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Topic # 106784 31-Jul-2012 16:26 Send private message

I'm not sure if this is the best place for the question, but as it covers broadband, ISPs, and UFB, I figured this would be a good place to start...

I'm currently with Xnet on Fusion, but the new plans didn't thrill me, so I'm looking to shift.  I've more or less settled on Telecom's 120GB Total Home package, needing more data than I'm happy paying Xnet for, and preferring to go back to a POTS line than the VOIP line we've got at the moment.

I was getting ready to call Telecom and see what deals they could offer, but decided to check the UFB rollout, just out of interest.  I see that my street will be UFB-capable in September, which suggests to me that I should hold off, and make the switch to a new ISP and fibre all at the same time.

So like a good little Geekzoner, I did a bit of trawling through the forums.  But I found more questions than answers.  Hopefully, someone here can clear up a few things, or point me in the right direction:

1. When fibre is available in my street, can any ISP provide me with a fibre plan, or are there just a few?  I suspect the latter, and found http://www.ufb.org.nz that showed a list of fibre providers.  Being in Palmerston North, it looks like Orcon are the only ISP that I could connect to fibre with.  Is that correct?  And if so, does anyone know when other ISPs (e.g. Telecom) are going to offer fibre plans?

2. Looking at the Orcon fibre plan, it looks pretty good.  But a downside (for me) is the Orcon Genuis modem thing.  It seems that fibre requires VOIP.  Is that true?  Will all fibre connections require VOIP phones, or will some ISPs continue to offer a "hardline" for phones?  I like the idea of a phone that is "always on" rather than being dependent on the internet connection.

3. I saw on another thread someone suggested rewiring the house with cat5e to take advantage of the full speed of fibre.  My house is a 1920s bungalow, and while a full re-wire (both comms and power) would be great (and it's on the list of things to do eventually), I can't afford it right now.  With fibre plans going up to 100mbits, what kind of speed loss would you see by not rewiring the house?  Would the higher speed plans be worth it, or would 30mbits be enough?

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  Reply # 664734 31-Jul-2012 16:35 Send private message

1) Most ISP's will have an offering in the next few months. Some are delaying to see what others are doing, for some it's a more major undertaking.
2) You could still have a POTS line if you wished. VOIP is considered to be very good for most people who have internet connections able to maintain a reasonable amount of bandwidth which UFB will.
3) Optimal not essential. If you can get good wireless signal you may well be able to skip it, though HD video and High Def video chat may not work as well with wireless.


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  Reply # 664743 31-Jul-2012 16:48 Send private message

I think this is the most I've ever posted on here and i'm no expert so someone correct me if I'm horribly wrong.

Lizard1977: 1. When fibre is available in my street, can any ISP provide me with a fibre plan, or are there just a few?  I suspect the latter, and found http://www.ufb.org.nz that showed a list of fibre providers.  Being in Palmerston North, it looks like Orcon are the only ISP that I could connect to fibre with.  Is that correct?  And if so, does anyone know when other ISPs (e.g. Telecom) are going to offer fibre plans? 


any isp can connect to the ufb network, orcon have plans at the moment and i heard that slingshot are providing them in 'the coming weeks' also, i think you can ring snap and ask them to connect you too, not too sure.


Lizard1977: 2. Looking at the Orcon fibre plan, it looks pretty good.  But a downside (for me) is the Orcon Genuis modem thing.  It seems that fibre requires VOIP.  Is that true?  Will all fibre connections require VOIP phones, or will some ISPs continue to offer a "hardline" for phones?  I like the idea of a phone that is "always on" rather than being dependent on the internet connection.


VOIP is an upgrade from normal copper pots service and it is what everyone will be using some time in the future when no one uses copper anymore. Someone else will have to explain this a bit more. also, from what i've read you shold just be able to plug a cable from the VoIP out port on your genius into one of your existing phone plugs, and it will broadcast your Voip throughout your house just like regular POTS. only thing you should watch is how many phones or other devices you have plugged in, because each phone draws power from the line when it rings and no one here has said exactly how much power the genius sends down the lines yet.

Lizard1977: 3. I saw on another thread someone suggested rewiring the house with cat5e to take advantage of the full speed of fibre.  My house is a 1920s bungalow, and while a full re-wire (both comms and power) would be great (and it's on the list of things to do eventually), I can't afford it right now.  With fibre plans going up to 100mbits, what kind of speed loss would you see by not rewiring the house?  Would the higher speed plans be worth it, or would 30mbits be enough? 


weeeeeeellll if you have a good quality wireless N router and wireless N devices on your network, you should be able to obtain full speed, i mean My laptop connects wirelessly to my router at 130Mbps, but i don't have an internet connection fast enough to test that theory. so if in fact you can get that kind of speeds over wireless N, it's a good temporary solution instead of re-wiring your house. I certainly don't plan on rewiring my house anyway.















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  Reply # 664757 31-Jul-2012 16:56 Send private message

Thanks networkn,

I guess I was a little surprised that Telecom didn't have any Fibre plans on its website. As one of the largest ISPs, it seemed unusual.

I don't understand your answer in 3) though. As I understand it, fibre is simply a fibre-optic connection from the exchange/cabinet to my house. Presumably, once it enters my house, then the standard telephone jackpoints are where I would plug my modem/router (and I'm presuming here that my existing ADSL2 modem/router will be fine). I'm guessing that the state of the internal wiring would affect the final speed that the modem/router reports, and from there any devices (wired or wireless) would be limited by the speed available. If I get a 100mbits plan, what kind of speed loss would my wired (ethernet) devices see? If they still get 70% of the plan's speed, that's pretty good. However, if it's only 10%, then it would make more sense to get a 30mbit or 10mbit plan. Wireless, I'm guessing, would be limited to the speed of the protocol it uses (currently on 802.11g, but hoping to upgrade to a wireless n router soon).

Have I understood this correctly?

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  Reply # 664774 31-Jul-2012 17:09 Send private message

Lizard1977: Thanks networkn,

I guess I was a little surprised that Telecom didn't have any Fibre plans on its website. As one of the largest ISPs, it seemed unusual.


Not unusual, simply the reality that there is a massive amount of work required to deploy fibre services and hardware for an ISP. Orcon are the only big player to have launched UFB services, and word is we'll see the top 3 all launch this side of Xmas. Apart from some small pockets UFB really only began in any volume in June, so it's very early days.

As for keeping a PSTN line the reality is that VoIP is the only way to deliver telephony in a fibre world. If you want a PSTN line your ISP will be able to provision you one as in most cases copper will stay in place once fibre is installed. This differs to countries such as Australia who are decommissioning copper 18 months after fibre is deployed. You will pay your ISP's standard price for a PSTN line, somewhere in the mid to high $40's.

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  Reply # 664777 31-Jul-2012 17:14 Send private message

Lizard1977: Thanks networkn,

I guess I was a little surprised that Telecom didn't have any Fibre plans on its website. As one of the largest ISPs, it seemed unusual.

I don't understand your answer in 3) though. As I understand it, fibre is simply a fibre-optic connection from the exchange/cabinet to my house. Presumably, once it enters my house, then the standard telephone jackpoints are where I would plug my modem/router (and I'm presuming here that my existing ADSL2 modem/router will be fine). I'm guessing that the state of the internal wiring would affect the final speed that the modem/router reports, and from there any devices (wired or wireless) would be limited by the speed available. If I get a 100mbits plan, what kind of speed loss would my wired (ethernet) devices see? If they still get 70% of the plan's speed, that's pretty good. However, if it's only 10%, then it would make more sense to get a 30mbit or 10mbit plan. Wireless, I'm guessing, would be limited to the speed of the protocol it uses (currently on 802.11g, but hoping to upgrade to a wireless n router soon).

Have I understood this correctly?


Not exactly; when you get UFB, you get a little termination box, which converts the fiber connection to an ethernet port in your house (or in a box outside / in your garage).

From there you will need to plug in an ethernet router, and to that you will connect all your other devices.

You don't use ADSL at all with UFB.  ADSL is just a way to get fast data down a copper pair.

If you get it from Orcon, they provide the Genius which is that router.

There is no POTS phone service provided as part of the UFB, that depends on your provider (in Orcon's case, the Genius provides a phone jack and a DECT handset) but it will always be a VoIP service.

Hope that helps :)

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  Reply # 664788 31-Jul-2012 17:41 Send private message

There are a variety of ISPs who offer UFB NOW. Try Unleash, DTS, Worldnet (although not the best reputation). I'd probably suggest you stick with VFX for your voice and get your internet with one of them.

You can keep your PSTN line although it would have to be a standalone normal line so probably an extra $50 a month. VOIP is the future and unless you have problems with dropouts (which won't be the case with UFB) then I doubt you'd notice the difference, apart from a cheaper monthly bill!







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  Reply # 665233 1-Aug-2012 10:37 Send private message

Thanks for the replies everyone - a lot of food for thought.  I hadn't realised that the fibre connection was terminated as an ethernet port in the house.  This clears up my confusion about the rewiring question.  If the fibre connection is simply terminated as a single ethernet port, then it bypases all the existing copper wiring in the house.  Any "rewiring" with cat5e would simply distribute the fibre connection to different rooms, to make it easier for connecting routers.  But if the wireless connection is strong enough to achieve high speeds, then that should be sufficient, and cat5e wiring is unnecessary.  Correct?  If so, then I have two supplementary questions - would powerline network adaptors provide enough speed if I wanted a wired network connection, or would that create a bottleneck?  And if I did want to wire the house with cat5e, what sort of cost should I expect? 

I didn't really like the Genius setup with Orcon, because my current Xnet setup means my phone is tied to the router.  While that was okay in our last place (open plan), the layout of our current home makes having multiple phones more of a necessity.  Can anyone verify the Orcon Genius feature of plugging the router into a jackpoint, and populating the VOIP to the other jackpoints?  That sounds like a great idea, kind of like wiring an ATA into the master jackpoint.  Is it unique to Orcon's hardware, or would it work with other equipment?

I read today that Orcon have only got about 200 households connected to UFB - is there someone here who has connected to Orcon's UFB, that can provide an account of the installation experience?  Also, can we expect to see similar differences in speed between ISPs on fibre, as we saw on ADSL?  I know some people dispute whether those speed differences were real or not, but it's always put me off some of the other ISPs (Orcon, Slingshot, etc) when I hear about people switching ISPs and seeing a drop in speeds.  Is this likely to happen between the different ISPs providing a fibre connection, or will it be a case of same speed, but different features/service/support?



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  Reply # 665296 1-Aug-2012 11:54 Send private message





Yes I am a employee of WxC (My Profile) ... but I do have my own opinions as well Wink

             

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  Reply # 666263 2-Aug-2012 14:52 Send private message

Thanks for all the feedback guys. The information on Maverick's install was really interesting (I even recognised the house - just down the road from where I used to live!) and an eye-opener. I think, on balance, it might be better to hold off making the leap to UFB for about 6 months, and give the installation process a little longer to bed in. I might also need that time to sell the benefits to SWMBO, as she won't be too impressed with all the construction work that it appears to require.

I think, for now, it might be simpler to switch to a different ISP and stay on ADSL (Telecom looks like a good bet). Provided I'm not tied to a lengthy contract, it shouldn't be any more difficult to switch to UFB sometime next year.


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  Reply # 666265 2-Aug-2012 14:54 Send private message

Lizard1977: Thanks for all the feedback guys. The information on Maverick's install was really interesting (I even recognised the house - just down the road from where I used to live!)



That's scary Laughing




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  Reply # 666298 2-Aug-2012 15:23 Send private message

Lizard1977: Can anyone verify the Orcon Genius feature of plugging the router into a jackpoint, and populating the VOIP to the other jackpoints?  That sounds like a great idea, kind of like wiring an ATA into the master jackpoint.  Is it unique to Orcon's hardware, or would it work with other equipment?


Yep, you can run multiple handsets off the Genius analog port.  It has a built-in ATA as well as the cordless DECT handset (if you go for the Full version instead of Lite - Lite gives you the analog port but no DECT handset)



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  Reply # 666363 2-Aug-2012 16:39 Send private message

ubergeeknz:
Lizard1977: Can anyone verify the Orcon Genius feature of plugging the router into a jackpoint, and populating the VOIP to the other jackpoints?  That sounds like a great idea, kind of like wiring an ATA into the master jackpoint.  Is it unique to Orcon's hardware, or would it work with other equipment?


Yep, you can run multiple handsets off the Genius analog port.  It has a built-in ATA as well as the cordless DECT handset (if you go for the Full version instead of Lite - Lite gives you the analog port but no DECT handset)


Does that work as suggested earlier in the thread?  i.e. plugging a cable from the VOIP out on the Genius to the jackpoint, and then being able to plug in standard analogue phones to any jackpoint in the house? 

Or does it just mean you can plug in multiple analogue handsets directly to the the Genius (meaning they're all in the same place)?

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  Reply # 666379 2-Aug-2012 16:51 Send private message

Lizard1977: Does that work as suggested earlier in the thread?  i.e. plugging a cable from the VOIP out on the Genius to the jackpoint, and then being able to plug in standard analogue phones to any jackpoint in the house?


Yes.  Once those jackpoints are disconnected from the PSTN, you can plug the phone out on the Genius into the master phone jack and all your extension jacks will be live for use with analog phones.



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  Reply # 666390 2-Aug-2012 17:01 Send private message

maverick:
Lizard1977: Thanks for all the feedback guys. The information on Maverick's install was really interesting (I even recognised the house - just down the road from where I used to live!)



That's scary Laughing


It was more the palm trees that gave it away - unless I'm much mistaken, that's Unsworth Heights.  My parent's house is on Albany Highway, just a stone's throw away from the entrance to Unsworth Drive.  We moved in just before the subdivision happened, and I grew up watching the place expand from mostly undeveloped land to what it is now.  I also worked at the BP petrol station on Target Road for 3 years, before I moved to Palmy.

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