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Message 1 of 21

Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

Hi

I cannot get a broadband connection in my property as there's some sort of fault on the aluminium line somewhere between my house and the cabinet (which is around 1m away). The engineer at the time said he tried a couple of things like switching ports in the cabinet and using a test line but had no luck, so he concluded there must be an issue with the connections between the house and cabinet.

Now that they're starting to switch off all copper/aluminium lines and putting everyone onto FTTP, I'm curious about how this will actually be achieved. I'm in a rural location and I think (?) that with FTTP there is no longer any need for a cabinet and instead the fibre is connected directly from the exchange (around 1.5m away) to the property - is that correct?

If so, isn't that going to entail new roadworks etc. in order to install new lines? What's the most common method of delivering new fibre cables to remote locations?

My concern is that that the cost/benefit analysis won't stack up for the few properties in my area and so we'll still be left with no service and still have to rely on 4G, which itself can only achieve 10mbps and which is fast feeling obsolete.

I'm just looking for any information on the rollout process so I can help manage expectations, so any insight would be appreciated!

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Message 2 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

@KnewBee 

Despite what you read in the press, copper is staying, and will be with us for a very long time, so if you do not have the option of FTTP, you are stuck on an ADSL line connected to the local exchange.

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Message 3 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

As been mentioned hundreds of times, the is no imminent copper pair switch off , as individuals get access to FTTP , there can be encouragement to move onto the FTTP network , but there is no wholesale copper pair switch off , the only thing being turned off is the PSTN telephone network, some people will be on copper pairs for many more years , if copper pairs are the only network they have access to .

If your property hasn’t some restriction to having Openreach network access ( like a builder that locked Openreach out of the development , or you live on someone else’s land and they refuse or place financial or logistical barriers towards Openreach providing or repairing network ) then having a faulty cable between your address and the copper cabinet is irrelevant , that is not a reason to refuse service.

Any one ordering a service , or with a pre-existing service, if a service cable is faulty  it’s repaired, if it’s irreparable it’s replaced, there is no such thing as Openreach shrugging their metaphorical shoulders and saying ‘sorry , we have arbitrarily decided, no service for you’ ,

BT have a Universal service obligation for telephony and later for ‘ broadband’ that guarantees a certain level of service, but it also comes with a limit , if someone ( for example) chooses to live in a converted barn , on a mountainside , miles  away from civilisation, they cannot expect to get service without a contribution towards the costs , should the total costs exceed the USO allowance, a USO for broadband solution can also include mobile, so if landline based broadband is ( for example ) 6Mb , that’s not USO compliant, but if 10Mb mobile is available, then the USO is satisfied.

Its not clear to me what your point is , that Openreach have not provided you with broadband , or that Openreach broadband is not as fast as you require and therefore you chose to use mobile.

 

If your service is delivered by telegraph poles , when FTTP becomes available, as it eventually will , the chances are the same poles will deliver FTTP 

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Message 4 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

Thanks for the replies

The engineer said that they can't fix whatever the fault is, and I was told the USO doesn't apply as as the 'minimum decent speed' was 10mbps, which the 4G sites say they can deliver (although tbh it often falls below that down to 5-8mbps).

They're apparently upgrading the local exchange and it's that part I'm interested in and would like to find out more about the process and what it is they're actually upgrading

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Message 5 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

@KnewBee 

Only Openreach would know that, but do not reveal commercially sensitive plans.

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Message 6 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

Yes, fibre to the premises will indeed require a lot of new fibre optic cables to be installed. This is already going on, judging by the number of roadworks I encounter with Openreach or their contractors. As you say, for outlying rural areas this isn't going to be economic so I suspect that it will be a VERY long time before houses in such areas get FTTP - if they get it at all. Such houses either have, or will get, fibre to the cabinet, though, so will remain reliant on copper cables from the cabinet to the house for broadband.
Your post says that your copper (or aluminium?) connection isn't working at all, so I assume that you have never had an analogue phone connection either?
One way to force BT/Openreach to repair your connection (since it appears they are unwilling at present to do this) would be to apply for a phone/broadband package. The phone will now be provided by digital voice, but that also requires a broadband connection, and both will have to be supplied via a copper cable from cabinet to your house, so they'll have to install a working one, or repair the existing one.
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Message 7 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

To clarify, when I say "not working" I mean that it can't achieve the minimum speeds they advertised and it was constantly dropping out altogether, which then required a router restart. The engineer basically said it was completely unreliable and that I should cancel the installation, which I did. 

You're correct in saying I've never had an analogue phone line either for the same reason. 

I've been relying on 4G ever since but as I say that's starting to struggle as the strains we place on it get larger all the time. I'd enquired about one of the voucher schemes but was told I was ineligible as the local exchange is due to be upgraded within 12 months, and after reading a little about the switch-off I was hoping that, this time, I might actually be included in the new works as they'll have to connect everyone eventually, right? However, once I started thinking about the practicalities of it all I thought that, as before, they'll leave me out as being uneconomical and I'll be left having to seek alternate solutions but by that time the voucher schemes may have ended.

I feel like I'm wasting time, waiting for the upgrade works to be finished in 12 months' time only to find out at that point I'm not included, and then potentially missing out out on the voucher schemes.

I appreciate that no-one has any in-depth plans or insight, but I was curious as to what other people's experiences with the upgrades are and what is usually in / out of scope when they're in the local areas.

 

 

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Message 8 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

How long ago was it you attempted to get a connection? Have you enquired since as an FTTC cabinet may have been installed in the meantime.

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Message 9 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

It's been around 7 years, but the cabinet was already FTTC then. 

As the issue is between the cabinet and the premises, I was told I'd need to wait to until FTTP was available before anything could change

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Message 10 of 21

Re: Copper/Aluminium Switch Off

So its an FTTC connection you are talking about, not an ADSL one?

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