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BT Infinity Master Socket

Moving Your BT Infinity Master Socket. A Phone Engineer’s Advice

First of all, I’ve got to make it very clear that moving a BT Infinity Master Socket (or any other BT master socket) isn’t really something you should do. (Well, not officially…). It’s the equivalent of moving your gas or electricity meter. It’s the supplier’s (or their suppliers) equipment. In this case, it’s Openreach. But happily that’s not the end of the story. You don’t have to keep tripping over your modem as you come in the front door.

The Big Master Socket Issue

I’ve blogged elsewhere on this BT master socket issue . I’ve never heard of someone actually being fined for moving it.But if the Openreach engineer comes to see you to sort a fault and finds that you’ve obviously moved your socket or jointed your cables in an unsuitable manner, he’ll bill you for the work to bring it back up to Openreach network standard. He’s entitled to, because you’ve fiddled with what’s technically part of Openreach’s network. Now you wouldn’t go lifting up manholes in the streets and fiddling with their cables, would you?

Fibre is “Something Else”

And another key thing I need to tell you – if your broadband arrives via optical fibre, you won’t be able to move the “BT infinity master socket”. Optical fibre is nothing like copper cable to your house. It’s complex, delicate and potentially dangerous stuff. It needs a box on your wall called an “Optical Network Termination” to connect between your modem and Openreach’s network.

Copper is More Flexible

However, if your broadband arrives by a traditional copper cable, it’s not that different to the broadband you probably had before, except of a faster type (called VDSL2). However, BT only promise higher speeds when they can try and dictate how the broadband is distributed in your house. So it has a specific type of master socket, and a specific type of cable to run an extension. More on this later.

You Can Move Your Router…

So, having said all this, you don’t have to put up with having your router next to the BT infinity master socket. You can transfer what comes in to your house to somewhere else in the building. Plus you won’t lose speed if you follow some clear guidelines.

…Via Ethernet

One option is to run an ethernet cable from the sockets on the router to another ethernet socket in your house, even up to 90 metres away. The ethernet (a.k.a. Cat 5/Cat 6) cable is capable of high speeds. But your router would stay by the door.

…Or Here’s A Better Way:-

The second is to leave your BT infinity master socket where it is.  Then run a new cable from it to another “master socket”-type socket. Now, care needs to be taken here that the cable is of a suitable quality, that is, solid-core, copper, twisted-pair telephone cable.

There’s Cable. And Then There’s “Other Stuff”

This is critical, trust me! A cable is more than just a piece of wire between two points. Bad cable can slow down good broadband. You can read more about this on my blog here

Professional-quality cable, of specification CW1308 can be bought by the length on eBay and elsewhere. Some of this might be manufactured by “BT Cables”. It’s the stuff that Openreach probably use themselves. And the appropriate sockets are available, too.

Connections Between the A’s and B’s

The first BT infinity master socket has two pins, marked A and B , onto which a single pair of wires from the cable can be attached. These simply duplicate what comes into your house. So, if you have a second socket, of a similar design to the first, they can connect to A and B on that.

Providing the cable is run away from things like microwaves, TVs, monitors, light fittings, this cable won’t slow the speed down.

Just don’t connect anything else to it on the way. Really, if you truly value your speed, then just don’t!

Don’t Trust The Old Stuff

And don’t use existing cable.  You will never know what a previous owner may have connected to it. Plus, you don’t know where it has been in the house, picking up electrical interference on the way.

Just to reassure you, your broadband already runs on similar cable. The cable from that street cabinet which says “Superfast Broadband is Here” to your building. It’s copper, twisted-pair cable, running underground, up poles and through overhead cables to your house. The last few metres from one socket to another won’t make much difference to speed. Providing the correct type of cable is run correctly through the building.

Help Is At Hand

It’s not all that difficult. But if you’re struggling, and live in the Middlesbrough, Stockton on Tees, Darlington, Co. Durham or North Yorkshire areas, please get in touch, as I’m not too far away. And I may be able to help.

