BT Master Sockets and Face Plates Mini Wiki

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    BT Master Sockets and Face Plates Wiki

     

    After some recent issues with my BT MK2 Faceplate and after a lot of online research, I struggled with many fragmented information sources for UK VDSL Network Termination Equipment (NTE) and  in this age of VDSL (2) I decided to create my own little BT Master Sockets and Face Plates Wiki page as a point of reference for others.

    (some information may be incorrect, but I did my best for a Sunday Afternoon) 😉

     

    BT Master Socket Definition:

    A Master Socket represents the first / main point inside your home or office for connecting to Openreach’s outside copper cable, which makes it the best socket for connecting with your broadband router. Some people still have one of BT’s older designs, which was a characterless cream coloured box with a removable bottom faceplate and often a BT logo at the top.

    The master socket is the one that will feed any extension sockets in a home. It’s always best to connect your Broadband equipment to the master socket if you can. This is where the broadband signal is strongest, before it goes through any other home wiring which could cause interference.

     

    The BT Master Socket (VDSL/ADSL) comes in three different types

     

    1.     (older units ref: (https://kitz.co.uk/adsl/btsockets.htm) pre VDSL(2))

    2.     NTE5a (original – pre 2016)

    3.      NTE5c (newer – 2017) ‘alleged problem with DSL stability’

    4.      NTE5c MK2 (newest – 2019) ‘with the Clear Cam Locks’

     

    The NTE5a Master Socket support the MK1, MK2 and MK3 Faceplates

    It is accepted within the UK by all network operators that the NTE 5A was the standard method for terminating 2 wire copper lines using BT style connectivity (IDC).
    It features a removable Customer Connection Unit that provides a clear demarcation
    between the network operator’s and customer’s wiring using 2 screws to secure faceplate to the NTE5a master socket.

    View post on imgur.com

     

    The NTE5c MK2 Master Socket supports only the MK4 and G.fast faceplate.

    Like the NTE5a, this is the standard method for terminating 2 wire copper lines using BT style connectivity, unlike with NTE5a, the NTE5c and MK2 new design requires no specialist tools to install – the faceplate clips to the master socket (no screws) & all wiring connections are via cam lock connectors so no IDC tool is required (tool-less IDC connectors).

    View post on imgur.com

     

    Note: The NTE5c Master Socket which has a coloured Cam Locks (should be avoided)

     

    BT Master Test Socket:

    The BT line coming into your premises will terminate (be visible to yourself) at the BT Master socket, however, BT only guarantees a service, whether it is Broadband or Telephone, to the Master test socket.

    The BT Master Test Socket is designed so that separation between your incoming DSL or Telephone connection and the BT Master Socket and any internal telephone extensions can be achieved easily.

    • NTE5a Test Socket

    View post on imgur.com

    • NTE5c MK2 Test Socket

    View post on imgur.com

     

    What is a Faceplate?

    A faceplate is for use with DSL (e.g. ADSL / VDSL ) style broadband services and fit in with BT’s NTE5a/c master telephone socket. They are used to filter out line interference (e.g. ring/bell wire REIN), which can cause telephone and broadband connection performance problems, thus giving you a faster and more reliable service.

     

    There are 5 Face Plates in use for VDSL by BT

    BT MK1 Faceplate:

    The original Mk version faceplate for VDSL services such as BT Infinity. Designed to plug into a standard NTE5 telephone socket it is easy to fit, no rewiring is required as the faceplate fits in between the existing front lower faceplate and the rear of the NTE5 socket. Centralised VDSL filtering is then provided negating the need for plug in microfilters with an RJ45/RJ11 socket providing the connection for a modem/router.

    View post on imgur.com

    BT MK2 Faceplate:

    The Mk2 version faceplate for super fast vDSL services such as BT Infinity. Designed to plug into a standard NTE5 telephone socket it is easy to fit, no rewiring is required as the faceplate fits in between the existing front lower faceplate and the rear of the NTE5 socket. Centralised vDSL filtering is then provided negating the need for plug in microfilters with an RJ45/RJ11 socket providing the connection for a modem/router. Alternatively, provision is made for a hard wired connection to the modem via a two way IDC connector on the front. This faceplate is backwards compatible with all ADSL / VDSL Services.

    The Mk2 version adds an RF filter for line stability (a filter for small Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise-REIN)

    View post on imgur.com

     

    BT MK3 Faceplate:

    The MK3 version faceplate builds upon the MK2 but has a improved RF Filter (a filter for small Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise-REIN) to better stabilise VDSL broadband signals

    View post on imgur.com

     

    BT MK4 Faceplate:

    The Openreach Mk4 VDSL/ADSL filtered faceplate is designed to plug into the new NTE5C and NTE5C MK2 master socket. Unlike the previous Mk3 VDSL faceplate this design reverts back to the previous style of replacing the lower front half of the master socket (in this case the NEW NTE5C). The new design requires no specialist tools to install – the faceplate clips to the master socket & all wiring connections are via cam lock connectors so no IDC tool is required (tool-less IDC connectors). Centralised VDSL & ADSL filtering is then provided negating the need for plug in microfilters with an RJ45/RJ11 socket providing the connection for a modem/router & a filtered telephone socket for telephones etc. Alternatively, provision is made for a hard wired connection to the modem/router via a two way cam lock tool-less IDC connector on the rear.

    The latest Mk4 version retains an RF filter for line stability (a filter for small Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise-REIN)

     

    BT G.fast Faceplate:

    This faceplate is specifically designed for the new G.fast connections that are currently rolling out. G.fast offering speeds that improve on VDSL & VDSL2, currently up to 330Mbps! The faceplate is identical to the MK4 VDSL faceplate. However the G.fast version uses revised circuit design to improve the filtering up to 106Mhz. As with the Mk4 the faceplate features a REIN filter (revised) and is plugged into the NTE5C MK2 master Socket. All wiring connections remain via cam lock tool-less IDC connectors, provision is made for a hard wired connection to the modem/router via a two way tool-less IDC cam lock connector on the rear.

    View post on imgur.com

    I will add to this over time adding details such as the circuit boards used in the different Master Sockets and Face Plates, but feel free to add value

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

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