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Upgrading to fibre optic broadband

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Robin Graham31/07/2019 00:29:34
584 forum posts
129 photos

I'm fed up with my ISP (TalkTalk) and planning to migrate. At the moment I'm on ADSL broadband and paying £40-50 per month including line rental and landline calls. Looking around it seems that I could upgrade to a fibre optic connection and still save some money.

However, despite having searched for technical info which might help me decide I'm still not sure if it's worth upgrading. I live in a small town and the local telephone exchange is just across the road - no more than 30 metres from the house I guess. The nearest green cabinet is in the centre of the town, maybe 250 metres away.

What I haven't been able to find out is if I stump up for fibre will I actually see a speed increase given it'll still be copper between my house and the exchange either directly or via the cabinet? I'm getting about 20Mb/s download and about 20ms ping at present, which seems goodish for ADSL.

Hoping someone out there understands this stuff and can advise!

Robin

Emgee31/07/2019 00:45:02
1189 forum posts
206 photos

20Mb/s sounds like a decent speed, in some areas fibre isn't much quicker.
Ask a neighbour what service they get and check on the comparison sites for a better deal, don't forget to factor in 30 days notice to end the service from Talktalk.

Emgee

Grindstone Cowboy31/07/2019 00:48:39
124 forum posts
1 photos

I'm pretty sure you would see an increase if you are that close to the exchange and cabinet, even if the fibre you get is what is termed "fibre to the cabinet" (FTTC).

In any case, you seem to be paying quite a lot for plain ADSL, and could probably find a fibre with phone deal for the same, or at least very similar, cost.

I am with Plusnet myself, on their unlimited broadband, and see speeds consistently around 36Mb/sec (note that is Megabits per second and is eight times the Megabytes per second figure). Best thing you could do right now is run a speed check and report back with the readings. Try here for a test.and of course, don't be performing any other downloads whilst you do it or it will skew the results.

Edit - apologies, didn't notice you'd already stated current speed blush

 

Edited By Rob Rimmer on 31/07/2019 00:50:32

Paul Lousick31/07/2019 02:07:03
1168 forum posts
496 photos

I live in Sydney, Aus. and have no choice. My ADSL connection is closing and I have to change to fibre optic. They say I will get an evening download speed of 42 MB/s.

Paul.

Thor31/07/2019 05:28:33
1120 forum posts
31 photos

Hi Robin,

Where I live we have had fibre optic internet for many years, price is slightly higher than you pay now for ADSL. I just tried the link Rob provided and got a ping of 2ms and upload and download speeds just over 40Mbps. I can get much higher speeds if I'm willing to pay, but the current speed works well for me.

Thor

pgk pgk31/07/2019 06:41:21
1453 forum posts
282 photos

This is yet another area of advertising con. Speeds are always advertised as 'up to' and even with a full fibre there is a matter of 'contention' - as in how many other folk are being shared on the next node up or how much an ISP might decide to throttle one set of customers. Gov was talkign about making legal changes to this but not sure if that's happened yet.

I do know that a friend who was into heavy gaming had fibre installed in our nearest town and the claimed 75Mb/sec (and bits are smaller than bytes as opposed to Mr Rimmer's typo above) turned out to be around 20Mb/sec until she kicked up a fuss and they finagled the contention.

It's well worth shopping around for a best current deal and if in a town with decent cell access then considering dumping the landline phone. None of that helps me out here suffering ruralism - no cell coverage and lucky to get 3Mb/sec and 3-4miles of copper to the exchange with no practical chance they'll bother shoving an optical line my way.

The other thing to look at is upload speed if you are into sending vids or large files or on-line backups.

I happen to be on Zen Internet at the moment.. was the cheapest last time we switched.

The final final thing to look at is that some companies now give an introductory discount with a referral code - every bit helps and I'm sure whoever you decide to use there'll be someone around that can provide it.

The whole thing is rather pathetic when gov talks aboit everyone being entitled to 20Mb/sec and there's cuntries out there where speeds measured in Gigabites are common. If one is goign to upgrade a system then do it right and future-proof it or you'll be faster on 5G.

pgk

Anthony Knights31/07/2019 07:05:52
271 forum posts
87 photos

I fail to understand the obsession with internet speed. I have a cheapish land line / internet deal and find it is perfectly adequate for my use. I have recently started watching programs from catchup sites, rather than relying on the crappy live schedules and have had no problems streaming them. I have had emails from my ISP saying I can upgrade to fibre for a few extra quid a month, but as the saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I don't see any point in getting an optical fibre connection until they can bring it to the house.

Circlip31/07/2019 07:36:50
978 forum posts

Existing contract with Talk Talk due to end in Sept. Looked at their "Faster Fibre" offering with "Free" souper dooper rooter, NO, £30 extra if you're an existing customer, not sure if that is essential with FF? Are Routers ISP dependant? - will my own Netgear router work with any ISP?

Regards Ian.

not done it yet31/07/2019 07:42:11
3358 forum posts
11 photos

I’m not surprised you are fed up with that lot!

