I think, though I love the speed, one of the key advantages of my new FTTP connection is reliability. I don’t think I’ve noticed if it has gone down or not.
On my old FTTC connection, it was fall over at least once a day or even more. I would usually notice as my Alexa Spot device would show my hub login screen when the connection failed.
Not seen that since we upgraded.
The other key is how much better the BT Hub is over my older (2017) Plusnet Hub was. The strength and spread of the WiFi is much better and combined with the faster speed means that a stable and reliable connection even at extreme distances from the hub in the house. Pleased with that, I was thinking about buying WiFi Extenders, but don’t think I need to do that now.
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.
So we have FIVE BT openreach vans within 20 metres of our house and loads of BT workers as well. No idea what they are up to, I would go and ask, however a) social distancing and all that and b) they may, if I went up to them, think I was of those 5G conspiracy nutters!
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.
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.
I’ve not mentioned my home internet connection for a while now, since we had the FTTC fibre upgrade. The main reason is that is just works. With roughly 30Mb/s download and 9Mb/s upload speed I feel I am back, in terms of internet speeds, where I was in 2012 at our old house before we moved.
A good example is how streaming video across multiple screens just works with no buffering, whereas on our previous ADSL connection a single stream struggled. Services such as iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon Video both stream in HD with ease. We never use to be able to watch the trailers on the Apple TV, but now no problem.
When working from home I often download and upload large files, this is so simple that I don’t worry about it any more.
So I am really pleased with the FTTC connection, it just works.
Over the last twelve months I have published 26 posts, many of these were about my return to fibre. So it is nice to see that the tenth most popular post on the blog this year was from nearly a year ago. We will have fibre in “12 months”! I said back then that according to BT Openreach we would have fibre within twelve months, I was slightly sceptical, but nine months after publishing that post I did get fibre.
The third most popular post was about the free wifi (or lack of) on my holiday, Haven no wifi
The post at number two was Comic Book Fonts which was about the amazing comic book fonts from Comic Book Fonts.
So the most popular post on the blog was my post about QR codes on chocolate bars, Cadbury QR Coding and Twirling was published in 2015 and was one of many posts I published on the use of QR codes back then.
Well if you have been following my sorry saga of Cabinet 25 in Weston Village and it’s journey to fibre, you will be pleased, sorry relieved, that I finally have fibre. Five years after moving house my broadband is now FTTC and much faster than the 1.4Mb/s ADSL speeds I have had over that time. It’s being seven years since the Worle Exchange was upgraded for FTTC, but as with any FTTC enabled Exchange, you can only upgrade to fibre (FTTC) once the cabinet has been enabled.
I had been given an activation date of the 19th September. I had seen BT Openreach vans there that morning (they had been there the day before) so had reasonable expectations that the activation date wouldn’t be missed.
The only timing I had been given was that it would be completed by midnight, but I did wonder if it would be finished earlier, I just couldn’t see BT Openreach being there in the dark.
Mid afternoon my ADSL connection stopped. I did restart the router/modem but no connection. An hour later the modem went blue, I had a fibre connection.
It takes time for the connection to settle down, but I am pleased with a 25Mb/s download speed and it was nice to see how a 1GB software update which would have taken up to eight hours, take just eight minutes! The upload speed is slower than I would like at 2Mb/s but that’s still five times faster than what I had before.
Later it was nice to be able to be downloading an iOS update whilst streaming BBC iPlayer at the same time and browsing the web.
Okay so maybe being a little impatient, but I am still waiting on my fibre connection to be enabled.
BT Openreach finally enabled the cabinet on the 30th August and I placed my order with Plusnet the next day.
In my initial correspondence with Plusnet they seemed to imply that my connection would be upgraded on the 7th September.
However as with others I have since found out that my connection would be enabled on the 19th September. No actual time, but sometime during the day.
What I was confused with, was when I got FTTC at my old place, we had to have a visit from a BT Engineer who fitted a new faceplate to the master socket. So I was expecting to have some kind of appointment to have a faceplate installed. Talking to Plusnet customer service I have realised that as the predicted speed is low then I won’t need to have a new faceplate and “filters will work just fine”.
It was back in 2014 when BT decided that for up to 38MBps fibre connections that this could be a self-install option and therefore no faceplate needed to be fitted.
However some sites are recommending that you fit a faceplate anyhow.
We urge anyone considering or opting for a self-install fibre broadband service to install a faceplate filter. These are inexpensive and will generally deliver significant improvements in broadband speeds.
So I have been thinking that once I have the upgraded connection to fit my own faceplate. You can get them quite cheaply on Amazon.
Originally BT Openreach said they would upgrade Cabinet 25 in Weston Village by the end of March, this deadline was quickly moved to the end of August. If you have been following my saga you will know that the final phase has been dragging.
Today, the 30th August, one day before the BT Openreach deadline, they have finished the process and are accepting orders for FTTC connections.
I had checked earlier today and as for most of the last month the websites were saying, still checking stuff and no you can’t order a fibre connection today. This evening that has all changed and I could now place an order for a FTTC connection.
Which to be honest is not much good for anything these days, even web pages are so bloated these days, it can take an age to download a single web page from some sites. Flickr for example is really challenging to use. So you can imagine the challenges we face in streaming video, using services such as Skype or any kind of cloud service.
Just up the road, with a property connected to cabinet 17, you can see the different having a FTTC enabled cabinet can make on speeds.
You can see though the ADSL speed is better than mine at 7.5Mb/s, the FTTC rate is around 80MB/s.
I was also interested to see that fibre to the premises (FTTP) is also available on that cabinet to that specific line with a 330Mb/s downstream rate!
Doubt that will be available on cabinet 25.
BBC News are reporting though that this may change…
Telecoms regulator Ofcom forced BT to legally separate its broadband infrastructure division Openreach in March.
Since the split, Openreach has pledged to offer super-fast fibre broadband to 10 million homes by 2025, using technology known as fibre to the premises (FTTP) which it had previously said was too expensive for wide rollout.
I know, I know I should be happy I am getting FTTC and not worry too much about FTTP.