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UPDATE BT Explain Unusual Broadband Speed Estimates on UK FTTC Lines

Monday, October 21st, 2013 (1:12 am) - Score 11,294
bt-openreach-fttc-cabinet-and-engineer

An interesting question popped up during BTWholesale’s last Customer Service Forum, which occurred after an ISP raised concerns that BT’s estimate for speeds on its ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) broadband lines were changing after a period of time. This made it difficult for them to determine whether particular users had a speed fault.

The performance of FTTC broadband lines on BT’s network will always vary a little due to the “last mile” style run of copper cable between street cabinets and premises, which is prone to interference (e.g. signal degradation over distance). On top of that they can also be affected by network congestion and Traffic Management measures among other things. But once your speed has settled it shouldn’t vary too aggressively, although you do have to keep an eye on it in order to establish the typical trend for your line.

Never the less ISPreview.co.uk has heard various reports over the past few months about more unusual behaviour and a question posed at the recent BTWholesale Forum by PlusNet’s resident fault analyst, Ian Boydon, appeared to touch on a number of similar areas.

Ian Boydon, PlusNets Fault Analyst, said:

We have noticed recently that the BT estimate for Fibre speeds on lines is changing after a period of time. I am assuming that this is due to contention, as more connections are added at the cabinets? The problem is, it makes it difficult for us to determine whether or not a customer has a speed issue or not.

We have seen examples recently where a customer has raised a speed fault with us and after a week or so of investigation, the BT estimate has been reduced and we then have to tell the customer there is no problem as their speed is within range of the new estimate. As you can imagine, this causes a lot of dissatisfaction with our customers.”

BTWholesale’s response was unsurprising and rather general with the operator referencing how “Line Length, Line Quality and Cable Fill can affect the estimates given by the speed checker“, which is all well known. But interestingly they also stated that “Speed estimates assume an average local line length of 50 metres, however this is an average and local line length can sometimes be up to 1km“.

ISPreview.co.uk has heard of lines from the cabinet that can run beyond 1km and thus requested further clarification from BT, not least with regards to precisely what this covered and whether it would be possible to know what the MEDIAN distance is. Fifty metres is quite a short run and if this is being assumed as an “average” for all FTTC speed estimates then those on longer lines might be getting a more optimistic prediction than could be deemed realistic.

In the pursuit of additional information we contacted Thinkbroadband, which collects a wealth of real-world speed test and line data, to see how BT’s connection speed estimates might compare against predicted FTTC line lengths using actual real-world speeds. TB estimates that 90% of the UK cabinet-to-premise line lengths are under 1km (i.e. 10% should be above) and, using test data from BTInfinity customers, they suggested an average (mean) length of 450m, with a median of 550m.

So far we’ve been unable to gain a clarification from BT concerning their response to PlusNet.

UPDATE 10:23am

An additional couple of points have been made to us that are worth mentioning. Firstly, TB has seen some users with lines that stretch up to 2km from the cabinet. Secondly, a longer term problem for FTTC is that speeds may drop as crosstalk (interference) begins to have an impact (TB suggest this could drop performance up to 10-20%); this is of course one reason why BTOpenreach are currently testing Vectoring technology as a possible solution for the future (here).

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52 Responses
  1. Avatar Phil says:

    These will put me off now. And stayed with virgin media. I don’t like the sound of it.

  2. Avatar DTMark says:

    “We have seen examples recently where a customer has raised a speed fault with us and after a week or so of investigation, the BT estimate has been reduced and we then have to tell the customer there is no problem as their speed is within range of the new estimate”

    Er… no. The “new speed estimate” isn’t relevant is it?

    What *is* relevant is the estimate given to the customer at sign-up which the ISP keeps a record of (don’t they?)

    In an example if someone signs up for VDSL and is given an estimate of say 25Mbps and it transpires that the pair used is only capable of say 10Mbps then the customer has right of recourse under the OFCOM Code of practice governing speeds if that ISP subscribes to it.

    Which means that the customer can then elect to cancel without penalty and seek an alternative solution (e.g. cable, 3G, 4G, wireless).

    Later on, if the speed the customer experiences falls below that same initial estimate and it transpires that the “sync rate” for that pair has fallen, perhaps due to degradation or crosstalk, exactly the same applies.

    I’d believed that it was always the case that, for ADSL, the estimated line speeds take into account the previous performance of pairs to that address e.g. for our house at signup for ADSL estimated speed 3Mbps, actual sync rate 2Mbps, database subsequently updates to estimate only 2Mbps.

    But what surely matters is the *initial* estimate.

    After all you don’t put in an order for 1KG of coffee beans, have only 200G delivered, and then look again on the retailer’s website to find that the item you ordered is now sold in packs of 200G so it’s your problem, do you..

  3. Avatar Phil says:

    If BT and ISP estimated of 65/20 and if the speed below 65/20 and the contract should ended (disconnected) without any penalty fee because of broken promise of speed estimate during sign up.

  4. Avatar finaldest says:

    BT were quoting 57down and 18up when I joined sky fibre.

    Now my line is quoted as 47down 10.9up.

  5. Avatar JockM says:

    Why are so many people focussed on the speeds vs estimates. The clue is that estimates are best guessses. As for the above person and speeds of 47Mb down, just what are you going to do with it? It’s very difficult to use that amount of bandwidth at once and most of the time, in nearly all cases, it’s never used. Just how many applications are you opening at once?

    The analogy is your car speedo. How many times do you max that out? The same goes for your broadband. Move the focus away from headline speed to infrastructure and stability.

    1. Avatar dragoneast says:

      I agree but BT, acting to Ofcom’s instructions, ask for it. Once you tell people what they might “expect” it becomes the 11th commandment. That’s just the way we are. The technology doesn’t allow you to be that precise, it’s like my garage “guaranteeing” that I can drive at 70mph on a motorway irrespective of the road conditions, or at 30mph around my housing estate. Daft, and I’m even dafter if I try.

      Don’t give speed estimates. It’s just a question of whether you can do what you want on your connection, and we can all grow up. Consumer speed tests are a bit of fun, but nothing more. Perhaps in future rather than charging by technology, there could be a charge say for maximum speeds restricted to up to 24Mbps and one for those that are higher? You could then ask for your speed to be restricted.

    2. Avatar DTMark says:

      “It’s just a question of whether you can do what you want on your connection”

      Indeed it is.

      Like the coffee beans analogy above – what you’re suggesting is that nobody should be able to order any specific quantity of coffee beans, it should be a lottery. You just order “some coffee beans” and the price is fixed, but any quantity could arrive.

      When it does, the retailer has fulfilled their obligation and you have no right of recourse. You could always order some more..

  6. Avatar SlowLincolnshire says:

    Sounds like more reasons why FTTC is just a complete waste of time and money. Too much uncertainty what these unrealistic estimates, the lottery that is the BDUK funded roll out and it’s going to have a short shelf life for many users what with more and more people each day discovering the benefits of FTTP over FTTC

    1. Avatar dragoneast says:

      In many cases I understood if you’ve FTTC, you will be able to pay the commercial rate for an upgrade to FTTP if you want it. But don’t expect other people to pay for it. Beggars can’t be choosers.

    2. Avatar DTMark says:

      “The commercial rate”

      = an opportunistic cost levied by a monopoly without any competition which in many instances is ludicrous.

      This all comes down to that “last mile” and getting the physical cable to the home.

      As I argued from the outset, the problem with VDSL is that it’s only cost effective in any shape or form to get the fibre as far as the cabinet, so it is a short term (in some areas, medium term) solution which does not necessarily lead to a longer term one. This is not “next gen” broadband, this is “current gen” broadband which in many instances is less capable than a 50 year old (?) cable network last mile.