We were with AOL for several years (from dial-up days). I was never sure how good or bad it was but it went down-hill after talktalk got involved. Got rid of them and now with our energy supplier - certainly not the cheapest but they are hassle free, reasonably competitive and reliable. Seem ‘middle of the road’ and our service does not go up and down like before. Up and down included off (as in intermittent reception), at times - which was very annoying some evenings!

I ran that test in Rob’s post and the results were 13Mb download and around 1Mb upload - whatever that means. Not brilliant but fast enough as phone line/broadband connection (with unlimited national land-line (non-premium) phone calls included) costs less than £26 monthly. We don’t ring mobiles and need to keep any out-going calls to less than one hour duration - or those calls are relatively expensive (I use my wife’s mobile, to ring other mobiles).

Wife’s mobile/internet phone costs nearly as much as the land-line and my mobile costs virtually nothing (I ring her and she rings back! My last mobile phone cost less than £45 air time in 12 years - rarely switched on to avoid any big brother snooping and the hassle of recharging regularly).

The only extra we could do with is a call-blocker to get rid of, or at least reduce, the persistent scammers - mostly telling us our talktalk line is about to be disconnected!

mick H31/07/2019 07:59:45
693 forum posts
19 photos

I have just run a test and it returns 2,33 Megabits/sec. Infuriatingly slow and at most times only just workable. To add insult to injury, I received an email from BT yesterday offering a free fibre upgrade. After I had jumped through all their hoops in the application process they said it was not available to me .....ha!ha!ha!.....what a great laugh. And for this I pay £40 per month. I am awaiting a call from a "manager" to deal with my complaint .......who will tell me, as I have been told over the last 20 years that I will get it in a "couple of months". The lies and deceit endemic in that company is beyond the pale.

Mick

Tricky31/07/2019 08:01:29
39 forum posts
2 photos

If you are that close to your exchange are you sure you are not on an Exchange Only line, i.e. direct to the exchange without going through a cabinet? If so you will not be able to upgrade to fibre.

pgk pgk31/07/2019 08:17:41
1453 forum posts
282 photos
Posted by Anthony Knights on 31/07/2019 07:05:52:

I fail to understand the obsession with internet speed. I have a cheapish land line / internet deal and find it is perfectly adequate for my use. I have recently started watching programs from catchup sites, rather than relying on the crappy live schedules and have had no problems streaming them. I have had emails from my ISP saying I can upgrade to fibre for a few extra quid a month, but as the saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it". I don't see any point in getting an optical fibre connection until they can bring it to the house.

Speed need is entirely dependant on what you want to use it for and how many olk in the hosue want to sue it simultaneously. I ca;t get better than 3Mb/s and still manage to stream most stuff (with the occasional pause) but it'd be a pain to try and run a business with that sort of speed and uploading a youtube vid starts to become an overnight affair.

The point really is that speed per se is a bit meanigless- it;s data density that may/may not clog the system and passing it faster probably ends up with less dead space and lag up the chain with renewing handshakes although there is the inevitability that making stuff quick and slick means more folk find more stuff to shove on it.

Very hi res video is bandwidth hungry with stuff like 8K TV around the corner.

Back when i had my business i was on a 100Mb direct fibre line to both home and business but backing up my business files off-site (in case of fire etc) was still a matter of an hour or so because the upload was only 25Mb/sec.

The cynic in me is convinced that these things are rolled out in incremental stages on purpose so folk keep buying the next thing when 3-4 things away are already available but not released.

Douglas Johnston31/07/2019 08:40:10
avatar
611 forum posts
32 photos

I have been with Virgin media fibre for a number of years and am getting fed up with the expense of it. They seem to put up the price at least once a year and often by at least 10%. The system does work well and is reliable, which makes me loathe to change to a cheaper provider, but I resent the cost which just went up another £3.50 a month a couple of weeks ago.

Doug

Stuart Bridger31/07/2019 09:04:57
346 forum posts
17 photos

Mostly "Fibre" Broadband is the biggest marketing con in the telecoms industry.
What BT and the other providers who use Openreach infrastructure are offering is FTTC, Fibre to the Cabinet. The speed you get is determined by the bit of manky copper, between the cabinet and your house. What you typically find is that they wont offer you a speed until they have tested the line.

Contrast this to true FTTP, Fibre to the Premises, which actually does run a high speed, highly reliable optical cable right to your router. This will typically run at Gigabit (1000Megabit) line speed and is symmetrical (same upload speed as download.

The big question is what is your usage profile. If you are a single user with occasional browsing, etc, the ADSL will be fine. However if you have a family with several teenagers, online gaming, watching movies, etc, then the extra bandwidth is of massive benefit.

How do I know this, I worked with a FTTP start-up to get true fibre into our village. I work from home in an IT role. We have had the service for 5 years now. I could get full 1000Mbit, but in practice I only pay for 50Mbit, which is enough for working, downloading large files, video conferencing, cloud backup, etc.
It is a premium service and I believe that still only 30-40% of the village have switched providers as the rest either don't need or aren't will to pay the premium. I pay ~£40/month for my 50MBit line.

