his number and it showed
WBC ADSL up to 1Mb
VDSL 4.4Mb
FTTPoD 1000M
FTTP Unavailable

So presumable the fibre passing his property is FTTPoD. I have it in my mind that FTTPoD is very costly. As ideally he only needs a reliable 10Mb connection for email, browsing and zoom to his grandkids would this be cost effective? or even affordable.

So what is the advice of the experts on here?

Many thanks

Tim.
Standard User witchunt
(experienced) Thu 26-Nov-20 08:29:51
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
Has he tried putting in a USO request to BT as he has a sub 10meg connection?
Is his line fed from the same pole as the neighbour?

Edited by witchunt (Thu 26-Nov-20 08:56:56)

Standard User candlerb
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 26-Nov-20 08:54:08
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TimJ:
Before he left, the engineer said the solution was to get FTTP, and pointed to the pole 5 yards away and said that that 'wire' is the fibre and one of his neighbours is currently using it.

He contacted Plusnet who said they did not offer FTTP and he should contact BT. His questions to me were did he have to go with BT and he really wanted to keep his force9 email addresses was that possible?

I looked up the ADSL availability checker for his number and it showed
WBC ADSL up to 1Mb
VDSL 4.4Mb
FTTPoD 1000M
FTTP Unavailable


Plusnet definitely don't do FTTP. Regarding the force9 E-mail address, the user should really get themselves an E-mail address which is independent of their broadband provider (even a Gmail address), and start migrating away as soon as possible, even if they have no intention of changing broadband. It will save them pain in the long run, trust me.

However, the main issue: is FTTP available at this property? Possibilities are:

1. The engineer was right, FTTP is available, in which case the database is incorrect. (Unlikely but sometimes happens)
2. The engineer was mistaken: the neighbour's pole has FTTP, but this property is not served from the same pole.
3. The engineer was mistaken: the neighbour's pole has some other non-FTTP service (e.g. a leased line)

There are a couple of ways to deal with this.

One is to do photos and research. If you can post a picture of the equipment on the pole in question (and confirm that the neighbour *and* this property are served from exactly the same pole), people on this forum can confirm if it's FTTP. You should also do address checks on all the neighbouring properties, and see if they all have FTTP except this one.

There are senior people here who, given the exact address privately, can then raise this internally with Openreach, and if the database is in error, get it corrected. Or you can talk to Openreach on their twitter account.

Another option is to get a free quote for FTTPoD, e.g. from Cerberus. This *might* kick Openreach into noticing that the property already has FTTP. It *might* also identify that the cost for FTTPoD is low if they can connect to nearby existing infrastructure - e.g. it's just adding a CBT onto a pole, and connecting it to a nearby splitter. But it also might come back with some ludicrously high cost, and that doesn't really give you a definitive answer - it could also be that their paper records are out of date. You'd have to place an FTTPoD order, costing £300 non-refundable, to be sure. And at that point, even for an "trivial" install I'd expect a cost around £2K.

Note that even if native FTTP is already available, it *will* still be more expensive than bargain-basement FTTC from the likes of Plusnet. Currently you can get 80/20 FTTP from Sky at £27, and BT at a similar price (maybe discounted by a few quid) - but those prices go up at the end of the term so you have to keep haggling or switching every couple of years. Aquiss do 40/2 FTTP at £30, on a 12-month contract. That's their standard price and I would not expect it to rise.


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Standard User E300
(member) Thu 26-Nov-20 09:11:13
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
You've already had some good advice.

At a guess I think your neighbour(s) have had an FTTP on Demand order put through and probably do have FTTP. The giveaway to me is the database record shows FTTPoD @ 1000M, this is usually FTTPoD @ 300.

When I had my FTTP on Demand order put through the whole street (15 properties) went from FTTPoD @ 300 to FTTPoD @ 1000, but only the 5 addresses that were served from the same distribution point as me got FTTP.

My theory is all other addresses that would be fed from the same splitter get a record update which seems to kick the database from FTTPoD @ 300 to FTTPoD @ 1000.

So I would suggest yes the neighbour(s) have FTTP available but the property in question is fed from a different pole or distribution point and wasn't enabled by that install, but they are earmarked for connecting at some point to the existing splitter.

This should mean a FTTP on Demand order may be fairly reasonable price wise although easily still a few thousand pounds, or pursuing a USO might mean something gets done under that.