      It might very well have been cheaper in the longer run to simply lay a new last mile GPON style fibre network, the current pricing model of “fibre on demand” certainly implies that to be the case.

    3. Avatar SlowLincolnshire says:

      Totally Agree DTMark.

      The commercial rate is for those with more money than sense. The jump from 56k dialup to ADSL was around 150x on the download alone and was seen as a huge increase in performance what with the many noticeable benefits.

      From ADSL to ADSL2+ is around 3x. ADSL2+ to FTTC is around 2-4x depending on distance from PCP. The upgrade options from BT in terms of speed improvement seemed to have dramatically slowed down.

      The jump should be skipping FTTC in favour of FTTP. The jump from ADSL to FTTP would be approx 40x going to BT’s 330 FTTP. If it were with Gigaclear, B4RN or Hyperoptic the jump would be approx 125x which would be a substantial increase similar to that of 56k-ADSL.

      BT it would seem couldn’t care less about peoples ever changing attitudes towards broadband especially those in rural areas

  7. Avatar Kits says:

    The problem is BT are still using copper which does have problems in itself some copper lines are better than others in quality. BT also do the speed changes on ADSL. They have also changed how they charge if you have a fault and the pairs are tested matching some level BT have set you are charged. This is regardless of of BT do something at the exchange which is now classed as enhancement to the line. If this repairs the fault as the wire pairs passed you still get charged. Why do we pay monthly rental when BT finds new ways to charge you for the upkeep of the line which should be their responsibility…

    Copper lines streatch and shrink causing small cracks this is the main fault with this type of line when working with the faster speeds. BT are in a win win situation customers just can’t win.

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      I think that the problem is that OFCOM’s Code of Practice regarding speed requires the ISP subscribing to it to allow the customer to exit without penalty if the speed is not as estimated.

      Further back in the chain, the ISP is required to pay BT even if the service delivered is only capable of 50% of that speed estimate.

      So the ISP just loses the cash, even though it was BT who supplied the estimate in the first place. But then that’s “just tough”, really, it was the ISP who elected to sell VDSL over the BT platform.

      How many examples can anyone think of in the *commercial* world where you can charge for delivering only 50% of what you said you would?

    2. Avatar MikeW says:

      “Copper lines stretch and shrink causing small cracks this is the main fault with this type of line when working with the faster speeds.”

      Copper does indeed shrink & expand based on temperature, but it doesn’t cause cracks in the main part of the copper as such – some copper cables have been in place for over a century, and still don’t have cracks appearing randomly through the length.

      The real problem, for physical faults, is a combination of the weather, and the places where the weather can get at the copper hidden within the insulation. Water and joints are thus the major sources of problems – either because of corrosion, or because of movement. The movement can indeed be caused by the fractional movement of different materials expanding at different rates (eg copper wire held by a steel screw), but can be caused by wind or by the rubbing of trees moving in the wind.

      However, for high-speed VDSL2 services, the biggest problem by far isn’t a physical fault, but is the crosstalk interference that comes from other subscribers. And it is only getting to be a bigger problem.

      Roll on vectoring…

  8. Avatar Magneto says:

    When i joined BT my QUOTED (not estimate or checker) speed was 68Mb. The terms state it may vary by 2Mb or so.

    On day of install it synced at 73Mb which was a great result and it stayed that way for 8 months, so it was reliable at that rate… UNTIL BTs “estimates” changed on their site to 62Mb “estimate” and my speed was reduced to 64Mb. (A loss of 9Mb to what i had had stably for 8 months). I complained and at first got the generic response of “Your speeds are within guidelines for what you were quoted at sign up”. I argued they were not within 2Mb of my sign up figure only the new changed “estimate” figure. This went on for about 2 months before they sent an engineer out.

    The engineer reset the DLM and line profiling and ever since the connection has been back at 73Mb solid for now another 9 months. There had been no issues with my line previously, modem had not been unplugged, so IMO they only thing it could had been was them capping my speed down to what the estimates were.

