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FTTC Self Install - the case for

AshleyHinton
Grafter
Posts: 42
Registered: 17-02-2009

FTTC Self Install - the case for

Hello
I'm moving house shortly and have been given a date to move my FTTC connection. All well & good, not as early as I would have liked but no complaints.
On the way home from work I did start pondering the case for FTTC "self install" and how at the moment the installation procedure is about as inefficient as it gets.
1) The filter isn't' anything special - its a fancy-looking ADSL filter.
2) The Openreach "modem" isn't hard to plug in - and also raises the question of all-in-one routers, especially when you consider environmental** impact of running two boxes.
3) At the moment an Openreach engineer may visit your cabinet 3 or 4 times a week - if activations were grouped together the engineer would need 1x visit to do that week's activations all in one lump. The customers (of whichever ISP's) would get a activation date when to plug in their VDSL router (or unplug their ADSL router and swap it for the VDSL router or modem/router combination)
Go to the cabinet, connect some stuff, get in the van, start the engine, drive 400 yards, park, do some stuff,.. then do the same thing maybe the next day! Its extremely inefficient.
All of this and the customer needs to be at home - something which I feel is totally unnecessary from a technology point of view.
Even if the Openreach engineer has to go to the exchange first to disconnect an ADSL circuit its the customer premises work which seems (to me at least) total madness.
So anyway, in we must wait for someone to turn up and change a face plate for a fancy *DSL filter & plug in a modem which is going to get less & less required as more combined VDSL routers come onto the market.
** i'm not an environMentalist - far from it - but running 2x boxes is a bit silly from an electricity use point of view and messy compared to a single box solution.
I just think its time ISP's pressed Openreach on this issue and made the whole thing a lot easier, increasing efficiency & making it more cost effective.
Discuss  Cheesy
Cheers,
Ashley
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,613
Thanks: 22
Registered: 29-06-2010

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for


They run two boxes for several reasons:
1. It splits computing load between the modem and the router.  Asking a single unit based on the power of the current generation of CPU's in routers to sort out the FTTC signal, do the error correction, act as a wireless access point, run the firewall, manage the dchp routing AND perform at 80/20 speeds is really asking a bit much.
Yes once new combined VDSL units come out - probably with the processing power of a netbook then all will be well.
2.  Given the number of posts on here from people with all manner of ADSL routers with odd settings plus the lunatics who tweak/mess up their connection etc etc you can see the case for having a standard unit setup fixed BT to which the user cannot get access to muck up!
3.  The Modem supplied is specifically paired up to the DSLAM. So you get a different modem depending on the chip in the Dslam/fibre box unit.
Shadowamd
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-05-2012

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

It's mainly back to the CSU/DSU analogies, the amount of demux's and framing / physical layer tech around in SP's is intriguing. I thought they would of done away with all this and gone down the Metro / pure ethernet core backbone which some SP's have. But it cost's money and when success of business depends on a couple of quid (If that) a circuit, upgrading EWDM backbones and distribution / core networks don't take lead. Routers are more capable than you think, I have an 837 with adv ent IOS. It's more than capable of running BGP / MPLS / QOS  and VPN protocols all at the same time and doesn't struggle. Even netgear routers can run a small business without really struggling, I have a lab with a cat 4K / 3524XL / 2960's / Servers and a set of 1700's which could probably power a UC datacentre.
jim:quote
AshleyHinton
Grafter
Posts: 42
Registered: 17-02-2009

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

Quote from: Jaggies
It's being trialled.

This indeed is good news, as the demand for FTTC installs increases it makes sense to investigate whether it's possible.
Interesting replies so far, I certainly haven't found any performance issues with an all in one router (Draytek 2750n)
It's doing everything including wireless, VPN, DHCP, VDSL (40/10) - in fact I've found it more reliable than using the two box setup. They're going to have to "allow" it officially - sooner rather than later - and accept that people will mess things up for themselves. ADSL went through the same evolution.
Mind you "reboot/fiddle with the router" has become a fix-all in some cases. I've had people do just that because their screen wasnt working, or their  computer was "making a funny noise.. so I switched it off.. Oh and I restarted the router & pressed its reset switch.."  Roll eyes
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

The use of microfilters on an FTTC line vs centrally fitted filter plate to the NTE5 brings a new issue into play.
On a typical simple internal house phone wiring you might find the following.
From NTE5 one spur to a socket in hall/drawing room where the Dect phone is connected to, and one other spur off from the NTE5 to the computer/router somewhere else.
Now if the filter is centrally fitted at the NTE5 the ADSL signal will NOT exist on the spur off to the phone, while if a micro filter is fitted at the phone end then the wiring to the said phone socket WILL carry the ADSL signal.
 
