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Project Brings FTTP Broadband to New Homes in Whitehill and Bordon

Monday, April 29th, 2019 (9:56 am) - Score 1,304
taylor_wimpey_new_house_hampshire

The Whitehill & Bordon regeneration project, which is a joint venture between the Dorchester Group and UK house builder Taylor Wimpey, is working to ensure that thousands of new build homes in the area will be able to access a Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTH) broadband service from the day they move in.

The town of Bordon and nearby village of Whitehill are currently in the process of undergoing some major regeneration work, which among other things will see the local community in Hampshire being expanded from 14,000 to 23,000 people (here) through new housing, a new town centre and construction of a relief road.

The project is also working with network provider Electronic Media Services (EMS) in order to ensure that all residents and businesses are able to benefit from access to an ultrafast “full fibre” service from day one. The developer owns the duct, while EMS are deploying and maintaining the fibre and running the active layer. Local street furniture is also being ducted to help support future 4G and 5G mobile networks (small cells).

According to Justin Leese, Programme Director for the Government’s on-going Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) project, new residents will find their Gigabit connection is live from the moment they move in (first month of service is free). “The intention is that this will be an open access service and residents will then be able to select from a list of participating ISP’s. The fibre runs back to a meet-me point for co-location of ISP’s,” said Justin.

All of this appears to be in keeping with the growing deployment of FTTP broadband technology into new build homes by lots of different developers and ISPs (here and here). Future Government changes will seek to boost this by mandating Gigabit connections for new build homes and making it easier for network operators to access buildings where landlords fail to respond (details in our Budget 2018 news).

At the time of writing we couldn’t find any details of related packages or which ISP(s) will be distributing the new service, but we hope to have those soon (we’ve asked EMS). In the meantime Justin has shared a picture of the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) that is located under the stairs in one of Taylor Wimpey’s newly built homes, with a patch panel presenting Cat5e cabling to multiple rooms within the house (not sure why they didn’t use more modern cable than Cat5e). All pre-cabled.

bordon fttp ont inside home

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Mark Jackson
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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31 Responses
  1. Avatar Optimist

    “not sure why they didn’t use more modern cable than Cat5e”
    A cheap job-lot, perhaps?
    Anyway, a step forward!

  2. Avatar Phil

    Not sure that is really from a home as the fibre optic cable is just resting on the floor.

    Also I do hope they aren’t handing over new homes with laminate flooring edged with silicone sealant! It should be done properly with the skirting board covering the expansion gap given it’s a new build, or if the floor is done later, using a beading trim. Then again nothing surprises me on a new build by Taylor Wimpey.

    Still if that is how the networks are installed with Ethernet sockets in each room, that’s pretty good.

    • Yes who on earth puts sealant in the gap between flooring and skirting boards 🙂 . I imagine in a couple of years that’s going to start looking very ugly.

    • Avatar Joe

      This has gone a bit ‘Homes under the Hammer’ suddenly

      (Not that I disagree)

    • Avatar 5G Infinity

      Sealant between floor and skirting is normal, but yes concur it should be transparent.

      Yes it is from a home, as I was there when Justin visited.

    • Hmmm I’d say “common” more than “normal”, but it’s a personal preference. However I still wouldn’t do it. IMO you are far better off allowing air to circulate and wood to expand/contract/breathe normally, without any obstruction. Caulk will crack all over the place after less than a year and sealant will just attract dirt, before becoming deformed after awhile longer when the wood moves.

    • Avatar Phil

      @5G Infinity “Yes it is from a home, as I was there when Justin visited.”

      From the picture the black wire which I presume to be the fibre on the right seems to only touch the floor and is capped off. Perhaps then it hasn’t been connected and they just tidied it with some cable ties to the floor for the photo. Or it’s going through a hole cut in the laminate, which is going to cause a problem if the floor needs replacing.

