Still checking…

network cable

So just over a week ago, according to BT Openreach they have activated the new cabinet, but we still can’t place an order for “superfast” broadband.

I have also been using another method of checking progress which is the ADSL checker site from BT.

This is the result from my line.

BT ADSL Checker

As you can see the maximum downstream rate is no more than 1.5Mb/s.

According to my DSL router, the actual speeds I am getting are

DownStream Connection Speed – 1152 Kbps
UpStream Connection Speed – 440 Kbps

Which to be honest is not much good for anything these days, even web pages are so bloated these days, it can take an age to download a single web page from some sites. Flickr for example is really challenging to use. So you can imagine the challenges we face in streaming video, using services such as Skype or any kind of cloud service.

Just up the road, with a property connected to cabinet 17, you can see the different having a FTTC enabled cabinet can make on speeds.

BT ADSL Checker

You can see though the ADSL speed is better than mine at 7.5Mb/s, the FTTC rate is around 80MB/s.

I was also interested to see that fibre to the premises (FTTP) is also available on that cabinet to that specific line with a 330Mb/s downstream rate!

Doubt that will be available on cabinet 25.

BBC News are reporting though that this may change…

Telecoms regulator Ofcom forced BT to legally separate its broadband infrastructure division Openreach in March.

Since the split, Openreach has pledged to offer super-fast fibre broadband to 10 million homes by 2025, using technology known as fibre to the premises (FTTP) which it had previously said was too expensive for wide rollout.

I know, I know I should be happy I am getting FTTC and not worry too much about FTTP.

Activate

So when is three months only two weeks? When you are upgrading cabinet 25 in Weston Village to FTTC.

Well we have reached the next stage of the Fibre Journey, moving from Connect to Activate.

We're performing our final quality checks and making sure everything is ready for your fibre order.

We’re performing our final quality checks and making sure everything is ready for your fibre order.

At the previous stage, which was on the 6th July, it said:

You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next four months.

Well here we are two weeks later at the Activate stage and the site says:

You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next month.

So I am anticipating that this may take less than a month.

However the process is moving faster than it says on the website, it’s one of the reasons I am blogging about it, so I can see if we are on target or slower than the website says. The build phase (which should be a “month”) was just a week and at the end of that we had a new cabinet.

new fibre cabinet 25

So I should be able to place an order very soon….

Making a connection

After seeing BT Openreach vans and engineers around the cabinet, the connecting website shows Cabinet 25 has moved into the Connect phase.

We’re connecting power to the new fibre cabinet and joining the new fibre lines to the existing copper network.

Now there is a caveat that…

You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next four months.

However the process is moving faster than it says on the website, it’s one of the reasons I am blogging about it, so I can see if we are on target or slower than the website says. The build phase (which should be a “month” was just a week!

Now the building work is done, BT Openreach need to connect the cabinets and connect power to the new cabinet.

For a Fibre to the Cabinet connection this stage is about connecting the power and fibre cables to the cabinet in your area. The existing and new cabinets are now connected to each other by underground copper cables. The physical build is now completed and there shouldn’t need to be any further works in your area.

After this has happened then BT Openreach can activate the cabinet, inform service providers and then I can place an order.

We have a new cabinet…

new fibre cabinet 25

Well the building work has finished and there is now a new fibre cabinet next to cabinet 25.

It’s in the corner just a few feet away from the original cabinet 25 (which in the photograph above is hidden by the larger green cabinet).

new fibre cabinet 25

Now they have finished the “build” phase the next stage is the “connect” phase.

For a Fibre to the Cabinet connection this stage is about connecting the power and fibre cables to the cabinet in your area. The existing and new cabinets are now connected to each other by underground copper cables. The physical build is now completed and there shouldn’t need to be any further works in your area.

After that they can activate the cabinet and ISPs can start taking orders…

They’re building, they’re building…

After mentioning last time that BT Openreach had registered their “roadworks” it was nice to see today that they had been doing some work around cabinet 25.

They're building, they're building...

Though in this picture you can’t actually see cabinet 25, it’s behind the green cabinet in the middle of the picture. They appear to be digging up channels to lay cables between the old cabinet and the new one. I believe that the new cabinet is then connected direct to the exchange with fibre, hence FTTC Fibre To The Cabinet. The last stretch of cable from the cabinet to the house is still old copper cable.

So will BT Openreach achieve their end of June deadline? Remember this was an extension from their original end of March deadline.

No.

According to a Facebook thread, it appears BT Openreach have pushed their deadline to the end of August 2017.

As you might imagine, disappointed.