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Author Topic: Site Survey  (Read 5956 times)

farmergiles

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Site Survey
« on: May 30, 2010, 09:25:41 AM »

Hello Everyone,

I haven't had broadband via a landline or a tel line for voice calls for a couple of years.  Last winter the line from the house to the tel pole blew down.
I rang a company last week for their phone and BB package and told them I also needed a new landline.
The guy I spoke to put my address into his comp and said he needed to contact Openreach because "you are a long way from the exchange and there are a limited amount of lines for your area".
"They will have to do a site survey".

"We will get back to you before we take your order".


So I wonder how long before they get Openreach to come and do a site survey ?


I don't want to go to BT direct for a phoneline or BB as I've been so frustrated in the past with their customer service.


I'm using a mobile dongle right now  but I'm in a 2G area out in the sticks so it isn't much good.


The cost of sat for BB is also too high for me.


Any advice appreciated.
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waltergmw

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2010, 10:04:28 AM »

Hi FarmerGiles and welcome,

Firstly it's well worth doing your own investigations. Using a known local phone number, or even you old one enter your data here:-

http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/adslchecker.php

to get an estimate of line distance. If you don't know a phone number but know your exchange name then use this site instead:-

http://www.samknows.com/broadband/search.php

You will find that BT isn't too bad at providing a standard phone line, but do tell them you might want a broadband service in the future so that a line splitting unit called a DACS is not used.
You could also walk the line to see how many DACS units are around which will give you an idea of the line capacities.

Kind regards,
Walter

EDIT to add DACS picture
« Last Edit: May 30, 2010, 10:23:08 AM by waltergmw »
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farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2010, 12:51:27 PM »

Thanks for your reply.


The Openreach guy has just been and he attached a meter to the wire on the tel pole and said although I'm on a long line I might be able to get broadband.


I did have broadband a few years ago.


He said he'd report back to the office and they would then send someone else to put in a line from the house to the tel pole.


I'm 3 miles driving to the exchange but according to the Openreach guy the line goes off all over the place and round the fields and  is probably more like 5 miles long before it enters the exchange.


There are also some electric fences and he said the farm down the road sometimes has problems with clicking on their line.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 12:54:14 PM by farmergiles »
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waltergmw

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2010, 02:10:30 PM »

Hi FarmerGiles,

Note that BT usually measure the electrical line distance which can be affected by aluminium and poor quality copper cables.
Getting them upgraded can be a long struggle.
However the important parameters are to do with noise; electric fences can be a plague. If you search here you'll see quite a bit on them.

Ensure that BT put a broadband-ready NTE Master Socket in the room where you want to install the modem.
I suggest you research the slightly more expensive ISPs such as Zen who provide excellent support facilities as you might well experience some difficulties.

You will also see here that several of us like the 2Wire HGV2700 modem for long distance lines and which can be purchased from Amazon or E-bay, but see:-

http://bt2700hgv.tripod.com/ir1002700HGV.htm#The%20BT%20Empire%20Strikes%20Back

Kind regards,
Walter
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farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 04:00:46 PM »

I read that Openreach can sometimes put an AM filter on the line if there are electric fences nearby and they are causing interference.  That's if they can be bothered of course.
I have an old 2700HGV router one of the first ones. I did use it a few years ago when I was with another ISP ( not BT Broadband I may add).     :)
I also have a top quality master socket just inside the front door  where the drop cable from the tel pole comes in, so I don't get interference from around the house.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 04:08:39 PM by farmergiles »
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kitz

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 05:48:51 PM »

What does BT currently say about your locality.

Put your post code in the adsl checker.
http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/adslchecker.php
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farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 09:24:05 PM »

It says distance direct 4.39km and by road 5.31km.
There is a map showing an almost direct line from my house to the exchange but my line according to the Openreach engineer doesn't go direct it goes all round the houses and fields and then along the main road to the exchange.
It says speed estimation  DSL max 1 Mb.


Fixed:     1Mbps and 2Mbps not possible
   radsl:    Line has over 75dB loss, ADSL unlikely, but will be tested by an engineer on-site
   MAX:    ADSL Max is available
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 09:30:26 PM by farmergiles »
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roseway

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2010, 11:02:50 PM »

The Kitz checker (like other checkers) doesn't attempt to show the actual route taken by the line, because that information isn't available from BT. It just shows you the straight line distance and the shortest road distance. All you can say for certain is that the line length will be at least as long as the straight line distance.

The attenuation will give you an approximation of the line distance, but this also is subject to variations, due to different types and sizes of cables used.
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  Eric

farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2010, 09:50:12 PM »

Thanks for the replies.


They are coming on Friday to put in a new tel  line.
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farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2010, 10:30:52 AM »

The Openreach guy came on Friday and put in a new line from the house to the tel pole.
I'm not going to use the line for voice calls only broadband.
I plugged in the phone and then rang the new no from my mobile.
It ran about 5-6 times and then it went to an answerphone and said the person is not available and to leave a  message.

I'm puzzled because all I want is a line not any answerphone or caller ID or anything else.

And when I lift up the receiver it goes high tone and then low tone over and over.

Anyway the follinwing morning Openreach came back and said there is a fault on the line according to the exchange computer.
He said it scans and shows up any faults. He then plugged in his laptop but said the line seems OK.
He asked me to unplug my phone and not plug it in again for a day so that the exchange computer could reset.

He also asked if when I plugged in the phone again if I could use another phone incase the one I plugged in before was faulty.

Well I'm surprised because it's always worked fine before,but luckily, I also have a brand new phone so I'll plug that in instead.

