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FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Hi
I am interested to see what speeds people want from a FTTP connection (and are prepared to pay for).
Please be realistic in terms of a speed variant and what it would roughly cost (330/30 Mb is likely to cost £50+ a month). As a very rough guide, this is what BT Infinity currently charge for their FTTP packages:
40/10 Mb - £15 (40GB usage)
40/10 Mb - £15 (Unlimited usage)
80/20 Mb - £26 (Unlimited usage)
160/20 Mb - £35 (Unlimited usage - set to increase to £37.50 on 4 Jan 14)
330/20 Mb - £50 (Unlimited usage)
I would imagine that 80/20 Mb and 220/20 Mb will be the most popular choices.
Thanks Smiley
13 REPLIES
cajef
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

I am on Plusnet FTTP trial and am getting 80/20 Mb unlimited for £19.99 per month, plenty fast enough for my use and more than satisfied. Smiley
RobPN
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Quote from: Hobo
I am on Plusnet FTTP trial and am getting 80/20 Mb unlimited for £19.99 per month, plenty fast enough for my use and more than satisfied.

When I get around to ordering FTTP (already available to me - just needs ordering) I will probably do the same as you as those speeds and price combination look quite reasonable (apart from the fact I'll have to pay the penalty of £2.50 on top for refusing to have my phone with PlusNet).
Therefore I haven't voted in the poll because that combination isn't listed.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Quote from: RobPN
Therefore I haven't voted in the poll because that combination isn't listed.

The poll is just for speeds...I don't know what PN will charge (but I am assuming there will be a £2.50 saving/surcharge if you have your home phone with PN too). The only reason I put the BT Infinity pricing was to provide some kind of idea of speed vs cost (just in case people think they will be able to get 330/30 for £19.99 a month!).
digitalfixer
Grafter
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Registered: 20-11-2010

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

I am currently on the 330/30 trial and was on the 100/10 trial before that.  In terms of speed I have noticed the faster upload speed but very few sites have the bandwidth to show any significant difference with the download speed yet; BBC IPlayer and Microsoft MSDN are a couple that do, but  for example Sky digiboxes  only have a 10/100 LAN port so can't take advantage even if Sky had the bandwidth. Where you do notice the difference is when several people are downloading at the same time, so I would like to keep a faster than 100/10 connection but don't feel the 330/30 speed is really needed or usable yet.
As for cost I am currently paying £19.99 for the 240gb capped service with unmetered usage midnight to 8:00.  The 240gb limit is fine as even with downloading a few things to the sky box and watching the occasional IPlayer program I rarely go over  about 120gb. I would be happy to pay a little extra to get something better than the 80/20 FTTC speeds but could not justify £50 for 330/30. So if the 220/20 speed was available for say around £25 a month, even with capped usage then I would happily pay the extra (hopefully Plusnet will reward those of us on the trial with some discount or up lift so I don't pay any extra)
The other aspect of the faster speeds that FTTP offers is that the Router also has to be up to the job.  To make use of 220 or 330Mb download you either have to have wired GigaBit connections or wireless AC (or the faster N variants), otherwise you are wasting your money.  So I think it's important that along with the faster connections, suitable routers are also offered.  With the proliferation of wireless networks particularly in urban areas the single band wireless N routers provided for the trials are a little lacking.  Therefore I would like to see dual band routers being offered, ideally with Wireless AC, which would allow you to take advantage of the available bandwidth both wired and wirelessly.  Purchasing my own dual band router  (an ASUS RT-N66U) has helped improve wireless performance to those devices (IPhone,IPad, laptop) that can take advantage of the 5ghz band.  So maybe offer the option at extra cost of a better router or even a discount if you use your own?

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,380
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

I find that the 80/20 FTTC I'm on (really around 68/1Cool is more than enough for my needs. I'd say I could get away with 20/10 for 99% of the time with the extra speed handy for the odd burst of downloading or if I'm sending a large email (or a customer is downloading a large file etc).
In fact I'd rather have something like a 40/40 or 30/30 for my needs.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

@ digitalfixer/picbits
I agree with everything you've said there.
Realistically, I don't think 330/30 is geared towards domestic users in the first place. There is just not the need for that kind of bandwidth for probably 99.9% of households. It's another story for businesses who have leased lines or bonded ADSL connections. There is either going to be a significant cost saving/performance improvement.
The extra bandwidth comes in use when you need to download something but you are governed by bandwidth of the hosting site/sites. When iOS 7 was released, I was downloading it on a couple of devices at the same time as well as streaming from Hulu HD. Everything worked fine and I didn't notice any issues (I am on 100/15Mb). I would happily pay up to £35 a month for the 220/20Mb service on an unlimited package (it would be a bonus if BT Sport could be bundled with that for no extra cost...). The difference in BTO's pricing between 220/20Mb and 100/15Mb works out as roughly £3 a month (I know the ISP has to then factor in bandwidth costs/overheads etc.), so it seems like a no brainer for me. I can remember paying something like £50 a month in the early days of ADSL for a 256Kbps connection.
With online media streaming, even 80/20Mbps is going to be more than capable to meet the demands for the next few years. The "Super HD" Netflix videos are encoded for 7Mbps and 12Mbps for 3D (http://blog.streamingmedia.com/2013/01/netflix-announces-major-isps-deploying-their-cdn-caches-new-3d-streaming.html) and 4K stream requirements are expected around 15Mbps when they come out next year.
I use Sky On Demand a fair bit, but even a HD movie (4GB) downloaded every day would only amount to c. 120GB a month. Seeing as the movies are essentially streamable while downloading, 80/20 is fine for Sky. It wouldn't surprise me if there is some kind of speed limit on downloading from On Demand to better manage their network.
As for routers, I think a Gigabit router with the latest dual band N is a must for FTTP. I also have the RT-N66U and cannot fault it in any way. All my fixed network devices are linked up on a gigabit network and the wireless devices work perfectly with the dual band N wireless network. I would imagine Plusnet will launch a FTTP/H router at some point in the future. I had a look at Technicolors website and they have or are doing an integrated ONT/router for FTTP now - http://medialibrary.technicolor.com/CommunsImagesEnLigne/Download/2933064_333_1_277_0-4991347CDA2161... Not sure if this will be compatible with BT's network, but I expect to see integrated ONT/routers coming out in the not too distant future.
cajef
Grafter
Posts: 208
Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Quote from: digitalfixer
Therefore I would like to see dual band routers being offered, ideally with Wireless AC, which would allow you to take advantage of the available bandwidth both wired and wirelessly.  Purchasing my own dual band router  (an ASUS RT-N66U) has helped improve wireless performance to those devices (IPhone,IPad, laptop) that can take advantage of the 5ghz band.  So maybe offer the option at extra cost of a better router or even a discount if you use your own?

Have to agree, the PlusNet supplied router for fibre is poor especially the wireless range, I bought a Netgear DGND3700v2 dual band router and have found it excellent.
One of the reasons I went for fibre apart from being able to get FTTP was because on ADSL2+  I had been getting occasional drops and speed varying issues for a few months, as the FTTP was only an extra £10 an month which to me was worth paying I switched and have to say in the two months since fibre was installed I have had a rock steady connection and the speed has always remained stable.
hmarshy
Grafter
Posts: 135
Registered: 09-08-2010

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Hi Andy
I'm very happy with my current setup as an FTTP triallist in MK on 100/15 with 60GB limit  - recent speedtests have been reporting 90/16, so 80/20 would be great.
I guess we are all waiting to see what PN propose going forward.
Cheers
Howard
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,339
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

I voted 40/10 - for the sort of things I do I can't see anything faster making any practical difference.
Having said that I'd want it to be 40/10 24x7 - I'd rather have a stable lower speed than a variable higher speed which was time of day dependant.
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)
beeceegee
Rising Star
Posts: 511
Thanks: 31
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Registered: 27-11-2012

