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View Full Version : Fibre - Making the switch



The Error Guy
05-10-2012, 01:05 PM
Bit of an interesting discussion amongst the powers that be and the peasants at the moment. Our household is one of the lucky ones to get fibre, that and Orcon's rather decent plan of 30 GB + Free national calling and whatnot had shaken me into gear to ditch the $47 = useage for the land line and $50 for the broadband in favour of their $75 a month package.

One concern raised was that in given the light of the CHCH Earthquakes in the event of an earthquake in wellington would the phone line still work. I would have thought the fibre would be just as susceptible to failure as copper and we can run our equipment off the generator once the Fibre backup batteries die so no problemo?

Personally I doubt you would want a phone in the event of a major quake. I don't know who or why you would want to call anyone. I'd be more concerned about surviving than informing aunty jill you're ok. You can do that once everything is cleaned up and the phones aren't needed for emergency contacts.

Just wondering what your thoughts would be on this.

dugimodo
05-10-2012, 01:20 PM
Communication in an emergency situation is the greatest survival tool you can have, I'd want the router fed off a UPS or something if it was me.
If the gear has built in batteries then not much of a concern though, depending on the run time of course.

Fibre is a little more robust than copper, only physical damage or cuts to the fibre will interrupt service much the same as copper, but water will not cause any contacts or short circuits, there is no danger of interference from anything sharing the cable, and it is surprisingly strong (not so much the fibre but the cable it's contained in).
On the other hand it can't be bent sharply, light doesn't much go for turning corners. So it might fare worse than copper if the ground moves significantly.

Chilling_Silence
05-10-2012, 01:49 PM
Yeah I'm with dugimodo, my DSL Router 24-port switch, Wireless AP, ATA adapter and cordless phone all runs off my UPS. The other things like my server and HDD I don't care so much about.

Get a UPS, even a cheap one for $100 will last quite a while if you only have "the essentials" plugged into it :D

The Error Guy
05-10-2012, 02:37 PM
Ok, I'll have to go dig out our "UPS", not really a UPS but we have a bank of 20Ah 12V batteries that were part of a solar/wind setup for a milking shed (bought em 2nd hand after installing a more powerful pump after the sheds got mains power) One of those should power comms for a few days, I'm guessing the total draw would be some 24v at 1A probably 500mA average peak so you'd get a good week per battery if not more. One of them can run my laptop for 17+ hrs on high performance (never actually ran out after 17 hrs). Don't have the panels though which sucks, nor do we have the turbine. In addition to the water tanks I'm starting to feel like a doomsday prepper :p

I'll keep that all in mind. Thanks guys!

Slankydudl
05-10-2012, 03:37 PM
it would be nice if they had some better data plans, congratulations you internet is now 7000x faster... but unfortunately you can only use it to download a .jpg

The Error Guy
05-10-2012, 03:42 PM
$99 for unlimited fibre? http://www.orcon.net.nz/

Must be a large .jpg Slanky :D

Slankydudl
05-10-2012, 03:50 PM
ay don't come in here with all your research and try to prove me wrong. that is pretty sweet actually. kind of annoying how they all include land line, a service i rarely use and fiber inst available where i live currently *shakes fist*

The Error Guy
05-10-2012, 04:24 PM
It's not a landline, it's VOIP so no charge if no use! If you do use it, added bonus since national calls are free :)

Slankydudl
05-10-2012, 04:29 PM
yeah but if they had a plan without it, it may be cheaper. Thats just the inner perfectionist combining with the outer cheap mingling together

The Error Guy
05-10-2012, 05:02 PM
True that, still in NZ $99 for 50/30 mbps unlimited boradband is an absolute steal. I'll be grabbing that for our flat at uni next year. Set up some good network gear and split the xost down. One floor of apartments is 9 people. $12 per person isn't bad. If I can invest in some really nice network gear I could even get the the floors above and below on. Dunno what orcon would say about that though. 27 uni students would create a large sum of traffic I would immagine. Assuming each used 50GB that's 1350 GB per month. Yikes

