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Maximum distance from cabinet

FIXED
Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Maximum distance from cabinet

What's the maximum distance from the cabinet anyone has seen working in real-world usage with FTTC?

 

Various websites mention 2 to 3km is about the maximum distance between home and the cabinet for FTTC.

 

The reason I ask is that Google Maps tells me I'm about 4km from my cabinet. Surprisingly, even at this big distance, I was able to get 5Mb on ADSL up until last week.

 

I upgraded to FTTC last Thursday and since then I haven't been able to get an Internet connection at all (BT OpenReach are currently working on this). So I'm wondering if FTTC actually has a shorter maximum range than ADSL.

I'm wondering if I'll end up with a slower speed on fibre than the 5Mb I was getting on ADSL (that's assuming OpenReach are able to get me a working connection at all).

11 REPLIES
Kdog
Rising Star
Posts: 91
Thanks: 52
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-01-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

Fix
It can on occasion happen that FTTC is slower and less stable than ADSL at range. On the ADSL side naturally it's copper all the way, but the question there is you might be 4km from the cab, but with 5mb available I'm going to hazard a guess the exchange isn't that far beyond that. With FTTC the distance of the fibre leg doesn't matter, but fibre is generally less stable than ADSL at range. If you check the estimate at dslchecker.bt.com for your phone number what are the VDSL rates? If they are low around single digit download figure then fibre may not be the best route as stability may become a problem. That said I'd still expect some connection even if poor, so if you're getting nothing at all that's likely something else. If OR are on it then it's waiting it out I'm afraid.
Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

OpenReach engineer is now here. He says at 4km we never should have been sold fibre as there's absolutely no chance it'll work at this distance. I'll update my existing Question with PlusNet to ask to be moved back to ADSL as soon as possible.
Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

kdog: the dslchecker website says 1 to 2.5 Mbps downstream for VDSL Range A (clean).

As this is less than the 5 Mbps we were getting on ADSL, and we're currently unable to get any connection at all on fibre, it seems that moving back to ADSL is the only option.
Kdog
Rising Star
Posts: 91
Thanks: 52
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-01-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

Looks like you've got the right plan there. VDSL at 2.5 is really pushing it. If the engineer included that the distance makes VDSL unviable then I don't think you'll have too much trouble getting switched back to ADSL but as a rule it'll be options that has to change the contract on the advice of tech/faults.

You can hang fire on the tickets but it may take a little time-faults would need to verify the ticket then send it on to you to contact options to get it done-it still needs your go ahead as it'd be a contract change.

Might be easier to cut out the waiting-call tech, get them to verify the fault report and transfer you through to options and all this can be sorted on the one call-save a lot of time waiting with no internet.
Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

@Kdog thanks for your help.

 

We now have OpenReach committed to getting us back online with ADSL by Friday 29th June at the latest. It took several phone calls to PlusNet to arrange this. Originally we were going to have to wait until mid-July, which I said was unacceptable.

 

Overall I've been pretty disappointed with the service from PlusNet recently. Each individual person I've dealt with has been friendly, polite and professional - it's just that behind the scenes things seem a bit chaotic and not joined together. I've had to repeatedly chase them to find out what's going on and get updates, trying to progress things.

On the plus side (no pun intended), I quite enjoy writing complaint letters and obtaining compensation for poor service.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 9,222
Thanks: 2,909
Fixes: 461
Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

Sorry to hear about the experience you've had when upgrading to fibre, and then back down again.

As @Kdog has indicated, fibre can deteriorate quicker over a long distance more so than ADSL.

I've checked your ADSL order and I can see it's on track to complete on the 29th. Let us know over here once you're back online and we'll be happy to discuss a gesture of goodwill.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

(Previous post attempt marked as spam).

I am writing to complain about the poor service we have recently received from PlusNet regarding the failed attempt to upgrade us to fibre.

I requested an upgrade to fibre broadband (FTTC) on the understanding that this was likely to increase our broadband speeds. In the past we have found that any ADSL speed estimates tend to be on the conservative side, so we assumed this would be the case with fibre.

Unfortunately, we later found out that our home is around 4km from our fibre cabinet and it’s not feasible for FTTC to work at this distance. By contrast, we have had a reliable ADSL service for a number of years which gives us around 4 or 5 Mbps.

It seems that our village (Thornton-le-Street) should never have been listed as being able to receive FTTC on broadband availability checker websites. The maximum working range for FTTC is around 3km from the cabinet.

