Fibre Optic Broadband

I just thought I’d write a quick post about fibre optic broadband. I’ve finally got it. This is a good thing.

I’ve wanted to upgrade to FTTC for a while now as I do a lot of work online and commonly have a need to download 300/400/500 mb from one place, and upload them to the other. As such doing that on a 13MB ADSL connection with a 1MB upload was a little painful. I’d often queue the work up till late on an evening when I didn’t need to use the connection, or do it through the day when the house was empty.

I looked at Virgin Media. They do a 100 (possibly 120) MB connection but with a limited upload. It’s £30 a month. They also traffic shape badly, and have bad reviews for doing so. Peak times slow you right down and they block certain features. I decided in 2011 that I wouldn’t entertain Virgin anyway as they are awful (see previous posts on my bad customer service).

So I waited for fibre optic broadband to come along. I started looking in January 2012 and it had by exchange down to be done in the summer. So I waited, and the summer passed. Then Autumn came and the date for enabling my exchange came and passed. The date was changed on the BT Openreach page and I slowly started to give up hope.

These are the steps I took to keep check on FTTC enabling in my area;

  1. You can see when your exchange will be enabled by visiting
  2. Once you have a date – follow @Openreach_news on Twitter. That service tweets when exchanges are active. If you’re really sad subscribe and you’ll be alerted everytime they tweet.
  3. Wait around 4-6 weeks following your exchange activation date. This is how long it took for BT Openreach to replace the cabinet near my house with a new fibre cabinet.
    Click here to see a fibre cabinet. 
  4. Place your order with an ISP. I opted to stay with Sky. Sky charge £50 for the activation and installation whilst BT Infinity is free. However BT Infinity have caps and also traffic shape so I opted to remain with Sky. It took a week from order to installation.

So I now have Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro. I opted to pay £10 a month more to have a 20MB upload. This means I can do my work a lot quicker, and not bother the partner when she is playing on Xbox live.

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