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Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

snozboz
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Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Regarding the recent announcement on the blog about all broadband customers being moved (in chunks, month by month) to the 21CN and the "up to 20Mb" service...
When my turn comes round, should I opt-out?  On what basis should I decide?
I'm on the Plusnet Extra package, on a market 3 exchange, and use around 24GB data transfer each month.
http://speedtester.bt.com/ gives these results:
Download speedachieved during the test was - 3373 Kbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 600-7150 Kbps.
Additional Information:
Your DSL Connection Rate :4608 Kbps(DOWN-STREAM), 448 Kbps(UP-STREAM)
IP Profile for your line is - 4000 Kbps

My Router stats - THOMSON ST546
Modulation: G.992.1 annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 4,608
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.5 / 19.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 29.0 / 48.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 20.0 / 12.0
mybroadbandspeed.co.uk gives these results:
3724 kbps (466kB/s) 375 kbps (46.9kB/s)
As the FAQ says,
Quote
Customers receiving speeds under 4Mb may not see a significant improvement, and in some cases can see greater instability.

I seem to be right on the borderline - my DSL connection is a little faster than 4Mb, but my download speed is a little slower than 4Mb.  I might get better speed or reliability, and equally I might get worse speed or reliability, or there may be no difference.
I'm also considering opting-out because two other people I know (who I referred to Plusnet) were moved to 21CN when they changed their package, and this caused problems for them.
I'd be grateful for any advice - thanks.
30 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Your connection is very stable and you could probably benefit from an SNR reset. Although I'd like to see the errors your router's reporting? If it does work though you can probably squeeze another 1.5Mbps or so out of your current sync speed.
Regarding whether or not you want to switch to 21CN or not, then I'd ask yourself the following question. If you don't *need* any extra oomph, and probably wouldn't take advantage of it, then the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" is probably true in your situation.
If I'm honest it could go either way. A slight to moderate increase in speed, little change, or possible a slight reduction (21CN DLM tends to be a little over aggressive when compare to 20CN).

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

There are two different things.
Moving to 21CN and moving to the up to 20Mb service (ADSL2+)
You will be moved to 21CN whether you want to or not but you have the option of staying on ADSL1 or moving to ADSL2+
With your attenuation you should see a small improvement in speed but as your default noise margin seems to be 12dB you may have a noisy line and in which case I wouldn't recommend it.
I would suggest trying the router in the test socket and reports the stats again as, if your speed increases, that will show up a problem with your internal wiring.
Finally the DLM (Dynamic Line Management) System on ADSL2+ is much more aggressive so you may well find your default noise margin increasing to 15dB with consequently lower speeds.
In my opinion the possibility of a slight speed increase would be outweighed by the possible stability problems and I wouldn't go onto ADSL2+ unless you need the higher upload speeds
Community Gaffer
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Quote from: Oldjim
You will be moved to 21CN whether you want to or not but you have the option of staying on ADSL1 or moving to ADSL2+

Not entirely true Jim. We'll be moving customers to IPStream Connect as well as ADSL1/ADSL2+ on the 21CN network (although that's not really part of the bulk upgrades).

