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what to expect - Telus switching me from VDSL to fibre


So a Telus rep phoned me and said they were going to discontinue their old-style internet and Optik TV service (which operates on VDSL from copper phone wires) and they want to swap me over to fibre (at no extra cost).  BTW discontinuance of their phone-based internet is what they claimed 2 years ago but it did not happen, and my copper VDSL system kept working, so I think the "discontinue" claim is just a gimmick to get costumers to do what they want.  But anyway I agreed to let them switch me to fibre in the next week or so.


After the call they sent me a text message asking if I wanted Virtual or Pro installation, they didn't tell me what these options meant but I guessed roughly what these were, and selected Pro. I hope the Pro option does not cost me.  I should be able to do most of the switchover myself, however I want to give them directions on the preferred way to get the fibre into my house so as to give me flexibility in the future when I will probably want to tidy up the electronics by moving the ONT and router from the family room to a central closet.


The Telus fibre was 2 years ago pulled from an underground box near the street curb to a side wall inside my attached garage, and there was an access panel installed there, so the final connection/installation should be fairly easy at this point.  I assume they will attach a longer fibre cable to the cable that is already behind the panel.  They will need to run this new cable along the surface or inside the garage side wall in some undecided path to get it into my house crawl space.  Probably the easiest way is to run the cable along the surface of the inside garage wall (at the top or maybe bottom of the wall), or maybe through the garage attic, to a small furnace closet in the garage about 12' away.  The furnace closet is above the house crawl space so a hole can be drilled in the closet floor to pass the cable into the crawl space, and from there it can go to the family room (or in the future the central closet).


I will probably have the new ONT and (new?) router in the family room at first. In a few months I would like to move the ONT  and router to a closet that's in the center of the house, between family room and living room where the Sony TVs are located.


Another question: can they leave the old VDSL connection alive for a while, in case I have temporary wiring issues with the new fibre connection?


So, what can I expect to happen in the fibre installation?  I just have aprox 16/8 Mbit rates currently, I hope they will at least make this 50/20 Mbit so I can try 4K stuff such as Netflix, Youtube, iTunes movies etc.  I know many people have far higher bitrates but actually I find 16/8 is enough for me, although more would be nice.


My current Optik system has an Actiontec V1000H VDSL modem/router and a Cisco CIS430 PVR.  Will these boxes need to be replaced?  These are about 10 years old, still work OK however the PVR has HDMI problems at least once a month.   If they need to remove my old PVR and replace it with a newer box, that will be OK but it will cause me some wiring hassles.


One thing I like about this old Cisco PVR is it has several types of video outputs, and I use 3 of them (component, HDMI, composite) to connect to 3 different TVs, correspondingly in family room, living room, kitchen.  All TVs must watch the same program material with this setup, but it works OK for me (just 1 person in house).  I think the newer Telus PVRs just have a single HDMI output.  My 2 primary TVs are recent Sony 4K-capable models.  I have a powered HDMI splitter so I could use this to feed both Sony TVs.  But I don't currently use the HDMI splitter as the PVR has HDMI issues.  Hopefully their new PVRs have no HDMI problems.



@frankw  The install is free. Putting the ont and router in a temporary place then later moving it will cost you $.  A telus person will not enter a crawl space or attic to run the wires.  I would have an electrican install a 1 inch  conduit to the closet where you should have available 4 120 volt outlets for equipmet. And have all your lines brought into this closet. One outlet for ont ----- one router-------one for backup power ( phones won't work if you put your landline on the fiber )  I welcomed the fiber phone line crystal not like 10 years of  scratchy crap. I have 25/25 with constant 29/29 up and down for 5 years now the 25 is the lowest one on fiber data cap  300 this works well for the 2 of us never go over.  Think this over carefully doing things twice will cost a lot more. If you are on optik The PVR will send wifi signel to the other tv s that require there own receiver no wires needed. You need a regular old phone to work when power out cordless ones won't work. Each tv use a hdmi from their own receiver. Assuming a optik and internet package 1 pvr and 2 receivers.

Community Power User
Community Power User

Also keep in mind if replacing a PVR, ALL your recorded shows will be lost and are not transferred to the new  PVR. The only thing that gets transferred over is the scheduled times and channels information.

Thanks for the replies.  


The Telus people could just attach at the garage access panel say a 50' optical cable with connector on end.  That cable with connector can be routed to the furnace closet and through a small floor hole into the crawl space. I can do the crawl space cable pulling and probably everything else, if required.  