On the day our fibre upgrade was activated, OpenReach engineers were unable to get a working FTTC connection, leaving us with no Internet. We were advised to place a request with PlusNet to go back to ADSL. Our ADSL has finally gone live again today ( 29/06/18 ).

We were without a working Internet connection from 12th to 29th June. This was particularly inconvenient given that my wife and I both work from home at times. I have had to use my smartphone to function as a WiFi hotspot over 4G. This necessitated the purchase of an extra 15GB of data from Vodafone, at a cost of £20.

Throughout this whole process, I have felt frustrated by repeated delays and poor communication. I have had to keep chasing PlusNet to ask for status updates and have needed to push to get this issue resolved in a timely manner. Additionally, the automated emails and texts which are sent out by PlusNet’s systems often seem to be mistimed or simply incorrect.

On more than one occasion, PlusNet staff blamed OpenReach for our issues, implying the problems were not PlusNet’s responsibility. Whilst this may technically be true, this is not a satisfactory response. As a PlusNet customer, I rely on you to liaise with OpenReach on my behalf. I cannot contact OpenReach myself. I expect PlusNet staff to take responsibility for providing the service I am paying for, regardless of whether the root cause of the issue is down to PlusNet or its suppliers.

To their credit, each individual PlusNet staff member I have dealt with has been friendly, polite and professional. They each tried to do their best to help with this situation. However, it seems that behind the scenes, our broadband issues were poorly managed by PlusNet. It seems that PlusNet does not have adequate systems and/or processes in place to deal with this kind of eventuality. This is a real shame as until this month, I was happy with PlusNet and regularly recommended you to friends and family. I now don’t feel able to continue doing so.

I understand that the ISP industry, including PlusNet, is preparing to introduce standardised compensation for issues such as those we have experienced. I would therefore like to suggest that PlusNet compensates us for our recent difficulties in alignment with these impending levels.

I would appreciate it if PlusNet could also compensate me for the £20 of extra smartphone data from Vodafone which I needed to purchase in order to have a functioning Internet connection. I am happy to provide written evidence of these costs upon request.

I would also like to suggest that PlusNet/OpenReach remove the village of Thornton-le-Street from all broadband availability checkers which incorrectly show FTTC is available in our village. Only ADSL works here due to the 4km distance from the fibre cabinet.

Thank you for refunding the delivery charge for our PlusNet Hub One router. It is appreciated.

At present I’m having trouble deciphering our recent PlusNet bills and charges. Please can you ensure that any charges relating to FTTC broadband are cancelled from our account and that we are now only paying for the same ADSL & phone package that we had before the failed upgrade to fibre.

Thanks in advance.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 187
Thanks: 56
Fixes: 16
Registered: ‎24-04-2017

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

Hi @Chopmallion, I'm happy to see your original ADSL is now back up and running and I'm sincerely sorry that this attempt in switching over to Fibre has been such an ordeal. Being that my response to your raised queries/concerns refer to account specifics I have raised a ticket on your account with my response that can be seen here.

 Ben Devine
 Plusnet Help Team
Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

Hi @BD. I've responded to your ticket with a counter-offer for your goodwill gesture. Your offer feels like an insult.

Chopmallion
Grafter
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-06-2018

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

I'd like to suggest an additional process improvement for PlusNet/OpenReach to implement.

 

When our fibre activation failed to work, it should have been raised as a fault so that we could be switched back to ADSL promptly.

 

What actually happened is that PlusNet raised a new order for ADSL, which is why initially we weren't due to get back onto ADSL until mid-July. I chased this with PlusNet and you were able to move the ADSL activation forward to 29th June.

 

However, as I note above, 15 days is too long to resolve a "broadband down" type fault.

 

Please can PlusNet review their processes to ensure that this type of fault is resolved in a more timely manner in future. I note that Ofcom now recommend that any such fault not fixed within 2 days ought to attract automatic compensation of £8 per day the service was unavailable.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 187
Thanks: 56
Fixes: 16
Registered: ‎24-04-2017

Re: Maximum distance from cabinet

Hi @Chopmallion , thanks for getting back to us. I'm sorry that you were insulted by the goodwill gesture I offered and I must point out that it was purely a goodwill gesture as we don't offer compensation or cover expenditures made during the downtime of a service. However, I have revised my previous offer and updated the ticket on your account which can be accessed here.

 Ben Devine
 Plusnet Help Team