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    FTTP - explanations & extensions

    This is a discussion on FTTP - explanations & extensions within the Cabling and faceplate help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; Hi :-) We moved to a new house a few months back. It's a new build, with FTTP . There ...

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      FTTP - explanations & extensions

      Hi :-)

      We moved to a new house a few months back. It's a new build, with FTTP. There is no copper, we've been told, solely fibre (or Virgin *shudder*)

      After some hiccups (apparently the fibre equipment - ONT, etc - should have been installed before we moved in) we had the fibre connected up. I watched the engineer install it .. there's a wire coming to the outside of the house that has four wires in it, each capable of providing our full fibre provision. He took one of those wires, connected it up to a box inside (where it circles round several times) which then connects to the ONT itself - from which we can have four seperate sets of broadband and two phones, if we wish (currently one of each).

      The ONT itself also has a battery backup which is plugged into the power supply.

      Also on the wall at this point is a wall socket with four connect points on it. Two are blanked off, the other two are one network and one phone. When we first moved in, the network one didn't work, solely because the other end of it had gotten a crushed wire during installation .. an engineer came and stripped back the wires and reconnected, and we now have the TV etc connected to that. We'd never considered checking the phone one because the phone is connected into the ONT.

      Also on the wall (it's a very busy wall!) is a Virgin phone socket - that has worked in the past but we no longer use (tried it, didn't like it).

      We also have a telephone extension point in the living room, that doesn't function.

      We raised the issue with the builders about the extension socket in the living room not working, and they stated they couldn't connect those up until after BT had been in to connect the fibre to the premises. They would send someone out to now connect it.

      That engineer arrived this morning and had no idea. He'd never dealt with fibre before, didn't know how it worked and insisted we should have a "BT master socket" somewhere. He even rang his boss who told him the master socket was in our understairs cupboard .. I had to pull stuff out in order to show him I wasn't lying.

      The engineer fiddled around with a few things, did a lot of mutterings and "oh, that's weird" and "hmm .. not seen that before". He even popped the cover off the incoming fibre box, before hastily replacing it saying "oooh .. I'm not touching that". The wisest thing he said, I suspect.

      He popped the cover off the wall socket with the 4 connection plates on it, and said he found the wire to the extension behind it, along with another wire that looked similar, but bigger - he said a few things that suggested it wasn't how he expected, but he connected both to the phone connection point .. assuming that one was incoming and one was to the extension.

      It didn't work.

      He rang his boss again who, I think, didn't really believe him or understand what he was saying, as he said he will talk to a few people and then arrange to come out himself to have a look. Then he left.

      I'm going to continue chasing the builders (they're generally very good with support, saying they'll deal with any issues during the first two years we're here) but I cannot believe that they would put an extension socket in the living room just for show .. so I'm assuming there must be a way of connecting it up.

      So .. after all that info .. my question is .. how does one go about connecting internal phone extension points to an incoming fibre-only system? Should there be some connection from the ONT to the wiring in the house? Well .. of course there should .. but how? I've been told (and can see no evidence that this is incorrect) that there is NO copper to the house .. it is purely fibre.


      On a seperate note, my husband works from home. He has an office in the room furthest away from our residential ONT. When we moved in, after we had had time to settle, his company put in an order with BT to have a seperate broadband and phone line connected to his office, with wall sockets installed at that point so he could directly connect his computer and phone. BT took that money (around 99), but then installed nothing. On chasing up, it turned out that what they had actually done was activate a second broadband line on our home ONT.

      We went back to BT and told them that wasn't what they were paid to do. We said that we wanted a second ONT installed, in his office. That way he would be able to direct connect his equipment and, quite frankly, I wanted to reduce as much as possible the chance that we'd end up in a situation where something stopped working, and everyone involved blamed everyone else. So I wanted his business lines and hardware to be as seperate as possible from our residential lines.

      BT came back to us with a variety of excuses, but eventually the one they settled on was that they were unable to install a second ONT in the same property unless we registered his office as a second address with Royal Mail. This sounded a bit dodgy to me, but I contacted Royal Mail who basically said "don't be daft" .. they weren't going to create a new address on their system just so a utilities company could make their ordering software work. We went back to BT, who then said it wasn't them, it was Openreach. We went to Openreach who said it wasn't them, it was our provider who had to make the order.

      We've been stuck in a loop ever since.

      I've been told all sorts of stuff .. from "not possible" to "can, but won't".

      Some have said that it can only be done if we order an additional line to be "blown" through from the cabinet (which would be fine, as we can see the cabinet from our house and there's plenty of space) but then refuse to take the order.

      I've seen the fibre that comes to the house. It's basically a fairly thin coated wire containing 4 fibres. Only one of which is used for our residential ONT.

      We could, potentially, activate a second "line" on our residential ONT, but then that would require additional wires connecting from that, through the wall, around the outside of the house, up to his office. We have no space for any additional power sockets in the room where the ONT is positioned (we already have all that, two computers, phone, printer, scanner, etc).

      I've tried to ask this question on the BT forums, but its takes a stupid amount of time to register, and then when you do they say "oh it should be on the business forums" "oh it should be on the residential forums" "that's an Openreach issue". I've tried contact OR .. filled in forms, waited months .. just to be told "go back to BT". I'm just going round in circles with no actual answers.

      So .. the question is .. is it actually possible to connect a second ONT using one of the three spare fibres attached to the outside of our house? Or are those three there simply as redundancies in case the first one fails? Can the cabinet actually physically only deal with one ONT per four fibre wire? Are BT really unable to set up an order for a second ONT in the same property? If so .. how do they deal with homes in multiple occupation?

      - - - Updated - - -



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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      The best way to have the business service isolated from the residential service would be to have separate providers but it appears that your dislike of the service provided by Virgin Media has ruled this out.

      Here is a link to the handbook which Openreach provide to developers:
      https://www.ournetwork.openreach.co....r_handbook.pdf
      While much of this covers equipment external to the property there are a few snippets of information that may prove interesting on pages 7 to 9.

      As I understand it telephone sockets are daisy chained so that phones can be plugged into any extension socket usually to a maximum of four. Hopefully the work done to the socket that is hanging out has not disrupted this. A patch cable should be fitted between this socket and the active telephone socket on the ONT.

      Open reach will not run a fibre between the customer splice point and another room to fit an ONT at another position. It is not their responsibility. As to whether you run or pay someone else to run a fibre or a cat 5 cable between the office and the terminating point is your decision though I suspect that a network cable would be the easiest option.

      A simpler alternative may be powerline adaptors with through mains plug sockets in view of the lack of extra sockets at the ONT. The residential and business line would then effectively be separate even though they share the same ONT.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      Quote Originally Posted by seawright View Post
      The best way to have the business service isolated from the residential service would be to have separate providers but it appears that your dislike of the service provided by Virgin Media has ruled this out.
      Not just a personal dislike .. we tried the Virgin broadband for a few months during an introductory period, and discovered the Virgin Hub interfers with the Sky Q system - we actually can't currently use both at the same time. Also .. we looked into it regardless, and my husbands company will also not deal with Virgin for some reason. So they are out of the picture completely.

      Quote Originally Posted by seawright View Post
      As I understand it telephone sockets are daisy chained so that phones can be plugged into any extension socket usually to a maximum of four. Hopefully the work done to the socket that is hanging out has not disrupted this. A patch cable should be fitted between this socket and the active telephone socket on the ONT.
      We only have one BT extension point (other than the one with all the wires hanging out in the photo) - and that has never been wired up. The builders stated it wasn't possible to complete the process of wiring it up until we'd had a BT line installed. Which, in theory, makes sense if we're actually missing a patch cable from the ONT to that socket (I'm assuming in theory behind that faceplate where all the wires are hanging out, so that we could still use that socket to plug in a phone?). Mind you, the builders also suggested that, unless we "really needed" that socket, we should just ignore it

      Quote Originally Posted by seawright View Post
      Open reach will not run a fibre between the customer splice point and another room to fit an ONT at another position. It is not their responsibility. As to whether you run or pay someone else to run a fibre or a cat 5 cable between the office and the terminating point is your decision though I suspect that a network cable would be the easiest option.

