VDSL+Powerline Networking = Pain

We live in a small village that was upgraded to fibre in the exchange a few years back .  Unfortunately our house has an Exchange Only Line, which means it does not connect though a cabinet and so Openreach told us that FTTC was not available.

Recently a new cabinet has been installed at the exchange and we were told that we could now upgrade to fibre and should get around 70Mb download.  Well the day came and Openreach duly upgraded our service, in the process they found a fault on the line which they said should soon be fixed, but even so we should get 50Mb download, quite an improvement on our present 15 - well we did and we didn't.

As our house is fairly large and as the walls are full of granite WiFi coverage is poor, so I have been using power line networking for some years, starting with Panasonic devices and upgrading to faster TP link ones a couple of years back.  Never had a problem with either.

After the upgrade and some discussion with the router the VDSL link was up and I fired up speed check on the browser to see what improvement we were getting.  Download 8 ish, upload 20 - very odd.  The router told me it was synced at 50/20 and so did my ISP. 

Firstly I noticed that next to the router both my phone and laptop happily achieved the expected 50/20, but all the Power Line connections were rubbish.

I then used a very long Ethernet cable to connected one of our PCs to the router and again all was as expected.  Clearly the VDSL signal was interfering with the Power line networking.  Despite moving the master Power Line device well away from the telephone master socket the situation did not improve.  I then fired up the older and slower Panasonic devices and PCs close to the master device managed a reasonable 30/20 but at the extreme I was back to 10/20 and frequent drop outs.

So beware if you have Power Line networking and are thinking of upgrading to fibre - you may not get what you expect, mesh Wifi here I come. This is going to be an expensive upgrade!


After spending what seemed an exorbitant amount of money on an Orbi system from Netgear I now have download speeds of 50Mb all over the house.  However the software provided for the system is truly appalling and the Setup Wizard needs to go back to Hogwarts for retraining.  More or less any change in settings seems to require a re-boot, which takes several minutes.  A mug of tea and plentiful supply of biscuits is required during installation.  Even the software for the simple USB dongle, also from Netgear, failed to find the device after installing.  However, after a few hours persevering all is well and I can settle back to actually using the system and streaming some 4K films for relaxation.