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Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) Trial FAQ

2010 at 12:03 by Dave Tomlinson

1. What is FTTP?

FTTP is a new technology that Openreach are trialling. It replaces the copper broadband services that ADSL/ADSL2+ use by running fibre all the way from your local exchange to your property. As fibre doesn’t degrade the speed over the distance and isn’t subject to the same kind of interference problems as copper you should see a faster and more reliable service.

Below is BT’s diagram showing how the fibre gets from the exchange to your house.

How FTTP works
2. What speed does FTTP run at?

We currently match the FTTC speeds. 76Mbps down and 19Mbps up on Unlimited Fibre and 38Mbps down and 9Mbps up on Essentials Fibre.

3. What happens on install day?

We need to book an appointment for an engineer visit to come and fit the service. The appointment may take around 3 hours. The engineer will run fibre from the nearest distribution point to your property. In most cases this will be run alongside your existing copper either underground or over a pole. The fibre will then be terminated on the outside wall at ground level (they cannot terminate the fibre any higher even if the copper enters the building at a higher level). The fibre will then be run through your wall. The engineer will then install an Optical Network Terminator (ONT) in your house. Think of the ONT to be like a fibre modem.

The ONT is pictured below and is similar size to a normal router.

BT ONT

Below is the external terminator for the fibre, this will be located at ground level.

External Fibre Terminator

4. Where should I put the ONT?

The ONT needs to be within 20 metres of where the fibre is terminated on the outside wall as that’s the length of the fibre the engineer will bring. The ONT needs to be connected to router (or can be connected direct to a PC if you only have 1 PC and direct require wireless). It also requires power so must be located near a socket. In the future services like TV and voice may be delivered using the ONT so think carefully where will be most convenient to install the ONT.

The ONT has to be secured to a wall to prevent damaging the fibre.

5. What appointment times are available?

Initially during the trial – Monday to Friday, morning only (8am to 1pm) as the appointment may take longer than the morning slot. In the future an afternoon appoint will be available (1pm to 6pm)

6. Will I have to pay anything for either the new kit and installation?

No, there will be no charge for the modem or installation.

7. Will there be a new XX month contract?

Not for joining the trial, there will be no change to any contract length unless you specifically change to a new account with a new contract or take a recontracting offer independently of the trial.

8. What happens if the trial ends will 6. or 7. apply in order to reverse the process?

If the trial ends there would be no cost for the kit or installation or recovery of the modem. BT may request an appointment to recover the kit they have supplied or ask you to return it by post. In all likelihood though BT will leave the kit (ONT, Power lead & CSP) in situ….just in case you or a new tennant wants the service in the future. You would be able to remain on the existing product and contract if you wish.

9. Will it cost any extra per month for this greater speed?

The FTTP trial will cost the same as FTTC would in your area. We have not decided what will happen post trial.

10. Will there be any special limitations on usage?

There will be no limitations on usage other than those applicable to your account type. We have not decided what will happen post trial.

11. What happens to my existing ADSL/ADSL2+ service?

We will cease your ADSL/ADSL2+ service when we activate your FTTP service.

12. Will I have a dynamic/static/same IP address?

You will have the same IP address as you have on your existing account type.

13. Can I connect on both the FTTP line and ADSL line at the same time?

No, the ADSL line will be ceased at the start of your FTTP service.

14. What areas will FTTP be available in?

FTTP will be available in a number of areas, the best place to check if you can get it is here:

http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/

15. What is the timescale for bringing this new technology to <>?

We’re expecting more areas to be added over time.

16. I’d prefer to use a modem/router of my choice, can I?

For the trial BT will install their ONT at your premises, you must use this device and cannot use another manufacturer’s ONT as this will not work. We will supply you with a wireless router for the trial, if you want to use a different wireless router you can or you can connect a PC direct to the ONT.

17. What routers can I use?

The service requires a router that will support PPPoE over a WAN port similar to a cable router. We also recommend if you want to use wireless that your router supports full wireless N 2×2.

