ADSL to Fibre

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Jim, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I am considering switching from my present ISP
    to Zen Internet. At the same time I'll be switching
    from ADSL to FTTC.

    My modem-router is a cheap TP-Link TD8960N which
    _seems_ to be compatible, but I'd be prepared to buy a
    BT Home Hub 5 which I think would be guaranteed to be

    I understand I'd need a visit by Open Reach who would
    install some sort of modem.

    Are these ADSL/FTTC upgrades usually painless?

    Seems almost too good to be true: top notch provider,
    no setup fee, £25 a month for 72M up 20 down. What's the
    catch ?
    Jim, Jul 8, 2014
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  2. Jim

    Davey Guest

    My personal feeling would be to steer clear of anything with a BT
    brandname on it.
    With Zen, you will have indeed a top-notch provider. I just wish that
    fibre was even in the plans for my area! Zen would surely supply a
    modem compatible with your system, if they are providing the service.
    They supplied my ADSL modem.
    Davey, Jul 8, 2014
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  3. Both good choices. You'll notice the difference in speed straight
    away, and you'll be particularly glad you went with Zen if you ever
    need their technical support.
    Regardless of which service provider you use, the cable between the
    street cabinet and your house is the same one you've been using for
    ADSL and telephone, so the speed you actually get will depend on this.
    Check here-

    -for an estimate of what it's likely to be. There wouldn't be any
    point paying for the 76Mb/s service if the laws of physics prevent you
    getting more than 38Mb/s, but other than that the choice is yours.

    Openreach will provide and fit a VDSL modem as part of the deal, but
    you'll also need to buy a router. I bought the cheapest one from Zen,
    the Technicolor TG582n, and although there aren't many technical
    settings to mess about with it does the job perfectly well. This
    wireless-n router also includes an ADSL modem, and as I got mine
    several days before Openreach arrived, I was able to put it into use
    straight away on the existing ADSL service, and on the day it was only
    necessary to change a few settings for VDSL.

    I was told that there is no mechanism for transferring a Zen email
    address associated with a VDSL account to another postal address, so
    bear that in mind if you're thinking of moving house soon.

    I recently received an email saying they're going to discontinue their
    usenet service, in September I think, so if you're using your present
    ISP's usenet server you'll need to find an independent one. Luckily
    there are plenty and they're not expensive. I'm using Forte Agent
    Usenet at $2.95 per month, so no big deal.

    All working very well for several months now.

    Roderick Stewart, Jul 8, 2014
  4. Jim

    Graham J Guest

    Do you actually mean a TD-W8960N as shown at:

    If so this is an ADSL router, which will not be what you need.

    When you get FTTC it will be installed by BT on behalf of Zen Internet.
    BT will supply a modem for the VDSL signal; and the customer side of
    the modem is Ethernet. Therefore you will require an Ethernet router.

    I'm sure Zen will offer to supply one.

    There are routers that contain an integrated VDSL modem (e.g. the Vigor
    2860) but at present Zen will suggest that for them to provide support
    you will have to use the modem supplied by BT. This is rather a pity,
    since the V2860 will show you performance parameters for the VDSL
    service - something you won't be able to get out of the BT modem.
    Graham J, Jul 8, 2014
  5. Jim

    NY Guest

    Hopefully before long, ISPs will start to support and/or supply integrated
    routers that have both modem and router, like the BT Homehub 5 and the Vigor
    that you mention. Having to have two separate devices is a pain as you need
    two mains sockets rather than one and you have two boxes joined by cable
    rather than one. And you may lose the ability to interrogate the modem's
    signal strength, as you say.

    VDSL may require changes to your house wiring. We have an incoming feed from
    the overhead cable which goes to an old GPO rectangular junction box from
    which two cables radiate, both ending at modern BT sockets, and connected in
    parallel. This is not allowed (or at least, strongly discouraged) for VDSL.
    Instead the incoming line must go to one BT socket which is the master, with
    a filtered extension going to the other socket. In our case that would mean
    running a second phone line back down the staircase, alongside the existing
    one that goes to the upstairs socket which would need to be the master one
    because it's closer to where the router must be to be within Ethernet range
    of my PCs. And the cable from the socket to the router cannot be ribbon
    cable phone extension as I have at present, so there would be a problem
    getting the cable from the socket to the router under carpets across
    doorways. It converts the nice simple setup that we have for ADSL into a
    right pain, with cables having to go over the top of one doorframe and
    through a drilled hole in another doorway.

    Actually the increase in downstream speed from about 6 Mbps to about 30 Mbps
    (using the BT line speed estimation site) is less important than the
    increase in upstream speed - from 448 kbps to about 15 Mbps. When ADSL was
    designed, most traffic was downloads of web pages and emails; now with cloud
    storage you also need to have fast upstream transfer to upload data to the
    NY, Jul 8, 2014
  6. Jim

    Andy Burns Guest

    BT and Sky already do, Plusnet are deciding which/when to supply.
    Andy Burns, Jul 8, 2014
  7. Quoting from the linked page:

    "Ethernet WAN (EWAN) offers another broadband connectivity option for
    connecting to Cable, VDSL or Fiber modems"

    The specifications page also confirms that it supports PPPoE, so
    connecting this device's RJ45 WAN port to the RJ45 port on the BT
    supplied fibre modem ought to work fine.
    Andy Blanchard for all your UK Babylon 5 needs!