Nick G
05-10-2012, 05:08 PM
True that, still in NZ $99 for 50/30 mbps unlimited boradband is an absolute steal. I'll be grabbing that for our flat at uni next year. Set up some good network gear and split the xost down. One floor of apartments is 9 people. $12 per person isn't bad. If I can invest in some really nice network gear I could even get the the floors above and below on. Dunno what orcon would say about that though. 27 uni students would create a large sum of traffic I would immagine. Assuming each used 50GB that's 1350 GB per month. Yikes
If they ever ask just say that you've Chill over. They'll probably nod their heads and say 'that would do it' :D

Slankydudl
05-10-2012, 05:14 PM
Chill downloads allot of "videos" eh ;)
It may be fast but does it have the bandwidth to support 27 users at once?

The Error Guy
05-10-2012, 07:28 PM
If we got the 100/50mbps connection we'd be right. If telecom can put a school of 400 + staff and a boarding community of 180 on a 2/2mbps DSL line then i'm pretty sure 100/50 would do it :D

gary67
05-10-2012, 08:06 PM
We had the telstra guy here the other night in Chch offering us fibre + cellphones for all 3 of us and landline or whatever probably a LAN phone I guess and it was actually going to cost us more for what we already have on copper so we said no

fred_fish
05-10-2012, 08:46 PM
Just wondering what your thoughts would be on this.

I would say your UPS powered coms gear would be useful only for the output of the LED's.
If the other end of the fibre is in Wellington, there won't be much of anything coming your way for a while.

Paul.Cov
05-10-2012, 08:49 PM
I think we need to readdress the availability of phone / net services after an earthquake, coz I've got zero confidence in any tech later than carrier pigeon still being reliable.

The phone network in it's copper form relies on power. Uninterrupted power from one end to the other. And the fibre and wireless forms also rely on power to the various bits of tech dotted around town, so you've got two vulnerabilities - the physical phone lines / fibres / cell sites, and the power to these different bits of infrastructure.

Take out any component, and the rest will struggle with the shifted load (and load during a disaster will likely be well beyond peak capabilities).

Then you've got the question of power. Sure, many bits of tech have backup power, like the cabinets, cell towers... all except that last mile into your house.

The coper network needs 50v supplied from who knows where to keep it working.

If I had to gamble on an emergency communication, it'd be text via cell towers, for a limited time while their backup power remained.

You're in dream land if you think you can pick up a corded phone and dial any number in town to use voice.

As for in-ground cables, well copper is ductile, so it may stretch enough to survive moving ground, but it would need to be modest movement. Where the ground gets heaved half a meter you could probably kiss most cables goodbye.

After a few hours without power your best communication will likely be a spray can onto the wall saying "I'm OK. Meet me at..."

Leave your spray can so they can reply.

dugimodo
06-10-2012, 12:56 AM
Not quite that Bad Paul, the Christchurch exchange kept working despite the building almost cracking in half. The 50V is rectified from mains power, main exchanges also usually have a backup generator and always have a battery bank. Power for the corded landline is feed down the copper from the exchange. In most minor emergencies you could expect the landline to keep working for close to a day at least without any mains power. In a major earthquake of course there's no telling what will work and what won't, but I wouldn't rate the cellsites chances any higher than the telephone exchanges. The signal to a cellsite is still generally fed over a cable, they are only wireless on the phone side of things.

Slankydudl
06-10-2012, 09:37 AM
Megaphone anybody?

The Error Guy
06-10-2012, 10:21 AM
Kinda what I was thinking, fibre is really only as stable as copper in the event of major disaster. In the event of a minor quake both copper and fibre are likely to stay online.

Just one other thing, Chill mentioned to me FX Networks as having given him a reasonable quote in the past. Anyone else have any fibre installers they'd recommend and how much it's likely to cost. I estimate in the $1000 category. Not sure though.

