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Fibre Optic connection to house

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Please excuse my ignorance but our neighbourhood is having fibre optic cable being strung from pole to pole alongside the telephone line and I would like to know how this is being connected inside the house.

What I mean is what happens to the telephone line, is it still kept in addition or does the fibre optic cable take telephone as well. If there is just the fibre optic I presume that would go direct into the livebox, but how is the telephone connected?

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If you do not subscribe to fibre, then nothing should change. If you subscribe to fibre, then you will get some kind of Livebox connected to the fibre and your telephone will pass through the fibre optic cable (the Orange Livebox 5 has two telephone outlets at the back of the box, although one will likely be sufficient!). You can discuss the details with the commercial supplier (most often Orange) when you sign up (if you do).

We are looking forward to 6 May (with some trepidation, because of complications with the configuration of house/cables) and the installation here. The three of us use up to 5 computers at a time and we should get something like a 13x increase in internet speed.
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CeeJay wrote the following post at 22 Apr 2021 10:21:

.. what happens to the telephone line, is it still kept in addition or does the fibre optic cable take telephone as well. If there is just the fibre optic I presume that would go direct into the livebox, but how is the telephone connected?

Do you have a telephone plugged into a t-shaped socket of its own ?
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Traditional ‘landlines’ are going to cease to exist in the very near future. Most people who have an internet connection use VOIP and for those people who want a telephone but no internet connection a simple VOIP box will be installed in place of the landline. For people who have fibre the VOIP will work that.
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Whether you keep your landline is up to you. You can keep the land line phone number (or everyone I know did) but it becomes part of the fibre package. This part of Manche (perhaps the whole of Manche) could select from a range of packages from about 6, maybe 8 service providers who all used the same infrastructure managed by (I think) Manche Numerique.

We made our choice, got rid of SFR but kept the land line number and the service provider we contracted with managed the switchover with SFR. This was about 2 years ago.

We consistently get upload / download speeds of about 90 Mbps and apart from one infrastructure failure that affected a number of the providers and lasted about 2 weeks, it has been very reliable. The outage wasn't a disaster because we both have mobile phones too.

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Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

Suein56: yes I have a normal telephone connection but also have a Livebox for internet. With download speeds at the moment of around 700Kps I can honestly say that I cant wait for a decent connection!

Decision now as to keep landline or not!
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  • 5 months later...

I'm reviving this thread (I hope) because fibre is arriving in our village ! Wooo! 

I would like to know how the fibre cable gets into the house (I can understand the connection to a new box inside the house). So, does it mean that a hole is drilled through the wall or do they attempt to feed the cable alongside the existing copper telephone cable all the way to where the box will be positioned.

Do we have to find a new convenient location for the box ?

Our exterior stone walls are dry-lined and insulated and the existing phone cable is in a "gaine" to a T-socket. Perhaps it could be pulled through the gaine ?

I would just like to know in advance what to expect. The house is 60m from the road and telegraph pole, and the existing line is overhead to the house, so I see added complications there.

What does it cost to change to fibre? Is there an installation charge?


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This is for Orange using their Livebox.

The fibre cable should follow the existing route of your copper cable, and it should be possible to draw the cable through  the existing gaine.

You can locate the box wherever you choose.

You will need to collect a new box from a pointe relais as they no longer post to home addresses.

The only cost should be for the technician to couple the new cable to your new box and set it up. €50. If of course you elect to couple up yourself, the charge will be waived. I did it myself.

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I've organised three Orange fibre installations this year, this is what I've noted -

They will send the Livebox to your home address.

The technicians will push for the easiest option for them when choosing the internal location of the new socket and it will need to be near an electric point to plug-in to the Livebox as the supplied fibre cable from the new socket is very short, don't let them bully you into drilling a hole in the wall if there's a chance it will fit through an existing gaine.

Our house is over 250m from the main fibre point in our hamlet and a team of four managed to hook up everything from there and install the internal box inside three hours so 60m should be a doddle.

Before you order from Orange check other providers - Free, SFR and Bouygues as they may be cheaper.

Do not pay the set-up fee as you can do everything yourself from changing the pass code to adding in booster boxes.

