Full Fibre Optic Broadband.

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Jul 23, 2021
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I assumed that we have copper to house from junction box down the road. I think my speed is about 73mbp/s. Up load is about 20mbp/s
Unless you have had an engineer come and fit a fibre termination point to your house, you will be using copper. If you can plug a bog standard phone into your master wall jack and get dial tone, you definitely have copper. That being the case, you would have to install a FTTH / FTTP / Cable solution in order to do away with the copper pair, its line rental and associated broadband service.
 
Mar 17, 2020
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Just as an aside regarding ease of installation from road to house.

We moved to Virgin a couple of years ago - fibre to the house.

When the "engineers" (I use that term sparingly) came to run the cable to the house they were able to run most underground (4-6 inches in a flower bed!) but they had a concrete path contend with. I was amazed to see that their method of routing involved having an impact drill with masonry bit fitted. They then literally tried to cut a depression in the concrete to take the cable. by prodding at the surface with their drill!

They told me that this was their standard way of working and they did not carry a saw!

I had to telephone their boss to insist a proper channel was cut and made good. Next day he arrived with the saw and the job was completed.

I suppose the moral is to watch what the installers do very closely.

Our speeds are now around 220 down and 20 up. I can't honestly say that the difference between these speeds and our previous 50 down and 8 up has made any difference to our internet experience except for large downloads which are not an everyday occurrence.

Web browsing is no faster and steaming was perfectly possible with the previous speeds.

Unless you are looking for something other than the "usual" internet use then I'm not convinced very high speeds are much benefit.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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Just as an aside regarding ease of installation from road to house.

We moved to Virgin a couple of years ago - fibre to the house.

When the "engineers" (I use that term sparingly) came to run the cable to the house they were able to run most underground (4-6 inches in a flower bed!) but they had a concrete path contend with. I was amazed to see that their method of routing involved having an impact drill with masonry bit fitted. They then literally tried to cut a depression in the concrete to take the cable. by prodding at the surface with their drill!

They told me that this was their standard way of working and they did not carry a saw!

I had to telephone their boss to insist a proper channel was cut and made good. Next day he arrived with the saw and the job was completed.

I suppose the moral is to watch what the installers do very closely.

Our speeds are now around 220 down and 20 up. I can't honestly say that the difference between these speeds and our previous 50 down and 8 up has made any difference to our internet experience except for large downloads which are not an everyday occurrence.

Web browsing is no faster and steaming was perfectly possible with the previous speeds.

Unless you are looking for something other than the "usual" internet use then I'm not convinced very high speeds are much benefit.
One Virgin engineer who came to the house really needed a Stanley knife for part of the job. He said that the were not allowed to carry them due to Health and Safety issues. He thought it wasva joke. I lent him mine, and never reported it to his boss.

I find the service engineers mostly fine,. But I think they subcontract the cable laying.

For a couple of years now we have had intermittent pixilation. They have replaced most of the gubbins and joints. But also the cable from the box, about 150 yards, re run up the drive and down the side of the house. the only bit they missed was under the conservatory, too difficult. Eventually the changed it under my insistence, I also had to show them how to route the cable. the problem is now fixed.

John

PS. Are you sure yours is fibre to the house? All the fibre to the house suppliers who have quoted me quoted the same speeds for up and down loading. My old Virgin, fibre to the box then copper, gave me 200/20

John
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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Since writing the above we have chosen to leave Virgin after 20 plus years. Negotiations of a new contract were awful. I was basically told to take it or leave it. So I left. Luckily I now have the option of full fibre from 11 providers via City Fibre channels. I chose Vodafone who have a special offer. 900 mbps up and down, an extender, landline with existing number and installation, a 50gb 5g sim auto backup For £30 for 2 years.

Last Wednesday two City Fibre vans and 3 very nice chaps turned up, but had little idea of how to go about putting the feed from the pavement to the house. I had to show them. No survey and little training. But really nice lads.

They put tubes in which all leed to a hub in the street. They then blow the fibre down the tube with a compressor. In my case it only got 67 metre due to damage. Another crew need to come back and dig up the road, again. They said it happened regularly due to poor trench back filling.

This left me without broadband. But Vodafone have temporally upgraded my sim to unlimited and activated it. It works fine, I have been watching iPlayer and recording two more channels all over that sim tonight.

