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FTTC migration from Be Broadband

frogt
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-06-2013

FTTC migration from Be Broadband

I thought I'd better share my FTTC install experience, migrating both telephone and DSL from Be Broadband.
After placing my order with plus.net on the 10th May, the install took just over two months to complete. The initial order was delayed by a couple of weeks as the local FTTC cabinet wasn't ready. After this first delay the order was re-submitted, and immediately rejected as Be Broadband apparently still had a 'hold' on the line - due, I think, to the fact that I had both DSL and telephone with Be. I was instructed to re-order with a new MAC code with plus.net once this 'hold' was released - on the 10th of June.
On this day I was at work, streaming music from my home NAS box to my iPhone, and suddenly the connection dropped. I called Be Broadband, and it turned out that they had disconnected both DSL and my phone line (although strangely I still had dial tone).
I called plus.net immediately, who moved quickly to take over the phone line - luckily I didn't lose my home phone number, which was at risk apparently.
I submitted another order with plus.net- no MAC code was required as I was completely disconnected. I tried to escalate the process of getting reconnected, but apparently it costs about £160 to do this (which in the end was about the same amount as I spent on mobile data, MIFI & BT hotspots during the next month).
The first engineer date was arranged for the 18th - the plus.net engineer arrived promptly, did some work, but apparently there was a problem with the fibre in the cabinet. The next day a BT engineer arrived unannounced, and did some further work in the cabinet, and plugged in the modem & router.
I rang plus.net the next day to find out what was going on, and they passed this onto the "offline" team who got back in touch. The problem apparently was that there were no "spare ports" available in the cabinet, and that BT would have to resolve this. The "offline" team rang me a week later to say that it was all resolved, and that they required a final plus.net engineer visit to get the system up and running. This was arranged for the 5th of July - this date could have been sooner, but I was on holiday before then.
Before the engineer arrived I tried logging into the router to see if I could connect - but I kept on getting an "Authentication Failure" (I triple-checked my login credentials). I tried calling plus.net to see if they would enable my account remotely to see if that was the problem, but I had to wait until the engineer came around.
The engineer arrived (3rd engineer visit!) and couldn't suggest any solutions. I phoned the support line at plus.net (bit of an angry call on my part - sorry plus.net!) who suggested that I tried a direct connection using the modem, ignoring the router I tried this, and immediately had an un-authenticated connection! Somewhere at the other end of the connection a (getting a bit technical here) A DHCP server was handing out IP addresses, and I was immediately connected to the web. The support person I spoke to said he'd never come across this before, but had to raise another fault on the line, as I wasn't officially connected through the plus.net network.
From my point of view this was a progression, and at least I had some connectivity - no more expensive cellular data costs. At the same time I didn't know what network I was connecting to - the remote DHCP server handed out plenty of IP addresses for the household devices, but I was uneasy about using an unknown network.
After plus.net raised the fault, another engineer appointment was raised - this time for a BT engineer (the 4th engineer!). He arrived this morning and thought the problem was a router hardware issue initially (cough), but then realised that my line was connected to the wrong port in the exchange. He disconnected the current connection, and I waited 10 minutes for the DSL light to come back on. The router authenticated immediately, and I performed a quick speed test - a 70 mb connection - not bad at all.
So, finally, two months later I'm connected. I thought it would be a good idea to write this all down so others who are thinking of migrating from ADSL2+ might be prepared for the worst.
In retrospect I was fully anticipating that something would go wrong - I work in IT and am well experienced with things not working, at least at first. What was unacceptable from my point of view was the disconnection I experienced when Be Broadband cut the line - and how long it took to get re-connected. As I mentioned earlier, this may have been due to the fact that I was migrating both my telephone and broadband at the same time. A safer strategy may have been to migrate telephone and broadband at different times. Also, it might be worth figuring out a back-up connection before the migration takes place. I used a Vodafone 3G MiFi for the household - but this was incredibly expensive on pay-as-you-go. I tried BT Fon (there was a connection near my house - £39 for a month) but this was almost impossibly slow at times, and at other times fast. In retrospect I should have gone for the Three mobile operator's 15GB data package, or maybe EE (£63 a month).
Migrating initially to plus.net's ADSL 2+ connection at first, before going through with the FTTC upgrade may have been a wise move, too. The plus.net sales team at first did suggest this when the cabinet wasn't ready - perhaps I should have done that.
But for now I'm connected - thank goodness! 70mb down, 15mb up, and so far today the line has been stable. Finally got there in the end!
5 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: FTTC migration from Be Broadband

