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Standard User FarmerStuart
(newbie) Mon 04-May-20 12:16:11
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Rural broadband options


[link to this post]
 
Hi All,

Just moved house and have hit a problem ordering broadband which is particularly frustrating as on paper everything should be fine.
First off I did have a idea that it was going to be an issue here but one I thought I had figured out.

According to the Openreach address checker FTTP is coming to my area 'soon'. They have already done the lane at the bottom and the next one north of me so hopefully they will have 14 poles worth spare and pop round to connect me up. Best result all round, nice new cable to replace the current one that sulks in the rain and great speed. Problem is trying to extract a definition of 'soon' out of Openreach.

Until then I'm left with the option of ADSL2+ 1 Mbps (the address is connected to Cab 8 rather than the shiny new Fttc Cab 20 sat next to it). Most suppliers won't even give me the option of ordering at that speed and despite a chat with a nice guy at Openreach I can't work out how to get my line moved to the new cab. Interestingly my neighbours address one house further up the road away from the cab can get fttc according to the checker so its not a distance problem.
The old phone line has been disconnected for a while so while present I think it would be a new provision.

Having run out of fixed line options I decided to fall back to 4G at least until fibre arrives. Checked the coverage map and apparently I should be able to get a good signal inside and out as I'm about a mile from the local mast. Turns out my dongle just about gets a bar of 4G outside and my TP-link router gets signal but keeps dropping out (it does work better now the wifi is disabled).

I've looked at the USO options and that comes down to a 4G router from BT at well over double what i'm paying for my unlimited 4G sim.

Starting from a position of no phone line how do I order a wires only FTTC service and convince them to run it the extra few feet into the cab that got installed last year? Or better still give me a date for when they will be running fibre up the road.

Stuart
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Mon 04-May-20 15:46:37
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: FarmerStuart] [link to this post]
 
If they are building FTTP to you they will not reengineer the copper line to use the VDSL2 cabinet, and even then would only benefit you if close enough to get VDSL2 speeds of a reasonable level. What speed can neighbours get and how many metres away from them are you?

14 poles to connect just you sounds expensive for them, and suggests you might get missed out i..e those closer with the need for extra poles will get served.

To convince them to do what you are asking is basically a case of finding the right person who will tell you how big a wad of cash you need to stump up.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User FarmerStuart
(newbie) Mon 04-May-20 16:55:34
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Hi Andrew,
I've measured the road distance which is where the cables are run and I'm 1.5km from the cabs. My neighbours line is a bit longer and is connected to the newer of the two cabs giving an estimate of 15-24 Mb/s. His line shows as being VDSL enabled where as mine doesn't.

The lane I'm on has 6 houses with a gap of about 14 poles between the two groups. The road it joins onto has fibre on all the poles and i know they are doing some of the other ones locally too. Fttp on demand is available but I seem to remember that is pretty expensive to get installed. The Openreach fibre checker says that fttp is coming to my address soon but I'll believe it when I see the guys up the poles!

I did have a quick look at the rural grants to see if there is an option to use the system to my advantage but yuouare right that it probably comes down to a pot of money and actually talking to someone. The guys that reply on the Openreach site are pleasant but it's not the same as actually talking to someone.


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Standard User keith969
(member) Mon 04-May-20 20:45:19
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: FarmerStuart] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by FarmerStuart:
Having run out of fixed line options I decided to fall back to 4G at least until fibre arrives. Checked the coverage map and apparently I should be able to get a good signal inside and out as I'm about a mile from the local mast. Turns out my dongle just about gets a bar of 4G outside and my TP-link router gets signal but keeps dropping out (it does work better now the wifi is disabled).


You could try an external antenna. I'm 1km from a mast and with the external antenna I get 5 bars and speeds of up to 120Mbps (more like 60 daytime but that's still better than the fttc here).

My setup is a Poynting XPOL-2 and a Huawei B535. With a Three unlimited data sim at £11.99/month, so I can give BT the finger at last.

Three 4G mobile, 120mbs down 30mbs up
Standard User FarmerStuart
(newbie) Mon 04-May-20 21:31:24
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: keith969] [link to this post]
 
I've got a XPOL-1 and plugging it in seems to make things worse but I'll try it again. The mast is 1.5km away and the router is telling me about 75% signal sat in the best place I've found.
I think I'll head over to the mobile section and ask for some router recommendations as I'm not very happy with the TP Link Archer I've got.
Standard User keith969
(member) Tue 05-May-20 07:12:17
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: FarmerStuart] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by FarmerStuart:
I've got a XPOL-1 and plugging it in seems to make things worse but I'll try it again. The mast is 1.5km away and the router is telling me about 75% signal sat in the best place I've found.
I think I'll head over to the mobile section and ask for some router recommendations as I'm not very happy with the TP Link Archer I've got.


The XPOL-1 is unidirectional, whereas the XPOL-2 is directional and significantly higher gain - the downside being that it needs to be aimed at one mast only, so not so good if you want to cover multiple masts. But that doesn't sound like a problem for you.

Three 4G mobile, 120mbs down 30mbs up
Standard User godsell4
(member) Wed 13-May-20 15:37:22
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: FarmerStuart] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by FarmerStuart:
I've got a XPOL-1 and plugging it in seems to make things worse but I'll try it again.


In case you missed it, be aware there is a menu option you have to change to make it use the external antennas.

PlusNet Unlimited Fibre an unreliable 3Mb
Three HomeFi 15 to 20Mb.
Gigaclear FTTP 100Mb TBD
Standard User FarmerStuart
(newbie) Fri 15-May-20 09:58:21
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: godsell4] [link to this post]
 
I've not found that setting yet, the hardware is a Archer MR200 v4 on the latest firmware and to be fair to it now I've stopped fiddling with it it does seem to have settled down and sits on 75% signal strength.

Still waiting to hear back from the local Superfast Broadband team to see if they can establish what Openreaches idea of soon is as this will determine if I need to improve the 4G situation or just live with it for a while.
Standard User DGR1
(newbie) Sun 07-Jun-20 05:51:50
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: FarmerStuart] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by FarmerStuart:
I've not found that setting yet, the hardware is a Archer MR200 v4 on the latest firmware and to be fair to it now I've stopped fiddling with it it does seem to have settled down and sits on 75% signal strength
Does the MR200 allow you to see proper signal quality stats? My MR600 uses the % too, but also the RSRQ/RSRP/SNR figures that you really want to use for positioning either the router or an aerial.

It’s the same thing on Huawei routers that use a number of bars as a ready reckoner of signal quality, but this can be misleading.
Standard User FarmerStuart
(newbie) Sun 07-Jun-20 11:02:43
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Re: Rural broadband options


[re: DGR1] [link to this post]
 
It does under the advanced view but in the end I got myself a Mikrotik SXT lte6 as Openreach changed the fibre checker to tell me they'd had a think and decided I was now in the 2.6% that they can't afford to upgrade so I figure I'm on 4G for a while.
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