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fibre optic: is it worth it?
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Old 28-08-2008, 20:45   #1
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fibre optic: is it worth it?

hello there just a quick question at the moment i am getting 20mb with my vm package and i got the new stuff sent in post about the fibre optic broadband and i just wanted to know how much better it is as iv been meaning to drop my level down to say 10mb as i dont use it much to upload or download stuff but i dont want to go to 2mb incase its too slow for me and i just wanted to know if the fibre optic one is better then i could get that on the 10mb rather than getting the 10mb on the cable one i currently have

sorry if thats hard to read couldnt work out how to put it properly
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Old 28-08-2008, 20:50   #2
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Fibre Optic broadband by VM is just Cable...

10Mb is half as fast as 20Mb, though people do report it's more stable (Less fluctuations in speed).
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Old 28-08-2008, 20:51   #3
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

All cable supplied broadband, unless you are in a very odd area, is fibre-optic to the street cabinet and then copper for the last few metres to your house. A number of speeds are thus available, depending on the price you want to pay, 2meg, 10 meg and 20 meg. In theory you should get close to the speed you order due to the fibre optic to street cabinet setup, unlike the phone line based ADSL where the speed drops the further you are from exchange.
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Old 28-08-2008, 20:51   #4
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

ok so id be just better dropping the one i have i know it will be a little slower but i never really get up to 20mb so
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Old 28-08-2008, 21:00   #5
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
All cable supplied broadband, unless you are in a very odd area, is fibre-optic to the street cabinet and then copper for the last few metres to your house. A number of speeds are thus available, depending on the price you want to pay, 2meg, 10 meg and 20 meg. In theory you should get close to the speed you order due to the fibre optic to street cabinet setup, unlike the phone line based ADSL where the speed drops the further you are from exchange.
Not quite, it's fibre optic to somewhere in your neighbourhood but very few people have fibre to their own street cabinets.

Doesn't make a major difference. Distance doesn't affect cable speeds, however the amount of people that share a single piece of fibre can. If too many people share fibre speeds can be harmed.
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Old 28-08-2008, 22:50   #6
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

But that would just be contention and all residental services are sold like that.

You still have contention with ADSL I think its 30:1 off top of my head. which means not only are you limited by the length of your telephone line but are also limited by how many other people are using the avalible bandwith at the exchange.
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Old 29-08-2008, 03:10   #7
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
All cable supplied broadband, unless you are in a very odd area, is fibre-optic to the street cabinet and then copper for the last few metres to your house. A number of speeds are thus available, depending on the price you want to pay, 2meg, 10 meg and 20 meg. In theory you should get close to the speed you order due to the fibre optic to street cabinet setup, unlike the phone line based ADSL where the speed drops the further you are from exchange.

The VM network backbone is fibre, but that terminates at you local ring (A&B Cabinet I think its called). The remaining network for upto 1500 houses is copper.... Damn, I can't believe I remember this stuff from when I started as an installer in 1998.
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Old 29-08-2008, 09:56   #8
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl of Bronze View Post
The VM network backbone is fibre, but that terminates at you local ring (A&B Cabinet I think its called). The remaining network for upto 1500 houses is copper.... Damn, I can't believe I remember this stuff from when I started as an installer in 1998.
And none of it runs "at the speed of light" as VMs new ad would have people believe!
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Old 29-08-2008, 11:20   #9
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

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Originally Posted by Broadbandings View Post
Not quite, it's fibre optic to somewhere in your neighbourhood but very few people have fibre to their own street cabinets.

Doesn't make a major difference. Distance doesn't affect cable speeds, however the amount of people that share a single piece of fibre can. If too many people share fibre speeds can be harmed.
Hrm. The further away to the exchange you live, the slower your connection will be (this does generally apply to cable and ADSL customers) ...

The more it has to travel, the more you lose....
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Old 29-08-2008, 20:56   #10
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eth01 View Post
Hrm. The further away to the exchange you live, the slower your connection will be (this does generally apply to cable and ADSL customers) ...
but doesn't the distance affect ADSL customers more, it does for but i guess where the cabinet is for my house/area could be closer than the bt exchange
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Old 29-08-2008, 21:13   #11
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

When I had cable, I have to say it was ultra reliable. But some areas did experience issues with it.

What i can say for gaming it was spot on. Ultra low pings and constant up time. There is no real point in going 20meg with the current STM policy tbh. A very reliable 10 meg is what i would personally choose. Then again I don't download much.
Most problems with cable can be sorted out at the tech end of things as all the equipment is run by VM and not reliant on a BT line and exchange.

ADSL i can vouch is a right Moo, very unstable and depending on equipment and exchange more than a bit hit and miss.
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Old 29-08-2008, 21:16   #12
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC_FC79 View Post
but doesn't the distance affect ADSL customers more, it does for but i guess where the cabinet is for my house/area could be closer than the bt exchange
Correct, also the cable used is more useful than BT wiring as a conduit for Internet access
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Old 29-08-2008, 21:57   #13
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eth01 View Post
Hrm. The further away to the exchange you live, the slower your connection will be (this does generally apply to cable and ADSL customers) ...

The more it has to travel, the more you lose....
Obiously those amplifiers, both coaxial/RF and erbium doped fibre in the cable network are pointless.

Basingstoke for example has no uBRs of its' own, its' nodes are aggregated at a hubsite in Basingstoke then go to uBRs in Reading over DWDM optical backhaul. This is 20km as the crow flies, and has no effect at all. Distance is completely irrelevant to cable so long as distance to the uBR is within spec.

The issue with cable is nothing to do with distance, it's about how many amplifiers are in the network. Amplification introduces distortion, which is why fibre is introduced into networks, optical amplification is much cleaner than RF amplification and offers a much larger range, in addition fibre removes the need for so many RF amplifiers meaning less distortion and higher quality signals and in addition reduces segment size meaning far less funneling effect of noise on the return path.

In addition on QAM / modulated digital signals over RF there is a very very small margin where speeds are 'slowed' then BER (Bit Error Rate) grows unacceptably high and modems lose sync. It's not a gradual thing it's a 'cliff' effect as the 1s and 0s get too mangled to be decoded and the Reed Solomon encoding / FEC (Forward Error Correction) is unable to correct the increasing errors.

Unlike DSL cable is not rate adaptive. Bit allocations and modulations cannot be dropped and speeds cannot be slowed to accomodate poorer quality signals. You either have signal quality that can handle the modulations and channel specifications the uBR provides or you don't, in which case your service becomes unstable.

The whole point of cable is that customers are not affected by distance from headend / hubsite due to the active components in the access networks.

Easy concepts really.

---------- Post added at 20:57 ---------- Previous post was at 20:50 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl of Bronze View Post
The VM network backbone is fibre, but that terminates at you local ring (A&B Cabinet I think its called). The remaining network for upto 1500 houses is copper.... Damn, I can't believe I remember this stuff from when I started as an installer in 1998.
Nearly! But for broadband the fibre feeding the nodes is usually a 'star' network rather than a ring, IE a single fibre pair feeding each area. Rings tend to be confined to the telco / PDH / SDH network due to it being a tad more vital and justifying the additional expense of the extra fibre.
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Old 29-08-2008, 22:47   #14
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

After where the fibre optic cable ends, coaxial cable takes over. However,I must say that at the moment Cable internet may seem expensive, but it is getting cheaper as time is passing and eventually 20MB will be as cheap as 4MB. In 2002 512K Cable Internet was £25 per month and 128K was about £17. In 2004 it was upgraded to the following:

128K upgraded to 512K in 2004 £17 per month
512K upgraded to 4MB in 2004 £25 per month
512K upgraded to 2MB in 2005 £17 per month
512K upgraded to 4MB in 2005 £25 per month
4MB upgraded to 10MB in 2008 £25 per month
20MB planned to be upgraded to 50MB 2009 £37 per month
50MB would probably go up to 100MB in some areas by 2011 probably £37 per month

All above prices are the standard prices and do not include retentional offers or bundle offers.

Also, Cable dial up internet has also been faster than any other too! The speeds I have experienced between 1997 and now:

Nynex Telephone line (ex-C&W/NTL): Minimum speed: 49K Maximum: 58K
Videotron Telephone line (Ex-C&W/NTL): Minimum speed: 47K Maximum: 54K
Cable London Telephone line(Ex-North London Telewest):min speed:47K Maximum:58K
BT Telephone line accessing Freeserve: minimum speed: 27K Maximum speed: 39K
BT Telephone line accessing BT openworld/BT yahoo: Min Speed: 36K Max speed: 41K

The speeds experienced down BT lines where on lines off the Euston telephone exchange accessed after 6PM Monday to Friday and all weekends.

Here are the speeds I've experienced on peoples ADSL Broadband:

Bulldog's Guarenteed 16MB: Minimum speed 14MB Maximum speed: 15.8MB
Tiscali 16MB: Minimum speed 13MB Maximum speed: 15.6MB * This was in an internet cafe and Tiscali also shares Cable and Wireless LLU network-For some users.
Sky Broadband 8MB promised-Portsmouth: Min speed 1.5MB Max Speed: 2MB

Here are the speeds i've experienced with Cable Internet:

Blueyonder Broadband 2MB Min speed: 1.8MB Max speed: 2.5MB
NTL World Broadband 2MB Min speed: 1.5MB Max Speed: 2MB
NTL World Broadband 2MB Min Speed: 1.9MB Max speed: 2MB

The Blueyonder is mine and is in the Cable London franchise covering North London. The second was at a friends house in Byfleet,Surrey on Cable Tel franchise. And the third was at a friends house in the Solent on the Nynex/Ex-C&W franchise.

So from my experience Cable Internet seems to stick to its advertised promise most of the time-well nearly. ADSL just seems slow,outdated and backward!

And dont be fooled by AOL's free laptop scheme, AOL is now part of Carphone warehouse which means its no longer supported by NTL's network but is now supported by TalkTalk and everyone knows how unreliable they are! Furthermore, with that AOL braodband offer, the highest speed they give you is 2MB and it costs around £19.99 and you may well end up in a 24 Month contract. And the worst thing about AOL, Download and Upload limits are applied to this offer. So becareful!

AOL UK was sold to Carphone Warehouse in 2007 by Time Warner because it had fallen behind due to the tripple and duo play providers and even quad play Virgin Media. The deal was to go on as long as Carphone Warehouse keep and lease the AOL brand from Time Warner. Carphone Warehouse have there own infrastructure due to owning Opal Telecom and this what AOL is being merged into. Previously, the internet provided by Videotron,Telewest,AOL and Nynex in the UK was from one network known as 'Cable Internet' and this was the very reliable dial up that was around. However, it would cost Carphone Warehouse too much money to continue using it for its Broadband users especially if they are throwing in a laptop and a wireless router worth £40 to £50.

The other internet supplied to Cable customers was by NTL formerly Cable Tel and also supplied Virgin.Net and Tesco.Net users, I also heard that AOL's internet was also supplied by this after when NTL and Telewest gobbled up all of the Cable franchises. And thats exactly why AOL dial up was the only alternative dial up internet down Cable lines via short code 120.

The by far worst internet i've experienced is Freeserve-wandoo-Orange or whatever they want to call themselves! The dial up was slow and there broadband is just as slow and I wouldnt touch them with a barge pole!

And as for the current 2MB Virgin Media Cable broadband, when the 4MB to 10MB rollout is complete, then I reckon 2MB customers will be upgraded to 4MB at no extra monthly cost.

So hope the above facts give you a better idea of why people pay that little bit extra to use Cable fibre optic-Coaxial internet.

Furthermore, nearly forgot to mention! Smallworld Media is the second largest Cable provider to Virgin Media and covers Morecobe,Carisle,Southern Glasgow and ayshire. And offers the same speed packages as Virgin Media but slightly cheaper, so if you live in that area, dont think that you cant get Cable internet because it is but just from Smallworld instead. For Cable on the Isle of Wight there is Wight Cable South Ltd.
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Old 29-08-2008, 23:03   #15
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Re: fibre optic is ist worth it?

Quick mention, 20Mbit is not scheduled to be upgraded to 50Mbit, 50Mbit will be a new tier, not a free upgrade.

I also had the pleasure of paying ntl £50 a month for 1Mbit a while ago

---------- Post added at 22:03 ---------- Previous post was at 21:51 ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by smeagoly1 View Post
When I had cable, I have to say it was ultra reliable. But some areas did experience issues with it.
In 2 years of having cable I had 3 weeks of total service loss.

1 failed modem which took a week and a half to replace, the half week trying to book a replacement then a week wait for an engineer.
1 network issue which took a week to resolve.
1 fault in local cabinet which took a few days.

The network issue was shocking. A tech had a big list of houses all in the same area, all with the same fault, and had to go to each one for whatever reason to test and note that they were all toast. Not good diagnosis, especially as I gave the fault over the phone.

These were all in different areas. When it's good it's good but heaven help you if it goes wrong
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