Customer-supplied line-filters to give VDSL2 setups the same promise of self-install as ADSL2

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thinkbroadband :: Openreach in technical trial to test micro-filters with FTTC service

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Previously ADSL required a truck-roll to the customer’s premises to provide the service. Here, the technician installs a DSL line splitter at the line’s entry point and a socket for the ADSL modem. Now installs don’t need a technician to visit unless they are difficult or sophisticated setups like dealing with business phone systems or monitored security systems.

Typically, the customer installs a micro-filter or ADSL line splitter on each phone device and connects the ADSL modem-router to a socket that doesn’t have a micro-filter attached to it or connects the modem to the ADSL or DATA port of the line splitter. In most cases, we tend to use DSL line splitters rather than line filters at each phone socket. This can allow us to move the ADSL modem-router around as needed to suit different living arrangements or simply to relocate the wireless router for best performance.

Most fibre-copper next-generation broadband setups such as FTTC, FTTN or FTTB typically will implement VDSL2 but this is a different kettle of fish when it comes to provision. Here, a technician still visits the premises to put in a VDSL2 central splitter and run Ethernet-grade cable to where the VDSL2 modem-router would be installed.

BT Openreach are trialing the use of selected line filters and splitters as a way of providing self-installation of VDSL2-based fibre-copper setups. They are assessing these for radio and audio interference and degradation of data throughput with the commonly-used line filters attached to existing phone equipment.

Initially, the tests will be based around professionally-installed setups, but they will move towards self-install setups. It could also then give the same level of flexibility that we have enjoyed with ADSL2 equipment.

These tests could be observed by other countries and companies interesting in deploying fibre-copper next-generation broadband that uses VDSL2 technology; but can also be used as a way of justifying these setups over fibre-to-the-premises setups.

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