18. What router do you supply?

We intend to use a number of different routers during the trial, we’re expecting the first customers to receive a Thomson TG789vn but will also supply different routers. We may also send you more than one router to do some extended testing for our router suppliers. We are currently supplying Technicolor TG582n routers.

19. If/when the trial ends, will I have to give the ONT/router back?

If the trial ends and we revert you back to ADSL or ADSL2+ or you cease the service BT would send a jiffy bag out or arrange an appointment to recover the ONT and we may send a jiffy out to recover any routers we’ve sent. If the trial ends and moves to a fully live service and you remain on the service you would retain the ONT and router as long as your service remained active.

20. If the end of the trial were to coincide with the offering of this as a standard service, would I keep the ONT/router and continue on, or would I have to be removed from the trial and returned to the previous setup prior to moving to a commercial FTTP product?

It is unlikely we’d move you off of FTTP and back to ADSL/ADSL2+ only to switch you back to FTTP as a live service. It is expected that you would just continue on FTTP as a live service on your existing produc.

21. Will the ONT work with my …?

The ONT has four ethernet ports, however you can only use port 1 for our service. Ports 2-4 may be made available at a later date and would allow you to purchase 3 additional FTTP services.

For example, Port 1 could offer your Plusnet Broadband service, Port 2 a video on demand service connected to a set top box, Port 3 live streaming coverage of the horse racing connected to your TV and Port 4 a secure electronic payment system connected to a handheld Chip and PIN device.

Your wireless router would therefore need to be able to connect to Port 1 using a WAN port and support PPPoE.

22. Will the other existing T&Cs remain the same as my current tariff, with any necessary changes being in place only for the duration of the trial?

The main T’s & C’s will remain unchanged however there will be a set of trial T’s & C’s for the duration of the trial, these are available here:

http://community.plus.net/fttp_terms/

23. Does not having an NTE5 style master socket preclude volunteering for the trial?

No. The trial will not make any changes to your existing copper services.

24. Will Plusnet be offering any guides to help users configure hubs/routers to provide a wireless connection?

If there is sufficient demand we can look into doing this or customers can create tutorials for publication on the Community Site.

25. If the new service is problematic can I go back to my existing one?

Not easily but it is possible in extreme cases.

26. If the new service is problematic will I get a refund or credit?

We should stress that this is a trial and we cannot guarantee the service to be fault free. If loss of broadband would cause you significant problems (e.g. you use it for work) we would recommend not taking part in the trial.

27. What if I have a faulty ONT/router?

During the trial BT will own the ONT so if it develops a fault BT will arrange an engineer visit to repair or replace it. Diagnostic checks (including remote diagnostics from the router if possible) will be run as part of the fault finding process. If you remain on FTTP after the conclusion of the trial BT would replace or repair the ONT in the event of a fault but you would need to pay BT for a new one in the event of damage caused by yourself.

Our routers will be covered by a normal 12 month warranty and replaced by us should they be faulty within that time.

28. What happens if I move house?

If you move to a property outside of the trial area you would be moved to ADSL (or ADSL2+ if applicable). If you stayed within the trial area it is expected we would offer you the choice of staying on the trial or moving to ADSL.

29. Is the trial available to everyone?

We expect the trial will be available to all Plusnet (including Force9, Freeonline and Metronet) and Madasafish customers across all broadband products. However, as above we must stress that this is a trial and that we cannot guarantee the service to be fault free.

30. Is the trial available to everyone in the trial areas?

BT may need to do a site survey to see if you can get the service and multi-dwelling units like flats and some multi unit commercial properties will be excluded.

31. How will being on the FTTP trial affect any decision to migrate to another ISP using a MAC?

You will need to keep an active broadband account with us to remain on the trial, you can move to another ISP using a MAC the same as ADSL or FTTC however we would recommend calling the new ISP before placing an order to ensure they are aware you are on FTTP.

32. Will the FTTP trial be included in your easy-setup router system?

Yes, the routers we supply are easy set up.

