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Message 1 of 9

Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

Hi there, 

Just to give a little background to my struggle. I've recently moved into the property (built in 2011, same as the whole village - new development) and ordered BT Fibre 2 (34Mbps minimum speed guarantee), which apparently is FTTP, ( I though that it is still copper given the speeds). Anyway I had no problem with it being the FTTP (even better), at least at the beginning...

Because I made an order on 24th June, and I was told it will be activated on 17th July. Of course... nothing happened until 17th July besides receiving Smart Hub 2 and some OR bloke marked and "X" and some arrows on the pavement next to our house. I've chased and BT told me apparently some digging have to be done and I was advised that some new survey will be held on 29th July. I've just received the message that the "outside property" works will be held on 24 September and the estimated activation on 6th October (SIC!)...

Both with my wife we are home workers now and having a broadband is absolutely essential. After expressing my discontent  I was offered to have "free" copper broadband in a mean time. BT made another account where copper broadband was activated (on the other account there is a landline and pending FTTP) and I've been sent the same speeds estimated as for FTTP for that one (30Mbps minimum speed). I though it is reasonable as I've got similar speeds at me previous address having copper wire connection. I was given filter and cable and it was activated on 24th July.


All great I though back then... however the speeds we are getting on copper connection are getting us back to 2004... It is 3.4 Mbps Download and 0.5 Mbps Upload at its best. Constant, no improvement at all, never exceeding 4 Mbits (Hub technical log). Please see at the end of the post.

I've noticed few things:

  • Noise margins are quite high
  • Line/Signal attenuation looks weird 
  • Its G.992.1(DMT) so it is ADSL1

I know that the cabinet I was connected to features VDSL with a speeds around 30-34 Mbps (see at the end of the post)

The questions

1) Noise margin is quite high, is it possible that there is some wiring issue that make the connection so slow?
I've already raised it on the phone with BT consultant and he couldn't help me much and just booked an engineer visit on next Tuesday to look at it.

2) Or maybe, given that I  have ADSL1 connection (and presumably ADSL and VDSL cannot coexist), may it happened that BT connected me to ADSL1 only connection in the cabinet instead of VDSL? Given that it is a "free" connection as they did awful job with connecting me to promised FTTP on time and don't bother about what speed I will have in a mean time?

Hence it is expected that I will have up to 4Mbps on ADSL1?

I'm quite desperate at the moment, as we are really struggling to do our jobs from home. Please advise

Thank you


BTDSLchecker - Kopia.JPG


Product code:Smart Hub 2
Serial number:+091300+2016009283
Firmware version:v0.17.01.12312-BT
Firmware updated:Fri Jul 24 17:57:12 2020
Board version:R01
GUI version:1.56 15_02_2019
DSL uptime:0 days,19 Hours48 Mins27 Secs 
Data rate:448 Kbps / 3.904 Mbps
Maximum data rate:856 Kbps / 3.772 Mbps
Noise margin:13.0 / 8.1
Line attenuation:31.5 / 55.0
Signal attenuation:0.0 / 55.0
Latency type:Interleaved
Upstream error control:Off
Downstream error control:Off
Data sent / received:393.3 MB Uploaded / 3.1 GB Downloaded
BT Wi-fi:Activated
2.4 GHz wireless network name:BT-95AHRQ
2.4 GHz wireless channel:Smart (Channel11)
5 GHz wireless network name:BT-95AHRQ
5 GHz wireless channel:Smart (Channel36)
Wireless security:WPA2 (Recommended)
Wireless mode:Mode 1
MAC address:CC:D4:2E:CB:C5:8F
Software variant:-
Boot loader:0.1.7-BT (Thu Nov 30 09:45:22 2017




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Message 2 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

It does appear that your ‘free’ broadband whilst you wait for FTTP is exchange based ADSL, given that the predicted speed is low, they may well have deliberately put you on modulation:G.992.1(DMT) rather than ADSL2+
I’ve no idea if in these situations they always go for ADSL rather than VDSL ( if VDSL is available ) you could try asking for VDSL.
If the property is relatively new, I would expect a ducted feed to the property , so presumably the duct is blocked preventing the fibre cable being installed, a blocked duct isn’t likely to be known about until close to or even on the install date, it’s unfortunate but these things happen.
TBH, especially now, there are many people working from home and broadband is deemed ‘essential’ for them to conduct their ‘business’ , yet they are on residential tariffs, that come with residential service level agreements, hard to argue that business is suffering if you are not on the correct tariff.

