FTTC router installation query

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Andy Blanchard, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Andy Blanchard

    Andy Burns Guest

    The chap who installed my FTTC at home this week didn't seem to have any
    kit to connect to the line other than a tone generator and linesman's

    Apparently he wasn't expecting to provide me a modem, when I said I'd
    need one he shuffled off to his van and after *much* rummaging found an
    un-boxed one, PSU was covered in mud and I had to shake bits of glass
    and offcuts of wire out of the vents in the case!

    He couldn't get any Vodafone signal on his tablet (which had a smashed
    screen) so couldn't get the results of the initial sync speed, nor could
    he book the job as finished.

    I could tell from decreased ping and increased upload speeds that it was
    connecting as VDSL, and I knew the download speed was unlikely to
    increase until the ISP end noticed the jump in line rate, but a "normal"
    customer might be left with an initial impression there had been little
    point upgrading to fibre.

    I don't expect much whenever a Quinn/Kelly engineer shows up, but it
    seemed a pretty low-class installation ... would have preferred wires-only.
    Andy Burns, Apr 9, 2015
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  2. Andy Blanchard

    Kraftee Guest

    Probably one of the (virtual) zero hour contract contractors who are chasing
    their tails all the day due to extreme work loading (we're talking about 10
    to 15 job tours on every day)

    You should have received a box thru the post a couple of days before the
    visit as the field engineers just don't carry new units*** but do carry swap
    units (i.e they are not supposed to supply a fresh new one but can swap out
    a faulty one as they are now booked in and out via a swap system, 1 for 1)
    so I suppose you are lucky he did have a 'spare' but if/when you do get your
    new one keep the original as a spare as they can go a little loopy (which is
    exactly what they do, loop thru the boot up and back to the beginning
    again). Check to see if you haven't received a dreaded card from the
    postie, even though the box was supposedly designed to go thru an average
    letter box.

    If the field engineer officially carry 'spare' units they would have to
    carry the same for all the providers, as if that is likely (this is where
    equivalence rears its ugly head). Puts a smile on my face each time I see
    another CP order stating that the field engineer is to supply a router from
    his van stock (what van stock) if the end user hasn't received theirs thru
    the post.
    Kraftee, Apr 9, 2015
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  3. Andy Blanchard

    John Weston Guest

    You may not be...

    In my case last year it was a subcontractor of Openreach who told me "I
    know what I'm doing" after my asking about his needing a new
    faceplate... He simply reused my ADSLnation faceplate filter I had for
    the previous ADSL installation and installed his BT modem onto the wall
    nearby using my old master. He also insisted nothing, such as my NAS
    server, could be plugged into the double mains socket next his modem
    supply saying "... a free socket is needed for future test use"!! I've
    ignored this, since an alternative is available nearby, outside my
    equipment cupboard, should it be needed. I've used a previously
    installed cat5e LAN cable to plug into the BT modem and have located my
    PPPoE router in a more suitable place for the WiFi signal.

    The message here, based on an installation not using a genuine Openreach
    technician, is that the BT modem needs -one- dedicated mains socket and
    it should be installed near to the filtered master socket but you can
    run the Ethernet cable from this to the best place for your WiFi router.

    I've got practically maximum speeds, since the copper run carrying the
    VDSL signal to the fibre cabinet is less than 200m
    John Weston, Aug 6, 2015
  4. Andy Blanchard

    John Weston Guest


    Where did that come from??? Was working on the computer and it
    escaped somehow - sorry

    John Weston, Aug 7, 2015
  5. I think I was lucky, in that I got an older guy who did seem to know
    what he was doing, and it probably helped that my ADSL modem/router
    was on a little high corner shelf with a mains extension, an RJ11
    phone cable and an ethernet cable already routed there through some
    trunking. I had also previously replaced my master socket faceplate
    with the one with a built in filter (in an attempt to get better
    performance on ADSL, which it did achieve), so all he really had to do
    was plug the new modem in and test it.

    I also managed to persuade him not to screw the new modem to the wall,
    even though he said this was their standard practice. What is the
    reasoning behind this? All my previous modems and routers have worked
    perfectly well simply placed on desks or shelves, so why do they think
    a VDSL modem needs to be screwed to the wall while the separate router
    you have to use with it doesn't? I've subsequently replaced the two
    separate boxes with a combined VDSL modem/router, which works
    perfectly well sitting on the shelf. I don't usually want any
    pluggable electrical equipment screwed to the wall, as it makes things
    awkward to change, and if I did I'm perfectly capable of drilling
    holes in my own wall myself.
    The need for an unshared mains outlet is utter nonsense (although the
    modem does need a dedicated one that is plugged and switched on all
    the time). In my case, the mains extension cable that goes through the
    trunking to the modem shelf shares a wall socket with a Netgear
    Powerline adaptor (through its pass-through connector in fact) and it
    all works just fine.

