» ISP News » 

BT Openreach Moot Replacement of all UK Master Sockets with NTE5C

Thursday, August 4th, 2016 (11:56 am) - Score 20,888

Openreach (BT) has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they will start to introduce their new wall-mounted NTE5C Master Socket from the end of this summer 2016, which could make life a lot easier both for consumers who like to tinker and for the operator’s own engineers.

The Master Socket, which is a fairly characterless cream coloured box with a removable bottom faceplate and often an Openreach or BT logo at the top, typically represents the first point inside your home or office for connecting to Openreach’s outside copper cable (it’s the best place to plug-in your broadband router).

Openreach engineers currently claim to install around 50,000 such sockets every single week, often as part of new provisions or repairs. Over the years its design has been improved, such as to include enhanced filtering to limit interference, but the general look and feel has remained the same.

By comparison the new curvy NTE5C design first came to our attention last year after it was mentioned as part of Openreach’s future SOGEA standalone VDSL (FTTC) “fibre broadband” trials (here and here) and we were finally able to flesh it out in more detail during February 2016 (here).

The new socket adopts a “Tool Less” design (no screwdriver / screws required) and colour coding to make it simpler to service. Similarly the home wiring is no longer connected to the faceplate, which again makes it even easier to swap the front according to the service being installed.

A couple of months ago we learnt that the NTE5C was about to move out of trial and enter general circulation, with 3,000 engineers working on installation and repair activities (here). A new VDSL Mark 4 filter will also accompany the extra kit, where needed, and we’re expecting the national roll-out to begin next month.

Openreach has now published user instructions for the new socket and interestingly they are considering whether to conduct a “replacement of all [old NTE] sockets” with the new NTE5C. Naturally this would only occur as part of an engineer visit, such as when having a new service installed or a repair conducted.

Carl McCullagh, BTOR’s Operational Readiness Manager, said:

“We’ve informed all communication providers about the new socket and used extensive feedback from engineers and customers to design it.

Our goal is to enhance customer service. So, when a customer calls about a fault and is asked to check their own wiring, they won’t have to crawl about on their hands and knees using a screwdriver to detach the front cover.

The new socket will be standard issue by the end of the summer. Openreach will replace the NTE socket in the majority of customer visits, but replacement of all sockets is also under consideration.

The new design means that faceplates can be easily removed and replaced which makes it easy for customers to self-install a new faceplate if needed. This could greatly reduce engineers’ visits to customers.”


Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Tags: ,
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. captain.cretin says:

    But is it any BETTER at doing its job than the old one??

    The suspicion has to be that this is easier/cheaper to work with/procure.

  2. Stuart Andrews says:

    The question I ask, is why is it under consideration replacing perfectly good NTE sockets for the new NTE5C.

    I’m suspicious,as they say there no smoke without fire,there is more to this NTE5C than we are being told.

    1. Jonny says:

      Surely it makes sense to replace them when Openreach techs come across the old style, so there’s no need to make multiple styles of accessory to fit on the lower half of the socket in the future.

      I’m not sure what there is to be suspicious about – it’s not active equipment.

    2. Steve Jones says:

      I also think that there must be something extra functional about this swap. Swapping out something liken 28m master sockets preemptively (rather than on fault fix/installation visits) would be hugely expensive and manpower intensive. There are also bound to be some nasty surprises in the form of “non-standard” wiring to be found on the way.

  3. karl says:

    Looking at the user instructions will you be able to connect more than one set of phone extensions? Connectors of the self punch down type are normally very fussy if you shove more than a single wire in each connector in them, will be interesting how it performs with regards to that.

    Overall i like the design/look of it but function and performance will be what matters.

  4. joe pineapples says:

    Still on an old style single plate master socket here. I guess not having a micro-filter dangling down would be a good thing but we just had the decorating done so it must fit to the original (8.5 x 8.5cm) back housing 🙂

  5. Shilks says:

    I’ve just had one installed as my old external drop cable tested faulty and OpenReach fitted the new NTE 5C. My previous NTE dated from the early 1980’s – one of the smaller sockets (still in situ). I am of the opinion that there could have been so much more design thought given for those of us who prefer to have their sockets embedded into the wall in metal boxes (same as Mains sockets).
    With a few design tweaks the 5C could have been made much more adaptable and allowed for a much more flush fitting even on the surface mounted pattress (which being biased I do not like).
    I would have preferred to also have the option of screws on the front plate to stop children from being able to just take the front plate off the back box or they being accidentally knocked loose. Being able to feed extension cables from the back box rather than unsightly running down the front / skirting should also have been a design consideration. For something that could have been the size of a single light switch – the NTE 5C is a monster in size and protrudes far too much out of/from the wall. Especially so when it is on a surface mounted box.
    The one thing (only) I do like however is the toolless IDC sockets. One could argue that this is long overdue.
    A good user manual can be found here:- https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/helpandsupport/how-toguides/howtoguides/downloads/NTE5C_Instructions_CP.pdf

    Hopefully in time a smaller, less protruding 5D/5E will be forthcoming. Something half or 3/4’s the size would be big enough for both a BT style plug and RJ11 / RJ45 to sit along side each other.
    I can see myself having to drill holes in the back plate to get the telephone extension cable to feed from behind the back plate onto the front of the backplate onto the (clear in my case) extension IDC terminal.
    It would be interesting to find out what the design criteria was for these. Seems as though little to no thought went into
    1. Vacuum cleaners or accidentally knocking the face plate
    2. Children pulling them off.
    3. Internal extension cables coming from the back.
    4. The huge protrusion of the whole unit once a twin BT / ADSL adaptor is used.
    It could have been designed soooooo much better from a Customers aesthetic perspective without compromising the speed and efficiency of the initial installation.
    I am personally underwhelmed at the design. A great opportunity missed.

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £17.99
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Speed: 158Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo code: BIGBANG
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £27.00
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.99
    Speed 33Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo code: BIGBANG
  • Shell Energy £20.99
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £22.00
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £70 Reward Card
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (4222)
  2. BT (3183)
  3. Politics (2153)
  4. Building Digital UK (2042)
  5. Openreach (1998)
  6. FTTC (1931)
  7. Business (1872)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1632)
  9. Statistics (1525)
  10. 4G (1400)
  11. FTTH (1372)
  12. Virgin Media (1302)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (1253)
  14. Fibre Optic (1247)
  15. Wireless Internet (1246)
  16. Vodafone (940)
  17. 5G (926)
  18. EE (922)
  19. TalkTalk (832)
  20. Sky Broadband (796)
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact