Author Topic: What are the benefits of FTCC?  (Read 1310 times)

What are the benefits of FTCC?
« on: December 12, 2017, 10:44:57 am »
Apart from the claimed increase in download (and presumably also upload) speeds, what might the benefits be?

Our local cabinet in in the process of being connected to the exchange (actually a new cabinet has been installed alongside the old one) so we should be able to order fibre soon.  The cabinet serves a largely linear village of around 200 households and it's in the middle. We are maybe 150m from the cabinet, about halfway to the furthest house on one side.  We're a household of 2 adults, kids long (as in 20 years) gone. We browse and occasionally stream from iPlayer or similar. Fibre (a claimed 38Mb/s vs a claimed 18Mb/s) is only £2 a month more than the standard broadband we currently have. (Superfast or up to 76Mb/s is £7 a month more).

We generally get around 14Mb/s download and 1Mb/s upload, checked with BT Wholesale speed checker, 'though do get the occasional brief slowdown.

What advantages might I get from switching to fibre - is it a more reliable platform? IS there less of a slowdown during times of high contention?
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Kim

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 01:35:00 pm »
What advantages might I get from switching to fibre - is it a more reliable platform?

Not really.  The main benefit of FTTC is higher throughput, particularly by making long lines shorter.


Quote
IS there less of a slowdown during times of high contention?

You shouldn't be getting a slowdown anyway.  If you are, then the solution is a better (or at least less cheap) ISP.  (Congestion may be at the ISP themselves or in the BT back-haul infrastructure - a good ISP will try to avoid the first and harass BT to sort the latter.)

FWIW, barakta and I live about 300m from the exchange, and get 19.3Mb down / 1.0Mb up from ADSL2+.  As such, while a bit more upload would occasionally be nice, we rarely do anything more demanding than a pair of HD video streams, so we've not felt the extra cost of FTTC (or Annex M) is justified.  (This is with AAISP, so there's no peak time slowdown and packet loss on uncongested lines is regarded as a fault.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 01:44:50 pm »
60/20 (with BT Infinity) and I'm just under 500m from my cabinet.

"
Connection information

Connection time: 18 Days, 15 Hours 9 Mins 6 Secs

Data usage: 17754 MB Uploaded / 101867 MB Downloaded
"

(Large downloads as I work from home a lot plus we have BT TV so we watch most of our telly on catchup.)
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ian

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 01:52:53 pm »
Pretty much whatever the max is for BT Infinity 2 from the box down the road. Tbh, I don't have to check, it's been reliable and throughput is fast enough to outstrip the wifi in some parts of The Asbestos Palace (I use powerline adaptors).

No issues with even UHD video via Netflix and Amazon. I upload and download a fair number of large files for work. Uploads go a lot faster.

With speed you might not think you need it, but once you have it, you end up wondering how you managed when it was slower (we had ADSL before, about 12-15 Mb/s).
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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 01:56:21 pm »
I hvae FTTC with virgin.

Potentially (although it is down to the ISP) there is a big boost to upload. Whether you need that depends on your situation.

We get between 60 (bad day) and 120 down. I think 20 up on good days, 12 is normal.  There is much less  noise on the line which can be good for some uses.

FTTH is coming at some point. Areas of York have gigabit connections, so the pipe is as big as anyone could possibly use atm (famous last words).
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Kim

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 01:57:54 pm »
60/20 (with BT Infinity) and I'm just under 500m from my cabinet.

"
Connection information

Connection time: 18 Days, 15 Hours 9 Mins 6 Secs

Data usage: 17754 MB Uploaded / 101867 MB Downloaded
"

(Large downloads as I work from home a lot plus we have BT TV so we watch most of our telly on catchup.)

If we're playing that game, here's some data for our line:

Code: [Select]
Month Down Up Uptime
Dec 2017 49.0G 4.44G 99.9933%
Nov 2017 117G 11.4G 99.9634%
Oct 2017 94.9G 9.25G 99.8883%
Sep 2017 93.0G 8.70G 99.9953%
Aug 2017 71.5G 8.08G 99.9885%
Jul 2017 143G 14.7G 99.7640%
Jun 2017 97.9G 11.4G 99.9816%
May 2017 141G 16.2G 99.9064%
Apr 2017 137G 12.2G 99.9313%
Mar 2017 200G 15.5G 99.9846%
Feb 2017 164G 12.9G 99.9711%
Jan 2017 126G 10.7G 99.0192%
Dec 2016 120G 11.2G 99.9869%

The low January 2017 figure mostly reflects work on the equipment at our end (ie. I had the power off for ages).  I know I upgraded our server in July, but I'm not sure if I had the router off as well.  I may have taken the opportunity to open everything up and clean the fans.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 02:07:05 pm »
I used to grab similar stats from my old ADSL router but the new HomeHub 6 presents that info via Javascript so I need to do something a bit more complex than just wget/curl. It's on my very big TODO list.
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Kim

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 02:13:38 pm »
I used to grab similar stats from my old ADSL router but the new HomeHub 6 presents that info via Javascript so I need to do something a bit more complex than just wget/curl. It's on my very big TODO list.

Meh, I just pulled it from AAISP's control pages.

I do have some curl/RRDtool-fu plotting graphs of the line parameters (SNR, error rate) from the modem, which are occasionally informative (though mostly for deriving university term dates and nearby power tool use).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

citoyen

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 02:29:58 pm »
Apart from the claimed increase in download (and presumably also upload) speeds, what might the benefits be?
...
We generally get around 14Mb/s download and 1Mb/s upload, checked with BT Wholesale speed checker, 'though do get the occasional brief slowdown.

What advantages might I get from switching to fibre - is it a more reliable platform? IS there less of a slowdown during times of high contention?

In theory*, there's no loss of signal strength over fibre regardless of line length, whereas the signal deteriorates very quickly on a long copper line. Thus if you get 100mbps at the exchange, you should get 100mbps at the end of a fibre line from the exchange. Any deterioration in speed will be in the final bit of copper between the cabinet and your house.

Thus, the difference to your connection speeds with FTTC will depend to a large extent how far you are from the exchange. We're six miles from the exchange so when we were on copper all the way, we were lucky to get 0.5mbps download speed. Since they upgraded the cabinet to fibre, our download speed is much improved, but we're still a mile from the cabinet so it's nowhere near as good as it could be - though we do now get a fairly reliable 17-20mbps download. Upload is still rubbish.

Recently, Openreach have been installing new cabinets along our road, so there is now a cabinet packed with fibrous goodness less than 200m from our house. In theory, we should be getting superwhizzyfastinternets very soon, but I don't know if/when they plan to hook us up to the new box (we've got our ISP on the case but unfortunately it's not as simple as just asking nicely).


*I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to confirm/deny this. I suspect that in real life applications, there are losses over fibre.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 02:40:27 pm »
*I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to confirm/deny this. I suspect that in real life applications, there are losses over fibre.

Of course there are.  The main difference is that the fibre is designed for transmitting tens of gigabits of data over a few kilometres, and the copper phone line is designed for transmitting turn-of-the-century crackly audio over a couple of miles.  It's prohibitively expensive to replace all the phone lines, simply because it involves digging holes.  So dig one hole to the distribution cabinet, upgrade that link, and stuff the cabinet with VDSL DSLAM equipment instead.

If we had good-quality coaxial copper cable between each house and the exchange, we wouldn't need such bodges.  (Which is pretty much why the cable TV companies got a head-start on providing broadband internet access - turns out you can fit quite a lot of interwebs in the bandwidth required for a few analogue TV channels.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 02:41:01 pm »
*I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to confirm/deny this. I suspect that in real life applications, there are losses over fibre.

Yup you surely do get loss of signal due to both light absorption and scattering inside the cable There are defined cable run lengths for fibre optics dependant on the type of cable (single mode, multimode) and grade as well as the type of optics used at each end.
A standard 10Gbps optic for example will let you have up to 350metres over multimode cable. With long haul optics you can get many kilometres.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 05:02:43 pm »
It's prohibitively expensive to replace all the phone lines, simply because it involves digging holes.  So dig one hole to the distribution cabinet, upgrade that link, and stuff the cabinet with VDSL DSLAM equipment instead.
The Post Office, now BT, often had the foresight to put in pipes with a bit of string down them to the cabinet, so pulling fibre with string is a tiny fraction of the price of changing all the wires from the cabinet onward.

There may be more than a few wires leaving each cabinet...

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 11:22:37 pm »


I hvae FTTC with virgin.

Potentially (although it is down to the ISP) there is a big boost to upload. Whether you need that depends on your situation.

We get between 60 (bad day) and 120 down. I think 20 up on good days, 12 is normal.  There is much less  noise on the line which can be good for some uses.

FTTH is coming at some point. Areas of York have gigabit connections, so the pipe is as big as anyone could possibly use atm (famous last words).

We are also on Virgin FTTC, likewise in York, with similar up/down figures.
TalkTalk (or their contractors, at least) are currently in the process of digging round our side of town, with barriers stacked at the end of the street and white lines painted all over the pavement for the imminent installation of FTTH. The relevant leaflet popped through the door last week, promising 1Gb/s download.
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Jaded

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2017, 01:00:35 am »
I’m on FTTC and we get 70+ wossnames of data. We are less than 300m from the exchange.

Elsewhere I have use of a place that is 2.5 miles from the exchange and may never get FTTC. The BB over the phone is about 4 wossnames. There’s a local community solution that provides 40 wossnames. That’s a no brainer.
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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 05:55:09 am »
No idea where my exchange is but there's a cabinet about twenty yards from the front door.  I have not yet developed sufficient arsedness to change supplier to someone that offers more than my current, and poxy, 8-ish wossnames download, for which I fork over the sum of twenty of the BRITONS' pounds per month.  Does Thee Panel have any current recommendations for a provider of whizzy internetrons which isn't affiliated with Branson, Murdoch or any other Tory gitweasel and/or won't try to flog me unwanted distascope nonse?  Preferably cheaply.
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Kim

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2017, 02:28:01 pm »
AAISP have some very whizzy megabeans, and no distascope or Tory affiliations (beyond repeated, mostly unsuccessful, attempts to impart Clue to parliamentary committees).  The problem is that their business model means you have to pay a realistic price for the service. :(
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2017, 05:42:29 pm »
Andrew’s and Arnold have managed - for the hell if it - to get 3.5Mb/s down 2m of wet string  ;D
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Kim

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Re: What are the benefits of FTCC?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2017, 05:46:04 pm »
Andrew’s and Arnold have managed - for the hell if it - to get 3.5Mb/s down 2m of wet string  ;D

They're not currently planning to offer that kind of fibre as a service, thobut: http://www.revk.uk/2017/12/please-upgrade-me-to-adsl-over-wet.html
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...