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Here is where I show my ignorance.
IPStream Connect is, as I understand it, a product that provides the option to pick up broadband traffic at the IPstream Broadband Remote Access Server (BRAS) node and has nothing tio do with the equipment in the exchange.
If the user's exchange is upgraded to 21CN then his connection can be moved from one set of equipment in the exchange to the other and the effect of moving is to allow ADSL2+ connectivity
According to this http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchanges/21cn_broadband
Quote
21CN product structure
  1. IPStream Connect - A 21CN variant of the existing IPStream product, with all of the same options and pricing.
  2. Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) - The new broadband product offers up to 24Mbps ADSL2+, QoS and considerably more flexibility for ISPs. In addition to WBC, there also exists WBMC (Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect) and WBCC (Wholesale Broadband Connect Converge).
IPStream Connect
There isn't much to say about IPStream Connect (the 21CN variant of IPStream). It uses the same backend infrastructure as the WBC products (including the MSIL), and therefore allows ISPs to maintain the newer WBC connections and the older IPStream connections on one product from BT. Aside from this backend change, the same product set will be available as on the existing IPStream lineup. The launch of IPStream Connect has been pushed back to Summer 2008 now, due to problems found in testing.
Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC)
The vanilla WBC product is the most flexible of the three. Crudely speaking, it is not that dissimilar to DataStream. But rather than having to rent capacity at every exchange from BT, the ISP has to install equipment ("have presence") at BT's WBC Aggregation Points (APs). There are twenty of these dotted around the country, and these are the same as the Core nodes discussed on the 21CN overview. One aggregation point will cover a region of the country, so an ISP would need to have presence at all twenty to cover the entire of the UK.
and this http://www.aaisp.net.uk/news-ipsc.html
Quote
During August 2009 we are switching lines over to IPStream Connect (IPSC). This page explains what and why and what that means for you as a customer.
In summary
Working with BT we are changing the way some lines are connecting within the network between BT and ourselves. It will mean a few seconds outage one night and that is it. You should not see any changes or problems if all goes well.
How it works
Originally 20th Century network (20CN) broadband lines provided using ADSL1 to customers (up to 8M) were connected over BTs ATM and IP networks to a pair of 155Mb/s BT Central links to us. The network largely used technology that had been around for decades. The links to us (BT Central) are expensive and difficult to manage
The new way of working with 21st Century network (21CN) means using ADSL2+ (up to 24M) which connect over a new 21CN IP network in BT and connect to us using a dual giga-bit link. This new link is much more flexible and economical.
At present we have both. For some time we have been upgrading individual lines from 20CN to 21CN as BT upgrade exchanges. This will continue for some years until all exchanges are upgraded. Running both types of network is expensive.
Switching over
In principle the switch over is simple. It means diverting the 20CN links within BTs 20CN network to the 21CN network so that we get all of the traffic, 20CN and 21CN down our new faster link to BT.
This has, however, taken something like a year longer than expected due to complications within BT. BT actually launched this link over a year ago, but that only got the traffic to 20 interconnect nodes for 21CN. Another part of BT had to build back-haul to connect in to the rest of the network to hand the traffic over to us. We never expected to be running both networks for any length of time, and have had to change our plans many times. Now, it is finally coming together.
Why change
There are two main reasons for the changes to 21CN: commercial and technical. On a technical front the end user connections on ADSL2+ 21CN are better and faster and the link to us is better and faster. On a commercial basis the links both ends are cheaper. We already reduced prices for this earlier in the year, before unexpected delays and costs.
Community Gaffer
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Quote from: Oldjim
1. IPStream Connect - A 21CN variant of the existing IPStream product, with all of the same options and pricing.

My exchange is *not* WBC enabled and I am on IPStream Connect.
A lot of people use various terms interchangeably and they probably shouldn't (I'm likely to be guilty of this myself TBH).

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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snozboz
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Quote from: Bob
Your connection is very stable and you could probably benefit from an SNR reset. Although I'd like to see the errors your router's reporting? If it does work though you can probably squeeze another 1.5Mbps or so out of your current sync speed.

Thanks for the reply Bob.
Here are all my router stats, hopefully including the reported "errors" you wanted to see.  I notice from the "Uptime" figure that the connection has dropped and been reestablished recently, which happened AFTER I collected the previous lot of stats I posted.
Uptime: 0 days, 10:45:42
Modulation: G.992.1 annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 4,544
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [KB/KB]: 0.00 / 0.00
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.5 / 19.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 29.0 / 48.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 20.0 / 13.0
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ALCB
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 53,710
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 199
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 177
So what do you think about whether the SNR reset is worth it?
BTW, I don't have much in the way of internal wiring: my router is plugged (through a filter/splitter) into the master socket.  I only have one telephone (plugged into the other side of the filter/splitter).
There is a second BT phone socket in the same room as the master socket, only 2 meters away just round a corner.  This second socket looks identical to the master socket - it has a split front face plate, the lower half of which can be removed with a couple of screws.  The only reason I believe the master socket to be the master socket is that it is on an external wall and seems to have a wire going more directly outside - the wire to the second socket runs inside along a skirting board for more distance before disappearing.  Previously when I took the face plate off both sockets, they looked identical inside too, and there were no wires connected to the terminals on the face plate or that I could see.  As the second socket functions with a phone plugged into it, I assume it is acting as an extension socket and may once have been a second phone line, though it isn't clear that the wire from it goes to the master socket.  I hope this paragraph makes sense!  Smiley  BTW, I don't have anything else (Sky box, wireless phone handsets etc.) related to telephony.
Quote from: Oldjim
There are two different things.
Moving to 21CN and moving to the up to 20Mb service (ADSL2+)
You will be moved to 21CN whether you want to or not but you have the option of staying on ADSL1 or moving to ADSL2+

Quote from: Bob
Not entirely true Jim. We'll be moving customers to IPStream Connect as well as ADSL1/ADSL2+ on the 21CN network (although that's not really part of the bulk upgrades).