    Roderick Stewart, Aug 7, 2015
  6. Andy Blanchard

    Graham J Guest

    Recently helped a customer by being present for the Openreach engineer's
    agreed PM slot - customer had to be at work.

    OR engineer actually female, and from Kelly. She rang at 11 am saying
    she had finished her previous job early - so could she do ours? Sadly I
    had to put her off until I got there so she cleaned her van.

    I arrived on site about 12:15

    By 12:30 she had reconfigured service in the green cabinet and soon
    after arrived on site. I explained that the existing master socket was
    in the hallway - very inconvenient for the customer - and that the
    builder had run extensions to a bedroom and to the lounge.

    She investigated, finding that the extension wiring was standard CW1308
    and it ran first to the bedroom then to the lounge. So she jelly
    crimped a pair onto the incoming service and fitted the master socket in
    the bedroom, exactly where the customer wanted it. I then covered the
    opening in the hallway with a blank plate.

    The bedroomm had a double mains socket beside the extension so no
    problem connecting the OR modem and the Ethernet router that I supplied.

    All done in about half an hour.
    Graham J, Aug 7, 2015
  7. Andy Blanchard

    Graham J Guest

    Roderick Stewart wrote:


    The story here appears to be that early practise was to fit the modem to
    the wall, otherwise it would likely be left on a shelf and covered with
    papers or clothing and would overheat.

    Then OR received complaints that the area on the wall would be stained -
    generally by dust attracted by air moving up to the device - so they
    then stopped wall mounting.

    Now I think the engineers are trained to explain, and ask what you want.
    I've found they are quite happy to leave the mounting template and
    screws for the user.

    Sadly most other routers don't have a mounting template even if they do
    provide screws and rawlplugs. Early Vigor routers (the 2600 series) had
    part of the display box constructed as a template, with holes punched to
    mark the screw locations. Some later models came with a ruler in the

    As an aside, I don't think I've ever seen an OR engineer measure the
    performance of the VDSL signal. I know it's impossible with the
    supplied VDSL modem, but when testing ADSL (agreed only when there is a
    fault, not at a routine install) they have their own modem with
    management software to tell them all about the line.

    Has anybody any experience of OR resolving a problem with VDSL? What
    equipment did they use?
    Graham J, Aug 7, 2015
  8. It's a valid argument, and I have actually seen the results of an
    ordinary ADSL modem/router being left covered with items of clothing
    on a floor (luckily just melted plastic and no fire), but if they
    apply this argument to an Openreach (Huawei) VDSL modem, why don't
    they apply it to the separate router it needs to be plugged into?
    Giving general advice about ventilation, uninterrupted power etc and
    leaving it up to the customer seems by far the best policy. Then they
    can do their own DIY to their own satisfaction. I have my modem/router
    on a high shelf in a corner, where it's out of the way and probably
    gives better wireless performance too, and I'm happy. I actually had
    no trouble persuading the engineer just to plug the modem in and leave
    the rest to me, but I wasn't sure if this was because of the visible
    preparations I had already made. I wonder what the more gullible and
    ignorant typically end up with?

    Roderick Stewart, Aug 7, 2015
  9. Andy Blanchard

    7 Guest

    John Weston wrote:

    They subcontractors are fscking trolls - caused me no end of grief with
    their greed.

    They only get paid if they fit something and that means also botched fitting
    to get sign off and paid.
    7, Aug 7, 2015
  10. Andy Blanchard

    Mr Guest Guest

    Graham J wrote (apparently) in uk.telecom.broadband on Fri 07 Aug 2015
    For work I have on the testing front as I was standing next to him, having
    made his next cup of coffee. He had the testing kit with him and, as I had
    explained that the whole reason for the line was increased upload speed,
    asked if I would check the reading with him and see how it compared with the
    ADSL connection next to it.

    ADSL upload is 0.8Mbit, VDSL is about 5Mbit. Download is 12Mbit on ADSL,
    about 7-8Mbit on VDSL, but the Draytek router load balances well enough to
    use each effectively. Given the site and the route to the exchange he was
    amazed at the performance. Worked well for us too.
    Mr Guest, Aug 10, 2015
  11. Those ADSL speeds are similar to what I used to have, download being
    slightly better in fact, which makes it surprising that your VDSL
    download speed should actually be worse. When I changed to VDSL, my
    upload speed went from about 1Mb/s to about 5Mb/s, more or less the
    same as yours, but download increased from about 10Mb/s to about
    25Mb/s. I wonder if you have a line fault of some sort?

    At least your upload and download speeds are better balanced, even if
    download is slower. A ratio of 10:1 is really no longer suited to
    typical usage.

    Roderick Stewart, Aug 11, 2015
  12. Andy Blanchard

    Graham J Guest

    Part of the intention of VDSL was to improve the upload speed. This is
    done by sharing the bandwidth more evenly. So on a long line where the
    available bandwidth is severely limited it sometimes happens that the
    VDSL download speed is a bit lower than expected. So the issue as to
    whether to upgrade in these circumstances is a serious question.

    However I would not have expected such a marked change as stated by Mr
    Guest. Recently I saw ADSL at 5Mb down and 448k up improve to VDSL at
    12Mb down and 1Mb up.

    Given he has a Draytek router, he could swap it for a V2860 and make use
    of its internal VDSL modem, so would therefore be able to see tha actual
    VDSL sync speeds.
    Graham J, Aug 11, 2015
  13. [re ADSL/VDSL speeds]
    Or a Billion 8800NL, which is considerably cheaper and contains both
    ADSL2+ and VDSL2 modems. That's what I have, and it works well.

    Roderick Stewart, Aug 11, 2015
  14. Andy Blanchard

    Graham J Guest

    And VPN support for dial-up and LAN-to-LAN, which it a more useful
    feature for support of customers.
    Graham J, Aug 11, 2015
  15. All useful and worthwhile things if you need them, but a pointless
    expense if you don't. I don't need 3G backup, as I still have my old
    dial-up modem, and I also have the Huawei modem supplied by Openreach
    and the Technicolor router supplied by my ISP - they're in a box in my
    junk room.

    Roderick Stewart, Aug 11, 2015
  16. Which is a good one. Not many do have both types. I'm surprised more
    don't make it a selling point - future proofing and all that. If you
    currently have ADSL and might be thinking of upgrading to FTTC, then
    the upgrade itself becomes a lot less complicated as there's no new
    cabling, no screwing of new boxes to walls, no changes to wireless or
    anything else on your local network; just a single configuration
    change in the modem/router and everything carries on as before, except

    Roderick Stewart, Aug 11, 2015
  17. We had a resilient set up using a Draytek 2930 (superseded by the 2960) in our office.

    The main connection was 50Mbps using Virgin cable (VDLS), with an online back up of 8Mbps from BT (ADSL). We routed all the VOIP down the BT connection to minimise latency. We never had a time when both failed together, butone could envisage flood, storm or incompetent road excavators cutting offboth at the same time. We did not buy a 3G (now 4G) dongle, but intended to do so if this happened and we could not borrow Wi-Fi from any of the neighbouring businesses.
    R. Mark Clayton, Aug 12, 2015
  18. Andy Blanchard

    Mr Guest Guest

    Graham J wrote (apparently) in uk.telecom.broadband on Tue 11 Aug 2015
    Have moved office for work now, not a stress-free enterprise! Have two VDSL
    connections (data and phones have one each), about 50m from the cabinet. Have
    a v2860 variant, forget the actual model, that someone else set up and gave
    me the login details for.

    Appears on both connections we have 79995Kbps download and 20000Kbps upload,
    echoed by the adsl status command from a Telnet session. It's hellishly
    responsive compared to before.

    Have to say that I might have had a prod of the load-balancing settings so
    that I can grab the download bandwidth when no-one is in using the phones.
    Just need to sort out home now, supposed to be able to get this new
    virginmedia 200Mbps service...
    Mr Guest, Oct 5, 2015
  19. Andy Blanchard

    Graham J Guest

    Load balancing is fun! You might find banks and some on-line shops
    require several settings, one for each of their IP address ranges. Not
    easy to find anybody that knows the answers.
    Graham J, Oct 5, 2015
  20. Andy Blanchard

    cl Guest

    Yes. I have load balancing on my 2820n. I have simply set it up so
    that all HTTPS connections are routed through one WAN connection.
    Banks and such do object when they get packets from different IPs in
    the same session.
    cl, Oct 6, 2015
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