Friday update


Hydon Heath trench team

Today Openreach have been working very hard at Hydon Heath.  The new Cabinet 21 is now sitting on its plinth, and the SSE electricity company have installed power to it  edit: we have discovered we were given duff info by BT Group on this (we should have trusted our own findings) – power is yet to be done. These two milestones are significant as they are critical to the speed at which the next steps can be done.  There is a lot of work to be done inside the cabinet and the nearby manhole – connecting our copper cables in the manhole to the cabinet where they will be available to be married to the fibre connecting the exchange.  In essence  our new cabinets are a mini-exchange –  and bringing an exchange much closer to us will have significant benefits for the 60 or so properties that it will serve.

In other news… The GU8 Superfast Team have been thinking hard about how to reduce the likelihood of problems during each resident’s upgrade process – there are a lot of things that can contribute to a broadband connection being less than perfect.    Whilst our simple guidance notes may help there are some things that are beyond the capability of the average resident.  We are also aware that many homes have old internal cabling and old master sockets that are not built for fibre.

It can not be emphasised enough that a good broadband connection starts at that master socket and getting it checked out should be top of the list in preparation for upgrade to superfast broadband.  Having a VDSL/fibre ready NTE5 socket is important – it is clear that the majority of residents are still using older style sockets, some still with the ‘dangly” microfilters.    You have 1 of 4 options to remedy this:

  1. Satisfy yourself that your socket is a modern NTE5 and properly installed with no extraneous connections.
  2. Ask your friendly BT engineer to check it out and replace with a modern socket. Requires a BT engineer to be in your premises so you can hand him a cup of tea and charm him to do it on the sly  – officially they should charge a call out of £100+to install a new one.
  3. Request a managed install via your ISP when the upgrade is booked – an installer will arrive to hook up your new router and may install a new Master socket. We do not know if ISP’s offer this option,  charge for the service, or even offer to swap the master socket.  Most ISPs just send a router in the post and instruct you to plug it in.
  4. You instruct a third party to install a new master socket.

Option 4 is where we can help.  The GU8 Superfast Team have negotiated a deal with Adrian Ball (from to offer a discounted cost Master Socket Health Check for a price of £49.95.  Adrian will visit, inspect your master socket where the telephone line enters the house and check for any potential issues with poor cabling in the socket, or with existing extensions.  If needed he will install a new Openreach NTE5 master socket and ensure it is functioning correctly. The hardware cost is included in the price, and there is no VAT.  (if a new NTE5 is not needed then the fee is only £29.95)    I think it offers good value.  Obviously this deal is restricted to checking/replacing the master socket – and doesn’t extend to troubleshooting the other network issues within the home – however Adrian will be able to advise on the next course of action should a wider health check be needed and remedial work required. Again we have negotiated a 20% discount on Adrian’s hourly rate should subsequent work be requested.

Paul Osborne

GU8 Superfast Team

About Paul Osborne

Hydestile resident GU8 Superfast Community Broadband Project Team
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