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G.INP roll-out receives mixed reactions
Monday 13 April 2015 10:25:46 by Andrew Ferguson

A new way to handle noise on Openreach FTTC based lines has been rolling out for a while now and while the promise was great, i.e. some extra speed and error correction without the latency impact of interleaving the reality is a little different.

We believe the great majority of people have noticed no negative impact from G.INP (ReTx) and some are certainly pleased with the extra speed they believe they have gained. Alas not everyone is happy, some are seeing extra latency with AAISP reporting 15ms extra in some cases (which when a non-interleaved FTTC line can see latencies of 7 to 8ms is a big change) and some people with ECI modems (supplied by Openreach or sourced themselves) have found their speeds drop.

  • Retransmission hasn’t been rolled out to our ECI estate yet, although we do have 9,000 ECI lines running under trial conditions and a full roll-out is being considered.
  • We understand that some people may retain old hardware as a ‘back-up’, but there is a risk associated with that once a ReTX policy has been applied. Such units will not immediately reference the correct compatible firmware, so will fail to synchronise when connected to the line.
Comments on G.INP from Openreach

Openreach did express some surprise when we pointed out that people had at times being supplied with an ECI modem in a Huawei cabinet area when engineer installs were the norm. We suspect that many of the problems reported where ECI hardware is used is down to things like this, the Huawei HG612 modem was always the more popular device with the tech savvy as it was easy to unlock and thus allow people to track the line stats.

ECI modems need a firmware upgrade to work with G.INP and the way this should work is that ECI hardware connected to a ECI cabinet will see the firmware update pushed to the modem before G.INP is turned on. Of course if someone is away on holiday for a couple of weeks, or the hot-spare modem that a home worker might keep will not see this firmware update and at this time what would happen is that the modem simply refuses to sync. It has been reported on our forums that a DLM reset will resolve the problem and push the new firmware once more, but apparently this is not the correct procedure for providers to use with Openreach saying 'the ISPs should be aware of this and how to deal, because the product spec was communicated and the effect on some lines anticipated'. So what exactly is the correct procedure we don't know - maybe a trade secret.

BT Home Hub 5 Type A is another device that is reported to suffer problems in terms of connecting at slower speeds after G.INP is enabled, with the Type B working perfectly. Some other third party hardware may need firmware updates too to benefit from G.INP but it is easy for people to download the file and update a routers firmware, worst case you have to visit a public Wi-Fi hot-spot to download the firmware.

Those who were involved in the original 2000/2001 ADSL roll-out remember similar pain over firmware updates with the original locked down hardware and we are sure that Openreach is looking forward to the day when it can effectively stop supporting millions of VDSL2 modems, but while the range of third party hardware is increasing the choice is still limited and people may be hesistant to spend large sums when vectoring support is still a bit of an unknown. Popular combined VDSL2 modem/router options appear to be the Billion 8800 NL at £67, Billion BiPAC 8800 AXL at £132 (802.11ac dual band) and the 802.11ac Asus DSL-AC68U at £170 (the Asus is believed to need a firmware update to work with G.INP). The high price tags commanded by the better devices show why the third party trade in Openreach modems is so large as cheaper and router options result when you just need an Ethernet WAN port.

Perfect world, ECI would make available a way of getting the G.INP compatible firmware onto their hardware other than it being pushed out by Openreach. The winners are probably going to be those on eBay selling the HG612 modems.


Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
My type A HH5 has been fine. The downstream speed is fractionally faster. Despite all the discussions on increasing x-talk, I now have faster speeds downstream that 16 months ago when it was first installed.

However, more importantly, the sync is now rock solid. Previously it would re-sync roughly once a day. Now it never seems to lost sync. The only disconnection has been for a complete router restart.

I'm not surprised "wrong" modems got used at times. People take short-cuts, and I'm sure when engineers found the "wrong" modem still worked, they ended up using what was in the van.
Posted by dogbark over 2 years ago
Thats because your connected to an ECI cabinet and G.INP hasn't been rolled out to ECI

My HH5 Type A on my Huawei cab is rubbish
Posted by bobs188 over 2 years ago
My HH5 A is also poor.

My speed has gone down from 55 to 49 Kbps but more importantly the connection stutters especially when streaming Netflix.
Pings remains the same at 11ms to
Posted by The_Voyager over 2 years ago
I'm on an ECI cabinet and was given a Huawei HG612 modem on my install a few years back, not that I use it, My Fritz! 7390 works just fine, and has been updated to handle G.INP - we'll wait and see !!
Posted by David-Park over 2 years ago
Not noticed any difference, think modem is ECI, my ISP Plusnet say non of their lines have been changed.
I do not find above article clear as it is written giving the impression we have the new system.
Posted by fenlandbroadband over 2 years ago
I had my FTTC engineer installed (BT Openreach engineer) last month and it's a Huaewi cabinet but an ECI modem was installed - am I meant to have a Huaewi one? For reference I'm also on Plusnet same as the poster above.

