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View Full Version : Fibre installation poss prob's?



Woody
20-05-2015, 12:01 PM
Fibre installation in street completed. Phoned to arrange connection sand was advised that as I have a medical alarm (St Johns) on my existing line, I should check whether an alternative is available as the current analogue arrangement will no longer be operative on fibre - all digital..
Rang St Johns and they can arrange a wireless alternative but suggested I check whether I will still have normal telephone operation as most phones are analogue.
Is this correct? Do I have to replace all my household phones with a digital version if there's any such thing.
My present system is a base unit fed from a wall jack feeding several handsets wirelessly.
Bit puzzled. Any help appreciated.
Do I go ahead or scrub the idea.

dugimodo
20-05-2015, 12:43 PM
You'd have to check with your ISP, some provide phone service over the fibre that can be wired to existing phones and some have other solutions. The installations I've seen still provide a BT jack with a regular phone attached even though it goes to a router and is converted to some kind of VOIP service rather than conventional POTS.I would expect any line you can make regular phone calls with a normal phone to support your alarm.

One big gotcha though old style phones don't need power, the gear connected to fibre does. You may need some sort of backup power to be able to use it in an outage.
Not sure if the equipment allows for this or if you'd need a UPS.

Alex B
20-05-2015, 02:15 PM
No, you will not have to change your telephones.

chiefnz
20-05-2015, 07:32 PM
Yes that is correct, you won't be able to use you're analogue phones once the fibre is in. You have 2 options;

1) Use the wireless option suggested by St John but as pointed out you have an addional point of failure because the fibre gear requires power so if you choose this option you'll need some sort of UPS in place that can provide power to you're modem and the St John alarm unit. Depending on your medical alarm needs this could be pricey as the longer you need the power on the bigger the UPS battery required which is generally more pricey.

2) Keep your analogue line for the St John alarm, whilst ongoing cost of the analogue line will eventually exceed that of a $300-$400 UPS with battery, it provides the benefit of being compatible with your current base unit phones as well as the St John alarm unit... not sure on your medical requirements but I guess the question here is "how much is your life worth or that of the person relying on the St John alarm?"

Personally, I'd go with the fibre Internet connection and a standalone analogue phone.


No, you will not have to change your telephones.

Incorrect, the analogue phone will not have anything to "connect" to (i.e. no copper cabling) so will be obsolete.

Cheers,

linw
20-05-2015, 09:31 PM
@chiefnz - you are just not right. All fibre voip solutions can just have any old telephone plugged in. One of mine is even a very old Telecom one with no electronics. The fibre router has a RJ11 socket and I just ran a lead from that to an existing telephone jack and all extant phones just worked.

OP, looks like you can get a cellular alarm that makes it independent of the other phone system. It will have its own battery backup like your current one. This sounds like a good idea but St Johns are the experts here.

Like I said above, all your current phones will work OK.

Which ISP were you going with?

chiefnz
20-05-2015, 11:16 PM
@chiefnz - you are just not right. All fibre voip solutions can just have any old telephone plugged in. One of mine is even a very old Telecom one with no electronics. The fibre router has a RJ11 socket and I just ran a lead from that to an existing telephone jack and all extant phones just worked.

OP, looks like you can get a cellular alarm that makes it independent of the other phone system. It will have its own battery backup like your current one. This sounds like a good idea but St Johns are the experts here.

Like I said above, all your current phones will work OK.

Which ISP were you going with?

Thanks for the info... I was not aware you could use an analogue phone... though it still presents the OP with the same issue which is the alarm unit needs an analogue line, and whilst as you pointed out the analogue phones can be plugged into the ONT, if the power goes out there is no VoIP and thus no phone... that is the "copper cabling" is local and does not extend to any "active" copper based service on the POTS network. From what I have read the St John's alarm doesn't work with a VoIP connection which is what the OP will "get" if he chooses a VoIP phone option also the "wireless" option the OP was told about is actually a cellular (mobile) connection.

Good to gain some knowledge so a great topic all round.

Alex B
21-05-2015, 10:11 AM
Personally, I'd go with the fibre Internet connection and a standalone analogue phone.

No one offers this anymore that I am aware of. Even spark use the ATA built into the ONT. If you're that worried about using the phone with no power (personally for me it's a total non issue) then you can buy a UPS battery back up for around $100-150

inphinity
21-05-2015, 10:47 AM
No one offers this anymore that I am aware of. Even spark use the ATA built into the ONT. If you're that worried about using the phone with no power (personally for me it's a total non issue) then you can buy a UPS battery back up for around $100-150

Spark still offer it, but it is at additional cost.

berryb
21-05-2015, 11:35 AM
I have not had any experience with the St John alarm but it all comes down to how there device communicates. If it is just calling a phone number like a normal voice call and not reliant on any latency limits then it should work. If it is using a data connection like a burglar alarm then it may not work. When putting a burglar alarm on an IP line using an ATA device the latency isn't good enough and the connection fails. So either a cellular module is added so it is independent or an IP module is added so it uses fibre data.

In saying all that "some" sites that convert to fibre and the current analogue line is plugged into the fibre router the alarm system works just fine. This is not always the case though and when dealing with a medical device testing is the best way. St John support the device so it really comes down to what they say - it could be life dependant!

Woody
21-05-2015, 11:54 AM
Spark still offer it, but it is at additional cost.

Thanks guys for all the input. Just had a look at the website connection stuff and there does appear to be an option for fibre connection + landline. Apart from my St Johns alarm, under fibre conn, are the normal household phones still ok? That's why I'm getting confused - if I still have a normal phone, why should my alarm not dial out through it as at present? To Berryb - the alarm simply phones St John and they phone back immediately.
After 26 years in the broadcasting technical industry, my learning curve appears to becoming steeper and steeper ! Thanks to all anyway

inphinity
21-05-2015, 05:24 PM
under fibre conn, are the normal household phones still ok?

Provided they're not ancient rotary phones or something, generally yes. The installer can patch the voice port on the Fibre ONT to an available phone jack, which will 'liven' all the other phone jacks in the chain. Speak to the installer while they're on site, as some people prefer not to have this done, as you can just plug a phone directly in to the ONT instead of patching it to your existing jacks. This may also influence where the ONT should get installed (to make this process simpler/cleaner).

Spark have tested a number of different medical and security alarms successfully over the Fibre Landline service, but I can't find a definitive list anywhere of specific types/models - Spark's suggestion is generally to check with your alarm provider/monitoring service for their advice. I would imagine St John are among the providers that would've been engaged in the testing though.

Agent_24
22-05-2015, 07:42 AM
I'd pay the extra cost to keep a dedicated copper line. Running the alarm through the fiber connection and the associated extra pieces of equipment just adds potential points of failure to the system.

linw
22-05-2015, 10:23 AM
But there is a cellular option - no landline required.

Once again, be advised by the suppliers. They should know best.

inphinity
22-05-2015, 11:02 AM
I'd pay the extra cost to keep a dedicated copper line. Running the alarm through the fiber connection and the associated extra pieces of equipment just adds potential points of failure to the system.

I would probably, too, but for some the extra $50 for a copper line is not so easy to cover.

dugimodo
22-05-2015, 12:16 PM
If I had a life threatening health condition I'm not sure I'd want to trust the fibre network either. Landlines may be ancient technology but they are incredibly reliable and don't require backup power supplies. Only a fault on the copper line generally causes issues.

The fibre broadband may also be very reliable but it does have more chance of failure as Agent_24 pointed out. It's fairly new technology and unproven in the long term. In future we may all come to regard it as more dependable than a copper phone line but not yet I think, just how reliable is an ONT for phone service? I don't think anyone really knows the answer yet.

Agent_24
22-05-2015, 12:48 PM
Performance for phone is probably fine. Skype with video etc works very well nowadays so if they can't do voice in 2015 on a hardware device then something is very, very wrong.
In any case, I'm sure issues could be solved with a firmware update.

I'd be more worried about the hardware. For something that is designed to be on 24/7, I sure hope it has a high-quality power supply designed by a reputable company.

That said, getting in now is probably better than later. It seems to be that the first release hardware is usually over-engineered, but as time goes by, they figure out which corners to cut. Think M1122 vs RTA1320...