What are they up to?

[See last item on http://kitz.co.uk/adsl/btsockets.htm]
Well, our favourite telco are now fitting these on new build properties. They are an external NTE.

Well, I can see the logic, and the principle is like having external cupboards for power or gas. The engineer can visit to check things and sort faults without entering the property. Saves staying in for the engineer, and so on.

Of course our favourite telco do have the strange idea that not finding an issue is somehow chargeable, but that is a different problem.

However, this new system is rather broken!!!
  1. The test point no longer exists. It is a special test pin thing, see picture. So you cannort test the service (voice or broadband) at the demarkation point.
  2. Even if you had a suitable plug to do testing you may not be on the same floor. Whats the betting that even if the telco put in the wiring from this, the second they finish it becomes your problem.
  3. How the hell are engineers going to test broadband at one of these ? even their USB modems need power and it is outside!!!
Worrying indeed...


  1. Isn't it a security problem too? Ie.. just looks like someone can walk up, unscrew the box and then tap your phone calls or make calls on your line!

  2. http://revk.www.me.uk/2010/02/what-are-they-up-to.html

    This has been out for about 12months now. BTW and OR are trying to find a common ground for SIN5XX Standard.

    The idea is good but the implementation is not so.

  3. It's just yet more damning evidence that within BT the various departments do not talk to or consult each other. For a voice engineer this is a wonderful time saver as he can get faults fixed much quicker and without have to get access to the premises. For broadband this is atrociously bad as it means no power for test equipment, new propriety connectors and the customer has no way to eliminate on-site wiring issues.

    Go go BT idiocy!

  4. well, remember BT sell Phone Lines, they just happen to carry data, they're still classed as a phone line, and having a copper line installed with no dialtone from them isn't easy.

    The only BT Folk I've seen from broadband faults, have a Voyager style USB modem, taking power from USB. (one of them had this velcro'd to the back of his laptop)

    If I moved into house with one of these, there will never be any voice on my line (not that there is anyway, using SIP over SSH Tunnels) my biggest concern is "tapping" into lines with this one.


  5. Well...

    usb modems use laptop power so I guess ok and is possible they will carry UPS units with them also?

    To me 2 main issues are, security as someone else stated there can be tapping and I wonder if people will ever figure out how to get a modem connected. Second issue been that the end user can no longer do diagnostics easily using the test socket.

    I also think now a 3rd issue, and this is really linked to a long term problem with openreach visits. Is that in my opinion is a disadvantage for a engineer to visit without the end user present as a witness, things are bad enough now and it will only get worse. I still cannot believe openreach for all these years have got away with charging for visits without getting the end user to sign some sort of receipt of work done.

  6. Wonder if it'd be OK to put a padlock on the box so that if an OR engineer did come out they wouldn't be able to do anything.

    Or, perhaps, stick a sticker on it saying "Please don't open this until you have announced your presence"

    Or, "Please call 01xxxxxxxx using location reference 1234 to confirm you are working on this NTE". Then have an IVR answer the call and let the engineer enter the reference.

    Actually, the latter A&A could make and manage. Now that'd be a good idea - "But Mr BT, the engineer couldn't possibly have visited the premises since they didn't ring the number quoted on the NTE."

  7. http://kitz.co.uk/adsl/btsockets.htm

    This was the original link.

    Note the pictures used in the blog are actually from Kitz.co.uk. To say that RevK is from an ISP... Shame on you RevK Shame.

  8. As the person that originally provided these pictures to kitz it would have at least have been nice to ask to use them.

    Ether way this has been common practice now for about a year on new builds, the idea being openreach can test the line without accesss to the customer's property.

    I still see the ideal situation is this to lead to a traditional NTE5 socket on the customer side so they have their test point internally to but so far Openreach don't do this as their concern is the copper not the issues of the ISP be it BT / Wholesale / LLU.

  9. Indeed, sorry if I upset anyone. They are linked not copied.

  10. The problem with 'leading to an internal NTE5' is this: The external has a surge arrestor & line cap in it and also generates a 'ring' signal. An internal NTE5 would also put another surge arrester + line capacitor so in essence 'double terminates' the line. To eliminate 'ring wire' issues you'd have to disconnect it from the external NTE5.

    I've just had a visit from BT-OR investigating a line issue. My line when installed had an SSFP fitted (basically NTE5 + iplate) internally, however they also connected this via the external NTE5. Post 1st visit, the external NTE5 has been bypassed with a couple of jelly clips, so my line is now 'terminated' correctly. Hasn't solved the issue though :-)

    There's a discrepancy between requirements for voice and requirements for ADSL.

  11. >> Indeed, sorry if I upset anyone. They are linked not copied.

    They are 'hotlinked' which as Im sure you know is considered bandwidth theft ;)

    Perhaps it would be nice if you at least had the decency to accredit the original source in your article.

    Details of my copyright info can be found here


  12. Sorry, but this page does not *copy* the images. It simply provides instruction to someone's browser as to where to go and get the images. It is no different to saying "go and see the image at the bottom of http://kitz.co.uk/adsl/btsockets.htm" except that the instruction is in a machine readable format which saves time. On top of which, the browser getting the image even says in the headers (referrer) that the image was referenced by another page, and armed with that information your web server chooses to serve the images to the reader. It cannot be bandwidth theft if you choose to send the image. The reference to the original source is shown above in the comment you made and I chose to publish for you. Your whole article is interesting, well done.

  13. Kitz, I would be interested to understand exactly how you think RevK breached your copyright terms as defined on that URL?

    "Material on kitz.co.uk is subject to copyright, and you may not copy or reproduce content without permission." Well, as the person who requested the image from your server, I assume that you have granted this permission to me. RevK certainly hasn't copied or reproduced the images.

    "Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following:" Again, it was my browser talking directly to your server - nothing to do with RevK.

    "you may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non-commercial use only." Yup. That was me downloading the image from your server, nothing to do with RevK.

    "you may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use, but only if you acknowledge the website as the source of the material." No copying to third parties going on at all.

    "You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content or material." That's about the only one of the terms I could possibly understand you complaining about as I imagine it could be argued that RevK was exploiting your images. However, RevK has made it very clear that his is a personal blog, so there's certainly no commercial exploitation going on.

    "Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system." Bit harsh this one. My caching proxy server fits this definition, so I guess I've broken your terms. Sorry.

    All that having been said, I do think that RevK should have made some mention in the main article of where the pictures came from if they weren't his.

    On the other hand, if you don't want your pictures used like this, configure your web server to disallow it.

    Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

  14. Quite, and not mentioning the original site was a genuine oversight, rectified I thought by publishing the first comment quoting it.

    The idea of bandwidth theft is odd.

    It sees totally at odds with wanting attribution and link to the original page!

    I have changed the article to link to the the kitz article so that people can download the whole page and all of the pictures - using a lot more bandwidth than just the two pictures.

    I hope you don't think people following the link are stealing your bandwidth! Actually, if they are A&A customers they pay to download, so you sending all that data to them is costing them money. Who is "stealing" from whom I wonder?

  15. The Zen blog suggests some comments have been edited.
    FYI I have posted all comments on this thread un-edited.

  16. Oh, and I love the way there are direct quotes ("copies" of my text) from the A&A status pages on the kitz forum, without permission. Not that I mind, but if seems a tad hypercritical to moan about a link to an image!!!

    Oh well.

  17. I wonder if BT plan on installing external NTE's when you request a SDSL line...


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