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    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2021
     
    What ho Gentlemen,

    The area of Surrey where I live is gearing up big time to get the HMG Gigabit voucher scheme. It is looking as if the parish has the required agreements.

    I personally don't feel the need for it, but could be persuaded if my questions can be answered and to date, no-one has been about to assist and I hope there will be some here who can throw light on the subject.

    Our current phone line comes from a pole to the loft and when I built, the phone cables were installed to each room. Owing to poor internet, BT rearranged the master socket and it is now in the g/f office, into which the router is plugged and our two desktops are in turn, plugged into the router. No wifi although the router will do it.

    If the fibre comes to the loft, that presumably is where the 'master' socket will be?
    Do the computers (new router needed?) have to be plugged directly into this new master socket and therefore, does the existing internal copper wiring get used? (I think not as I believe the computers have to plugged directly into the fibre box?)
    I am told they will put the box where I want it. If the new router has to be plugged into it, then that is in the ground floor office area. Will they bring the cable from the loft to the ground, around the house and then drill through my t/f wall? I'm guessing not, but what do I know?
    I believe the new terminal box needs a power supply; is that correct?

    I don't want anyone drilling holes into my t/f wall. Apart from anything else, drilling through the breather paper will only rip it to pieces; and then there is 200mm of Warmcel to go through.

    The bottom line is that 'the answers to all your questions can be found on the on-line FAQ' is a load of old toosh!

    Grateful for any clarity,

    Toodle pip and thanks

    Rex
  1.  
    It will be a new router. You can put it next to the fibre socket wherever that is, and connect everything else to it by WiFi, or run data cables if that is worthwhile for you. The installers will be experienced how to drill through different walls.

    Don't know about the other questions but we would dearly love fibre broadband, or even FTTC. We have five people all trying to do online school and work over a 4G phone internet connection. The schools and employers are now expecting everyone to be available at any time on Zoom video calling for lessons and meetings, and are sending out multi-GB videos of teachers explaining stuff which the kids have to download and respond to within the assigned lesson time. Apparently the govt are pulling back from committments to a universal service of broadband.

    Whatever it takes to get the fibre into your house, I'd definitely suggest you do it, the world has changed forever and people will expect a home to have it.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2021
     
    Pretty sure youve raised this issue before?? Maybe worth a look through your previous posts.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: RexIf the fibre comes to the loft

    Start there. Will it? Or will they put an underground cable in? That's the first thing to establish - ask them.

    Lots of houses near us have overhead phones and/or power and suffer the associated grief from time to time. We put everything underground and I'm very glad we did.

    Incidentally, drilling through warmcel is no problem. Poke a small hole in the membrane and start drilling. Tape up the hole afterwards around the cable, or use one of the fancy sticky grommets. If you have to drill the other way so the membrane is at the end, then have somebody watching and when the drill strikes it just take it slowly or poke a hole first and push the drill through.

    As Will says, wherever the fibre comes in it is likely that it will be terminated, and where it is terminated there will be a box that needs mains power. So once you know how they're proposing to bring the fibre in, you can decide the most practical place to terminate it where you can provide power. If the only place they can bring it in is somewhere awkward, you can also ask them whether it's possible to run the fibre a bit further inside the building to somewhere more convenient.

    Once the signal's gone through the ONT box, it's a regular internet cable that comes out the other side and you can connect it to whatever switches or devices you want.

    If you want to distribute internet around the house, phone wires generally are no good, you'll need cat-5 or better cables (better for gigabit!) or else you'll need a wireless system. Modern mesh systems are pretty good.

    We have an Openreach cabinet by the street a couple of houses away from us in the village, and I switched from ADSL to FTTC DSL 18 months ago. So I now have 80 Mbps. I definitely wouldn't want to go back to ADSL (especially since I'm paying less now :) but I'm not sure I'd use much of a gigabit link.

    edit: As Phil says, we have discussed this before.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2021
     
    Thanks for the various options; pretty much as I suspected.

    Because our phone line comes in via a pole, I would imagine that is how a fibre will be installed. If it was to be underground, they will have to cross an albeit private, but concrete road and I cannot see them doing that as all work will be to a tight budget.

