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Video Guide: How to install a BT I-Plate
Friday 09 January 2009 16:55:43 by John Hunt

BT Wholesale launched the I-Plate last year to broadband providers to help deal with a common problem of interference caused by the telephone wiring inside your house.

The I-Plate can help to both improve the speed and reliability of your broadband connection if you have telephone extensions and a BT NTE5 master socket. If you have an older style faceplate, an NTE5 can be fitted for a fee by BT Openreach by contacting your telephone line rental provider. If you have a new 'Openreach' branded faceplate, this already has the functionality of the I-Plate built in. If you are unsure what kind of phone socket you have, please see our phone socket identification tool to see if you can fit an I-Plate.

We have produced a video which shows how to install the I-Plate on your phone line. Click the image below to see the video.

I-Plate Installation Video

The typical increase in speed based on a sample of 36,000 lines was around 1.5 meg, with some lines improving by up to 4 meg. With ever increase broadband speeds and new services which use ADSL2+, improving your internal telephone wiring can provide a noticeable increase to the speed you may be able to receive so investing in an I-Plate could make a worthwhile improvement.

Users who are happy wiring up their own extensions may get the same speed improvements by removing the ring wire from their master socket, but if you are unsure what you are doing, fitting an I-Plate is a far easier and safer solution. An I-Plate may still help the reliability of the line due to the radio filter it also includes.


Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
A nice video but just a couple of points.
(1) the I-Plate is supplied with self-tapping screws, but older NTE-5 masters have machine treaded screws with brass inserts in the master, so be careful when you fit the longer screws.
(2) The I-Plate does include an RF filter, but filter faceplates and Openreach branded masters do not, so I do not understand why you have mentioned this in the write up, as users of filter faceplates will not need an I-Plate.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Actually the video screws we used are not the ones that came with the iplate--We actually didn't have them on the day we shot the video so we used some that would work - they should be the same as the other ones but longer; We didn't make a point about this as most people wouldn't know.

The benefit of installing an I-plate when you already have an openreach master is far more limited. We did make a note of this in the article but the video had been shot and we didn't feel it was significant enough to change. If BT Wholesale suggest it should be, then we'd look to change the video.
Posted by bosie over 8 years ago
My dad was asking only yesterday, he gained 1Mb afterwards. The video is good idea!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Another very good educational video for the site, well done seb and all the TBB staff, excellent work as always.
Posted by pje1979 over 8 years ago
Is installing an I Plate a waste of time for me? I only have a master socket (no extensions) and by router is plugged directly into the master socket.
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
in situations where the RF filter is of benefit the I-Plate is applicable to any NTE5 master, filtered or not and with or without extensions.

Which situations would benefit from the RF filter I don't know - it's a common mode choke which can reduce line borne interference but I haven't seen any measurements of its real world significance.

A starting point would be to see if the sync speed makes sense for the line attenuation and SNR margin. If you get 8M at 35-40 dB or less on an up to 8M service then you're probably OK as you are.
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
The reason the RF filter is fitted to the I-Plate has nothing to do with broadband. It is there to ensure that telephony is as clear as possible after fitting this as part of the "improve your speed or your money back" service. Customers are less likely to moan if the telephone is now nice and clear, even if bb throughput has still to catch up with the better sync.
Posted by nobby1963 over 8 years ago
Hi All, Just to clarify for me....would I get the same benefits from removing the `ring wire` in my master socket as I would get from the I-Plate ? If I chose removing the `ring wire` option does this mean my phone wont ring ?
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
Hi nobby1963.
Yes you will get the same benefits by removing the ring wire at the master (terminal 3 on the removeable faceplate). the phones will still ring because they will be connected via micro-plugin filters.
Posted by legend3189 over 8 years ago
Does fitting the I-Plate improve the speed for a PC connected to an extension socket or does it only improve the speed for a PC plugged into the I-Plate socket ?
Posted by kev445 over 8 years ago
legend3189: Yes it will make a difference even if your router/modem is on an extension.
Posted by nobby1963 over 8 years ago
Thanks systemx, I will give it a go then !
Posted by andrewdb over 8 years ago
Not sure of any difference but i purchased a adslnation faceplate (also look at clarity & solwise). My one has connections for filtered AND unfiltered extensions on the back - original BT filtered faceplates lacked the latter.

For me the unfiltered extensions connector was abonus as the BT master socket is not in a convenient place to install router. Ive used my faceplate to send filtered & unfiltered signals down the same CAT5e cable to elsewhere with modular faceplates and modules to connect up my router directly and phones. Useful advice on the networking forum.
Posted by andrewdb over 8 years ago
Incidentally using a screwdriver to push the wires into the connectors is not the best way. The cheapy plastic throwaway punch down tools are a little better but pretty useless after a few get a decent "Krohn" punch-down tool (cheaper on ebay) as it makes it soo much easier!
Posted by RepairExpert over 8 years ago
Just a question. I have an XF-1e filter plugged directly into the NTL5 socket and all extensions and ADSL line come from the output of that filter. Does not this high quality filter stop feedback from phone lines and extensions into the ADSL line? So would an I-plate be of any help? I already get around 6Mb on a 6.5Mb IP Profile, and wonder if it would be worth the cost?
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
A XE-1e is more or less the same as a XTE-2005 faceplate filter. It does stop extension wiring from effecing BB. An I-Plate will be of no benfit
Posted by RepairExpert over 8 years ago
Thanks, that's what I thought.
Posted by David-Park over 8 years ago
" If you have an older style faceplate, an NTE5 can be fitted for a fee by BT Openreach by contacting your telephone line rental provider."

Do you know what this charge is?
Seems to be a secret on the BT web site and my 'phone providers, Post Office.
By the way do not want to ring and ask I can't tell what they say.
Posted by TheOldMan over 8 years ago
I was wondering about the period when you first get ADSL and the speed fluctuates for a few days until it settles down. Would I have to contact my ISP and ask them to repeat this period of calibration again after fitting an I-Plate?

I have an up to 8Mbps broadband package with Pipex that connects at about 6880kbps and my Master Socket is downstairs. According to my Netgear 834G router (which is upstairs on an extension socket), Line Attenuation is 32db and Noise Margin is 10db. I'm going to buy one of these to see if there's any speed difference.

Many thanks, great video, great site.
Posted by mr-flibble over 8 years ago
I contacted BT (my ISP) about this not long after it was announced, and at first, its existence was denied. It took a great many emails and phone calls and around 3 weeks before I was pointed to a company which supplied the I-Plate. got the impression that once BT have you as a customer they no longer want to know well, this little puppy is umlikely to be renewing his contract.
Posted by mr-flibble over 8 years ago
ps. I'd have to buy the thing and install it myself. Now that's what I call customer service! NOT!!!
Posted by Rayle88 over 8 years ago
A few weeks ago I asked BT the cost of fitting a new NTE5 as I have a really old type master socket, just wires in and out, they quoted just over £150.
Posted by ironnapper over 8 years ago
About this i-plate, I keep reading that if you have the ring wire removed then there will be no beneift.

Is this 110% the case for everyone or is it possible that for most there is no beneft but for some there is.

Or does it have no chance whatsover of incresing your speed or helping with stability.

Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
It is 110% the case that you will gain nothing. However if you are no convinced, buy one and try
Posted by kev445 over 8 years ago
systemx: Incorrect. The I-Plate has an RF Filter, which means it will also filter out some interference picked up from the exchange to the house. BT are also now saying that the I-Plate will improve BT Openreach sockets, due to the RF filter, it doesn’t just disconnect the ring wire.
Posted by nmg196 over 8 years ago
Is this any different to installing an ADSL filtering face plate?
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
Rubbish, if the filter were to have any effect on interferance in the broadband range, it would also effect broadband itself. The RF filter has no effect whatsoever on BB it is there to improve telephony only (see my previous post on this)
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
A filter face plate is by far the best method of connecting to ADSL broadband. It does much more than the I-Plate, which would still require micro-filters at every used socket.
Posted by ironnapper over 8 years ago
Bit of food for thought there, who's right or wrong.

I don't want to be one just to try, just wondered if it's a dead cert or not be the case.

