New customers ordering a fibre based FTTC service from PlusNet will now not need to be home on the day the upgrade happens as the provider has switched to the self-install version for those upgrading after 17th December 2015.
This move from engineer led installs to self-installs coincides with the PlusNet Hub One launch which is a ADSL2+/VDSL2 modem/router so there is no need anymore for the Openreach VDSL2 modem. The Hub One will be recognisable as it is actually a BT Home Hub but rebadged for PlusNet and is an improvement on previous models PlusNet offered as it supports 802.11ac.
There are some downsides to the Home Hub family, they usually block incoming pings and cannot be configured, so line monitoring using tools like our Broadband Quality Monitor system will not work, and thus some people will want to replace the hardware and devices like the TP-Link W9980 at £59.99 offers a budget dual band wireless modem/router (802.11a/b/g/n) or for those with a larger budget there is the Netgear Nighthawk D7000 at £139.99 with 802.11ac,a,b,g,n wireless support.
One downside of self-install can be that people do not realise that VDSL2 is more sensitive to poor phone wiring in the home, e.g. a spiders web of phone extensions, so the recommendation to fit an interstitial face-plate filter is high on the list. This removes the impact that extension wiring can have and by placing the modem/router at the master socket you are reducing the distance the signal has to travel slightly too. The faceplate filters are not that expensive at £10 to £15 given the speed boost they give to some people. Another hint, while behind the TV may seem a great spot to place a router so it is out of sight, the radio interference can be bad amongst all the power supplies and wiring and the big TV will also block a chunk of your wireless signal.