    You are correct in pointing out that I previously asked; put it to age related lock-down memory glitch!

    I realise the drilling through the breather paper is not difficult, but 6" inside a small hole is not easy to actually puncture the fabric. Cannot be done from outside as the racking board is there; from inside, just have to drill carefully until the racking board has been penetrated. But the breather paper will be pushed away from the puncturing tool. I don't want to tear it nor get it wrapped around a drill bit.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2021
     
    Should have added that at the time of building, fibre was not really a thing and I did not see the need for CAT5. Silly boy!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2021
     
    Posted By: RexBecause our phone line comes in via a pole, I would imagine that is how a fibre will be installed. If it was to be underground, they will have to cross an albeit private, but concrete road and I cannot see them doing that as all work will be to a tight budget.

    You won't know until you ask them and they tell you.

    I realise the drilling through the breather paper is not difficult, but 6" inside a small hole is not easy to actually puncture the fabric. Cannot be done from outside as the racking board is there; from inside, just have to drill carefully until the racking board has been penetrated. But the breather paper will be pushed away from the puncturing tool. I don't want to tear it nor get it wrapped around a drill bit.

    I don't understand what is difficult about starting from outside. Simply drill through the membrane, followed by the board and then the warmcel, no? Equally going the other way, drill through the board then stop and deal carefully with the membrane. Use a long auger drill. It's unlikely to be the first time the installers have seen a timber frame wall.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2021
     
    Posted By: RexBecause our phone line comes in via a pole, I would imagine that is how a fibre will be installed.
    Aerial Fiber cable can have issues with longevity so the usual deployment is via underground. Locally this may be done by 'mole' technology so I would not assume anything as to how it will be deployed.
    • CommentAuthorandyman99
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2021
     
    Gigaclear also deliver underground - small conduit installed then they blow the fibre in through it. Actually was very impressive and quick. Telephone connectivity if required is via an adapter that sits anywhere on your network, the phone plugs into it and it has an ethernet connection to your network. Looks like the "Voucher Scheme" can be used with a variety of suppliers.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2021
     
    At the moment, all BT cables run in underground piping, then popping up to the various poles to be distributed to the houses. Each pole and an inspection chamber at its base. However, the last two poles (and my house gets its cable from one of them) is situated in the middle of a small roundabout and there is no inspection chamber. So there could be a possibility of an underground fibre, but my feeling is it is unlikely.

    I have been researching the ONT and the general guides suggest that it should be close to where the computers are situated; in my case, that is almost diametrically opposite where the existing (and I assume fibre) would come into the house.

    As I don't have CAT5, only a standard phone cable, I fail to understand how the fibre connection would get from the loft to the computers? Can it be done with the existing phone cable?

    Presumably, the idea is that from the ONT, one uses WiFi? It may work fine but my PosiJoist and ali UFH spreader plates could cause WiFi issues. How would I know if WiFi will work until it is installed?

    As for drilling through the breathe paper, certainly it is not difficult but it is very tough stuff and during the build, when I had to drill through it a couple of times, I found that is wraps itself around the drill and until it either tore off a large amount or stalled the drill.

    I don't want that happening in the cavity, where I cannot see what is happening.
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2021
     
    There are a few options to think about, but might mean £100 or £200 to deliver a good broadband connection where you want it
    1 - Powerline adapters - where ethernet runs over the mains and you use plugs - probably very adequate for your needs and would be available throughout the house
    2 - Good wifi - maybe a mesh system or a good wifi 6 router if in the right place would be OK
    3 - cabled lan - cat 5 (or higher) to the rooms you need it - I think you understand this, but seems to be your least preferred option - as the wires may not be hidden? Only you can decide on that.

    i think you need to decide how the cable enters your house and discuss with the provider what you prefer and listen to them, before deciding/
    Also - are there other options? Such as drilling through a wooden window frame, or passing next to a fan vent somewhere?
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2021
     
    Plenty of ways to bring a FTTH 9mm duct in without going through a wall. If it's anything like mine (which is a completely different organisation, not BT) in terms of install it's:

    Small 9mm ducting put to somewhere in the house (mine was underground and then through a 4" duct left in for extra services, it terminates in the router, which is screwed to the wall, and then a couple of fibres are blown (literally) down it - they look like fishing line. If you can bring it in underground, what about putting it in the electricity duct?

