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A massive surprise

As I was driving home, I noticed wires hanging down from the phone pole at the end of the road.

Oh no. What have the local farmers done this time?

Then I released that the phone line was okay. The wires? Something else.

Another line
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from somewhere else.

There was a loop of cable at the final pole before my property. Whoever was fitting it probably wasn't willing to deal with trees.

It's... uh... massive. Like, they do know there's only one nerd at the end of this wire, right?

How many wires?
A ridiculously thick cable for one property!

I noticed writing on the cable, so I decided to read it. Obviously. ☺

This is what?
Wait, this is what?

It's a Prysmian Flextube Optical Cable. As in, fibre is now within twenty metres of the house.

Don't get excited just yet, it's a work in progress and there's all the infrastructure to deal with, but it seems that the Mayor said he wanted everybody in the commune hooked up at the same time, not just the ones in the village itself. And, so, it looks like soon (for an unknown value of "soon") it won't take hours to upload a few minutes of HD video.

But, all the same, it's exciting. Finally fibre has come around here. And, I should point out, I live in the back of beyond.
Things of interest around here? Well, that depends upon what you think about pretty scenery. Otherwise, you'd better like looking at cows and corn. ☺

Fibre speed is, theoretically, up to 1Gbit/sec download (~128MiB/sec), and up to 600Mbit/sec upload (~75MiB/sec), though I think the contract I have is limited to 400Mbit/sec upload (~50MiB/sec). At any rate, the servers and infrastructure will be the limiting factors, not the connection, assuming there are no contention issues to worry about.

To put this into context, my current upload rate is 60-70KiB/sec. That's kilobytes (of the non-SI type). It's no wonder I don't like uploading high def videos larger than a couple of minutes. Takes ages. To go from kilobytes a second to megabytes a second would make a huge difference.

For download, it's less of a necessity. My main downloads are Netflix, streaming radio, and websites. As I am on the cheapy tariff, I don't have UHD or the like to worry about. I wouldn't anyway, I typically watch stuff on my phone (!). So, in terms of download speed, faster is always better, but I think it'll make less of an impact than boosting the upload rate.

Oh, just thought... my WiFi might also be a limiting factor. 😂


Still, this is definitely reason to put the kettle on and have a cuppa, right?



Your comments:

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Rob, 24th February 2023, 23:07
Nice one! 
Meanwhile I'm in an inner-city estate and no sign of fibre or cable. Best we have is VDSL which gets me ~35Mbps down, 9ish up. At least its better than when I moved here; the Mrs had been turned down for the original 512kbps service as the line was too crap. I found an ISP willing to allow it.
J.G.Harston, 25th February 2023, 00:43
Ironically, I live *too* *near* the exchange to get a decent speed. The exchange is on the other side of the road from me, and it's uneconomic to dig across that one road to replace the cable to my pole. 
But then, I'm not into huge data transfers either.
Anon, 25th February 2023, 09:57
BT are currently digging up all the roads around here to lay fibre. It's been a nightmare for traffic (on Thursday they'd blocked off both ends of my road for the day and left no vehicular access in or out of my road, the only option was to park on a nearby street and walk across) but hopefully it'll be worth the hassle. 
We do currently have FTTC (Fibre to the cabinet) here, with a VDSL link over the last few hundred feet of copper. At present I'm getting 44Mbit down, 8Mbit up, which I'm sure has dropped from when I first upgraded. I could have sworn that I was getting 60Mbit down, 20Mbit up when I first changed from copper ADSL to FTTC / VDSL. I took screenshots at the time off the router's status page as I couldn't quite believe the speeds I was getting. 
Ah well. FTTP (Fibre to the premises) coming soon. Not sure how that'll affect my BT landline though, I think that switches to VoIP over VDSL, with a separate fibre coming in for the ISP (which isn't BT).
another anon, 26th February 2023, 09:53
The cost is really in the labour than it is in the fibre itself, and since it’s not tied to global commodity prices like copper is, from a process / stock handling perspective it likely works out to just put the same beefy “trunk” cables in place everywhere regardless of how many might get used. Or they might have other plans for them. 
You might get a new router for FTTP (possibly with wifi 6) anyway, that seems to be the trend elsewhere. 
BT has been going around and doing the same here, as has a third party (using BT’s ducts, so you wonder how it is really “competition”). I can’t get either as flats are deemed “special”. The “back of beyond” near here has had FTTP for years.
David Pilling, 26th February 2023, 12:54
BT FTTP is coming here too - there is competition, another company that has put up huge masts with arrays of microwave dishes on top and decked the streets with new telephone poles - don't like the aesthetic tough luck - they say planning laws allow them to do this. 
(better say that down my actual street, only BT seem to be involved and it is all underground, the pole growth is nearby)
Rick, 26th February 2023, 13:59
I'll need a new router for fibre. Dealing with copper is useless if the incoming is optical. ;) 
There are lots of new poles going up around here. It's cheaper than putting the cables underground. 
Rick, 26th February 2023, 14:00
Quicker too, my poles (half a kilometre) were sorted while I was at work. Meanwhile it took two months to put the cables underground in the village (similar distance). 
David Pilling, 26th February 2023, 17:12
Looking forward to my new connection, I looked at what BT are doing. Seemingly a new junction box on the outside of your house (fibre to fibre), then a receiver box inside your house, that box requires mains power. Fibre on one side, Ethernet on the other. BT then give you a home hub router/WiFi (ether input), that also needs mains power. 
Unlike the old phones, power is your responsibility. 
I don't like utility poles. For some reason always remind me of scenes in Blade Runner. 
Rick, 26th February 2023, 17:34
Utility poles remind me of Serial Experiments Lain. I half expect them to make eerie sounds. 
Here's an edited example - interesting to note the changes of pitch. 
Rob, 26th February 2023, 19:25
We're all underground cables around here. I've got a BT manhole right outside the house, but no idea if there are ducts under the front yard or if it's just "Bury the cable in the mud." The cabinet isn't far away, as the crow flies, but I gather the cables snake about all over the place first, hence the poor signal for the distance.  
There's ducting and manholes on the main road put in by NYNEX for cable TV in the 90s, but then never used. (The one street cabinet is vandalised with some hefty coax sticking out of the ground.) I've tried suggesting to the current cable TV people they might like to use it, abd give the estate the option, but they are either disinterested or can't trace the infrastructure.
Anon, 27th February 2023, 18:38
My main BT cable comes in through the downstairs toilet. (The smallest room I mean, not through the sewer pipes. That would bring a whole new meaning to someone saying 'the internet connection is crap'.) It then goes up through the ceiling, under the floor on the landing and drops down into the 'server room' (actually a re-purposed cupboard that was originally used for ducted air heating when the house was built back in the 1970s). 
It then runs directly into a pair of NTE5 boxes (used to have two lines), the old fax line (now unused) still has the ADSL splitter on the faceplate, the voice line now has a VDSL splitter. The router plugs into this. 
Not quite sure which way fibre can be routed as I'm not sure of the minimum bend radius. I'm thinking it may have to go up along the same route as the phone cable until it goes into the floor space above the downstairs toilet, then stick the fibre-Ethernet bridge under the floor. Power can be supplied via an extension cable that plugs into the UPS (that already powers the router, gigabit switch, two servers and DECT phone base station). 
Better still, the fibre can run to where the existing BT NTE5 socket is, and everything (including the bridge) can be accessible but still hidden away. 
It's a few months off so I've got a while to plan.
Austin, 28th February 2023, 12:49
Hi Rick, is there a French website that gives approximate timescales for fibre arriving in a commune? Ours (in 79110) suffers along with ADSL2 (I get about 12/0.8) but I'm desperate to get even FTTC, since I'd be able to access the CCTV system properly. In the UK we've got 910/100 although in truth that level of bandwidth only really gets used up for speed-check bragging!

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