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Community Fibre build in North London

Barnet

Casual Member
I've occasionally spotted signs of Community Fibre activity as I've be around the area.

There is a new (and unbranded) 3 lid chamber at the junction of Hampden Way and Arlington Road which I suspect may be something to do with community fibre. Whatever branding it had seems to have been removed.

As for the number of fibres to a pole, as it all seems to be constructed "box to box" with each box allowing for "in" and "out" quite a lot of fibres would be needed to get a sensible arrangement of splitters/combiners I guess.

I've not seen any sign of fibre "blowing" going on yet.

I also can't work out the structure of the system from the infrastructure I've observed, although I guess there will be a "trunk" of fibres back to a central point that splits out to the boxes on each pole that feeds the households.

If it's anything like the water meter installations, the main problem with any ducts is likely to be roots from the very established trees. The trees will have grown substantially since the ducts for the phone wires were put in many decades ago.
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
I've occasionally spotted signs of Community Fibre activity as I've be around the area.

There is a new (and unbranded) 3 lid chamber at the junction of Hampden Way and Arlington Road which I suspect may be something to do with community fibre. Whatever branding it had seems to have been removed.

As for the number of fibres to a pole, as it all seems to be constructed "box to box" with each box allowing for "in" and "out" quite a lot of fibres would be needed to get a sensible arrangement of splitters/combiners I guess.

I've not seen any sign of fibre "blowing" going on yet.

I also can't work out the structure of the system from the infrastructure I've observed, although I guess there will be a "trunk" of fibres back to a central point that splits out to the boxes on each pole that feeds the households.

If it's anything like the water meter installations, the main problem with any ducts is likely to be roots from the very established trees. The trees will have grown substantially since the ducts for the phone wires were put in many decades ago.
I asked their engineer about blowing fibre. They aren’t using microducts; the lines they’re installing contain the fibres already. Simple case of AFN installer coming along, connecting up the fibre to the AFN and then mounting it to the top of the pole.

Their recent switch to pole to pole has meant they’ve covered huge areas very quickly. In a day, they’ve pretty much done all the roads hanging off Gallance Farm Rd.

Remains to be seen how they handle roads like Russell Lane which have in-pavement chambers for each property.
 

Deanilson

Regular Member
thanks for the updates all its really good news some are going live in the areas. I will contact CF later today to find out what's happening about Woodside park as we was giving and estimate of by next month. I also know there are blockages from speaking to the engineers the last time they were rodding cable. or late there has been an engineer at the fibre CAB a lot so I'm hopeful for April fingers crossed.
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
Well, today is a big day!

The AFNs got fitted to the poles in my road and they were splicing at one of the nodes on the spine. They were here till 8pm working on them, which leads me to believe they’re under quite a bit of pressure to get the areas surrounding Russell Lane online ASAP.

Best news is that the service is already available for order on the community fibre website, with an installation date this week as an option. Absolutely incredible go live speeds.
 

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Dynamic2050

Member
Well, today is a big day!

The AFNs got fitted to the poles in my road and they were splicing at one of the nodes on the spine. They were here till 8pm working on them, which leads me to believe they’re under quite a bit of pressure to get the areas surrounding Russell Lane online ASAP.

Best news is that the service is already available for order on the community fibre website, with an installation date this week as an option. Absolutely incredible go live speeds.
Do you know whether for or not those in your location living in a house and not only flats will be able to order the CF service just out of interest?
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
Do you know whether for or not those in your location living in a house and not only flats will be able to order the CF service just out of interest?
The area is entirely houses. Community Fibre have also deployed to some local flats but the focus seems to be on houses, making use of telegraph poles via Openreach PIA. I have only seen one example of a road without poles that has received in-pavement connections. Again, these are houses and not flats. Would seem like they’re branching out from MDUs and social housing.
 

Dynamic2050

Member
The area is entirely houses. Community Fibre have also deployed to some local flats but the focus seems to be on houses, making use of telegraph poles via Openreach PIA. I have only seen one example of a road without poles that has received in-pavement connections. Again, these are houses and not flats. Would seem like they’re branching out from MDUs and social housing.
Thats good news.
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
Well, today was the planned install day but not all went to plan. I mentioned previously that the Community Fibre deployment had been progressing at an astounding rate, with roads going live on the same day as AFNs being fitted. It looks like inadequate testing had been performed, as every port on our AFN was dead, with no light. This AFN feeds the other poles on the road, so it would appear the entire road is unlit. A 2 day turnaround has been promised, so I’ll wait until then to comment on service.