    If people also look on BTs community forums there are similar stories all over it. Either their DLM system does not work or one of the various BT organisations (Be it retail, wholesale or openreach) are capping rates to what checker figures guesstimate.

    Im glad others have noticed and BT are sooner or later going to have to answer questions. In fact it is only a matter of time before someone complains to the ASA over being quoted one speed at sign up and then later being told a slower speed.

    1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      You have a guaranteed speed and an assurance it will vary by no more than 2Mb?

      Neither BT Wholesale or Openreach have any such guarantee on the product they provide. It would be interesting to see where that came from.

      You must be a pretty special customer to have your own set of terms and conditions from BT alongside a guaranteed quoted speed as opposed to a checker based estimate.

    2. Avatar Pete says:

      During your sign up with BT Retail they quote a speed to you. Any fault you report that quoted speed is what a fault is judged by. The quoted speed you get when you sign up forms part of your contract. You get about 3 emails with that and other info in when you sign up via BT Retail. If you also go to BTs site and run the speed estimator for your line and click the legal gubbins below after the speed check it also mentions there speeds may vary by around 2Mb.

  9. Avatar JockM says:

    I have a car that can do 180mph when I first bought it but now it will only do 162mph. I’m really annoyed and feel like I’ve been mis-sold. Granted I’ve never done more than 105mph in the car and I feel really cheated.

    Do you people not get the headline speed thing here? The above is what you’re complaining about with bandwidth. YOU DON’T NEED THAT MUCH!

    1. Avatar GNewton says:

      Who are you to decide how much bandwidth a user needs for his home or office?

      In our case, VDSL would be a hopelessly inadequate solution. On the other hand, many users have decided that VDSL is not the right product for them for the opposite reason, as can be seen by the generally low takeup rates in VDSL enabled areas.

      The one-size fits all approach simply doesn’t work.

    2. Avatar DTMark says:

      And another key point here is the upstream speed. This is a key reason why people might upgrade to VDSL. The upstream speed with VDSL can drop very low – I’ve seen examples where it only supplies 0.5Meg. Now I’ve got used to 20Meg up (4G) and can see the benefits of it, 0.5Meg would be pretty well useless.

  10. Avatar Kits says:

    I only moved over to VDSL as it was offered with no activation fee if I had to pay BT the near £100 to activate it I would have stayed on my slower ADSL…

    The high costs of moving to VDSL puts a lot off..

  11. Avatar Phil says:

    Virgin Media is better than BT FTTC because of this:

    1) No DLM
    2) No banded line
    3) No IP Profile capped
    4) Always above estimate speed eg: 30 get 33, 60 get 62, 120 get 126.

    1. Avatar Kits says:

      That is not always true I left VM after years when ever it hit peak time my speed plummeted down to less than 512k. They over subscribed the area I was one of the first on you notice the difference when loads join. VM kept putting back the updating of the UBRs every time was 3 months after nearly a year of this I gave up and left.

      Certainly wouldn’t go back to them.

    2. Avatar TomL says:

      I can vouch for this. Had VM 30Mbps installed on Saturday and get 33Mbps solid throughput. It’s all about the throughput with VM vs BT.

    3. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Excellent.

      Then you’ll stop writing posts on ThinkBroadband’s forum about complaining to Ofcom because enabling of your cabinet has been delayed I take it?

    4. Avatar MikeW says:

      @Phil

      The negative aspect of Virgin’s coax network (like any HFC) is that the Coax segment is shared, and you have no control over the other users that share your segment.

      It only takes one or two rogue houses to ruin everyone’s broadband experience and, as per Kits’ experience, Virgin are not usually fast to respond to such problems, even if they can. And any house can go rogue without warning.

      The best summary you can use is that, where Virgin are available (to 50%) and they are good, then they really are pretty damn good. But when they’re bad (and neither you nor they are in control of that), then they’re really pretty bad. And if they ain’t there yet, then don’t hold your breath waiting for a rollout – it isn’t coming.

