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Old 28-02-2013, 13:57
AJClayton
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Hi

I'm having BT Infinity installed next week. I've read all the blurb and realise that the master socket is updated etc. Here's my query:

Outside on the wall of my house there's a white box about the size of a small paperback book. The phone line comes out of the ground into that box and then there are 2 cables coming out of that. One goes to my kitchen where there is a master socket. The other goes into my home office to a "normal" extension socket.

If I leave the engineer to it, I expect he'd want to update the existing master socket in the kitchen. However there's nowhere for the equipment to go in there and no way of running a data extension cable from there to where I really want the equipment in my home office. So... I want to know if it's possible for the Openreach engineer to swap the two sockets around - ie. change the master socket in the kitchen to a plain old normal extension and make the extension in my home office the master socket (and add the new fibre bits in there).

As both cables come out of the external white box I'd guess that it is possible - however I want to make sure as I can't risk leaving it to chance!

Thanks, in advance, for any advice.
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Old 28-02-2013, 14:07
chrisjr
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There could be an issue with that. If the two sockets are tee'd off in this white box then that isn't really the correct way to do the job.

All extensions should be wired off the master socket. That allows you to isolate them from the line simply by removing the removable part of the socket faceplate. And on Infinity the master socket also does all the extension filtering so you don't need individual filters on all sockets. So even more reason for the extension to be wired off the master.

Provided you don't get a right jobsworth it should be possible to replace the office socket with the new Infinity master and rewire the kitchen so that it is an extension off that new master. You won't need to replace the kitchen socket. An NTE5 type socket will work perfectly well as an extension.
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Old 28-02-2013, 14:10
DeelyBopper
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It can be abit of a crap shoot as to how helpful your given engineer might be.

I know that doesn't help much but even when you are reassured of something by BT it doesn't always transpire.

I've heard lots of tales of extremely helpful engineers to ones that won't do anything but the basics.

My own experience is that I wanted a wired connection upstairs with the socket downstairs. I was even prepared to lay wiring in preparation for the engineer but was told that wasn't necessary.

When the engineer arrived he refused to do any extra wiring.
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Old 28-02-2013, 16:58
*MikeB*
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It can be abit of a crap shoot as to how helpful your given engineer might be.

I know that doesn't help much but even when you are reassured of something by BT it doesn't always transpire.

I've heard lots of tales of extremely helpful engineers to ones that won't do anything but the basics.

My own experience is that I wanted a wired connection upstairs with the socket downstairs. I was even prepared to lay wiring in preparation for the engineer but was told that wasn't necessary.

When the engineer arrived he refused to do any extra wiring.
Depends whether you get a contractor or an Openreach engineer. The contractors seem to have it in their head that on an FTTC install the modem has to go where the existing master socket is. They don't seem to do any kind of data extensions or rewiring. Could be because they are paid 15 per fibre install so they just want to be in and out.

As for Openreach engineers, what was described earlier is called backwiring, it isn't allowed. So it doesn't really depend on how helpful the engineer is, it depends on how bothered he is about getting into trouble. If an auditor visits the house the day after to check the job and he's done backwiring, that'll go on his record. Of course, not every engineer knows every single rule so it could be that some genuinely don't know they shouldn't backwire. I think that's what Chrisjr was describing anyway, unless he meant to run a new lead-in to the kitchen?

OP, is there no way that an external data extension could be used instead? Is there no route along the outside of the house from the kitchen to the study?
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Old 28-02-2013, 17:27
AJClayton
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Thanks all for your responses. It does seem to rather depend on who comes to do the install. I've decided that I can't risk it, so I'm paying 130 for a "shift" next Tuesday so that my Master Socket can be put where-ever I want it (which in my case is in my home office).

It really does look as if the existing office extension hasn't been put in quite how it should, however I'm hopeful that as I'm paying BT what is a fairly whopping wedge of my hard earned cash I'll get what I what in the end and won't have to risk that I get an unhelpful OR engineer (or contractor).

The really crazy part about it was that I had to cancel my infinity order so that my shift wouldn't be held up. As soon as I'd booked my shift I re-ordered my infinity straight away. It doesn't particularly matter if that new infinity order gets put on hold (because of the shift).

On the face of it, I could feel that I won't be getting very much for my money, however I get the impression from what you've all said here that there could be a problem or two to fix with my existing set up so on balance I feel it's worth getting this set up properly and booking a dedicated appointment just for that purpose!

I really appreciate your thoughts. I'm self employed so better do some self inflicated overtime to pay for my shift and the increased cost of fibre broadband. Looking forward to it all, though!
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Old 28-02-2013, 17:35
DeelyBopper
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Depends whether you get a contractor or an Openreach engineer. The contractors seem to have it in their head that on an FTTC install the modem has to go where the existing master socket is. They don't seem to do any kind of data extensions or rewiring. Could be because they are paid 15 per fibre install so they just want to be in and out.

As for Openreach engineers, what was described earlier is called backwiring, it isn't allowed. So it doesn't really depend on how helpful the engineer is, it depends on how bothered he is about getting into trouble. If an auditor visits the house the day after to check the job and he's done backwiring, that'll go on his record. Of course, not every engineer knows every single rule so it could be that some genuinely don't know they shouldn't backwire. I think that's what Chrisjr was describing anyway, unless he meant to run a new lead-in to the kitchen?

OP, is there no way that an external data extension could be used instead? Is there no route along the outside of the house from the kitchen to the study?
He was a contractor. But that shouldn't matter to the customer. But obviously it affects what the end result and view of BT is.

You're right though, he was bitching about how he'd already overrun on his day, when he walked in the door.

Seems nuts that you're rolling the dice as to whether you get a decent service or not.
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Old 28-02-2013, 21:31
chrisjr
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As for Openreach engineers, what was described earlier is called backwiring, it isn't allowed. So it doesn't really depend on how helpful the engineer is, it depends on how bothered he is about getting into trouble. If an auditor visits the house the day after to check the job and he's done backwiring, that'll go on his record. Of course, not every engineer knows every single rule so it could be that some genuinely don't know they shouldn't backwire. I think that's what Chrisjr was describing anyway, unless he meant to run a new lead-in to the kitchen?
From the description in the OP it sounded like the two sockets were wired back to this external box and joined in parallel to the incoming line.

As opposed to one socket wired to the line and the second socket wired into the first. Unless of course there is a two pair cable to the kitchen and one pair is the line and the other pair is from the extension terminals on the NTE5 and then looped in this white box to the cable going to the office. So the office is an extension, albeit not really wired up correctly.

So to redo it as AJClayton wants the Openreach engineer could feed the office socket off the line (and only that socket) and rewire the kitchen to the extension terminals on the new master.

Which is what I assume will happen in this socket shift that AJClayton has booked.
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Old 28-02-2013, 22:48
Hurlley
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How difficult do you think it would be for the engineer to run another cable to your office? thats the only way to give you the master in the office. So new wire from white box to now NTE5 in office, then use previously existing cable to send signal back to the white box which is then pushed through to the kitchen.

If the engineer is a contractor and refuses to do the work then ask them to send the job back for an Openreach engineer

Once you get an Openreach engineer If you make the effort any human would be hard pressed to refuse, so make it easy for the engineer as in move the junk out the front garden if a ladder needs putting up, remove all the rubbish etc out of your office, whatever route the existing wire is taking you need that route clear for the new wire, so all stuff and rubbish, clothes furniture etc all out the way for the guy to staple gun his way the cable to the socket, basically anything that will get in his way. Imagine if you were to do it what makes it easier move it all before he gets there.

You shouldn't have to get a NTE5 shift job first as this can be done as part of the infinity install, however even if you do pay for the NTE5 shift, the above I have described is what they will do I imagine.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:25
JulesandSand
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Prior to my Infinity installation my master socket was in an unsuitable location for the router, however the Openreach engineer who turned up couldn't have been more helpful - he drilled through a thick stone wall and installed a new master socket in a more central location in the house, the old master socket then became an extension.

I had actually paid, prior to him coming, for an ethernet extension from the old master socket to the location I was intending to site the router - I needn't have bothered!
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Old 01-03-2013, 17:34
*MikeB*
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So to redo it as AJClayton wants the Openreach engineer could feed the office socket off the line (and only that socket) and rewire the kitchen to the extension terminals on the new master.

Which is what I assume will happen in this socket shift that AJClayton has booked.
Yeah but to rewire the kitchen to the faceplate of the master in the study they'd have to use the spare pair in the cable to the study to go back the other way to the BT66 box outside, so they'd be backfiring.


Prior to my Infinity installation my master socket was in an unsuitable location for the router, however the Openreach engineer who turned up couldn't have been more helpful - he drilled through a thick stone wall and installed a new master socket in a more central location in the house, the old master socket then became an extension.

I had actually paid, prior to him coming, for an ethernet extension from the old master socket to the location I was intending to site the router - I needn't have bothered!
And so they should be, that's the difference Openreach engineers are paid a salary. Yes they get looked at for how many jobs they do (or rather the average time they take to do a job, versus how long it is estimated to take), but their pay isn't affected, and they are told to make the service work within 30m of the existing NTE5 however long it takes.

The vast majority will do this because they will be worried about an auditor checking their work or the customer reporting them. How would the explain why they didn't put the modem where the customer wanted it?

Thanks all for your responses. It does seem to rather depend on who comes to do the install. I've decided that I can't risk it, so I'm paying 130 for a "shift" next Tuesday so that my Master Socket can be put where-ever I want it (which in my case is in my home office).
To be honest I wouldn't have done that. I would advise to just see what happens on the day. If you get a contractor and he refuses to do it properly then complain afterwards and an Openreach engineer will be sent out to fix his mess. That's what tends to happen a lot.

I'd say cancel the 130 shift, it's a lot of money for something that shouldn't be needed.
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Old 03-03-2013, 20:21
chrisjr
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Yeah but to rewire the kitchen to the faceplate of the master in the study they'd have to use the spare pair in the cable to the study to go back the other way to the BT66 box outside, so they'd be backfiring,
Why do you assume that is the only option? What about the two other options of either running a new cable all the way from office to kitchen or a second cable from office back to the junction box?
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Old 10-03-2013, 17:18
AJClayton
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Hi all.

Here's an update. I went ahead with the shift. I accept *MikeB*'s comment that if I asked for the shift during the Infinity install and it wasn't done how I wanted then I could complain at that stage, however on balance I just decided to take the hit so I could get it how I want and have a pain free Infinity install next week.

It turned out, as some had suggested on here, that I effectively had two master sockets as both of my extensions (kitchen and office) were running from the box outside. The engineer who came out put a master socket in the office and then back fed that to the white box outside where it picked up the existing cable to the kitchen on which he fitted a normal extension faceplate.

I apologise for my ignorance but on reading some of the comments left to my original query I'm not sure feeding back like that is what he should've done? However, it was interesting to note after he'd left that my ADSL down speed has gone up by over a megabit. He came last Tuesday and I've run a few speed tests since then (just to make sure) and every time it's been faster than every test I did prior to that when the system was set up as 2 masters.

I'm hoping, therefore, that what he's done is correct.

It's perfectly possible that the OR engineer would've done all that for me and I could've saved the extra cost of the shift, however I'm pretty pleased to have got it all sorted out and know that the Infinity install should go ahead pretty easily and I won't have any hassle trying to get things changed afterwards.

Thanks all for the help and advice.
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Old 10-03-2013, 17:25
chrisjr
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It turned out, as some had suggested on here, that I effectively had two master sockets as both of my extensions (kitchen and office) were running from the box outside. The engineer who came out put a master socket in the office and then back fed that to the white box outside where it picked up the existing cable to the kitchen on which he fitted a normal extension faceplate.
That is what I thought from your first post.

As for back wiring to feed the kitchen. It depends on how it was done. If he used one pair in the office cable for the line and a second pair in the same cable for the link back to the kitchen that that is a bit naughty.

However if he ran a separate cable back from the office to link to the kitchen that is OK
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Old 10-03-2013, 21:10
*MikeB*
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I suspect he did the former, unfortunately.

And they reckon on the rare occasion that backwiring does haven negative effect on speed it happens over the course of a few days or weeks. So when it's originally done the speed will seem fine.
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Old 10-03-2013, 22:34
AJClayton
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That's interesting. I may be able to tell. I'll look tomorrow and see what cabling is on the outside going to the external box.

If I suspect you're right (and I wouldn't be at all surprised, because it didn't take him very long to do the job) I'll certainly speak to the OR engineer on Tuesday and see what he's got to say about it.

You never know, if he has to put it right I may have cause to speak to BT about the charge for the original shift. I'm probably getting ahead of myself, though.

Will keep you posted. Thanks again for everyone's helpful input.
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Old 12-03-2013, 17:04
AJClayton
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Update on what happened today during my Infinity install.

The engineer arrived (30 mins early so I suspect he was having a good day). There's a backlog locally so he'd come down to the south coast from Manchester to help the local engineers catch up. Not that surprising as they've been rolling out Infinity right across the area here recently.

Anyway, I digress.

I explained to him the points raised here. He had a look to see how the back feeding had been done and it was, indeed, through the same cable. He said that because the length of cable is short (a couple of feet) he didn't think it would make all that much difference however he still changed it to a separate cable so the job has been done properly.

I'm now wondering about contacting BT to see if they'll refund at least part of the cost of the socket shift. I'm not one of those people who tries to get something for nothing but on balance I think at least a part refund should be on the cards. Perhaps I'll sleep on it...

Thanks for all your helpful advice here, I wouldn't have queried the set up with the engineer today unless I'd had your valuable input.

Oh, and as you'd expect my infinity speed is nice and quick, although I won't worry too much about it until after the initial 10 day settling in period.
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Old 13-03-2013, 17:20
*MikeB*
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Update on what happened today during my Infinity install.

The engineer arrived (30 mins early so I suspect he was having a good day). There's a backlog locally so he'd come down to the south coast from Manchester to help the local engineers catch up. Not that surprising as they've been rolling out Infinity right across the area here recently.

Anyway, I digress.

I explained to him the points raised here. He had a look to see how the back feeding had been done and it was, indeed, through the same cable. He said that because the length of cable is short (a couple of feet) he didn't think it would make all that much difference however he still changed it to a separate cable so the job has been done properly.

I'm now wondering about contacting BT to see if they'll refund at least part of the cost of the socket shift. I'm not one of those people who tries to get something for nothing but on balance I think at least a part refund should be on the cards. Perhaps I'll sleep on it...

Thanks for all your helpful advice here, I wouldn't have queried the set up with the engineer today unless I'd had your valuable input.

Oh, and as you'd expect my infinity speed is nice and quick, although I won't worry too much about it until after the initial 10 day settling in period.
Good news, I'm glad it has been done correctly for you now.

I remain to be convinced if backwiring genuinely does affect VDSL speed on short runs. However the company maintain they have research which says it does, so a good engineer wouldn't do it.

Oh and there is no 10 day settling in period with Openreach FTTC based products. If the engineer said there is ignore him (in fact even ignore the email BT Retail sent you), it isn't true!
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Old 08-05-2013, 16:07
AJClayton
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I realise it's been a while since I posted this query but for the sake of completeness I thought I'd update.

In the end I did raise a query with BT, after all it was BT Business who advised me to get the socket shift in the first place and it wasn't really necessary as the OpenReach engineer would've done it (as was suspected by some of you on here). Perhaps I wouldn't have worried so much if it wasn't for the fact that the OR engineer re-did the wiring properly meaning the first visit really wasn't worth the time (and my money).

I made many calls to BT including several to India where despite the fact that in many cases they spoke reasonable English all the operators there failed to grasp what I was talking about. The main confusion was caused by my line being residential and my internet being business. I use a VOIP phone for business calls so my residential line really is residential, in case you're wondering.

I lost count of the number of calls I made, but eventually someone in customer retentions said that at no point had anyone raised my query as an official complaint so he did so (on 17 April) saying that I would hear something within 10 working days. I even received a text confirming that.

13 working days later I'd received no further contact other than a BT business operator in India phoning me at one point to offer to transfer the cost of the socket shift to my business bill as that's what they thought I was asking for (you can imagine my response).

So. I called BT again. Eventually managed to get put through to someone in the UK and explained my problem (yet again). She was great - phoning through to the complaints team for a progress report and as nothing had happened she refunded the 130. Well, credited it to my account which is nearly as good.

The lesson to be learned here is that different parts of the BT Group don't speak to each other and provided you don't mind hooking yourself up to a blood pressure monitor while you're talking to India or on hold you may be able to get the end result you seek (if you don't mind wasting several hours of your life in the process).
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Old 08-05-2013, 17:02
DeelyBopper
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Pretty much my experience with them. You will eventually get things sorted once you get put through to people who understand and are able to make decisions.

Just expect alot of phone calls, going over the same old crap and the same scripts before you reach that stage.

For me, its not worth it. I would rather pay a little more per month and know I can get better customer service than have to go through BT's systems. They are headbangingly frustrating at times.

I was with Be prior to BT Infinity. Support outsourced to Bulgaria but each member of staff knew what they were doing, they communicated info. so that other members could also see that you had contacted them before and most importantly they could resolve your situation speedily. None of this upgrade to complaint, get a response in 3 day malarky.
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