It’s fast…

Fibre
Photo by Shahadat Rahman on Unsplash

BT came round yesterday and fitted FTTP or full fibre as BT likes to call it. It was quite a painless process, so much so that I didn’t actually notice that the FTTC connection had been turned off and the FTTP turned on, well I was in the midst of writing an e-mail at the time.

They had to upgrade the terminal outside, drill a hole through the wall and mount the modem and the Smart Hub near some power sockets.

Now we have a 1Gb connection, though the reality with WiFI is that the most I can get is about 500Mb/s, but that is still 25 times faster than what I had before!

The speed and quality of the WiFi signal is much better and is working well It will take a little time to settle in over the next few weeks so the speed will fluctuate up and down. Though for my first Teams call after installation it was working a treat.

Accessing streaming video and downloading files is so much faster, but the other main benefit is better quality WiFi across the house. Though the signal degrades as you move away from the Hub, 20% of 400Mb/s is much better than 20% of 30Mb/s for doing stuff.

I had to go around and reconnect everything to the new wireless network, the Apple devices were the easiest as I could share the password across my devices just by bringing them close to each other.

Where I could use WPS that meant I could connect the printer and some Windows machines. The hardest devices to connect to the new wireless network was the Amazon Alexa devices, but got those done in the end.

We also got new digital phones.

They were outside…

Well there was a BT Openreach van outside our house today.

According to the information I have from BT, when they install FTTP, before the day of installation, they come on another day and put fibre between the pavement and the house.

I don’t know if they did that today, but if they did another step on my way to FTTP.

Automatic cancellation

fibre
Image by Chaitawat Pawapoowadon from Pixabay

Having placed an order for full fibre from BT I was expecting to have to go through the process of cancelling my plusnet account. 

However this was all automated as BT made a request to them, as I was changing provider.

They did make repeated requests to me to change my mind, but the problem was not that I wasn’t happy with them or their service, just that they didn’t provide the FTTP service I wanted. If they did I would have stayed with them.

Alas there wasn’t an easy way to provide them with this feedback, the e-mail I replied to bounced!

Decided not to phone them either.

Just a week to go now…

…but I didn’t go to Austria!

I do use Google timeline, more as an aide memoire more than anything else.

Looking over the timeline in response to a post someone had posted to our work Yammer site there was an anomaly.

It appeared that I had been to Austria.

It’s not that I’ve not been to Austria, I have. I travelled through Austria on my way to Slovenia in 1982 and 1985 and I distinctly remember not having my phone with me, mainly as I didn’t have a mobile phone back then.

I was reminded of the time when I downloaded the location data from my iPhone.

I was loving the fact that my iPhone has been to Darlington and Newcastle and I haven’t… I had downloaded the cell tower tracking data from my iPhone and it was interesting to see where it had connected to different towers.

So had my phone been to Austria? Google timeline said I had…

So delving into the data it would appear that I walked from the Jisc offices in 2017 to Weber & Trings in Austria.

I managed to walk 729 miles in just 13 minutes.

I also managed to walk 1456 miles in seven minutes.

Of course the reality was I had walked to Weber & Trings on the Christmas Steps in Bristol. Then at some point the IP address associated with Weber & Trings in Bristol had been assigned to somewhere in Austria!

Whatever entry in the geo-IP database that Google uses for this kind of thing was not updated so as a result I am one fast walker…

It’s both the end and the beginning

fibre
Image by Daniel Dino-Slofer from Pixabay

I have placed an order for fibre to the premises FTTP with estimated speeds of 900Mb/s down and 110Mb/s up. Should be up and running in the next couple of weeks.

A few months back our local area was awash with BT Openreach vans.

I did wonder if they were installing full fibre connections, or fibre to the premises FTTP. I remember at the time doing a search, but no news on any kind of upgrade to either cabinet 25 or the Worle Exchange.

Bizarrely enough it was an advert on Instagram that caught my attention back on the 1st October. Almost for a joke I decided to see if I could get faster fibre, I wasn’t expecting to, but was quite surprised to see that I could in fact have FTTP! 

Having suffered poor ADSL speeds for many years, I was really pleased, in September 2017 when BT Openreach finally finished the upgrade to cabinet 25 and we could have FTTC fibre.

With roughly 30Mb/s download and 9Mb/s upload speed I felt I was back, in terms of internet speeds, where I was in 2012 at our old house before we moved. Eight years ago I blogged about how I lost my FTTC connection having moved house (literally just moved down the same road).

