Kitz ADSL Broadband Information
adsl spacer  
Support this site
Home Broadband ISPs Tech Routers Wiki Forum
 
     
   Compare ISP   Rate your ISP
 
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Author Topic: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??  (Read 584 times)

gsha

  • Just arrived
  • *
  • Posts: 3
BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« on: February 05, 2018, 02:56:01 PM »

Have been struggling with 2Mbps VDSL service for months now, ISP (PN) supposedly investigating, but have now Closed the support ticket and advised me that there's not a problem as my 2Mbps speed is now "not below your estimates" and "is higher than your estimates for fibre". Checked this again myself against BTW DSL Checker, which now shows VDSL download estimates have been reduced from 7.9Mbps(low)/14.1Mbps(high) last month, down to 0.3Mbps(low)/1Mbps(high) this month (see attached).

Has anyone ever seen anything like this before, and any idea what's maybe going on here???

I’m at the end of a long-line aerial cable (house is approx. 2.5km from the PCP/FTTC Cabinet), and whilst my expectations were never that high, I was expecting something a bit better than this!! And is this how BT/OR now resolve speed problems by simply shifting the line rate thresholds!!
Logged

j0hn

  • Kitizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1236
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 03:08:05 PM »

See this all the time.
The estimates are just that, estimates.
When a number of lines go live well below the estimates they will update accordingly.

Plusnet will have given you an estimate at the time of sign up. It's this that is used for your line.
They may not be able to get OpenReach to actually do anything to try get your sync higher, but should let you out of your contract if the line drops below the handback threshold.

Not much help in that every ISP using the OpenReach network/phone line will sync at the exact same speed so moving ISP won't help.
If ADSL was better it gives the option of switching back to that without penalty.
Logged
BT FTTC 55/10 ECI Huawei Cab - Zyxel VMG1312-B10A bridge mode + Asus RT-AC68U running Asuswrt-Merlin - minted on MDWS via DslStats

re0

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 01:01:19 AM »

As j0hn says, they are estimates. Most of the time they are very accurate, and their systems always collect data which in turn can and is used to update their estimates. Adjusting the thresholds is not a way of OR resolving problems with lines, but rather give the best estimates based on existing infrastructure.

You said you have been struggling with 2Mbps VDSL service for months, but what speeds did they estimate upon signing up, and what did you receive when you were first provisioned on the FTTC service? Do you mind if I ask if you have done anything to try and improve your speeds, such as trying the test socket and/or a different filter?

Perhaps you could provide some line statistics (which include data rates, attainable rates, noise margin, attenuation, etc.) from your router? You can see this page http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/frogstats.php to help find your stats, and the Plusnet Hub One is listed there (if that’s what you use).

I would like to make one suggestion based on the assumption (yes, I should probably avoid assumptions!) that you are using the Plusnet Hub One – do not use it. It is based on the BT Home Hub 5A, which itself has a Lantiq (VRX268, says sources at openwrt.org) broadband chipset. I have personally used this router in the past and found it to be really unstable on even a very short line, with the speeds dropping from around 80 to 67 Mbps very quickly after multiple disconnects a day and high error rates. Going back to the Billion 8800NL (which has a Broadcom chipset) allowed the speeds to return.
Logged

gsha

  • Just arrived
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 10:18:06 AM »

Thanks for the comments/feedback...

PN estimates at sign-up were "between 5Mb and 10Mb” (3.8Mb MGALS), but from day-1 Broadband speed has never sync'd at anything better than 2.1Mb (downstream). All tests/investigations have always been completed with internal wiring disconnected and router connected directly to the NTE test socket (no noticeable difference, but always eliminates the obvious!!), and speed problem has also been investigated by OR (line tests & broadband tests were clear, and to be absolutely sure engineer checked/remade terminations on aerial cable between cabinet and house, and swapped pair on u/g cable coming into house, and changed Master Socket to newer NTE5c variant, and after all this repeat test results were exactly the same as before!!). OR Engineer reckoned 2Mb at the distance I am from the cabinet (2.5Km from PCP/FTTC Cabinet) is probably as good as it will get - and it's looking like he was probably right!!

PN have offered a release from contract, but this isn't really going to fix anything (different ISP, but same problems on the same long-line aerial cable!!), and concern now is that as BTW estimates have been dropped to 0.3Mbps(low)/1Mbps(high) then things are going to be pretty bad before provider will even consider escalating as fault with BT?? (and already the case investigating the current speed fault/problem has now been Closed as my 2Mbps is "not below your estimates"!!)

Thanks for the heads-up on the shortcomings with the BT HH-5/PN Hub-One. The current 2Mpbs is at least stable/consistent, and disconnects isn't something I've so far experienced, but I'll definitely look into this as another option.

Linestats recently collected from PN Hub One attached, downstream noise margin sometimes fluctuates a bit (think I've previously seen this increased/improved to around 9dB but generally pretty constant around 6dB), and have also seen attenuation get a bit higher, but again generally pretty consistent around 27dB
Logged

re0

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 12:45:07 PM »

It does seem like 2 Mbps is quite realistic to expect on VDSL taking into account your current stats. There may be room for a small amount of improvement if the line was very stable and the Dynamic Line Management (DLM) decided that it could adjust some parameters for a lower SNR (as low as 3db), but with only a small part of the frequency actually available at that distance I can’t say I am too hopeful unless it helps some bits load in areas previously unloaded further up the spectrum.

I would say that I am still a little unsure to what speeds are absolutely possible as a lot of modem/router combos supplied by ISPs (including yours) are locked down and do not allow you to see whether your line is using G.INP (impulse protection) or whether it is subject to interleaving (which has an overhead). It would certainly be nice to see your bitloading and SNR graphed (using something like HG612 Modem Stats), but this would require a third-party router which has SSH/telnet access with line statistics commands for graphing.

I understand why you are frustrated, and j0hn mentioned that you may want to switch to an ADSL/2/2+ service. What sort of estimates do you get for ADSL on the checker? It may be more viable to switch if you will receive approximately the same speeds as it is cheaper (generally, depending on provider).

Does your county offer any voucher schemes to get you better connected? Vouchers are designed to waive some if not all costs associated with installation of a new connection, but I would say that in many cases they do not cover fixed-line solutions – they will usually cover installation of hardware for something satellite broadband or a wireless solution, which may not be ideal for some users.

The shortcomings with the modem come from personal experience, and I have also read that other people have experienced the same with it. Though, as with anything, your mileage may vary.
Logged

gsha

  • Just arrived
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 02:43:46 PM »

Quote
Does your county offer any voucher schemes to get you better connected?
The NI Better Broadband scheme is available (I think it's still available??) to provide subsidised installation to premises unable to access a 2Mbps broadband service, might now be eligible as BTW DSL Checker now reports VDSL download speed of only 1Mbps and ADSL-2 download of "up to 1.5Mbps", but alternative technologies all have potential of becoming expensive?? I'd previously investigated Satellite solution, but at £48/month for 25GB rising to £97/month for 60GB it's a lot, and voucher scheme will only cover installation and not monthly subscriptions.

I've also experimented with 4G, which works but can be a bit hit-and-miss at times (??), and could do this for £20/month, but again has potential to get expensive if/when 20GB allowance is exceeded.

Quote
you may want to switch to an ADSL/2/2+ service
BTW estimates for ADSL are reported a line rate "up to 1.5Mbps", and I was typically able to getting approx 2Mbps (same/similar to VDSL), but it was very unstable and was always prone to disconnects and very slow speeds at times (<300Kpbs at times, although at approx 4.5Km from exchange probably not surprising!!). Going back to ADSL would be an option, but to be honest probably more hassle than the £5/month saving is worth. 2Mbps fibre broadband isn't great, but at least it has so far been consistent and reliable!!


