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11 Oct 2020

BT Full Fibre FTTP (FTTH) Install

Just over a week ago we had BT Full Fibre installed. We’ve seen Openreach engineers around our housing estate for the last few months running cables in the manholes and assumed the availability would be soon. We were supposed to be able to get 67Mbps down, however this averaged at about 42Mbps, touching 50Mbps on a very good day. After looking at the BT Availability Checker every few days for a few months it finally said we could get up to 1000Mbps WBC FTTP. After weighing up the different packages, offers, and provided we went with BT Full Fibre 300 at £39.99 per month, and scheduled install for 2 weeks time.

A few days later, there was a knock on the door to run the fibre cable from the manhole down the street to outside our house. The house was built in 2012 and has a small pipe coming up at the front of the house with the copper line. They pulled the cable up the same pipe and left it coiled up outside the house for next 10 days.

The install date finally cam, it was pouring with rain, and the engineer was a little hesitant to run the fibre cable around to our home office, which is upstairs at the back of the house, but after showing him around he agreed to do it. He drilled a hole in the wall to outside, pushed the cable through, then clipped it around the outside of the house to where the other engineers had pulled the fibre cable up the week before. It took quite a while in the rain, but he then spliced the two fibre cables together. Inside we had a small modem / ONT (Optical Network Terminal) fitted, just above the whole where the cable came in.

Our house is fully setup with Ubiquiti Unifi network equipment. Three access points, a switch, a USG-3p, a Cloudkey Gen2+, and a camera. So natually we just pulled the USG directly into the ONT, updated the PPPoE credentials to [email protected] for the username and BT for the password. It was as simple as that, a quick speedtest on fast.com showed 310Mbps, all happy. The engineer tidied up nicely and was on his way.

The package came with the new BT Smarthub 2 and two BT Digital Voice phones. Due to using all of the Ubiquiti kit we didn’t need the Smarthub, but wanted to setup the phones for the occational phone call we get on the landline. At this point we found that BT Digital Voice was only possible to setup with Smarthub, becuase the phones connect using the DECT standard to the Smarthub. Even though the Smarthub can be connected to another switch and be given a network connection, this doesn’t seem to please the phones enough. The other option is to have the Smarthub between the ONT and USG, however this would result is a double NAT, which is never fun. We ended up setting a new local number with Sipgate Basic and installing the Softphone app on our iPhones. Then plugging in the Smarthub long enough to record a voicemail message on BT 1571 to tell people to call the new number.

So far the service has been great, even though the annoying landline changes. Next job is to better place the wifi access points in the house so all wifi devices can get the full 300Mbps.

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