Hi. I have had Infinity installed recently. I live in Stirling, Central Scotland and our phone line comes into the house via an overground pole. From there the line is then connected to the modem, which is in turn connected to the hub, which is then connected to the computer. My query is whether it is necessary to have a surge protector somewhere in this circuit? I have always had a surge protector somewhere between the point where the line enters the house and before it comes into contact with any hardware. I have lived in this house for 10 years and the phone lines have not been upgraded since we have been here. My understanding was that the old phone line cables would conduct a current well (such as if a lightning strike occurred).Does the fact that I now have Infinity mean that they have always been fibreoptic lines? Will the fibre optic line have the same electrical issues or will it not conduct like the old cables? Did I ever need surge protection?
Thanks if anyone knows.
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There is surge protection at the exchange end to protect the exchange equipment.
This would cover the copper section that carries you phone line from the exchange to the Infinity cabinet.
Within the cabinet itself, there will be surge protection on the Infinity equipment which adds the broadband signal to your phone line.
In addition, I would expect that the termination socket that the Infinity modem plugs into, would have the standard lightning protection components.
There is very little anyone can do about a direct lightning strike, but induced voltages can normally be handled by current protection.
Thanks very much for your reply.
If I could clarify; I am unsure what an "Infinity cabinet" is, although I am guessing it is a piece of street positioned hardware that supplies several houses? If so then my concern is if a strike occurred somewhere between that and my hardware. Also, would the termination socket that the Infinity modem plugs part of the hub /router?
The Infinity cabinets are the new cabinets which are normally sited close to existing BT cabinets.
If a strike occured on the short section from the cabinet to your house, then some degree of protection would be given by the existing lightning protection. A large strike would probably damage the cabinet.
I am not sure what sort of protection there is within the modem, however in the past, protection has been done using electronic components (diodes), which do a good job under normal circumstances, but are useless, like everything else, if there is a direct hit.
I know this from experience.
Thanks very much for explaining that. Could I just ask one more thing out of curiosity; is the phone line entering the house fibre optic?
fibre to the cabinet and existing copper wire from cabinet to your home
The line comes in on a normal copper pair from the Infinity cabinet. All that Infinity does is to reduce the length of the copper pair, so its capable of working at a faster rate.
The broadband equipment, that would normally sit in the exchange, is effectivly moved closer to your house. An optical fibre link supplies the Infinity cabinet with a high speed link to the Internet backbone.
I have been pressing this point with BT for several weeks with zero success. Some years ago an electrical storm put an induced current into the copper coming across the road from my DP. What protection there was supposed to be in the phone socket failed to work and my modem was blown. The attending BT engineer ageed that the protection in my termination box was ineffective.
Since that time I have plugged into each phone socket (I have several lines) an in-line surge protection device, of the sort readily available in the market. The phone/broadband filter then plugs into the surge protector.
When my first Infinity line was installed I discovered that the filter is now within the wall box, and there are two sockets. A normal phone surge protector will plug into the phone socket, but BT are unable to tell me how to protect equipment connected to the broadband socket.
I had a further Infinity installation today, and the installing engineer phoned his office to raise the question. The first response was that there is protection within the new style wall box, but shortly after that his office phoned back to say that this is not the case - there is no protection on my side of the DP.
I cannot believe that BT design engineers did not consider the subject, but it seems impossible to get in contact with them. As I understand the situation there are Infinity customers all over the country being served by a vulnerable overhead copper line, and all BT will say is that they will replace a damaged modem! Not good news for my PC or my business! Their other suggestion is to unplug all equipment! A great idea for servers that run 24/7, including when I am out of the country! Should they not be required to commission a manufacturer to produce a suitable item, and advise their customers?
We recently suffered a surge following a nearby lightning strike. It took out the bt infinity router, the bt wireless phone base station and fried the motherboard on my pc via the ethernet cable. Same for my neighbour. There was a wide area fault in the Maidstone area which lasted for about a week. Interestingly, all other ethernet connected devices including the marantz av receiver, sony tv, bt vision box and humax dvr were unaffected. Bt offer no solution or so they said. I am still looking for a credible way to protect the phone line and the ethernet network.