So so-far top service from Vodafone. And Virgin keep texting me with ‘fantasic offers’. But they missed the opportunity.

John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Re your comment on “ sub contracting cable laying” Virgin have been installing cables throughout our area and I noticed that with two of the teams there were some individuals wearing hazmat vests that written on the back was “ English Speaking”. And as you passed the workers it was clear that many were speaking a foreign language. My ex SIL spent two years in the Netherlands on mast installations which paid very well, so I guess there’s a general shortage of workers throughout.

Our hub is about 25 metres from the house. From the house the existing telephone line goes under our front lawn, then under a bit of block paving drive and then under the road and into the lawn of a house opposite where the hub is sited. So how are the new cables/fibres actually installed? Do they drive new tubes across from the hub or is there space within the exiting telephone line cable trunk? Vodaphone seem on the ball wrt customer service. My two kids are both on Vodaphone and rate them good, as they both moved from Sky because of poor quality performance and service.

Last time I took an interest in cable media installation was when I still lived at home and the cabkes looped between houses 😂.

For understanding I use the word “ cable” in its wider sense.
 
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Sam Vimes

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You're lucky you have a choice. Here its BT or BT.

Good luck with your new fast service. Now you'll have to learn how to type faster :)
 
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Jul 19, 2021
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Virgin are installing the cables in our area and its extensive. Like you say each house will have a termination point just off of the drive. LILA Connect are very active too. The problem in our close is that all drives are block paving and there is no pavement. The blocks edging the road are slightly ramped then you are onto the drives. each drive has a line one block wide, of contrasting blocks about 1 meter in from the road which basically indicates where services are installed. But the area between the contrasting line and road is the same blocks as used on drives, there are no pavements.

From what I have seen of the quality of Virgins installation on tarmac pavements we are dreading what they may do to the block drives as it is assumed the termination box will sit in that area and not in the road.
Our village won some sort of competition with virgin to have them cable the whole village some 5 years ago. Until that point we were wire only and miles from the nearest bt exchange. Speeds were terrible, you could barely download a photo and streaming even Spotify was impossible.
The lads from virgin that connected us to the street did a brilliant job of carefully lifting a line of block pavers, laying the fibre and putting it all back. can't tell that they did anything.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Our village won some sort of competition with virgin to have them cable the whole village some 5 years ago. Until that point we were wire only and miles from the nearest bt exchange. Speeds were terrible, you could barely download a photo and streaming even Spotify was impossible.
The lads from virgin that connected us to the street did a brilliant job of carefully lifting a line of block pavers, laying the fibre and putting it all back. can't tell that they did anything.
Thanks. I am just curious as to the approach used for JCs 65 m link up, particularly “blowing”. Through what, the landline connection?
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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Re your comment on “ sub contracting cable laying” Virgin have been installing cables throughout our area and I noticed that with two of the teams there were some individuals wearing hazmat vests that written on the back was “ English Speaking”. And as you passed the workers it was clear that many were speaking a foreign language. My ex SIL spent two years in the Netherlands on mast installations which paid very well, so I guess there’s a general shortage of workers throughout.

Our hub is about 25 metres from the house. From the house the existing telephone line goes under our front lawn, then under a bit of block paving drive and then under the road and into the lawn of a house opposite where the hub is sited. So how are the new cables/fibres actually installed? Do they drive new tubes across from the hub or is there space within the exiting telephone line cable trunk? Vodaphone seem on the ball wrt customer service. My two kids are both on Vodaphone and rate them good, as they both moved from Sky because of poor quality performance and service.

Last time I took an interest in cable media installation was when I still lived at home and the cabkes looped between houses 😂.

For understanding I use the word “ cable” in its wider sense.
Re installation:

we had Virgin 20 or so years ago. They dug up the streets and laid ducting to their boxes. I was having problems 6 months ago and they somehow threaded a new copper wire through to the box about 100 metres away.

Full fibre involved digging the pavements and roads up just the same and all trenches lead to a box or hub. Every house, or pair of houses gets a connection point on the boundary. These trenches have 10mm purple plastic tubes, (1 per house) . I don't know how many houses a box will serve, might be 50.

