Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) Trial FAQ
1. What is FTTP?
FTTP is a new technology that we are trialling. It replaces the copper broadband services that ADSL/ADSL2+ use by running fibre all the way from your local exchange to your property. As fibre doesn't degrade the speed over the distance and isn't subject to the same kind of interference problems as copper you should see a faster and more reliable service. Below is BT's diagram showing how the fibre gets from the exchange to your house.
Please note FTTP and FTTP On Demand are not the same thing. The trial is only available to those who can get FTTP, if the availability checker says FTTP On Demand is available we can't unfortunately add you to the FTTP trial. We aren't currently running an FTTP On Demand trial.
2. What speed does FTTP run at?
We currently match the FTTC speeds. 76Mbps down and 19.5Mbps up on Unlimited Fibre Extra and 38Mbps down and 9.5Mbps up on Unlimited Fibre.
3. What happens on install day?
We need to book an appointment for an engineer visit to come and fit the service. The appointment may take around 3 hours. The engineer will run fibre from the nearest distribution point to your property. In most cases this will be run alongside your existing copper either underground or over a pole. The fibre will then be terminated on the outside wall at ground level (they cannot terminate the fibre any higher even if the copper enters the building at a higher level). The fibre will then be run through your wall. The engineer will then install an Optical Network Terminator (ONT) in your house. Think of the ONT to be like a fibre modem. The ONT is pictured below and is similar size to a normal router.
Below is the external terminator for the fibre, this will be located at ground level.
4. Where should I put the ONT?
The ONT needs to be within 20 metres of where the fibre is terminated on the outside wall as that's the length of the fibre the engineer will bring. The ONT needs to be connected to router (or can be connected direct to a PC if you only have 1 PC and direct require wireless). It also requires power so must be located near a socket. In the future services like TV and voice may be delivered using the ONT so think carefully where will be most convenient to install the ONT. The ONT has to be secured to a wall to prevent damaging the fibre.
5. What appointment times are available?
Monday to Friday, morning only (8am to 6pm) as the appointment may take longer than the morning slot.
6. Will I have to pay anything for either the new kit and installation?
No, there will be no charge for the modem or installation.
7. Will there be a new XX month contract?
Not for joining the trial, there will be no change to any contract length unless you specifically change to a new account with a new contract or take a recontracting offer independently of the trial.
8. What happens if the trial ends will 6. or 7. apply in order to reverse the process?
If the trial ends there would be no cost for the kit or installation or recovery of the modem. BT may request an appointment to recover the kit they have supplied or ask you to return it by post. In all likelihood though BT will leave the kit (ONT, Power lead & CSP) in situ….just in case you or a new tennant wants the service in the future. You would be able to remain on the existing product and contract if you wish.
9. Will it cost any extra per month for this greater speed?
The FTTP trial will cost the same as FTTC would in your area. We have not decided what will happen post trial.
10. Will there be any special limitations on usage?
There will be no limitations on usage other than those applicable to your account type. We have not decided what will happen post trial.
11. What happens to my existing ADSL/ADSL2+ service?
We will cease your ADSL/ADSL2+ service when we activate your FTTP service.
12. Will I have a dynamic/static/same IP address?
You will have the same IP address as you have on your existing account type.
13. Can I connect on both the FTTP line and ADSL line at the same time?
No, the ADSL line will be ceased at the start of your FTTP service.
14. What areas will FTTP be available in?
FTTP will be available in a number of areas, the best place to check if you can get it is here: http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/ Please note if the availability checker mentions FTTP On Demand rather than FTTP you are not eligible for the FTTP trial as the two technologies are different and we aren't trialling FTTP On Demand at present.
15. What is the timescale for bringing this new technology to my exchange?
We're expecting more areas to be added over time.
16. I’d prefer to use a modem/router of my choice, can I?
For the trial BT will install their ONT at your premises, you must use this device and cannot use another manufacturer's ONT as this will not work. We will supply you with a wireless router for the trial, if you want to use a different wireless router you can or you can connect a PC direct to the ONT.
17. What routers can I use?
The service requires a router that will support PPPoE over a WAN port similar to a cable router. We also recommend if you want to use wireless that your router supports wireless 11n or 11ac.
18. What router do you supply?
We are currently supplying Technicolor TG582n routers but may change at any time.
19. If/when the trial ends, will I have to give the ONT/router back?
If the trial ends and we revert you back to ADSL or ADSL2+ or you cease the service BT would send a jiffy bag out or arrange an appointment to recover the ONT and we may send a jiffy out to recover any routers we've sent. If the trial ends and moves to a fully live service and you remain on the service you would retain the ONT and router as long as your service remained active.
20. If the end of the trial were to coincide with the offering of this as a standard service, would I keep the ONT/router and continue on, or would I have to be removed from the trial and returned to the previous setup prior to moving to a commercial FTTP product?
It is unlikely we’d move you off of FTTP and back to ADSL/ADSL2+ only to switch you back to FTTP as a live service. It is expected that you would just continue on FTTP as a live service on your existing product.
