BT Infinity 4 Review – FTTP only – 300 Mbps downstream / 30 Mbps up

BT Infinity is BT’s product for fibre Internet services and normally comes in 2 flavors:

  1. Fibre-To-The-Cabinet (FTTC) -> This is where a fibre cable is connected to a nearby box from which a copper cable goes to your flat/house (BT Infinity 1/2, up to 76 Mbps connectivity)
  2. Fibre-To-The-Premise (FTTP) -> This is where a fibre cable is connected directly to a box very close to your home and then a copper cable goes to the fibre modem inside the house (BT Infinity 4 / up to 300 Mbps) 

After finding out whether your home supports which kind of service, the BT ordering system will allow you to choose the maximum supported speed – Most UK homes will currently only support FTTC services, but there is talk that FTTP and G.Fast (I haven’t done much research with this) will be pushed more heavily in the near future. When I ordered my broadband package, BT was generous enough to give vouchers to entice me to join the service. 

At £70.99 per month (correct as of Feb 2017), including line rental and free weekend and evening calls, it is quite a dear service, but for that the advertised speed is 300 Mbps downstream / 30 Mbps upstream and comes with a latest BT Homehub (delivery charge was £7.95 I think). 

When the installation date came, I still had a powerline adapter running from the 1st to 3rd floor, which showed 250 Mbps. Effectively, I was only getting 150 Mbps on Speedtest.net using that set up until I asked BT to connect an Ethernet cable to the top floor (this was a free service and can be booked through their Customer Service line 0800 800150).

Kudos to the Openreach engineer, because he manged to use the wrong type of cable the first time and had to unclip the entire cable before getting a replacement from the depot.

As you can see, the extra cabling really paid off, with theoretical throughput slightly exceeding the advertised bandwidth.

In real life use, the extra speed from the top-end service may be overkill, but for homeworkers, IT professionals, gamers, movie lovers and larger households, there is really not much to compare against.

The politicians in Westminster may say that BT has an obligation to open up this high-end FTTC connections to competitors such as Sky, Talk Talk, etc. very soon, but the matter of fact is that it takes quite a long time before the cost of the cable is recovered and just like in any enterprise, some sort of protection will need to be in place in order to make the fixed cost investment worthwhile. 

For normal people the only thing that matters is the service and after using it for 6 months+, I haven’t had a single complaint with the service and I have also recently signed up to BT TV and BT Mobile to consolidate my existing services (from SKY and EE, the latter which is now owned by BT as well).

Some suggestion to BT would be to further get rid of the need for a fixed line telephone and redirect all calls to mobile phones, especially considering that out of contract calls seem to extremely expensive on BT landline.

 

BT Infinity sign up can be found here (subject to minimum contract and T&Cs): https://www.productsandservices.bt.com/products/infinity-broadband/

 

 

Posted by compusential_wp

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