Hi there,
Really glad everything's now sorted and you're online, though that is definitely a worrying tale in several ways - sorry it took us so long to get everything working.
We are looking at the migrations across from LLU customers and believe there's a fix in for migrations coming soon (though that's fibre to fibre). One of the issues is that with Be* you can't have a phone only service so if the broadband is moved first, they cease the phone line - I think that may be what happened in your case. I believe that's something the top people in our Provisioning team are looking into as well.
If there's anything we can do to help at all please do let us know, hopefully everything from here will go a lot more smoothly Smiley Thanks for choosing us, and thanks particularly for sticking with us through this whole deal!
frogt
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 15-06-2013

Re: FTTC migration from Be Broadband

Thanks for your reply - yes, glad to finally have a solid connection. It appeared that many of the problems with the install related to BT and not plus.net - for example, plugging our connection into the wrong port in the cabinet (tsch!).
Is there any way plus.net could provide a backup connection of some kind during the install process when things go wrong? In my case, for example, could ADSL 2+ have been activated while the line was being sorted out? Another option might be to cut a deal with the mobile operators to provide backup dongles to customers (but that could be expensive).
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: FTTC migration from Be Broadband

That is a question that's been asked several times recently, and unfortunately it's not something that can be offered I'm afraid. It's only possible to have one order open on a line at a given time, so if a fibre order is delayed it'd have to be cancelled in order to provide ADSL2+ and then placed again once the ADSL2+ order was completed.
Not sure about the backup dongle, I'll raise it but I suspect it'd not really be viable for cost reasons.
o2refugee
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 14-06-2013

Re: FTTC migration from Be Broadband

I strongly suggest anyone that migrates from ADSL only migrates to another ADSL service first as procedures seem to make it impossible to move to fibre smoothly as illustrated in many threads here. I did consider this but I knew that I would get a service inferior to an LLU product as has been demonstrated by others here. BT's ADSL on medium/long lines is appalling compared to BE/O2 and probably others, but would be a safer way of migrating to their fibre. I have been only getting ADSL type rates since my FTTC started, but I am hoping this may be sorted sometime before my Plusnet contract ends.
I think it is about time Plusnet got wise to the problems migrating from LLU users with phone service as it must have happened many times.  I was reasssured may times before signing up that there would be no problem, but yes - my line was cut off as the phone transferred. I still have not recovered from all the problems caused by the transfer.
jimbof
Grafter
Posts: 348
Thanks: 2
Registered: 02-05-2013

Re: FTTC migration from Be Broadband

Quote from: o2refugee
I strongly suggest anyone that migrates from ADSL only migrates to another ADSL service first as procedures seem to make it impossible to move to fibre smoothly as illustrated in many threads here.

I don't doubt what you say is true with respect to getting a smooth transfer, it also means paying over the odds.  I considered this at the outset for my move from Talktalk LLU ADSL to Plusnet FTTC.  But was told that not only would I get the initial offer on ADSL, but that would be cancelled on moving to FTTC and then I wouldn't get the offer pricing on FTTC - which at the time meant the move would cost me £60 more.
I think there are some things that Plusnet can do to make this a smoother process even though it seems Openreach can be farcical at times.  For example, I understand Plusnet in the case of a new account don't make the PPP account live until the engineer has got back home for the evening and sent his reports in.  In my case that meant I wasted his time while he was with me faffing around trying to connect the router up to have "authentication failed" - because the account isn't live.  I mean, really, I can't see the point of this.  Of course if you are ADSL Plusnet and move over your PPP login is already active so it should work straight away.
Quote from: frogt
I was instructed to re-order with a new MAC code with plus.net once this 'hold' was released - on the 10th of June.

There seems to be a fair bit of misinformation about MAC codes - was you line unbundled?  If so, MAC codes are irrelevant.  I believe they are only used when you have a BT line and are switching only the broadband provider on that line from one to another.  I didn't believe Talktalk when they told me I didn't need a MAC as in several places Plusnet referred to me needing to submit it - which it turns out was nonsense and Talktalk were right (there has to be a first time I guess...!)
Must say, can't grumble with the service now, but for sure the migration process sucks...