UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

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exogenesis
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UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by exogenesis » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 00:50

I don't know how many people here from the UK have upgraded to 'full' fibre.

I'm with BT, & seems to me they've just got 'spammy' with emails about
'upgrade to full fibre 100' (BT Halo 3), for £0 extra a month.
You know, those 'time is running out' style of emails.
No so long ago they wanted more money to do the same.

As a believer in <if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is>,
I was wondering about their motivation.

Looks like Virgin offers 1 Gb connection, but BT's is "up to 900 Mb", is that right ?

Although I'm quite happy with my current 'only' 80 Mb copper/hybrid connection,
wondering what the practical difference is with 1 GB or near :
I've always assumed that generally the limiting download step is at the server end,
& usually it's nowhere near 1 Gbit (per connection ?)

So are people clicking BTs upgrade for £0 button, or switching to Virgin (or something else) ?

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red assassin
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by red assassin » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 01:31

I'm on a 500Mb line from Virgin. It is actually pretty impressive - I find a surprising number of things can actually cope with all that bandwidth. I can regularly sustain 40-50MB/s download speeds from services like Steam, package repositories and the like, which is pretty neat sometimes. Massive update rolled out for the game my partner and I want to play right before we play? No problem, we can both get it downloaded in a couple of minutes. (3GB/minute or so gets you a LONG way.) Just bought a game off Steam and it's a modern game so it's like 100GB? That's still only a half hour download. Need a VM image or big software package or something when working from home? No problem, gimme a couple of minutes. It's not, like, life-changing, but it's certainly convenient.

Spent an absolute bomb on wifi gear that can handle that sort of speed, though... (can't easily run cables in this house).
A still more glorious dawn awaits, not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise, a morning filled with 400 billion suns - the rising of the Milky Way

pjknibbs
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by pjknibbs » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 09:56

I'm on the old 40Mbit down/5up setup and TBH I rarely feel that even that isn't fast enough! 1Gb would be insane.

Gavrushka
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by Gavrushka » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 11:07

I have an 80MB down /20MB up from Sky, and never have an issue with speeds, even when a couple of devices are playing UHD stuff live. I think speeds will always get faster, and that 'EE' advert for landing a plane has a lot of people thinking they 'need' such a speed, but in reality it's often a case of simply 'wanting' and there ain't nothing wrong with that!

So if you're a working-from-home air traffic controller, you need it. Otherwise you have a tiny winky and can't afford a Ferrari. *snickers*

Seriously, I imagine 1 GB will be the norm in a couple of years, but I still miss the noise of my old Amstrad Modem connecting at 2400 BAUD...
“We’re impotent,” Michael said.

“We’ve a chance to put right past mistakes, and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Lucifer said, one eye on Persephone who looked deeply uncomfortable with the conversation. “This is our atonement.” Now that straightened his back. All she’d have to do is suggest he self-flagellated and he’d be in ecstasy. Of all their Father’s creations, she was pretty sure she and her siblings were by far the most flawed…

jlehtone
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by jlehtone » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 11:15

Larger service providers here (Finland) have marketed basically everything as "fibre" for couple years now, including the wireless 5G. Therefore, I have to ask: What does 'full' mean in BT parlance?


For reference: Our housing company got fibre to the building in 2016. Thankfully, it continues to flats with copper Ethernet rather than TV cable or *DSL which are still common. Actually, we could have fibre all the way to flat, renovation did lay both copper Ethernet and fibre inside building. I have a 100/50 link. It was 100/10 before last Summer. Provider added the better up speed option quietly; no extra cost, but one had to ask for it explicitly. The other speed options now are 10/10 (base), 200/100, 400/200 ("popular", they claim*), and 1000/200. They were even less symmetric before.

* They also sell a TV streaming service and claim that it "needs" the 400Mbps download ...


Like red assassin said, the higher speeds are a convenience since most of traffic is download. It is done when it is done. However, if there is interactive/heavy use that transfers large data, then you feel it; 100 -> 1000 is noticeable for that. HPC datacenters have what, 400Gbps, links? (Streamed video is compressed, not "big".)

I have run GNU Emacs on tunneled X11 over 2400 baud modem link. I was young and patient back then.

Alan Phipps
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by Alan Phipps » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 11:41

@ jlehtone [EDIT: I meant exogenesis]: Maybe be very careful about the detail/small print in the BT advertising. They do seem to spam 'unmissable' offers that are not all they seem. :wink:

I had the 'upgrade from Halo 1 to Halo 3 for £1 less than you pay now' e-mail from them too. Upon in investigating deeper, the offer is for the cheaper Halo 3 package that is *without* the Full Fibre upgrade promise, while the Halo 3+ (the plus is important) package is £4 per month more than I pay now. Hence the Full Fibre promise one is effectively £5 per month more expensive than the no Full Fibre promise Halo 3 upgrade package! Also taking either new package attracts an annual fixed price increase on top of a rate of inflation increase from the end of the initial contract.
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by dtpsprt » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 11:46

While it theoretically is very good everything bottles down to your computer's specs. If you don't have capable equipment to accommodate all that data you'll just have to wait for it nonetheless. A second thing to consider is what is the Download and what is the Upload Bandwidth. Usually what a company will present to you on a first enticing glance is the total.
Full fibre versus hybrid is always faster for the same bandwidth. Have in mind though that Virgin has it's own fibre network so, in case you move to another area, it might not be possible to use it, while the BT "hybrid" will always be there as long as there is a telephone line.
Another limiting factor is the connection from your router to your computer. Up to 4G WiFi it will not exceed 100Mb no matter what goes to your router from the provider. 5G WiFi has the 500Mb capacity. Only with cable connection you can reach 1Gb.
All that said and done I had be operating an Internet Cafe back in Greece with a 1 Gb connection (pure copper) with 12 "slave" computers. The "server" had the 1Gb wired connection, while each of the "slaves" had 100Mb (total 1.2 Gb) Many times one of my customers would try something that would actually block the whole network (usually try to upload something with a virus) and I had to "instantly" reboot the server. Most of the customers were on live chat. If I was on top of my game and realised that the server was blocked within 10 seconds I could reset the server (30 sec to 1 min process) and my customers would not notice, except the ones that were downloading stuff at the time!!!
I hope all this gives you some, educated, info and answers you questions.

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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by jlehtone » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 13:23

Alan Phipps wrote:
Fri, 14. Jan 22, 11:41
@ jlehtone: Maybe be very careful about the detail/small print in the BT advertising. They do seem to spam 'unmissable' offers that are not all they seem. :wink:
We don't have BT in this country, but let me assure you that the equivalents are equally "innovative" here. :roll:

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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by Alan Phipps » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 13:38

Ooops! I meant to address that last to exogenesis, but I was obviously mesmerised by a post from the grandmaster himself. :oops:
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dtpsprt
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by dtpsprt » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 14:02

jlehtone wrote:
Fri, 14. Jan 22, 13:23
Alan Phipps wrote:
Fri, 14. Jan 22, 11:41
@ jlehtone: Maybe be very careful about the detail/small print in the BT advertising. They do seem to spam 'unmissable' offers that are not all they seem. :wink:
We don't have BT in this country, but let me assure you that the equivalents are equally "innovative" here. :roll:
"Unmissable", "one time only", "for a limited time only" are common advertising plots. Just like adding a star/explosion in a product package that says "New" or "Offer". In my career as a graphic designer have done lots of these (all of the above)...
What is actually memorable is the UK innumeracy!!! I can't explain it otherwise since 90% of "2 in 1" or "double quantity" offers have greater price than 2 single products!!!

exogenesis
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by exogenesis » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 22:00

That NEW! starburst on a packet of almost-the-same-flavour crisps quite often makes me buy one :)

I can remember laughing after once asking a member of M&S staff
(why some food I was buying was cheaper per pack, for 2 single packets rather than the 2-4-1 price),
& being told the reason was "cos they don't know what the f*** theyre doing"


Anyway, thanks for all the good info.
I think Alan hit the nail on the head about Halo versus Halo+,
but it seems to get trickier/confusing...

I guess BT would be happy to 'gently' lead you into those extra costs by using those various hooking methods,
favourite dislike is the on-screen animated 'Offer ends' countdown timer,
oh no! I've only got 17d 5h 1m 30s to :
"Claim this offer now. Upgrade to Full Fibre 100 with BT Halo 3- for the same price you’re paying today."
(exact copy, note the extra char after the 3).

Apparently the Full Fibre Promise is :
"You'll get a free upgrade to Full Fibre 100 as soon as it's available in your area - giving you an ultrafast connection direct to your door."


Currently I have :
Fibre with Halo 1 = 66-73 Mb down / 16-18 Mb up = £57.46/month (seems just fine for 4K TV, game updates etc)

On offer 'Halo 3+' with that 'Full Fibre Promise', 24 months contract :
Full Fibre 900 Halo 3+ = 900Mb down / 110Mb up = £5.00 extra/month

and a somewhat confusing range of 'Halo 3', without the 'Full Fibre Promise'
Full Fibre 100 Halo 3 = 150Mb down / 30Mb up = £0.00 extra/month (don't forget, only 17 days left !)
Full Fibre 500 Halo 3 = 500Mb down / 73Mb up = £2.00 extra/month
Full Fibre 900 Halo 3 = 900Mb down / 110Mb up = £4.00 extra/month

really don't understand the last one, it says it's as fast as Halo3+, but without fibre (or the promise of), wtf???
Gah!, think I've got to ring BT

Also these are saying
"Keep the same monthly price when your contract ends"
in one on-screen place and
"You’ll keep the same monthly price, when your contract ends. This doesn’t include any changes as a result of annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation plus 3.9%"
in another place (the small print)

Guess I'm sort of getting convinced (maybe), think a <10% price increase for (eventual?) 10x speed sounds good (?),
I think fibre is 'available in my area', certainly BT have been digging up the paths often/long enough,
(along with Virgin as well), not sure though.


So back to the technical bit,
what servers are likely to have 1Gb per connection (or anything like it)??
maybe the big players like Steam (or Amazon/Netflix ?), unlikely for 99.9% of internet 'routes' though ?
@red assassin : what sort of wifi can handle 1Gb?, dtpsprt mentioned 5G can do 500Gb,
wondering if the other part of BT's offer 'with Complete Wi-Fi' involving 'discs' dotted around the house, can handle it.
If not I guess I'd have to dig out my super-long cable (& get another) to connect the 2 PC's in my house - not keen.

This thread wasn't (intended) as a BT bash, just trying to understand what they're offering,
wish they'd be a bit more 'direct / truthful' about it though...
jlehtone - sounds like phone companies are the same around the world !

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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by jlehtone » Fri, 14. Jan 22, 22:37

Again, an example: Finnish Universities have a backbone network, "FUNET", that connects them. Site to site connects are at least 100Gbps. (Were already in 2016.) Some of those links are actually phone company fibre. If phone companies can hire/sell 100Gbps to "one customer", then they must have more than that capacity. Apparently, some "flexgrid" technology allows about hundred channels on one fibre and a 200Gbps or 300Gbps link in each channel ...

That is, even BT must have quite much bandwidth. The "Internet backbone" -- that connects ISPs -- is redundant. Many companies have their servers are "in the cloud", hosted in datacenters that have plenty of bandwidth. Not only that, but multiple servers around the globe for load balancing. The pipe is most narrow in your end.


PS. 5G is not Wi-Fi. The former is for mobile (like 4G, 3G, 2G before it), the latter "just" wireless Ethernet on rather short range.
Personally, I use cables. (An SFP+ slot on phone would be awesome, wouldn't it? :roll: )

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red assassin
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by red assassin » Sat, 15. Jan 22, 00:22

exogenesis wrote:
Fri, 14. Jan 22, 22:00
@red assassin : what sort of wifi can handle 1Gb?, dtpsprt mentioned 5G can do 500Gb,
wondering if the other part of BT's offer 'with Complete Wi-Fi' involving 'discs' dotted around the house, can handle it.
If not I guess I'd have to dig out my super-long cable (& get another) to connect the 2 PC's in my house - not keen.
As far as I'm currently aware, getting a full 1Gbps over wifi in anything other than the absolute most ideal conditions is still pushing it. We have Asus ZenWifi XT8 mesh nodes (so similar to your BT mesh, but much pricier) which are pretty reliably able to sustain 400-500Mbps across a medium-sized house. (But you're paying for multiple high power antennae so it can dedicate one channel as an uncontested backhaul and use another to talk to client devices, as well as the latest wifi standards including stuff like beamforming, to be able to do that.) I would expect your BT mesh kit to handle 100-200Mbps depending on which version and your network conditions.
A still more glorious dawn awaits, not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise, a morning filled with 400 billion suns - the rising of the Milky Way

exogenesis
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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by exogenesis » Sat, 15. Jan 22, 01:37

jlehstone : OK, so potentially server->client download speed is pretty much unlimited with servers 'in the cloud', you think ?

red assassin, thanks, so I see these:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-ZenWiFi-W ... B083QSG6QK
6.6 Gbps WiFi (it says), up to 230 sq m, £230
(I think they're saying : remove the BT router & connect this direct to the modem,
possibly requires two for this? https://www.amazon.co.uk/ASUS-ZenWiFi-W ... B082T48132 £400)

and

eero pro
https://www.amazon.co.uk/amazon-eero-6/dp/B086PL9KPT
900 Mbps, up to 140 m², £97

Or more probably eero pro 6
https://www.amazon.co.uk/eero-pro-mesh- ... B07WFJCSYX
up to 1Gbs, 190 sq.m, £172, "now has 'UK compatability' " (PPPoE - or something, whatever that is).
(maybe connects to modem as primary router)

All with available extenders, if required.

Looks hopeful, but for me, a few too many numerical specs (that don't necessarily mean much to me),
but anyway I pushed the button & now have to look forward to buying one of the above + setup....

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Re: UK 'Full Fibre' broadband

Post by Gavrushka » Sat, 15. Jan 22, 09:36

I think I must be the only muppet who uses physical ethernet connections wherever I can. - Back in the noughties, my company built and developed an 350 square metre church in which I lived for some time. - I had the electrician install ethernet points in every room, and there was this huge patch board in a cloakroom... - I have *NO IDEA* what that was for! - But the upshot was, it was ridiculously cheap to install the cabling while the rewire was taking place, so I am perplexed as to why it isn't standard to put ethernet points in new houses / during rewires as standard.

I do get how essential quality wifi is, but surely devices like TVs, Sky boxes, desktop computers and the like could benefit from direct ethernet connection. - I know modern modems seem to have less ethernet ports, but you can still use quality switch boxes next to the router to connect a mass of devices with ethernet.
“We’re impotent,” Michael said.

“We’ve a chance to put right past mistakes, and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Lucifer said, one eye on Persephone who looked deeply uncomfortable with the conversation. “This is our atonement.” Now that straightened his back. All she’d have to do is suggest he self-flagellated and he’d be in ecstasy. Of all their Father’s creations, she was pretty sure she and her siblings were by far the most flawed…

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