      A simpler alternative may be powerline adaptors with through mains plug sockets in view of the lack of extra sockets at the ONT. The residential and business line would then effectively be separate even though they share the same ONT.
      I perhaps wasn't clear on this point. Or I'm misunderstanding what you've said, which is very possible

      According to Openreach, they've never said that what we want isn't possible. They've just said the order must come through our provider. BT have never said it's not possible, they've just said that they need us to register his office as a second address.

      We know, looking at BT's own handbook, that they'll run a cable round the outside of the property, from the incoming fibre point (not sure if this is the splice point you're referring to .. I'm meaning the grey box on the outside of the house) up to a maximum of 20m, to any location in the house. Any further than that and they can do it, but they will charge per metre.

      We also know that, if for any reason they cannot use fibre already at the property, or perhaps if it's only provided to the cabinet, as long as there is space in the ducting to the property (which there is) then they can "blow through" another fibre-filled wire to the property .. again on a price per metre.

      So, from what we've been told, it is possible - but they just won't do it, and won't say why. Whether it's down to limitations of their ordering system (perhaps they simply cannot place two orders for the same property on their software?) or capacity limitations (perhaps there isn't enough space in the cabinet for additional wiring, and there are some sort of power restrictions on the number of ONT's that can be powered from one fibre-bundle?).

      The stupid thing is, BT actually accepted the order for this - for a seperate ONT etc in his office. They took the money from his company. They they just activated port 2 on our residential ONT and said "done". I've seen the order .. it does specifically state to provide the equipment terminating in his office to allow direct connection for his phone and computer.

      As far as the powerline adapters go .. We've already got some connected to our residential ONT to help connect our kids computers up in the bedrooms, so I'm not sure whether they would clash.

      Two main problems we have .. he currently only has mobile phone coverage and needs proper telephone cover from his office, include answerphone. He also needs something specifically to plug his computer into for his broadband, as it's a weird thing that basically doesn't work very well and it's wifi pickup is sporadic at best. If push comes to shove, and it's really not possible to install a second ONT, we'll just have to have a new network cable connected, drill another hole through the to the outside, take the cable around to the outside of his office and install a network extension point up there .. from which he can run a VOIP phone and connect his computer. But that's not really ideal.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      Have you read the chapter on "Home Wiring" in Developers Handbook from the link in my previous post? Although Openreach give specifications for the cabling and how it should be installed they make it clear that it is the developer (or their contractor) that is responsible for doing the work. On the subject of installing an ONT installed inside the house (non-default position) it states:

      When the ONT is to be fitted in a non-default
      position ie not directly behind the external CSP, such
      as in a utility cupboard, the above guidelines shall be
      followed to provide entry of the duct into the home.
      What will be different will be the length of cable
      that will run from the entry point into the building
      to the Openreach ONT. In this case you have the
      responsibility of running the optical cable required
      inside the house in such a way that it is undamaged
      and complies with building regulations for the
      installation of telecommunications infrastructure
      cabling. The same rules apply to the running of fibre
      cable internally that are specified in the section on
      exterior ducting. For example the protection of the
      fibre cable and the absence of a bend more than
      90.
      Once installed the ONT and BBU need to be kept
      powered on.
      If this option is followed but the cable is found to
      be damaged once in situ, either during installation,
      damage sustained by construction work inside
      the property, or damage subsequent to the home
      owner occupying the property, then unless you
      at your expense opt to replace the damaged fibre
      cable during commissioning of the property, then
      Openreach will install the equipment in the default
      location within the home using surface mounted
      cables and charge accordingly.
      Notice also what it states about if the fibre is found to be faulty that the ONT will be installed at the default position.

