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BT Master Socket

LittleReggie
Grafter
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎20-11-2008

BT Master Socket

hi.
i have just realised something that is slightly worrying - i dont think i have a proper BT master socket at my property. the black BT cable from outside enters the property through the roof (it's a bungalow btw), and terminates in the loft at one of those old-fashioned connection blocks (see pic below). from here there is a thinner white cable that runs through the loft and down into the living room to what i think is a traditional phone socket. it doesnt have a removable face-plate. i dont have any other telephony equipment though, just the one router and telephone at this socket, which is clear as a bell.
when trouble-shooting adsl connection problems, the first thing anyone says on here is to plug directly into the master socket. well i wouldnt be able to do this.
what i would like to know is:
1) is this something i need to rectify as a matter of urgency, or can i carry on with this set-up (which has been present since i moved to the property about 5 years ago)?
2) how much would  BT charge to install a new master socket? if they agree to put it where the current socket is (in the living room), will they need to run a new cable from the pole straight to the new socket?
3) could i have the master socket installed in the loft, where the existing cable terminates? i could put my router up there then, and keep the cable that runs down to the existing phone socket in the living room.
thanks,
reg.
19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: BT Master Socket

That's all fine as it is.
Just check that only 2 wires are used in the white cable and that the others are disconnected at both ends.
The white cable should be "proper" (CW130Cool phone wire which is twisted gently in pairs inside the outer sheath, typically 2 pairs sometimes 3.
The 2 wires used should "match", e.g. if modern be blue/white and white/blue (or both orange etc.).
(can't remember the codes for the older solid colours offhand)
LittleReggie
Grafter
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎20-11-2008

Re: BT Master Socket

thank you.
it is exactly as you say - the cable is "proper" telephone extension cable with only 2 wires connected. i dont know if this cable is bt's responsibility, or whether they are only responsible for the cable up to the old connection box.
it still worries me that i dont have a proper master socket though.. Undecided
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: BT Master Socket

Quote from: LittleReggie
it still worries me that i dont have a proper master socket though.. Undecided
I didn't have a master socket until about 4 months ago - original GPO plate must have been there for about 35 years.
When I did have an adsl fault the engineer fitted NTE5a, for free, so that he  could test the line.
Under the old adage " if it ain't broke don't fix it" I'd leave well alone. BT used to quote about £30 to fit a master socket but that could well have increased considerably recently.
You can buy an NTE5a from  www.adslnation.com or http://www.run-it-direct.co.uk/BTsocketNTE5.html
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: BT Master Socket

It's all BT's, up to and including the master socket.
It's not "legal" for you to replace the master yourself with an NTE5A, also pointless.  Wink
LittleReggie
Grafter
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎20-11-2008

Re: BT Master Socket

thanks for that.
interesting that these companies will sell a master socket to the public though?
sounds dubious to me!
actually, though, it would be quite useful for me to have the master socket in the loft. i can then put my wireless router up there out of sight, and not taking up space (and a mains socket) in the living room.
reg.
paulby
Grafter
Posts: 1,619
Registered: ‎26-07-2007

Re: BT Master Socket

This page describes how you can legally add an NTE5 socket to your set up.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re: BT Master Socket

Quote from: LittleReggie
sounds dubious to me!
They've been doing so for years - the only time one might have a problem is an officious Openreach engineer spotting that there's no Openreach logo on the socket.
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re:BT Master Socket

Hi there,
You can get the socket replaced by your telephone company, but if there's no issue there's no point (it falls into Openreach's Time Related Charges - work for the sake of it category Wink and costs just over the £100 mark at wholesale level).
If you have a fault of any sort Openreach will generally convert it for you anyway.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: ‎13-04-2007

Re:BT Master Socket

Quote from: Mand
If you have a fault of any sort Openreach will generally convert it for you anyway.
As happened to me and several other people I know.
Openreach charges have certainly jumped of late - doesn't seem that long ago that the list showed fitting NTE5, or replacing non BT product, as £25 + VAT
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: BT Master Socket

£25 + VAT as a specific additional task, assuming they are already there for another reason.
Otherwise there will be a call-out, minimum time etc. and it will be at least £150.
Gel
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,663
Thanks: 168
Fixes: 14
Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Re: BT Master Socket

Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re:BT Master Socket

It used to just cost £25 plus VAT. But now it's £25 plus the Time Related Charges call out (£85 for the first hour).
Not cheap, and if it ain't broken best to leave it be.
LittleReggie
Grafter
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎20-11-2008

Re: BT Master Socket

yes, its a no-brainer i suppose. as long as its working ok, i'm happy. if i get a fault and bt have to replace the socket then i win again.
incidentally, it isnt difficult to find branded "openreach" nte5a for sale on you-know-where. Lips are sealed
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: BT Master Socket

I am the same here, one of those old junk boxes, about 40 plus years old, but cant get any faster on ADSL, and  on value so no point of going ADSL2 - exchange just been done