I have coverage but they can't install the fiber: the problem of the full CTO

Having fiber optic coverage in your home is the first step to be able to request it, to hire it. But whether we are going to have Internet at home or not does not only depend on this and there are other factors that can influence or problems that we can find when it comes to having fiber in our home. For example, the problem of the saturated CTO.

You may have fiber coverage at your home, that you have chosen the operator or rate but that the CTO of your house or building is full and this causes the installation to be delayed or even that you have to call every day hoping that another neighbor has processed a short.

I have coverage but they can't install the fiber

What is CTO?

CTO stands for Optical Terminal Box. These are boxes that can be placed on poles, on facades or inside in rooms dedicated especially to this. There are several types of CTO although as a user it will not affect you, but the person who is going to install the fiber.

Currently, a CTO has terminals marked on the box itself corresponding to the services it allows and they are usually 1:16 or, what is the same, they give fiber to 16 users or neighbors, although it will depend on the box and they can be smaller. But we can also find older CTOs or boxes that require more work from the fiber installer. This is the case of boxes that require connections without pre-connectorizing and will require merging in order to correctly install the subscriber. That is, your connection.

Is this important from your point of view? No. Although there are different CTOs beyond their location, we should not know how to differentiate them. Although it is valid as an introduction or as a context to the problem of full CTO, the technical aspects are not something that we should know as customers since it will be enough for you to contract the fiber with the operator and wait for a technician or installer to make an appointment with you to leave everything ready. . If it’s not full.


Why is the CTO full?

The answer to this question is very simple… the CTO or Optical Terminal Box has a series of ports that can be used or occupied in each of the fiber installations.

When there is a high demand for fiber installation and a single CTO, all the ports will end up being occupied and we cannot request a new registration unless there is a loss among our neighbors, there is a port that can be disconnected or the fiber technician or installer look for an alternative and can use a nearby CTO that is empty, as we will see in the next few paragraphs.


To do?

What can we do if our CTO is full? Is there a solution to be able to have fiber?

  • A new CTO

Can we request a new CTO? We can request the operator to install it but they are not obliged to do so. We must bear in mind that Telefónica is only obliged to add a new CTO if an ADSL exchange that provides service to the area has been closed or if it must guarantee access to an operator with indirect access to its fiber. So we can’t directly phone to “demand” that they install a new CTO on our block.

  • persistence and patience

One of the tips that we can take into account, although quite annoying, is to be patient and call the operator every day in case a cancellation has been processed and the CTO has a free port for us. This is slow and won’t work in most cases, but you can keep it in mind if you’re not in a hurry to access the Internet or if you know that there are neighbors who will be leaving soon. In that case, insist to process the registration of fiber.

  • Disconnect a port

Of course, shutting down a port that is full is not a good idea. And it’s not up to us. You will not be able to manipulate the CTO, but the installer. IF the installer does this and disconnects one of the ports of the CTO, it would leave some of the neighbors who have contracted Internet in the building without Internet. But there are exceptions. But there may be cases where the port is physically full at the CTO but that person has taken down and the port is full but can be taken offline because it is no longer in use.

  • Other CTO

There may be another CTO that your fiber installation can connect to. But this will not depend on you but on the installer or the technician who is going to carry out said installation… There may be another CTO that can be used if the closest one is saturated.

  • change operator

One of the best solutions if the CTO is full is to change the operator. Find another operator to register fiber optics, although this will also depend on the coverage we have. There will be no problem if you live in a city or in the center of it, but there are towns or small municipalities where fiber coverage is scarce, where we cannot choose between several different operators…

  • Bet on alternatives: 4G and ADSL

Fiber is not everything, although it is the most common. There are alternatives in case we need to have an Internet connection at home and we cannot register because the CTO is saturated… One of the most common is to opt for an ADSL connection, something that seems outdated but may be sufficient depending on the type of user or that it can be a solution in the short and medium term if we cannot have fiber. Or a 4G router. If you are going to be renting for only a few months and you want something with which you can connect without permanence and without commitment, some operators offer good 4G Internet rates that consist of plugging in the router offered by the company and ready, without the need for installation and with the advantage that we can transport it.