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Author Topic: Advice on fibre or not  (Read 5063 times)

Weaver

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2015, 07:21:05 PM »

A shop like amazon or dabs will have a wide range of choice of good wireless access points. Just buy a 5GHz one (it will say so prominently), and plug it into your router or your switch. Ask for help here getting it configured securely (vital), which just involves simple form filling in a web-browser by using potted instructions which we can give you. If you're feeling ultra flush the Ubiquiti three packs are probably the way to go.

Only look at 802.11n (reasonably current) standard or 802.11ac (newest). Don't touch 802.11g, a more-than decade old standard which is way too slow for modern usage. Again, these performance standards will be noted clearly in the product bumph up-front. If in doubt, walk away or ask here.

Good 802.11n kit can be had on ebay even.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 11:05:19 AM by Weaver »
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animal47

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Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2015, 07:54:38 PM »

I don't think I need to be spending too much hopefully as I only have a little 3 bed semi with virtually all stud walls.
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renluop

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2015, 11:24:20 PM »

I may be completely off beam, but have vague notion that some stud walls have metal fixings, and even metallic foil within.
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Weaver

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2015, 11:53:02 PM »

foil-backed plasterboard is unhelpful to wireless LANs but the RF does get through, to some extent.

I'm in a three-bedroomed croft house, a nineteenth century very traditional stone house that would originally have been thatched possibly, anyway it was originally single-storey. I have some internal coverage problems because of the awkward shape of the house which was much extended during the last century.

Good wireless access points can be had for not much money at all, and then there's ebay too.
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animal47

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Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2015, 02:00:56 AM »

Well it looks as if ee might be a good bet for me, I already have a mobile contract with them so can get a discount and they supply what appears to be a half decent router that supports 5ghz and is 802.11ac.
A mate really recommends them after previously having the same problems as me with bt and he says even his earlier bright box 1 router is very reliable. Now I just have to decide if 38mb is sufficient or do I really need 76mb as apparently my line is capable of it. There are usually 3 people using tablets on you tube etc and I would like to finally be able to reliably stream movies through my Apple TV box which is something that I have failed miserably at since buying it.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 02:04:15 AM by animal47 »
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animal47

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Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2015, 06:07:14 PM »

Unbelievable, why can't things ever be straight forward.
Placed an order with EE last night for a 38mb package and also got a few discounts for also having my mobile with them, I was very happy with the deal until my email confirmation showed that the guy had messed up and put down that I didn't have a line so needed a new line and number. I rang straight back but was told to wait 24hrs as it was too soon to show on their screen and that worst case scenario is I would have to cancel and redo the order.
Rang today and after spending ages on the phone with them trying to sort it and offering more discounts etc it ended up that there was nothing they could do and that I would need to cancel and re-order even though I probably wouldn't get the same discounts again. I waited for the cancellation email and then rang to place the order again and was told that due to the cancelled order I can't place another order for at least 30 days arrghhhh at no point was I warned of this, I have spent around 90 minutes on the phone now and all for nothing. Are these people all idiots.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2015, 06:09:16 PM by animal47 »
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Black Sheep

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2015, 06:19:57 PM »

Good God !!! That is awful customer service !! I'd be tempted to take it further .... contact the ombudsman perhaps ??
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animal47

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2015, 07:12:32 PM »

At the moment I have sent an email to the customer services complaints dept so will give them a chance to try and rectify it first.


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NewtronStar

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2015, 09:47:26 PM »

That is awful customer service !!

It is BS who ever trained EE CS team need to be removed as it's a bollocks and have been with them for two months they got my line specs wrong and my max speed on my line was 4Mbps lets just hope i don't need to ring customer services for any support in the future  :fingers:
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Weaver

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2015, 10:53:07 PM »

All the deals and special offers and so on have to have an effect somewhere, and skimping on customer service is a possible outcome. If you get sufficiently frustrated, then check out ISPReview as there _are_ good ISPs out there, but they obviously can't be the cheapest, because they invest in staff who have a clue. [end of cracked-record, predictable Weaver stance  ;) ]
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MrWB

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2015, 12:12:47 PM »

Okay, so your experience seems similar to mine... I apologise now for a very, very lengthy post - but I'm hoping by explaining my journey that it helps you to maybe get a faster resolution.

