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FTTP and G.fast confusion

Cei

Casual Member
#1
Hello! First post on here :)

I live in Cardiff, on the Whitchurch Exchange, which is one of the g.fast trial locations. Openreach appear to have been busy bees in the last few months and my cabinet (cab 2) has sprouted a g.fast extension pod about 2 months ago. However g.fast is nowhere to be seen and can't be ordered. I've tried the Openreach Twitter monkeys who were useless, and I've asked an engineer I spotted outside as well, but there seems to be nothing on when g.fast can be ordered?

Secondly, the Openreach engineer popped open the manhole outside my house and said "It's fully fibre set up for FTTP". The BT Broadband Availability Checked does list FTTP On Demand as an available product at 1000/220, but again, I can't seem to get anywhere with ordering.

Any ideas?

Capture.PNG

EDIT:
I did some further digging on the Openreach fibre checker, and properties a few doors down can get g.fast, so it looks like the pods are active. I called my ISP, Zen, and they spoke to their provisioning team who said that maybe my house and immediate neighbours are on a different circuit within the cab that isn't enabled yet? Sounded rubbish to me, is it more likely to be range of g.fast? (I'm between 2-300m depending how the cables run).

As for the manhole?
It definitely had those black egg type things inside (seen here: https://forum.kitz.co.uk/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thinkbroadband.com%2Fimages%2Fnews%2F4440-fibre-splitter-manifold-underground.jpg&hash=83637d1f8ce4a97ab9571c5df8d61f05)
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
#2
FTTP on Demand is not the same as a native FTTP deployment. All of this is perhaps best explained over here (see below), although if the fibre passes right outside your house then it’s possible the FTTPoD install cost may be much lower. But right now nobody can order it.

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.p...l-on-fttpod-orders-after-spike-in-demand.html

Meanwhile it's not uncommon for Openreach to install a new G.fast pod and then leave people waiting nearly a year before the service actually goes live, which I've seen happen in quite a few areas.

In terms of native FTTP availability, you might be better off going directly to an ISP like Zen Internet, iDNet, Freeola or Cerberus Networks and checking via their checkers to see whether or not you can order it yet.
 
#3
Sounded rubbish to me, is it more likely to be range of g.fast? (I'm between 2-300m depending how the cables run).
I think you're probably further than 300m away from your cabinet - I am approx. 253m from my cabinet (according to a GEA test) and I get near maximum 79997 downstream sync rate so based on your current sync rate I think your line length must exceed the current G.fast range.
 

Cei

Casual Member
#4
FTTP on Demand is not the same as a native FTTP deployment. All of this is perhaps best explained over here (see below), although if the fibre passes right outside your house then it’s possible the FTTPoD install cost may be much lower. But right now nobody can order it.

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.p...l-on-fttpod-orders-after-spike-in-demand.html

Meanwhile it's not uncommon for Openreach to install a new G.fast pod and then leave people waiting nearly a year before the service actually goes live, which I've seen happen in quite a few areas.

In terms of native FTTP availability, you might be better off going directly to an ISP like Zen Internet, iDNet, Freeola or Cerberus Networks and checking via their checkers to see whether or not you can order it yet.
Re: FTTP, it could be as you say, nobody can order it so I can't get anywhere either. My ISP is Zen, and they're showing us only available for FTTC.

As for the g.fast? The pods are live, and able to have orders placed if you live about 20m down the road...

I think you're probably further than 300m away from your cabinet - I am approx. 253m from my cabinet (according to a GEA test) and I get near maximum 79997 downstream sync rate so based on your current sync rate I think your line length must exceed the current G.fast range.
Actually that made me look, and I'm actually below my handback threshold. Zen are currently running line tests and it looks like there'll be an Openreach engineer visit on the horizon.

As the crow flies I am 203m from my cabinet. If you follow the route of the access hatchways I am 280m. I'll ask Zen to run a GEA test tomorrow as well once the 24hrs of line speed testing is complete.

I'm a bit surprised g.fast is coming in this short ranged to be honest.
 

Kits

Super Moderator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
#5
True it is a bad investment I think you will find it is BT's way to combat Virgin Media faster speeds since the G.fast is available in my area which is VM enabled. Sadly only ones who can benefit from G.fast are on VM :D the neighbours I have been talking to use VM they are all closer to the cabinet than me. The one new neighbour moved in 6 months ago that was going to sign up for G.fast actually went VM route apparently.
 

Cei

Casual Member
#6
Alas, Cardiff is a black hole for VM. Openreach have no competition so can just mess around constantly like this!

EDIT:
24hrs of line testing complete with new filters etc. and connection speed dropped to 56.3Mbps. Oops. Below threshold for handback and the GEA line test also failed returning no results. Engineer visit has been requested, just awaiting appointment. I'll then ask them what on earth is going on about the g.fast setup round here!
 
Last edited:

ngnfzu

Casual Member
#7
Hello! First post on here :)

I live in Cardiff, on the Whitchurch Exchange, which is one of the g.fast trial locations. Openreach appear to have been busy bees in the last few months and my cabinet (cab 2) has sprouted a g.fast extension pod about 2 months ago. However g.fast is nowhere to be seen and can't be ordered. I've tried the Openreach Twitter monkeys who were useless, and I've asked an engineer I spotted outside as well, but there seems to be nothing on when g.fast can be ordered?

Secondly, the Openreach engineer popped open the manhole outside my house and said "It's fully fibre set up for FTTP". The BT Broadband Availability Checked does list FTTP On Demand as an available product at 1000/220, but again, I can't seem to get anywhere with ordering.

Any ideas?

View attachment 66

EDIT:
I did some further digging on the Openreach fibre checker, and properties a few doors down can get g.fast, so it looks like the pods are active. I called my ISP, Zen, and they spoke to their provisioning team who said that maybe my house and immediate neighbours are on a different circuit within the cab that isn't enabled yet? Sounded rubbish to me, is it more likely to be range of g.fast? (I'm between 2-300m depending how the cables run).

As for the manhole?
It definitely had those black egg type things inside (seen here: https://forum.kitz.co.uk/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thinkbroadband.com%2Fimages%2Fnews%2F4440-fibre-splitter-manifold-underground.jpg&hash=83637d1f8ce4a97ab9571c5df8d61f05)
I think you might find that both FTTP and GFast will be available soon. Whitchurch is strange as the first fibre first area in Wales and was also the trial location for GFast. FTTP is just awaiting exchange works to be completed
 

Cei

Casual Member
#8
Well, engineer came and despite spending three hours on site he can't get the line speed above 57.5mbps. That's with a new port in the DSLAM and tried 10 different twisted pairs. Line length is just under 350m, as it is going a rather circuitous route, but he simply cannot understand why we're not getting the full 80mbps, let alone 57.5. It looks like the line length of 350m is too much for g.fast, although he did do a g.fast install the other day that was at 450m and they got link speeds of 160...

Unfortunately Zen have decided to wash their hands of the whole thing:
Hi,

We have received the engineers notes who resolved an external between the cabinet and premises.

Unfortunately a "broadband boost engineer" is not something that we are able to offer.

Upon rechecking the line estimates your connection would also go off a "Range B" estimate. In previous years Openreach use to install there own modems and therefore we would go off "Range A" estimates.

According to a Range A estimate the minimum is 60Mbps down however the handback (Fault threshold rate) is 52Mbps on the downstream.

You should be able to check this yourself via the following link;

https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/

Should the line fall below 52Mbps it would then be classed as a fault.

We will monitor the connection to ensure it remains stable and contact you again.
To me that reads Zen have decided I'm now an impacted line and will use the 52mbps downstream threshold. So I'm not exactly happy about that because the reason given sounds...rubbish.


However, whilst the engineer was here we had a chat about FTTP and he popped open the manhole outside. There's is 100% a brand new fibre run out there, with 12 ports sitting waiting to be connected. Apparently the plan is for activation in Jan/Feb 2019 on the Whitchurch exchange, it was going to be earlier but something happened in Newport (it's always Newport...) that pulled a lot of engineers for a while. As you say, ngnfzu, they're completing work in the exchange and then it'll be ready.

So, I'm just going to wait for the FTTP to go live, hopefully in Jan/Feb. That way I'll get full line speed rather than the variability g.fast offers.
 

Kits

Super Moderator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
#9
Yes G.fast is a flawed product it is pushing the bounderies and the slightest varience can be the difference between good speed and crap speeds. The money wasted on G.fast would have been a better investment adding it to the FTTP route.
 
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