      When we moved 18 months ago, I chose wisely… so have the option of both VM and FTTC at full 80Mbps speed. We didn’t go for VM, but it is at least there as a backup.

    5. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      No it wasn’t TomL I have no idea who you are or what you’ve posted on ThinkBroadband.

      Per the threading on this comment software it was a response to Phil / adslmax.

    6. Avatar Pete says:

      I thought forums like these and TBB were for discussing things like FTTC and when it has and has not been enabled. Why would you have an issue with anyone posting about their experience on a forum?

  12. Avatar gerarda says:

    Our village is between 1.5 and 2miles, not kilometres, from the cabinet and that is not unusual in rural areas. To be fair to BT they did discover this but only after insisting some of these villages were not included in the BDUK intervention area

    1. Avatar DTMark says:

      A morning spent with BT’s database and a few SQL queries could uncover all the areas like that, both urban and rural, very easily.

    2. Avatar gerarda says:

      DT
      I don’t think it serves BT’s agenda for them to do that, and given that they probably don’t know the exact line lengths for all properties it would still be a bit of a guess.
      I have been trying to find the provenance of thinkbroadband’s widely quoted table of speed and distance to find out where the 98% of premises with 1.5km came from but without success.

    3. Avatar DTMark says:

      One would have thought that a single Sql query could return that data from BT’s database rather quickly.

      Assuming that it has been maintained. The BE website used to (perhaps it still does) return the total line length for a particular circuit so if you know the length of the run to the cabinet (the E-side) you can subtract that from the total to get the cabinet to premises length (the D-side). I assume that data must come from a BT database.

      IIRC… BDUK had an independent firm produce a report which showed that “90% of people live within 1km of a cabinet”. However that is not the same as saying that 90% of people have a D-side length of 1km or less.

    4. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      @gerarda: You can find the line length data on thinkbroadband (Home > Our Broadband Guides > Fibre Broadband Guide (FTTC / FTTH / FTTP)). The data is originally from Ofcom who can provide you with the details, too, if you kindly ask them.

    5. Avatar MikeW says:

      @gerarda

      The publicly-available data on line lengths does not come from BT directly.

      However, Sagentia (a consulting firm) prepared a report for Ofcom in 2008 on the capability of the last-mile copper network. That report documents their findings on the lengths of both the exchange-customer line (the combined D-side and E-side lengths) and the cabinet-customer line (just the D-side).

      See section 2.2.2 of this Ofcom report: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/technology-research/asses.pdf

      Sagentia reference a document from BT that was sent to a DSL working group in NICC as a source for their figures, but I’ve never been able to find this document.

      One thing that isn’t clear in the Sagentia report is whether their estimates for the E-side length include or exclude the length of the drop wire.

      However, a subsequent report (by Analysys Mason) for Ofcom makes a reference back to the Sagentia report, and indicates that the estimates for total (combined) length *do* include the drop wire. They go no further on the topic of the D-side estimates, but it would be strange for Sagentia to write a report where one set of figures includes it, and the other set do not.

    6. Avatar MikeW says:

      I should have mentioned that the distance-distribution tables on TBB are based on the graphs from section 2.2 of the Sagentia report.

      Figure 5 is the one that gives us, to the best accuracy of using a ruler on the screen, the idea that only a couple of percent of lines are greater than 1.5km from the cabinet, while figure 4 gives us the estimate that 90% are at 1.1km or less.

    7. Avatar MikeW says:

      @DTMark

      The Sagentia report on distances is based on source data for attenuation, which they translate to distances.

      However, because the source data is based on attenuation, then it really indicates the line length distance (assuming 0.5mm copper) as it goes around the houses, and not the “as-the-crow” distance from the cabinet.

