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FTTC in St Andrews
My broadband seems to be getting slower and slower. A few years ago I could connect at 11Mb/s, but now I’m lucky to get 7Mb/s. I searched for something better, and was was pleased to see that St Andrews now has FTTC available.


I rang my ISP this afternoon to see what they could do, and the result is that we’re being upgraded to FTTC on Monday 8 September. Apparently we’ll need a visit from a BT engineer to fettle our master socket, and AAISP will send me a new router.

We should get around 40Mb/s, with the option to upgrade to 80Mb/s. Looking forward to it.

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I've been on A&A's FTTC service for almost a year now, and apart from one fault which BT refused to fix for a while (something the MD blogged about at the time, in between the 4th and 5th BT engineer visits) it's been fantastic. RevK and I eventually tracked that fault to a bad BT backbone segment, concluding a fun series of tickets: "no fault, can't find what customer is complaining about (ticket reopen) closing ticket, no fault found (ticket escalated) oops, faulty Edinburgh 10Gig core switch port, escalating to Adastral Park core Ops team".

Usefully, as part of the engineer install they will move the master socket if you wish. (For some bizarre reason, mine had been installed in the hallway originally, rather than the sitting room where the phone and modem live.) Less usefully, the BT contractor turned up with the wrong paperwork the first time, then failed to show up at all the second time. The third time, a genuine BT employee came along, moved the socket, tested and tidied everything beautifully and left me with a solid 80/20 connection.

The funny thing is, that "slower" connection you have now is roughly the same as the 8 Mbps that St Andrews, Dundee and Abertay universities all shared, for thousands of students at once! They upgraded in 2002 to 622Mbps - about four times the bandwidth we'll have next month, between three universities.

Did AAISP supply a router to you? Or are you using your own PPPoE device?

Wondering if my Time Capsule would work for that — Apple’s specs say it does PPPoE.

A&A did provide a basic router, but I use my own (a little fanless OpenBSD system which also handles DNS, printing, VPN and is about to start doing VoIP too). A Time Capsule should do quite well for that - I think I used my Airport Extreme for PPPoE at one point, and it did a decent job.

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