It took over five years for BT Openreach to upgrade Cabinet 25 so we could have FTTC.

One of the reasons I didn’t place an order straight away was that, if I ordered BT Full Fibre I would have to close my current internet account with my ISP. Now I have been with my ISP since 1998, they were my first ISP, well the first I paid for after a free trial with AOL. I had seen an advert in a computing magazine, they were called Force9 and were based in Sheffield.

I had a dial-up internet account with them initially where I paid a monthly fee for internet access as well as any telephone charges.

Stayed with them when I moved house. In June 2000, the Force9 brand was changed to Plusnet. This coincided with the introduction of the Surftime dialup internet products, the first real 24/7 unmetered dial-up service in the UK. This worked really well with the Airport Extreme base station I had with integrated modem. I could use my Mac to enable the connection and then use the wifi across the home to use the internet wherever I was in the house.

When ADSL was enabled in February 2003, I upgraded to this new faster internet. The always on nature of ADSL changed how I used the internet, and in some ways how the internet used me. 

Plusnet was sold to BT in 2007 and I think it lost a little of its soul that day, but I stuck with them.

On this day in 2010 I upgraded to FTTC and this was a real revelation. With 40Mb down and 10Mb up this is significantly faster than the 1.3 down and 0.6 up I had before.

I was so disappointed when we moved house two years later and lost it and went back to the slow speeds of ADSL.

Five years later, cabinet 25 was upgraded and we had fibre back.

new fibre cabinet 25

All that time I was with Force9 or Plusnet as they like to be called.

When I found out I could have FTTP from BT, I did think I should be able to get FTTP from Plusnet as I recalled they were doing FTTP trials a few years back. Alas it was apparent that they don’t do FTTP products. So it was with a little sadness (don’t know why) that I ordered the BT Full Fibre product and this automatically activated the cancellation of my account with Plusnet.

It’s the end of one era and the start of another.

The future is coming…

The future I was told about as a child is finally arriving….

The concept of paramedics wearing jet packs is been tested in the Lake District in a collaboration between the Great North Air Ambulance Service and Gravity Industries.

 So rather than walk up a hill, taking thirty minutes to reach a patient, the paramedic wearing the jet suit can reach them in under ninety seconds. This could prove vital in delivering the necessary primary care to an injured walker, or those who have had a heart attack.

The paramedic doesn’t do an IronMan and fly up into the sky, they use the jet suit to hover a short distance above the ground and then use the jets on their arms to manoeuvre and direct them along.

You can start to imagine other applications of this technology…

The future I was told about as a child is finally arriving….

Why have the meeting then?

Still useful and relevant, 44 years later….

Well there wasn’t anything anyone wanted to talk about!

Why have the meeting then?

It’s the weekly meeting!

This staff training film from Video Arts, Meetings Bloody Meetings,  has been quite influential on how I approach meetings and how I feel about meetings.

The fact that this film is 44 years old and I still think others could learn from it, shows how challenging it can be to change the cultures within organisations. However it can be done.

“I just turned on my TV…”

old TV
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I love this story as reported by the BBC about a small village in Wales which was having persistent broadband outages and it was proving difficult to work out what the cause of the problem was. After eighteen months engineers began an investigation after a cable replacement programme did nit fix the issue.

Eventually after sweeping the village with detection devices they narrowed it down to a single house. What was happening was the person in the house was switching on their old TV at 7am every morning and the electrical interference emitted by their second-hand television was affecting the broadband signal.

They have now promised not to turn on the TV anymore!

We know that there are many potential problems with electrical devices interfering with broadband connections, as well as other devices in the home playing havoc with wifi signals as well. It’s never easy.

Landline now back on…

Well, so I thought we had the same error as before.

I found our phone last week wasn’t working, did all the checks, but still couldn’t get a dial tone or receive calls.

Raised the fault with BT who fixed it in a couple of days.

Yesterday I found our landline wasn’t working, still no dial tone.

I couldn’t raise a new fault, as the old one hadn’t been closed. So I went through a long online chat to get the fault resolved and an engineer visit booked.

However in the end it was apparent that this wasn’t a BT fault, it was a problem with one of our sockets (I think more the filter) that meant that our landline was working, so I cancelled the BT engineer visit.

Old Phone
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay