Tag Archives: fttc

We will have fibre in “12 months”!

Though to be honest I will believe it when I see it!

Those who have been following my FTTC fibre journey will know that I was one of the first people in my area to get fibre back in October 2010.  I was impressed with the 40Mb download speeds.

Really fast…

I was less impressed when I moved house in 2012 and having moved (literally) just down the street I was back on really slow ADSL. So for nearly the last five years I have had an ADSL connection that struggles to get to 1.5Mb download speed!

The story of the fibre journey of cabinet 25 connected to the Worle Exchange has been one of mis-information and downright confusion.

Back in 2015 I outlined the story so far…

Still no fibre

I have written previously about my woes with fibre before, when we first moved house and lost fibre and then my initial investigations into why I couldn’t get FTTC and back in 2012 writing about the confirmation of no plans to upgrading cabinet 25.

It would appear that BT Openreach decided initially that cabinet 25 wasn’t commercially viable, as a result passed it over to Connecting Devon and Somerset. Then at some point BT Openreach changed their mind about the commercial viability, so when Connecting Devon and Somerset came to plan to upgrade the cabinet, they found it was part of a commercial plan, and under the rules they adhere to, they weren’t able to upgrade it. Now we are in a situation where BT Openreach are saying that it is under review with no indication of when or even if it will be ever upgraded.

In May 2016 there was an article on the local paper.

Well, that’s a surprise…

According to the report in the local Weston Mercury, BT Openreach had changed their mind and would be upgrading cabinet 25 to fibre so that we can get FTTC.

In theory we were supposed to be getting fibre by March 2017… then it all fell apart and BT Openreach backtracked on the date!

So last week when I checked the BT Openreach linechcker I was surprised to see that the fibre journey which had been stuck on “We are exploring solutions” for years had moved along to “Design”.

According to the BT Openreach website this means

You’re in a fibre plan and we’re looking at the existing network in your area to see how we will design the upgrade. You can’t order a fibre service today but typically it’ll be available to your premises within the next 12 months.

So we could be connected to fibre in less than 12 months!

We’re drawing up our network plans and assessing the best way to bring fibre to your area. We currently deliver fibre to you in two ways. Sometimes we use a combination of fibre and your existing copper line to deliver our Superfast network (Fibre to the Cabinet). At other times we connect fibre directly to your property (Fibre to the Premises). We often need permission from the local authority while also considering the wishes of your community in terms of look and practicality. At the end of this design process, we’ll have a blueprint in place for delivering fibre to your community.

Possibly we might even get FTTP (fibre to the premises) but I think I am just blue sky thinking there!

Well, that’s a surprise…

Weston Village

So those who follow my trials and tribulations with getting better broadband, will know that following a move in 2012 I lost my FTTC connection and had to revert back to an ADSL connection, a slow ADSL connection at that generally getting between 1-1.5 Mbs. This was because my house was connected to cabinet 25, and this was the only cabinet connected to the Worle Exchange which was never upgraded to FTTC. My expectation was that within a year it would probably be upgraded, it never was…

I have written previously about my woes with fibre before, when we first moved house and lost fibre and then my initial investigations into why I couldn’t get FTTC and back in 2012 writing about the confirmation of no plans to upgrading cabinet 25.

When I first approached BT Openreach about this issue, they said it was not commercially viable and that they wouldn’t be upgrading the cabinet. The only alternative I was told, it would probably be upgraded by Connecting Devon and Somerset as part of a public private partnership.

Their first response was that it wasn’t part of their initial roll out. I wasn’t too surprised by this, as I was sure they would focus on the rural areas away from the places that already had FTTC to show real impact.

When they updated one of their maps I discovered that we were no longer part of their plans, it followed that we were now part of a commercial roll out and wasn’t

BT Openreach still wasn’t providing any sensible or details.

