Zen Internet

Getting a Fibre Optic Broadband service installed is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Read any industry publication, and the consensus seems to be that “Fibre is the future.” So, when my area was enabled for Fibre Optic Broadband, I jumped at the chance to have the service installed at home.

Here, I outline my experience of ordering a Fibre Optic Broadband service and getting it installed.

Getting a Fibre Optic Broadband service installed is as easy as 1, 2 3!

  • Step 1 – Confirm availability
  • Step 2 – Place your order
  • Step 3 – Complete the installation process

Step 1: Confirm availability
You can only get an FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) service if you are connected to a BT cabinet that has been enabled for Fibre Optic Broadband services.

To check if you can get a Fibre Optic Broadband service on your BT line, you can use our speedchecker. Simply enter your telephone number and press Go. The speedchecker will confirm which Zen Broadband services you can get.

Step 2: Place your order for the Fibre Optic Broadband service of your choice

Compare the packages on our website (or in the Partner Portal if you’re a Partner), choose the package you want, and press ‘Buy.’

Once Zen receive the order, the provisioning process begins, which includes sending you notifications to confirm the installation appointment details, and the technical details you may need to have to hand when configuring your router for the new service.

Step 3: Complete the Installation process

Both you (the end user) and BT have a role to play in the installation process.

Using the diagram below for reference:

Installation setup for an FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) Fibre Optic Broadband service
  • BT are responsible for installing a new Service Specific Face Plate (1) and connecting a new VDSL modem (2) which the BT engineer supplies on the day of the appointment.
  • Once the service has been connected, it is then up to you (the end user) to connect your own router (3 & 4) before the Fibre Optic Broadband service is ready to be used.

My installation appointment
10:30am – Ben, the BT Openreach engineer, arrived, and confirmed the appointment was for a Zen Fibre Optic Broadband connection. He then asked me to show him where the computer and Master Socket were located.

Master Socket

A new Service Specific Face Plate (SSFP) was installed over the Master Socket

10:35am – Ben explained the extent of his work, outlining the series of steps he would perform. After his brief explanation of the process, he connected a new Service Specific Face Plate (SSFP) over the existing NTE5 telephone Master Socket.

Ben then connected a VDSL modem via cable (luckily there was a power socket nearby).

10:45am – Ben finished fitting the Master Socket and the VDSL Modem. He then left the premises to go to the street cabinet (in our case, located at the top of the road) to connect the line.

11:20am – Ben returned. He ran some checks on the phone line before showing me the upstream and downstream speeds for our new Fibre Optic Broadband service on his handheld device. The readings were 54Mbps downstream and 13Mbps upstream. Result! What an improvement over our previous non Fibre Optic Broadband service.

11:25am – Ben explained what the lights on the modem meant, and showed me where to plug in the router. He then described the light pattern I should expect to see after the router was plugged in. He also asked me to check the phone line to confirm it was working, which it was. He then explained that his part of the installation process was complete.

11:30am – Appointment finished.

So, all I needed to do now was install our new router to start experiencing the faster speeds.

I’d purchased one of Zen’s recommended routers, because in the event anything did go wrong or I couldn’t get the router set up correctly, Zen’s Technical Support team would understand exactly what I’d need to do.

11:40am – I consulted the set up guide that came with the router to figure out what I needed to do next. It was all very straightforward. I plugged the router in, logged into it, and put in the relevant technical details (from the email Zen sent me after my order had been accepted).

A working Fibre Optic Broadband service

My Fibre Optic Broadband service is now live

11:50am – The service is now working!

My post-installation experience so far
I’ve had my Fibre Optic Broadband service for a few months now, and can’t believe the difference it’s made. It truly has transformed my online experience – web searches return results instantly, apps download in seconds, and content streaming is straightforward – no more buffering or pauses like we used to get when using on demand services. My husband and I can even be using the same connection on different devices at the same time without any noticeable effect on performance.

Did you know…?
1. Entering a post code will give less accurate results when using the speedchecker, because whilst an exchange might be enabled, not all cabinets within that exchange are enabled simultaneously. This means that there may be instances where some people in a particular post code area can get Fibre Optic Broadband services while others can’t – it just depends on which cabinet they are connected to.

2. During the order process, you’ll be asked to select your preferred installation date and select an AM or PM appointment slot. There is a lead time of 7-9 working days between when the order is placed and when the installation appointment can take place.

3. An engineer is required to visit the premises as part of the installation process? This means someone must be present on the day.

4. The existing NTE5 socket has to be a Master socket, and not an extension socket?

5. The modem has to be within 1.5m of the phone socket and close to a power socket? If this isn’t possible, an extension kit can be used, offering up to 30m of cabling. This will extend the length of the appointment however, so again, is something you need to be aware of.

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Add yours

  1. I’m thinking of changing to fibre optic broadband from Sky but my existing set up uses Ethernet over power. Will this have any impact on the fibre service I receive?

  2. I regard the limit of 20gb per month on fibre lite as extremely low and mean spirited of zen, each of your other offerings increase by double the amount each time (100-200-400-1000gb) or is your company not really interested in the domestic market? so why is there not a 50gb offering? if there was, I would probably choose zen as my isp. yours., chris.

  3. The above is a “friendly” blog about fibre installation but the Zen article that comes as a link with the confirmation email is quite a different matter. It suggests a daunting process implying I need to provide a screenshot of my line data page from the portal which the BT engineer has to have otherwise they will go away and charge me ninety quid. The impression is also given that my router must have all sorts of technical attributes (which the layperson could struggle to find) and that my Zen username and password need to be entered on the day (and as I am asking a friend to wait in for me I don’t really want to give them my Zen password so may have to take the day off work). In case you haven’t seen it the following is the requirements that come as a link with the order confirmation email:

    “What must you provide?
    If you are unable to meet the requirements below when the engineer visits they may not complete installation and will charge you for an aborted visit.
    If the engineer states they cannot complete the installation you must call Customer Services before the engineer leaves your premises using the number in the section ‘Notifying us of Problems’ so we can determine if installation may be completed with further information provided to the engineer.
    An Ethernet router with WAN port, supporting PPPoE for the entry of your Zen username and password* – see the routers Zen recommend here if you do not have one already.
    2 power sockets close to where the BT modem will be located (typically near the BT telephone master socket, unless a data extension kit is used) and within 1 metre of each other. You can use a 2-way (or more) adapter if only one power socket would normally be available.
    A firm surface, or area for wall-mounting the BT modem.
    Your Zen technical details. This will be provided by email from Zen, for new customers, or can be obtained from the Customer Portal. This Knowledge Base article shows you how to retrieve this: Broadband Technical Details (via Customer Portal)
    You must already have a BT NTE5 socket. Click to see a picture of the NTE5.
    * – If you have a router from your previous Internet service provider ensure it is not restricted in a manner that stops it being used with any other provider. Your old provider should be able to tell you whether this is the case”

    So wish me luck as my installation is due next Tuesday and I am not sure whether to take a day off work to be on hand in case the BT engineer wants to do a runner.

    • Hi Richard,
      The details sent on the email are to cover every eventuality in order to make the installation process run as smoothly as possible. In reality it may not get to that level of complexity but we think a chat with one of our Tech Support team may help clarify some of these points. Could you please send us your contact details to support@zen.co.uk (FAO Scott) and we will call you back with more details? Thank you!

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