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UK ISP TalkTalk Claims Consumers Lose 4Mbps to Poor Broadband Setups

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 (2:05 am) - Score 1,584

Internet and phone provider TalkTalk has today suggested that over 500,000 UK homes could be bleeding 4Mbps (Megabits per second) of broadband speed because of “poor in-home setups“, which is allegedly “equivalent to 2.3 Million Mb of speed being lost every second” and they know how to fix it.

The ISP states that “British homes will leak 72 billion Gigabytes of bandwidth capacity, which is more than enough to power YouTube around the year“. It suggests a further 2.5 million homes could see a “smaller” increase to their broadband speed just by “making some simple changes themselves“, though many people never attempt to do so. As an example it’s widely know that issues, such as faulty wiring or interference from your BT phone socket, can cause a noticeable loss of speed.

Dan Downham, One of TalkTalks Bright Sparks Engineers, said:

A bit of basic home maintenance and some re-jigging of the wiring in the living room could speed up internet connections no end.

You can lose anything up to 4 megabits per second of speed simply due to a poor in home set up. When you consider that the average home gets a broadband speed of 7.6 megabits per second, that’s an awful lot of bandwidth going to waste.

The megabits are coming into your home but they’re going to waste before they can be put to good use. People need to think of broadband in the same way as water and electricity. It’s a commodity that can go to waste if you’re not careful.”

The Most Common Problems Found

31% – speed lost through poor wiring
20% – router needed to be set up or reconfigured
17% – phone socket not properly set up
14% – new ADSL broadband filter required
13 % – other problems such as customers not connecting to the router to the master socket

Other measures that can “reduce broadband waste” include plugging routers or modems directly into the BT Master Socket and fitting filters to stop other devices connected to your phone line from interfering with the broadband service. Most consumers should be doing this anyway but it’s not always easy to locate your master socket and some probably find it difficult to understand their ISPs guidance.

Alternatively TalkTalk claims that customers who use its Speed Checker to test their line might be able to gain a free visit from one of the ISPs Bright Sparks engineers (powered by QubeGB), which can perform a Speed Optimisation visit (normal price £50). ISPreview.co.uk also has an extensive ADSL Broadband Internet Connection Tips and Tweaks article that might help.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar cyclope says:

    “31% – speed lost through poor wiring
    20% – router needed to be set up or reconfigured
    17% – phone socket not properly set up
    14% – new ADSL broadband filter required
    13 % – other problems such as customers not connecting to the router to the master socket”
    Really, not down to their DLM or throttling of some protocols, or the end user being non the wiser and using the supplied router all these are not maybe as if not more relevant reasons why their customers may be getting less than they could
    More of the blame the customer first attitude from their inept customer service, And this free visit from a “BRIGHT SPARK” is done soley to benefit the customer and not as a way to sell them further services that are chargeable ? Which somewhat would take the EE out of FREE

  2. Avatar DTMark says:

    It’s easy to infer from the list of potential issues that these are the customer’s fault, and/or that they are within the customer’s control.

    Items 1, 3 and 5 could potentially apply to us. However none of those items are within our control. That’s how the telephone line is wired up. For example, we have two master sockets. It’s just a phone line, so it’s fine.

    I’d be concerned if, in my situation, a Qube engineer was despatched to “sort this out” and all they did was confirm that the wiring was not right, but they can’t do anything about it (e.g. climb up the pole and fit a new dropwire and master), and I then get charged for the visit.

    While it’s worth trying to get the most out of what you have (we went to 3G instead and abandoned ADSL as it was way too slow) the error occurs in trying to use a *telephone* line as a broadband conduit in the first place.

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