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  #1  
Old 03-02-11
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At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Ever since we moved to our office here in Apsley, we've had to endure quite a variable level of ADSL broadband service. In fact it can be slower now than when we first moved in back in 2007 and at the moment the speed test result is this:



This is much slower than our Virgin cable broadband at home (typically 12Mb/sec down and now around 2Mb/sec up). Unfortunately, Virgin can't connect up to us using their cable infrastructure where our office is.

But joy of joys the Hemel Hempstead BT exchange has been upgraded to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and I have just ordered an upgrade to the new service. According to estimates, we should expect a realistic 6Mbs upload speed and 26Mbs (maximum theoretical speeds are 10Mbs up and 40Mbs down).

In other words, our upload speed will be ten times faster - great for uploading to our servers, online backups and uploading video content. The download speed will be nearly seven times faster, which will mean we will really be able to monitor the performance of our web servers better. Hopefully it will be more stable too.

And our costs won't increase that much as we have chosen a competitive package with fast.co.uk - roughly 28/ month including VAT, just 8 a month more than we are paying at the moment.

Our ISP didn't tell us that fibre was available here - I found out by accident. So if you are unhappy with your broadband speed at the moment, it might be well worth checking to see if your local exchange has been upgraded recently, or indeed will be upgraded soon. You can check this at:

http://www.productsandservices.bt.co...FURL_broadband

Look for the check your speed box

It may take a few weeks to be upgraded, but I'll back to report how it went once it's completed!

Ian
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  #2  
Old 03-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Some of us are on rural telephone lines and would love to be able to get the speed you are getting now

Mine's about 1/2 your current figures..

Its a good job I don't spend a lot of time on graphics heavy websites

Regards
Andy
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  #3  
Old 03-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

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Originally Posted by Shenstone View Post
Some of us are on rural telephone lines and would love to be able to get the speed you are getting now

Mine's about 1/2 your current figures..

Its a good job I don't spend a lot of time on graphics heavy websites

Regards
Andy
I know exactly how you feel Andy as Julia's parents are not only far from their exchange in the not so rural Finchampstead area near Bracknell, but their exchange (Eversley) seems to be one of the least modern in the country. The net result is that they have to live with an upload speed of just 0.15Mbs and a download speed of 0.3Mbs. I joke not.

I have seen info that suggests their exchange will be upgraded to FTTC in September. Can't wait!

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  #4  
Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

MAC code for the service transfer has arrived and the service has been ordered Tentative installation date is Monday week (14th), but could be the 17th - just waiting for confirmation.

If you are at all interested in the details, a BT engineer comes along and changes the face plate on the telephone wall socket, and also installs a VDSL modem (which is included in the package). You will need to connect this to an ethernet router that supports the PPoE protocol (most routers compatible with cable modems, possibly not the routers with built in ADSL modems, so you might need to invest in a new router if you are upgrading from ADSL).

Now I'm not a comms expert as such, but the way I understand FTTC works (Fibre to the Cabinet) is that unlike ADSL, where your broadband signal is carried by copper telephone wires all the way from the exchange, with FTTC there is a much more efficient optical fibre connection between the exchange and the roadside cabinet near your location. So the broadband only travels along copper wires from the cabinet to your premises (usually no more than a few hundred metres). It's the copper wire leg of the broadband connection that saps the performance of the connection progressively over distance. FTTC dramatically limits the impact of the copper wire portion of the connection to the exchange

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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
MAC code for the service transfer has arrived and the service has been ordered Tentative installation date is Monday week (14th), but could be the 17th - just waiting for confirmation.

If you are at all interested in the details, a BT engineer comes along and changes the face plate on the telephone wall socket, and also installs a VDSL modem (which is included in the package). You will need to connect this to an ethernet router that supports the PPoE protocol (most routers compatible with cable modems, possibly not the routers with built in ADSL modems, so you might need to invest in a new router if you are upgrading from ADSL).

Now I'm not a comms expert as such, but the way I understand FTTC works (Fibre to the Cabinet) is that unlike ADSL, where your broadband signal is carried by copper telephone wires all the way from the exchange, with FTTC there is a much more efficient optical fibre connection between the exchange and the roadside cabinet near your location. So the broadband only travels along copper wires from the cabinet to your premises (usually no more than a few hundred metres). It's the copper wire leg of the broadband connection that saps the performance of the connection progressively over distance. FTTC dramatically limits the impact of the copper wire portion of the connection to the exchange

Ian
This is all very interesting, I am currently with Sky which of course is ADSL Download 5976 and upload 454. Must be a descent exchange locally or we are reasonably close.


Patrick
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
This is all very interesting, I am currently with Sky which of course is ADSL Download 5976 and upload 454. Must be a descent exchange locally or we are reasonably close.


Patrick
Your upload speed isn't particularly good, Patrick. We do better than that here (600) even though our download speed (4000-odd) is slower, which seems a bit odd.

I can upload faster on my phone (2000 download and around 600 upload here at the office).

Ian
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Your upload speed isn't particularly good, Patrick. We do better than that here (600) even though our download speed (4000-odd) is slower, which seems a bit odd.

I can upload faster on my phone (2000 download and around 600 upload here at the office).

Ian
Checked it with a different site and got 5.9 Mb download and 0.6 upload. Much the same figures.


Patrick
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, Nay! Nay!