33. Can the ONT only be installed in the master socket?

No, the engineer will install the ONT wherever is convenient and near a power supply but please note the maximum length of the fibre is 20 metres from the outside wall.

34. Does the ONT need to be left on at all times?

The ONT allows BT to monitor and test the service provided. The modem must be within reach of a power supply, and must remain connected to the power at all times.

35. What happens to my voice service?

You need to maintain a PSTN service throughput the trial, this doesn’t have to be Plusnet Home Phone but does need to be a BT line. It is expected that towards the end of the trial BT may begin trialing a Voice service over the fibre. If they do we will let you know and see if you wish to take part.

36. What do I need to consider before the installation?

Take a look where your existing copper voice line enters your property; the fibre will be terminated at ground level nearby. You will also need to consider where you will want he ONT installing, it needs to be within 20 metres of where the fibre terminates outside, be near a power socket and you may also want to consider where it will be located should in the future you want to take up a voice service or a video on demand service should they be offered.

We will ask you for 3 dates when you will be available for the engineer visit and confirm the slot we’ve booked at least 5 days in advance of the appointment. You will need to be available for half a day for the appointment as it’s estimated most appointments will last around 3-5 hours.

37. Can I change broadband product?

Yes, the account change process will work exactly as it does now so you can regrade to any of the fibre broadband products we have available should you wish.

38. Can I change Home Phone products or move to Plusnet Home Phone?

Yes, this also works exactly the same as it does now so you can switch between Home Phone products or add Home Phone if you are with another voice supplier. The voice service will continue to be provided over the copper line however a fibre voice service is expected to be trialled at some point.

39. What can I do with 76Mbps that I can’t do with ADSL or ADSL2+?

You tell us :) For some people they will be on sub 3Mbps speeds so will be able to watch HD streams which they couldn’t do before and do more at once such as download files and stream and game at the same time. It will be interesting to see what content becomes available for the faster speeds like this.

dave

This entry was posted by Dave Tomlinson on Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 12:03 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a reply below. Pinging is currently not allowed.


10 comments on "Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) Trial FAQ"

Good work Dave

up the blades

A few FAQ's that will become very FA very soon :)

How do you pick volunteers?
How can I register intent?
Even though it's not ready in my area yet?

Thanks

bobpullen

Nigel, I'd suggest posting in our Community forums as per the information towards the beginning of Dave's blog here -
http://community.plus.net/blog/2010/07/20/100mbps-has-arrived-plusnet-begins-fibre-to-the-premises-trial/

It always seems to be Milton Keynes or around that area that recieves the trials. What about other areas like Lancashire, Why should only the South benifit from the trials.

Not being funny but just getting 1MBPS would be a start we live in a built up town area in Oxford... Greater Leys but due to the exchange being down in Cowley (Only about 3 miles away) The cable goes snaking all over the place and we are limited to only 0.4 and that is on a good day. Often we get line drop outs for a couple of days.

Broadband is not just a problem in the villages and it is just so disheartening to see everyone else getting to trial fibre optic but what about us poor people that pay the same amount for an 8MBPS service and get fobbed off with this.

If you do ever get a BT engineer out they just joke about the fact it is rubbish.

Milton Keynes has a history of poor broadband speeds due to the infrastructure put in the 70s...

Paul Harris, your comments have really upset me and I feel all hurty inside!

Floyd

Paul is correct, MK has suffered from a poor analogue system that was thought state of the art in the 70's! I was an early adopter of experimental broadband in MK, which improved dial up speeds greatly. It started out as 0.4MB/s but stayed that way until last week when I swithched to Plusnet - now it's 1.82MB/s yay! I'm now waiting for the FTTP trail as I'm lucky enough to be on Bradwell Abbey exchange, more yay! You northerners want everything, first you get electric light and now you want fibre broadband - sheesh ;-)

fourfourdevon

Any chance the Openreach diagram could be downloadable and bigger? i.e. readable?

jojopillo

Hi fourfourdevon ,

You should be able to see the bigger version of that here.

Jojo :)

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