Maybe a question here for a new discussion thread, but over the past 12-months a number of new fibre enabled cabinets have been built/commissioned in local area (probably as result of government funded NI Broadband Improvement Project), and there are FTTC cabinets now available that are much closer than the cabinet I'm currently connected to. There's a choice of 2 cabinets each approx 600m distance (compared to 2.5Km to current PCP/cabinet), but additional infrastructure (poles and additional lines/cables) would be required to get connected, and it doesn't look like there's any plans for further work in the area to maybe make this happen (NI Gov have a checker for planned broadband improvements in my area, and which simply reports "Improvements have already taken place in this area..").

Does anyone know if there's a mechanism/procedure in place for customers to influence OR to consider such infrastructure changes, or is it totally up to BTW/OR to decide if/when this might ever happen??
Logged

j0hn

  • Kitizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1236
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 04:03:13 PM »

There's no place to make such suggestions unfortunately.
What you are describing (switching the lines PCP) is known as a network rearrangement. This an extremely expensive and time consuming process. Network rearrangements are almost exclusively state funded/subsidised (BDUK schemes) as the expense involved means they aren't commercially viable for OpenReach. The cost is considerably more than any return.

The network rearrangements start on areas where they get biggest bang for buck. If your property is on its own then it may be a very long time before any state subsidised work comes to you. If there's a large number of premises in your area on the same PCP then there's a much higher chance of them placing an infill fibre cabinet closer to you/performing a network rearrangement.
Logged
BT FTTC 55/10 ECI Huawei Cab - Zyxel VMG1312-B10A bridge mode + Asus RT-AC68U running Asuswrt-Merlin - minted on MDWS via DslStats

re0

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 63
Re: BTW DSL Checker VDSL Line Rates Reduced to 300Kbps??
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 05:28:40 PM »

The only thing I can see in regards to a network re-arrangement/improvement, without investment from yourself, is the Universal Service Obligation (USO) which ensures affordable access to the internet with speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Of course, this USO aims to ensure everybody at least 10 Mbps by 2020, so it is still some time away before you can anticipate it being applicable to yourself. Even so, Openreach are still unlikely to make network arrangements (because they are expensive, as j0hn said) even to meet the USO, but rather employ LR-VDSL (which simply stands for Long Range VDSL) to improve speeds beyond 2KM, with the exception of the aforementioned “technology” not being able to provide the level of service (in your case it may or may not, but we can only see once and if it is rolled out to you).

Alternatives, unfortunately, tend to be expensive because they are either niche or high maintenance, or if it is not subsidised then it may prove to be costly for the end user.

I would not recommend satellite for any gaming or latency-sensitive applications, or if you use a lot of data. I should put a disclaimer that I have never knowingly used satellite broadband myself, but I personally would certainly steer clear.

4G can be expensive, but then you have to use it reasonably and pick the correct package that works for you. What I can say for mobile broadband is that has become a lot cheaper than 4-5 years ago, and higher usage allowances are available. Three mobile, for example, has 40GB packages available from £21/mo on a 24 month contract (with shorter contracts available cheaper) that include Go Binge that allow streaming from services such as Netflix, tvplayer, etc. without using your data allowance. You could probably find a better deal, but I will leave that up for you if you were interested.

You say 4G was a bit hit or miss, but if you were to use it as your home connection it would be recommend to set up an external antenna and use a proper 4G router (and not some “MiFi” or dongle). There is a guy who uses the alias “DTMark” on ISPReview UK who used to post about 4G broadband. He would probably be one of the best people to ask about setting up 4G home broadband if you could find him.

It does say FTTPoD (Fibre To The Premises on Demand) is available in your area, but I would rule that out as being a choice if you are not looking to spend £1000’s in construction charges since, even with the new pricing, it is likely to be expensive as your nearest NGA Aggregation Node could be a few kilometres away at least. Then again, it is subject to a survey and there are providers such as Cerberus and FluidOne who would be happy to quote you, but if you did not proceed with the order then they will charge you the survey fees. Perhaps, if you were interested, you could even enquire with Openreach about where the nearest NGA Aggregation Node is just to give you sort of an idea of how far they would have to do works, but they don’t usually reply directly to consumers.

I would say look at the current voucher scheme’s terms (if one exists currently) and see what it exactly covers if you have not done so already.
Logged
 

anything