Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Switching the lines to the new exchange - Changement des lignes au nouveau NRA.

My house is now 797 meters from the DSLAM instead of 4,500. Sam pointed out in a recent blog comment that France Telecom has the new exchange up and running and that Free's DSLAM would be installed soon. I saw it today.


Now if only my line weren't dead so I could enjoy it.

My DSL connection went down yesterday at noon and has been out for 36 hours. My DSL provider (Free) is actually very stable but the line speeds have been very slow. My cable connection with Numericable is just the opposite - fast when it works but out of order more than 50% of the time.

If DSL goes down it's because they are doing something at the exchange. Any problem in the past I've had has been an inadvertent disconnection by FT. I knew something was up when my neighbor across the street came by with his Freebox to test it on my line because his line was down too.

I waited for my cable connection to come back up and then quickly hopped online to check the details of my line. What I found was great news. My line has been shortened by connecting to the new exchange. The bad news is something is wrong with the connection.

Then today I was driving home and saw the large France Telecom manhole at the edge of the village open with workers inside. My son and I walked down and talked to the workers, taking a few pictures of the manholes.

Manhole work to redirect copper lines
The workers were really helpful and let us snag a few pictures of them at work in the underground chamber. I was surprised by how large it actually was.

View down inside manhole   View inside manhole

The next person I encountered we knee-deep in water in a second manhole working to reconnect some of the thousands of lines which have to be rerouted.

Patching copper lines down to the new NRA

Then I walked the rest of the 797 metres and arrived in front of the actually exchange, which they call a NRA(HD). The France Telecom person there was very helpful and answered my questions about the fibre routing and how the exchange was upgraded. Simple telephone lines are still connected to the old exchange but any DSL lines in our village now terminate in the new village exchange.

I was able to snap a few pictures of the exchange with the door open from the fence. You can see the patch panels on the right but the DSLAM's aren't visible in the shot. They are on the left (Free and Neuf).

St Nom La Breteche NRA (S3N78) for DSL   St Nom La Breteche NRA

Interior of St Nom La Breteche NRA (S3N78) for broadband

I was finally able to get through to Free to tell them my line was down. The earliest they will send a technician is in 7 days. That's a long time to go without our fixed line...


Sam said...
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Sam said...
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Tad said...

Hi Sam. Thank you for the comments and information. I visited the central several times over the past few days to speak with the workers. They repatched the 2000 lines really quickly. I was impressed.

From the speeds I would assume that your mother is not degroupee (unbundled?). My neighbor has his line back but isn't impressed with the speeds. He was in a part of the village where unbundling was unavailable at the time and hasn't seen a change. I wonder if Free will contact their subscribers and tell them that now unbundling is possible so they can have much higher speeds.

Sam said...
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Sam said...
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Christopher said...

happy i found that blog about internet in st nom.
i have the misfortune of living really far from the nra near the old farm on st gemme. weve been with orange ft for the last 10years now. are internet is down since yesterday. would it be possible that we also are being moved to the new nra ? the orqnge technician on the phone coudnt help a bit. and actually told us he can send us someone but if it happens to be are fault ( i doubt that) i would have to pay 150€ and that just piss me off. so think it can be still the migration even one month after ?
thank you

Tad said...

Hi Christopher,

As I understood half of the village used to be connected to Noisy-Le-Roi while the other half was connected to Feucherolles the other direction.

They should be moving everyone in St Nom back to the exchange here.

Our DSL was down a few days ago as well so they may have been doing some work.

Let me know if you see you speeds bump up. FT doesn't have the faster connections installed in St Nom yet but I'm sure they will come. The fast connections are only available now from Free and SFR.

Denis said...

Hi, I live in St Nom too, I noticed recently some changes in my ADSL connection (I'm with FT Orange), I thought I would have a fast connection, because my phone number seems to be 1700 meters away from the NRA now, but I'm able to get only 2.5 Mb/s max (I was 1Mb/s before), I heard that some guys even now have slower connection than before...what can be the issue?

I also have another question about the NRA itself, I saw, on the internet, information about it and it says that this NRA doesn't support ADSL2+ ! This would mean speed limited to 8Mb/s max... Is it true? (see here: