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My exchange (Devizes) is about 4-6 months away from being ADSL enabled. I am looking forward to the day it arrives, fortunately having done a 17070 line test I am within 4.2km of the exchange - pheww!

Having read a number of posts though I am starting to panic - I have a new house, and it appears that some new homes have fibre and not copper phone lines!! How do I check please that my line is a 'normal' copper phoneline - thanks. Also is there any way I can check line quality? I know it has to be 55db or something. With a 56k modem I connect at 38.6 or 40 (which is crap), does this mean I might have a dodgy line? Thanks guys.
Posts: 732
Registered: 30-07-2007

RE: Fibre/Copper??

I don't think anything you have said is much of an indicator as to whether you will be able to receive Broadband. Your current dial-up speeds are more likely to be down to the equipment used at your ISP and not a function of your line quality. If you are able to measure actual transfer rates this would be a better assessment of line quality.

Notwithstanding, ADSL operates at much higher frequencies and therefore can be affected quite differently. The fact that some houses are connected by fibre (and I'm not entirely sure what you mean here) ought to be a bonus. At the master socket in the house it must eventually be copper wires in order to meet the specifications for domestic telephone connections. Therefore you must be able to connect a standard ADSL modem. I know that some companies now have 'digital' phones installed, which differ from conventional phones, but I have yet to hear of this technology being used for domestic lines.

I think for the time being you will only be able to speculate.

RE: Fibre/Copper??

I could be wrong, but I think I remember reading that the wires need to be copper all the way to the exchange in order for a line to be capable of DSL, hence why the poster in concerned.

Best way to find out whether your line is copper/fibre is probably just to write/phone BT and ask.

As for your line quality - this gets tested along with other things before activation. If your line isnt good enough for whatever reason, the line wont be activated and you'll get your money back. I suppose if you want to know right now, you could contact BT and ask for line tests...but I think they might charge for it.

RE: Fibre/Copper??

Your not wrong, ADSL requires copper from the exchange to the customer, if you have fibre im afraid you would have to get BT to change it over which is obviously charged to the customer (expensive i would of thought).

Now i could be wrong but i believe fibre was only rolled out to a few test areas and is not rolled out on a general basis to new customers/houses.
You would have to be extremely unlucky if you happened to be in one of the few test areas that got fibre.

If this info is not correct feel free to correct me as im going by memory from an article i read somewhere a few years ago before the actual introduction of DSL.


RE: Fibre/Copper??

Most of what is said is correct. Although Fibre has been rolled out to a greater extent than you think. I live in an area where all the houses are served by fibre. 5000+. I recently read a BT article which suggested they were testing ADSL over fibre. What annoys me is that Fibre has many more advantages over copper. To a certain extent copper is a dated method for data transfer compared to fibre. It would be good if BT got with the times and provided access via alternative methods of infrastructure.