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BT Openreach to Stop Replacing Faulty FTTC Modems from Jan 2017

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 (4:33 am) - Score 26,790

BTOpenreach has informed Internet Service Providers (ISP) that they intend to remove their Basic Install product for Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) based “fibre broadband” lines on 1st January 2016 and, a year after that, they’ll also stop support (replacement) for consumers who suffer faulty VDSL modems.

The plan caused somewhat of a snafu when it was first proposed last year (here), not least because the original proposal suggested removing the install service only a few short months prior to stopping replacement support for faulty modems (i.e. still inside the 12 month contract period).

However, under the amended dates, Openreach has wisely adjusted the timescales so that support for swapping faulty Openreach VDSL/FTTC modems will only come to an end 12 months after the service is withdrawn (i.e. in keeping with the contract). Still, it’s hard luck if you have an OR modem that breaks down after 2nd Jan 2017 because you’ll have to buy a replacement yourself.

Openreach’s Change

The amended dates from Openreach for the withdrawal of the VDSL supply and support area as below:

• Removal of Basic Install with Openreach Modem variants is put back to 1st January 2016

• No longer swapping Openreach modems on failure from 1st January 2017

Admittedly the market impact of this won’t be significant, at least not among the biggest ISPs, because most have already swapped to the PCP-Only (Self-Installation) method, which means they supply their own VDSL modems or routers with an integrated VDSL modem and no Openreach engineer needs to enter your home. But some smaller ISPs do still offer the Basic Install service and may be less pleased.

It’s worth pointing out that Openreach can still supply their own VDSL modems alongside the other Managed Install option, which could present some annoyance as this may create complications with the replacement of faulty hardware. Openreach have given a rough indication that they may eventually remove the OR modem option from this service too, although at present they’re still monitoring the feedback from ISPs.

A little more detail about the reasoning for all this can be found on Openreach’s CPE Enablement page.

Leave a Comment
22 Responses
  1. Avatar Bob2002 says:

    I have three HG612 modems … so I’m prepared for the broadband apocalypse! 🙂

  2. Avatar Daniel says:

    Is there a benefit in using one of these over a combined VDSL modem/router ?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Depends upon your perspective, initially most consumers were given them automatically as part of the default install because few routers had an integrated VDSL modem.

      I think the extra modem just adds more clutter, but on the other hand some people like the fact that you can then use any router you want and having a separate VDSL modem can also be useful for support purposes (less of a headache for ISPs and problems get fixed more efficiently.. most of the time).

  3. Avatar Vince says:

    We prefer it because it makes it very clear where the issue is – in an install like this, the Openreach CPE is an approved device, so if there is an issue, Openreach take responsibility for fixing more rapidly – because it cannot be blamed on customer equipment.

    Whereas with self-install, the same blame game arises as with ADSL regular flavours. Faults on FTTC in our experience take far less time to get resolved as a result of the included CPE.

    1. Avatar Andy says:

      This is it.

      Nearly all VDSL modem/routers end users can buy have not been through the Openreach conformity testing. There is a risk that they might not work as they should and DLM intervenes because it thinks there’s a problem on the line.

    2. Avatar No Clue says:

      What Openreach conformity testing?

    3. Avatar Andy says:

      The conformity testing facility at Adastral Park.

    4. Avatar No Clue says:

      Thats a research centre is it not?

      What third party VDSL modems have been through so called BT conformity testing?

    5. Avatar AndyH says:

      It’s a research and testing facility. There is a dedicated Modem Conformance Testing facility for FTTC modems, which ISPs and hardware manufacturers can use to make sure their equipment confirms and complies with SIN 498.

      The Thompson Technicolor 589v3 has been approved.

    6. Avatar No Clue says:

      SIN 498 appears to be nothing more than a set of guidelines for manufacturers rather than any actual testing of devices.

      I also wonder how The Technicolor 589v3 passed any testing because that device does not support all the ITU specs or other specs on page 34 through to 38 of that 498 SIN.

      Do you have a link to this device passing these tests and its report from testing?

      How about a list of devices in geneeral which have passed this apparent ‘testing’?

    7. Avatar AndyH says:

      Annex A of SIN 498 lists the requirements for modems to be used on the FTTC network – it’s not just a set of guidelines . All CP supplied devices are required to conform to the SIN, either by using the modem bank facility or a third party testing facility.

