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Message 1 of 11

FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Hello all. FTTP is now available in my area and before I order I wanted to check on the likely process. 

Basically - our current Openreach connection is via a duct into the house which emerges into a plant room. If Openreach can't run there fibre through that duct, and need to run it round the side of the house, I'll want to cancel the order until I can get some proper duct installed, because I don't want unsightly cables stapled to the side of the house. I want to know if this is actually possible. 

Longer version: we built the house in 2009. Copper / DSL comes in via underground duct to a BT Openreach manhole cover at the edge of the front yard. There is then a duct that goes under the house and emerges in a ground floor plant room at the back of the house. There are additional inspection covers for the duct near the front door to aid inspections and cable running. 

My hope is Openreach can pull the fibre optic cable through this duct and into the house without needing to run cable around the outside of the house (or worse, drilling into the front - it's a nice house!).

Is this likely to be possible?

For context, Broadband availability checker says FTTP is available:

Featured Products

Downstream Line Rate(Mbps)

Upstream Line Rate (Mbps)

Downstream Range (Mbps)

Availability Date

FTTP Install Process

WBC FTTP

Up to 1000

Up to 220

--

Available

KCI2 Assure

 

... and confirms that the current line comes in via duct:

"Our records show the following FTTP network service information for these premises:-Single Dwelling Unit Residential UG congested duct.

FTTP is available and a new ONT may be ordered."

Many thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide!

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Message 2 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Assuming you want the ONT in the plant room via the duct from the front I would suggest you get a set of electricians fishing rods and have them already in place for the install engineer to use. The easier you make it for him the more likely he will do it for you.

Depending on distance you may need more than one kit.

A quick search for "electricians fishing kit" brings up many options at reasonable price on ebay, I presume some other electrical suppliers will do so as well.

As regards the congested duct that will have been presumed from the pavement to front of house duct but may be sorted out without a dig on further inspection.

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Message 3 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Something to think about for you - is the plant room at the back of the house the best location for the ONT/BT Hub? Will it be a good location to broadcast the wifi signal from? IBut I'd say it's likely OR will pull the cable in the way you hope for. 

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Message 4 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

@FTTPlease  I think it is fair to say the OP  likes his present set up and would like it to remain the same. He hasn't said if he has internal ethernet throuout his house, just that he wants the ONT installed via the existing duct to the plant room.

It is possible the hub will be located elsewhere other than the plant room via ethernet.

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Message 5 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Many thanks @pippincp for the tip on electricians fishing rods. This may indeed help! I do hope the congested duct is from the pavement to the BT manhole in the garden. 

Yes @FTTPlease, plant room will be optimal. I won't be using the BT hub wifi - I have a network of Ubiquiti Unifi Aps fed over gigabit ethernet. The whole house was built with ethernet in every room. The switch is in the plant room next to the current copper cable. 

I think the question I am really asking is: can OR  fit the CSP (Customer Service Point / customer splice point or whichever acronym OR is using ATM) inside the plant room?

The motivation is that I want to avoid:

  1. putting an ugly CSP on the rather nice brickwork on the front of the house (we built it, my wife's the architect, it's won awards)
  2. long lengths of cable snaking around the house (again, ugly, so we'd need to fit conduit if this was needed).

I believe this is possible, although not certain (for example, see this thread).

The counter argument is that, AIUI. external fibre can generate toxic fumes in a fire, so OR engineers can only run a couple of meters internally. However, this would be ample - see the photo below. In addition the outer sheathing could be stripped back (see this thread). 

Currently the copper comes in from the BT man hole via a wide plastic plumbers pipe so there is likely to be room to bring fibre in too.  The pipe is the usual red-brown colour, in the corner of the floor, with the black cable emerging from the foam. 

IMG_1973.jpeg

There is plenty of space on the wall to replace the master socket with an ONT as well as fitting the CSP with a fairly straight run of internal fibre - or so it seems to me, but I am not a telecoms engineer. 

IMG_1972.jpeg

I suspect fitting a CSP externally on the front, or on the back, will be more work for OR than feeding it through the duct into the plant room. They'd need to drag it through the duct from the OR manhole in the front garden, trail a cable from the duct and then drag it 30m round the house, past 3 or 4 sharp 90 degree turns. 

 

IMG_1904.jpeg

I therefore suspect that fitting the CSP may be possible - as long as I am around when OR does the first visit. If they come and do the external work without an appointment and fit a CSP on the front brickwork, that will be bad!

So I think may question is:

  • Am I right to think an internal CSP is feasible? Or am I kidding myself?
  • Am I likely to be able to check with the OR installer where the CSP goes?

Many thanks again for all your help!

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Message 6 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

First and foremost, we've been pulling through the existing ducts and replacing the old copper boxes with the CSP. Congested or not, the goal is still the same as above. So in summary we're already looking for the easiest solutions early on if the customer has no specific requests. Couldn't guarantee it but an engineer would likely want to fit the CSP in the plant room anyway. 

I've done CSPs in internal garages due to this. Can't see this being that much different. I'd look at this and the simplest option would be to use the duct in place, cleat the fibre along to the master socket and fit the CSP there. I don't disconnect copper however so I've been fitting them parallel to the master socket. If your appointment is the entire process in a single go, I can't see an issue with removing the master socket and placing the CSP in its place.

 

If you want it neat and tidy, get the CSP fitted directly above the duct, capping and all. 

 

(Not a customer facing engineer)

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Message 7 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Many thanks @LazGen for the helpful response. 

Great to hear that putting a CSP in the plant room could be a good solution for OR too. 

CSP parallel to master socket is fine by me. 

I am now hopeful an internal CSP could be a viable way forward! 🙂 

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Message 8 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Quick update. Today, some considerable time after BT thought would be possible, I had a visit from an Openreach engineer to do a survey. 

They were excellent. Knew exactly what they were doing, and had tested feeding cable through from the Openreach plate at the front before he came in.

He then tried from the plant room and found as expected there was the anti-rat / water blocking material in the duct. But he was able to prove to his satisfaction that he'd be able to get the cable through, he'd just need to bring some more blocking material. And he was happy to fit the CSP internally. 

He's planning to come back on Monday to do the job, then BT can do the fibre install.

Looks good so far! 

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Message 9 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

Thanks for the update @Pressure .

It looks like everything is going as planned. 🤞

Keep us updated.

Cheers

David

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Message 10 of 11

Re: FTTP survey and bringing cable in

So, Openreach promised to come back on Monday to finish the install, but actually came back Friday 😁, which was great. 

Two engineers came in and it took them a while due to an angle on the duct that was a bit sharper than was convenient. However, as they pointed out, they have ways of dealing with these kinds of issues and they got thew job finished in a few hours. I was very impressed. 

There is an issue, in that the CSP in the BT box at the front of the house isn't lighting up, but they think that can easily be fixed. 

So all looks good for now and I have a neat fibre install in my plant room waiting to be connected up 🙂

Internal_CSP3.jpg