Monday, 31 October 2011

Fibre Broadband - the first week

OK, it's been about 7 days now, and how's the Fibre broadband been? Well, I'm above the 9Mbps threshold...providing I connect direct to the router! Yes, my Homeplugs are a bottleneck. If I plug a laptop directly into the router I can get about 32Mbps download, which is about full speed. Speed tests on PC connected via Homeplugs only max out at 11Mbps.

Needless to say I have ordered some replacement Homeplugs - the 200Mbps variety. Other than that, it's so fast, and yet so smooth. The ability to get content that used to take hours, in only a few minutes, is phenomenal.

The increase in Allowance is amazing too. I was restricted to 13GB per month during Peak hours. Admittedly Peak was between 4pm and Midnight, but still we didn't do much more than 120GB of usage per month, and about 40GB of that was overnight anyway.

Now Peak is between 8am and Midnight, but the Allowance is now 120GB. Which equates to just under 4GB a day. We're currently doing between 1.5 and 2 per day so far.

All in all a resounding success. Now all I need is to find a buyer for the old router and the slower Homeplugs....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fibre Broadband - The 3rd Day

Well it's quick, I'll say that for it! 9Mb/s according to (that's 9 Mega bits per second). Which equates to about 1.1MB/s (that's 1.1 Mega bytes per second).

Which is a bit slow for fibre. According to the BT engineer (and Plusnet) I should be getting 32 Mb/s...around 4 MB/s.

I'm not complaining exactly. After all, it's a pretty good speed hike so far - almost 4 times faster than my old 2Mb ADSL. But I'd like to know if it's going to increase, and if so, when. Or if not, why not.

The new allowance looks good - 120GB a month as opposed to 13. Obviously for the new generation of streaming web apps. Well, I won't be doing much streaming at 1MB/s, will I?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fibre Day - the Day After

Well I had intended to add to to yesterday's post...but I've had no internet.

Engineer turned up about 11am, with instructions to just fit the fibre modem and activate the line. No setting up of equipment. Which was fine, since I had no equipment. The router I'd ordered from Plusnet hadn't arrived. The engineer fitted the modem, activated the line and tested it. All green from the Exchange end. Except I had no router. My ADSL was now Fibre, and hence my old Modem/Router was now unusable.

The engineer said he did have a Plusnet router in the van, for testing purposes. If Plusnet authorised it, he could give me that. We rang Plusnet. They okayed it with the engineer and also apologised for the fact that they had been having stock problems, and the router was only being posted today. Unfortunately the standard lead time is 3-5 working days! In consolation they knocked a week off my next bill.

The engineer got the modem out...only to find out it was a standard Thompson ADSL router. So as much use as my old Netgear. So there we were. No broadband for 3-5 days. OK, I could cope, but the kids were devastated. A 13 year old with an Xbox who can''t connect to XBoxLive? Disaster!

Anyway, just had a phone call from the wife. The router has arrived by Courier. Hooray!! So I'll see how easy it is to set up this evening...

Oh and by the way, the problems I experienced yesterday? Yes, it was the Switch. It has finally broken and was dragging the whole network down to 10Mb/s. I've bought a new one.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Fibre Day #1

It's the day of the big changeover. The engineer is booked in for today. So far nothing has happened.

Actually that's not true. Something odd's going on, and I don't know if it's related to the change from ADSL to fibre or not. Amy complained almost immediately this morning that the internet wasn't working. I checked, and sure enough it wasn't. Did the usual "switch everything off and on again" and it came back. However something's up with our PCs' network cards. Yes PC plural. We have 4 that are on most of the time. Two Windows XP and a couple of Linux boxes (Freenas and Mandriva). All were reporting they were connected to a 10Mbs network instead of the usual 100.

Unless my switch has decided to go wrong, this seems to be from the router. I can only surmise it's to do with the fact that we're switching over today. We had an email from Plusnet saying "your product change is now complete", and a look at their site confirms I am now on Fibre broadband (even though I'm not yet). I'll wait and see what happens when the engineer comes.

Friday, 14 October 2011

FTTC available in my area!

Ok, just did a BT line check today and found that Fibre Broadband has been enabled at my exchange. I can get up to 36Mbs FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet). I check Plusnet's site (my current ISP) and sure enough the upgrade to Fibre is now available on the "Change Product" section.

I've looked into this procedure a lot, and there don't appear to be any terrible pitfalls. There is the fact that my current modem/router is a long way away from my PCs, so I have to use HomePlugs to bridge the gap through the electrical mains. This could cause a bottleneck if it is less than the speed to the internet. I check, and most of my Homeplugs are running at 50-60Mbs. So they're faster than the internet. Good.

The connection to Andrew's room is slightly slower (30Mbs) but he only plays his Xbox and we're currently getting 2Mbs on ADSL so he'll notice the speed jump.

I drop into the Plusnet forum and ask whether I can keep my current static IP. The answer is yes. Fibre is go!