It was apparent that there was no solid information on when, or even if, we would be getting fibre…

In a side story, on the other side of the railway tracks, on the other side of the village, Virgin Media were laying cable. Now there was very little information on this installation, the Virgin Media site was giving even less away than BT Openreach!

Then some news…

Weston Mercury News Report

According to the report in the local Weston Mercury, BT Openreach had changed their mind and would be upgrading cabinet 25 to fibre so that we can get FTTC.

So what changed?

Personally I did wonder if the Virgin Media installations were getting them worried?

Who knows?

Well in 2017 I may finally be getting a faster internet connection, until then I will have to contend with slow ADSL and 4G for my connectivity.

Will we get Virgin Media cable?

Weston Village by James Clay

On the other side of the village…

I like how Weston call their new housing developments villages, this conjures up images of a village green, a local post office, a pub and a red phone box.

Reality is that this is a modern housing estate, though has to be said with an ancient communication infrastructure relying on old copper cables!

It is no surprise that when builders come in and build a new housing estate they provide electricity, gas, water and sewage, but when it comes to connectivity, they fall back to the trusted copper cables.

Why when a new housing estate is built they can’t install fibre straight in, I will never know. Though recent press reports indicate that this may now happen… only taken ten years.

But back to the other side of the village, across the main railway line which splits the village (we do get steam trains on that line, but this isn’t Titfield Thunderbolt railway lines, no this is high speed GWR and CrossCountry) we have seen Virgin Media come in, dig up the roads and pavements and install Virgin cabling to the houses there.

There isn’t much to discover on the web about Virgin Media and what will be available, according to the website, they say it’s not in their plans… seems strange to spend lots of money on the infrastructure to connect homes, but never actually connect them up! I expect it will be available shortly, and I wonder what sort of stuff will be on their fibre cables? In some parts of Bristol for example, we have 200Mbs connections, though I think that Virgin would also like you to take their TV packages as well, something that puts me off them, as I don’t watch that much live TV and prefer BBC iPlayer, Netflix or Amazon Prime.

What has got me wondering, now they have installed cable on the other side of the village, will they cross the railway line and do our side of the village, will they get us some decent internet connectivity, as BT Openreach have consistently failed to do so. There are some CATV covers quite close (and on our side of the railway line) but not sure if they are anything to do with Virgin Media, or even if they are related to any possible roll out of Virgin Media Cable.

Of course no news on the Virgin Media website, so we shall have to wait and see.

Still no fibre

fiber optic light

Fast broadband in Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) came to the Worle exchange, my local exchange, in 2010 and at the time I was one of the first people to sign up, as soon as our cabinet was upgraded. However in 2012 we moved house, literally moving down the road. This house was connected to a different cabinet, and if the internet is to be believed this was the only cabinet connected to the Worle exchange which wasn’t upgraded.

I am connected to cabinet 25, which is on Moor Lane, near to the playground in Plumley Park. At the time of writing it still hasn’t been upgraded with no indication from BT Openreach when it will be upgraded.

I have written previously about my woes with fibre before, when we first moved house and lost fibre and then my initial investigations into why I couldn’t get FTTC and back in 2012 writing about the confirmation of no plans to upgrading cabinet 25.

I did once e-mail BT Openreach (when they published an e-mail address you could contact them on, they’ve removed that option now), their response was that the cabinet wasn’t economically viable and as a result it would probably be upgraded by Connecting Devon and Somerset as part of a public private partnership.

Thank you for your enquiry. You are connected to the Worle Exchange, cabinet 25. We are deploying one of the fastest and largest commercial deployments in the world. Our commercial deployment will have extended to 66% of the UK by the end of December 2014. We aim extend this to 90% of the UK, in partnership with other sources of funding, e.g. local and National government. Our deployment is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet and your PCP fails to meet the commercial criteria. This is because the cabinet is too small to provide a return on the investment based on the costs for the construction and on-going running costs of providing a new FTTC cabinet. Where cabinets are not commercially viable Government funding is available to county councils and it is worth registering your interest on the County council website.