      Sealant to cover up the expansion gap might be common by builders/developers cutting corners and not giving much thought to doing things properly, but that doesn’t make it right. I worked in a new office where they had done all that, and within a few months the expansion and contraction of the floor meant all the sealant was pulling loose and it looked a complete mess. It doesn’t look good from the start even when fresh, then after a while it looks dreadful.

      A good friend from the trade once said to me that the more silicone sealant you can see used the poorer the workmanship and quality.

      Back on topic, it should be in the building regulations that new builds get fitted out with Ethernet, in addition I would like to see all those installs with an Ethernet cable run into the loft and out the ceiling for a proper access point which would easily cover the tiny postage stamp plot sizes they use for new builds these days without the home owner needing repeaters etc.

    • Avatar Jim Weir

      @Phil

      It is in the building regs, both internal connectivity (cabling) and exterior duct work.

  3. Avatar Granola

    A bit over the top for a lower end of the market house. One socket for a WiFi router is all that will be used in most of them I expect.

    • Avatar 5G Infinity

      Far from it and surprised at your comment. Yes the house builder (not Taylor Wimpey who are the master developer) just wanted to put in a single TV socket and a copper phone point. as this is a 10 year program then its future proof from day one.

      All 3,500 houses will get 1Gbps, in as many rooms as they like along with DTT and Sky via a FIRS system (top grey box in picture). Means no ugly TV aerials or Satellite dishes to spoil the look of the development. Town centre will benefit from FTTP for shops and WiFi.

    • Avatar Joe

      Frankly the costs of putting in proper connections round the house at build time is minor – retrofitting is a pain and expensive.

  4. Avatar Granola

    Sky is not yet available without a dish in the UK and “Q” doesn’t need cabling.
    No TV aerial allowed either, I wouldn’t want to live in a house with such restrictions even with a connection to die for. Doesn’t look like a TV aerial or a dish would be out of place on it to me.

    • Avatar Jim Weir

      @Granola

      Fibre IRS systems (like in this development) are normal in new build estates, they are compatible with SkyQ (& Sky HD / FreeSAT) as well as providing Freeview via the same feed.

      The Fibre IRS system is nothing to do with the FTTP connection / service.

  5. Avatar Scott

    homeowners may get a shock when they cannot love their existing packages ( noting range of providers – who???) and also find out they need to pay through roof separately for Tv channels etc.
    The USO still requires for a basic copper connection allowing ADSL if Openreach have been locked out the site… think would still take this over a bit part solution.

    • Avatar Jim Weir

      It’s in a cupboard, but I agree it isn’t a very neat wiring setup – there are better options available.

      It would appear Openreach have a PSTN connection available, but the USO would not apply if the property has a FTTP service even if locked to a single ISP. That would satisfy the USO, and Openreach will not provide something the developer hasn’t ordered.

      Most users don’t take triple or quad play products – this development has FTTP plus home owners can take SkyQ if they wish or just use free to air channels as normal. The fact those services are delivered from a central headend has no effect on the user or their choice of TV service.

  6. Avatar Scott

    PS – is this honestly how the finished job will look in peoples homes – all the dangling wiring and a box that looks pretty ugly. Is this tucked away in a comms room or in full view in the hall or living room?
    Can imagine some disgruntled homeowners decorating around that…

  7. Avatar Perfection compared to others.

    Looks like a not too bad job to me. Nice keystone jacks used, a cabinet for the gear, wires cable tied and not dangling all over the floor, all of it in a cupboard out of the way and even thought given with regards to an additional power outlet fitted.

    Compared to the likes of installs you see from BT and VM this install looks heavenly. With a BT FTTP install you are lucky if they just screw your router to the wall and if they do they certainly wont fit nice keystone jacks for your Ethernet. You can forget about it all being in a nice cabinet and as for wires, well they wont give a crap where they dangle.

    • Generally they do put the ONT and BBU in a fairly clean cabinet. Usually inside the cabinet looks a bit like this:

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/wp-content/gallery/cache/3585__500x550_fttp_ont_and_bbu_open_lid_openreach.jpg

    • Avatar You kidding?

