FTTC self install to start officially at end of year
The original ADSL market was relatively slow until self-installs started and this is also kick started the third party modem/router industry. The same change in demand levels may be about to take place for the Openreach FTTC products sold by some 60 to 70 providers, as Openreach has confirmed the pricing for its self-install option and this will come into effect on 31st December 2013.
The launch is described as an early market deployment, and expands the range of options for installing a FTTC service to four different options, ranging from £49+VAT to £99+VAT. Most of the larger broadband providers have already lined up VDSL2 capable hardware so that people can benefit from self install, both in terms of only needing one powered device to get the service and also no need to be home on the day of the install.
The four install options are:
- Engineer Installation with Openreach Modem, £92. The Openreach modem is connected up, faceplate installed, but CP router connection is down to the end-user.
- Managed Engineer Install with Openreach Modem, £92+VAT. The current white Openreach modem will be installed and the service will be connected to the CP router.
- Managed Engineer Install with CP Device, £99+VAT. Engineer will install a VDSL2 faceplate, check the home wiring and prove the connection to the Internet works.
- PCP Only Install, £49+VAT. Engineer will do the changes needed at the street cabinet, between 8am and 6pm on the appointed day. Morning/Afternoon slots can be booked for an extra £12.50.
The issue of filtering is a major reason why Openreach for the first few years of FTTC has insisted on engineer installs and a new faceplate. For self-install it is possible to use micro-filters and assuming your existing filters are of a decent standard they should suffice. There is a warning though, you may have your ADSL2+ running reasonably over 30m of extension wiring in your home, but to get the best and most stable speeds from VDSL2 (FTTC) keeping internal wiring in the home to the minimum is the ideal solution.
An ISP like TalkTalk has its own engineers that can be booked for things like boost visits but the cost of one of those negates any saving from a self-install, the best route is to fit a faceplate and a dedicated data extension, i.e. what happens with an Openreach install. The VDSL2 faceplates work perfectly well for ADSL2+ too, so doing these changes in advance is possible and advisable. The nuclear option is to reduce your telephone wiring to a master socket, with the faceplate and no extensions and use DECT cordless phones.
Our user forums have seen people reporting that where the engineer arrives and sees it is a HomeHub 5 they are already connecting these without using an Openreach modem. Which while neater and ideal for many, can be an issue for those who wanted to use their own Ethernet router, so if you have booked a standard install where an Openreach modem is expected and you would prefer the Openreach modem it may be worth politely saying so.
Fingers crossed the self-install system will reduce the workload on Openreach, and thus allow for improvements in other areas like time to fix faults and install services.