Aside from that, I was extremely impressed with their appointed installers, who did a very neat job and were very courteous. Just a shame they had to write this one down as a failed install.
 

Barnet

Casual Member
An interesting update Matt.

I had assumed that the box on each pole had a 1:32 splitter in it rather than some poles being the "master" (with a splitter) and others just a way of making an efficient route to the splitter.

Obviously there is a balance between equipment cost (as I believe each splitter has a fibre back to the active "office" equipment) and potentially being unable to serve all the customers (if there were an uptake in excess of the number of splitter outputs available on the "master" pole).

This Community Fibre roll out gives me the impression of being a bit of a commercial and technical trial in a small area of a suburb to test the logistics and economics of a larger roll out.
 

mandelbug

Casual Member
I have noticed that CF are now very active near me, on the website it says coming soon. I am checking the one.network site religiously to see roadworks appearing. I am hopeful now that they are within a mile we might get CF soon. Apparently Open-Infra will be rolling out in the summer as well
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
An interesting update Matt.

I had assumed that the box on each pole had a 1:32 splitter in it rather than some poles being the "master" (with a splitter) and others just a way of making an efficient route to the splitter.

Obviously there is a balance between equipment cost (as I believe each splitter has a fibre back to the active "office" equipment) and potentially being unable to serve all the customers (if there were an uptake in excess of the number of splitter outputs available on the "master" pole).

This Community Fibre roll out gives me the impression of being a bit of a commercial and technical trial in a small area of a suburb to test the logistics and economics of a larger roll out.
The AFNs have 32 ports, which are each individually spliced into a dedicated fibre. I don’t believe any optical splitting happens in the AFN. The splitter node is somewhere else, most likely in one of the ground chambers nearby.

This certainly is one of the first deployments in North London for them, as the installers said this was the first N postcode they had ever attended. Talk about being first user or what!

That being said, I know that the deployment methods they’ve used around here they have employed elsewhere. I have a friend who lives in Tooting who had Community Fibre installed a couple of months ago and theirs was overhead, using pole mounted AFNs. Hard to say how many logistical issues they had compared to Barnet though!
 

Deanilson

Regular Member
The AFNs have 32 ports, which are each individually spliced into a dedicated fibre. I don’t believe any optical splitting happens in the AFN. The splitter node is somewhere else, most likely in one of the ground chambers nearby.

This certainly is one of the first deployments in North London for them, as the installers said this was the first N postcode they had ever attended. Talk about being first user or what!

That being said, I know that the deployment methods they’ve used around here they have employed elsewhere. I have a friend who lives in Tooting who had Community Fibre installed a couple of months ago and theirs was overhead, using pole mounted AFNs. Hard to say how many logistical issues they had compared to Barnet though!
interesting as the build by me in Woodside park is using Openreach network space and chambers as well as the new ones they have installed. there is some blockages there working on now but been told we should be connected within the next few weeks. The site servery that was done a wile back showed a clear path using Openreach chambers as well. This was there first site in N postcodes as I was talking to them when they where in north west and there first site in Barnet was Grahame Park.
 

Miraboy

Casual Member
interesting as the build by me in Woodside park is using Openreach network space and chambers as well as the new ones they have installed. there is some blockages there working on now but been told we should be connected within the next few weeks. The site servery that was done a wile back showed a clear path using Openreach chambers as well. This was there first site in N postcodes as I was talking to them when they where in north west and there first site in Barnet was Grahame Park.
Hi everyone

I signed up to add some info on our local area which is that the CF engineers have appeared today in Brookside South, which runs north of Hampden Square.

Does anyone have a realistic idea of how far away that means potential connection to the service would be? CF website still only capturing data, not offering service.

I confess to being disproportionately excited about getting FTTP, not least as I am still on 80/20 after 10 years or more. That's not right for a major capital city. We have a family apartment in a small Spanish village that has gigabit fibre in it!
 

Barnet

Casual Member
Miraboy, the first sign of activity in my area was before Christmas and although I had a generic "to the occupier" letter early in the new year I've not had any further marketing since then.

The installation is looking rather more finished over the last couple of weeks (I didn't spot them terminating the boxes but one day it was done) so maybe they are now nearly ready.

The fibre terminating boxes around my way were half way up the pole for a good while but are now up the top (with the copper cable splitter boxes - DPs).
 

Deanilson

Regular Member
Hi everyone

I signed up to add some info on our local area which is that the CF engineers have appeared today in Brookside South, which runs north of Hampden Square.

Does anyone have a realistic idea of how far away that means potential connection to the service would be? CF website still only capturing data, not offering service.

I confess to being disproportionately excited about getting FTTP, not least as I am still on 80/20 after 10 years or more. That's not right for a major capital city. We have a family apartment in a small Spanish village that has gigabit fibre in it!
pump them for info (the engineers) as there the best source for what there doing. Keep an eye on one network, TFL (public.londonworks.gov.uk)and or bidb.uk these will have all the works orders that go in to dig up anything etc. not really much else there moving quite fast so maybe 6 months or maybe 6 weeks. all I know ADSL from BT in London is a joke as my cabinet wasn't upgraded to FTTC.
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
As Barnet has said, the timelines appear to be quite short. The time between chambers appearing, rodding, running fibre and fitting AFNs was probably about 3-4 months. I seem to recall things started in Jan/Feb locally and AFNs appeared on poles the start of this month.

What does confuse me is that there are many areas with AFNs left at half mast and some poles with cable left coiled up for months. I don’t know if they targeted completion on my road specifically, as myself and a few others registered interest way before works had begun. Hard to say.

What I do know is that there are still some issues. We had engineers back in our road, checking light levels on all AFNs, after our failed install. They said there had been a misconfiguration with the spine fibre, due to ongoing works which they claim to have corrected. That being said, we still don’t have a connection and the latest report is a fix mid to late next week. Again, I’ll provide updates when I know more…
 

Matt.Rowley.1990

Regular Member
interesting as the build by me in Woodside park is using Openreach network space and chambers as well as the new ones they have installed. there is some blockages there working on now but been told we should be connected within the next few weeks. The site servery that was done a wile back showed a clear path using Openreach chambers as well. This was there first site in N postcodes as I was talking to them when they where in north west and there first site in Barnet was Grahame Park.

Sorry if I didn’t explain properly - my local install does make use of openreach ducts and poles; it is just that many ducts are so blocked that it has been prohibitively expensive to run each feed under ground. Where there are blockages, Community Fibre are going pole to pole. It doesn’t look the best but it is significantly cheaper and quicker than dealing with the ongoing blockages.
 

Deanilson

Regular Member
Sorry if I didn’t explain properly - my local install does make use of openreach ducts and poles; it is just that many ducts are so blocked that it has been prohibitively expensive to run each feed under ground. Where there are blockages, Community Fibre are going pole to pole. It doesn’t look the best but it is significantly cheaper and quicker than dealing with the ongoing blockages.
Current slow down with the build around here but they have to be cleared as no poles here. I will update the post when anything happens
 

Barnet

Casual Member
As Barnet has said, the timelines appear to be quite short. The time between chambers appearing, rodding, running fibre and fitting AFNs was probably about 3-4 months. I seem to recall things started in Jan/Feb locally and AFNs appeared on poles the start of this month.

What does confuse me is that there are many areas with AFNs left at half mast and some poles with cable left coiled up for months. I don’t know if they targeted completion on my road specifically, as myself and a few others registered interest way before works had begun. Hard to say.

What I do know is that there are still some issues. We had engineers back in our road, checking light levels on all AFNs, after our failed install. They said there had been a misconfiguration with the spine fibre, due to ongoing works which they claim to have corrected. That being said, we still don’t have a connection and the latest report is a fix mid to late next week. Again, I’ll provide updates when I know more…
In some respects it doesn’t matter, but I’ve been wondering if Community Fibre have space in a local exchange and will build out from there.

For the fibre loss calculations to work they will need active equipment somewhere in the North London suburbs.

The “traditional” serving exchanges matter less for fibre, particularly as there are a fair few London exchanges scheduled for closure eventually but I guess there will be a “hub” somewhere in or around the borough.
 

Deanilson

Regular Member
In some respects it doesn’t matter, but I’ve been wondering if Community Fibre have space in a local exchange and will build out from there.

For the fibre loss calculations to work they will need active equipment somewhere in the North London suburbs.

The “traditional” serving exchanges matter less for fibre, particularly as there are a fair few London exchanges scheduled for closure eventually but I guess there will be a “hub” somewhere in or around the borough.
From what I've seen here and in East London both times the build started out from Openreach exchange (North finchley and ilford) then made there way. Only difference Ilford exchange is already fully fibre so there moving super fast over there.
 
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