The short version is: I had issues similar to yours, and have been through all kinds of frustration in getting them sorted. I recommend going with an ISP that can give you a phone line and fibre (stops cross-blame), and go for one that offers OpenReach's Enhanced Care option on the line. Also go for an ISP that has a good history of holding OpenReach to account. The Enhanced Care gives a 24 hour SLA and means that OpenReach have higher penalties for not meeting it. It gives a minimum connection speed, and it means engineer visits can occur 24x7 as long as you give access to them.

Long version:

I was with TalkTalk ADSL, it kept dropping out. Sometimes it went a few months, then would drop out badly for weeks or months, then settle down, then start again. This was a backup to my VM cable connection and TalkTalk were useless in trying to sort it. Quite often their broadband department would pass the ongoing ticket to the TV department. I couldn't get through to anyone competent except the retentions department...! They understood the issues as a number of them were ex tech team, but they couldn't get anyone in the current (at the time) tech team to resolve the problems. In the end I kicked them into touch when they were raising costs twice in a year and had to allow people to break contract.

I went about 6 months without a backup connection. After my VM cable connection started playing up, I realised I did need my backup line as I work a most the time from home and the office is several hours away. I went with Sky for ADSL. Connection was stable for some time, but then the same pattern started. Sky raised several calls to OpenReach across two distinct separate sets of incidents... They kept not getting back to me when promised, I was doing all the chasing and we were getting nowhere.

FTTC became available at my local cabinet, and I was going to ask Sky to release me from my contract given their catastrophic failure to even attempt to resolve my problems. They offered me a deal to switch to fibre with them and a promise they would sort out any issues if they remained after switching to fibre. I guessed switching from ADSL to fibre with them would be the easiest move, and with the promise I could ask to leave if they didn't get them sorted.

Moved to fibre. Everything was fine for a week or two, then dropouts started occurring constantly. It might be fine for a few hours, but I couldn't get past a few hours of the connection being up. After an initial call to the normal tech support line to be told nothing was wrong (!) I contacted the Chief Execs office and the issue was passed to the Exec Tech Team.

I had four visits to the exchange and to deal with issues outside the property, things weren't resolved.

I then had 6 engineer visits to my home. During the first they found an issue in the cabinet, signed off the line as being perfect - no HR, no noise, attainable rate of 120mb/s.

The second engineer visit saw the line again confirmed as absolutely perfect "I'd love a line to the cabinet of this quality" being the phrase used. At the end of this visit, and a bit perplexed by what the problem could be, the engineer suggested swapping the router (cables, filters, different power sockets had been tried before this and I was waiting on a new router from Sky later that day due to their restrictive T&Cs).... He said that if the router swap didn't solve the problem then it could be the port on the DSLAM or the power card in the cabinet and a lift and shift would be the next thing to try.

I then had 2 more engineer visits where the engineers all wanted to do lift and shifts, but the DCO wouldn't let them. All engineers were perplexed and all went through motions to make it look as if they'd done something on each visit - they re-terminated the overhead line on both sides (one side per visit), switched to the spare pair from the overhead cable... Ultimately just making changes to something that was showing as perfect on all their kit. REIN was checked inside the house and signed off as not being an issue.

I'd been told after the third visit to my house that it was down to me to prove that there was a problem on OpenReach's network and not in the house (I'd also been told to move home to solve the problem!) - I setup a Splunk server and forwarded the syslog events from the Sky router and RouterStatsLite to get connection drops, speeds, SNR margin, etc... Then I created nice, easy to understand graphs in Splunk that showed the dropouts of the connection and some wild SNR margin fluctuations at completely random times.

Initially Sky, OpenReach and the engineers didn't seem interested in the data I'd got and prepared at much effort. None of them seemed to be also checking the connection details they had which would have shown the same issues. I was getting drops sometimes 158 times a day!

As the engineer was coming to me for the fifth visit, he apparently had a call from someone quite high up within OpenReach as I was starting to affect their stats on repeat visits. He was told to do the lift and shift and replace the underground cable between the pole and the cab. He did both, didn't resolve the issue.

For the sixth and final visit, the engineer did a REIN check and also did something at the Exchange. He said he wanted to do a cease and re-provide but the DCO refused permission. After this visit I got the line to stay up for 3 whole days, I thought the problem was sorted but alas it wasn't.

By this point, and with Sky seeming to get caught up with OpenReach process but unable to get them to sort the issue I decided to go to Zen and add Critical Care. From a customer service perspective, despite a bit of a bumpy start, the Sky Exec Team had been excellent. Unfortunately the faceless part of OpenReach were going against their engineer's expert knowledge and on the ground assessment/decisions. I knew that issues like this may take a bit of time to resolve as things are worked through - but for the most part the line between myself and the cab just kept being rechecked and signed off.

Anyway, I ordered a brand new Zen line, and it's taken almost three weeks to get in (and almost 4 since the last engineer visit). Ironically the Sky line has been rock solid for the past 7 days. I can't fault it in any way. I'm glad it is sorted, albeit too late for me to use.

Something was causing the dropouts. Something was wrong with the connection and I think somewhere between the cab and the exchange given that it affected both the ADSL and fibre connections. I wonder if OpenReach figured it out but knew it would take some time to resolve which is why they kept refusing to let engineer do things they felt was the next to carry out for troubleshooting.

As I said at the top of the post, all I can suggest is going for it, but go with a provider that offers Enhanced Care (Zen call it Critical Care, most others call it Enhanced Care). I wish I'd done this in the first place. Once you're up and running and everything's rock solid, you could consider dropping Enhanced Care after the initial contract period if you no longer need it...
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 12:24:12 PM by MrWB »
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Black Sheep

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2015, 12:49:21 PM »

Interesting read.

There are a few reasons why your circuit appears to have been mended.

1) There could have been a faulty underground cable-joint that has been what we call 're-made', within the last couple of weeks.
2) A transmission engineer may have visited the Fibre Cab to perform a 'card swop' or a 'card re-seat'.
3) A REIN source may have been removed ...... neighbours gone on holiday etc.

Either way, it won't have been an issue between the Exchange and Cab for a VDSL circuit. ADSL yes ... it's a possibility, but not on VDSL. Glad your issue has been resolved though, whatever it may have been ??  :)
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MrWB

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2015, 01:50:15 PM »

Interesting read.

There are a few reasons why your circuit appears to have been mended.

1) There could have been a faulty underground cable-joint that has been what we call 're-made', within the last couple of weeks.
2) A transmission engineer may have visited the Fibre Cab to perform a 'card swop' or a 'card re-seat'.
3) A REIN source may have been removed ...... neighbours gone on holiday etc.

Either way, it won't have been an issue between the Exchange and Cab for a VDSL circuit. ADSL yes ... it's a possibility, but not on VDSL. Glad your issue has been resolved though, whatever it may have been ??  :)

I really believe that it's more likely to have been something in the exchange or an issue with the original cab after speaking to another engineer quite extensively. Apparently the original cab has a very large number of dead ports too.

1) If it was a faulty joint between the cab and the exchange then it wouldn't have been that for fibre as you say.
2) For the fibre cab reseating then that wouldn't have been an issue when the problems occurred whilst it was an ADSL line (and even before the fibre cabinet existed in the first place).
3) REIN has been extensively checked - by several engineers and then a specialist being called in to confirm.

Any which way, it's sorted now though. :)
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animal47

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2015, 04:40:51 PM »

I can't believe this, my head is banging after just spending yet another 30 mins on the phone trying to get someone to put me through to the complaints department only to be put through to someone with such a bad line that I could barely hear a word. She then took my mobile number and promised to ring straight back and surprise surprise no phone call.
I don't know what to do, EE insist my account is closed yet as far as talk talk are concerned I am leaving them on the 31st. My original complaint to EE via the email complaint form has still not been replied to after 4 days so I don't hold out much hope that the one I have just filled out will be replied to either. I can't believe I was daft enough to recently sign up to a 2 year mobile contract with them as well, the sooner that is up the better.
I am so angry about this, is there some way I can escalate this complaint and take it higher up.


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animal47

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Re: Advice on fibre or not
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2015, 02:54:49 PM »

And so it continues, received a letter from EE today confirming that they will be replacing the phone line on the 1st of August and still no word from complaints.


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