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Openreach G.INP Trial on ECI FTTC Broadband Lines Hits Snag UPDATE

Thursday, August 20th, 2020 (3:04 pm) - Score 12,732
fibre broadband is here high bt street cabinet

Openreach’s (BT) long-running efforts to apply ReTransmission (ReTx / G.INP) technology to UK Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) based broadband ISP lines at ECI using street cabinets may have hit yet another snag, which appears to have resulted in the enhancement being removed from some lines.

At present a huge proportion of broadband consumers in the UK are still using the hybrid fibre FTTC service and will probably continue to do so until the FTTP roll-out reaches more of the country. As such anything that can improve the performance of those existing connections remains important, which is where ReTx (aka – G.INP) comes into the picture.

G.INP (ITU G.998.4) is an error correction solution that is designed to help resolve spikes of Electromagnetic Interference (impulse noise), which can improve a line’s stability and thus performance. The introduction of this technology can, on some VDSL2 lines, even produce a small to modest increase in service speed (downloads).

The technology is nothing new to Openreach and they’ve already got it to work on their larger estate of Huawei based cabinets, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for those using kit from ECI. Various past attempts have been made to fix the ECI issues and all have run into problems. A new attempt was started earlier this year (here) and then extended in June 2020 (here).

However, since the start of August 2020, a number of those who recently had G.INP applied to their lines as part of the trial have now seen it vanish. Interestingly none of those reporting this to ISPreview.co.uk said they’d suffered any problems and all noted that errors on their line had reduced, while speeds also increased (one person even saw their downloads jump by an extra 9Mbps).

Sadly, Openreach did not respond to our request for comment, although we understand from others that the trial may have produced mixed results and encountered an unexpected problem with some DSLAMs (cabinets). A confidential briefing on this does exist, but we don’t have access to that (here). We can only hope that they’re able to find a solution.

UPDATE 21st August 2020

We’ve been able to get a little more detail from various sources (and thanks to all those people who keep reporting their experiences of G.INP to us). The briefing itself is quite short, but the key piece is this.

Extract from Openreach Briefing on G.INP

Unfortunately the larger loads towards the end of the trial have highlighted some unforeseeable issues whereby CPE [VDSL broadband routers etc.] would fail to sync, despite the GEA Service Test usually showing the circuit as testing ok. Our early root-cause analysis has indicated that this is related to an issue in the DSLAM.

We have discussed the issue with impacted CPs and, as a precautionary step while further analysis is undertaken, we have acted promptly to remove ReTx from any ECI lines that could be negatively affected. Further updates will follow once we have more information.

The statement confirms what we said above, which is that they’ve so far only removed it from some lines. Openreach also states that the “early indications from this trial were that speed a stability were increased.”

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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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20 Responses
  1. Jase says:

    Well I’ve had it since the end of June on my ECI cabinet download increased from 63 to 70 ping gone from 12 to 5 and been rock solid no resyncs or no problems encountered, so please keep it going openreach

    1. adslmax says:

      Must be madness if Openreach removed it.

  2. Joe Pineapples says:

    Is there a way of telling if anything has been done to a particular cabinet/line? (apart from a possible end result)

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      A good router will often include connection details for G.INP as a data point, but many don’t output such information so it depends on your kit.

  3. Sam says:

    Mines dropped from 74 to 71 it’s gone it went in June 🙁

  4. Granola says:

    To get 71 or win “the lottery”, decisions decisions.

    1. Burble says:

      Till last year and FTTP 71 would have seemed like a lottery win for us.

  5. Elihearts says:

    Mark – Check your email.
    I have info on this.

  6. Andrew Bate says:

    I live in Plymouth and am paying £22.99 for so called faster fibre from Origin broadband. When first install was getting 37mbps download speed, by May it had dropped to 23mbps, now it’s down to 0mbps to 1.8mbps. OpenReach is crap the fibre is only between the poles an then on standard phone line from pole to property. Have done all the checks that Origin said to do but they refuse to get in contact with Open reach and get an engineer out. Will give them another and then I’m going to cancelled my direct debit and they can take me to court. I subscribed to faster fibre with an average speed of 36mbps and obviously it is not in Origins power to give this speed. A blatant contravention of the trades description act.
    The government should set out minimum Download speeds and the minimum should be 50mbps to allow everyone to work from home like the government keep saying.

    1. Ryan says:

      What make you think it openreach issues,Origin broadband is not exactly the best provider one of their issues is the free router they supply is a pile of **** it’s based on a Mediatek DSL chipset which is known for being unstable as hell, a friend of mine had origin but suffered from frequent disconnect caused by their routar replace it with own zero issues.

    2. Matt says:

      You don’t NEED 50Mb far less will allow working from home, even down to 10Mb.

      Probably best to understand the issue and deal with a provider that actually can sort this for you.

    3. James Johnson says:

      “You don’t NEED 50Mb”
      I just love the arrogance of these statements.
      You don’t know his work requirements nor the other uses in his household.
      I’m on a 40/10 connection often being saturated either by work, streaming or entertainment.
      My kids have tablets and an Xbox, we have VoD (Sky, Netflix etc)… start stacking those requirements and something has to give.
      Hell I’ve had to setup QoS and throttles just to make sure my streaming isn’t affected.

  7. TrueFibre says:

    To be honest with you all ISPs there ups and downs. I am with Customer Service is awful. Good service but tech support team

  8. TrueFibre says:

    Sorry for the spelling. To be honest with you all. All ISPs have there ups and downs. I am with Vodafone and Customer Service is awful. Good service but tech support team Rubbish.

  9. Name says:

    I have it enabled in one direction only: https://ibb.co/Hnk5F6B
    How can I check if I am connected to ECI or Huawei?

    1. John says:

      Your attainable rate and 4dB current SNRM tells me you’re more than likely on Huawei cabinet and running on a 3dB SNRM target, possibly a 4dB target.

  10. dave jones says:

    How can we tell which type of cabinet i’m connected to? There are a few cabinets near where i live, no idea which one my house is connected to.

    1. John says:

      The BT Broadband Availability Checker will tell you which cabinet number you are connected to.

      Codelook can tell you what Vendor of cabinet your cabinet uses.

      Unfortunately codelook now labels ECI cabinets that have had a VDSL sidepod installed on the PCP as being Huawei.

      There’s a guide to help identify your cabinet type here:
      https://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,15409.0.html

  11. bob says:

    im wondering if they will ever enable it for my line. im fed up of the dlm putting me on interleaved and taking ages to remove it. im on a 40/10 profile with attainable of 65-70, usually it takes 14days, but so far its day 43 of being interleaved.

    im going to have to ask talktalk to reset my dlm, but as i expect they will refuse, could i pay the boost for 1 month and my dlm gets reset or would they just set me to open profile interleaved?

    1. John says:

      Changing speed tiers might indeed reset the DLM but fastpath is no longer the default.
      All lines go straight to Interleaved with a DLM reset now.

      If it clears the DLM caution counters history then it might make fastpath return quicker though.

      Talktalk will not reset the DLM to remove Interleaving.
      Well, they wouldn’t in the past when that actually put you on fastpath.
      A DLM reset assists defaulting to Interleaved would make it less likely they would even try this now.

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