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Openreach Extend Low Level Error Correction to New 80Mbps FTTC Lines

Friday, August 24th, 2018 (7:41 am) - Score 9,556

Consumers adopting one of Openreach’s 80Mbps Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) based UK broadband ISP lines (usually advertised with average speeds of c.60-65Mbps) are likely to create fewer fault reports during the initial provision phase after the new “low level error correction” feature began being applied to them.

The roll-out of this feature actually began back in February 2018 (here), although at the time it was only deployed to the operator’s slower 40Mbps and 55Mbps product tiers (this wasn’t stated in their public briefing). This week it also began being extended to their top 80Mbps product tier on the same VDSL2 based broadband service.

Normally a Dynamic Line Management (DLM) system is used to control the speed and stability of these lines (your speed may go up or down depending upon how stable DLM thinks the line is), but after first provision (i.e. new installation) it usually takes about 48 hours before this is introduced so that everything can be correctly calibrated. As such new lines go through a period with no error correction being applied and their speed capped.

As Openreach explains, “This can lead to customer(s) raising faults before DLM starts working due to excessive data errors which impact their broadband service.” The solution that they’ve developed is to temporarily apply a low level of error correction during the first 48 hours, before DLM kicks in properly, which helps to mitigate the aforementioned problems.

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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.
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19 Responses
  1. Gregory says:

    Surely fttc employs copper to the house and if you have a dodgy bit of copper or raine interference in your house DOM will slow the line speed particularly on longer fttc lines.

    1. Joe says:

      Its does but thats a different thing. There are distance related speed issues and intermittant issues.

  2. Franklin says:

    Dynamic Line Management System is a hell evil – scrap it or disabled it OFF for the better for us all.

  3. Tim says:

    This just goes to show how nice FTTP is. You pay for a Gbit. You get a Gbit. No line management. No upto speed service. You get full speed no matter you distance.

    1. Franklin says:

      Yes total agree with this.

    2. Sometimes but not always says:

      Yes, is nice but sometimes the only that you have is FTTC. I’m paying talkttalk 76 but won’t g
      have more than 50 Mb/s.

    3. Liegeois says:

      Just when I thought I was done with all the bollocks copper gives you and started enjoying my 100+ mbps stable speeds, I’m moving from a FTTP place to a FTTC one, bummer.

    4. CarlT says:

      Well, you’ve a maximum speed of a gig. You’re more at the whim of network capacity so may come in lower.

      Cable is the same kinda thing, distance not really an issue.

      Wonder how many people on 1G actually see those speeds and consume them with any regularity? B4RN users are all on a gig yet the average usage is at most in the ball park of Openreach FTTC due to user mix.

      The only gigabit service I know of with any scale quotes 900Mb average. Sweet, but not quite a perfect 1G.

    5. Oliver Tester says:

      Average speeds are generally very misleading as it usually makes no account for poor internal wiring/networking which is exacerbated with higher speeds.

    6. Rahul says:

      @Tim that’s right. FTTP is a necessity especially for high rise buildings where line distance is a factor that affects speeds, reliability and noise margins. Can you imagine how slow the speed would be at One Canada Square building in Canary Wharf with just FTTC alone? It’s impossible to get 80-100Mbps with FTTC at 235 meters tall building from cabinet, unless of-course that green cabinet is installed right next to the office building which still does not guarantee receiving those speeds at the top floors of the building.

      FTTC copper handicaps fibre speeds. Think of it this way Copper=Pentium 4/Celeron Processor and Fibre=Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti. LOL as we know PC builders know this will create a bottleneck! You won’t get the full juice of the GPU with a weak CPU. That’s the same with Copper and Fibre!

    7. CarlT says:

      At least in the case of those I know of average speeds come from kit hard wired into ISP routers and monitor wireless and wired activity to try and ensure they provide a fair test.

      Going forward testing is being incorporated into the ISP routers themselves.

      Average speeds should be pretty representative of user experience, which is the point.

  4. Sam says:

    BT support told me that the router should stay on all the time to force the DLM to think that the line is not at fault, although it is me who likes to save energy by turing it off when not needed.

    1. joe pineapples says:

      There’s a useful energy usage comparison here https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2017/01/energy-usage-uk-home-broadband-routers-big-isps-compared.html/2 . I’m with you on wanting to turn it off every night just on principle, plus millions of watts consumed every year by all the ISP’s combined. But at the same time I don’t want to give dlm an excuse to lower my speed.

    2. Rahul says:

      I also used to do this before. But from around a year I stopped turning off the router. It is basically an illusion that you save a lot of money by turning off the router. In reality the calculation of a router staying on 24/7 will only amount to roughly £5 a year, which is absolutely nothing considering the hassle you go through of having to turn it on every time and waiting 2 minutes or so for the connection to return back on.

      By the way, if you turn the router off and on you cannot track how stable your line is. You need to be able to tell how many days or so your internet can stay on without drop-outs. Only by leaving the router on and viewing your router stats can you tell how stable your connection is and compare that to whichever other ISP’s you had so you can tell which is the more reliable ISP.

      DLM for the first 10 days needs the router remaining on. Disrupting this process will lead to a lower speed as DLM will think your line is unstable even if it is stable at the higher connection speeds.

      Until we don’t get FTTP and are on basic ADSL2/VDSL2 (DLM) turning off the router won’t be wise.

    3. Adam says:

      costs less than 22 pond a year to run a router 24/7. hub 2 on adsl was 11 a year. its really not worth turning it off ever. dont blame anyone for your own mistakes.

  5. Gregory says:

    Please please please buy a decent Router not the ones supplied by your isps they are usually of a low quality and reliability if you have to have fttc not fttp then a router that has a Broadcom chipset like the Billion bipac

  6. Openreach engineer says:

    Gregory it’s rein not raine get your vernacular right

    1. Gregory says:

      Cheers thanks for that my mistake but it can still be a pain on a long line with 1 meg on adsl2

  7. Copper is Dead says:

    Meanwhile we get fec’s in the cabinet itself lol!

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