Michael Gilligan31/07/2019 09:09:00
avatar
14011 forum posts
608 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 31/07/2019 07:42:11:

I ran that test in Rob’s post and the results were 13Mb download and around 1Mb upload - whatever that means.

.

The unit of measure is Megabits per second

  • Download is you 'consuming' data
  • Upload is you 'supplying' data.

It's like having two different diameters of pipe on a water tank.

MichaelG.

AdrianR31/07/2019 09:14:15
272 forum posts
20 photos

I live in rural Lincolnshire, 2 years ago OpenReach installed the fibre cabinets, still waiting for them to be connected. Useless bunch of ....

I am on TalkTalk, customer support is a not great, but no worse than others I have used. Reason I went with them is they were the cheapest, so why pay more for the same product from others.

The one exception to that was Zen, customer service was great and the contention was low.

I am approx 6 miles from the exchange, and the TalkTalk router gives about 1.5Mb/s. I bought a Billion router and now get 2.6Mb/s

I would say the OP should just stick with ADSL, fibre is really only of use to customers who are further away from the exchange. Fibre is just a way of extending the exchange termination so it is closer to the customer, no magic.

The only possible reason to switch would be to get a lower price, but you really have to inspect the cost after the contract period.

Adrian

Bazyle31/07/2019 09:23:20
avatar
4724 forum posts
186 photos

It will never be cheaper than it is now with all the equipment coming from abroad the falling pound will make that more expensive. It is actually cheaper than most countries but when the kids and multiple occupancy houses clamour for more speed all the 4 or 5 year old equipment has to be replaced. Also make sure it isn't your wifi connection that is the weak link during a speed test - really need to do an Ethernet connected test first.

Treat it like the purchase of a lathe. What do you want to do now and in the future? What do you want to boast about? Do you have time to use it? What is actually available in your required timescales.

I have a Virgin Media non fibre modem that delivers 550Mbps on test but I personally only use about 2 Mbps. On my BT service I paid for an upgrade from 3Mbps to 30Mbps but only to get unlimited download capacity for work purposes not speed.

By the way if one of your gripes is about pauses during streaming on Netflix etc then the problem is latency not speed. 20Mbps will be adequate speed for HD streaming and most 4k streaming.

Edited By Bazyle on 31/07/2019 09:26:36

Howi31/07/2019 09:26:08
avatar
257 forum posts
15 photos

do not understand why you are paying so much, I have been with talktalk since they took over Tiscali.

I changed over to fibre as soon as it was available as I was lucky to get 2mb/s due to the distance from the exchange.I pay £23.50 for fibre (up to 38mb/s) and land line, so can't quite work out what you are paying for?

While TalkTalk may not be the best provider, I have not had any problems (apart from 2 data breaches of course

I am not on the latest router which is supposed to be quite good, but mine seems to do the job as far as wifi reach is concerned.

one thing that most people do not know, is, that youy can change your contract at ant time to a better deal, current cheapest price is/was £22.50 but i didn't bother for the sake of £1.

I have thought of changing provider many times but stayed with TalkTalk,

All the other providers are more expensive, don't like BT, Plusnet had a good reputation but is going downhill, Sky I don't like having had so much hassle getting rid of Sky TV, can't get Virgin in my area, so there you are.

you pays your money and makes your choice

KWIL31/07/2019 09:27:12
3119 forum posts
56 photos

I think Robin should challenge Talk Talk to lower their price.

I am with TT, FTTC, currently 32Mb and I pay £34 pm including all calls. Cab is 500M away on copper. Problem is not the line speed but the slow servers which are at the sites looked at.

RMA31/07/2019 09:27:23
193 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Robin Graham on 31/07/2019 00:29:34:

I'm fed up with my ISP (TalkTalk) and planning to migrate. At the moment I'm on ADSL broadband and paying £40-50 per month including line rental and landline calls. Looking around it seems that I could upgrade to a fibre optic connection and still save some money.

However, despite having searched for technical info which might help me decide I'm still not sure if it's worth upgrading. I live in a small town and the local telephone exchange is just across the road - no more than 30 metres from the house I guess. The nearest green cabinet is in the centre of the town, maybe 250 metres away.

What I haven't been able to find out is if I stump up for fibre will I actually see a speed increase given it'll still be copper between my house and the exchange either directly or via the cabinet? I'm getting about 20Mb/s download and about 20ms ping at present, which seems goodish for ADSL.

Hoping someone out there understands this stuff and can advise!

Robin

That's a lot of money per month these days. I treat these suppliers the same as insurance companies. i.e. shop around just before the contract ends, or when the ISP hikes up their fee and you can escape without paying! I always go onto Topcashback and see where the best offers are and go from there.

I know some will reply to this and mention service. Of course this is something to take into account, but I've experienced poor service from most of the providers I've been with. I currently have a mega deal with NowTV (part of Sky) for broadband and anytime free calls.

Moral is, shop around!

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