Monday, April 07, 2014

We could be high speed surfers

Some time ago, my neighbour told me that the telephone system in Bigastro was being upgraded with fibre optic cable but of course you can never believe these things until you actually see them happen. This morning, there were people laying new cable on the road to the estate. One of our neighbours asked them what it was and he was told it was fibre optic cable to provide us with a 100Mb connection.

I checked with Movistar who could not confirm plans to upgrade the line so I put in a request on their site for a fibre optic connection. They will apparently keep me informed when it is possible to upgrade. When it comes, there will be a price increase for those who opt for the higher speed. For those who simply send a few emails and read the newspapers online, it will not be worth it. However, for those who  play online games or stream video, the increased speed will be worthwhile.

How will they connect us?

Those of you who are tech. savvy will know that there are a number of possible ways to install fibre optic cable.

By far the best method is to change the cable all the way from the exchange right into your house (FTTP – fibre to the premises). You then have a faceplate installed which connects the new cable to a supplied fibre optic router. As you might expect, this is the most expensive option.

The simpler and more common way is to lay fibre optic cable to the boxes in the road and leave the existing copper cable from there to your house as it is (FTTC – fibre to the cabinet). The speed you achieve by this method very much depends upon the length of that copper cable. Even still, the speeds will be a lot greater than those achieved with ADSL2+ and much faster than those with plain old ADSL.

Either way, we will need new modems to work with fibre. The original routers supplied by Telefonica won’t even support the 10Mb that we are currently allowed. I don’t know about here but in Britain you get a one port modem which is of little use to most people. Fortunately, you can connect the modem to a router using an ethernet cable but  the bad news is that not all routers will work with fibre.

A few years back I bought a Billions BiPak 7800N which is one of those listed to work with fibre. You need to check with the manufacturer of your router to see if it will work.

Of course, if you happen to have a VDSL2 modem/ router like the BiPak 8200N then you don’t even need the supplied modem – you can have a one box solution.

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