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BT Partly Suspends G.INP Roll-out to ECI Fibre Broadband Cabinets

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 (9:57 am) - Score 6,548

Openreach (BT) recently began the roll-out of Physical Retransmission ReTX (G.INP) technology to their ECI based Street Cabinets, which can improve the performance of their 40-80Mbps Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL) lines. But this has now been partly suspended after problems occurred on some lines.

The G.INP (ITU G.998.4) technology is an error correction solution that is designed to help resolve spikes / bursts of Electromagnetic Interference (impulse noise), which can affect the stability and performance of related lines. Impulse noise generally comes in two main forms – intermittent and repetitive, which we’ll briefly explain below.

Noise that occurs as sporadic, unpredictable events are called Single High Impulse Noise Events (SHINE) and these often originate from turning an appliance on or off. Impulse noise that is consistent is known as Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise (REIN), which can be caused by all sorts of things from faulty power adapters to household dimmers.

BTOpenreach completed the roll-out of G.INP to their Huawei based street cabinets (approx. 2.5 million lines) last year (here) and nearly all saw some benefit through fewer errors, greater line stability and even a small speed boost (sync rates).

Sadly Openreach could not begin the deployment to their footprint of ECI cabinets and certain VDSL modems / routers (e.g. those with older Lantiq chipsets) because they didn’t support upstream retransmission (here) and some related lines would thus suffer a loss of speed, higher latency and a few users also complained of connectivity problems.

Fast forward one year to early March 2016 and the first hints (via Kitz) began to emerge of Openreach rolling out G.INP to ECI cabinets, which was wonderful news and suggested that BTOR had found a viable solution to the earlier problems.

Unfortunately a small portion of people soon started to complain of problems similar to those that occurred on ECI kit last year and that was followed this month by rumours that Openreach had now partly suspended the G.INP ECI roll-out to problematic lines and removed the upgrade from those lines identified as likely to suffer from problems (these are then returned to the old method of Interleaving and RS Error Correction). Naturally we went on the hunt for a clarification.

An Openreach Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Openreach constantly monitors its fibre network and this identified some lines which would perform better without retransmission.

We’ve returned these lines to a pre-retransmission state, so that customers continue to receive the optimum speed. All other lines on the platform remain enabled with retransmission.

We’re investigating options to apply retransmission for all customers, and we’re working closely with equipment vendors. Openreach has communicated this position to all fibre CPs and we continue to provide regular updates to them.”

The above response specifically relates to the roll-out of G.INP on ECI cabinets / lines, which is something that we double checked before posting. We also asked Openreach whether they could say when or even if the roll-out to problematic ECI kit/lines would be restarted, although as alluded above there is currently no firm ETA, but they are investigating a solution.

It should be said that the ECI problems with G.INP aren’t always caused by issues on Openreach’s network and incompatible G.INP modem / router firmware can also be a big factor, which just goes to show that rolling out useful upgrades to existing infrastructure is rarely a simple walk in the park.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Kits says:

    This is also a problem over Huawei cabinets as my speeds dropped latency doubled to game servers I had beed using before the roll out. I do see more drops in connection also lower sync rate.

    I also noticed after roll out I see SNR changes from the normal 6Mbps to 15Mbps after rollout on the upstream. BT said this was noise my side and to plug in master socket. I am plugged in master socket I can remove the phone for days SNR never changes back. As I said earlier also tested using three new phones. Would be nice if BT removed it from all FTTC cabinets to see if it improves latency and sync again.

    1. Avatar Ignition says:

      If that were the case many would be reporting issues – they are not.

    2. Avatar dragoneast says:

      On a poorish line with G.INP activated (download) on a Huawei Cab, I’ve seen my synch improve up to 39Mbps (from 34), and latency halve from 16ms to 8ms. Drops/resyncs are once a month or less frequent now, rather than a weekly occurrence. Reported errors reduce to almost negligible (less than 100 per month). I hope they keep it on! I suspect the EU equipment might have something to do with it too.

  2. Avatar alusufferer says:

    used to have a slow (22mbps) but stable line but since G.INP was enabled I’ve disconnected regularly since – currently at 89 connections for the current month according to the router. Potential throughput raised to 26mb from 22mb but it’s not much use if any electrical interference just knocks the line off immediately and apparently most appliances in my house trigger it.

    currently working with plusnet support hoping they dont keep blaming me, despite me testing on Fritz.box, homehub5, homehub5 + openreach modem but so far they dont seem to know what G.INP is

  3. Avatar Chris C says:

    Many thanks for chasing this up
    Sadly in my case I never had g.inp at all it wasnt g.inp enabled and then disabled again, it was simply enever enabled, so either something is broken on my line or the openreach statement isnt 100% true.

  4. Avatar karl says:

    After more than a year have they still not fixed this with ECI gear?

  5. Avatar Alan Small says:

    Well yesterday my line had an attainable net data rate of 79.3 Mbps, an actual net data rate of 78.5 Mbps and an Actual INP of 48 symbols.
    Today it’s all changed. The attainable rate has gone UP to 84.8 Mbps, but the actual rate has gone DOWN to 71 Mbps. Actual INP has dropped from 48 to 3 symbols, so I guess they’ve turned G.INP off on my cabinet, causing my download speed to drop by 10%!

  6. Avatar marty says:

    It was turned off on my cabinet too a couple of weeks ago too – speeds now drop to as little as 1.5Mbs during the day due to interference where as with G.Inp on, I was seeing a higher attainable rate, syncing close to the attainable with consistent speed throughout the day and seeing no errors on OH frame, HEC and RS. Now it’s off again, the connection quality has nose-dived and the errors are accumulating once again 🙁

    G.inp was a massive improvement to my connection.

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