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The technician who installed Free fibre in our flat let me watch the whole process, including joining the fibres, very interesting.  We pay 29.99 for our unlimited 1Gb, but the same offer is now 34.99.  Included VIOP phone calls, mostly free to other countries.  What is also worth looking at is what else comes with the offer.  My wife has a 100gb mobile phone Europe and some parts of the world contract with free, should be 19.99 a month, but being Free client we only pay 15.99.  Also, for the 2€ limited phone card (good for the occasional visit to France) it is free as a client.  

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Well so far we have had one attempt by one provider which cost 300€ for an electrician to run a wire through the gaine for the existing telephone line which goes across the garden and under the house before emerging the other side. The technicians who came to install fibre broke the wire and could not install the new line. Some months later we are now trying again with Orange. Line under house impossible so terrassier needed to dig up courtyard and run gaine underground from opposite direction. Cost 700€. Cheap it isn't. 

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  • 5 months later...

I'm just updating my experience with fibre installation. The technicians came to our village in February. There is a "hub" in the village and after a programme of installing overhead fibre cable everyone is now able to be connected. I've gone for Orange, as before and it's costing 59€ for internet and 2 mobile phones.

The fibre connection is FTTP or FTTH (fibre to the premises/home) so it's fibre all the way into the house and to the box. EDIT I should point out that it is all overhead line to the house.

The guys worked in appalling conditions, it poured down all the time they were here, about 3 hours, but they've done a neat job. The house is 60 metres from the road and telephone post and they need to fix additional support brackets to the barn wall and the house. I took the precaution of running a gaine into the eaves and connected it to the existing telephone gaine, and I threaded a flexible wire through the gaine to be used as a pull-through. The telephone socket is next to the power point where I wanted the box to be installed and the guys were happy to do exactly as I wanted. The pull-through worked like a charm.  

I did the new Livebox 5 connection, very easy.

The speeds are nothing short of astonishing! Previously (ADSL) I was lucky to get 5mbps but usually 4mpbs; now I have 390mbps, up and down!!! Wifi is stronger too but with the thick stone walls it doesn't reach everywhere in the house. 

One hiccup; I had asked that I could keep our old telephone number (an 05 49... number) but this must have got lost in the paperwork or something, because we finished up with a new 09 number. Apparently fibre uses different technology (so the conseiller explained, and new installations get 09 numbers). All our friends and contacts have the old number so I insisted on having it restored, which they did after a week's wait. 

All is now working fine. 


Edited by sid
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  • 3 weeks later...

Our house wall is right on the pavement of the main road passing through the town. All electrical and telephone lines are below ground and overhead wiring is not allowed.

Our telephone "hub", if that's what it's called, is in a large manhole in the road, about 35 metres from the point where the telephone cable enters our house. Our existing copper line runs across the facades of two neighbouring houses, buried under several coats of crépi.

On March 16 we attended a meeting in our Mairie with Orange counsellors and technicians to discuss and "discover their Fibre offer". Anticipating problems routing the new cables, I took pictures of the manhole and facades with me, but was reassured that their technicians would have no problems with our installation.

We agreed to the new contract we were offered, after being assured we would lose none of the free calls to fixed and mobile phones which we enjoy at present, especially after we were told that our copper line would be removed if we didn't agree.

The technicians arrived fairly close to the appointment, but their first question was if we had permission from our two neighbours to run the new cable across their facades. I replied that I consider where or how they run their cables along a public road to be Orange's problem, not mine, but I would ask.

Our immediate neighbour was home, and said she didn't mind, but the other neighbours were out. They had just moved into the house, and neither I nor the neighbour knew how to contact them, so the technicians left. The neighbours returned later that day, but refused absolutely to have anything fixed to their wall.

The following day I went to the Orange boutique in Carcassonne, where I thought it might be possible to sort something out, but was told I should wait to hear from Orange what they intend to do.

Next day I got a text message telling me that the technicians had been to our house and found there are works to be done at our expense, and to contact them when these are completed.

Since then I have phoned every Orange number and help line I can find, including a nice lady in Tunisia who works on the English help line, with no success whatever. Emma in Tunisia last told me that the problem is that my file shows work has to be done, but no-one seems to know what to do about it.

I continue receiving text messages. The latest one says, yet again, that there are works to be done, and they want to accompany me in making a telephone rendez-vous, but I am quite sure that, as with every other discussion I have had, they will simply tell me I have to persuade my neighbours to allow the cable to be fixed to their wall. If you were unfortunate enough to meet them you'd realise why I don't want any further contact with them.

So I'm just waiting to see what happens next.


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Ssomon - I feel for you.  When we moved into our current residence, there was no phone line in the house.  The house had been remodeled over the last 2 years and the 'workers' had removed the phone line and installed in its place a TV antenna receptical....  No one seems to know who did it or why....  But result was no phone line anywhere in the house or outside it.

So, we were stuck having to get a new line installed (Orange).  Something that should prove to be relatively basic, turned out to be an absolute nightmare project.  The house is located in the center of town (so not remote at all).  I won't bore you with all the details.  It took us 3 months to get this done. 

We too had to get permission from our immediate neighbors to connect our line to the one running from their location.  Luckily for us, it was just the one neighbor and they were incredibly kind about it.  We had to provide a letter from them to Orange giving permission to run the line.  Letter was provided the same day we asked them for permission.  Took Orange FOREVER to get it done.  Multiple appointments made (by Orange) and broken (never showed up). 

Good luck to you.  I suspect - but hope I am wrong -  that you will have to somehow get that neighbor to give permission. If they continue to refuse, I hope they never need to ask anyone for any favors in the future.

Have you tried asking about the subject at your local Mairie?  It is hard to imagine that this type of problem has never come up in the past.  They may have a suggestion to offer.

Are the three homes in question all mitoyenne?


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I plan to discuss the problem at the Mairie this week, when they reopen.

The two neighbouring houses are semi detached, ours is separated by an alleyway, which was bricked up with 5cm briques some time ago, to stop the local population using it as an urinal.

Our building includes a previous shop, the front part of which is now a store room, with the rear part bricked off as an office. The plan was to run the cable along the inside of the store room and through a hole which I have drilled through to the office near a power point and my desk. See pics.

The manhole in the first pic is right where it says Google Earth.




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In case you can't see the existing wiring in the pictures above, it runs below ground from the manhole to a vertical conduit on the wall of the first house, up to the level of the low roof, then horizontally along 2 facades, below three windows and a verandah, across the gap between our and the 2 neighbours' houses, then up to the top of our roof, where it goes through the wall into the loft space.


Yesterday I explained the problem to one of the ladies at the Mairie.

I just phoned her, and was told that the only response she got from Orange is that I have to get the neighbours' permission, and that there is no other possible solution.

I also received yet another text from Orange, asking me to make a telephone rdv to specifically discuss works which their technicians have indicated are necessary to complete the fibre installation.

I have made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon, with a remark in the space provided that I just want Orange to honour our contract.

It would be quite possible to dig a trench to bury a conduit from the manhole to the wall of our house, but I believe Orange are doing their utmost to reduce the costs of running services below ground, as legally required, by bullying subscribers into paying charges for which Orange are responsible.

If there is no satisfactory solution offered, it seems the next stop will be to try to enforce my contract, using the Protection Juridique provided with our house insurance, under the section covering litigation in regard of the provision of services by public or private organisations.

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Well, a very pleasant lady called me on time for the Orange rdv téléphonique.

Very pleasant, but after 30 minutes' discussion she could offer no new advice.

If I can't get the neighbours' permission, they can't connect us. I don't want to talk to them any more, so that's it.

It seems Orange doesn't have carte blanche to dig trenches to run cables, other than on private property. I suppose that means they would have to apply individually for every connection requiring digging in the public domain, and they don't want to spend money on that.

Before I move on to consulting lawyers I thought I'd consider a 4G SIM Router with a Free 5G/4G card being offered on my mobile for 9.99€ per month for the first year, rising to 19.99 after that.

Can anyone please confirm that this Free card can be used in a router without restriction?

The best router for the job seems to be the Huawei B535-333 HERE

However, I came across this information in the commentaries, which seems to suggest that the performance of the SIM card may be downgraded if the supplier detects it is being used in a router.

