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What is a Compatible Line?

kjpetrie
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What is a Compatible Line?

My 2-year very satisfactorily priced BB contract runs until next November, but my Line Rental saver expires in February. I discover it's not renewable. (Possibly connected with copper to FTTP/VOIP changeover period, which I also discovered yesterday? I presume that's also why your newer packages include Line Rental, so you can change the line type without creating contract issues on the withdrawn service, but I'm just guessing here.)

Anyway, back to my problem. As I prefer the annual advanced payment I've been researching alternative providers and there's only really one (Direct Save Telecom) which still provides Line Only with an annual advanced payment, but although they still seem to be using OR's lines they say they cannot carry alternative BB providers' signals on their line, so if I leave PN's line rental I also have to abandon my excellent BB contract early. I don't want to do that.

I'm puzzled. I can't see how keeping what is essentially the same line connected to the same exchange and coming, I presume, through the same cabinet could prevent me receiving PN's BB for the rest of my contract. Or are DST just refusing to allow competition on lines they manage, and is that permitted?

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bmc
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie 

PlusNet stopped selling separate line and internet products a while back. As with many other ISP's you need to take a combined package (as you've discovered).

 

It is the ISP's choice as to what they offer.

 

Have you checked to see if FTTP is available for your house. You're looking for WBC FTTP in the left hand column.

https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL

 

Brian

 

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

Thanks, but I'm not looking for FTTP. I just referred in passing to the fact everyone will be switched over to it over the next four years if what I read yesterday was correct, so presumably that's a quarter of customers per year, as the copper lines are replaced with fibre and the Public Switched Telephone Network is replaced with VOIP. I wondered whether the change in package structure might be connected, that's all.

In the meantime, I'm looking for a way to keep my BB if I have to move to a new line retailer now that PN's withdrawn the phone package I was on. I thought people were meant to be free to choose their BB provider, whoever rented them the line, as long as they're both on the same physical network.

 

RealAleMadrid
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie  Why not wait till your Broadband contract is about to expire and see what Plusnet can offer you for a new combined Line Rental and Broadband contract, you may be surprised to find that you pay next to nothing for the Broadband part, my 80/20 FTTC is les than £5 a month I have seen others who pay considerably less than that for the broadband.

This is nothing to do with FTTP/Voip, as for Direct Telecom maybe they only use unbundled lines such as TalkTalk or Sky and not standard OR lines. There are very few  suppliers who will supply just a phone service these days.

bmc
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie 

With regard to FTTP, do you actually use your land line. If not, it's not needed for FTTP. You can get FTTP without taking a phone line but the savings aren't great.

 

The FTTP rollout will not be complete in 4 years time. What is happening is that OpenReach are slowly but surely stopping selling PSTN connections and in due course will transfer existing PSTN connections onto a digital service. However, this can be FTTC and if you want a phone line only there is a product which will provide a digital line for VOIP (can't remember what it's called). There is some more information here

https://www.openreach.com/locations/mildenhall

 

As to your current situation have you called the PlusNet Options team to see what they'll offer. As ever I can't remember their number.

 

Brian

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

Thanks for that clarification and link. Maybe my interpretation of what I read about copper lines disappearing by the end of 2025 wasn't quite correct then. It gave the impression everyone would need to replace their modem/router with a fibre one and corded phones will no longer work because the fibre couldn't carry the 50v DC supply. I'll check the link to see what's really proposed.

@RealAleMadrid,

Because I don't want to pay monthly for the line rental. I like paying annually for that. The BB part is cheap, as you say, though yours is cheaper than mine, but the line rental isn't, and that's the part I don't want on the monthly DD. I prefer the annual bill with a small discount for that.

There are two things I'm trying to understand here:

1. Why the annual payment option has been withdrawn (I wondered whether it is because PN don't want to be committed to supplying a copper line for a whole year when a quarter of them are due to be removed, but that's just a guess - maybe there's another reason), and

2. What then is the difference between an unbundled line and an OR one? I thought there were only two types of line, OR and Virgin. I've never seen a Sky or Talk Talk cabinet, only OR (green) and Virgin (grey) ones.