      Id call that a cheap plastic case/mount more than a cabinet and as i said they “screw your router to the wall”.

    • Avatar Joe

      Hmm. My install doesn’t look like that Mark. I wonder outside new builds how many do.

    • Avatar Engineering

      The Openreach guide to installation

      1. Screw your supplied landfill waste plastic carton to the wall.
      2. Balance in place the best you can the ONT (hold it there with your third hand)
      3. Take the power cable and bend the cable sharp 70-90 degrees until it fits in our pointlessly round left hand channel which you will not bother to use correctly.
      4. Before the DC PSU either fails, electrocutes someone or starts a fire due the the bending and twisting to the cable. We recommend only pluging in right before you leave.
      5. Clip on the front cover…. If it does not hold, bodge it in place using our patented single screw design to the mid-right far edge of the chinese carton.
      6. DO NOT attempt to connect any user Ethernet cable to port 1 of the device (bottom centre port) The customer Ethernet cable may have a snag resistant/strain relief mould on it which will mean this interferes with the nice strain relief/breakaway on the PSU cable which you have left in the middle left circular channel.
      7. If the customer insist the power cable can be re-routed to the bottom of the chinese plastic carton however this will then block the 2 cable entry points to the bottom left of our well thought through chinese e-waste.
      8. Welcome the customer to half job not even half home wired FTTP.
      9. Scarper quick
      10. There is no 10 that would make the guide too consistant.

      Jobs a goodun.

    • Avatar Joe

      😀

      My setup has an exciting selection of cables coiled and nailed with clips in a zig zag pattern to the power supply. One wire crosses from the top of the door frame to the side of the frame cutting the corner in free air across the doorway. Many other wires are twisted all over the shop (pinned/tied with metal wire) to keep them from dropping…

    • Avatar BT Installs

      Id assume yours looks more like 2017 and earlier install joe
      https://www.ournetwork.openreach.co.uk/resources/site1/General/Downloads/fibre_developer_handbook.pdf

      see page 8

      The version mark has referenced only started last year (2018) or this…
      https://www.ournetwork.openreach.co.uk/resources/site1/General/Downloads/Fibre_Handbook_V8.pdf

      and page 3

      Both though are for new and existing builds it would seem. Pot luck id imagine on what a BT engineer gives you when he rocks up.

      Either way both end up looking far more of a mess once you connect everything up and not just the basic single fibre cable and psu.

      Disappointing really its the same people that accuse smaller ISP FTTP installs to be a “mess” when their dearly devoted ISP of choice 😉 is actually messier.

    • Avatar BT Installs

      Oh dear…. Worse than thought then joe 🙁

    • Avatar Joe

      @BT. Yeah its closest to your first pdf but certainly not a textbook example – unless its a textbook example of how to make a mess. As its in my boiler room its not a biggie and frankly to get rural fttp is enough to put up with a certain amount.

      In new build or modern homes its much easier to follow the manual. In my case I think they just wanted to get home so bodging it was faster.

  8. Avatar Meadmodj

    Retro fitting in a house will always be problematic due to history but for new builds there really isn’t any excuse. Broadband should be regarded as a utility and as such should be located in a suitable location. Presumably they haven’t placed the consumer unit in the bathroom?. All cables, equipment, network cabling and power should be provided to a suitable location not in an internal living space. Even a cheap bathroom cabinet (without the hardboard backing) covering these sockets would be preferable. I agree what a mess.

  9. Avatar Paul Williams

    As part of the EMS team, I thank you all for your comments.

    The CPE installation has been completely redesigned so that all fibre, data, coax cables and power sockets will be contained in a single larger recessed enclosure that is flush with the wall surface. There will be no externally visible sockets or cables apart from a fused switch on the side. This will make the whole installation look a great deal better!

    I would also add that the up to 1Gbps service is symmetrical – upload and download speeds.

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