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Fibre: master socket question

Adam1V
Grafter
Posts: 223
Registered: 31-07-2007

Fibre: master socket question

The Plusnet FAQ states:
Quote
14. I don't want to or can't use the master socket
If your master socket isn't in a handy place (e.g. if there are no nearby power points, or it's in a garage or attic), the engineer can fit a data extension cable. This will let you install the fibre modem up to 30 metres away from your master socket. If you're thinking about this, try to pick the new location before the engineer arrives.

We are about to move into our new build which has sockets in all the rooms.
Surely there's no difference to plugging into a non master socket then plugging into a 30m ext cable which is connected to a master socket?
FYI, I've looked at the sockets and none of them appear to be a master, does the BT engineer replace a particular socket for a master?
21 REPLIES
AxeMurderer
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: 18-05-2011

Re: Fibre: master socket question

The cable from BT has to enter your new house somewhere. Wherever that is, it will be routed to a nearby socket. That would usually be your master socket. all the others are extension sockets wired to this.
However, and the FAQ may not mention this, BT can convert an existing extension socket into a new master socket*. So it looks like you are spoiled for choice!

* there may be some restrictions, depending on how your extensions are wired.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Quote from: AxeMurderer
However, and the FAQ may not mention this, BT can convert an existing extension socket into a new master socket*. So it looks like you are spoiled for choice!

* there may be some restrictions, depending on how your extensions are wired.

They can't or should not be doing this as the master socket has to be the one that the external cable is connected to.
AxeMurderer
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: 18-05-2011

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Yes they can. They have done in my house. The old rules may have changed.
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Quote from: Adam1V
Surely there's no difference to plugging into a non master socket then plugging into a 30m ext cable which is connected to a master socket?

Extension cable is different spec to normal house telephone extension wiring also, I believe broadband would be split away from voice band at the master socket so 30m extension is only carrying broadband.
Adam1V
Grafter
Posts: 223
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Thanks guys, that's all very useful to know.
I've just realised I have 2 Ethernet points next to each bt socket anyway so worst case is I'll still take Ethernet back to my patch panel? But it would just be nicer to store the modem/router out the way a bit
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,411
Thanks: 4
Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: Fibre: master socket question

If your house is built with a patch panel for Cat5-style comms, that suggests you have some forward-looking wiring guys involved.
If that is the case, then I'd *also* have expected:
a) The master socket to be at the patch panel
b) All the secondaries to be direct links back to the patch panel, as opposed to the more normal daisy-chaining.
OK, the last one might not have happened, but there is a chance that it is wired identically to the ethernet sockets (ie Cat5 cable). After all, a house posh enough to have a phone socket and 2 ethernet sockets in every room, is one that will have made allowance for a patch panel and perhaps multiple phone lines and extensions (or even a small PABX).
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Quote from: AxeMurderer
Yes they can. They have done in my house. The old rules may have changed.

From your description in another thread I would say it was a bodge.
AxeMurderer
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: 18-05-2011

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Well it was an official bodge. The engineer who turned up for me was being trained on-the-job so I think it unlikely that his supervisor (also present) would be training him to do something he shouldn't! However, since BT have departed my shonky extension cable has miraculously transformed itself into a length of external rated cat5, routed to a slightly differently-positioned master socket. And the wire between the master socket and fibre modem also seems to have transformed itself into an RJ11-terminated cat5 cable. No idea how any of that happened...
Slightly more on-topic, I did some digging around yesterday and found that BT really can and will replace an existing extension socket with a new master, provided that the extension socket is directly wired to the original master. So if you have a long chain of extensions they can only swap with the first one. If you have several extensions directly wired to the original master socket then they will replace any one of them. The source for this was comments by BT engineers on one of their public forums.
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Quote from: WWWombat
If that is the case, then I'd *also* have expected:
a) The master socket to be at the patch panel
b) All the secondaries to be direct links back to the patch panel, as opposed to the more normal daisy-chaining.

Depends very much on how flexible the builders are...we had CAT5 wiring added to an estate build house 10 years ago...the builders didn't understand what had to be done at all...
In our case the BT master socket is on the ground floor inside directly opposite to where the BT cable appears above ground outside the house. There are also two mains sockets here and 4 CAT5 links to a patch panel in the loft.
Most other rooms then have two CAT5 outlets that also go back to the patch panel. Now with FTTC I have the BT modem right next to the master socket and feed Ethernet upstairs using 1 of the CAT5 links. On the phone side I adapt
the BT line socket to RJ45 with a "special" cable and again feed to the patch panel as CAT5. On the patch panel I have several "parallels" so the phone CAT5 plugs in to one of these and then gets patched down to rooms as required. In
each room I then use a standard RJ45 to BT line socket secondary adapter.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Quote from: AxeMurderer
Slightly more on-topic, I did some digging around yesterday and found that BT really can and will replace an existing extension socket with a new master, provided that the extension socket is directly wired to the original master. So if you have a long chain of extensions they can only swap with the first one. If you have several extensions directly wired to the original master socket then they will replace any one of them. The source for this was comments by BT engineers on one of their public forums.

Yes, the cable between the old master socket or a junction box has to be a direct feed to the new position of the master socket. What you described in a previous thread was that they used your existing extension cable and that this cable was carrying both the feed to the new master socket and turning the old master socket into an extension socket, this is a bodge.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,718
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Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Fibre: master socket question

Quote
this is a bodge.

I wouldn't use those exact words but that doesn't sound ideal
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
AxeMurderer
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: 18-05-2011

Re: Fibre: master socket question

BT used the cable that I had installed years before. This was the sort of cable that you can buy in a DIY store to add extension sockets with - it was not external-use-rated, and ran outside, down a wall, and in again. As far as I could tell, it was not even twisted pair. BT used two of the wires in this cable to link to the new master socket. They could have used the other pair to make the old master socket functional as an extension, I believe, but in fact they did not (I hadn't looked inside the old master socket when I originally posted).
This is a bodge only in as far as BT incorporated a not very highly rated, but actually not performance affecting, cable into 'their' part of the system. Although it has now mysteriously been replaced by a cable that is at least as good as they could possibly want.
It remains the case that BT can and will convert an existing extension socket into a new master socket, provided that it is directly wired to the original master socket. And this is very very useful as it solves a lot of potential fibre installation issues. For example, it would be pretty easy to arrange for an extension socket to be exactly where you want the new master socket/fibre modem to be, before BT arrive...
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,411
Thanks: 4
Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: Fibre: master socket question

A BT engineer installed our original ADSL modem, back in 2000, with the master moved to be at the far end of a daisy-chain of internal sockets, and the incoming line carried through the intermediate sockets on the 1-6 pair. That will have been the third socket IIRC. That line worked fine carrying the 2Mbps standard at the time.
I'm probably quite happy that the FTTC is on the other line - which just comes through the wall, with no extension wiring to be getting in the way...
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
Adam1V
Grafter
Posts: 223
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Fibre: master socket question

I installed all the cat5e + satellite cable + patch panel myself but didn't pay too much attention to the telephone line cables. I think I'll be ok. The install is booked when I have a day off, so I'll make the engineer a nice cup of coffee and have a good chat Smiley