    The only person to have all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe
    Andy Blanchard, Jul 8, 2014
  8. Jim

    Bob L Guest

    What package are you looking at ?

    Cannot see anything with 72M upload - download yes.

    Their prices show that an extra £4.50 a month is charged if you do not
    have line rental.
    Bob L, Jul 9, 2014
  9. Jim

    Graham J Guest

    Apologoies - you are correct.

    So the OP can very likely use his existing router, provided he
    configures it for EWAN operation. My only question is whether his
    TD-8960N is the same as the TD-W8960N.
    Graham J, Jul 9, 2014
  10. Jim

    Rodney Pont Guest

    I was going to say isn't the TD-W8960N the wireless version but the N
    indicates that it's wireless n so I won't bother :)
    Rodney Pont, Jul 9, 2014
  11. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Home Hub 5 is a reasonable, fast modem with
    dual-band wireless. Quite reasonably priced.
    However, it transpire my present modem-router
    is compatible with FTTC so no need to change it
    unless the TP-Link doesn't work.
    Hope they bring FTTC to you soon. It took a long
    time to get to me, but we have it now.
    I understood from Zen's tech support that Open
    Reach would supply and fit the modem, although that
    seems far 'Reach'ed to me.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  12. Jim

    Jim Guest

    It seems they've put their prices up from £25 all in
    to £30 + £15.44 line rental/pm since yesterday. Either that
    or I got it wrong yesterday. I don't get the line rental
    bit as I rent my line from BT. Probably still do Zen tho'.
    That site says 72.2-80M down/19.9-20M up.
    Presumably my TP-Link will do for that.
    The Email addresses I use are associated with
    my hosting provider, accessed with Thunderbird.
    The other two webmail addresses don't matter in
    that respect.
    Using and Agent 1.93.
    That has worked perfectly for years.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  13. Jim

    Jim Guest

    They say I have to have the visit and
    recommend a half-day slot.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  14. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Yes. Missed off the 'W'.
    Shit! Are you sure? One of the ports is WAN/LAN
    which is supposed to work with an VDSL input.

    According to, the W8960N:
    " Ethernet WAN (EWAN) offers another broadband connectivity
    option for connecting to Cable, VDSL or Fibre modems ... "
    I'm quite prepared to accept the modem they supply,
    it was the router I was concerned about.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  15. Jim

    Jim Guest

    That's what I understood. Thanks for the confirmation,

    I think Graham assumed that I would use the
    TP-LINK as a modem-router.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  16. Jim

    Jim Guest

    :eek:) You're not wrong there. Of course 72M down/
    20 up.
    It went up from £25/pm overnight to £30/pm.
    There's also a mention of a £15.44 'line rental' which
    I don't understand.

    The package is Unlimited Fibre 2:

    No phone in the package. Can't query it as
    they've all gone home now. Have another go at
    them tomorrow.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  17. Jim

    Jim Guest

    Yes, it is.
    Jim, Jul 9, 2014
  18. Yes indeed.
    I went from ADSL2+ (from O2) to Zen Fibre. It's incredibly
    straightforward. You get a visit from the openreach "engineer" (term
    used very loosely as he was totally confused about how to connect up
    without a BT HomeHub thing...

    As long as your router is ethernet port for the WAN and not an ADSL
    router that plugs into the BT socket you'll be fine.

    Static IP address is very handy if you know why you'd even want one
    otherwise don't bother.

    Depending on how far away you are from the box will effect your speed. I
    get around 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up.
    When it all gets upgraded to super fast 330Mbps or whatever in the
    future you will want to invest in a new router but otherwise you should
    be just fine. Though Zen tec. support are extremely good. Just make
    sure you have their phone number written down before you go off line.

    [email protected]
, Jul 9, 2014
  19. Jim

    Davey Guest

    Thanks, but unlikely. So far, we cannot even get ADSL2+, even though I
    can drive to Norwich within 40 minutes, Bury St. Edmunds within 30
    minutes, and Cambridge in less than an hour. The latest 'initiative',
    which is pushing Openreach faster than it really wants to be pushed,
    estimates that we might have fibre by the end of 2015. No promises,
    Luckily, I don't run an internet-based business, so I don't miss it as
    much as some other folks do.
    Davey, Jul 9, 2014
  20. As an additional note, after BT tried to scam me with a false order on
    one of my telephone lines then wasting many hours trying to actually
    speak to a person rather than the closed loop automated system I shifted
    all 3 telephone lines across to Zen. Don't ever make calls through them
    as all calls go VOIP but I can thoroughly recommend them for line rental
    as well as internet speaking as a domestic and business user.

    [email protected]
, Jul 9, 2014
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