I'm confused  Crazy
I know that being on 21CN doesn't necessarily mean you get an "up to 20Mb service".  I also think I know that the recently announced moves will, unless you opt-out, move customers to 21CN AND an "up to 20Mb service".  So I guess my question is whether the optional "opt-out" is an opt-out of BOTH moves or just the "up to 20Mb service".  And what this means...  Oh, and to clarify, am I right that ADSL 1 equals "up to 8Mb" and ADSL 2+ equals "up to 20Mb"?  Or are they different things as well?
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

If you take the faceplate off a master socket to use the test socket it should disconnect all the other sockets. If with both faceplates off both test sockets are working the wiring is incorrect - if you get to the point of having an engineer visit you should insist on that being corrected.
If you are using the second socket for a telephone can you confirm that you have the phone connected via a filter? (I don't think you are but it wasn't absolutely clear from your post)
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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snozboz
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Quote from: jelv
If you take the faceplate off a master socket to use the test socket it should disconnect all the other sockets.

How does it do this?  Is there a switch the faceplate moves mechanically?  As I said, both faceplates have NO wires attached to them.
Quote from: jelv
If with both faceplates off both test sockets are working the wiring is incorrect

I understand the logic of this.  I haven't actually tested whether this is the case however.  I'm not actually experiencing a problem at the moment - I was asking a question about whether to opt-out of the coming mass-upgrade.  So I'm hoping not to get to the stage of calling an engineer out! Smiley
Quote from: jelv
If you are using the second socket for a telephone can you confirm that you have the phone connected via a filter? (I don't think you are but it wasn't absolutely clear from your post)

Sorry it wasn't clear - you're right, I'm not using the second socket for anything.
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Quote from: snozboz
Quote from: jelv
If you take the faceplate off a master socket to use the test socket it should disconnect all the other sockets.

How does it do this?  Is there a switch the faceplate moves mechanically?  As I said, both faceplates have NO wires attached to them.

It's simpler than that; the extensions are supposed to be connected to the connectors on the back of the faceplate. The plug on the back of the faceplate goes in to the test socket to connect both the socket on the front and the extensions.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Superuser
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

If at one time there were two separate lines it's possible/likely those were on different pairs within the same physical cable. When the other line was removed possibly the engineer "helped" by connecting the freed up pair to the other one at a junction box (on the wall outside?). I think there was another post on these forums about a connection like that.
Based on your original question this is off-topic, but it may explain why your target noise margin appears to have risen to 12dB.
David
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

If there are issues with the line there's one thing that is almost certain: 21CN will react to the problems worse than 20CN!
I'd recommend getting stuck in to sorting out the issues and find out why you are syncing approaching 1000kbps lower that your attenuation suggests should be possible.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Gaffer
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Quote from: snozboz
Uptime: 0 days, 10:45:42
Modulation: G.992.1 annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 4,544
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [KB/KB]: 0.00 / 0.00
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.5 / 19.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 29.0 / 48.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 20.0 / 13.0
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ALCB
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 53,710
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 199
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 177
So what do you think about whether the SNR reset is worth it?

It's the CRC/HEC errors you need to keep an eye on. If you can find out how many you get with a router uptime of a couple of days then I'd be in a better position to advise. We could go for it regardless but it might result in up to 10 days of instability.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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snozboz
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Here are the latest details from my router:
Uptime: 7 days, 10:00:04
Modulation: G.992.1 annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 4,544
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [KB/KB]: 0.00 / 2.00
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.5 / 19.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 29.0 / 48.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 20.0 / 12.0
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ALCB
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 11,183,861
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 18,377
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 15,574
So what do you think Bob?  Is a SNR reset worth it?
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Re: Should I opt-out of the move to 21CN & "up to 20Mb"?

Tricky, that's a lot of FEC errors (averaging over 1,000 per minute!)
If the lines generally running OK at the moment I'd suggest leaving well alone.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)