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Vodafone UK Home Broadband ISP Speeds Slow to a Crawl.. Again UPDATE2

Monday, September 2nd, 2019 (9:58 am) - Score 3,176
Vodafone UK 2016

Last week Vodafone blamed a significant bank holiday weekend fall in peak time fixed broadband speeds (here) on “human error when carrying out some routine maintenance work.” Unfortunately a similarly dramatic drop in speeds occurred on Sunday evening and the complaints soon piled up.

The performance of Vodafone’s network quickly recovered after the bank holiday and seemed to be holding steady until the evening of 1st September, when it suddenly reoccurred. Andrew over at Thinkbroadband has been closely monitoring the network since last week and just confirmed the sharp decline, which is also written across the pages of the ISP’s own Community Forum.

As usual Vodafone’s front line support team aren’t much help and tend to blame everything except the provider’s own network. We’ve already contacted Vodafone about this and have somewhat cynically queried whether or not this latest bout of diabolically slow peak time connectivity could also be put down to “human error.” Vodafone said they are investigating and will respond in due course.

Once again we should add that this issue still seems to be impacting both Vodafone’s Openreach based FTTC products and their separate Cityfibre based Gigafast FTTH service, which as before points to a problem in the management or configuration of their core network routing / peering or capacity.

UPDATE 3:13pm

According to Vodafone, this week’s issue is separate from last week’s.

A Spokesperson for Vodafone told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Due to planned repair works on a damaged fibre cable, some of our home broadband customers may experience slower speeds. Our engineers are fixing the cable as quickly as possible. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Sadly no fix time has been given, although we do note that some users are complaining of slow speeds even outside of peak times. Broken core fibres can sometimes take a couple of days to resolve and in extreme cases even longer. We have asked for more information.

UPDATE 3rd September 2019

Vodafone told us this morning that the fibre break, which was damaged by a third party company, occurred in Birmingham. The fibre has now been repaired.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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35 Responses
  1. Avatar Captain Cretin

    You get what you pay for.

  2. Avatar Ron

    I still have issues with this too.

  3. Avatar Andrew Radford

    I still have issues with slow speeds currently getting 3mb download

  4. Avatar Granola

    “As usual Vodafone’s front line support team aren’t much help”.

    Never has a truer statement been made. I had to smile when I read that. I ditched them the day I was out of contract.

  5. Avatar Fred

    I ditched them 3 months into a contract after the major slowdown event in December 2018 – FOC if you stay polite and make a complaint.

  6. Avatar Wujek Pawel

    I haven’t had a problem yesterday evening except access to sites located outside the UK. I also haven’t contacted Vodafone customer suport as it is pointless in any case.

  7. Avatar Steve

    Weird, I just saw a 4 month roadwork notification pop up nearby for Vodafone in my area. There is (and have been) lot’s of Cityfibre metronetworky looking ones, but I wonder what vodafone themself are doing on the road that will last till January 2020?

  8. Avatar Jonny

    Seems a bit dubious that one fibre cable being out of action could be responsible for this

    • Avatar 125us

      I think it’s feasible. To be competitive on price consumer ISPs run their network ‘hot’ with little spare capacity. If one cable’s out through damage and a technician then turns off another by mistake there won’t be enough capacity. That will affect everyone.

  9. Avatar dave

    “Due to planned repair works on a damaged fibre cable”

    If it was planned, they could have informed their customers.

    “some of our home broadband customers may experience slower speeds”

    Trying to downplay it, “some” and “may”.

    “Our engineers are fixing the cable as quickly as possible. ”

    Again, if it was planned they would have an idea how long it would take or at least a worst case scenario.

    Weasel words as always.

  10. Avatar beany

    “Andrew over at Thinkbroadband”

    Its funny how his site like to pick on only the select few ISPs that have issues. The fave targets seem to be Talk Talk, Virgin and most recently Vodafone. NOTHING wrong with that, if the ISP is having issues… However unless im wrong they did not even have one single news item about the recent BT ping time episodes that has been going on for some people since the end of last year and certainly has not gone all multi news story on them. Rare if half of the issues Plusnet have (service and support wise) get reported on TBB and you hardly see anything negative about EE (be it on price, service itself or problems that may occur on it). Just coincidence i guess, where as ISPReview seems to pick up on every issue no matter who the provider.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      On EE so the slow ramp up issue was never mentioned.

      Tendency is to cover the ones where I have some data to add to the picture, i don’t like to react based on just what people are saying on social media alone.

      Feel free to see conspiracy issues if you wish, what I do means that I don’t have the time to chase down everything and staying on top of what is happening roll-out wise takes up most of the time.

      Do people want more stories and less data then?

    • Avatar CliveC

      I have been a reader of both sites for a long time and both are great sources of information. I do not think beany is trying to create a conspiracy though.

      Taking the providers he mentioned…
      EE… Recently complained to the ASA about 3 dubbing thereself the only true 5G provider, i do not remember reading anything about that on TBB. What is your opinion on that matter Andrew should the ITU descriptions of 5G be applicable or what EE think 5G is?

