CHOOSING YOUR ULTRAFAST SERVICE
CHOOSING YOUR ULTRAFAST BROADBAND SERVICE
When you look online, FTTP options will only be visible for your property AFTER they become available at your property. In their customer sales centres Internet Service Provider (ISP) call handlers will only be able to view the same options you can online. Those who have pledged should be informed when FTTP is available. It may take a little while for all ISPs to show what they can offer.
Based on phone and internet research by the Horsley Ultrafast Broadband Task Group, some information follows that is intended to help explain choices that may be available. However, ISP call handlers are not experts and, sometimes, have been found to provide misleading information. Products and services are also evolving quickly.
Please note that neither the Horsley Ultrafast Broadband Task Group nor the East Horsley or West Horsley Parish Councils can accept any liability for decisions you make in conjunction with your ISP based on the information we provide. Please check your options carefully before you enter any contract with an ISP for the new service.
We highlight below both SIMPLE and WIDER choices. Your phone options and whether you can keep your existing landline number will be important for some together with any consequences for an ISP issued email address, should you decide to change your ISP. Do check before making any change.
Please beware of scammers, a call has already been taken from someone claiming to be from BT telling him he had to order a “device” and download an app in order to secure the new fibre broadband upgrade when it goes live. You do not have to order a device or load an app to get Ultrafast broadband via FTTP. You might be informed by your ISP that FTTP is available. We suggest that you initiate contact with your chosen ISP.
SIMPLE CHOICE for those who pledged to take faster broadband:
This is the basic minimum to honour your voucher pledge to DCMS.
Broadband: You can contact your current ISP, and others if you wish, to find out what is on offer to you. You should take out a contract for at least the minimum required uprated speed broadband service for a minimum of 12 months. Broadband packages named “Ultrafast” or “Full Fibre” should satisfy the minimum speed requirement for most homes in Horsley. If you have pledged and your ISP does not offer a faster service you would only be able to honour your pledge by changing to another ISP.
Phone: If the ISP offers an ongoing phone service, continue to take that service and check whether you can continue to use your existing analogue phone or phone system (expect this to be possible with most well-known ISPs offering FTTP in Horsley). You may wish to upgrade to a digital phone which is capable of better sound clarity; these are called VoIP phones or digital voice phones. You may have to buy these phones; cordless and wired VoIP phones are on the market. Be aware that in the event of a power cut VoIP/digital phones (as well as your broadband) will not work unless you have battery back-up; in this circumstance a mobile phone is essential.
WIDER CHOICE for those considering additional options:
Broadband: Contract for whatever speed FTTP broadband service you wish (subject to it being at least the pledged minimum required and for at least 12 months) from an ISP that offers such a service. This may be your current or a new ISP. If you have pledged and your ISP does not offer a faster service you would only be able to honour your pledge by changing to another ISP. Most of the popular ISPs are offering their lowest cost Ultrafast packages in the 100 to 150 Mbps range. The fastest speed on offer is 900 Mbps.
Phone options: Current UK telephony is analogue, using either cordless handsets or wired phones. The government plans to make all phone calls digital by the end of 2025 and FTTP is part of this change. FTTP is excellent for digital voice phones which are capable of a wider frequency range and better clarity than analogue phones. Digital voice phones use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and can be either connected to a hub or an ethernet socket; in homes they are mostly cordless “DECT VoIP” handsets which communicate via a base station in the same way as analogue cordless handsets.
Subject to the service offering from your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP), the following options MAY be available for your phone line as follows:
- Opt to cancel landline. Many people do not use their landline and may be able to reduce costs by cancelling their landline service. Some ISPs offer this option.
- Opt for VoIP/digital voice. Some ISPs will offer this option and will either leave you to source your VoIP phones or offer their own proprietary phones (e.g. BT’s Alexa enabled handsets). There are various makes of both wired VoIP phones and cordless VoIP handsets.
- If you choose only digital voice for your phones:
- You will need a VoIP phone or phone system.
- Copper wiring and phones could become redundant.
- Some ISPs supply hubs/routers with a built in VoIP base station to connect with their cordless handsets. Otherwise, a base station can usually be plugged into the hub or an ethernet socket.
- Those with security or medical/personal alarms should check that their alarm provider offers compatibility with VoIP and the cost to you, if any, for any changes.
- You should ensure that you are able to call the emergency services, e.g. using a mobile phone.If you have VoIP 999 calls will not be possible if broadband is down, nor during a power cut (unless you have suitable battery back-up).
- Opt to continue using your existing analogue phone wiring and or phones by connecting to a socket on the FTTP enabled hub. If there is no suitable socket on the hub, plug the base station or wired phone into a separate Analogue Telephone Adapter or other device connected to your home hub. You can then continue to use your current phones. Check this with your chosen ISP.
- Opt to have both VoIP and analogue by opting for VoIP and having VoIP phones as above and connecting your current analogue phone(s) as above. You will not be able to transfer calls between VoIP and analogue phones.
FAQs for FTTP & PHONE SERVICE
Answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Ultrafast broadband are:
How do I check my current broadband speed?
You can find this by using a website such as www.speedtest.net by Ookla on a computer/laptop wired to your hub when it’s not busy, or use an app e.g. Speedtest by Ookla on a mobile phone held near your WiFi access point (usually your hub).
How do I get FTTP and what happens?
You will place an order for FTTP with an ISP who will usually send you an FTTP capable hub/router. The ISP will contract with Openreach to install FTTP in your home. Openreach will run a fibre-optic cable from a telegraph pole or sub-surface footway box (usually following the same route as the existing copper cable) to a small box it will fix on the outside of your property at reachable height. The fibre cable will then be taken to an Optical Network Termination (ONT) box INSIDE your home. The ONT is a similar in size to a BT master socket. You will need to provide a mains electricity socket to power it. Openreach will connect your hub/router to the ONT with an ethernet cable and then test to see that it is working. Further information is provided in the link below.
How do I access the Internet when I have FTTP?
The fibre coming into your home connects to an FTTP enabled hub/router. Most FTTP hubs include a WiFi Access Point as do most current hubs. The internet is simply accessed as before via ethernet cabling or WiFi, or a mixture of both. There is no need to change your household WiFi system or ethernet cabling to access the Internet.
What if I want to keep my phone number and the ISP says I cannot?
You could try a different ISP. Alternatively, you may be able to transfer the line and number to another Communications Provider for a telephone only service and buy an FTTP broadband only service from another ISP.
DIGITAL TELEPHONY INFORMATION LINKS
A VoIP guide (Digital Voice telephony)
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – everything you need to know about converting to VoIP, installing VoIP and using VoIP
DECT [cordless phones] – everything you need to know at a glance
The End of Analogue Phone Lines: