Tony K

Wi Fi, Broadband etc

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Hi,

Am putting the finishing touches to the building regs plans for my self build, and have reached the stage where I am paying Thames Water and UK Power Networks to arrange connection of water, foul and electricity to the plot. 

 

I understand that I also need to arrange connection for Wi Fi etc, but am not sure what the current physical requirements are in the wireless age. Do I need a cable connected or not?

 

Also, I presume I have to go to BT for any physical connection?

 

Any guidance gratefully received!

 

 

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You need to get in touch with BT Openreach and register for a new connection.  They will eventually send an engineer out for a site appraisal which will be followed by a delivery of the required ducting & cable free of charge.

 

I simply told him I didn't want a pole on my land and that I would run ducting underground to the nearest pole.  They sent the stuff & I laid it all ready for a connection, I received enough cable to reach to my house, the connection is in my static caravan at the minute - the rest of the cable is coiled up in the duct access chamber that I installed, ready for me to move the master socket to the house when the time comes.

 

To get the connection up and running you apply to BT for a phone line connection  simples.

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Same experince as @Jamie998, I laid the supplied duct from the BT pole to my house. Routed all underground and up through the slab and sealed. Master BT socket is at that point, then I provisioned for 2x twisted cable in the house to the most central point of the house to which I would connect the BT wi-fi modem / router and telephone. I also had an electrical socket and ethernet point provisioned - I wish I had done 2 instead of 1.

 

When time came for BT to pull the cable, I asked them to provision for 4 lines instead of the usual 2. And the master socket the chap agreed to let me have an off-spec socket with built in ADSL filter - apparently not supplied in residential builds. He even configured it to allow the ADSL and phone lines split at the master socket and to my 2 central points.

 

After 1 year I got fed up with the stability of BT and their repeated visits to fix it and switched to a wireless village network and VOIP. So the hard-line is no longer used. Not regretting it - the village network is superfast and pretty stable in all weathers.

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I forgot to mention - I shared the trench for mains electric and BT for some of the way. I had to pay UKPN to the street side of the trench, and they "officially" refused to permit shared trenches, but a bit of beer-money helped and they happily laid additional duct for me with a suitable physical separation between ducts.

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We also ran a duct and wire from the BT pole to a cupboard in the house where we have a power point for the modem and a wired router. From there we have  network cable to most other rooms. In two of these rooms we have WiFi access points (one upstairs and one down). This certainly seems to improve our WiFi speeds and reliability.

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I couldn't book straight with OpenReach I had to go through a supplier - BT offered me an excellent deal which, despite the £50 installation still saved me about £75 quid over the next year. (previously with plus net)

I've had a pole installed on my land, very difficult and long to do it any other way.  

They were supposed to be connecting me on 28th December - I knew this date couldn't happen because of the pole but they were happy to give me a fixed date. So engineer came that day and said 'we will have to install a pole' 'Yes - that's what I said when I ordered it! 

We agreed where it would go and a week or so later (7 Jan) they came to put the pole up. Knocked on the door, lots of digging, pole on drive and then it all went quiet.  After I while I went to have a look and the hole had been filled in and they had disappeared.  

Contacted BT and the saga commenced.  Phone calls about twice a week.  The guy at BT was doing his best, contacting Open Reach all the time.  An engineer came out again - apparently they had come across services - I knew there were none there.  He went away saying I'd hear within the week.  Lots more  communication with BT.   Open Reach had no capacity, were booked up with other jobs etc etc.  Eventually I got in touch with the Ombudsman.  So then BT higher management got involved, and eventually another engineer came out.  Told me that the services were some kind of land drain junction - so I realised it was were the surface water from the porch went - about 1m of guttering.  We could put the pole pretty close. He also told me that the contractors had said I had gone out so they couldn't discuss it with me at the time - a complete lie.  Within a week they came back - dug up pretty much the same hole and put the pole up.  2 or 3 days later I was connected.  

That was the 11 May.  

 

As my original house is not yet sold I was able to use the cordless phones from up there and with the aid of a plug in booster use the wifi too.

 

The ombudsman said I wasn't entitled to any compensation as they had done nothing wrong as they weren't accountable for OpenReach.  It seemed a waste of time but my contact at BT said that was what had got them moving an enabled him to escalate even higher - he had already escalated 3 times to the highest level he was able.

 

After I was finally connected BT contacted me and told me they were crediting my account with just over £150.  That amount covers the installation and about 6 months phone and broadband so I'm happy enough with that.

 

I just have to wait 2 weeks to get my phone number transferred as BT can't port numbers from Plusnet - I have to cancel PlusNet which puts the number back in the system and in 2 weeks time BT can reallocate it.  What a farce

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Hecateh said:

I just have to wait 2 weeks to get my phone number transferred as BT can't port numbers from Plusnet - I have to cancel PlusNet which puts the number back in the system and in 2 weeks time BT can reallocate it.  What a farce

 

Have BT told you that ..??! BT own PlusNet, and porting is done by a common system that allows it to be done on the same day... it’s even on BTs website that they can port from PlusNet ..!!

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tony K said:

Hi,

Am putting the finishing touches to the building regs plans for my self build, and have reached the stage where I am paying Thames Water and UK Power Networks to arrange connection of water, foul and electricity to the plot. 

 

I understand that I also need to arrange connection for Wi Fi etc, but am not sure what the current physical requirements are in the wireless age. Do I need a cable connected or not?

 

Also, I presume I have to go to BT for any physical connection?

 

Any guidance gratefully received!

 

 

you will also need an address, openreach just will not consider a connection without you being on royal mail system. i'm sticking with the  3 mobile broadband others suggested. sod bt!

