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FTTC installation - all's well that ends well, but what a saga

grahamt
Rising Star
Posts: 561
Thanks: 12
Registered: 05-04-2008

FTTC installation - all's well that ends well, but what a saga

The good news is:
- My FTTC installation was completed today, I'm up & running, my profile's set to 37Mbps and speedtest.net tells me I'm downloading at about that speed (I expect this to drop once BT's DLM has its evil way, but this is a good start)
- In the end I got the installation I wanted, where I wanted it.
- All the Plusnet people I spoke to on the phone over the past two days were friendly and helpful, and it didn't take an unreasonable amount of time to get through. Good service.

The problems were:
- Communication between Plusnet and Openreach could be a lot better. I'd told Plusnet about the non-standard wiring in my house, and a support person (with Adam's prompting) had written that he'd tried to pass this on as best he could within the 75-character(!) limit on the order. However, neither of the engineers I saw knew anything about this. The first engineer also had the wrong location for my cabinet, but that's just an Openreach issue.
- Engineer 1 came yesterday, from 40 miles away. Nice man, but inexperienced. He switched me to VDSL at the cabinet once he worked out where it was, but couldn't really figure out how my wiring worked despite my map. He then spent a lot of time on the phone to his boss trying to explain things (not very well) and asking for advice. He eventually gave up, reconnected one socket so that I had a phone service and left my with a load of open sockets and dangling wires and no broadband, promising to return at 8am today with a more experienced colleague. I reported this to Plusnet, and the support person said that's not how Openreach works with incomplete jobs, but we'd see.
- No sign of anyone early this morning. Phoned Plusnet at 9.30, and the support person rang back to tell me that someone would now come within the hour. Engineer 2 arrives promptly, and is local, but of course doesn't know anything of what's gone on before. He says he can't install the master socket where I want it because the 'home wiring solution' (aka 'data extension kit') wasn't on his ticket. After a (polite) discussion we agree that he'd put everything back the way it was before and switch me back to ADSL2+ at the cabinet. I would contact Plusnet and ask them to issue a new order, with the extension kit definitely specified. (I knew I'd ticked the 'data extension kit' box during the order process but I figured this info had got lost along the way.) He restores the original configuration and leaves.
- Half an hour later engineer 2 is back, looking sheepish. He'd misread the ticket, and the 'home wiring solution' was specified after all, so he can do the installation. He then does what looks like a really good job, even manging to keep all my phone extensions live without compromising the broadband path.
- Just one slight hitch after that. The TR069 automatic setup on the new Netgear router didn't complete. After checking with Plusnet support that it's OK to do so, I entered my details manually and all was well.

So, things are now fine, but I was lucky that today's engineer spotted his error and then returned. He had the experience to do the installation, whereas the first engineer didn't, so if he hadn't come back today I'd have had to wait some more days and again might not have got an experienced person. And if I hadn't been relatively knowledgeable and clear about what I wanted I might not have got the good setup I now have. Admittedly, most installations won't be as fiddly as mine, but there's some way to go before it's a smooth process. Plusnet did everything well, though (except for sending the old 'fibre trial' instructions with the router, though as it happened these came in handy when I had to enter my details manually).
Graham
3 REPLIES
lexusuk
Grafter
Posts: 567
Registered: 20-10-2009

Re: FTTC installation - all's well that ends well, but what a saga

Thanks for the useful and detailed feedback grahamt,
After reading through your post I'd summarise that the main points of failure here are:
- Our original communication with BT in terms of passing notes from the systems to the engineer in the field.
- The 'Data Extension Kit' option not being successfully communicated to the engineer.
I have fed these issues back to Plusnet management in our provisioning department for review and we will contact the relevant teams at BT Wholesale for assistance if required.
- Additionally, I doubt we can do anything about the experience level of the engineer that attends any given job.  As with all professionals I imagine that some will be of a higher skill than others and can't really pass comment about the level of training given to the engineers.
- Also TR069 does not work with the Netgear modems we supply so your details will always have to be entered manually.  We have produced a setup guide and provided this to our suppliers to be included with our Fibre router but this has not yet been fully rolled out by our supplier and so is the likely reason you did not receive this.  It's a shame that this meant you had to call us again and I apologise for this.
Overall, glad to hear your connection has been installed as required and that you are able to take advantage of the higher speeds that our Fibre products can offer.
If you experience any further issues please do not hesitate to contact us.
grahamt
Rising Star
Posts: 561
Thanks: 12
Registered: 05-04-2008

Re: FTTC installation - all's well that ends well, but what a saga

Thanks.
In fact Plusnet had communicated the 'data extension kit' option to Openreach - the engineer admitted that he'd read his ticket wrongly.
If the TR069 automated setup doesn't work with the Netgear routers, then it's probably not a good idea to send them out with an ID of 'tr069@plusdsl.net' built in. I'd been sent the instructions from the trial, which included details of how to enter my ID and password, but when I saw the 'tr069' ID I informed Plusnet (both on my ticket and in a forum post) and was told I should not enter my details and allow the remote setup to do its job. It was only a minor inconvenience in the end.
Graham
lexusuk
Grafter
Posts: 567
Registered: 20-10-2009

Re: FTTC installation - all's well that ends well, but what a saga

Hi grahamt,
Just seeking some clarifcation on that one.  In contradiction to my previous post it appears that our Netgear modems are infact now dispatched pre-configured to work with TR069.  I apologise for this but I have dealt personally with hundreds of fibre customers and have never seen this before.  Certainly our initial run of Netgear routers for the FTTx trail did not come configured in this way.  It may be that our suppliers have begun dispatching Netgear routers which include the TR069 firmware which is good news.  You learn something new everyday. Cheesy
Can I ask, did the router arrive in a Netgear retail box like the ones you would see in your local computer shop or was the router in a brown unbranded box?