As a result I of course registered my interest to the council supporting the upgrade of this cabinet to FTTC via the Connecting Devon and Somerset website.

Connecting Devon and Somerset has been set up to deliver next generation broadband infrastructure to areas where the market has failed to invest.

I never heard from BT Openreach or Connecting Devon and Somerset again…

I wrote to my MP, and John Penrose, had had similar queries did some investigation., but again no clear answer from either side.

Connecting Devon and Somerset now say on their web site that:

According to our records your area is either currently, or planned to be, commercially covered by a private service provider. As such we are not allowed to invest in your area under European Commission State Aid regulations. You are not part of our programme and will need to contact an internet service provider (ISP) to find out about the current status/plans for your area.

So the situation is that originally BT Openreach said they wouldn’t upgrade the cabinet as it wasn’t commercially viable. Connecting Devon and Somerset say they won’t upgrade the cabinet as it is part of a commercial rollout.

The BT Openreach website now says that the cabinet is “Under Review”. At one point a third party website said that the cabinet was part of the Phase 13a rollout, but then BT Openreach closed that site down, so that information was lost to the ether.

The BT Openreach website now says that the cabinet is “Under Review”.

According to some other stuff I have read it would appear that BT Openreach decided initially that cabinet 25 wasn’t commercially viable, as a result passed it over to Connecting Devon and Somerset. Then at some point BT Openreach changed their mind about the commercial viability, so when Connecting Devon and Somerset came to plan to upgrade the cabinet, they found it was part of a commercial plan, and under the rules they adhere to, they weren’t able to upgrade it. Now we are in a situation where BT Openreach are saying that it is under review with no indication of when or even if it will be ever upgraded.

The end result is now in 2015, when most people across Weston super Mare have access to FTTC, the area around cabinet 25 don’t. It’s got to the point when I think EE’s 4G service may be the only viable option to fast broadband.

ADSL Modem Woes

I have now been back on ADSL for six months and it’s not been a smooth ride. I moved house in June and as a result my phone line was linked to a different cabinet, even though it was the same exchange. The exchange was upgraded for FTTC, but the cabinet I was connected to wasn’t part of the upgrade plan. As a result I was booted back down to an ADSL internet connection.

My connection is certainly better than the one I had just before I moved onto FTTC. What I have noticed is two things, firstly, the connection goes down a lot more than it ever did on FTTC. Now this could be the connection, but I am slightly suspicious that the fault lies with the Netgear ADSL Modem/Router I am using rather than an issue with the connection itself.

Netgear DGN1000 Wireless-N150 ADSL Modem Router

This is reinforced with the second thing I have noticed. When we’ve had a power cut (or as I did the other day turn off the power to do some electrical work) it seems to be really problematic to get the three Apple Airport base stations I have back up and running. After reconfiguring the base stations and failing, I did a software reboot of the Netgear Router through the admin screen (as opposed to turning the thing off and back on again) and this time the Airport wireless base stations did sort themselves out.

The main problem I was having with the Airport base stations was that they couldn’t get an IP address from the router through DHCP and when I gave them a static IP address, the DNS didn’t work as expected.

When I had FTTC, as it uses PPPoE I was able to use my Apple Airport base station as the main router for the home network. When I moved back to ADSL I needed to get a new ADSL Modem/Router that supported PPPoA. I did have one in the loft that I got out, but I think it was fried or just too old because I couldn’t get it to work or even configure it. So I went out and bought a Netgear ADSL Modem/Router from my local PCWorld. With hindsight this was probably a mistake!

After blaming ADSL for my lost connections I am now basically convinced that the fault is not with ADSL, but may well be with the Modem/Router. The issue with the DHCP is I think a separate but connected issue.

As a result I am thinking about getting a new ADSL Modem/Router, so do you have any suggestions?