New Digital Services in the UK

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TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
I've just discovered that Openreach in the UK are going to switch off all non-digital telephone landline services in 2025, so we shall all have to migrate to fully-digital communications at sometime between now and then. I guess that's why they are laying new fibre optic cables all around the country at the moment, including Worcester, where I live. So, if I understand this correctly, I shall need to replace the current cable from the master socket to my DrayTek modem with a Cat 5/6/7 cable direct from the ONT, when it's installed, to my ASUS RT-AX88U at the top of the stairs and then remove the redundant DrayTek device. Question: will it make much difference if I use a Cat 5, 6 or 7 cable when I come to change it and if so, by roughly how much? Also, I believe that since the new fibre optic cables are being laid by City Fibre, there is a setting I shall need to change in the router, but I can't remember what it is or what I shall need to change it to. Can anyone help with that please? Many thanks.
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
There's a few things going on in your query. Firstly the switch off of analogue telephone/landline is totally separate to the installation of fibre to the premises (FTTP) by Openreach. Many will still get their "broadband" internet via copper cables via ADSL or VDSL for a few years after 2025, but you can't plug an analogue phone into the phone socket.

In addition to ColinTaylor's good link.......

All telephony will move to VoIP. If you choose to get phone service from your ISP it will be provided in petty much all cases by the ISP supplied router through a port you can plug your analogue phone into. Most ISPs I doubt will provide the SIP login details (for example BT don't on their Digital Voice product - you must use the supplied smarthub). So if you want to use a 3rd party router and ISP provided VoIP - it won't work.

However you can use a separate VoIP provider (and I'd recommend you do) to separate your telephony from data. If you actually use your landline! I'd look at getting either a DECT base that can do VoIP (Gigaset N300 IP or Go Box 100) ar an ATA adapter and one of the many VoIP providers like Sipgate basic. If you really want to keep your lanline number I'd recommend porting it to VoIP next time your ISP minimum term is up, as doing so will terminate your existing landline and broadband if bundled.

CityFibre are building their own fibre network separate to Openreach (although they may "rent" the use of Openreach ducts and poles) and don't actually provide internet - but several ISPs use the CityFibre network, e.g Vodafone, TalkTalk.

But yes in general all provision by fibre uses an ONT (there are a couple of ISPs that have routers with built in "ONT") and you may need to change the WAN settings in your AX88U - although to what will depend on the ISP as it can vary slightly.

CAT 5e cable is rated to 1Gbps up to 100m length - so is likely to be adequate for a fair while before you'd need better - but if the cable was hidden away under floors etc I'd stick CAT 6 in (still probably overkill for many years!) CAT 7 - errr, just no.
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
Hmm - this is all very complicated and I think non-technical people are going to struggle with this and are probably not even aware what is coming their way. I think I may just stop using my Panasonic landline phones altogether when the current phone service terminates, as everyone in my family has mobile phones (3 of them using the mobile service provided by my ISP, Plusnet), but I'll have to weigh-up my options nearer the time.
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
Yeah, some of the finer points about porting etc can sound a bit complicated. For the large majority the main ISPs will just say "use our router and plug your phone into the phone port on that" job done for most. A lot of people won't really care obout keeping an old number either.

CityFibre do this thing where they let one ISP onto their network for about the first year after it goes live, then let other ISPs on later, so Giganet may or may not be the first in your area. Do keep an eye on Openreach in your area too - they may be rolling out FTTP as well: Openreach Superfast Map
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
If I have to switch to an alternative ISP on the City Fibre network, such as Vodaphone, once my current ISP (Plusnet) becomes unavailable in my area, as seems likely, it seems that the following will be required if I want to keep my RT-AX88U router:-

CityFibre VLAN ID

CityFibre connections require VLAN ID 911 configuring on the WAN/ Internet port. You need to ensure that your router supports configuring a VLAN on the WAN/ Internet port. If you fail to set VLAN ID 911 on CityFibre connections, you will not be able to connect to the service.

I have found the place in the GUI where I would need to add the VLAN ID, but I'm not quite sure how to add it, so can anyone advise please? The image I am uploading shows how far I have got with this, but I need to know exactly what to do next when the time comes. I'll then save a link to this thread for future reference.
 

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AndreiV

Very Senior Member
As Colin says , "why worry now"? you have no idea what services will be available until the FTTP is installed. What makes you think Plusnet won't be available?

For many people the landline issue is solved by not having one, use a mobile phone instead.

