Tag Archives: Öppen Fiber

Now at 1000 mbit

A little over six years since I got the fiber connection installed to my house. Back then, on a direct question to my provider, they could only offer 100/100 mbit/sec so that's what I went with. Using my Telia Öppen Fiber and Tyfon (subsequently bought by Bahnhof) as internet provider.

In the spring of 2017 I bumped the speed to 250/100 mbit/sec to see if I would notice and actually take advantage of the extra speed. Lo and behold, I actually feel and experience the difference - frequently. When I upgrade my Linux machines or download larger images over the Internet, I frequently do that at higher speeds than 10MB/sec now and thus my higher speed saves me time and offers improved convenience.

However, "Öppen Fiber" is a relatively expensive provider for little gain for me. The "openness" that allows me to switch between providers isn't really something that gives much benefit once you've picked a provider you like, it's then mostly a way for a middle man to get an extra cut. 250mbit/sec from Bahnhof cost me 459 SEK/month (55 USD) there.

Switching to Bahnhof to handle both the fiber and the Internet connection is a much better deal for me, price wise. I get an upgraded connection to a 1000/1000 mbit/sec for a lower monthly fee. I'll now end up paying 399/month (48 USD)  (299 SEK/month the first 24 months). So slightly cheaper for much more speed!

My household typically consists of the following devices that are used for accessing the web regularly:

  • 4 smart phones
  • 1 iPad
  • 4 laptops
  • 3 desktop computers
  • 1 TV computer

Our family of 4 consumes around 120GB average weeks. Out of this, Youtube is the single biggest hogger with almost 30% of our total bandwidth. I suppose this says something about the habits of my kids...

Out of these 13 most frequently used devices in our local network only 5 are RJ45-connected, the rest are WiFi.

Switch-over

I was told the switch-over day was May 15th, and at 08:28 in the morning my existing connection went away. I took that as the start signal. I had already gotten a box from Bahnhof with the new media converter to use.

I went downstairs and started off my taking a photo of the existing installation...

So I unscrewed that old big thing from the wall and now my installation instead looks like

You can also see the Ethernet cable already jacked in.

Once connected, I got a link at once and then I spent another few minutes to try to "register" with my user name and password until I figured out that my router has 1.1.1.1 hardcoded as DNS server and once I cleared that, the login-thing worked as it should and I could tell Bahnhof that I'm a legitimate user and woof, my mosh session magically reconnected again etc.

All in all, I was offline for shorter than 30 minutes.

Speeds and round-trips

These days a short round-trip is all the rage and is often more important than high bandwidth when browsing the web. I'm apparently pretty close to the Stockholm hub for many major services and I was a bit curious how my new operator would compare.

To my amazement, it's notably faster. google.com went from 2.3ms to 1.3ms ping time, 1.1.1.1 is at 1.3ms, facebook.com is 1.0ms away.  My own server is 1.2ms away and amusingly even if I'm this close to the main server hosting the curl web site, the fastly CDN still outperforms it so curl.haxx.se is an average 1.0ms from me.

So, the ping times were notably reduced. The bandwidth is truly at gigabit speeds in both directions according to bredbandskollen.se, which is probably the most suitable speed check site in Sweden.

A rather smooth change so far. Let's hope it stays this way.

lighting up that fiber

Exactly 10 hours and 34 minutes after Tyfon sent me the mail confirming they had received my order, the connection was up and I received an SMS saying so. Amazingly quick service I'd say. Unfortunately I wasn't quite as fast to actually try it out...

Once I got home from work and got some time to fiddle, I inserted an RJ45 into port 1 of my media converter and the other end in my wifi router and wham, I was online.

My immediate reaction? First, check ping time to my server. Now it averages at 2.5 ms, down from some 32 ms over my ADSL line. Then check transfer speeds. Massive disappointment. Something is wrong since it goes very slow in both directions, with no more than 5-10KB/sec transfers. I emailed customer service at once, less than 24 hours after I ordered it... bredbandskollen.se says 0.20 mbit downlink and 75 mbit uplink! Weird.

They got back early this morning by email, and we communicated back and forth. For them to be able to file a report back to the fiber provider I need to report a MAC and IP address of a direct-connected (no router) computer, which of course had to wait until I get back home from work.

At home, when connecting two different windows-running laptops they don't get an IP address. I'm suspecting this is due to packet-loss and thus it taking several DHCP retries to work and I didn't have patience enough. I switched back to my ADSL connection again and emailed Tyfon the IP and MAC I believe my router used before...

A network provider for my fiber

In late May I finally got my media converter installed inside my house so now my fiber gets terminated into a 4-port gigabit switch.

Inteno fiber equipment

Now the quest to find the right provider started. I have a physical 1 gigabit connection to "the station", and out of the 12 providers (listed on bredbandswebben.se) I can select to get the internet service delivered by, at least two offer 1000 mbit download speeds (with 100mbit upload). I would ideally like a fixed IPv4-address and an IPv6 subnet, and I want my company to subscribe to this service.

The companies are T3 and Alltele. Strangely enough both of them failed to respond in a timely manner, so I went on to probe a few of the other companies that deliver less than 1000mbit services.

The one company that responded fastest and with more details than any other was Tyfon. They informed me that currently nobody can sell a "company subscription" on this service and that on my address I can only get at most a 100/100 mbit service right now. (Amusingly most of these operators also offer 250/25 and 500/50 rates but I would really like to finally get a decent upstream speed so that I for example can backup to a remote site at a decent speed.)