Where individual microfilters at the socket are used the spur off to the phone in this example represents what is called in technical circles a 'bridge tap' to the ADSL signal.  In so far as the ADSL signal is concerned it repesents an unused spur off its due path to the router at the end of the other spur.  These taps do indeed affect the signal as they cause reflections in the cable which introduce noise into the signal -and hence reduce sync speed - and it the length of these 'bridge taps' that is the problem rather than where they are or what they are for.
Up to now this has not been a great issue with ADSL.
This is because according to the theory 'bridge taps' on lines containing data at the frequencies used by conventional ADSL will not affect the line until they get longer than around 25m (as I recall).  So unless you have a large house where your various internal phone socket cables are in the 30m+ length up to now this has been all really rather irrelevant and only interesting to those doing post graduate studies on data transmission.
But now comes FTTC which has much higher frequencies and things all start to change.
According to the theory, at the FTTC frequencies, 'bridge taps' start to affect the signal once you start to get above around 7m - I think.
So now your 10m extension under the floorboards to the Dect phone socket in the drawing room IS going to start affecting the FTTC signal going to the router in the bedroom.
This is the reason I understood why in the FTTC installations it was essential that the filtering was done centrally at the NTE5.  This mean't that the signal was removed from the section of phone line to the drawing room in my example and the FTTC signal never saw the 'bridge tap' that it represented.
Hence the special FTTC filter plate and the re-wiring at the NTE5 to ensure that the FTTC modem was the ONLY thing on the data/unfiltered side of the filter plate (even if it did need a special extension cable) and that ALL the voice phone sockets including the old ADSL used one were all on the filtered side of the filter plate.
So your umpteen phone extensions could now be 100m's long and made out of bits of string and it would not affect the FTTC signal.
As you can see the size and complexity of the house internal phone wiring and whether it is daisy chained sockets or star wired sockets all starts to affect how FTTC will perform - even if the phone wiring is of a superb nature and rated to cat5e network cable - if the filtering is not done right.
I guess the trials are to establish how much non optimal filtering will affect the signal in practice - and will the majority of people even notice if their download speed is adversely affected by it.   Indeed for smaller houses and apartments only using the NTE5 direct and having no extension sockets etc in the place , then a self install with a FTTC microfilter at the phone end sounds the way to go.

Shadowamd
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: 18-05-2012

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

I really think BT would be better off with FTTP instead of trying to time division signalling copper all over the place, in the long run there are cost benefits. Obvious benefits, no electromagnetic interference, distance of 550m MM and 10K SM or even 100KM + with signal repeaters. Last transit ISP I worked for had DWDM TDM's allowing 1Tb's of transfer speed, I've heard of much higher. Biggest thing is it won't need changing in another 10 years, in the business industry we are already looking at 100GB ethernet connections.
With VDSL etc, they always seem to try and invent new ways of using old infrastructure which is cool and efficient. But the Boffin's can only do so much, whereas fibre has been proven time and time again..
Only downside I can see is you will need some sort of Fibre to RJ45 switch / cable modem like Virgin installs. But I suppose it's not a major issue.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,860
Thanks: 251
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

FTTP would take a lot longer (many years to install).
My router has 10/100 Mbs ports - but I bet it can't route at 100Mbps; so I would need a 1Gbps router perhaps?
It would cost a lot of money - especially with a wireless access point built in.

Ronski
Grafter
Posts: 259
Thanks: 9
Registered: 22-02-2012

Re: FTTC Self Install - the case for

Thread resurrection
Quote from: x47c

They run two boxes for several reasons:
3.  The Modem supplied is specifically paired up to the DSLAM. So you get a different modem depending on the chip in the Dslam/fibre box unit.


The above is not true anymore, I'm on an ECI cab and BT supplied me with a Huawei modem, and it has been mentioned many times that the HG612 Huawei connects slightly quicker than the ECI modem.
For guide on xdsl extension wiring so my signature.