  1. D Steel08-15-2016

    Hi
    What are your thoughts on Powerline adopters as an alternative when the master socket is located several floors from the master ?

    • Rob Govier08-15-2016

      I’ve never seen one run incoming ADSL/VDSL! Putting one on the exchange side of a master socket would be very naughty. BT/OR are very cautious about connecting anything 240AC to their network. However, folks do use them for ethernet connection between the hub and a socket and device. Sometimes they work well, sometimes not at all due to the config of the mains wiring. Dedicated copper is always best. I hope this helps. Rob

  2. Billy02-05-2017

    Hi

    Interesting stuff !!
    I have BT infinity and the router is next to the master socket in the hall. I’d like to move the router into an adjacent room and was wondering, rather than mess around with sockets and twisted pair wiring, could I just run an extra long rj11 cable from the master socket, under the floor, and plug it back into the router ? The rj11 cable would be around 12 feet.

    cheers

    • Rob Govier02-06-2017

      Thanks for the kind words. Yes, this is feasible, but most RJ11 leads I find are not twisted-pair (they look like telephone line cord), and are designed for short connection, such as 1.5M between a router and adjacent socket.

      At 12 feet, you will probably cause some degradation of the signal.

      I was astonished when I removed around the same length of flat “under-carpet” cable from a room, and saw the speed leap immediately up by a couple of Mb.

      Twisted pair, be that Cat 5 (or 6), or quality voice cable is always the best solution. It’s used on Openreach’s network and millions of business premises.

      I hope that this helps.

      Rob

  3. Phil Evans04-17-2017

    I have a FTTC connection from open reach with sky broadband. The box, when fitted, has been positioned on a wall in the hall in front of a piano and now we want to get the piano out to decorate it won’t come past the box and cannot be moved sideways to avoid it. Sky say they are not allowed to move the box and Openreach say contact the supplier. Sky’s only suggestion was to employ an independent tel engineer or electrician. Your write up says this is not permitted. I have to at least disconnect the box and then reconnect it after the piano has moved. Is this possible?

    • Rob Govier04-17-2017

      Hello,

      Thanks for the contact. An utterly frustrating situation for you, and quite common!

      Strictly, Sky should ask Openreach to do the work. They would probably charge around £130.00 for a ten-minute job.

      Our blogs have to reflect the official situation regarding moving master sockets. However, we understand that certain independent engineers move them regularly… 😉

      There’s no great technical complexity to them – they are simply a boundary marker and test point. Simply make a note of what’s connected where, pull the incoming and extension-side cables off, and you’re done. Move the piano. Reconnect.

      If you do need the services of an independent engineer, let me have your postcode, and I’ll see who I can find, as I network with quite a few from Scotland to Cornwall. Rob.

  4. Lee Snell04-21-2017

    Hi, some great tips however I rebuilt my home 5 years ago and had a guy run some extensions from the master socket (located in our back bedroom) downstairs so I could position the router down there. Was working fine on my old broadband but since upgrading to fibre a few years ago BT came out and replaced the old master socket to this one, since then the extensions no longer works? frustratingly the phone works in all extensions but not the internet? Can you offer any advice? The master socket is an Openreach MK2 one with internet connection at top and phone underneath, I’ve removed the faceplate and the extensions (blue and white, blue, orange) seem to be connected to lines 2,3 and 5. I did make do with powerline adapters for a while however I’ve now upgraded to Vodafone and since then powerline offer rubbish speeds hence looking at going back to using the installed extensions?
    Many thanks Lee

    • Rob Govier04-22-2017

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I’m a bit confused by the phones working but the broadband not working – normally, if you have a tone, then you’ll get broadband.

      I’d suggest setting up a second “Master” socket (actually a “slave” to the first. See my blog “How to Move Your Master Socket without actually moving it). This explains the use of the pins “A” and “B” on the socket. You could use existing cabling to run off these, but I’l recommend running a new cable if possible, then you can be sure of it’s quality and avoidance of any interference sources. Rob.

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