      The details of the TG589v3 testing are provided to ISPs. The modem was tested for many months and different firmware versions were provided.

      For other devices, it’s up to the hardware manufacturers to release whether they are compliant or not.

    8. Avatar No Clue says:

      That Thompson Technicolor 589v3 caa not be compliant or approved then as it does not support G.998.4 also known as G.INP as detailed on page 55 of the Annex A in that SIN sheet.

      Do you have a link to show that device has been approved?

      Do you have a link to any 3rd party device which has been through these “tests” and passed?

      The sin sheet is nothing more than guidance. You do know SIN stands for (Suppliers Information Notes) i assume and is nothing to do with BT personally testing devices. Just what specs they recommend to suppliers the hardware should support.

    9. Avatar AndyH says:

      Unless you work for an ISP (which looks very unlikely given your lack of knowledge on issues), the details are not publicly available to you. If you do work for an ISP, I suggest you read Briefing BB-1587-14. If you have access to Openreach’s site, then I suggest you read ‘Conditions for Generic Ethernet Access Schedule 2B – GEA-FTTC Service’ 4.17-4.40.

      You clearly know more than Thomson Technicolor, who were present at TSO’s Conformance Testing Opening Day on 5 Nov at Adastral Park.

      The TG589v3 supports both retransmission and vectoring (with the latest strategic engine), as it has passed all regression testing. It has been used in a live environment for over 12 months.

    10. Avatar No Clue says:

      SO the short answer is NO you can not demonstrate the device has passed any mythical BT test.

    11. Avatar No Clue says:

      PS.. The Thompson Technicolor 589v3 is also a discontinued device, so irrelevant if it passed anything considering soon you will not be able to buy it.

    12. Avatar AndyH says:

      I think your name sums you up. Go play elsewhere.

    13. Avatar No Clue says:

      I think you spouting nonsense with no proof speaks far louder.

  4. Avatar hmmm says:

    they shite anyways 😀

  5. Avatar adslmax says:

    Who care? I am far happy with my own VDSL2 Billion 8800NL stable ongoing connection for 67 days, 14 hours and 53 minutes below:

    Mode VDSL2
    Traffic Type PTM
    Status Up
    Link Power State L0
    Downstream Upstream
    Line Coding (Trellis) On On
    SNR Margin (dB) 8.9 14.8
    Attenuation (dB) 11.3 0.0
    Output Power (dBm) 12.4 -1.2
    Attainable Rate (Kbps) 90544 32337
    Rate (Kbps) 79987 19999
    B (# of bytes in Mux Data Frame) 239 237
    M (# of Mux Data Frames in an RS codeword) 1 1
    T (# of Mux Data Frames in an OH sub-frame) 23 42
    R (# of redundancy bytes in the RS codeword) 0 16
    S (# of data symbols over which the RS code word spans) 0.0955 0.3781
    L (# of bits transmitted in each data symbol) 20104 5374
    D (interleaver depth) 1 1
    I (interleaver block size in bytes) 240 127
    N (RS codeword size) 240 254
    Delay (msec) 0 0
    INP (DMT symbol) 0.00 0.00
    OH Frames 0 0
    OH Frame Errors 15756 13813
    RS Words 0 4291836
    RS Correctable Errors 0 206531
    RS Uncorrectable Errors 0 0
    HEC Errors 35085 0
    OCD Errors 233 0
    LCD Errors 233 0
    Total Cells 885960149 0
    Data Cells 4094283178 0
    Bit Errors 0 0
    Total ES 5788 3655
    Total SES 0 0
    Total UAS 27 27

    1. Avatar Andy says:

      Thanks for all that – very useful to know.

    2. Avatar Jonathan Donnelly says:

      I have same billion, i am NOT happy with mine.

      Installing it triggered DLM on my line, my sync dropped from 27mb to 24mb and my speedtest is around 21mb on a profile of 22mb. (speedtest was 24.5-25 before)

      I have updated to the firmware sent to me by billion and waiting to see if it helps.

      but so far no change. So will unplug and put and Home Hub 5 back on.

      I have a huwai cabinet if that makes a difference.

      Very disappointing because i though Billions were good on long line, but it seems that is only
      true for ADSL not VDSL.

      (1.3km) line length.

      Waste of £65 of hard earned cash.

  6. Avatar Richard says:

    On this plus side. It’s one less device to have on 24/7 !

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