My speed tests on TBB appear ok as far as I can tell, and the burst speeds even going a tiny amount above the "80/20" somehow!?, but no idea if G.INP is having an affect on the line or not.
Posted by terrencemorgan over 2 years ago
I'm on a Huawei cab and was given a ECI modem by a Kellys installer in the middle of last year. I'm keeping it as a spare as I currently use a Draytek Vigor 2860. If I plug in the ECI will it need a DLM reset to work?
BTW according to my 2860 not only is G.inp enabled but vectoring is also active (cab 17, Maesteg exchange)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
It would need the firmware, and DLM Reset is what people say, but Openreach say its not the right way to do it and ISP know the right way.

I did ask for method but got no answer, i.e. so can tell people what to ask for.
Posted by stanman24 over 2 years ago

I have been using the new tp link w9980 vdsl router and this is by the far most stable piece of kit I have found on vdsl lines never mind the cheap price of £65

In all honesty it is worth a review as functionality wise it like using a commercial peice of kit
Posted by tommy45 over 2 years ago
@fenlandbroadband G.inp may not have been activated on your line yet, as not every end user on the cab will be, But should it happen you will notice a lower IP profile result on the BTW PT, and your base latency will increase by some 15ms or more, as the ECI isn't compatible with G.inp without a firmware upgrade, So a reduction in sync speed and increase in latency are big clues
Posted by tommy45 over 2 years ago
My Supplied ECI modem, no longer operates properly due to G.inp being enabled on my circuit, lucky for me i have a HG612 eh BT openwound? as they do not give a stuff clearly
Posted by 19nbg71 over 2 years ago
the engineers installing the equipment should of matched the modem to the cabinet
Posted by David-Park over 2 years ago
tommy45 The firmware upgrade you refer to will it definitely happen, who will send it the modem maker, Plusnet or BT/OR?
After it do speeds and ping revert to what we have now?
Posted by David-Park over 2 years ago
19nbg71 Plusnet sent it in the post like they did the router. OR Engineer did not attend house as I was already on fibre with Sky. So no matching done by an OR Engineer.
Posted by Badger67 over 2 years ago
"Openreach did express some surprise..."
I had an ECI (Black) street cabinet when a Kellys engineer supplied an ECI VDSL modem. The cabinet has recently been changed to a Huawei (Green) cabinet, so where does that leave me ? up a certain creek ?
"Perfect world, ECI would make available..."
Who locked the firmware on the ECI modem ? ECI or BT/Openreach ? If the latter it's BT's problem to sort as no-one has been given the choice of modem for some time. All have received ECI units as the engineer's say "that's all that's on the van"
Posted by jelv over 2 years ago
I'm due an install tomorrow - cabinet is a Huawei. I wonder which modem I'll be given?
Posted by Badger67 over 2 years ago
It depends who your ISP is and if you're due to get a router with integrated VDSL modem or not. If it's a separate VDSL modem my money is on an ECI. Ask the engineer if he has a Huawei modem on his van and report back what he says.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago

I've no idea what makes you so certain I'm on an ECI cabinet. What I can say for absolute certain is something changed on 21st March, and since then sync has remained absolutely solid and I've had marginally faster downstream speeds.

Before that, a perusal of the log confirms that there was a resync on most days, sometimes more than one.
Posted by lockyatlrg over 2 years ago
Lolworthy that BT think that ECI modems was not used on Huawei cabinets, who are they trying to kid?
Posted by tommy45 over 2 years ago
@David-Park the company that is responsible for this mess BT openreach as it is their part of the ship the ISP has zero control over Cab to NTE related stuff
Posted by Terranova over 2 years ago
So ECI cabs are only being considered what has changed ? those that were supposedly in the know stated the ECI rollout would start in the first financial quarter well that isn't true or are BTO lying about what is going on ?

as some one on a ECI cab this news isn't very good at all, those on Huawei cabs at least have G.INP and options, ECI cab users don't even have that.
Posted by jroadley over 2 years ago
Got in early and got a Huwaei modem off ebay - put in front of my type A HH5 and now fastest connection I've ever had 79999/20000
Posted by Ex_Sky_and_Happy over 2 years ago
I am on a Huawei cab and got G.INP weeks ago.
After an Openreach Engineer visit to fix a line fault I now don't have G.INP.
So G.INP is not permanent either once you get it.
Plusnet are not concerned by this and Openreach are 'beyond reach' as usual.
Best of luck everyone.
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