The house installation involves running a further tube up to the house, similar to laying copper but a bit more restrictive in how tight a curve they can use. This is due to, if the curve is too tight, the light does not bend so well and tries to go straight on.

In my case they could not enter the house at the rear, as Virgin had, so I opted to go next to the front door.

When the tube is laid, it is linked to the existing tube in the pavement using a simple push fit coupler. They then ‘blow’ the fibre down to the box using a compressor and a gun afair. The 2mm fibre is pulled off it's real.

I think there has to be an adaptor on the end of the fibre to form an airtight seal and pull the fibre through, in my case it only got 67 metres, about half way.

I don't know, but I am told that new Virgin installations are full fibre to the house. The City Fibre idea is, it seems, City Fibre just do the installation. The customer then has a choice of provider to use that installation. I think that might depend on region, we had a choice of 11 providers. Good for competition.

John
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Since writing the above we have chosen to leave Virgin after 20 plus years. Negotiations of a new contract were awful. I was basically told to take it or leave it. So I left. Luckily I now have the option of full fibre from 11 providers via City Fibre channels. I chose Vodafone who have a special offer. 900 mbps up and down, an extender, landline with existing number and installation, a 50gb 5g sim auto backup For £30 for 2 years.

Last Wednesday two City Fibre vans and 3 very nice chaps turned up, but had little idea of how to go about putting the feed from the pavement to the house. I had to show them. No survey and little training. But really nice lads.

They put tubes in which all leed to a hub in the street. They then blow the fibre down the tube with a compressor. In my case it only got 67 metre due to damage. Another crew need to come back and dig up the road, again. They said it happened regularly due to poor trench back filling.

This left me without broadband. But Vodafone have temporally upgraded my sim to unlimited and activated it. It works fine, I have been watching iPlayer and recording two more channels all over that sim tonight.

So so-far top service from Vodafone. And Virgin keep texting me with ‘fantasic offers’. But they missed the opportunity.

John
Hi John what fantastic offers have you had at present we have no contract with Virgin it been a month but still paying what we paid for when we started with them
 
Sep 21, 2022
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The town where I live is having a full fibre optic broadband network installed by a company called LILA Connect and the avenue in which I live is next. The installation provides a junction box on the property boundary, i.e. the top of the drive but you have to pay £1000 to connect your home to the network and then pay a monthly subscription to an Internet Service Provider.
My neighbour and I have both had our drives resurfaced recently and neither of us want an ugly scar running down our drives or to pay £1000 for the privilege.
I already have Fibre To The Cabinet which is giving me a healthy 65Mb download speed and enables me to stream 4K movies without any issues.
Does anyone else thinks this is expensive?
There have also been reports of residents not being able to get their cars off their driveways for over ten days due to presence of the open trench and barriers!
I think I have an interesting few weeks ahead especially as I just read some reviews online.
Are they suggesting there would be excavation work required to undertake the work? I think the cables underground are contained inside a sheath which would just mean running the fibre optic through I thought?
 
Jun 16, 2020
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The town where I live is having a full fibre optic broadband network installed by a company called LILA Connect and the avenue in which I live is next. The installation provides a junction box on the property boundary, i.e. the top of the drive but you have to pay £1000 to connect your home to the network and then pay a monthly subscription to an Internet Service Provider.
My neighbour and I have both had our drives resurfaced recently and neither of us want an ugly scar running down our drives or to pay £1000 for the privilege.
I already have Fibre To The Cabinet which is giving me a healthy 65Mb download speed and enables me to stream 4K movies without any issues.
Does anyone else thinks this is expensive?
There have also been reports of residents not being able to get their cars off their driveways for over ten days due to presence of the open trench and barriers!
I think I have an interesting few weeks ahead especially as I just read some reviews online.

That's a big difference to mine. When City Fibre did the main installation there was very little disruption to residents. If they were going to block you in for a couple of hours they would let you know, and if you had a delivery you just talked to them. Now we have chosen to take fibre, City Fibre come back and do the connection, which is included in my subscription. Admittedly they were poor quality workmen. At my instruction they lifted a 4m run of bricks, I relayed them neatly after they went. A large slab on the step had to be lifted, they did not want to take the chance, so I did it. I still need to get some mortar and relay it. Poor service really, but I want it done neatly, and they were just not able. Good job I was not being charged £1000. So, yes, I do think you are being overcharged.