 

RealAleMadrid
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie  Plusnet have decided to withdraw line rental saver, for reasons only they know, nothing to do with removing copper lines which won't happen for many years.

Sky and TalkTalk use openreach lines, they don't have their own cabinets but unbundled lines are handled in a different way at the exchange connecting to their own equipment, not openreach or BT wholesale

What's the problem with paying monthly line rental? The discount for annual payment was not great.

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

DD doesn't suit me. I can cope with a small amount, but not larger amounts. I could easily go overdrawn and incur bank charges on top.

 

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

Well after reading the articles linked above, it certainly looks like FTTP to me, and they definitely intend to complete it by the end of 2025. In Salisbury people have just over a year to change over before they lose the existing service.

 

 

bmc
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie 

I think teminology may be confusing things.

 

The copper cable network is not being withdrawn. What is being retired is the PSTN service that uses copper. If you image (in very simplistic terms) an Exchange has two sets of equipment - one for phone lines (PSTN) and one for the Internet (DSL). Both will feed into your line to provide services. I know with FTTC the DSL equipment was moved out of the Exchange to local cabinets.

 

The PSTN equipment is being shut down so that everything comes through the DSL equipment. As previously mentioned this can and will use FTTC. FTTP is different in that there is no copper cable used so all services are provided over digital - including VOIP.

 

You are correct in thinking some sort of modem will be required in each house for phone services. Many existing modem / routers already have a phone output. Others will need replacing or a separate box supplied.

 

The one question that hasn't really been answered yet is power - unlike PSTN the system won't work unless a house has a battery backup. Even then, this would only last for so long.

 

Brian

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

Could you explain where you're reading that please, because what I read at https://www.openreach.com/news-and-opinion/2020/Salisbury  (linked from the link you gave above) is:

"For blocks of flats we used new external InvisiLight ® cabling – it’s a fibre optic cable with 24 fibres inside.  This allowed us to connect historical buildings externally and almost invisibly. It also helps address the common problem of landlords not giving us wayleave permission to get inside and connect their tenants to Full Fibre." and "I’m most proud of completing the project early, considering we weren’t just putting in the network but also the connectors for each property."

That implies they needed to get fibre to the individual buildings and flats, not to a cabinet at the end of the road. That article refers to moving the city to "Full Fibre" throughout. To me "Full Fibre" means FTTP.

If you have information this isn't about replacing the cables to individual premises as well as the exchange equipment, please share the source.

 

bmc
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie 

You appear to be confusing two entirely different programs.

 

The PSTN retirement is due by the end of 2025 (though I would be surprised if the deadline is met).

 

Full UK coverage of FTTP is not expected until around 2030 (last time I heard). Even then a small number of properties may have to use satellite coverage to get decent speeds. OpenReach may never have full coverage as there is a large number of Alternative Suppliers doing FTTP, although OR will be able to provide a landline service over VOIP UK wide using the copper network.

 

Brian

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

There's no need to argue. There are three videos at https://www.openreach.com/events/the-uk-digital-upgrade-event which explain this very well. It seems some copper lines to premises will remain in areas where FTTP will not be ready in time, and everyone else will be migrated to FTTP (second video) However, it's also clear this is not two separate programmes but one integrated whole, with provision for places where the full upgrade can't be achieved in one go.

 

RealAleMadrid
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

@kjpetrie  you are definitely confused by the separate PSTN and FTTP projects that are happening and Salisbury is a special case where it is going totally FTTP. But back to your problem with paying monthly line rental, if you are OK with paying around £200 in one go for a years line rental why is in not possible to use that money to pay it monthly. 🤔

kjpetrie
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Re: What is a Compatible Line?

I'm going to believe OpenReach's explanation of what they're doing, not unsubstantiated assertions without backup evidence. They're very detailed and clear and it's easy to understand.