I have rescheduled a long delay to Telus work as 2 hours ago the gas water tank conked out (it's in the furnace closet) and water has leaked and dripped into the crawl space, many gallons (ugh).   So before the Telus work I will need to get a new tank installed and clean up the crawl space.  It may take a while to dry out the crawl space (it is about 3' high with concrete floor and walls).  I have done lots of work down there (not a fun place).  Best to dry out the crawl space before working down there.


Water tank now replaced, did it myself with help from a friend. Another crisis ended and crawl space now dry, so onward with the fibre.


In preparation for the fibre install I moved my modem/router (Actiontec V1000H) to the central closet where I also want to put the ONT.  BTW temporarily I am using just a 35' long telephone cable to extend the phone line from the family room to the router in the central closet, surprisingly this dollar-store non-twisted-pair cable does not slow down the internet speeds, it's same 18Mbit download speed as before..  


This new router location in the closet makes wi-fi about 15% slower in main hangout family room (extra walls and appliances to go through), but faster in the living room, and same speed on 2nd floor.  The closet space is partly under stairs so only 3.5' high in that spot, but is otherwise close to power and ethernet cables, and my home theatre stuff is on the other side of the wall.   Wi-fi would probably be better in another part of the closet that's 7' high but cables would need to be longer, so I will use the lower height location and see if that works out OK.


The Telus fibre installation (updating from Telus Optik via VDSL on phone wires) is set for next week.  I called Telus to ask about them extending the fibre cable from the garage wall access panel about 35' into a central closet in my house, and they said that could be possible, I told them I will pull the cable through the crawl space if they don't want to do that part of the job, it will only take me 5 minutes crawling around.


I looked at the Telus installation in a friends house and it looks like the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) is an Alcatel Lucent white box, placed in the garage. Is the Alcatel/Lucent the standard Telus ONT?   I notice the ONT has 4 LAN ports and one of these goes to a T3200M router in a remote den room, are the other 3 LAN ports available for customer network devices?  


At my friends house it looks like Telus is running ethernet from the T3200M to the house coax cable, for simplicity, although they could have easily run network cables in the crawl space to the TV wall area.  In the living room where the TV is located, they have an Actiontec ECB6200 MoCA Network Adapter which looks like it is converting the coax cable signal to a standard network cable signal that goes to the PVR.


Is the Telus T3200M their standard router now?  I have the Actiontec V1000H which has worked OK but is now about 10 years old so I'm guessing Telus will update me to the T3200M or similar.


And maybe they will update my Cisco CIS430 PVR, it still works well for most things, but every few weeks it has HDMI issues that cause it to blank out the image, very annoying, fixed by power on/off or sometimes reboot needed.  Maybe if they give me a new PVR I can still keep the Cisco PVR and watch my old recorded programs, such as Cannon and Highway Patrol series.  Don't laugh, but several future big stars are in Highway Patrol for their first acting jobs, such as Clint Eastwood.

@frankw  Telus will not enter attics crawl spaces with covid the install could be by remote you do all the work by cell. The ont will probably stay in garage--you will get a 3200 outer. Your phone lines are probably terminated in garage are you putting hone on fiber. ( be aware phones won't work during power outage you can ask for an batter back up) You should run 2 or 3 cate 5 or 6 cables from garage to your closet. Then branch out from there 

@polecat, I'm not using Telus wired phone, switched to cellphone-only over 10 years ago. Now using Public Mobile, the low-end Telus cell service provider, they're good and the price is right, however all account setup and customer service stuff is done via their message forums.


Am crossing my fingers hoping I can get the fibre into the house.  Telus phone rep sounded optimistic, I guess it depends on who the installer is.  They have set up a 3+ hour time space for the installation but I think it will be only 30 to 60 minutes, since the fibre is already in the garage, I think they just need to do something at a network building about 3 Km away to activate it.


I have had first COVID shot 2 months ago and due for 2nd shot in 10 days, I guess I could delay the fibre until end of month for ultra safety, but local situation seems good.

