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Which LuxFiber variant is best for me?

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The FTTH/VDSL service is now available for half a year, but it is still difficult to get complete and correct information about the real setup costs and the eventual down sides of a FTTH connection.

I have been following several LuxFiber related threads on different Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc) and people seem frustrated by the level of information they can get from the ISP’s sales helpdesk personnel.

Can I have FTTH (fibre) or VDSL (copper)?

Most ISPs do provide an online eligibility test, when you can only get the 30Mb/s variant than your connection will be VDSL over Copper.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a fibre connection?

A fibre connection has quite a few option due to the physics of the fibre. Very low signal attenuation usually results in the availability of the subscribed bandwidth at all times, very low latency, extremely low jitter and packet loss.

On the other side the “optical network termination” (ONT) (the device converting the optical signal into Ethernet) is always installed within a few meters of the end of the EPT fibre cable. In older buildings this usually happened in the basement, far far away from the place where you had installed your DSL modem before. This usually means 2 things:

  • you install the Fritz!Box in the basement near the ONT and you risk having almost no WiFi and DECT coverage, or
  • you use the current telephone copper cable from the basement to the place you want to install the Fritz!Box, this also limits you to 10Mb/s as these telephone cables are most often Category 3 cables at best, or
  • you exchange the copper telephone/Category 3 cable against a Category 5e or 6 shielded twisted pair cable.

Of course the last option will incur more costs. I’m also unaware of EPT extending their fiber cable during the installation of LuxFiber.

In recent buildings, more and more often a direct fibre connection from the basement to your apartment is pre-installed, so the above issues become irrelevant.

As you see in some cases it’s a good idea to stick with the VDSL over copper variant (max 30Mb/s) until you’re ready to invest into re-cabling parts of your house/apartment.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of a copper connection?

As described before, the copper connection has some advantages concerning in-house cabling. However the physics of the copper cable provide for some disadvantages like:

  • much higher attenuation (compared to fibre)
  • signal interference with frequencies on another copper cable or from the air (radio and TV broadcast, DVB-C, mobile, etc)
  • asymmetric bandwidth
  • higher latency and jitter
  • the maximum bandwidth decreases rapidly with distance of your home from the central office (or intermediate distribution point)

Depending on the situation, the question might not be for the best technology, but for the right technology for the job.

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Which LuxFiber variant is best for me?, 10.0 out of 10 based on 6 ratings

6 Comments

  1. I would like to ask. If I change car 3 cable with Cat 6, that goes to ISDN, will I get faster internet??

    I have a problem, because I should be getting 20mb/s and I get max 6mb/s.
    Tango, PT doesn’t acknowledge my problem, They simply say. i’m too far from their connection spot.

    have you got any advice?

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    • Usually the in-house cabling has a negligible length compared to the cabling running from your house to the central office. In general the issue is with either the cabling in the street or due to the distance. You may want ask your neighbours and compare the speeds they receive to yours. If none of them gets significantly more speed, you should order a downgrade, so you don’t pay for service unavailable in your area. Also, take care you don’t compare apples and oranges (e.g. DSL vs Fibre). You may want to contact me privately and I can have a deeper look.

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  2. Hello Marc

    Update:
    Workers digging slowly but surely fiber optic cable, and soon will dig all the way to my street. Prediction is, I will be getting Cable to my house by January 2015. 3 years long wait. I’m planning to bring them hot tea and cookies in winter. lol

    Today I’m doing a research about ONT, optical network termination.

    I do not want to end up as my friend with one fiber cable sticking out of the wall in basement. He asked for 4 meters extension towards a staircase so he could get little bit of a wifi upstairs. One cable goes straight to Fritzbox. He had to pay 360 euro extra for the fiber cable. In my opinion that is weird.

    Have you got any update, what kind of ONT hardware is PT offering?

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    • The ONT is part of the PON infrastructure, the hardware remains the property of POST, as such POST will always install their choice of ONT (currently Alcatel Lucent). The ground cable is usually brought into the same location where you have your copper network termination point is located today. From there a different smaller and lighter in-house fibre cable is used to extend the reach. If you have existing ductwork in your house, one of the tubes can be used to bring the fibre upstairs. If you don’t have a free ductwork going to the location where you want to install your Fritz!Box, have the ductwork installed before POST is supposed the service installation, otherwise you will end up with the Fritz!Bix in the basement.
      The extension cable isn’t cheap. POST invoices a flat fee of 200 EUR incl VAT, the 120 EUR on top probably were for the Fritz!Box and activation.

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      • Marc, Could I send you some photos of my situation?

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        • Yes, go ahead.

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