Good luck.

Edited by E300 (Thu 26-Nov-20 09:20:20)

Standard User candlerb
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 26-Nov-20 10:29:20
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: E300] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by E300:
When I had my FTTP on Demand order put through the whole street (15 properties) went from FTTPoD @ 300 to FTTPoD @ 1000, but only the 5 addresses that were served from the same distribution point as me got FTTP.


Other people have seen FTTPoD bump from 300 to 1000. It seems to happen whenever the database is touched. Installing FTTPoD is one case, but it can happen for other reasons too.

Anyway, this one is easy to answer: just check the neighbour's property in the address checker. If they really do have FTTP, then you'll see it as FTTP available (also usually "ONT with active service"). If it shows only FTTPoD, then the engineer was definitely wrong.

If it shows FTTP, then try other properties around them, including those either side of your friend's property.
Standard User TimJ
(committed) Thu 26-Nov-20 12:58:25
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: candlerb] [link to this post]
 
Brilliant, many thanks for all the excellent answers.

Hopefully the problem is just a database issue.

Using the address checker I have checked most of the addresses in his postcode (there are only about a dozen) and most say

Our records show the following FTTP network service information for these premises:-Single Dwelling Unit Residential OH Feed crosses busy road requiring two engineers.
FTTP is available and a new ONT may be ordered.

His immediate neighbour says
Our records show the following FTTP network service information for these premises:-Single Dwelling Unit Residential OH Feed with Line of sight problems Trees.
ONT exists with active service. No spare ports are available. A new ONT may be ordered.

The address checker will not accept his address. All addresses are of the form House Name, XYZ Hill WR99 9XX. In the BT USO checker his house name is missing in the drop down menu for his postcode. It does appear on say Plusnet's site and checker.

I will speak to him this evening and confirm that I have his landline and address correct.

Incidentally what is an ONT? Google seem to imply that it is the kit that goes in your house, but that does make any sense.

Thanks
Standard User flilot
(member) Thu 26-Nov-20 13:20:32
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TimJ:
Incidentally what is an ONT? Google seem to imply that it is the kit that goes in your house, but that does make any sense.

Thanks

ONT is Optical Network Terminator. In layman's terms it is the powered box that is affixed to the wall inside the property, which the outside fibre feed is connected to. This box then converts the fibre feed into an ethernet socket which is then connected to the customers Internet router via an Ethernet cable.

Carl
____________________________
vodafone Gigafast 100/100 | Calix 801Gv2 GigaPoint ONT | FRITZ!Box 7530 Router
Standard User witchunt
(experienced) Thu 26-Nov-20 13:22:01
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
ONT is the what the fibre plugs into inside the property, the router plugs into the ONT. It's the optical version of a modem.
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Standard User TimJ
(committed) Thu 26-Nov-20 20:25:38
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: witchunt] [link to this post]
 
I have confirmed his address any phone number and the address checker says FTTP available for the nearest neighbours on both sides, but his address is not in the database. His phone number says FTTP not available.

Can I assume that as is available to both sides, technically it will be available to him.

Apparently when ADSL first came out 16 years ago, he tried to order it and was told he needed a new phone line, so he had and paid for a second lines for many years, it was only when he found out that everyone else only had one line he looked into it and found his first line was at the wrong address in Openreach's database. He though it had been corrected and he managed to transfer the adsl across, and cease the second line. It now appears that it was not corrected properly.

How are the fibres arranged on the poles? At the moment there is one or perhaps a bundle? of fibres along the poles. When someone on that length wants a connection a fibre is run from the house to the nearest pole, how is it then spliced into the existing fibre? is it one common fibre or does each house have a seperate fibre back to wherever.

I am in the same situation at my house in that Airband have rolled out fibre along the poles from their cabinet, and we are all waiting to be connected to it. Presumable thy use the same underlying technology as Openreach.
Standard User shortshrift27
(learned) Thu 26-Nov-20 20:55:12
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Re: Rural FTTPoD(??) Advice Please


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
If FTTP is available, there should be a CBT (connectorised block terminal) at the top of the pole serving him. All the ports should be lit, so if there is an unused port he can order... once the database is sorted out.

Each house needs a separate connection to the CBT. Beyond the CBT, up to 32 premises are served by a single fibre via a passive optical splitter.
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