@frankw  The ont will be near point of entry need 120 there. It would surprise me if they ran fiber all he way into the inside of house. Have power at your closet. At least 2 120 outlets. If installing cate yourself You can get crimping tool for rj45 and cate ends cheap and small quanties  at (prime cables ca).------ (crimp tool and tester $16 ) hunt their site for the rj 45 ends and other cables. Get cate at home depot or prime  Crimp tool at home $70 or more. We use prime for all our ink and cable ----    battery ----needs Polecat

Telus will go for the path of least resistance. When I bought my house they had previously run fibre under my vinyl siding and had the ONT and modem come out in the living room under the TV. I had to pay ~$400 to get them to put it in the garage. Their hourly rate is HIGH. 


I would call ahead and let them know your PVR isn't working and needs to be replaced. Typically, in my experience, installers only carry what they need for their scheduled jobs and a couple of other pieces. They'd mail you a new PVR if the tech doesn't have one (as it doesn't require a tech to install). You could also ask for wireless receivers for your other two TVs. They share the PVR recordings with the main box and connect to the PVR wirelessly so you should be able to use it well. Just adds one more box to your collection. 


If you can do work to have things run ahead of time, you're more likely to get Telus to do what you want. The least amount of work they have to do the better for them.

Fibre installation now done, it went pretty smooth and took about 1.5 hours, only 1 Telus technician used. I get about 29 Mbit download, 58 Mbit upload, 5 msec ping, 300 GB download limit, not high end but OK for me, and fast enough that I will upgrade Netflix to 4K ability.  Minor issues afterward with my Telus account settings and PVR, now fixed.


In advance about 2 or 3 weeks ago I called tech support to ask them to make a note that I wanted to run the fibre line run through my house crawl space with ONT (Optical terminal box) installed in a central closet and they said that would probably be OK, and they noted my preference in their info for the installation people.  I delayed the installation so I could get the 2nd COVID shot.


I pre-installed a small shelf and plywood wall panel in the closet to make it easy to place the ONT and router. AC power outlet already there.  In advance I changed my existing copper Telus VDSL setup by moving the old Actiontech router to the closet.  I ran a long telephone extension cord into the closet from the family room.  Actually I used a 20' cord and a 10' cord connected together.  I didn't have an in-line cable connector, so just used an old PC modem card to connect the 2 cords, these old modems usually have 2 phone jacks wired in parallel so they are a no-cost way to connect 2 phone cords without splicing/soldering wires, etc, a crude but effective short term solution.


Telus just swapped my old router for a new router that has the ONT built-in, so this does everything with only one box.  They call this the "Telus Wi-Fi Hub", it's in a white cylinder shape case about 7" high.  It has 4 LAN ethernet ports.  It sits on the shelf, the plywood wall panel was not required.


The Telus person was OK with my putting the optical cable in the crawl space so he gave me a spool about 50' long prewired with connectors on both ends.  I taped the ends to protect from dust since my crawl space has a lot of construction debris (dirt, concrete particles, sawdust, etc).  It took about 15 minutes to install the cable which passed through a hole I drilled in the garage area.  This cable then was stapled to the garage wall and eventually connected to the Telus wall panel in the garage. This panel has the optical cable from the street area.  The street cable is thicker and stronger than the house optical cable.  My house optical cable has about 20' extra length available so I could in the future easily move the Telus electronics to another room.


Installation was done on worst day of current heat wave, it was 43C. Fortunately only about 30C in the crawl space.


My existing PVR was not replaced but I was given a new remote, I might call them and ask for a replacement PVR since I have HDMI issues.  Apparently if they mail you a new device it's a new one, while the on-call service technicians usually have refurbs, my technical advised it was better to get the devices that are mailed out to customer.


I'm not sure, but I don't think you can maintain both the old wiring and have Fiber simultaneously. Might be worth asking though just in case! 

@Dimo-X @frankw  I had my phone moved to fibre the incoming tel wires are now isolated from house circuits . Inside tel wires are fed from pots 1 on the ont. I guess you could use the old phone line if you want to pay for it and telus would let you. I have battery backup. You still have POTS 2 for a second line. No more noisy line during rain storms for years before fibre. Polecat


@frankw  I don't think they will put the ont in the closet it will stay in garage and you would have to place cate cables  from ont to router in closet. Then place cate cables from router to what devices need direct connection. Telus does not wire your house network closest point garage wall. My understanding onts don't do well in an unheated garage do to moisture. Will they extend the fiber you have to ask. I would put a conduit in and that should work.  They calabrate the fiber to each service 25/25 150/150. If you move it later or add to it --- it possibly has to be redone.