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FTTC Install Fail

ups365
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎25-01-2013

FTTC Install Fail

Hi all,
My FTTC install has been a slight nightmare so far, and I am left without a phone line or broadband connection now. I warn you now, it is a slightly long read, I hope it makes sense.
I am a new customer migrating from Be Unlimited to Plusnet's Fibre Unlimited product (Broadband Only Order). The landline is currently a BT line with TalkTalk (the line is still on BT PSTN equipment, since I was partially unbundled (SMPF) with Be, and dialling 17070, the line test message implied that it was a BT circuit).
My line was due for activation yesterday afternoon (25/01/2013 13:00-18:00 slot), and sure enough BT Openreach technician turned up at around 15:00 and started doing the install. However it did not go well due to some problems, and I was told that he would not be able to complete the install, and that someone should come round to sort it out today.
Below is the description of what I was told was the problem. This may not be technically accurate or lacks detailed info, but I am saying what I was told. To me the explanation seems a bit of mishmash of info, and I as far as I understand it, the technicians only do things in the PCP, not the DSLAM cabinet for new connections.
Apparently one of the linecards is faulty on the DSLAM, and the technician was struggling to find a port that my line could be hooked up into. He called a colleague for help since his meter to test the VDSL2 connection died. Eventually they found a port, and hooked up my line at the PCP. My phone line was also working again, however the ECI modem DSL light did not turn on.
Both technicians came back to my house to find that they were getting nothing on the meter or the modem. They opened up the joint between the drop wire and the wire leading to the NTE5. In this joint box is a PCB with an IDC terminal, which the lines were punched into. They decided to pull the cables out of the IDC terminal, and use jelly crimps. Still nothing.
Finally, one of the technicians notices that my NTE5 is an old one with a green back, and apparently that does not work well with VDSL2. So they replaced the NTE5 backplate. One of the conductors in the pair being used from the junction box to the NTE5 was short, so they extended that with an extra bit of conductor (about 5-10cm long) and a jelly crimp. Still nothing on the meter. It is about 17:10 now, and they said nothing can be done, and that a technician should come round  to sort it out today, and they left.
After they left, I have discovered that the phone line is also now dead again (failure on my part, I should have tested this before they left). I plugged an corded phone into the test socket, and nothing (this is after they did the NTE5/junction box stuff).
I am currently waiting for Openreach to come (not holding my breath after reading about the noshows on the forums, even on official order for install, and currently I am going on the word of the technicians). This brings back memories of my Be LLU activation/install, where Openreach messed up and left us with a dead phone line and no ADSL for several days. 5 years later, migrating to Plusnet, the same thing happens (except on the PCP/domestic side instead of at the exchange).
However I seem to be in a bit of a limbo now. I don't think Plusnet can do anything since the install is not fully complete, and even if they could raise a fault they require an active working phoneline, which is currently dead due to the FTTC install. So it appears that now, if Openreach does not turn up to fix anything today, I have to raise a phone fault with TalkTalk, wait for them to fix the phone fault (most likely to take a good couple of days next week), and finally raise a broadband fault with Plusnet which will most likely be sorted the week after.
Is that correct? It is weird, since the FTTC install is not complete, but as a result of the works carried out so far, the phone line is dead (was working faultless, no noise or anything before yesterday, and was stable with a 1.8 dB SNR margin on ADSL2+), and I have to raise a phone fault with TalkTalk due to the bad/incomplete FTTC install, before it can be completed. I may also be without proper internet for up to 2 weeks (currently using usb-tethering with my phone).
***UPDATE***: No one from Openreach came today, as expected.
8 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: FTTC Install Fail

HI ups365,
Thanks for taking your time to post this and apologies for the circumstances in which you had to.
I've had a look over the account and it now seems that we have this in-hand and there will be an engineer visiting you tomorrow.
Please let me know how you get on and if you have any questions beforehand please let me know.
Chris
ups365
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎25-01-2013

Re: FTTC Install Fail

No problem Chris, and thank you for looking at this. I will give an update (hopefully with good news) tomorrow.
In case anyone encounters a similar problem, I was told yesterday by Plusnet technical support  that the best people to speak to about this is the Provisioning team, and to give them a ring after 09:00 today.
I did that, got through to the team in several minutes, and they called me back within 15 mins with another engineer visit booked for tomorrow morning.
Plusnet customer service has been excellent so far, and it has made me feel a bit better about the migration.
ups365
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎25-01-2013

Re: FTTC Install Fail

Well, the Openreach engineer has been round and all is working again, and the speed is good.
He came round at about 08:40 am, I told him about the problems on Friday, and that the landline was dead, and he was not aware of that.
So logically, the first thing he did was get the land line working again. As expected, the fault was in the house, and at the joint between the drop wire and the cable running to the NTE5. One of the cables was broken, perhaps it happened after the previous engineers put the jelly crimp on and tried to screw the cover back on. The joint is a BT 80A/92A, which was bypassed on Friday. Since there was a PCB with screw terminals and IDC block, there was not much space to put the cover back on. The cover must have pushed the crimps and the lack of space resulted in a break. Since the existing conductor pair on the NTE5 side of the cable being used was so short and there was not much slack left, the engineer swapped over to the unused spare pair. He also removed the PCB from the BT 80A since it was not needed and this would provide the space needed for the jelly crimps.  The dial-tone was now back, and the line was good and quiet.
There was still no VDSL sync, so there was a problem in the cabinet. So the engineer connected an Oscillator to the phone socket (to find the line at the other end) headed out into the PCP. He found that the connections made on Friday had been reversed (in terms of connections going to the E-Side and D-side IDC blocks (also referred to as ports) in the PCP). This meant that the phone would be fine, but the VDSL signal would not go through. So once this was corrected, he came back and used his EXFO meter (Openreach normally use either the JDSU or the EXFO) to test the connection at the master socket.
All results were good, attached are images of the tests. As you can see, my order was one of those that have gone through as a 40/10 order instead on 80/20. But it is pretty close to maxing out, and connected using VDSL2 profile 17a on fast path with very little errors. My estimated distance to the cab is 543m (using Google maps with a ruler to measure the length of the path based on following the BT manhole covers to the PCP). I know this length will be longer since the actual cable routes will have bends, the actual underground route will be slightly different and there is probably a bit of excess/slack.
I also got him to test the connection at the other end of the data extension kit to make sure there was no problem with the wiring, and all was fine. 
All in all, I am happy with the results so far:
   
Chris, could you please arrange for met to be put onto the 80/20 profile?
Thank you.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: FTTC Install Fail

Hi there,
Just went to place the modify but it looks like it's a little soon after the order completion to add another one to the system. I'll get it placed for you tomorrow if that's alright?
ups365
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎25-01-2013

Re: FTTC Install Fail

Hi Matt,
That is fine, thank you very much.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: FTTC Install Fail

I've placed the modify order for you, this will complete tomorrow.
Let me know how you get on.
ups365
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎25-01-2013

Re: FTTC Install Fail

Thanks for that.
I was put onto the 80/20 profile shortly after 00:00 yesterday morning.
The connection details are as follows:
Estimated Line Length: ~600 meters (based on my previous estimate plus some excess, and giving a rounded number);
IP Profile Downstream: 48.83 Mbps (BT Wholesale Checker Estimate = 45.9 Mbps);
IP Profile Upsteam: 20 Mbps  (BT Wholesale Checker Estimate = 8 Mbps);
 

 

Also worth noting that my pings are still nice and low most of the time, generally ~8 ms to a UK server. So I assume I am on fast path.
Overall, I am happy with the connection. I am ever so slightly disappointed that my downstream speed was fairly close to the estimate. I was hoping the checker was an underestimate and that I would have a downsteam speed of something between 50-60 Mbps. However, I knew it was unlikely, and it could have been worse. Still, I am very happy that I am on fast path with low pings, that almost makes up for the speed. Hopefully that continues to stay on.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) chrispurvey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 5,369
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎13-07-2012

Re: FTTC Install Fail

Happy to see that you're now up and running and on the correct profile.
If there's anything else then just let me know Smiley