Since December 2019 I've been experiencing issues attempting to upgrade my service. When I first signed up in Jan 2018, I had options ranging from 50mb to 300mb. I started with 50mb. Some time in 2019, I attempted to upgrade to 300 only to discover that I wasn't able to upgrade via the BT website. I called BT and they moved me to 75mb (an option also not showing on the website, but said that they'd look into why 300mb wasn't showing as available).
In June 2020 I received an email saying that 'you've been chosen' with links to upgrade to 100mb, 500mb, or 900mb. I attempted to upgrade to 900mb and had the same issue as before - unable to upgrade via the BT website. I called up BT who informed me that 900mb wasn't available in my area yet (although the BT website confirmed my address, postcode and house name, as being able to receive these speeds). Instead I was told that 300(330) was available, and so I upgraded to that.
6 months have passed and the BT website states my address can receive anything from fibre essential 36mb up to 900mb - but still I'm unable to upgrade to 900mb (or 500mb for that matter), and the openreach site shows I can get up to 1gigabit too.
After speaking with the BT broadband / upgrade team - they said I should be able to get it and contacted the full fibre team on my behalf who said I couldn't get it. The upgrade team said I should speak to connections - I spoke with them but they said they dealt with copper / FTTC rather than FTTP. Still, they checked into it and also said I should be able to get fibre 900. They suggested I speak directly with the full fibre team - so I did. They confirmed after doing a tech check that I couldn't get fibre 900, only up to 300(330). However, they mentioned that it might be because my ONT (modem) was old which made sense and has lead me to find out that fibre 900 is not available on ECI telecom hardware - only Nokia and Huawei. Reading some more, it's not possible to just change out the ONT, as the head end (which I believe is at the exchange) would also need to be changed out.
So the short of it is:
> How do I confirm I'm on ECI head end? I'm pretty certain I'm on ECI ONT / Modem and I think ECI ONT = ECI head end.
> Presumably the exchange now has the hardware to offer fibre 900, but I'd need to be switched over - or is there more to it than that?
> If I could be switched over at the exchange, I'd also need a new ONT / Modem to match whether it's Huawei or Nokia at the exchange.
> Or is it just a case of waiting until BT upgrade the exchange and then contact me to upgrade the modem too - will that ever happen? It seems unlikely.
If I'm completely wrong, it'd be helpful to know too as so far I've pieced this together from my last call with the full fibre team and then various articles across the internet.
Thanks in advance
If you have an ECI ONT I guarantee you the Head End will also be ECI because unlike VDSL Modems ONT’s are not interchangeable, i.e. ECI ONT’s will only work on ECI Head Ends like Nokia will only work on Nokia Head Ends.
Based on the serial number of the ONT starting with ECI, I'm assuming it is and that confirms what I've found about not being able to mix ECI ONT with Huawei / Nokia head ends.
As I edited out the MAC, I spotted the ECI Telecom LTD brand on the bottom left of the sticker which probably confirmation enough 😅, but here is the back anyway. Can't believe I didn't spot that part before. That's point 1 covered then.
I guess it's a question to BT full fibre how I can be switched over to non-ECI (if that's possible) once bt / openreach are able to begin installs / changes again.
Has anyone got any experience of that and any success?
Perhaps you missed the part where @Starwire explained if the ONT is ECI then the head end will be ECI, and that the 2 have to be the same. Therefore for you to move away from ECI would entail not only changing the head end but every customer off that head end.
I’ve heard rumours Openreach are going to swap out ECI Head Ends with Nokia and or Huawei.
If and how that would be done I don’t know but I’m I’d imagine it would be a logistical nightmare as they’d need to swap out all the ONT’s on that particular Head End at the same time to avoid people being without Service.
So I am in the very same situation as the OP. I have 300mbps, checker shows 900mbps availability, but a "line check" on order limits me to 300.
I have an ECI ONT, thus an ECI head end in the exchange that is limiting the max capacity.
There is however, light at the end of the tunnel (I hope).
The fact that 900 shows as avaiable at your address indicates that the network on your street is fed from different head ends. You are probably on blown fibre, and there has been an overlay of the more modern and cheaper to install connectorised block terminal system, routed to a Huawei or Nokia head end.
I have a complaint open with BT at present to resolve this, and to be fair they have been very understanding and worked with me to find a solution.
Initially they took the question to openreach, who it seems said "No, 300mbps is the max, goodbye" which wasn't helpful. I am currently in the process of a "cease and reprovide" to see if that works. In brief, my service is to be cancelled and another (for 900mbps) is then ordered. The new order system might just see the ECI service at my address and say no, 300 max, or it might trigger a complete new install to the connectorised system and a 900 mbps capable head end.
If the ordering system does still say no, there is a final method I discussed with BT. Whilst keeping my current service live, order a second, 900mbps service. This will then be fed from the newer equipment. The key here will be to ensure that it is ordered as a complete new provide, not a SUB-provide - this would simply liven up port two of the existing ECI ONT, and hence would only be capable of 300mbps! Once the completely new service is live, the old ECI service is obviously ceased.
So there you go. A possible solution. I will keep yo uup to date as we go, currently all I can see is my cease date, next Tuesday 23rd. Wish me luck!