High Speed Fibre Broadband now available to parts of Braishfield

Largely unannounced, some houses in Braishfield are now able to get high speed fibre broadband.

There is a government funded project in place to enable rural premises to receive high speed fibre broadband – and Braishfield is part of this scheme. The aim is to bring the advantages of higher speed broadband to everyone. Braishfield is planned to be part of “Wave 2” of the Hampshire rollout of the plan – taking place in 2016 and 2017.

However, we discovered at the end of 2015 that quite a number of premises in Braishfield have already been upgraded to fibre broadband and can as a result get much better broadband speeds. There has also been an upgrade to the Braishfield exchange that means that many of the rest of us have also received a broadband speed boost even without getting fibre broadband.

Most phone lines in Braishfield are attached to a cabinet – which you see at the roadside in particular places in Braishfield. Each cabinet has a number – and different phone lines are attached to different cabinets. “Cabinet 4” is near the War Memorial, while Cabinet 6 is on Braishfield Road opposite the junction with Newport Lane. A few lines, especially those further from the telephone exchange in Newport Lane, are not attached to a cabinet and are termed “exchange only lines”.

Whether you can get high speed broadband depends on which cabinet your telephone line is attached to. Cabinet 3 and Cabinet 6 have been upgraded to high speed broadband.  I am told by the Hampshire Rural Broadband team that Cabinet 1 will be upgraded in phase 2, between July 2016 and June 2017. Cabinet 4 is due for upgrade in phase 4, between July 2017 and June 2018. The exchange only lines have no date at the moment.

Cabinet 6 largely seems to serve properties along Braishfield Road. I have not managed to find out which properties are served by cabinet 3.

What does it all mean for me?

1. Find out if your phone line can get high speed broadband.

Go to this webpage and enter your phone number:

https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html

You will be presented with a page of information about your phone line:

– it will tell you which cabinet your line is attached to

– it will list the broadband products available to your line and the likely speeds available

– e.g. “FTTC Range A” is “fibre to the cabinet” – i.e. high speed broadband and may give download speeds up to 48 Megabits per second (Mbps)

– e.g. “WBC ADSL 2+” is a medium-speed version of broadband that you may already be able to get – download speeds up to 24 Mbps

– e.g. “ADSL Max” – the basic broadband offering – download speeds up to 8Mbps

You can check the actual speed you are getting with your broadband right now using the BR speedtester here:

http://speedtest.btwholesale.com/

If you see an “FTTC” product listed for your line – then you can get high speed broadband.  HOWEVER – to get high speed broadband you need to

a) get your line enabled for “fibre broadband” and b) get a new broadband router installed in your house that can support “FTTC”

– to do these things, you will need to talk with your broadband supplier, or alternatively talk with one of the many other broadband suppliers.

You may have to sign up a new contract at a higher price – and you may need to purchase the new router.

This website lists the available broadband suppliers:

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/isp_list/ISP_List_Superfast_Broadband.php

2. Good news even for phone lines that cannot get high speed broadband

As part of upgrading the Braishfield exchange itself to provide high speed broadband, the exchange was also upgraded to support something called “ADSL2+”.

This is a faster version of the standard “ADSL Max” broadband that has been available for some years.

The main point about ADSL2+ is that is supports higher speeds – up to 24Mbps rather than 8Mpbs for ADSL Max.

For my own line, speed went up from about 6.5Mbps to about 13Mbps due to the upgrade to ADSL2+.

You may find that your broadband speed has already increased due to ADSL2+ – but ONLY if the broadband router in your house supports ADSL2+.

Many of the more modern broadband routers do support ADSL2+ – so you may find that you are already benefitting from higher broadband speeds.

And the great news is that you don’t have to pay one penny more to get this speed boost.

You can check if your able to get ADSL2+ from the webpage in 1. above – look for “WBC ADSL 2+” in the listing for your line.

You will need to check if your broadband router can handle ADSL2+ – you can ask your broadband supplier about this. If your router can’t handle ADSL2+ then you will have to consider replacing your router.

Mike Edwards

January 12th 2016