Can't understand a fault showing on a brand new line.

He also said the high tone and low tone means I have a message ????????

I really intend not plugging in any phone at all only the router for broadband.

I'll use my mobile for voicecalls.


I'm waiting a few days for the new no to go on the database and then I'll arrange the broadband.



I'm going to use ID Net for everything as they seem to have good feedback and it's a monthly contract.


Fingers crossed as I am on a long line.


I mentioned to the Openreach guy that  the mobile broadband dongle I have  doesn't work very well out here, and I'm on a long line to the exchange, so if that doesn't work the only other alternative is satellite broadband but it was expensive to install.


He said to me that if you are in a rural area the government can give you a grant to put in sat broadband.


Must admit I've never heard of that before.


He said if you are out in the sticks it can be a problem and if you are a long way from the exchange there isn't too much that can be done with the line and  if there are electric fences that's worse.
I asked him about putting a filter on the line at the exchange if there was any interference from electric fences but he said they didn't work very well.


So I guess I'll just have to wait and see and keep my fingers crossed.    :)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 10:37:20 AM by farmergiles »
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waltergmw

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2010, 11:07:19 AM »

Hi FarmerGiles,

Please note you only have a new line on the last drop into your house.
Most of the line will be whatever happens to be available in the cables all the way back to the exchange.

I think you are aware that you will never get the fastest advertised speeds where you are so don't be too disappointed.
However forewarned is forearmed. You should be planning on getting the best possible modem you can and choosing an ISP who is well known for excellent support as you're almost certain to need it. The slightly higher costs will almost certainly be well worth the lower frustration levels you will experience.

As suggested earlier, my votes would be for a 2Wire HGV2700 modem and Zen Internet but let's see what others think as well.

(Note that satellite suffers from latency delays as well as being expensive. Don't hold your breath for a Govt. subsidy either !)

Kind regards,
Walter
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farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2010, 04:43:43 PM »

Thanks for that info.


I've dug out my old 2Wire and it's an early 2006 model and it has  software 4.25.19 so when I get broadband enabled I'll give it a try.
I also have the master socket just inside the front door so the drop line enters  from just outside the front door so no long runs throughout the house and a New Pro+ RJ11 1 metre cable from the router into the master socket.
So I'm trying to help as best I can.    :)


If you just plug in the router to the master socket  and not a telephone as well do you stil need a micro filter ???????


I'm going to use ID Net for phone and internet and if I decide after a few months things are not working well I'll try one of the other internet companies that you recommend.


I drove the route the Openreach guy said my line actually takes round the houses and it's about 5 miles.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 05:02:33 PM by farmergiles »
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waltergmw

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2010, 07:32:34 PM »

Hi FarmerGiles,

If your new NTE has two sockets you don't need an additional filter, but if it's a standard NTE5 single socket you will still need a filter.

It would be worth investigating whether ID net are fully unbundled or whether they use BT Wholesale for the phone service.
I suggest you should understand the implications of their services should you wish to change ISP.

Before plugging in your 2Wire modem check this document:-

http://bt2700hgv.tripod.com/ir1002700HGV.htm#The%20BT%20Empire%20Strikes%20Back

and ensure that BT can't automatically upgrade the firmware for you.

Kind reagrds,
Walter
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farmergiles

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2010, 04:47:17 PM »

Oh well I did have BB for about three days but now I'm told that broadband is not available on my line. It seems that Openreach have given up on me.
My line was enabled on Monday 14 June but the router would not sync with the exchange.Finally about 7pm on Monday night it did finally sync and I used the service until Thursday lunchtime when I unplugged the router for an hour as I had to move some furniture out of the front lobby to outside. When I plugged the router back in it would not sync.
On  Sat morning an Openreach engineer came and plugged in his laptop and for 45 mins did some diagnostic tests and then left. He never came back that day.

I just checked the ADSL line checker and some info has changed since a few weeks ago.

.............

Distance:-    Direct:          4.39 km
     (appx)*    By Road:    5.31 km


Fixed ADSL:      256 kbps      (0.3 Mb)
   DSL Max:      250 kbps    (0.3 Mb)


.................


I've been told that my actual line distance is about 8km as after it leaves my house it goes away from the exchange and goes to a village near the main road and then comes back along the main road and into the village where the exchange is.
The last couple of miles to the exchange there are two lines one aluminium and one copper but they do not know which one I'm on for the last two miles.


Five years ago I had BB and it was 512kbps fixed and it worked fine. I then went to ADSL Max and it worked fine and my speedtests were giving me around 970kbps DL speed.
After maybe nine months of good service  one day the speed dropped to around 230 - 270 kbps and I was never able to get a higher speed again.

I'm just wondering if the line for the last two miles was switched from the copper to the aluminium line and that caused the sudden speed drop.

I moved to another ISP to see if that would help but it didn't really make much difference so I finally cancelled the BB as it was a monthly contract and cancelled the phone line which was with BT and I was sick of using them anyway.

I haven't had a phoneline or BB for the last 2 1/2 years but thought I'd try once again to see if I had better luck but alas it seems the only thing I can do now is move house and get one near a tel exchange.


It probably isn't worth Openreach spending time or money on me as they can't get it back so I just have to accept no BB at this location.



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waltergmw

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Re: Site Survey
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2010, 05:06:25 PM »

If you had a co-operative ISP you might request they swap the E side and D side cables to known copper pairs.

If you can get the modem to sync you might also request a capped ADSL Max service.

Azzaka might offer some other suggestions.

Kind regards,
Walter
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