      Plusnet came bottom of Ofcoms Q1 stats this year… These stats have been covered previously when Talk Talk have consistently been bottom but again unless i missed it on TBB that quarter with Plusnet at the bottom did not get a mention. (I apologise if it were covered and i missed the story).

      As for BT the case of video streaming and or gaming coming to a crawl when both are being attempted… Or this https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2019/08/customers-of-uk-isp-bt-see-multiplayer-lag-spikes-during-streaming.html

      NONE of the above i remember reading on TBB and none of the above are just “social media” gossip. 2 are acknowledged by the ISPs thereself in updates of the news items here on ISPreview. The 3rd (re:plusnet) is an Ofcom measure, so none are hardly social media ranting.

      Virgin… Anyone that reads TBB will realise nearly any story that has anything VM related will result in some slight dig towards them. from the writer of said story. (sorry Andrew but you do, and it seems unintentionally show me the last 5 VM stories even if 1 or 2 are positive items and ill point out the sly jab in them)

      Talk Talk 90% of the time on TBB its just negative stories. Rightly so some may say, yet positive things like the released of new routers to customers again from my memory were not covered on there. Again i apologise if i am wrong and it was covered.

      Vodafone… Just appear to be the latest villian for TBB to sink their teeth into.

      I have read both sites for a very long time and their is a distinct difference in tone and coverage of stories between the two sites.

      Unless my mind is again playing tricks on me this goes back years and years. Have you not actually also in the past been on TV speaking out about Talk Talk and Virgin Media issues Andrew that is hardly sitting on the fence and being independant?

      Over the years there has always been more more biased tone over on TBB. If you go back years, LLU and LLU ADSL2+ providers were often treated like the second class citizens of broadband in news items but when ADSLMAX and finally 21CN (BTs ADSL2+) came along it was heralded almost like the second coming of Christ on TBB.

      Nowadays rather than that it seems to be a the Altnets that are treated as second class citizens. As an example you can be sure everytime BT are running some new special deal with some new special voucher it gets a write up on TBB, Altnets like Hyperoptic having special deals and new packages though not so much. ISPreview though will give both a write up and both equal coverage.

      You can not even compare the likes of Hyperoptic to other ISPs on TBB even though the page about them has the function embedded…
      https://www.thinkbroadband.com/isps/hyperoptic
      click on “compare this ISP to others” though and errr nope you can not do that.

      Its also interesting why EE has a compare box for its broadband and its EE 4G broadband…
      https://www.thinkbroadband.com/isps/compare
      Not so for 3 or Vodafone though. SO quite what EE 4G services you are supposed to be comparing them to is confusing.

      The statement at the top of “Only ISPs with sufficient ratings are displayed.” is not the reason either. If it were the Postoffice that is the 7th largest provider in the UK and has almost 4 times the amount of customers as Zen would also be on the compare page. Zen is on the compare page yet i do not believe for a second an ISP that only has around 120,000 (Zen) users has more opinions/reviews than one that has 400,000 (the postoffice).

      There are conspiracies about favouritism and then there is presented information, which has no logical answer.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      On the ratings, smaller providers just need more people voting to get them included in the monthly lists. Now we could remove the volume limits and let providers show who just have a couple of votes show if you think that would be better.

      https://www.thinkbroadband.com/isps/hyperoptic has an average over six months figure and has the text based reviews people have made too.

      On news – yes I do a lot less than I used to. Clearly now have had two complaints, so perhaps time to worry less about analysis of what is going on and much more about covering press releases.

      As for an axe to grind against Vodafone, if I thought that badly of them would I be using the service?

      Perhaps we should go full BBC and get quotes from anti 5G people everytime we run a news item that talks about 5G and similar for other items.

    • Avatar Arthur

      Spot on 100% Agree I never read anything about EE

    • Avatar beany

      @CliveC Your points about the EE listings are all very valid. To be honest it is hard to know whether TBB is supposed to only list fixed line or fixed line and mobile providers on their pages. If you look at https://www.thinkbroadband.com/isps EE 4G does not have its own entry (its just listed as EE), and there is nothing for any other provider separated out which does fixed line and mobile services… Except for one and that is still confusing, that one is three/relish… Andrew may want to look into that also considering Relish no longer exists (its three now), so no idea who is going to buy their products or be reviewing them now. Utter confusion why Relish is still on various TBB review/compare/lists of providers.

      On the https://www.thinkbroadband.com/isps/compare i have no idea why EE 4G would be worthy of a compare allocation to itself when you can not compare it to any other mobile product, hard to believe its down to ratings/amount of users either considering both EE and O2 have a similar mobile market share of are 25% each.

      @Andrew it was not supposed to be a moan but seriously you are going to claim…
      “On the ratings, smaller providers just need more people voting to get them included in the monthly lists. Now we could remove the volume limits and let providers show who just have a couple of votes show if you think that would be better.”

      Actually expect us to believe the likes of O2 would/or does have less votes/reviews from people (or rather people wanting to vote for them as you Do not seem to list them ANYWHERE on your site for them to do so at all). But more visitors are using EE 4G.