Commenté en France le 15 septembre 2021

Achat vérifié

Un produit excellent, avec la fréquence 700 mhz (b28), possibilité de brancher un téléphone fixe etc... facile à paramètrer sur un navigateur (
J'utilise une boxe SFR adsl qui tourne en up à 1mb/s et down entre 5 et 8 mb/s, léger pour du streaming hd. Lorsque j'ai fait mon 1er essai avec l' Huawei en d. 20 à 25 mb/s et en up 5 mb/s c'était l'Amérique ! Le lendemain, mon débit chute à 3,5 ou 4 mb/s en down. Après plusieurs tentatives redémarrage etc. rien à faire débit largement plus faible que mon l'adsl malgré une excellente réception (3 leds allumées). Opérateur Syma mobile réseau Orange. J'ai souscrit un 2ème abonnement chez Free mobile même topo.
Malheureusement j'ai dû retourner le routeur avec regrets. Méfiez-vous il y a
Excellent routeur, mais 2 ans l'ARCEP oblige les opérateurs à laisser les clients utiliser des routeurs mais MOBILES. Voir peut-être dans ce sens. Pour ma part je laisse tomber, avant de commander soyez sûr de votre coup, bon courage.
J'en déduit, les opérateurs ont plus intérêt à louer leur propre routeur 4g à 40€ par mois pour 150 Go


Google translation:

Great router, but Reviewed in France on September 15, 2021 Verified Purchase An excellent product, with the frequency 700 mhz (b28), possibility of connecting a fixed telephone etc... easy to configure on a browser ( I use an SFR adsl box which turns up at 1mb/s and down between 5 and 8 mb/s, light for hd streaming. When I did my first try with the Huawei in d. 20 to 25 mb/s and up 5 mb/s was America! The next day, my speed drops to 3.5 or 4 mb/s down. After several attempts to restart etc. nothing to do much lower speed than my adsl despite excellent reception (3 leds on). Syma mobile operator Orange network. I took out a 2nd subscription at Free mobile, same topo. Unfortunately I had to return the router with regret. Beware 2 years ago ARCEP forces operators to let customers use routers but MOBILES. See perhaps in this direction. For my part I give up, before ordering be sure of your shot, good luck. I deduce from this that operators have more interest in renting their own 4g router at €40 per month for 150 GB


ARCEP is the French telecommunications regulating authority.



Edited by ssomon
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As an aside to your router route,  if you had a relatively modern mobile phone ( I know you have said you don't) but you can use it as a "hot spot".  I pay €9.99 a month (static price) for 100gb with Bouygues.  We travel a lot and if there is no Wi-Fi available I just set up the phone as a hot spot, share the Wi-Fi  internet connection with a lap top, tablet or Amazon fire stick and stream away.  Other telecom providers, Free for example, have offers with reconditioned phones and download options which may be cheaper than the €40 a month rent for a router.

Of course, if you are intent on streaming/downloading vast amounts of data than this scheme will be of limited appeal.

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With regard to using a SIM card in a 4G router,   you'd need to check the small print with Free.

When we were doing the same thing I checked very carefully in advance both with SOSH and with SFR Red.    SOSH gave slightly conflicting answers,   but in the end it turned out that the whole 40 GB monthly allowance WAS useable in a 4G router,   as was the case with SFR and their 100 GB.

From what I remember,  it was the case that there were some restrictions in the early days of 4G,  but these were largely done away with as capacity on the networks improved.    That said,   there was a silly offer for home broadband via 4G from Bouygyes I think,   where they supplied the router and the card,   but if you took the whole caboodle to a different phone mast (ie away from your local transmitter) the system froze up completely.     What was so silly is that this only applied to this particular Bouygues offer,    all the other operators simply sold you a card on its own,   you bought your own 4G router,   and could use it anywhere in France,   or indeed in Europe!

So bottom line is,  if you want the 4G idea (and it sounds like it would save you a great deal of grief) then find out if tethering is unrestricted,  and choose that offer.

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re what I wrote above - you need to check the situation for "mode modem" in the small print,  ie whether it's permissible or limited.    My guess is that few if any of the SIM only contracts would have any restrictions,  but better safe than sorry.

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