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49 minutes ago, Simplysimon said:

you will also need an address, openreach just will not consider a connection without you being on royal mail system. i'm sticking with the  3 mobile broadband others suggested. sod bt!

Not so.

 

Open Reach gave us the cable and duct with the plot referred to as "land next to....."  And BT connected with the house name, in spite of it not being on the PAF file as I refuse to pay to have it put there.

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9 minutes ago, ProDave said:

Not so.

 

Open Reach gave us the cable and duct with the plot referred to as "land next to....."  And BT connected with the house name, in spite of it not being on the PAF file as I refuse to pay to have it put there.

 

 

Same here.  We were "plot adjacent to The Willows" when Openreach free issued Duct 56 and cable for us to lay, ready for our connection.

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If you don't want Openreach, Virgin Media is the only other wired service in most areas. (A few cities have FTTP  fiber installers, but these will rarely intersect with self-build plots)

 

If you're considering resale, it's worth getting both Openreach and Virgin  now.  Retrofitting Virgin  tends to result in horrendous mess of overground ducting, cables strung over the outside of the house and walls turned to swiss-cheese.

 

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30 minutes ago, joth said:

A few cities have FTTP  fiber installers, but these will rarely intersect with self-build plots

 

Why might that be so?

 

(Hoping to have FTTP for my forthcoming build and I think there are providers in my area, as well as there being Virgin Media).

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7 hours ago, Dreadnaught said:

 

Why might that be so?

 

(Hoping to have FTTP for my forthcoming build and I think there are providers in my area, as well as there being Virgin Media).

 

They're only in densely populated areas so far, central London for https://hyperoptic.com/ for example, and by definition densely populated areas tend not to have a whole lotta new build (let alone self build) going on.

 

BT openreach also have a stop/start FTTP programme, but last time I spoke to one of their engineers it seemed G.Fast is giving one last lease of life to the copper (FTTC) network so they were focusing back on that. 

 

Of course, you can get FTTP anywhere, for a price....

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I'd second the advice to look at Virgin, if you're in an area that has it. Their network is consistently miles better in terms of stability and performance.

 

Also because the whole network was installed more recently than most housing, and is less sensitive to cable lengths, it tends to be installed in public areas e.g. under the pavement where BT often takes shortcuts through back gardens.

 

The problem then is that if - as happened to my mother in law - there's a fault on the line it relies on the engineer being able to get onto people's property to fix it. If they're no longer BT customers themselves they have no incentive to arrange access. Cue 3 months of Openreach arranging visits for the engineer each time to confirm that the fault was somewhere between her and 3 poles away but the other gardens were all secured and nobody home. Eventually the engineer marked up they were unable to service her but it still took another 2 months to the call centre before they'd agree to cancel the 12 month contract.

 

Or, the reverse where a neighbour down the hill wanted a new connection to the pole in our garden. I work from home, engineer popped round and took a look but needed to cut back some of the neighbour's tree above our fence. Said they'd schedule a tree surgeon to come, then 2 months of an appointment being set, nobody turning up, then an engineer turning up to finish the install and going back to base to arrange a tree surgeon. Eventually we got a snippy note from the neighbour that we were blocking her connection so I had to pop round and show her on my calendar that I had so far blocked out 7 days for openreach and their contractors, and had essentially been in all day every day the rest of the time. A week later the tree surgeon turned up unannounced and did their thing. But no engineer. I bumped into her a couple weeks later and she said she'd cancelled the contract the day she spoke to me!

 

With virgin they usually just have to get from the pavement outside your house up to your property.

 

Obviously if you're in the countryside you probably don't have options, but if you do - take them!

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13 hours ago, PeterW said:

 

Have BT told you that ..??! BT own PlusNet, and porting is done by a common system that allows it to be done on the same day... it’s even on BTs website that they can port from PlusNet ..!!

 

 

Bloody typical - 2 different employees told me that - I think it's because it;s a different property though but I can't see that should make a difference

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3 hours ago, andyscotland said:

Their network is consistently miles better in terms of stability and performance.

 

Shame the TiVo kit and the new V3 boxes are rubbish ..!! Had the whole lot taken out a couple of weeks ago as the system performance was shocking ..! The new WiFi strength algorithm and channel shifting was written by a 5 year old as it just doesn’t work ....

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45 minutes ago, PeterW said:

 

Shame the TiVo kit and the new V3 boxes are rubbish ..!! Had the whole lot taken out a couple of weeks ago as the system performance was shocking ..! The new WiFi strength algorithm and channel shifting was written by a 5 year old as it just doesn’t work ....

 

Oh really? That's not good. To be fair it's a long time since I've used the provider-supplied router/modem for anything bar the final network access where necessary, I've always installed my own WiFi and cabled router(s). Had so many bad experiences in the past with the variety of rebadged cheap boxes that come by default.

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12 minutes ago, andyscotland said:

 

Oh really? That's not good. To be fair it's a long time since I've used the provider-supplied router/modem for anything bar the final network access where necessary, I've always installed my own WiFi and cabled router(s). Had so many bad experiences in the past with the variety of rebadged cheap boxes that come by default.

 

Agree but that’s the problem with Virgin cable is that you have to use their kit unless you start adding loads more WiFi access points etc after the router. Biggest problem was the self diagnostics and tbh the TiVo box had a 9m clear line of sight and still couldn’t get more than 53% signal strength ..!!

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I'm going for fibre-optic FTTP*, using a local fibre-only ISP and a Government Gigabit voucher

 

* fibre-to-the- premises/home.

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