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Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: ‎26-08-2007

Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

The BB availability checker at http://dslchecker.bt.com/ shows two different products for FTTC - Range A (Clean) and Range B (Impacted).

Do I determine which of these ranges my line is in simply by running a speed test?  I currently get between 55 and 61.  I presume this means I'm in Range B? Correct?

Two years ago I used to get between 69 and 71.  Does this mean I was then in Range A?

What do these ranges actually mean?  Are they just ways of categorising your line quality depending on the speed you get for the product you're on?  There isn't actually a "switch" somewhere with "Range A" and "Range B" written on it, is there.

 

 

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17 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

It gives some explanation below the table of estimates:

For FTTC Ranges A and B, the term "Clean" relates to a line which is free from any wiring issues (e.g. Bridge Taps) and/or Copper line conditions, and the term "Impacted" relates to a line which may have wiring issues (e.g. Bridge Taps) and/or Copper line conditions.

If your speeds are dropping, it may be worth raising a fault at http://faults.plus.net to see if we can help with that at all.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: ‎26-08-2007

Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Hi Harry

No, I know all that.  What I'm curious about is do the speeds I'm getting determine which of these ranges my line is considered to be in?  So they're just an easy descriptive term to help determine the environment that my line (and therefore anyone else in the immediate area) is in?

For example, if I was getting a speed of 63Mbps, would that mean I was at the low end of Range A (62.8 or higher) or the high end of Range B (69.2 or lower). 

Do BT classify a particular line as Range B because everyone gets a certain range of speeds, or do they get these speeds because BT have already classified the line as Range B.   You see what I'm asking?

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Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

What I'm curious about is do the speeds I'm getting determine which of these ranges my line is considered to be in?

I think you may be looking at it from the wrong end. The speeds wouldn't determine the range, the range would determine the speeds.

For example, if I was getting a speed of 63Mbps, would that mean I was at the low end of Range A (62.8 or higher) or the high end of Range B (69.2 or lower). 

In that example, it could be either to be honest.

 

do they get these speeds because BT have already classified the line as Range B.

I believe this is along the right lines.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: ‎26-08-2007

Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Exactly what I was after. You see when you get your results in the checker, all it says is these are the two ranges and these are the speeds you will get depending on the range you are in.

But then imagine a new customer using this checker to find out what speeds he's likely to get.  Doesn't tell him anything.  he could sign up and get anything from 38Mbps to 80Mpbs, because he doesn't know what range his  premises is in, or how "impacted" the local cables are.

Which leads me to the question that if I go by what the Checker says, then am I getting 55Mpbs because I have "bridge taps" and/or "copper line conditions" and am therefore Range B?  "Bridge Taps" appear to be dangling bits of wire left over from previous installations (it says on Google), but I can't find any indication what "copper line conditions" means.

However 3 or 4 years ago I was getting speeds of around 67 to 71Mbps.  Which would mean I was Range A - without "bridge taps" or "copper line conditions", according to the Checker.

So does that mean that some time in the past something physical happened to my line that caused it to change from a Range A to a Range B?  If I follow what the Checker says, then isn't that the only conclusion?

It's worth pointing out here that I have actually raised two calls in the past 2 or 3 years about the speed drop I noticed in about September 2013, when I went down from 67Mbps to about 53Mpbs (where I have roughly been ever since).  All I wanted was an explanation for what caused this to happen, but what I got was a lengthy investigation in which I was given very little information, and no conclusions, other than an engineer who came round and told me that I was within the acceptable range of speeds for the product I was on. To this day the reason why my fttc speeds dropped 20Mbps within the space of a month has never been explained to me.

 

The irony of it is that even if you accept that increased fibre take-up in your area can cause drops in speed, this seems to feed back to the availability checker, which then tells you that the speed you are now getting is the speed you can expect. It's like if your car suddenly became incapable of driving any faster than 50mph, whereas previously you were travelling at 70.  You query it with the manufacturer who tells you that because that is the speed your car now travels at, therefore that is the speed you can expect.  You never find the reason why.

I've learned my lesson and will probably never raise a call about speeds again, as quite frankly the process is so soul-destroying that you lose the will to live.  Smiley

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Terranova667
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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

HI, What you have been describing is very common and happens to many many fibre users even myself, since i joined Plusnet on fibre back in 2014 i have gone from 65Mb down to my current 46Mb and i lost the biggest chunk of that within the first 4 months or so.

 

now the reason for my loss is down to a couple of factors part of it is i'm on a crappy aluminium line not copper Openrech did my area very much on the cheap back in the day and now I'm paying for it big time and they wont replace it with Copper either unless i'm willing to pay for the cost which runs in the thousands.

the other factor and this is where i feel maybe you lie in this is down to crosstalk you may have heard of it you may not but in simple terms its interference from the lines of other fibre users, the more users that connect to the fibre cab the more interference there can be and depending on where your line in the cab is connected it will determine how much of the interference your line is blasted with some get a ton some are lucky and get nothing or a very small amount.

 

Sadly crosstalk cant be removed by normal means it requires a process called Vectoring which helps block out the Interference, this is something Many many fibre users have been waiting for Openreach to deploy but as yet they have not done so they have run trials in some areas but that's as far as they have come, Hopefully in the not to far flung future Vectoring will be rolled out and crosstalk will be a distant memory and Fibre users can get the speed back to what they once had maybe even a little more, but until then we simply have to live with the fear of ever decreasing speeds.

 

lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: ‎26-08-2007

Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Hi Terranova

You sound like you're in the same kind of area as me.  Our estate was built about 1979 and all the cabling was underground...and it's aluminium.

 

Yeah, I've heard it's crosstalk.  I just find it weird that my speed hasn't degraded over time, but took a sudden drop and then stayed there.  You'd kind of think that as more customers took up fibre, I'd see the speed drop in a more gentle curve.  It's as if everyone on my cabinet that was going to get fibre suddenly got it in September 2013, and then no more customers since then.

Anyway, it was on this forum that I heard of the concept of crosstalk.  Nobody on the support line has ever mentioned it.  All they ever said was "we'll look into it", keeping their cards close to their chest.  And then the engineer never says anything other than "your line's fine" and "thanks for the tea."

Cheers

 

Dave

 

PS So if I've got my forum set for GMT and language UK English, why the hell does it want to respell "aluminium" as "aluminum" ?Huh

 

 

 

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lorisarvendu
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Registered: ‎26-08-2007

Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Interesting.  My Estimated Line Speed is now 51.2Mbps, which would explain why recent speed tests are around the 47Mbps mark. 

Is this the general trend with FTTC nowadays?  Do our speeds gradually erode, to the point that we are dropped back to the 40/10 product, and will everyone eventually end up back there?

Since I am currently on 80/20 Unlimited, but now getting just above half of that, should I be raising a fault call? Or is this just the way things are now?

 Download speedachieved during the test was - 48.38 Mbps
 For your connection, the acceptable range of speedsis 40 Mbps-51.34 Mbps .
 Additional Information:
 IP Profile for your line is - 51.34 Mbps

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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

I don't have time to reply in detail right now, but will try and do so later.

Your line is not "classified" as being in a particular range (A or B) just because of the IP Profile you are getting. The ranges A & B are precisely and only for the reasons given in the explanation below the table.

The other point to note, is that Plusnet seem to be giving their estimated speeds now based on the lower B range because of many complaints where people have not achieved the expected speed for one reason or another (faults, REIN etc....). More to try and reduce the number of complaints and faults raised I suspect.

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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

You should also note that PN doesn't do a 40/10 product anymore, it's the 40/2 product. As with all the products, it the "Up to" that is the key point. Many things can reduce line speed, but with fine tuning and careful tweaking, the right router and internal wiring will help you get the best speeds.

Terranova667
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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Getting the best speeds isn't the problem it's keeping them which can be impossible in many cases due to Crosstalk and very very old degrading phone lines that should be replaced but will never happen.

our only hope really is Vectoring / Gfast whenever BTOR get around to rolling it out nationwide although based on their current roll out performance with G.INP i wont hold my breath with them doing a good job.  

lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: ‎26-08-2007

Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Well the router's plugged directly into the modem and the whole house is CAT5E, but I still get the same speeds when I connect directly into the Openreach modem, so i guess that kind of rules out any internal wiring or router issues. 

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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

It's a lot more dependent on the telephone wiring (the connection for the modem) - do you have any extension sockets, are you connected direct to the master?

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lorisarvendu
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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

We have one extension, wired by BT, but no the modem is direct into the Master socket.

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Re: Availability Checker Question - FTTC Range A & B

Do you have a VDSL(FTTC) faceplate on the master:

 

ORMk3.jpg or similar installed by BT?

 

 

Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.