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Standard User Protagonist
(newbie) Mon 30-Mar-20 22:51:24
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FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[link to this post]
 
Hi all,

Found the forum when doing broadband research.

I'm currently in a new build flat with Hyperoptic 150 Mbps service
Their bundled router isn't great, but otherwise the service is very good
For example I'm out of contract, cancelled, and I've been extending my service by a week over live chat. There was a mixup with the termination time (they terminated it at 00:00am last Friday rather than 11:59pm) and I got it restored within a few minutes really over live chat just after midnight when I realised my connection had been terminated. Live chat was a minute wait for so.
Speeds are very good. Paying £28 on a rolling 30 day, no contract basis for 150Mb/s, although getting that deal did take some wrangling.

I've got a new house, it has an inactive phone line. Previous owner used ADSL or FFTC I guess.

Annoyingly I've been slow with my move, and while I can get for example 330 Mbps full fibre because of COVID-19 restrictions that's no longer an option until 1st June currently.

I need a connection ASAP.

So FTTC is main option at the moment, and then switch to FTTP at some point.

I've had neither before. I used to have rural ADSL, whatever was provided by the landlord, and now have Hyperoptic.

Is FTTP a lot better than FTTC?

My new house is a 6 year old new build, so hopefully line quality is decent.

I'd like a static IP address, and a good quality provider.

I do work from home.

I looked at mainstream providers, ruled a number out as they don't provide a static IP, and thought I'd go with Zen.

However Zen isn't cheap for FTTP

I did some more research, finding IDNET, Pulse8, Uno, AAISP etc. but they generally seemed more expensive, and typically don't include a router.

The FRITZ!Box 7530 provided by Zen looks good as I don't currently have a good router, and while I haven't used Voip for my business yet it's something I'd like to do, and the VPN and DECT features look good. I think it even has an answer phone?

I then found Ghost Gamer Broadband:
https://www.ghostgb.co.uk/

Which is a sub brand of Structured Communcations I believe, who I believe use AAISP.

They're providing FTTP 330/30 GRADE for £30.79 - normally £43.99
They've been doing 30% off for at least a few months, to gain new business I guess.

So if it weren't for FTTP installations not being possible right now I'd just go with that.

Odd pricing though as their other speeds/packages are pretty expensive and more for seemingly less.

It's £60 setup

Their FTTC 72/20 service is £37.79 inc 30% off at the moment, normally £53.99
Setup is a whoppping £100 though for FTTC

Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 76 Mpbs service is £34.99 per month, £20 setup.
And I can get £30 cashback through a cashback site.

Both provide static IPs

Kurt at Ghost Gamer was quick to respond - think owner manager direct email.

Zen weren't too bad either though, although trying to call didn't really work.

The problem is Zen stated:
This service would require a 12 month contract and that would mean you would have to see out the original contract before a move to FTTP. We are tied in to a contract with Openreach for the original FTTC service, then on the new FTTP service, so we have to implement this policy.

Once the 12 month contract was up, you would be able to move onto the FTTP service and at that point, cancel the phoneline part of your bundle.


So if I go with Zen I'm on FTTC for 12 months!

But with Ghost Gamer I'm paying £100 for FTTC setup, then £60 for FTTP setup, but they will allow me to upgrade mid contract, so after the COVID-19 restrictions are no longer in place I can upgrade to FTTP - with a new 12 month contract.

And that FTTP package is a good price. No guarantee the offer will still be on in a few months though (I've asked if I can have it locked in)

Zen not allowing mid contract upgrades is odd.

Zen's Full Fibre 3 (150/27) is £49.99 per month though.

Any ideas on the best way to handle this?

Perhaps I should just put up with FTTC for a year.
Do you get to keep the router supplied by Zen once out of contract?

And then either upgrade to FTTP with Zen or see what Ghost Gamer or others have to offer.

For £50 a month I'd want a 300+ Mbps service though. Perhaps I've been spoilt by having Hyperoptic. I was on 1 Gbps service for less than that when I first got it.

Apologies for the rambling.

Any thoughts/recommendations welcome.

Cheers,

Prot
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Mon 30-Mar-20 23:04:32
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: Protagonist] [link to this post]
 
If you go to the Address option of the BT Wholesale checker it will give you the estimated speeds for all the options for your address. Easiest for us to read would be a screenshot posted somewhere for us, and the link to that of course wink.

FTTC appears there as VDSL, as the link from the cabinet to the premises is VDSL2.

Are you bothered about landline phone numbers, or are they just something you don't use, meaning never use but are given?

The great things about Pulse8broadband is that its CS is one of the good ones and its FTTC is only a monthly contract. I'd recommend it well above Zen at the moment.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people." Oscar Wilde
Standard User Protagonist
(newbie) Tue 31-Mar-20 00:18:08
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Yeah I tried the address checker the other day, but it didn't work.
Tried it again and still get:
We are sorry but the checker is unavailable at the moment. Please try again later.

But I used Zen's checker and others, and they indicate I can get full FTTP.

I checked somewhere and it showed my exchange.
Anyway it's the Topsham exchange, Exeter
Market B I believe.
https://availability.samknows.com/broadband/exchange...

The following services are available in your location:

BT Wholesale ADSL
BT Wholesale ADSL Max
BT Wholesale WBC (21CN)
BT FTTC
BT FTTP
TalkTalk (CPW) LLU
Sky Broadband

You are approximately 2.35km from the exchange - straight line

For Zen:
Unlimited Fibre 2 (FTTC)
48.6 - 74.0 Mbps TYPICAL DOWNLOAD RANGE
51.1 Mbps TYPICAL DOWNLOAD SPEED
13.7 Mbps TYPICAL UPLOAD SPEED

FTTP:
Unlimited Full Fibre 2
76.0 Mbps AVERAGE DOWNLOAD SPEED
18.0 Mbps AVERAGE UPLOAD SPEED

Unlimited Full Fibre 3
150.0 Mbps AVERAGE DOWNLOAD SPEED
27.0 Mbps AVERAGE UPLOAD SPEED

Unlimited Full Fibre 4
300.0 Mbps AVERAGE DOWNLOAD SPEED
45.0 Mbps AVERAGE UPLOAD SPEED

I understand I can get full fibre

"I have checked your address and there is a telephone line that can be restarted, so this type of order can progress despite the COVID 19 situation at the moment."

It currently has a stopped line that can be restarted.

I'm not bothered about landline to be honest.

I guess it's nice to be able to be able to make an emergency call.

And I guess even without any call package etc. freephone numbers are free.

Having said that, I'll likely just use my mobile.

And for business I'll look at getting a VOIP service - that I can use from my PC, mobile, and perhaps a dedicated voip phone - as I understand they're better quality.
Although I'll want to go hands free with business calls anyway - so will want to plug in a headset in that case.

I use my Google home mini for calls sometimes - e.g. calling up a business, as it's it's free and hands free - so convenient for waiting.

Not sure how much Pulse8 are for setup.

They do list a £129 New Fibre Installation fee, but I'd hope that wouldn't apply - a line doesn't need to be installed.

They're £38 a month inc a static IP, as they charge £2 for that.
And no modem/router included, so would need to buy one.

I think I ruled them out because of that.

A monthly option is tempting though.

Tried to look at uno as I've seen positive comments about them but their website isn't easy to use and I don't know the old phone number - which their checker requires.

Cheers

Edited by Protagonist (Tue 31-Mar-20 00:19:38)


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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 31-Mar-20 00:54:18
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: Protagonist] [link to this post]
 
Uno are also very good.

For FTTC the line could probably be restarted. For FTTP unless it was previously installed then it would need a full installation including an engineer visit. If FTTP was previously provided it will have large box on a wall, probably near the entry point. Not an ordinary phone socket.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people." Oscar Wilde
Standard User Protagonist
(newbie) Tue 31-Mar-20 01:06:21
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Yeah it hasn't had an FTTP install, hence looking at FTTC first so I can get broadband while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, and all those considerations, as covered in my posts.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 31-Mar-20 10:01:05
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: Protagonist] [link to this post]
 
IDNet are another short contract option for FTTC

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Protagonist
(newbie) Tue 31-Mar-20 13:48:19
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Yes, but they cost even more.

I don't see the point in a monthly FTTP contract, where I have to pay more and get a router, if Ghost Gamer allow a mid contract upgrade to FTTP.

I'm waiting to hear back from them and Zen

I may just use Zen for 12 months on FTTC then.

What I was wondering is how FTTC would compare to FTTP (ignoring e.g. 300 mbps service options) and if I'd notice it being notably worse.

Although with Ghost Gamer I can actually have a 300 mbps service for less than FTTC with Zen at the moment.

But if I stay with Zen for a full year on FTTC, then it works out cheaper perhaps, as it's only £19.99 setup, I get £30 cashback, and the FRITZ!Box 7530 looks good.

Ghost Gamer supply a TPLink VR 400, with half the RRP.

So I guess I'm just deciding whether to go with Zen and then after 12 months switch to an FTTP service, either with them, Ghost Gamer or another ISP

Or to go with Ghost Gamer now as I'll be able to upgrade quicker to FTTP, hopefully still on a good deal if they're still running them or will allow me to lock in to one of the current deals now.

I guess my reluctance with that is that I will have simply paid more and had more hassle because of COVID-19 restrictions, with no advantages, as obviously taking their 330/30 FTTP offer from the start would be much better. At least with Zen I'll get a good router out of it, and can try them.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 31-Mar-20 19:29:50
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Re: FFTC in lieu of FTTP because of COVID-19


[re: Protagonist] [link to this post]
 
Have you checked the price now includes the line rental? Or have you added that in to get the total if it doesn't?

As far as I can see, the comment Mark Jackson of ISPreview made, that their pricing is not available until they have got basic information about you during the order process.
Sadly the website itself doesn’t offer a lot of detail on their packages or prices, although they seem to be promoting “up to” speeds instead of the required “average speeds“. One other problem we noticed is that their website promotes service prices that exclude the £10 monthly cost of line rental (you only see this when running through their order system), which is something the ASA requires to be made clear.
So I haven't gone there.

How long does the discounted price last? That too is mandatory information, unless it is permanent for as long as you are a customer and don't change product.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
"Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people." Oscar Wilde

Edited by RobertoS (Tue 31-Mar-20 19:31:23)

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