[and if NASA are to be believed the solar storm that will arrive on Haloween could make all digital services useless anyway.]
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
I'm not worrying, but I do like to know where I am going well in advance.

From the Plusnet forum, the following post by a staff member:-

"If CityFibre are laying fibre cables, I’m afraid you’d need to go with them or a provider who uses their network, as we’d use Openreach’s infrastructure."

So as I said, it seems unlikely that I'll be able to remain with Plusnet.

I think I've found the answer to my VLAN question on the ASUS website:-

 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
Should I need to disable SIP passthrough and/or any other components on the page of the GUI if I decide to purchase VOIP-enabled cordless phones? What exactly would that do and would it cause problems for remote access to the router/local network via OpenVPN?
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
My Gigaset Go Box 100 works fine without changing any of the default settings ( and doesn't seem to make any differece what it is set to). Most modern VoIP kit will punch through NAT without any issue.

This should not cause any issue to running the VPN client/server.
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
I'm moving to BT's Full Fibre 100 (towards the end of November) as I won't pay a penalty for switching from Plusnet. I've registered for a new local telephone number with Sipgate and they are sending me some extra information in the post, which I shall need to enter on their website to complete the registration with them. My question is, will completing my registration early with Sipgate have any effect on my current FTTC service with Plusnet (I have given Plusnet the date of my changeover to BT and they are going to terminate their service on the same day)? Also, looking at Gigasets cordless handsets, am I right in thinking that I specifically need a VOIP-enabled model and not just a DECT model if I want to avoid having to use an adapter between the phone and the RT-AX88U router?
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
Registering an account at Sipgate has nothing to do with your current FTTC or future FTTP (other than using data obviously).

Doing the change of ISP the way it sounds you are I assume you know you it won't port you existing number to Sipgate?

I assume if you are going the Sipgate route you've made sure you are not paying for Digital Voice on your new BT connection?

Yes you need a Gigaset base that supports VoIP. The N300 IP, Go Box 100 or N510 IP all do.
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
Registering an account at Sipgate has nothing to do with your current FTTC or future FTTP (other than using data obviously).

Doing the change of ISP the way it sounds you are I assume you know you it won't port you existing number to Sipgate?

I assume if you are going the Sipgate route you've made sure you are not paying for Digital Voice on your new BT connection?

Yes you need a Gigaset base that supports VoIP. The N300 IP, Go Box 100 or N510 IP all do.
Thanks for answering my questions - much appreciated.

I've chosen a new local number, rather than paying Sipgate to keep my existing number.
I've chosen broadband only with BT, so no voice calls will be provided by them.
My plan is to just plug compatible hardware into my ASUS RT-AX88U router.
The N300A IP DECT/VoIP device is top of my list, but I am just waiting for Sipgate to confirm which handsets are compatible with the base station.
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
Cool - the process gets a bit complex if you want to keep your number and port it in!

It's not really about the handsets being compatible with VoIP as it's the base that does all the VoIP work, so not sure what answer Sipgate may say.

But I have several Gigaset Go Box 100 bases (they are exactly the same thing as an N300A IP) running just fine with Sipgate - with several different handsets, SL450, SL850, C430, E630 (rugged) and RH630 (rugged) and many other will work - you can check some of them here: Gigaset Compatibility.

The C430HX is probably the most cost effective, you may get a better price with a bundle depending on how many handsets you need. List prices are often expensive, but if you don't mind second hand you can often get a base, and 1 or 2 handsets for ~£50 on auction sites.
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
Hi adrenalize.

Thank you for your reply.

This is what Gigaset have told me this morning:-

"Thank you for contacting Gigaset Technical Support.

You informed us that you are switching to VoIP telephony and that you would like to know whether the Gigaset N300A IP base station is compatible with C430A and C430HX handsets, what are the differences between the C430A and C430HX and if a VoIP adapter is required.

In regard to your inquiry, we would like to inform you that the difference between C430A and C430HX is that the Gigaset C430A is a complete analogue system (C430A - analogue base station which comes with C430 handset), while the C430HX is a handset sold separately as an additional handset which can be connected to the Gigaset base station.

Both the C430A and C430HX handsets are fully compatible with the N300A IP base station.

The C430HX and C430A handsets have to be registered to the N300A IP base station (the C430A base station can be used as a charging cradle; the analogue cable is not required, only the power supply is needed).

In order to register a handset to the N300A IP base station, please follow these steps:

On the handset, go into Menu / Settings / Registration / Register Handset, and when prompted, enter the system PIN (default 0000). A message "Searching for a base in registration mode" should be shown on your display. On the base station, within 60 seconds of step 1, press and hold the Paging key for at least 10 seconds, then release it. The registration process can take anywhere up to 2 minutes.

We would also like to inform you that the N300A IP base station should be connected directly into the router via an Ethernet cable and that no adapters are required.

Once the VoIP account is registered with the N300A IP base station, the phone can be used on the VoIP line."
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
I've successfully registered my sipgate account on my Gigaset base station, but although I can receive calls to my VoIP phone (I haven't tested the audio yet though), I haven't been able to make any calls yet (it just says "via Fixed Line" on the handset after dialling, but nothing else happens, not even to the sipgate test numbers).
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
As Colin says , "why worry now"? you have no idea what services will be available until the FTTP is installed. What makes you think Plusnet won't be available?

For many people the landline issue is solved by not having one, use a mobile phone instead.

[and if NASA are to be believed the solar storm that will arrive on Haloween could make all digital services useless anyway.]
This happened a number of years ago, the discontinuation of analog telephony, here in Canada. Ma Bell then provided us with filters to put between the jacks on the wall and our analog telephones.
Things have progressed since then, with fibre trunklines being run in place of copper. I just discovered that the 3rd major thoroughfare surrounding my neighbourhood is getting it, where 2 of the others have had it for some time. This explains the new round of sales calls by the media provider whose infrastructure it is: they're looking for more subscribers/customers to finance their upgrade.

And yes, mobile is a definite option as well: Because of the expanding nearby fibre infrastructure, my mobile provider has located a cell 300m direct Line-of-sight from me, and while the latency is 3-4x what my DSL connection offers, the speed is also 2-3x what is available to me over the rather ancient copper phone lines (Cable is another beast entirely). I'm certain when they light up fibre to each home here, 1Gbps will be an average package speed, up/down combined, and that's 10x what is considered average today in these parts.

so - trying to be prepared for the changes technology will bring is a bit of a waste of time, as others have suggested. the tech won't arrive until its easily available to you. What I think is more important right now is staking your claim to the airspace around your home for good wifi - this is why meshing is such a sought-after feature on routers with modern radios. You don't know you need it until you REALLY need it...and it's been made easy for you.
 

adrenalize

Occasional Visitor
I've successfully registered my sipgate account on my Gigaset base station, but although I can receive calls to my VoIP phone (I haven't tested the audio yet though), I haven't been able to make any calls yet (it just says "via Fixed Line" on the handset after dialling, but nothing else happens, not even to the sipgate test numbers).
You probably need to set the "Number Assignments" for the handsets. I find this easier to do via the N300 IPs web server. If you find your N300's IP address (proably comes up in the list on your router) then just type its IP into a web browser - the PIN is the one set on your phone - 1234 as default I think. Then go to the "Settings" tab > Telephony > Number assignment and you should see you handsets listed and you can set the default line to dial out on - or select the "each outgoing call" option to select each time you dial. You have to set all handsets separately, you can easilt name them as well. There's probably a way to do it in the handset menus too!
 

TheLyppardMan

Very Senior Member
You probably need to set the "Number Assignments" for the handsets. I find this easier to do via the N300 IPs web server. If you find your N300's IP address (proably comes up in the list on your router) then just type its IP into a web browser - the PIN is the one set on your phone - 1234 as default I think. Then go to the "Settings" tab > Telephony > Number assignment and you should see you handsets listed and you can set the default line to dial out on - or select the "each outgoing call" option to select each time you dial. You have to set all handsets separately, you can easilt name them as well. There's probably a way to do it in the handset menus too!
Yes, I found that option myself this morning from a hint on another website, but thanks anyway. Everything is working fine now (I did make the two recommended changes in the NAT passthrough, but it didn't resolve the problem and so I'm not sure if I needed to make them or not). Anyway, all is fine now, so I'm just waiting on BT to do their bit in a couple of weeks' time. I've upgraded the Ethernet cat 5 cable from the ASUS RT-AX88U to the Cyberpower Ethernet protection output port with a cat 7 cable in readiness and I've got a 15 metre cat 7 cable ready to replace the cable from the current master socket to the DrayTek modem (to connect the ONT to the Cyberpower Ethernet protection input port). I can then remove the DrayTek modem and other redundant telephony equipment once it no longer functions.
 

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