So, I went with 100/100 mbit for 395 SEK/month (~ 44 Euro or 57 USD). I just now submitted my order and their confirmation arrived at 23:00:24. They say it may take a little while to deliver so we'll see ("normally within 1-2 weeks"). I'll report back when I have news.

(And I've not yet gotten the invoice for the physical installation...)

Digging the fiber

Finally the installation of my open fiber is moving along.

Roughly two weeks ago the team responsible for getting the thing from the boundary of my estate to my house arrived. They spent a great deal of time trying to piggyback the existing tube already running under my driveway for the telephone cable - until they gave up and had to use their shovels to dig a ditch through my garden. Apparently the existing tube was too tight and already too filled up with the existing cables. A little strike of bad luck I think since now they instead had to make a mess of my garden. Here's a little picture of the dig work they did:

a ditch for the fiber through the garden

They aim at a depth of 25 cm for the cable while going through people's estate, while outside of my garden they need 50 cm depth underneath the road and sidewalk down my little suburb street.

Once they were done we could see this orange cable sticking up next to my mailbox:

the outer end of the cable by my mailbox

... and the other end is sticking up here next to my front door. I expect the next team to get here and do the installation from here and pull it in through my wall and install the media converter etc possibly in the closet next to my front door. We'll see...

the end of the cable next to the stairs by my front door

Today, when I arrived home after work the team that were digging up the sidewalk had already connected the cable side that was previously sticking out next to my mailbox (the middle picture).

Of course, they did their best at putting things (like soil) back as it was but I'll admit that my better half used some rather colorful expressions to describe her sentiments about getting the garden remade like this.

I'll get back with more reports later on when I get things installed internally and when the garden starts to repair.

Open fibre

One of the big telecom operators in Sweden, Telia, has started to offer "fibre to the house"- called "Öppen Fiber" in Swedish - and I've signed up for it. They're investing 5 billion SEK into building fibre infrastructure and I happen to live in an area which is among the first ones in Sweden that gets the chance to participate. What's in this blog post is information as I've received and understood it. I will of course follow-up in the future and tell how it all turns out in reality.

Copper is a Dead End

fiber cableI have my own house. My thinking is that copper-based technologies such as the up-to-24mbit-but-really-12mbit ADSL (I have some 700 meters or so to the nearest station) I have now has reached something of an end of the road. I had 3 mbit/sec ADSL almost ten years ago: obviously not a lot of improvement is happening in this area. We need to look elsewhere in order to up our connection speeds. I think getting a proper fibre connection to the house will be a good thing for years to come. I don't expect wireless/radio techniques to be able to compete properly, at least not within the next coming years.

Open

This is an "open fibre" in the sense that Telia will install and own the physical fibre and installation but they will not run any services on top of it. I will then buy my internet services, TV and telephone services (should I decide that TV and phone over the fibre is desirable) from the selection of service companies that decide to join in and compete for my money.

Installation

They're promising delivery "before the end of the year". I won't even get an estimated installation date until around mid August. If an existing tube doesn't exist for the copper or electricity that they can use to push the fibre through, they will dig. From the road outside my house to my building, across whatever land that exists there. They need to dig roughly 40 cm deep. The fibre is terminated inside the house (a maximum of 5 meter inside the building) in a small "media converter" box which basically converts from fibre to a RJ45 network plug. It is the size of a regular small switch or so. It is claimed to be possible to get a different "box" that provide a direct fibre plug of some sorts for the people who may already have fibre installed in their houses. I currently have a burglar alarm in my house that uses the current phone connection which I'll need to get either just dumped completely or converted over to use a telephone-over-fibre concept. I don't plan on paying for or using any copper-based service once the fibre gets here. (There's however no way to use the Swedish tax deduction "rot-avdrag".)

Price

dlink DIR 635There's no monthly fee for the fibre, I only pay a one-time installation fee of 16700 SEK (roughly 1800 Euros) to get it. I then of course will have to pay for the services if I want to actually use the installation but until I do there are no fees involved. This price is actually fixed and the same for all the houses in my area that got this deal. At August 15th the deal ends and they'll increase the installation price to 26700 SEK. Given the amount of work they have to put in for each new customer, I don't really consider this price to be steep. A lot of money, sure, but also quite a lot of value.

Speeds to expect

The physical speed between my house and the other end (some kind of fibre termination station somewhere) will be exactly 1000mbit/sec and no more "up to" phrasing or similar in the contract. Of course, that's just the physical speed that is used and with this equipment the network cannot be any faster than 1000 mbit. There will then be ISPs that offer an internet connection, and they may very well offer lower speeds and even varying different speeds at different tariffs. Right now, other fibre installations done by Telia seem to get offered up to 100/100 mbit connections. As this is then not a physical maximum, it should allow for future increasing without much problems. The 1000 mbit/sec speed over the fibre is a limitation in the actual installed hardware (not the fibre) so in the future Telia can indeed replace the media converters in both ends and bump the speed up significantly should they want to and feel that there's business in doing so. My current D-Link wifi router only has 100 mbit WAN support so clearly I'll have to replace that if I go beyond.

IPv6

Seriously, I believe I may be closer to actually get a real IPv6 offer using this than with ADSL here in Sweden. I haven't really investigated this for real though.

Update

December 16th: I got a mail from Telia today that informed me that the installation in my area has been delayed so it won't happen until Q2 2012! 🙁