Anyway, cheers for the feedback.

linw
06-10-2012, 10:27 PM
What are you expecting to pay for? The internal house networking?

The fibre install is free - greatest bargain of the year! If you have an internal network to link to, it won't cost anything.

Chilling_Silence
07-10-2012, 12:41 AM
Actually now you mention it, yeah I thought Orcon were doing free installs until the end of the year?

The Error Guy
07-10-2012, 08:57 AM
I thought they (orcon) were offering free broadband, not fibre. I know some areas/providers do free installs but I didn't think everyone got them. I'll give them a ring to find out. They probably have a preferred contractor if it's not free.

Cheers.

Nomad
07-10-2012, 09:52 AM
Orcon has free fibre till end of the year ...
http://www.orcon.net.nz/fibre#fibre-landing

AFAIK the installation should be free (physically) there may be a administrative connection charge thou but that may be usually waived when you sign a contract.

If you want other phones in the house to work still you need to contract a telecom/electrician to loop them back into the router with the use of ATA(s). But the router may provide 1 or 2 telephone jacks on the machine itself, ie if you don't need those other phones or if you are happy with just multiple cordless phones. I have been told the fee might be up to $300 depending on how many phones you have etc. But I would assume if they install that fibre box thing near the power meter (?) and then loop that to your lounge where the router is that should be free right. If not then everyone getting fibre even the basic install would have to fork up installation fees.

The Error Guy
07-10-2012, 04:53 PM
From the orcon page (after signing up to register for fibre)


You will be liable to pay for any installation costs in relation to your Orcon fibre connection. These costs will vary depending on your premises and your requirements. The majority of installs will be free, but a range of factors including distance from the roadside will impact the cost.

So I guess we will get a quote and see how much its gonna cost. Probably a little more than the average home. Long drive and semi rural

Slankydudl
07-10-2012, 07:03 PM
I think they only do it in certain areas, outside of that they wont install it. I live 2k from wellingtons city center and I cant get it.

linw
07-10-2012, 10:34 PM
From the orcon page (after signing up to register for fibre)


So I guess we will get a quote and see how much its gonna cost. Probably a little more than the average home. Long drive and semi rural

Have you checked that you have UFB fibre running by your house? You mention semi-rural which sounds a bit unlikely.

I have been on ORCON fibre for 5 weeks so know what's involvd. If fibre runs past your place, and your house is close to the road, the connection is free (at least till end of year). You can't hire someone to connect you. You check which ISP is offering the service in your area and the connections are done by the LFC in your area. In my area, Chorus do the bizzo physical stuff.

After the connection, you will have an ONT (optical network termination) device and a modem/router. The latter is connected to the ONT by ethernet cable. The modem/router has several ethernet ports plus a phone socket. You can connect the house phone wiring into that ph socket and use all the phones as before. That is what I did.

If you are up a long drive, things get trickier as the protocol for this is not well formed. But, in any event, you first need to go through your selected ISP.

In my case, I paid nothing for the connection and connected my phones myself (not hard, just disconnect from Chorus copper and plug a telephone cable from a house ph socket into the modem/router ph socket). My internal LAN just connected to the ORCON router as before.

So, don't guess or ask us as - you need to check with an ISP.

The Error Guy
08-10-2012, 09:10 AM
I have "signed up" on their site, they should get back to me soon, as for fibre, we have had fibre past our place for a few years but it wasn't "publicly accessible" according to telecom. It ran along SH1. As part of the Fibre roll out they added a new run of fibre down our road to Middleton Rd. Drive isn't that long, they probably won't use it as all our utilities come in along the north boundary. Distance ~40-60m and it all ready ducts for Phone and power.

Internal cabling I'll do, that will be no problem being a small house. Will only require 2x ethernets and a telephone jack or two. I'll probably run the telephone jacks with ethernet in the likely future no one wants phones and connect them to the ATA.

linw
08-10-2012, 02:27 PM
Cool. Let's know how you get on.