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

I've voted 80/20 - that's if BTOR ever get round to finishing the infrastructure in these parts (been at it nearly 3 years now and still no sign of them actually getting it into service). My current router (Billion Bipac 7800n won't cope with the throughput of anything higher, and it has a good few years of life in it yet. Actually I reckon it will be pushing its limit with 80Mbps on the downstream 
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Well, I'm none too impressed with FTTP as a product so far.
The price would be fine if the connection performed to spec (ie. 100Mbps in my case) when browsing HTML pages, but it does not do most of the time. It does occasionally, so it isn't a question of the websites themselves not being able to keep up: the problem is definitely the subscriber connection somewhere.
Problems are treated by both Openreach and PlusNet as if the connection were ADSL, which leads to no end of nonsensical time wasting.
And because any problems can only be quite technical, Openreach have no idea how to address them (or perhaps just no desire to do so), even when they are explained and documented in careful detail.
I had Openreach round again today - unannounced and uninvited, presumably because I said I wouldn't accept any more pointless visits - and a couple of engineers sat there with their laptop browsing a few random web pages so that they could write in their notes "Seemed to work OK". Very useful. For them. So they can say there's no "fault".
Well it does work OK if you think 6Mbps-ADSL-style performance is OK for surfing.
Even iPlayer was buffering all over the place last night (after the peak, about half midnight), although FTTP is usually very good for running multiple video streams simultaneously.
So I can't say I'm too excited about 100Mbps fibre all the way to the home any more. I certainly wouldn't recommend my neighbours with ordinary browsing needs to spend the extra money on it. Nothing wrong with the technology itself, but it's a bit like having a Ferrari on Sark. I think my exchange must be the BT Wholesale equivalent of Sark - you have to take a small, slow ferry somewhere else before you can drive anywhere!
I thought it would be good to be able to put aside all the usual xDSL vagaries of crosstalk, SNR, interleaving and the like - but Openreach are completely at sea without all that stuff to fall back on. Without it, real network issues are exposed, and they don't seem to know what to do about them. The answer they've settled on? Steer well clear of actual troubleshooting, do a speed test, confirm you're getting 90Mbps and conclude everything must be alright then. Job done!
So jelv has a point - if it makes no practical difference the 90Mbps throughput is just a number.
The disappointing thing is that it should make a practical difference. Web surfing can be startlingly fast. The same 1MB HTML page has taken 22 seconds, 2 seconds, and 250 milliseconds to transfer over my FTTP connection on different days. I definitely preferred the 250ms experience.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,818
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

@ Superzoom
Something is clearly up with your connection or exchange. It certainly shouldn't be like that....
It does seem like BT don't know what they are doing at times with faults like yours. When it's clear there are no issues your end, they still persist on sending out engineers. Even with obvious exchange capacity problems they still send out engineers to change ONTs/modems etc (at what cost?!). The guy who did my install admitted they were chasing their own tails when trying to find fibre faults - apparently the diagnostic equipment is so expensive, they only give it to the regional engineers who cover large areas.
I am in the fortunate position that I can post on here or our local broadband action group forum when my speeds slow down/I get packet loss etc. But I have found that speed/packet loss issues are picked up a lot quicker by users than BT (in fact it can take BT days to even acknowledge an issue).
You and jelv bring up an interesting point about speeds. I have a feeling that if someone on a 100/15 sees slow downs in the evening, being on a lower speed product will result in the same kind of slow down. The BT checker for me says  "For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 16 Mbps-96.54 Mbps". I would be pretty annoyed if I was getting 16Mbps all the time and paying for 100Mbps!
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: FTTP Speed Variant Poll

Something is definitely up, yes! Though not with the fibre itself. PlusNet have explicitly ruled out capacity and the bRAS. They may or may not be right in that. I reckon it could be a swtich issue of some kind. Dave would like the OLT to be checked out. Openreach will do everything to avoid investigating the problem actually reported (including sending engineers here randomly and asking me to restart a Windows machine in Safe Mode, without actually knowing why!!!). They'll be checking my printer for paper jams next. But I don't want to derail your thread with the specifics. What it will come down to in the end is whether, as part of the trial, PlusNet wants to get to the bottom of it or not.
In a way, it could be seen as a relatively minor issue, in that browsing works kind of OK - it is no longer horrendously slow - and when Openreach haven't been winding me up I can view it as such. My wider point was that it isn't working as it should, and therefore there is no point in paying for something it can't deliver.
As you say, that lack of delivery will likely be the same regardless of the exact headline speed of the connection. The deficiency can be much more apparent with FTTP because the final mile doesn't introduce a whole new fog of variables - it should just work, as advertised.
I would also be annoyed if I were paying for 80 or 100 Mbps and getting 16, of course, but mostly I'm getting 80-90 now in terms of throughput for large downloads. Anything beyond that basic measure, Openreach don't want to know about.
So anybody buying FTTP for a faster overall internet experience will not necessarily get what they think they are paying for, and in that sense 40Mbps or 400Mbps may make no difference over 6 or 10 Mbps - even though it can and should.