As far as FTTP speeds, you could get upto 1000Mb if you wanted, so it’s unclear why point out the minimum speed guarantee for Fibre 2, which is an 80Mb service , as it’s FTTP, that’s what the connection rate is, obviously throughput is different , but likely to be way  in excess of 34Mb.

As you are going for Fibre 2 , which you could get that from FTTC, although the predicted speed is only mid 30’s, so Fibre 1 or essential would be better unless upload important if using FTTC, it’s possible that they have used the average speed/minimum guarantee that is derived from FTTC rather than FTTP, if that’s the case your service will be better than predicted ,once it’s in.

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Message 3 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

Thanks @iniltous  for your post. I just called them (asking about my package for the "meantime" broadband) and they said that the engineer still need to visit to look what happened and somehow they avoid to comment if I should be connected via ADSL/VDSL or simply the consultant i was talking to does not know. The guy i was talking to yesterday, the one who booked the engineer, should have known better and should notice that I am on ADSL1 with the package which guarantee 30Mbps and the current connection is simply not capable to deliver that..

I wonder what engineer can really do once he is here.. Can he check/change the cabinet connection too?

Also it seems weird that they did not notice that there is ADSL1 connection in place atm.

I think this is a problem with BT offers, its not clear what is a true fibre (FTTP) or FTTC connections. Fibre essential / Fibre 1 / Fibre 2 looked like FTTC to me, then FULL Fibre whatever should be FTTP... 


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Message 4 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

The engineer certainly won't be able to move you from ADSL to VDSL. He might be able to discover why your noise margin is high and squeeze a slight speed improvement but that's all.

I'm just guessing, but I suspect that in this sort of situation where service is temporary pending a delayed FTTP installation, BT don't wish to pay for a cabinet DSLAM port to provide FTTC .

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Message 5 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

Thanks for uour comment @licquorice. Well... Then I cant expect much from the engineer visit.

Im afraid your guess might be right. It looks like that at least. Sadly ADSL1 is not usable for two home workers with a lot of video meetings.

Any suggestion how I can make them move me to VDSL?

Also, just today there were folks from virgin media installing their fibre wire on the street. They noticed BT/OR 'X' on my pavement and told me thats typically blockage marked like that. Ive told them that OR want to do some digging etc.

After couple of hours, the guy showed up and told me that they managed to lay down their fibre there and they left a sleeve for another (?) so no digging should be needed anymore, so I can tell this to OR guys. I called BT and tell them but they were mildly interested tbh... 

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Message 6 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

I assume you are talking to the FTTP team on 0800 587 4787 and not the general order number.

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Message 7 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

Yes, I was talking with FTTP team. Apparently, tomorrow they may have some response from OR. I dont have any hopes on it but I will call them again to discuss directly if and why I was put on ADSL1, while ive ordered something completely different.

I can really understand the delay with installation but giving me 4mbps broadband instead is really not a fsor move from their side.. 

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Message 8 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

VM and OR are totally separate networks, so any work on VM network isn’t going to ‘help’ OR’s network, quite the opposite, quite often the reason why a duct is ‘damaged’ is because other utility’s working in their own network damage someone else’s, after all , they generally are in the same place ( under the pavement ) and although they should be placed at different depths, getting at one sometimes requires getting very close to someone else’s stuff,

Where the OR representative marked the pavement , is there is a recent ‘scar’ from someone else digging in the pavement, that could well be why the OR duct is ‘blocked’.


Message 9 of 9

Re: Copper broadband while waiting for FTTP - Getting ADSL instead of VDSL?

Thanks @iniltous. I see. Well as far as I understood what he was trying to tell me is that they left something there that will help OR so no digging in that place will be needed. On the other hand, maybe he wanted to avoid OR digging to not damage their network, thats why he told me so. I dont know... 

The pavement there is crystal clear with no evidence of any scars etc. Also, all the adjecent pavement looks pristine. 

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