    My router does have a WiFi point but I've turned it off and instead I run 3 access points made by a company called Ubiquiti; one AP on each floor of the house. They're older tech (prev generation) and only good for about 80mbps but it's only for phones and tablets so it's ample - and they were 35 quid each on eBay, they're rock solid and they get their power through the Ethernet wire so it's only one wire to hide; run it up the corner or an architrave in the hall and plaster it in. The office is wired for gigbit Ethernet (the house was wired with cat 6 to a point in every room and I actually wish I'd run it to every light switch and socket too - always handy to have spare wires running everywhere) so the desk computers are wired in and really do get 950+mbps when it's needed (I do a lot of large video transfers; very handy to be able to stick a 2 gig video on some internet download server in a couple of seconds)

    Ultimately, if you want your in-house WiFi coverage to be decent you don't rely on one access point built into your ISP supplied router; look for commercial grade kit that has been pulled because it's being replaced and put several in; your WiFi devices will roam around them and switch without you knowing. I haven't had great experiences with power line devices, but the Ubiquiti Unifi stuff has been brilliant, and similarly in a business setting the Aruba networks kit was good too
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2021
     
    As mentioned above repurposing old kit is a perfectly adequate way of getting wifi access around the house. We have a redundant BT hub4 as an access point for the rear half of the house. It needs a cat 5 cable connection between the hub4 and the ISPs router and configuring as per one of the many online guides. Saves the hub4 from the bin and gets a reliable wifi signal upstairs and down:)
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2021
     
    Don't know if your install will be different to mine, In our area open reach bring the fibre to the house then BT come along a few days later and connect up. Open reach like to put the box from the street onto the outside of the house and BT would put your final connection where you want. In my situation I had put under ground ducting in place several year ago so the cable had to come into the house. A neighbour was going to be around when he had his done and was going to have it in a convenient place so the outside box was close where his inside master connection and router were going to be. Open reach turned up a few days earlier than expected he was not in to direct them and they put it where it suited them and turned out to be a bigger job for BT. When my BT man came he was dead pleased that I had them close together because he very often would have a big job just routing the indoor cable to where the occupier wanted it. So plan where you want all the boxes to go and be around to direct open reach. Open reach are in my experience a law unto themselves mainly I think that they subcontract the work and the installers are not customer orientated. I found BT employees to be really great.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2021
     
    Openreach is part of BT. BT was split up into a number of business units (7?), one of which is Openreach.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2021
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesOpenreach is part of BT. BT was split up into a number of business units (7?), one of which is Openreach.

    Indeed, so in some ways it's good that their employees seem to behave differently :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    My open reach employees were not OR employees they were sub contractors communication was very poor did not turn up or turned up unannounced. Having done the work about a couple of weeks later had another crew turn up unannounced who had come to do the job. They did not believe me it had been done until I had shown them the work. My neighbour across the road with relative permanently bed ridden and can feel vulnerable had one call personally at the door at 7pm when it was very dark making an enquiry about her install because he was in the area, Did not have the courtesy to phone to ask if it was convenient and he could have done quite easily from outside the premises. So around here we were not impressed elsewhere of course may be a different matter.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for the additional information. At the moment, we watch either live of catch-up TV via a computer with a large screen TV as the monitor. It gets it signal via a Powerline adaptor and we don't have any problem. So that could be a possibility.

    Use of the electricity duct is a thought, but I guess we would have to find the duct location near property boundary. And that is on the other side of the road from the BT pole.

    Obviously, overhead to the loft is the easiest option. I don't want cables running down the wall, either inside or out as I took great pains during the build to ensure that walls were not 'cluttered' with cables. Unfortunately, I did not install CAT5!!!