      Some communication providers may have their own installers but they are limited in what they are allowed to do where Openreach equipment and wiring is concerned. Although BT state that they can do the installation I suspect that it would be Openreach or their subcontractors that would actually undertake the work. In theory I can see no technical reason why spare fibre cores in the existing cable couldn't be used in the way you suggest. unfortunately that would not comply with Openreach's procedures.

      A separate address would solve the problem as each Installation requires its own access line ID though I do know of addresses on the copper network that have been allocated two access line IDs by prefixing the postal address for the 2nd ID with "outbuilding" (eg. Outbuilding, 22, High Street) useful if the home office was separate from the house itself. Whether you can pursuade BT to adopt this approach I don't know but it may be worth a try.

      If you are already using powerline adaptors then my suggestion to use these for the office won't work.

      Is the 2nd network port on the ONT still enabled? If so you could as you state run a cat5e cable from the ONT to the office ensuring that it has a polyethylene sheath (not PVC) if it is run externally.

      Does the ONT have two telephone sockets? If so you could order a 2nd line with a different directory number for the office if you wanted to use a standard telephone and answering machine rather than a VOIP instrument. A telephone cable would be required but it could be installed concurrently with the network cable.

      I may be looking at the problem in a slightly different way to you but I am trying to find workable solutions rather than tie myself up in the red tape and bureaucracy of BT.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      Yes I've seen that. But I've also seen another document (which I can't find again now, typical!) which confirmed what one of the engineers told me when he came out to look at it originally, which stated that BT would include up to 20m of wiring from the external splice point around the outside of the house to a non-default position.

      I hadn't noticed the telephone connection diagram before though .. we don't have a seperate telephone extension socket on the wall in this room - there is a virgin telephone socket, and I do know when we initially set up with Virgin there was some confusion over sockets .. so I'm wondering now if they've "nicked" that socket.

      In our old house we had FTTC .. so basically copper to the house, and had no problem with additional lines. At one point he had a telephone AND a fax line, both extending from the BT wiring on the outside of the wall up to his office which, again, was actually furthest point away from the incoming supply. No-one ever suggested there was a problem with addresses, etc. They just did it as a matter of course.

      The second network port, as far as I'm aware, isn't enabled any longer. To be honest, we never actually had it working. After the company put the order through for it all, and BT claimed it had been completed, his company then asked if the installation had gone to plan. As no-one had been to the house and obviously there were no additional sockets installed in his office, we said "what installation" so BT sent out an engineer to assess. However, when he arrived, he said he'd been told to check for a fault line.

      When we discussed the problem .. he was the one who confirmed about extending it around the outside to install the secondary ONT in his office. Which BT had originally agreed to do, although initially they'd rejected it for length constraints (originall husband wanted the wiring going around the back of the house, which was longer than 20m).

      He also went and checked a few things and said the the second port was "live" and therefore that BT must have simply activated the second port on our existing ONT instead. We did try plugging out router into that port, which he said registered with their equipment, but because it wasn't supposed to go with our router, there was no way of actually testing if it was working.

      He then left, and eventually husbands company sent out supposedly the router to go with that second port .. but that didn't work either.

      So yes .. I see where you're coming from, and at a pinch we'd go for the extension approach from our ONT .. but that would require two cables (as you said, phone and network), then through the wall in the study (you've seen the number of sockets on that wall already), round the outside of the house and to his office.

      However, best case scenario we'd like a completely seperate ONT .. taken from the splice point around the outside of the house to his office, with a second ONT installed in his office.

      We've had major problems with BT in the past simply passing the buck, and we're concerned that if anything goes wrong, between BT, BTO, the company, the company's provider and their IT department .. nothing will ever get fixed. I'm trying to minimise that potential for problems.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      It may be worth checking Virgin Media (VM) again but for a business service rather than residential service. If the hub is located within the office, Wi-Fi could be turned off so as not to interfere with Sky Q or the hub could be switched to modem only mode which would supply service to one device either a computer or a cable router of your own choice. This would provide a service totally isolated from BT.

      I have heard a lot of bad publicity about VM but my experience has been very positive. Until recently VM had been my only option if I expected to get a download speed faster than 6 to 8 Mb/s. I can't say that there hasn't been problems but you could count them on one hand and they have been resolved within a couple of working days except on one occasion when a major cable was damaged during bridge widening work when a generous credit was added to my account.

      Could you check your previous post code where you had a separate fax line on this Openreach webpage:
      https://www.homeandbusiness.openreac...urce=fttp+link
      to see if your address appears twice in the drop down list (a second entry may appear much later in the list). This would show that the 2nd line had an additional Access Line ID.

      Also on the same page under "Could FTTP work for my business?" is a link to a form requesting Openreach to contact you. If they take the lead trying to sell you a service albeit through a business partner they may take the initiative to provide a solution rather than relying on you as the buyer.
      Last edited by seawright; 30-10-17 at 03:09 PM.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      Unfortunately, we did decide to try Virgin again for his office .. his company looked into it (briefly) but said they wouldn't work with Virgin. I don't know why. I think they probably have a list of approved suppliers for various things, and Virgin isn't on it.

      We had awful problems with Virgin .. they mucked up the installation date but didn't tell us (we had a date set, they put the order through, but somehow they gave the job to engineers in the wrong part of the country - and didn't notify us they weren't coming out); when an engineer finally came out, he spent hours, didn't install correctly and only did a partial install, requiring more engineers to come out another day; the phone line was poor quality and obviously a recycled number as we were constantly getting phishing calls and calls from catalogues trying to collect money; the phone call costs were too high; we just couldn't get used to the TV planner and the box was very slow; the "hub" was slow to restart - and it fairly regularly decided to restart all by itself; it interfered with the Sky Q box; the download speed was supposed to be 200Mb .. it reported at that speed, but when comparing time taken to download something over Virgin 200Mb versus BT 75MB, it took half the time over BT. When we tried to cancel the three month free trial that we had, that we were within our rights to cancel with no charge, we were told we would owe 18 months subscriptions to leave - it took three phone calls, speaking to 5 different people .. only finally happening to get someone who had had exactly the same deal when he'd moved to a new house and knew the procedure, that enabled us to leave. During the two months we had it, other than the engineers we had round to install it, we also had two other engineer visits, plus a phone call to their services department, to try and fix the problems. So not a great experience for us

      I checked the previous post code and it shows only one address for our previous address - and all the addresses there were "normal" (no letters after numbers, or strange names) - and it was actually two additional lines we had back then .. we had our residential, business phone and business fax.

      I've already filled in a form several months ago (up to 28 days response time). I eventually got the response:

      "I’m afraid to tell you that, we’re unable to help you in this. Your service provider can only place an order on your behalf regarding the second ONT. However, for further clarification, I’ve escalated it to the second level support team.

      We’ll let you know once we receive any further communication from their side."


      ... since then I received the reply from their escalation, which helped not at all:

      "The fibre enquiry team is unable to assist on this occasion as it is not within our remit . The team’s function is to address queries regarding the availability of superfast fibre broadband in the exchange area and whether or not the customer’s premises is within range.

      If you have difficulties with an order this should be pursued by your service provider."


      I don't know if the original guy sent the "escalation" to the wrong team, or they just had a stock reply .. but however you look at it, they're not going to tell me anything that actually explains *why* they won't deal with this. They suggest the request needs to come through the service provider, BT says they can't place the order .. but no-one is saying *why*.

      I'm really just hoping there is someone on these boards who knows about these things, who can give a reason why BT and BTO keep knocking this back .. and if so, I might be able to find a way around it.