Ian - if it is BT Infinity that you have ordered then don't trust what BT states about dates for installation if my experience is anything to go off. I placed my order on the 21st Dec and received a letter confirming an installation date of the 13th Jan between 2pm and 6pm. At the appointed time an Openreach engineer arrived, installed the necessary junction box on to my existing cabling and connected to the modem which he had brought and to the the Hub/router.

Then the fun began - he could not get the active light on the Hub to change to blue to indicate a connection. He was here for 4 hours without success an left saying it had probably not been activated at the exchange. I left the power connected to both the modem and Hub but nothing changed until lo and behold on the 20th Jan the active light on the Hub had changed to Blue. I then used the connection successfully surf the web and send and receive e-mails until the 30th Jan when the active turned orange to indicate 'No connection' !!

When I phoned the Help ? line and after an interminable wait got through and explained the position, I was told that my service had not been activated yet and an engineer would call on 4th Feb to install and activate it. I said well I don't know why as I have I have already been using it from the 20th to 30th Jan.

Yesterday I received an e-mail form BT at my old Virgin mailbox confirming my order for BT Infinity which would be installed on 21st Feb !! complete with a new order reference number. I then rang up BT and explained the whole saga only to be told that the engineer visit on the 4th Feb had been cancelled and Yes the new installation could not be brought forward. BT is an utterly incompetent organisation - their left hand does no know what the right hand is doing and what with some of their call centres being farmed off to India and people who do not fully understand English or speak it properly - the setup is an absolute shambles. All I can say Ian is hope you fare better than me. Thankfully I had not terminate my Virgin cable connection so am still able to access the Internet.
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Hi Dennis - yes we have had some shambolic experiences with BT installing things. For a long time our ADSL was connected to a completely different phone line to the one we were using for calling (there are quite a few BT sockets in our office). We were told that this was not possible - well, it obviously was.

I decided not to go with BT Infinity because although they offer free installation and slightly cheaper monthly charge, they wouldn't install the residential service on our business line. Instead we would have to pay considerably more for a business package. In the past the service level agreements and compensation for down time we have tried to claim for through our business contract have proved virtually worthless, so a residential deal is perfectly adequate for us.

But the service we have signed up to (via fast.co.uk) is basically the same physical service as BT's and a BT engineer will install it. Our installation date has been confirmed for the 23rd, which is nearly 10 days later than I had originally hoped for, but that's OK - as long as they install it without any problems!

So what speeds are you getting? Or is it not actually working yet?

Ian
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Hi Ian - As you will see in the last paragraph of my original post the last information I received by e-mail yesterday is that it will be installed (Once again !!) on the 21st Feb.
So until I am am up and running again I cannot say what speeds will get. When the engineer who came on 13th Jan he tested the line and said it was capable of 38Mbs.

STOP PRESS:- I have just this minute had a phone message on my mobile to say that an engineer will call on Monday next 7th Feb to activate line. Hurrah
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisP View Post
Hi Ian - As you will see in the last paragraph of my original post the last information I received by e-mail yesterday is that it will be installed (Once again !!) on the 21st Feb.
So until I am am up and running again I cannot say what speeds will get. When the engineer who came on 13th Jan he tested the line and said it was capable of 38Mbs.

STOP PRESS:- I have just this minute had a phone message on my mobile to say that an engineer will call on Monday next 7th Feb to activate line. Hurrah
Ah - OK, so you must be still connected to your ADSL service? 38Mbs - you must be really close to your cabinet, you lucky so and so

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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

TalkTalk sent me an e-mail saying that they had upgraded my "up to 8MB" to an "up to 24MB" service.

Speedtest results are no different

I asked TT if they would reduce my bills as they had in effect reduced their service from supplying me with 50% of what I pay for to 16%...

To date I have not received a reply other than their standard "automail"

And they wonder why people switch...
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

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Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
TalkTalk sent me an e-mail saying that they had upgraded my "up to 8MB" to an "up to 24MB" service.

Speedtest results are no different

I asked TT if they would reduce my bills as they had in effect reduced their service from supplying me with 50% of what I pay for to 16%...

To date I have not received a reply other than their standard "automail"

And they wonder why people switch...
Unfortunately, 24Mbs ADSL2+ is only a theoretical maximum. As is the standard 8Mbs ADSL maximum. ADSL2+ can double your old speed if your are fairly close to the exchange, but it makes little difference if you are quite far from the exchange. Have you investigated whether or not FTTC is available or on the way at your exchange?

Ian
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Old 04-02-11
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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Unfortunately, 24Mbs ADSL2+ is only a theoretical maximum. As is the standard 8Mbs ADSL maximum. ADSL2+ can double your old speed if your are fairly close to the exchange, but it makes little difference if you are quite far from the exchange. Have you investigated whether or not FTTC is available or on the way at your exchange?

Ian
I can look across in front of our house and see the exchange, unfortunatly the cables don't run as the crow flies and we are at the end of things...

BT keep asking if I want their high speed system and I always say yes, but there is no sign of it yet.

Seriously thinking of switching to Virgin as the cable is already there and the Fibre Box is not that far away either.

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Re: At last, really fast broadband, yay!

Graham, if you are that close to the cabinet, if you get fibre then you can expect close to the 40Mbs download speed limit and near the 10Mbs upload limit. With fibre, it's the distance from the cabinet that matters, not the distance from the exchange any more, as it is with ADSL.

Ian
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