Chasing computer wiring (Cat-5) into plaster over brick wall

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I'd assume if anyone installs their own cable LAN, they'll be capable of fixing any faults that may arise (unlikely) and not have to rely on an engineer.

However, should a wireless network fail I'd guess it *would* be a job for an engineer - or more likely your credit card.
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*Ah, I see the f**k-up fairy has visited us again

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Fri, 22 Aug 2003 20:58:28 GMT, Simon Avery wrote:

And what is the voice quality like on your mobile compared to the BT line? Oh and of course you get can get a "56k" data connection on our mobile as well...
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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 09:42:19 GMT, Simon Avery wrote:

Don't forget the compenstation, but be aware that if you take the free divert offer you effectively remove that.
It does seems like a good time to get "Total Care", 24/7 fault repairs, someone working on it inside 4hrs. When I spoke to the last engineer I saw fixing the ISDN here I asked if the "someone working on it inside 4hrs" meant that if the fault was underground that would be reported and you'd just join the queue, all be it at the top to be fixed in normal working hours. The answer was no, they would call some out to work on it any time of the day/night, 365 days a year.
Cost? Around 11.64/qtr inc VAT.
http://www.serviceview.bt.com/list/current/docs/Maintenance.boo/0201.h tm

Assuming you are within range of the exchange for ISDN (approx 6km as the cable flies) I think they would have a damn good try at providing it.

Short/medium termisium profit margins and the licence system. You have to make a profit within the licence period incase you don't get the licenec next time.
There are an awful lot of base stations and the don't come cheap, even compared to digging a trench and putting in a cable. Also remember that apart from new build most of the country was wired up donkeys years ago and when they put in a cable they put in substantial over capacity. Ordinary drop wires where 1 pair (the really old figure of 8 stuff), 3 pair now and I've heard of 6 pair being laid underground as standard to new single domestic properties.
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Hello Dave

I thought that this had recently been withdrawn on residential lines unless it gets something silly? (I could ask my telecomms lawyer, but she's asleep atm :) )

Thanks, this is indeed interesting and looks like it could well be worthwhile. Getting rather fed up with being fobbed off, thanks again.

I already have it, despite being a nadge over 7km according to a pingtest. I guess this is why it's proving temperamental - six failures in three years; the slightest fault that would be unnoticable on a PSTN line dumps me completely.

But the major players are pretty much guaranteed a licence. Unless they do something absurdly silly, Oftel wouldn't appreciate the abuse they'd receive if several hundred thousand subscribers suddenly had to search for a new provider.

Don't know the costs, but I'd be awfully surprised if that was the case. One transmitter can serve several square miles of subscribers and can be erected and connected VERY fast (From purchase to signal in a week or less) - compare that to having to prepwire, concentrators, wayleaves, numerous visits to every house so they're in when they said they would be.
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Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 15:52:07 GMT, Simon Avery wrote:

They may well have changed the rules again. At one time residential compenstation was 1 months rental per day of service loss after the end of the next normal working day that the fault was reported or something very similar. They then brought in the free divert and reduced the compensation to minimal or non-existant if you took the free divert. If the divert was to a mobile I think you got/get around a fiver to pay for out going calls/voice mail pickup etc.

That failure rate is about the level my ISDN line is running at, we are 3.5km from the exchange. Most of the faults are with the bit of damp string under the ground. Last time they swapped the pairs for the POTS and ISDN lines, guess which one fails now...

Occasionally a "reset" sent by the 154 (your ISDN is classed as Business isn't it?) faults operator would sort mine out.

Existing customer base would be very valuable to the incoming licence holder. As far as the user is concerned it would be a seamless transfer, things might change after transfer with tarrifs etc but users would not be simply dumped.

For a new player trying to provide "the last mile" yes. Which is why no one has done it, they all rent "the last mile" from BT who, generally speaking, has wire almost everywhere.
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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 21:26:18 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

AIUI, standard ISDN2e lines are classified with business service (at the line rental they charge, I would hope so). Highway lines can be either residential or business.
Line cards locking up seems a perennial problem. At one time, one or other of my ISDN circuits would need a reset about once a month. More recently it hasn't been so bad so I assume they fixed or replaced them.

There are the cable TV operators, of course, but they seem to be genetically incapable of providing a reliable telecomms service especially to businesses.
.andy
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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 22:47:21 +0100, Andy Hall wrote:

You could get ISDN on residential if you really wanted it. However the rental was the same but the terms where residental, so slower response to faults, lower compenstation.

With different offerings depending on the srevice. No MSN on Home Highway for example.

And only put the cable in where they feel they might get a chance of any return. *All* of the country has a cable company holding the franchise for a given area but only the urban/densely populated areas actually get to see any service.
A couple of years ago there was talk of fibre being laid between here and Penrith. The cable franchise holder said they would cable the town for free if the link was provided. Note the town, not the two villages of Nenthead or Garrigill or all the outlying farms/houses.
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 21:57:32 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

Ah yes, I remember that now - it's been a while since I added the last one - I remember that being one of the reasons. It's a cost effective way of having a selection of numbers for business purposes and also so that the kids can have their own phone numbers.
Also, IIRC, ISDN2e allows things like call divert at the exchange, which my PABX will do, whereas HH I believe won't. My rationale in having one line as a Highway line was that you do at least get one working analogue phone connection for use if the power fails.

It's a pity that Oftel etc. don't put conditions in their licenses requiring them to provide a more widely available service rather than cherry picking.
.andy
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Don't know if this is still relevant, but six or seven years ago we began using a lot of ISDN2 (and later 2e) circuits at the radio station. Some lines seemed to be very prone to lockup, and at first BT claimed that it was a problem with an early generation card at their end. Eventually all the cards were changed/updated but the problem never completely went away. Later on we started using Cabletel (now NTL) ISDN where that was available because it was literally half the cost. We had similar problems there, even though they claimed to be using different equipment to BT.
We/they traced it to the way the circuits were used. If we had a piece of ISDN equipment permanently attached and powered up, even if not actually on-line, everything was (usually) ok, but lines where the equipment was left powered down for lengths of time or was unplugged for maybe a fortnight at a time had occasional lockup problems.
Since some of these lines were at sports grounds there was no way we were going to leave equipment permanently attached. In this case the solution was to phone a few days before an important match and get BT/NTL to reboot the card remotely - something they were usually quite happy to do.
The problem got better, but never disappeared, at least not in my time there.
Don't know if it's related, but I thought it was a story worth tellig anyway :-)
Hwyl!
M.
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Hello Dave

Mine seem to be wire breakdowns or bad connections. The HH box failed as well after a year.

You've got pots and HH? 3 lines?

We call 154 for reports, yeh, but their software tends to proclaim the fault is in our house, which it rarely is. And with dodgy wiring a reset prolly won't help us.

True. LLU was really hated by BT.
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Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
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wrote:

He probably just wanted to get it done! It's a bus route, feeding the railway station, in a smallish town. I know the day we moved in, we had trouble sleeping due to streetlights and no curtains. So he was probably OK.
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Bob Eager
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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 21:32:18 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

I thought that you were above the clouds and had to have oxygen brought in... :-)
Do you not see the lights of Newcastle or Carlisle in the distance?
Is aurora visibility frequent where you are? I've seen them in Norway and Sweden quite often, but never in the UK.
.andy
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Probably not from East Kent...!
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Bob Eager
rde at tavi.co.uk
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On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 22:57:43 +0100, Andy Hall wrote:

Pretty well where this morning hill fog hanging down in the valley but extending a just above us.

We are only at 1400' not 14,000.

Not directly. B-) Depending on conditions there can be quite a glow to the East from Newcastle, 40 miles away, 20 to 30 degrees wide but keeping fairly low to the horizon. Not normally aware of Carlisle (20 miles) but did see that glow the other night.
Given a good clear night and no moon the viewing is pretty good, Milky Way is just there you don't have to look for it. One day I may well get a small telescope, now if the kids get interested I have hook to hang the purchase on... Trouble is at 1400', under clear dark skies, it gets pretty nippy. Summer is not a good time, it never gets really dark.

Been here since Jan 99, seen 3 maybe 4 displays. Cloud is the big killer, I keep an eye on the various Aurora sites and know when the activity is high enough that I should be able to see something if the piggin cloud wasn't there. Probably missed an equal number of clouded out displays. B-(

Going to a place to observe the Aurora under dark skies is on the list of "things I must do" along with "visit an erupting volcano", "storm chasing in the Mid West US" etc
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 01:00:39 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

If you like unusual experiences you might like to look at http://www.icehotel.com
I recommend it and have seen brilliant aurora displays there.
.andy
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 09:48:32 +0100, Andy Hall wrote:

I'd forgotten about that place. Yes, that would be a a two birds with one stone trip with a bit of luck.
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On Mon, 25 Aug 2003 17:57:23 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

I went in February four years ago. Brilliant fun, especially the snowmobiling on the river bed. Temperatures were an average of -40 degrees but the trick was to dress appropriately to avoid getting too hot. Although the days in terms of sunrise to sunset were quite short at that time of year, the snow reflects what little light there is very effectively and adds a couple of hours to each end of the day.
They have a bar made of ice, of course, with a door shaped like an Absolut Vodka bottle. The drinks are served in drilled out blocks of ice. The temperature inside never drops below -5 so you can sit in there comfortably with a couple of sweaters.
The reindeer, which is supplied by Sami people who come into the area is absolutely outstanding.
.andy
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Properly installed domestic wiring is very unlikely to suffer damage. I *know* some have suffered rodent damage, but it's pretty rare. Overhead wiring is something else - but then it's done like that for cheapness, not reliability.
Also, wonder why the mobile phone companies link to their base stations with cables if RF has such advantages?

Supply and demand. The average punter expects to pay more for mobile running costs. That and the huge sums paid out for licences, and the ever hopeful introduction of new 'improved' technology that they pray we'll pay for.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Hello Dave

I think there's also an element of "It's always been done that way". RF is still in its infancy as a high bandwidth solution, imo. What we've got now /works/, but not as well as it'll work in ten years time.

They do? I understood that they also used microwave links in LOS situations. I don't recall any major cabling works going on when they erected one nearby, other than putting in power - though I suppose they could've run in comms at the same time. It certainly has two microwave dishes on it, but that might be rented out to someone else.

I think the 3G fiasco isn't going to be repeated, caused serious financial problems within the sector. The new stuff, well, doesn't really appeal to me - unless I can use it as alternative high bandwidth internet access when my main link goes down. Like the majority, I want my phone to be a phone, not a camera or PDA. That's useful for some folks, but not for me.
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Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
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"Simon Avery" wrote | Engineer switched me to the last working copper pair in the bundle | - next time it goes I'm out for ages, and I have a sneaky suspicion | they'll simply refuse me isdn access rather than replace the cable, | since a few pops and whistles on analogue is neither here nor there.
If the last working copper pair in the bundle goes, they'll probably DACS your line onto a neighbours. This will limit you (and them) to 33.6 modem speed, which ironically might be a better connection.
ISDN, being digital and also running on a higher line voltage (100V rather than 50V I think), should be more robust over some types of cable fault.
Owain
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