Can you run extentions from a filter face plate and do you still need microfilters at other sockets not in use, on top of that would you use the i-plate at the test socket or does that defeat the purpose too
Posted by vidman over 8 years ago
Will you benefit from the I-Plate if you get your telephone and ADSL service from Tiscali on an unbundled exchange?
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The I-Plate is not to my knowledge specific to how BT provide it. If your extensions are causing interferences, that would apply to Tiscali in the same way. You could try removing the extension wiring and testing the performance first.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
If you run extensions into the BT filter faceplate (with ADSL v.1.0 as shown on the right hand one of then the extensions will all be filtered so you don't need filters BUT you can only use phones/etc. on them - i.e. no ADSL routers) - if you have another type of faceplate it may have both filtered and unfiltered extension attachments on the back.. i think the inclarity one shown on that photo does for example.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Installing a master socket faceplate filter will require you to rewire your extensions however and it's that which this is designed to address. I guess technically there's nothing to prevent the same idea being used to construct a self-install filter but they'd need to bring the modem/router socket out of it somehow..
Posted by urbanmac over 8 years ago
All the iPlate does is cut out the bell wire, as most modern phones don't require the bell wire to make them ring you can just remove it- jobe done. If you don't believe me just google for it.
Posted by MickY_G over 8 years ago
So this obviously only works if BT is your ISP right? Personally, I don't undertand a thing about this 'I-Plate' thingy. A mate of mine is a BT engineer & owed me a favour. So a few months ago, he changed my one & only phone socket in the hall to be the extension & then ran a cable into the lounge & made that the master socket. He also fitted a BT socket on the main line that also has a filter built into it as well, so now I don't need any filters on any extension at all. Is this socket the same or similar as this 'I-Plate' I keep hearing about? Cheers from confused of Rochester!
Posted by MickY_G over 8 years ago
It's whatever the hell it is, it's made my speed one hell of a lot faster!
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
systemx by filter faceplate you mean the old adsl 2000 plates? I have one of those. My own experiance is the adsl nation face plate is poor (surprisingly mine may have been faulty), the xf1e dangle is good I get better upstream with it, and everything else I have used different dangles, adsl2000 faceplate etc. is about the same. The iplate made no difference to me on synch other than lowering it by about 100-200kbit at night but voice was clearer. I think the filter has a slight negative impact on synch, but if you have extensions it also has a bigger positive impact that cancels it out.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Ive never understood the point in the iplate, you have to remove the cover to fit the thing..... For most just removing the ringwire would have similar effects, and seeing as you have to remove the cover it all seems a bit silly IMO
Posted by nobby1963 over 8 years ago
Just to let everyone know I took the `remove the ring wire` option yesterday. Simple to do ( although in my case I had to move a bookcase to get to my BT master socket! ) I have now got a 1.5 Mb faster conection ( Orange BB ).
Posted by nstrudwick over 8 years ago
Our DSL/phone is unbundled, via Edge Telecom/Trilogy. I put in an iplate yesterday and the router's DSL connection immediately improved. 12 hours later our speed (via this site's tester) went up from 935/370 to 1635/370 (we're a long way from the exchange), so the initial view would seem very positive. We have no fewer than 7 phone extensions so it may help us more than most.

An excellent bit of kit which I got next day for under 9 quid from Kalnet4U on ebay. Now we need better phone lines out in the country...
Posted by Tehidyman over 8 years ago
Just fitted an iplate, video a great help. Instant increase in speed from 2.5 to 4 Mb. Only problem is kit was supplied with what look like self tapping screws which will not tighten down fully on my brass threaded plate. Can anyone advise on what spec. screws I need?.
Posted by Richard_W over 8 years ago
I am a BT customer; I have just spent an hour, really, on the phone with BT trying to find out how much they would charge to replace my current (older) faceplate with an NTE5 or 5A. I still don't have an answer. Most of the BT people I spoke with (sales, customer service, faults, technical, business broadband) didn't seem to understand what a faceplate or an i-plate were. Does anyone know who at BT I would ring to find out how to get the change done? Thank you.
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
The problem is that must of the people you get to speak are sales and they are not familar with terms like "filter faceplate and master socket". I would telephone faults on 151 and explain that you want to fit some extensions but cannot because you do not have a master socket with a removeable faceplate. That should get you a new one.
Posted by gordonalder over 8 years ago
The I Plate works! It took less time to fit than to watch the video. Immediate improvement of 1.2 Mbps. Don't buy one from BT; you can get them much cheaper on the web.
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Tehidyman - The screws you should have received should not be self-tapping; we didn't have the ones that came with the I-Plate when shooting the video. It should come with the screws you need.
Posted by Tehidyman over 8 years ago
"Posted by systemx 6 days ago
(1) the I-Plate is supplied with self-tapping screws, but older NTE-5 masters have machine treaded screws with brass inserts in the master, so be careful when you fit the longer screws".
I have the older NTE-5 master so not sure what to do for the best.
Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
Like Richard_W comment what can we do if we have the very old style master socket (pre NTE-5) that hasn't even got a test socket inside. Very fustrating when you are talking to technical support and they say connect the router to the test socket. "MY SOCKET HASN'T GOT ONE".
Will BT change it to the proper standard master socket?
Posted by Rayle88 over 8 years ago
As my earlier post BT charge just over £150 to replace the master socket, this was confirmed by BT`s CEO as I thought it rather over the top.
Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
Thanks Rayle88
Guess I have to live with my 512kbps, at least I can get broadband not like some poor people. There is no way I am going to pay £150 for a new master socket, plus the costs of this I-Plate in the hope that I might get a bit faster speed especially being that I live in MOD rented accomodation and could get posted anytime.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
jerrymartin - I'd look into if the old style might technically be a fire hazard and thus need updating by the landlord to meet code.
Posted by systemx over 8 years ago
@ Jerrymartin.
Well why not be a devil and change the master yourself; yes I know you are not supposed to but who is going to find out?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"@ Jerrymartin.
Well why not be a devil and change the master yourself; yes I know you are not supposed to but who is going to find out?"