21. Will the ONT work with my ...?
The ONT has four ethernet ports, however you can only use port 1 for our service. Ports 2-4 may be made available at a later date and would allow you to purchase 3 additional FTTP services. For example, Port 1 could offer your Plusnet Broadband service, Port 2 a video on demand service connected to a set top box, Port 3 live streaming coverage of the horse racing connected to your TV and Port 4 a secure electronic payment system connected to a handheld Chip and PIN device. Your wireless router would therefore need to be able to connect to Port 1 using a WAN port and support PPPoE.
22. Will the other existing T&Cs remain the same as my current tariff, with any necessary changes being in place only for the duration of the trial?
The main T’s & C’s will remain unchanged however there will be a set of trial T’s & C’s for the duration of the trial, these are available here: http://community.plus.net/fttp_terms/
23. Does not having an NTE5 style master socket preclude volunteering for the trial?
No. The trial will not make any changes to your existing copper services.
24. Will Plusnet be offering any guides to help users configure hubs/routers to provide a wireless connection?
If there is sufficient demand we can look into doing this or customers can create tutorials for publication on the Community Site.
25. If the new service is problematic can I go back to my existing one?
Not easily but it is possible in extreme cases.
26. If the new service is problematic will I get a refund or credit?
We should stress that this is a trial and we cannot guarantee the service to be fault free. If loss of broadband would cause you significant problems (e.g. you use it for work) we would recommend not taking part in the trial.
27. What if I have a faulty ONT/router?
During the trial BT will own the ONT so if it develops a fault BT will arrange an engineer visit to repair or replace it. Diagnostic checks (including remote diagnostics from the router if possible) will be run as part of the fault finding process. If you remain on FTTP after the conclusion of the trial BT would replace or repair the ONT in the event of a fault but you would need to pay BT for a new one in the event of damage caused by yourself. Our routers will be covered by a normal 12 month warranty and replaced by us should they be faulty within that time.
28. What happens if I move house?
If you move to a property outside of the trial area you would be moved to ADSL (or ADSL2+ if applicable). If you stayed within the trial area it is expected we would offer you the choice of staying on the trial or moving to ADSL.
29. Is the trial available to everyone?
We expect the trial will be available to all Plusnet (including Force9 and Freeonline) customers across all broadband products. However, as above we must stress that this is a trial and that we cannot guarantee the service to be fault free.
30. Is the trial available to everyone in the trial areas?
BT may need to do a site survey to see if you can get the service and multi-dwelling units like flats and some multi unit commercial properties will be excluded.
31. How will being on the FTTP trial affect any decision to migrate to another ISP using a MAC?
You will need to keep an active broadband account with us to remain on the trial, you can move to another ISP using a MAC the same as ADSL or FTTC however we would recommend calling the new ISP before placing an order to ensure they are aware you are on FTTP.
32. Will the FTTP trial be included in your easy-setup router system?
Yes, the routers we supply are easy set up.
33. Can the ONT only be installed in the master socket?
No, the engineer will install the ONT wherever is convenient and near a power supply but please note the maximum length of the fibre is 20 metres from the outside wall.
34. Does the ONT need to be left on at all times?
The ONT allows BT to monitor and test the service provided. The modem must be within reach of a power supply, and must remain connected to the power at all times.
35. What happens to my voice service?
You do not need to maintain a PSTN service throughput the trial, however not having Plusnet phone would mean you would be charged an additional £2.50 per month.
36. What do I need to consider before the installation?
Take a look where your existing copper voice line enters your property; the fibre will be terminated at ground level nearby. You will also need to consider where you will want he ONT installing, it needs to be within 20 metres of where the fibre terminates outside, be near a power socket and you may also want to consider where it will be located should in the future you want to take up a voice service or a video on demand service should they be offered. We will ask you for 3 dates when you will be available for the engineer visit and confirm the slot we've booked at least 5 days in advance of the appointment. You will need to be available for half a day for the appointment as it's estimated most appointments will last around 3-5 hours.
37. Can I change broadband product?
Yes, the account change process will work exactly as it does now so you can regrade to any of the fibre broadband products we have available should you wish.
38. Can I change Home Phone products or move to Plusnet Home Phone?
Yes, this also works exactly the same as it does now so you can switch between Home Phone products or add Home Phone if you are with another voice supplier. The voice service will continue to be provided over the copper line however a fibre voice service is expected to be trialled at some point.
39. What can I do with 76Mbps that I can't do with ADSL or ADSL2+?
You tell us :) For some people they will be on sub 3Mbps speeds so will be able to watch HD streams which they couldn't do before and do more at once such as download files and stream and game at the same time. It will be interesting to see what content becomes available for the faster speeds like this.
40. What is the difference between FTTP and FTTP on Demand?
The main difference between FTTP and FTTPoD is that with FTTP BT Openreach have already run the fibre optic cables in the street and past every house. To order an FTTP service they then only need to run the fibre from the house to the nearest distribution point in the street. For a property where the fibre is fed overhead by a telegraph pole that usually just means replacing the dropwire from pole to building with a combined copper/fibre cable and connection the fibre to the distribution point at the bottom of the pole. For an underground fed property it's similar except they run the fibre through the duct to the property and connect it up. With FTTPoD none of the fibre infrastructure in the street has been done. So in this case rather than just running the fibre from your house to the pole they have to run it to the cabinet and back to the nearest fibre node as well and build the necessary infrastructure including the distribution point. As such from an installation perspective it's a lot more complicated, time consuming and costly. At present we are not trialling FTTP on Demand.