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  • Dec 29th, 2020 10:04 am
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[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario

FTTH Noob questions.

Bell is rolling out FTTH in my area , just have some questions regarding the install because so far the folks coming to my door were not techs, just some sales types going around posting notices on doors. Also hard to get though to someone who has their facts straight when calling bell.

I currently have POTS with bell,a home alarm system, and dialup as backup to my 6mbps DSL.

1) My confusion is regarding losing access to my copper line, I'm getting conflicting info that if I allow Bell to hook up fiber, they'll disconnect the copper line at the demarc.

2) My understanding is that the fiber will terminate at an ONT. Is the ONT self powered, or will it go out when the power goes out?

3) Since the ONT is just converting the digital to analog (which I assume happens along the network elsewhere anyway), any reason why normal dialup, fax, alarm modems will not work, or am I missing something here.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
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Aug 16, 2004
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Toronto
1. It depends on what you order with FTTH. If you order home phone, yes they will disconnect your internal wiring from the copper line and connect it to the new FTTH home phone service.
If you don't order home phone, they won't touch the copper.

2. They no longer use ONTs. The fiber will be run to a splice point somewhere in your house, then to the modem. Most likely a Home Hub 3000, which is really a Sagemcom 5566.

3. You're missing the point of fiber. It's all digital. The laser light is either on or off. The ONT will convert light pulses to electrical pulses and vice-versa. But it's still all digital.
That said, all those services will work when used with a decent ATA (which is what converts analog to digital and back).
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[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
joo wrote: 1. It depends on what you order with FTTH. If you order home phone, yes they will disconnect your internal wiring from the copper line and connect it to the new FTTH home phone service.
If you don't order home phone, they won't touch the copper.

2. They no longer use ONTs. The fiber will be run to a splice point somewhere in your house, then to the modem. Most likely a Home Hub 3000, which is really a Sagemcom 5566.

3. You're missing the point of fiber. It's all digital. The laser light is either on or off. The ONT will convert light pulses to electrical pulses and vice-versa. But it's still all digital.
That said, all those services will work when used with a decent ATA (which is what converts analog to digital and back).
Ok thanks! Yeah I don't plan on using their home phone service, just thought it would be great to be pre-wired for when they finally offer decent internet here. From reading older threads here and on DSLreports it sounded as if once you get FTTH they cut you out of the copper network. They were really pushing the door to door "we'll install fiber to your house for free, $1000 value!", wasn't sure if there was a catch - like forcing FTTH home phone.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
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Dec 6, 2020
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If, at some point, you do lose access to your existing copper, be aware that FTTH hardware is dependent on AC power. If you have phone service over FTTH, it will go out during power failures.

While you can use a large UPS, or a generator, to run your FTTH hardware, it's not clear if the provders' upstream equipment will work during a long-term blackout.

There is no substitute for copper POTS for power-independent emergency phone service.
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Aug 16, 2004
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They may abandon the copper (i.e., won't maintain it) but they won't make an active effort to remove it.
If at some time in the future you decide to go with DSL from a TPIA such as start.ca or teksavvy, Bell will be obligated to restore the copper service. This is a CRTC order.
Bell may also chose to provision the TPIA service over fiber. i.e. you're on fiber but with the TPIA's speed such as 25/10 or 50/10.

Valid comment about the loss of power but these days it's becoming less relevant since we can use cell phones as a back up.
Granted cell towers need power but they tend to have 24-72 hour back up batteries.
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Feb 9, 2006
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middleofnowhere wrote: If, at some point, you do lose access to your existing copper, be aware that FTTH hardware is dependent on AC power. If you have phone service over FTTH, it will go out during power failures.

While you can use a large UPS, or a generator, to run your FTTH hardware, it's not clear if the provders' upstream equipment will work during a long-term blackout.


There is no substitute for copper POTS for power-independent emergency phone service.
This. The Fiber nodes generally have battery power for about 2 hours. If you're lucky there's a generator back up but generally after 6 hours that's also done.

Plain old POTS and DSL over POTS is the only one resistant to local power disturbances. It's a good thing someone thought to power phones separately from grid power over 100 years ago.
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Dec 6, 2020
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tebore wrote: This. The Fiber nodes generally have battery power for about 2 hours. If you're lucky there's a generator back up but generally after 6 hours that's also done.
I worry that making our communications infrastructure this fragile is setting us up for more preventable deaths.

Power outages that last longer than six hours happen at least once a year where I live, and multi-day outages are not uncommon across Canada. The coasts get multi-day outages due to wind storms; everywhere else gets multi-day outages due to blizzards and ice storms.

Building out next-gen communications systems -- both cellular and home phones -- that can't provide 911 service during events that happen several times a year wasn't smart. Given enough time, it will get someone killed.

If you have a heart attack while shoveling snow, getting driven to the hospital by a family member is no substitute for being able to call the paramedics.
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tebore wrote: This. The Fiber nodes generally have battery power for about 2 hours. If you're lucky there's a generator back up but generally after 6 hours that's also done.

Plain old POTS and DSL over POTS is the only one resistant to local power disturbances. It's a good thing someone thought to power phones separately from grid power over 100 years ago.
This is nonsense. GPON uses passive splitters, they don't need power. The COs have diesel generators with thousands of liters of fuel, and they can be resupplied indefinitely. If you can keep your ONT/Router going, then GPON will function the same or better during a power outage compared to POTS/DSL.

And there's no excuse for not being able to keep the equipment running. It's easy to buy a UPS, or even run it from an inverter in an idling vehicle in the driveway. And compared to DSL, there's again no disadvantage here, since you'd also need to keep a DSL modem powered.
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Fibre can be installed one of two ways in your home: they can install the fibre modem (the ONT box) that converts optical to ethernet, then run ethernet to your router in the place you normally have your router. The ONT box is usually installed at or close to the demarc, It needs AC power, and it's not weatherproof, so it has to be inside. The installer will run the fibre from the demarc to the ONT. At that point it's up to you to provide the in-home ethernet infrastructure, although the phone company will usually go so far as to run one simple ethernet cable to your router for a first-time install, as long as they don't have to go behind walls or crawl in attics etc..

The standard ONT box also provides 2 analog phone line jacks to connect phone service to the fibre. The phone company likes this solution, because gives them the option to disconnect and remove outdated copper as soon as you accept phone service over fibre, locking you and any future home occupants into their fibre service. In the event of a power failure, your phone service and internet will go down unless you provide AC power to the ONT box.

The other solution is to run the fibre through the house all the way to the router. The phone company can supply a router that has a slot for a fibre modem card that the optical fibre connects to directly. No need for the ONT box. Same caveats on how much work the installer will do for free to get the optical fibre to your router location. And the phone company doesn't like this solution as much because it doesn't include the analog phone jacks that let them remove copper.

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