Must admit thats probably what i would do, screw BT and their £150 charge buy the bits yourself and do it for less than a tenner
Posted by seb (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
The I-Plate can help for all sorts of ADSL services. It's not specific to BT (Retail or Wholesale).. Some of the speed improvements may take different amounts of time to take effect so our comment was focussed on BT Wholesale (i.e. most services in this country even if you buy it from someone other than BT at retail level) due to the way implement IP profiles. But it can help with other ADSL broadband services too.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 8 years ago
@ jerrymartin ..carpets right here i got the bits off ebay very esay to fit ..cost me about £15 with a openreach master socket and faceplate filter ..just 2 wires comming in from bt usally orange and white goto a and b terminals ..just be carefull not to short the pair ..
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"@ jerrymartin ..carpets right here i got the bits off ebay very esay to fit ..cost me about £15 with a openreach master socket and faceplate filter .."
Id be an even cheap swine and not even buy a branded BT faceplate lol (nip down to homebase or buy a copy) If BT were to ever come out and they asked questions, id just shrug and say was like that when i moved here. They can hardly prove otherwise and they cant force you to part with 150 to change it :D Dunno what the legalitys are but screw paying them 150 quid to fit a cheap bit of plastic, id say thats more criminal.
Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
Thanks everyone for the advice, I think I will take a look at ebay and do it myself.
Posted by mal-hall over 8 years ago
fitted iplate probably three weeks ago, modem router is on an extension...made not one jot of difference. 5.4 downloading, 0.4 uploading
Posted by Arthur494 over 8 years ago
You do not appear to tell us what to do if we have a non-split faceplate (in Step 2). Mine is identical to the one in the photo with two sockets (both in use). Or am I missing something?
Posted by baddowman over 8 years ago
My recent experience of fitting the BT I-Plate .
I removed the short machine screws. The longer self tapping screws supplied were then used to fix the BT I-Plate to the master socket. I then attempted to undo the self tapping screws , and although they rotated , they did not unscrew themselves. It appears that the threaded metal bushes in the master socket are rotating and cannot be removed because they are moulded into the NTE5 master socket.
So for now I cannot remove the I-Plate at all without destroying the I-Plate and possibly the master socket !
My speed did not change .

Posted by BBSlowcoach over 8 years ago
Reading through these posts, my Iplate experience is as follows - the replacement screws supplied were incorrect. My supplier had looked into the possibility of supplying the correct screws to all customers but found it cost prohibative. I managed to obtain the correct length and thread from an engineering supply company D.J. Evans (Bury) Ltd 01284 754132 for anyone interested.
My 'maximum' speed did not increase but speed has stabilised at the max I appear to be able to achieve, around 1.8mbps. My line speed max is supposed to be 3mbps - I pay for 'up to 8mbps'.
Posted by alexb123 over 8 years ago
My phone down stairs is an old socket however I have a new socket upstairs. If I fit the I-Plate on the socket upstairs it will means the signal has to travel an extra 6 or 7 meters, will this be worth doing? Or will the extra distance lessen the benefit of the I-plate?

Posted by bccowell over 5 years ago
I have just experienced some really stupid CRM from Plusnet. Till recently we had two lines one I did not need, so for the past year I have been attempting to have one disconnected (don’t ask) One was with BT till I moved it to Plusnet this summer & to keep this short. Since the first line was cut off and the tel number ported to the other line we've had interference on the phone calls, DSL is great at 6.5. After 3 weeks of them messing around after I explained the problem, they then said 'if that’s the case' meaning the I plate, that’s your problem. tbc BC
Posted by bccowell over 5 years ago
That’s what I call support! I have just swapped over the other I plate (from the disused line) and the interference is there, but as before not when you connect a phone to the BT socket on the NTE5. I cannot see any filter on the existing boxes, should there be one. The line is wired up stairs and the splitter is located by the router and PABX (we work from home).Does anyone have any suggestions? Cheers BC PS Plusnet offer a great service, but moving home/changing things like this they bomb big time!

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