Always a big problem making a channel look right in ashfelt or similar.

If you are happy with your current speed why not stick with it? I would have stuck with Virgin, but they got greedy.

John
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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Installation depends so much on where you live.

Here in a rural area the old wires were run alongside the road in conduit but to get to the houses and some like mine had to cross a road. Here they put in more conduit under the road but from the roadside to the house the cable was just buried in the ground.

When they came to install the fibre they could use the conduit under the road but had to put in new conduit to the house. This had a length of rope in it as they added the lengths which was then used to pull the fibre cable through.

There are plenty of horror stories from our friends and neighbours.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Installation depends so much on where you live.

Here in a rural area the old wires were run alongside the road in conduit but to get to the houses and some like mine had to cross a road. Here they put in more conduit under the road but from the roadside to the house the cable was just buried in the ground.

When they came to install the fibre they could use the conduit under the road but had to put in new conduit to the house. This had a length of rope in it as they added the lengths which was then used to pull the fibre cable through.

There are plenty of horror stories from our friends and neighbours.
At the other end of the scale, my son was telling me when he got a job with Cable and Wireless. That they owned the countries biggest fibre optic network, but these were the long distance stuff running up and down the country following motorways and main roads. Cable and Wirless was an old established company, my brother worked for them as a 1st mate laying cables throughout the Carribian in the 60’s. But Vodafone took them over while my son was there. My son was not directly involved with the cabling, he was an account manager dealing with massive databases on behalf of large organisations. He had responsibility for a national betting office. He did get nervous that all would work OK during Grand National.

These optic cables come in bunches protected in kevlar. There is much more to the infrastructure than first meets the eye. How access to these networks and who pays for what, and how it all links to the WWW, is way way beyond my understanding.

John
 
Jul 18, 2017
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At the other end of the scale, my son was telling me when he got a job with Cable and Wireless. That they owned the countries biggest fibre optic network, but these were the long distance stuff running up and down the country following motorways and main roads. Cable and Wirless was an old established company, my brother worked for them as a 1st mate laying cables throughout the Carribian in the 60’s. But Vodafone took them over while my son was there. My son was not directly involved with the cabling, he was an account manager dealing with massive databases on behalf of large organisations. He had responsibility for a national betting office. He did get nervous that all would work OK during Grand National.

These optic cables come in bunches protected in kevlar. There is much more to the infrastructure than first meets the eye. How access to these networks and who pays for what, and how it all links to the WWW, is way way beyond my understanding.

John
We have come a long way since the day when you would wind the handle to connect to the operator and they then patch you across to the person you were calling. Remember paying three pennies thrup pence? to make a call from a call box and you could speak for unlimited time.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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We have come a long way since the day when you would wind the handle to connect to the operator and they then patch you across to the person you were calling. Remember paying three pennies thrup pence? to make a call from a call box and you could speak for unlimited time.
My memory was 4 pence, and timed, you got warning beeps giving you about 30 secs. And the home phone being a party line. All an advancement on morse code though.

John
 
Jul 18, 2017
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My memory was 4 pence, and timed, you got warning beeps giving you about 30 secs. And the home phone being a party line. All an advancement on morse code though.

John
I remember the party line when we lived on a farm. You had an allocation of a certain number of rings which was for your number. I think ours was 4 rings. If you picked up the phone you could hear other people talking and you had to wait your turn to be able to phone out.

In 1976 when we lived in Borrowdale on the outskirts of Salisbury we had a party line. Sometimes it was better to go to the call box as quicker than the party line. Who cared that it was a mile down the road. LOL!
 

Sam Vimes

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I discovered as a kid that with the old pulse dialing phones in the phoneboxes you could tap the rest on top of the receiver the appropriate number of pulses equalling the number and get a free call. If you were lucky you might even be able to push button B and get somebody elses money back.

It sounds like fun but in fact I only knew one person with a phone of their own.
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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Our first UK internet connection that wasn't dial up was via cable to the house. Initially Cabletel, which later became NTL then Virgin.

Living in a conservation area we asked for the box on the house to be put at the rear. So they ran the cable across the front garden and put the box under the front window. We complained and got them back.

This time they ran the cable down the side of the house but there was a pile of sand in the way almost against the wall. No problem - they just ran the cable up and over the pile of sand. We complained and got them back.

Eventually it was done correctly but the last guy to come said that the contracters were on a fixed cost installation so its rush in and rush out.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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Where we are stopping at present we are using Plusnet broadband I would rate it excellent plus it free for the time we are here .
 
May 11, 2021
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We have FTTC and use Plusnet - all good at around 60 down, 20 up. But we recently received a flyer from a company who are going to be running FTTP around our village with significantly faster connection. Getting the cable to the house is not really a problem but I worry about wat happens inside the house. Currently our master socket is in a cupboard under the stairs, in the middle of the house. All rooms in the house are wired for Cat6 and coax and it all terminates in this cupboard, from where I can patch it however is needed. I therefore need any modem and router to be in here. I will not accept cables tacked to skirting boards or run in external trunking. What is the internal installation for FTTP like? I guess I could have the modem/router in the front room and then use the Cat6 connection from there to the under-stairs cupboard for onward distribution, but this seems a bit sub-optimal.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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We have FTTC and use Plusnet - all good at around 60 down, 20 up. But we recently received a flyer from a company who are going to be running FTTP around our village with significantly faster connection. Getting the cable to the house is not really a problem but I worry about wat happens inside the house. Currently our master socket is in a cupboard under the stairs, in the middle of the house. All rooms in the house are wired for Cat6 and coax and it all terminates in this cupboard, from where I can patch it however is needed. I therefore need any modem and router to be in here. I will not accept cables tacked to skirting boards or run in external trunking. What is the internal installation for FTTP like? I guess I could have the modem/router in the front room and then use the Cat6 connection from there to the under-stairs cupboard for onward distribution, but this seems a bit sub-optimal.
They could not put my connection where I wanted it so it went near the front door. I placed the router close by. You will be pleased to know that from the small box where the fibre comes in (which needs a power supply). The router is fed by cat 6 cable.

From where mine is it will be too difficult to put more cat 6 cabling. But there seems to be excellent WiFi from the router all over the house. I have not yet made use of the supplied extender as yet.

So your choices seem to be cat 6 from the fibre box to your distribution point under the stairs. Or, like me, rely on the WiFi.

My son has a bigger house than me and used to have difficulty getting WiFi coverage. He solved this by getting a second hand Mesh system. (don’t ask me how that works). Off eBay.

My old FTTC system was fine. I only changed because they got greedy and Imgotba better deal elsewhere.

John
 
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May 11, 2021
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They could not put my connection where I wanted it so it went near the front door. I placed the router close by. You will be pleased to know that from the small box where the fibre comes in (which needs a power supply). The router is fed by cat 6 cable.

From where mine is it will be too difficult to put more cat 6 cabling. But there seems to be excellent WiFi from the router all over the house. I have not yet made use of the supplied extender as yet.

So your choices seem to be cat 6 from the fibre box to your distribution point under the stairs. Or, like me, rely on the WiFi.

My son has a bigger house than me and used to have difficulty getting WiFi coverage. He solved this by getting a second hand Mesh system. (don’t ask me how that works). Off eBay.

My old FTTC system was fine. I only changed because they got greedy and Imgotba better deal elsewhere.

John
Thanks, pretty much as I thought then. I have Cat6 and power in the front room so it could go there. I use Ethernet whenever possible and leave the WiFi for devices that don’t have an Ethernet connection - I have to use two WiFi routers to cover the whole house and even then there are a couple of small dark areas.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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We are now on EE with 145 mb, hoping buffering on TV would end but it still does it. On settings it said receiving 145bm. As we do not do games etc we do need to have such speed but EE say the whole country will be having it in the future and in my case which I pay £57 per month which is for phone anytime and mobile. My only saving from BT was £6.
 
May 11, 2021
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We are now on EE with 145 mb, hoping buffering on TV would end but it still does it. On settings it said receiving 145bm. As we do not do games etc we do need to have such speed but EE say the whole country will be having it in the future and in my case which I pay £57 per month which is for phone anytime and mobile. My only saving from BT was £6.
How is your TV connected? By WiFi? This may be the bottleneck.
 

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