Thinking about getting fibre broadband?
So you have seen all the deals you can get on fibre but have also heard that a lot of people have been unhappy with the way it looks after is has been installed or have people told you that the speeds are no different or actually worse than before it was installed?
As most houses getting fibre are pre-existing houses the local fibre company (LFC for short) have to get the micro ducting from the street into your house, this means that they may have to trench, install via your fence line or in some areas around the country they may do it via overhead lines. If you do a quick google search for bad fibre installs you will see a lot of people that have had a shocking quality fibre install experience and then they have had to spend a lot of time and effort in getting it sorted or in some cases have just chosen to live with it.
If you live in an area with fibre broadband on the street then we fully recommend taking advantage of it as it will improve your speeds and also enable you to take advantage of more online services. This is often a free install and should add value to your house especially when it comes to selling as it means the new owners know that it is there and good to go.
Steps for getting fibre installed:
1. Call your Internet Service Provider and ask them to upgrade you to fibre, they will then place an order with your Local Fibre Company.
2. You will get an email or a call from your Local Fibre Company to set up a time for one of their Fibre Planning technicians to come to your property and discuss the best path they can see to get the fibre from the street to your house, and the methods they will need to use to do it (See below for some info on these). You will also have the option to book in the install date as these can sometimes be a few weeks out in some areas. *the planning appointment is normally a 2 hour window so they may not be there on the exact time you choose.
3 They will also need to talk to you about installing some equipment on the outside called an ETP (External Test Point) and inside of your house and also plan on how they can get the fibre from the external location to the internal location where they will install an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) on the inside of your house. This is key that you get this installed in an area that is central to all other part of the house as you modem will need to be plugged into this box in most cases and if it isn't in a central location then you may not get WiFi in all areas of your house.
4. Once you have signed the plan off with the technician he will then send this to the Local Fibre Company for approval and you should be booked in for the install already so you just need to make sure that you or someone over the age of 18 is there for the 4 hour booking time. The external part of the work (also know as the civils) will be completed by a special crew before your install booking as this is a more efficient way of doing things, the booking that you have booked in is for the internal part of the install and when the technician leave your house you will be on fibre unless there are any issues.
Examples of the equipment to be installed:
Tips that can help avoid the ugly installs at your place:
Research the methods that your local fibre company uses to get the fibre from the street to your house, by know the options that they use you can then try to work out the one they are likely to use at your house and start thinking of the best route from the street to the external entry point of your house.
Decide on a few places for the external entry point that are out of sight is possible as the fibre company need to install a small white box on the outside of your house, this is call an ETP (External Test Point) each fibre company uses different ones so some can be bigger than others. see example ETP above.
Choose a central location for the ONT that is going to be easy to access in the event your internet stops working as there are lights on the ONT that will help your Internet provider diagnose the issue, it is tempting to have an ONT installed in the roof space but you will likely find that most Local Fibre Companies will not let it be installed there for the reasons above and the fact that the temperatures in the roof space fluctuate a lot during the year and this is bad for electronics.
The location for the ETP needs to be close to the area you want the modem installed as they need to run a piece of fibre from the ETP to the inside location of the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) and in a lot of existing houses they have to come down the walls so this can result in capping being installed on your internal walls, this stand out but can be painted to try and hide it a bit and sometime the installers can drop the fibre duct down though the existing wall cavity.
Check out the most popular methods used by the Local Fibre Companies below
Fence Line installs
Fence line installs are a great option to avoid having to trench up your garden or driveway and are an popular choice for the Local Fibre Companies as they can be done quickly and for less cost that other options a lot of the time.
The technicians will install the duct on the bottom rail if it is on your side of the fence, if not then they will install it as per the image to the right, this is because they are not allowed to cause any trespass issues with access the fibre duct in the future.
The biggest down side to them is that you can see the black fibre duct so it can stand out a bit on some types of fences, the other issue is that if you need to replace the fence in the future you will need to get the Local Fibre Company out to remove the duct and then re-install it on the new fence or bury it.
Some Local Fibre Companies may charge to do this so it will all add to the cost of replacing the fence and you have to try and coordinate the technician timing to work in with your fencing contractor.
Example of Enable ETP
Example of Enable ONT and the a router provided by the ISP