      Id like to know what this “minimum votes” number is before a provider is deemed worthy to grace your compare page considering Daisy is on there and only has an average of 35 people voting about them per month with no data at all for one of the months.

      Really you are telling me the second largest mobile provider (almost joint 1st and thats again O2) has less interest than Daisy and thus people will not/are not wanting to vote for O2 but they are EE 4G?? Er ok if you say so.

      To be honest, the listing of things like relish still and no listings for other mobile providers mobile products is a bit of a mess. The common person will not know if the reviews/compares/votes for relish/three/vodafone are for the fixed line services or the mobile products, but they sure do for know on the compare page for EE. Thats not a conspiracy thats a fact.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      How about I just talk a long walk off a short bridge to please you all.

    • Avatar CliveC

      “Perhaps we should go full BBC and get quotes from anti 5G people everytime we run a news item that talks about 5G and similar for other items.”

      You did that 2 years ago (2017) when you appeared on BBC’s Watchdog programme to speak in support of those that did not get their “full” “UPTO” speeds… Probably because it was a news item about Virgin Media.

      Interestingly though a year before that programme (2016) and when Watchdog covered BT based 24Mb+ services and not all people getting that speed you seemed to understand what “UPTO” meant… https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/11/bbc-tv-show-watchdog-tackle-broadband-isp-speeds.html#comment-171877

      Funny how its ok for one network to not deliver advertised speeds but not the other eh?

      AGAIN not conspiracy but… but presented information. As i stated ive read both sites for years and played close attention.

    • Avatar Andrew Ferguson

      I am honoured that you follow what I do so closely and it looks like the only way to make you happy is to talk that long walk and shut down thinkbroadband

      In the mean time I’ll just cry into my hanky that you don’t love me

    • Avatar beany

      Both of my posts i thought were criticising YES, but it was constructive particularly the information about Relish. I have no idea if you know or did not know they had been incorporated into 3’s eco-system of products, raising awareness of potential errors i thought would be helpful. Raising the point people may be confused when it comes to the likes of vodafone and if it is their home broadband or mobile broadband that is being rated and compared when EE is separated out in the compare section i also thought was entirely valid. Im sorry you feel differently.

      @CliveC No need to be hostile, i think you have made your “bias” point.

  11. Avatar James Jolley

    Is there any data telling us which areas are impacted by this slowdown issue? I can say here in Peterborough on a gigafast 1 GB service I’ve had no issues at all. I’m not underestimating the problem, just curious as to which regions of the UK this covers.

    • Avatar SimonR

      Lucky you – I’m in Peterborough and the roadworks have currently stopped less than half a mile away. What sort of service are you getting, if you don’t mind me asking.

  12. Avatar Stephen

    I’ve been experiencing a slowdown in performance for the last few days – much higher latencies and connection speeds dropping to 3Mbps. Hopefully this will improve sooner rather than later.

  13. Avatar Andrew Ferguson

    The Birmingham location of the break makes sense based on the spread of where I was seeing the poor tests (Happening at the start of the month made it easier to spot the trend for poor tests)

    Had updated my chart/table item pointing out problems seemed to start around Nottingham as you head north up England

  14. Avatar Ryan

    This is still hasnt fixed the drops at peak times

  15. Avatar James Jolley

    at SimonR:Appologies I couldn’t figure out how to reply directly but in answer to your questions, I’m getting a nice solid 400 MBPS on wireless on a 3rd gen 12.9 iPad pro and solid 900 upwards on a hard wired PS4. To give an example, We downloaded a PS4 game which was 71 GB in size in under 30 minutes.

  16. Avatar James Jolley

    At Simonr: Uploading also has been fine. I get 500 or so on wireless upstream using the speed test iOS app. I can’t say enough about the quality of service that Gigafast has provided me.

  17. Avatar Ryan

    THis is once again still not fixed for me. I live north of newcastle

  18. Avatar Pawel Dudko

    No brodband connection from sunday 6pm till now -West Bromwich .No any informatorom from Vodafone ,they don’t aswer the fpone ,no answer on the chat online.One big

  19. Avatar Craig E

    Dropped again tonight, straight down to about 4Mbps form a normal 50ish.

    Vodafone are just offering excuses here. It’s the same thing every night for a week or so. Human error, broken fibre. Bull. They have some core congestion problems for this to be affecting all their services.

  20. Avatar Dave

    More issues again. Had this reply on their Twitter support.

    As you can see, we provide you with 53Mbps on a wired connection, which is what was agreed on at point of sale. Anything above 40Mbps which is your minimum guaranteed speed over a wired connection, is within the terms of your contract. We’re unable to guarantee Wi-Fi speeds as there are several different variables that can affect your speeds. The amount of devices you’ve got connected, the placement of the router, the amount of people using the same Wi-Fi channels in your neighborhood.

    Can they selling broadband speeds on the fact that you have to use a wired connection. What the hell. It’s 2019. my speed slowed to 2mbs for christ sake this evening. Never had one problem with BT not one. Absolutely gutted i’ve changed. Is there anything I can do?

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