    8. Avatar gerarda says:

      MikeW Thanks for the link

      It would be nice to find that NICC paper are there is one statement in the Sagentia report which appears to be wrong. It says all exchange line lengths are less than 6.5Km, when we know of villages , let alone isolated properties, that are farther than that as the crow flies

    9. Avatar MikeW says:

      @gerarda

      Remember that Sagentia are starting with attenuation figures, plus a BT statement that their network is “equivalent” to 0.5mm copper. The word “equivalent” is important here.

      If BT use thicker copper cables for the longer lines, this will make it electrically equivalent to a shorter, thinner line. The long line will then behave, as far as the attenuation figure is concerned, the same as the short line.

      Standard wire is 0.5mm (close to 24 AWG), has a resistance of 89 ohms per km, and is the wire commonly used for the BT access network nowadays. A 6.5km line would have a round-trip resistance of 1150 ohms – so this is the maximum figure to match as “equivalent” (section 2.2.1 says SIN351 requires a maximum of 1,000 ohms).

      22 AWG wire is 0.64mm, with resistance of 55 ohms per km. A line with 1150 ohms of resistance would be 10.5km long, but would be electrically equivalent.

      19 AWG wire is 0.9mm, with a resistance of 28 ohms per km. A line with 1150 ohms of resistance would be 20km long, and again would be equivalent.

      Both of the latter wires are in BT’s inventory, and we should assume that they go to make longer connections. The opposite is true too – short lines could be installed with thinner wire, perhaps at 0.4mm.

    10. Avatar DTMark says:

      The report makes clear this is a theoretical “best case scenario”.

      For instance, setting out to model ADSL on page 14 there’s a chart which says that with ADSL 50% of users should receive 6.5Mbps or greater and nobody will get less than 3Mbps.

      Yet, that does not map to the real world because the real world does not consist of brand new copper pairs in a lab environment at 0.5mm dia. Some counties results report than the number of users at less than 2Mbps with ADSL (and 2+) is 20% or greater.

      To put that into the context of here, the average D+E length is 3400m which is about the national average so not an “unusual” scenario. The shortest is about 2650m. I have modem data for a number of lines. Clearly I’d need modem data for all the lines to draw a firm conclusion.

      The average ADSL IP Profile is about 2.5Mbps which is already lower than the bottom of that chart indicates is possible/likely (“bandwidth attained”, so I use the IP profile, not the Sync Rate).

      The sync rate as a percentage of the theoretical sync rate for those lines based solely on length is about 55% (varies between 17% and 104%). “Noise margins” of 15db are normal.

      If you work backwards from the sync rate, the average line length (D+E) is about 3850m which suggests loss of bandwidth based on the difference between that which is theoretical and that which is “real”. Without that loss, the lower bound of 3Mbps might be attained.

      Therefore I detect a gap between the perfect copper 0.5mm network and BT’s actual mixed-metal and mixed-gauge network. A gap big enough to distort the results quite significantly.

      Discuss..

    11. Avatar gerarda says:

      MikeW

      The comment about improving the copper probably explains why I get get some sort of broadband on my ex business ISDN line but like most of the rest of the village nothing at all on my residential line. They probably used thicker copper when installing it.

    12. Avatar MikeW says:

      @gerarda –

      I did some analysis of my old housing estate, and compared the speed estimates of all the properties compared to the distances from the cabinet.

      One thing stood out – the 4 separate blocks of flats (around 40 flats) all had much higher speed estimates for their distance, compared to the surrounding houses.

      The only conclusion I could reach was that the cabling used to provide telephone service to the flats was done with separate cables of a larger gauge. A data cock-up seemed unlikely.

    13. Avatar MikeW says:

      @DTMark –

      Well spotted – and even stranger that Sagentia don’t make the same observation that you do – after all, the existence of such slow-spots was just as well-known in 2008.

      I’ll have a think about what it means, but have no time until the weekend.

  13. Avatar Eye to the left says:

    BT have a planning department. They know cable lengths. Unlikely you’ll get any support or info from them though. Some people say those who work in planning are like the Stig without the speed.