    Certainly seems that Wifi is the way to go. Is there a way to test if the Posi-joists and f/f UFH spreader plates will block the signal?
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2021
     
    I have posi joist and u/h spreader plates and have not found them an issue. I wired cat5 e throughout the house so normally will plug into one of the outlets on the wall, my TV's are so connected. I recently had to replace the laptop and that only had WIFI but it works fine . The only connection issues I have is mobile phone signal that varies where in the house I am, have put that down to the foil surfaced insulation and thick stone walls in the original part of the old house. Having smart meter fitted this week will be interesting what quality of connection we get. Do you have any risers in the house that you could use to drop cables down to the living area from the loft. e.g. following pipe runs.
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2021
     
    > Is there a way to test if the Posi-joists and f/f UFH spreader plates will block the signal?

    Plug a wifi enabled router in somewhere - it doesn't need an internet connection in order to start its wifi point, then walk round with your phone etc and leave it in various places for a few minutes and check the declared signal strength, or if you want to get more detailed use a laptop and a suitable software to assess the wifi signal quality

    You can dot some power line wifi APs around the place, or get some power-to-ethernet and reuse old ISP routers as WiFi points - just configure them all with the same name, password and different channels and your wifi enabled devices should roam around them. I recommend commercial grade kit because this sort of configuration is built in, and the software on them very reliable; I've never had to reboot one of my 4 commercial APs in 5 years of running them
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th 2021
     
    Being somewhat behind the WiFi curve, I have now found that there are tiny USB wi-fi gadgets and that may be the way to go.

    As my existing router has Wi-Fi (which we don't use) I can see if my mobile will connect from the loft.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2021
     
    I will admit that when talking techie stuff regarding wi-fi / internet / computers etc, I am somewhat out of my comfort zone.

    As suggested above, I received a wi-fi signal on my phone; sitting next to the router, I get a reading of 72 Mbs. Up in the loft, where the fibre cable would come into the house, it is 42Mbs. although the number of bars fluctuates between one and two. Does this imply that wi-fi would work or would it be somewhat flaky?

    I also see that wireless USB dongles advertise a speed up to (usually) 600 Mbs. This is considerably greater than I appear to be getting from the router (72) but I have no idea what it all implies.

    Would 42 be sufficient or not?
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2021
     
    You have demonstrated that you can get a wifi signal from loft to where you need to be - so a good first step.
    If you need to know if sufficient or not, then there are 5 variables:
    1 - The total output of the router that your new provider will give you (suspect this will be more than you have currently, but everything in the house will be limited by that.)
    2 - What you use the internet for. if just doing what you do now, then you can measure that and establish of 42 is good enough?
    3 - band being used - it is likely your new router will have at least 2 bands - 2.4ghz and 5 - 5 is faster but doesn't travel as far or as well through things, so you may be restricted to 2.4 - this is important when reviewing the details the provider should give you for the new router.
    4 - capability of the other components - e.g. your cable, phone, powerline adapter, dongle etc etc - if using an old one, then you may not see a speed increase, and they certainly won't go faster than they are capable, even if a 1GB/s feed is available. for example a good cat 5 cable over a long distance will struggle to get more than 600 MB/s
    5 - position in house - obstructions and distance can have a big impact on signal strength - measuring the signal from two points only tells you the signal strength between those 2 exact locations


    Also should it not be sufficient, you still have all the other options available - your powerline adapter etc You will need a power socket for the hub/router/modem to be connect to, so I am assuming this is available for a powerline adapter too... This might be different to your current set up, but from the OP you are expecting that.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: Rex

    Would 42 be sufficient or not?


    Only you can answer that question as it depends on what you want to do, when you want to do it and your tolerance levels if you have to wait a few seconds sometimes or whether you want to move around the house to get better reception. If your incoming broadband is slower than 42MBS then 42MBS wifi is fine as broadband will be the limiting factor

    Last time I checked our incoming broadband speed it was 12MBS which is fine for us. Our wifi probably runs way faster than that but 12MBS is the limiting factor.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: philedge42MBS

    What's a MBS? Or even Rex's Mbs?

    M would mean mega (multiply by a million)
    B might mean byte (normally 8 bits)
    b might mean bits
    s might mean seconds
    S means siemens - conductance

    So mega byte-siemens??

    Telecom speeds are normally given in bits per second or multiples thereof and are usually abbreviated Mbps although I think Mbit/s is technically more correct.

