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New Openreach tool less master socket appearing shortly
Thursday 04 August 2016 12:13:09 by Andrew Ferguson

The existing NTE5 master socket has been around for a decade and the rise of tool less connectors has made it into this arena with the news that the new NTE5C will be standard kit by the end of summer 2016.

For the curious there is a set of user instructions that show the new socket and its accompanying MK 4 VDSL filter that also has tool less IDC connectors. The back part will obviously still use screws to fit the wall box, but after that the faceplates and wiring are all tool less.

"We’ve informed all communication providers about the new socket and used extensive feedback from engineers and customers to design it.

Our goal is to enhance customer service. So, when a customer calls about a fault and is asked to check their own wiring, they won’t have to crawl about on their hands and knees using a screwdriver to detach the front cover.

The new socket will be standard issue by the end of the summer. Openreach will replace the NTE socket in the majority of customer visits, but replacement of all sockets is also under consideration.

The new design means that faceplates can be easily removed and replaced which makes it easy for customers to self-install a new faceplate if needed. This could greatly reduce engineers’ visits to customers

Carl McCullagh is an operational readiness manager for Openreach

The new design means that people who obtained their own interstitial VDSL/ADSL faceplate will need a new one if the NTE5C is fitted, and we presume that Openreach would simply fit a MK4 faceplate at the same time as any visit where a new NTE5C was installed. There is apparently what would be a mammoth undertaking to replace all existing sockets with the new NTE5C, which obviously would take some time given the 33 million phone lines in the UK, but would be a great opportunity to resolve many of the wiring issues that affect ADSL/ADSL2+ and VDSL2 connections, i.e. fixing the spiders web of wiring that has evolved since everyone could fit their own extensions.


Posted by gsmlnx 9 months ago
Might just be a bad photograph in the PDF linked to , but the MK4 sockets have no markings as to use i.e. no phone nor internet symbol or labels.
I can see people trying to force the wrong cable into the wrong socket here.
Posted by _Mike_B_ 9 months ago
The sockets are out there now and are being fitted.

@gsmlnx No you're right, there's no labels on the front of the SSFP. The left socket is for broadband and the right for phone. They do look slightly different when you actually see the thing though.
Posted by PaulKirby 9 months ago
Hey I wouldn't mind testing one of those with the MK4 face plate :)

Anyone know when they are starting to install them ?

@gsmlnx - Yeah, I was going to say that, I was able to get the square peg in the round one as a child LOL, so it will happen :P
Posted by Kebabselector 9 months ago
Nice clean look about them.
Posted by Blackmamba 9 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
This should cut down on incorrect visits thus putting the onus on the customer and the ISP and fewer RWTs.
Posted by timandhaylea 9 months ago
Now if only I could get Openreach to fit any type of NTE5 socket to houses without one ...
Posted by _Mike_B_ 9 months ago
@PaulKirby, they are available now to engineers and are being fitted.
Posted by gsmlnx 9 months ago
Yep slightly different, I can see that some people maybe @PaulKirkby buying MK4's in bulk after trying to connect it up.
Hope Carl McCullagh is correct and that it does reduce engineering calls and improves line quality by having cleaner interconnects.
And the lack of screws on the front may encourage people not to be frightened of using the test socket as they clearly are now.
Posted by M100 9 months ago
'standard kit by the end of summer 2016' One could say what summer? :) Openreach installed a new MK3 box a few days ago when attempting to fix our pathetically slow broadband.
Posted by zyborg47 9 months ago
the way things are going we will need BTOR, as we will be asked to wire our broadband up in the cabinet as well.
Posted by PaulKirby 9 months ago
Nah, I might "acquire" a couple to replace our NTE5a MK3 Master Sockets we have here, that's if they don't stick out as far as the current ones, once you have fitted the xDSL filter and phone faceplates it sticks out way too far LOL, very easy to knock.

But saying that, those look like they are only for ADSL and FTTC, so probably no good for me.
Posted by GeeTee 9 months ago
I rather like the look of that new socket. Seems the little plastic cover acts as an in-situ IDC punch down tool. Conceptually neat to my mind.

But then I thought the external NTE was a neat idea, allowing OR testing without the requirement for a householder to stay home from work. That didn't seem to last long sadly - no idea why.
Posted by tommy45 9 months ago
Sharia may, because the dumb woman thinks sharia law is good for our country, the same traitor has all but stripped our border force of assets, and failed in her last job as home office minister
She is also Pro EU, and appears to have no intention of giving the people a full brexit that they voted for,
Posted by tommy45 9 months ago
she as already said could have triggered article 50 well before now, which would of started the ball rolling, 2yrs is long enough and that isn't set in stone,but it would mean no more money to Brussels, and control of our borders
As for corbyn he has no chance of becoming PM he would open the drawbridge further and do what merkel has done to Germany invited terrorists into it, if we keep on increasing the number of invaders it will become England istan, we already have London-istan, the globalists call this cultural enrichment
Posted by tommy45 9 months ago
@Geetee "But then I thought the external NTE was a neat idea, allowing OR testing without the requirement for a householder to stay home from work. That didn't seem to last long sadly - no idea why,"
IIRC due to VDSL not playing nicely with them, I belive BTOR had to by pass them if the customer wanted FTTC
Posted by _Mike_B_ 9 months ago
@GeeTee The external NTE didn't really offer anything that and engineer couldn't do by chopping into the dropwire on the side of the house and testing from there. If the fault is beyond that fault the person would still need an in home visit anyway.
Posted by mlmclaren 9 months ago
It still to fat with the MK4 plate... I was hoping they where going to keep it slim, or make them filtered as default...
Posted by munchkinUK 9 months ago
Had one of these installed just last week!
Posted by uniquename 9 months ago
What amazes me is the change to the wiring colours for normal home extension wiring.
How confusing will that be for everyone???? Millions of households with CW1308 and clearly matched colours for pairs, e.g. blue or blue/white with white/blue and orange or orange/white with white/orange. (Emphasis - how many people will have access to this Openreach link in a while?)
Now blue goes with orange! Acronym of expletive omitted :).
Posted by uniquename 9 months ago
Ooops! ?? You seem to have got one of your NTE5C comments and two Corbyn article ones swapped over. (Unless Andrew corrects it for you).
(Just so others don't think he's gone completely crackers :)).
Posted by nstrudwick 9 months ago
Leaving aside the other aspects of this new socket, are we now so stupid and technically inept that we cannot be expected to have a screwdriver around? :D
Posted by wallace-yg 9 months ago
Apropos uniquename's comment: My reading of the PDF is that the "new" colours (singles as opposed to stripes) appear to be those which preceded the striped one. My original house wiring (50 years old) has the original Red/Green/Brown/Blue; I must admit that I found them a lot easier to manage than the "stripes".
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 9 months ago
Its less about the screwdriver to remove faceplates, but whether people have the idc insertion tool around, end result is plenty of people using a screwdriver to push wire in - which causes problems with idc connectors.

Posted by dsf58 9 months ago
Sounds as if BT is catching up with third party master sockets!
(although it would be nice if the link to the instructions - - did not give me a SSL_ERROR_NO_CYPHER_OVERLAP !)
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