  14. Avatar Telecom engineer says:

    The comment of 50m line length will be that from the dp . Most people are within 30m of the dp but rural areas especially farm houses will be fed by carrier poles which take the drop wire from the dp to the end user – this can be a kilometre or more in extreme cases. For example I know one customer had an estimate of 80 meg but connection speed of only two meg. The estimate was for the dp next to the pcp however the farm was 2km away….

    Personally I assume the predictions are lowering based off real world results overriding the formula. Also note an ISP can accept a speed on installation and that then becomes the predicted speed.

  15. Avatar MikeW says:

    This is very much a case of BT shooting itself in the foot, but it seems that they had a bullet to fire, and they had to fire it somewhere.

    I guess that the reason they’ve changed the estimates is that they’re getting better at estimating the crosstalk (interference from other VDSL subscribers), and that things aren’t as rosy as in their initial models. If things aren’t turning out to be so good, then they are honour-bound to reduce the future estimates for future subscribers. It is also good to see future estimates for existing subscribers – to show the reality of what their line can achieve.

    Where it falls down is in the area where the estimates make a part of an enduring contract with an ISP – either in terms of sticking to get-out clauses, or in terms of calling for fault-fixes, and particularly in identifying cases where the only thing wrong is that the neighbours have signed up too.

    Perhaps they should have stuck to lower estimates.

    An interesting side-note to the history of the estimates…

    BT (Perhaps Openreach) used to run regular user-group workshops on their fibre rollout, accessible to ISPs that resold their products. I’ve never attended one of these, but I’ve found many of the powerpoint slides from them over the last few years.

    In one such meeting, perhaps 2 or 3 years ago, BT announced that they were revising the estimates (which meant, IIRC, that many estimates went UP). I recall a powerpoint slide that indicated that the new estimates incorporated an allowance for crosstalk for 3 years – which I take to mean that their estimates gave a speed that would be valid in 3 years time, based on their predictions for subscriber growth over that time.

    Presumably, they’ve realised that estimates with a short shelf-life aren’t really suitable when ISP contracts can last longer.

    I can’t remember exactly when this change came about, but possibly around the time that BT changed from the 8c profile to the 17a one.

  16. Avatar Jonathon Stillwell says:

    My Broadband speeds are exactly what BT said they’ll be and haven’t changed 😉 just to annoy…

  17. Avatar John Popham says:

    There’s a lot I could comment on here. But, due to lack of time, I’ll confine myself to saying something about the comparison with Virgin Media. I’d agree that Virgin is great for normally getting the speeds quoted, or sometimes more, for download, but, I am on a 60Mbps Virgin connection and I get only 3Mbps upload. VM keep promising this is due to be doubled, but it’s taking a long time to happen, and even that is really inadequate for my needs.

  18. Avatar Chris Conder says:

    Great debate here! at last we may be getting to the truth about FTTC. Keep it up guys.

    1. Avatar SlowLincolnshire says:

      Who knows. I’m sure we’d all like to think so. It’s nice to be reading comments and views on the topics from people who really care about broadband and everything related to it. Knowledge is power

    2. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Do you have a costed proposal for an alternative to FTTC?

    3. Avatar FibreFred says:

      Keep persisting TheFacts but I doubt you’ll ever get your answer

  19. I have adsl2+ LLU and sync at 7.3mb, real world IP of 6.5mb.
    I have a line length of 3.4km ( as close as I can estimate with my car + 200m more for cable sags a bit on the poles.

    I must have a good line I have 43.5 attenuation.

    I am 2-2.2km from my cabinet that has just been enabled for fibre.
    BT have estimated 2-3mb for me.

    Am i fucked? for high speed broaband?

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Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £22.00
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Onestream £22.49 (*29.99)
    Avg. Speed 45Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £22.99 (*36.52)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £55 Reward Card
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
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