    PS The discussion is about Rex's proposed gigabit fibre link, so the wi-fi is likely to be the rate limiting link.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2021
     
    From the OP, I dont think Rex has committed to having GB fibre, its just being run to his house. As he doesnt see the need for it, were all guessing at how many meg his components are/can/need to run at;)
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 16th 2021
     
    Thanks for the continued input. Totally my mistake, should have been Mbps. So my phone received 72 when beside the router but only around 40-42 in the loft, which is where the fibre would come.

    Although I don't feel we need fibre as apart from anything else, our requirements are not great. We never seem to have any problems when both are using the internet, but we are not both doing Zoom, etc.

    However, in a recent parish council round-up, the news is that BT are planning to remove the exchange by around 2025 and take all copper with them. If that is the case, then getting FTTP when on offer is obviously sensible.

    At the moment, our computers are hard wired to the router with the basic BT download speed of 10Mb/s. Although the master socket is near the computers, from where the cable enters the house, the cable to the master socket is just normal telephone cable. And the router is plugged into the master, and the computers into the router.

    Fibre needs a box of tricks to convert the light into an electrical signal, but if I find the wifi does to get a good signal, is it possible to plug the existing telephone cable into the (whatever) box, to bring the signal to the office (current master socket) and from there, plug in something into which the computers are connected?

    Basically, fibre to the loft and the existing telephone cable to the office?
    • CommentAuthorHollyBush
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2021
     
    Posted By: Rex

    Fibre needs a box of tricks to convert the light into an electrical signal, but if I find the wifi does to get a good signal, is it possible to plug the existing telephone cable into the (whatever) box, to bring the signal to the office (current master socket) and from there, plug in something into which the computers are connected?

    Basically, fibre to the loft and the existing telephone cable to the office?


    Not sure I totally follow this logic - you will need a patch cable (ethernet cable) to connect to the router (the box) - the connection is an RJ45 - the telephone line has an rj11, the two are not compatible. Some routers allow a phone to plug directly in with an rj11 connection, but only for use as a phone (VOIP).

    If you can run one cable down and need more devices wired you can get a cheap switch (google ethernet switch or splitter - there are lots available for under £20 and can connect 4 or 5 devices) to plug more devices via the one cable.

    You will of course still have the powerline option - which is probably the least hassle and cheapest or all - given you already have then.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2021
     
    Posted By: Rex

    However, in a recent parish council round-up, the news is that BT are planning to remove the exchange by around 2025 and take all copper with them. If that is the case, then getting FTTP when on offer is obviously sensible.

    At the moment, our computers are hard wired to the router with the basic BT download speed of 10Mb/s. Although the master socket is near the computers, from where the cable enters the house, the cable to the master socket is just normal telephone cable. And the router is plugged into the master, and the computers into the router.

    Fibre needs a box of tricks to convert the light into an electrical signal, but if I find the wifi does to get a good signal, is it possible to plug the existing telephone cable into the (whatever) box, to bring the signal to the office (current master socket) and from there, plug in something into which the computers are connected?


    If you only want basic broadband, Id be fairly certain theres no need for you to sign up to a fast fibre service. If the old exchange is being removed, youll just get a basic service over fibre when the exchange is removed. Although youll have fibre to the house that could run very fast, your speed will likely be capped in line the package youre paying for.

    If the fibre router is being installed upstairs, I guess BT will be expecting you to connect to it via wifi. If you want your desktops to be cabled then best solution is to replace the phone cable with a cat 5/6 cable from the fibre router to the desktops. If the old phone cable has 2 twisted pairs then you may be able hook up an older spec ethernet cabled connection using the phone cable. Wont be as fast as a gigabit connection but probably way faster than basic broadband speeds so wont be limiting connection speeds.

    I dont know what BTs policy is but they may be able to run the fibre down to where the desktops are if youve prepped a route for the cable. Probably need to ask about that option.
    • CommentAuthorRex
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2021
     
    "Probably need to ask about that option."

    I imagine my mental health will suffer in trying to speak to someone at BT who would be able to answer anything. But I forget, as I understand it, the answers to all my questions can be found on the web site!!!!
   
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