      As far as the phone extension goes .. we now have a visit booked from another engineer .. the boss of the original guy who came out - this is the one the original engineer spoke to on the phone, who said he didn't know anything about it and would have to come out "to have a look". Hopefully he doesn't break anything in the process ...

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      I suspect that the NTE master socket in the photo was provided by Virgin rather than re-purposing a BT socket. When FTTP was first introduced there were some technical problems preventing the use of the telephone sockets on the ONT so copper wires were used which required a master socket. Now that the problems have been resolved a cable is run from the ONT to the master socket where an engineer visit is required but there is no longer any requirement for a master socket so it is omitted from new installations. This may be the source of the confusion.

      In general Openreach do not talk to end users. They only talk to their customers who comprise registered communication providers. Additionally they have substantially reduced the number of agents at their call centres as the majority of customer interaction is via Openreaches automated Equivalence Management Platform (EMP). This provides processes to deal with nearly all communications such as fault reporting ordering or cancelling services and booking engineers visits. Indeed the majority of telephone interaction are those reporting problems with EMP rather than actual orders.

      I did wonder whether a small specialist communication provider could arrange for a second ONT to be installed and to that end entered into an online chat with one of them. Here is a summary of the conversation:
      Would A&A be able to negotiate directly with Openreach to install a 2nd ONT at a domestic property so that the home office broadband and phone is completely independent to the domestic BB & phone which is already being provided by BT as this is something that BT appears to be incapable of doing unless a separate new address is registered with the post office.

      We would not be able to install a 2nd ONT. Our service would just be provisioned over a different port on the existing ONT.
      I am not sure where to go from here but would be interested to know the eventual outcome of your problems.
      Last edited by seawright; 31-10-17 at 02:09 PM.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      Yeah same here. We just seem to be going round in circles of everyone saying they won't .. but hey .. go talk to X about it instead .. and then they refer back again. And no-one says WHY they won't/can't. We know it is physically possible .. it must be, as BT have said on several occasions they will if certain requirements are fulfilled (such as the second postal address) - but if it were just a case of needing a different address for their system, they could just make one up .. as you mentioned before, possibly by just using a prefix like "office". From what we can tell, this was never a requirement for the copper lines though. BT have also been a bit naughty in that they've taken the money for the install and, as far as I'm aware, have not refunded that, claiming they did indeed provide a connection to the property. Even if it wasn't the one requested.

      As far as the telephone extensions go .. the electrician/engineer who was due to come out tomorrow has now rearranged for Monday as, following my request for reassurance that he wasn't just going to come and fiddle with it and leave again without knowing what he was doing, he's going to be bringing another electrician/engineer who is currently working on another site, so hopefully may know something about the system.

      You mentioned that these days a cable is run from the ONT to the master socket .. not that I'm sure what is classed now as a master socket, as I thought that was the ONT itself .. is this a "behind the wall" thing, or some sort of cable connecting direct from Tel1 on the ONT to a socket on the wall (for example the one in the picture with two connectors and two blanks)? If this is the case, in effect we'd actually "lose" sockets (ie, the ONT Tel1 and the one it plugged into) unless there was some sort of double adapter thing going on at one or both ends. Although it does seem rather redundant to have two telephone connection points in such close proximity ... but I'd like to be able to use at least one of them, and it makes sense for the other to be a way to connect the extension in the living room up.

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      Re: FTTP - explanations & extensions

      I'm sorry if you found my explanation on the NTE5 socket confusing.

      The socket that you have fitted is as you stated supplied by Virgin Media as their logo is engraved on the faceplate.

      Although an NTE5 socket is shown in the diagram in the developer's handbook there is no longer a requirement for one and it hasn't been (and need not be) fitted.

      As your installation stands there is no provision for a telephone instrument to be connected near the ONT once the link cable has been plugged in.

      If you require a telephone to be located there then a telephone double adaptor would be a workable solution though a tidier solution would be to fit and connect a second telephone socket module in place of one of the blanking covers on the four module data grid plate.

     

     
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