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Author Topic: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate  (Read 186762 times)

Bald_Eagle1

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FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« on: August 06, 2011, 03:44:56 AM »

Hi,

I live around 0.5 mile from the FTTC cabinet to which I am connected (by road, not in a straight line).

I had FTTC installed in June with an pre-install estimated line speed of only 15 Mbps.
Due to the distance from the exchange, I was only ever able to download at 1 Mbps via ADSL. Hence the switch to FTTC.

However, I enjoyed a FTTC profile of around 35 Mbps, with download speeds consistently at 32-33 Mbps for the first couple of weeks.

I have had a few problems since then, such as no phone or broadband service at all for a 4 day spell.

The loss of service was "fixed" by BT (externally) at the end of July & my profile was remotely reset & the BT modem was replaced 4th August due to an "overheating" issue.

The profile was reset at 25 Mbps & downloads of 22-23 Mbps were achieved for a just a few hours.
The engineer asked BT why my profile was not reset to the original 35 Mbps.

BT's response was that it could never have been that high, & I could never have achieved 32-33 Mbps download speeds due to the distance from the cabinet.
This was despite the engineer quoting actual download speeds from my printouts over the phone to BT.

I suffered a few modem disconnections during Friday 5th August, with the phone line also sounding crackly.
The broadband connection appears stable & the phone is quiet again now though.

Currently, my download speeds are only around 14 Mbps, with a profile of 15 Mbps.

My questions are:-

1) Can anyone give me a realistic estimate of the stable profile / download speeds that I should be able to achieve with a copper line length of around 0.5 mile to the cabinet?

2) As both BT & my ISP deny any resposibility for the current drastic loss of speed of almost 20 Mbps, can anyone give me any advice on what I could say to make them at least investigate again?

3) Are my expectations too high? i.e. do all FTTC installations start off at high speeds, with some connections stabilising at a much lower speed?

4) Is it likeley that, with a bit of patience, my profile & download speeds will increase back to 30 Mbps or so?

Paul.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 10:08:43 PM by Bald_Eagle1 »
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waltergmw

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2011, 09:42:53 AM »

Hi Paul,

Our worthy and frequent BT contributor Razpag will be best to answer detailed questions as he has actually installed many services already.

However it seems apparent that the seemingly eternal tensions between BT Openreach, BT Wholesale and your ISP are continuing apace. As you've had a much higher speed, unless you have a restricted package with stated much lower speeds, I believe you should demand of your ISP that they restore your original conditions as the service is not now fit for purpose.
YOU will have to pester your ISP as nobody else will.
As you'll see elsewhere here patience is in invaluable virtue - nil desperandum !!!!

Kind regards,
Walter
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razpag

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 10:06:03 AM »

Ha ha ha, thanks for the glowing introduction Walter  ;D

Hmmm, where to start ?? Well, in laymans terms or at base level if you prefer, if you've 'synched' at 35 Meg previously, then there is no reason at all why you shouldn't achieve that figure again !!

When I read your thread title and opening paragraph, I have to adnit I was also thinking roughly 30+ Meg connection speeds. An exact figure cannot be given as it depends on the make-up (and condition) of the D-side cable from the Cabinet to your premises.

You will see I make a point of mentioning 'the condition' of the D-side network, as it does appear you may have had a 'HR' type fault causing a noisy line, which in turn will drop your connection speeds quite dramatically. There's a lot of folk on here who can elaborate on HR faults if needed.

In answer to your Q's though .........

1) It can only ever be an estimate without being 'on-site', but anything over 30Meg should be easily achievable unless your D-side network is made up of wet string. (Disclaimer- this is your quoted figure of 0.5 Miles, it may actually be more or less).

2) I would ask your ISP to look over the RRT (Repair Reactive Tool) which should show all figures related to your circuit. This will back up your claims of a 35 Meg connection.

3) Increments (up and down) of speed are expected over the initial stabilisation process. However, nowhere near 20 Meg !!!!!

4) If a fault has been repaired (as in the HR fault), then full recovery of the Throughput Speeds (surfing speed) will take place over a period of time, usually between 3-10 days. But, I generally find the 'Synch speed' recovers instantly ?! In other words, if the fault is fixed you synch should adjust back to MSR (Maximum Stable Rate) instantly. The only reason this may not happen is if a 'hard cap' has been put in place by your ISP.

Hope this helps bud ?? ;D
 
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Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 10:15:40 AM »

Hi,

My ISP is Plusnet (owned by BT, but that never seems to add any weight in resolving line problems).

Unlike many ISPs, Plusnet are usually pretty good at listening to & dealing with "technical" problems. However, they say that as my line faults were "fixed", & I was achieving download speeds higher than the estimated 15 Mbps, there is nothing they can do to report a fault to BT:-

"Thank you for getting back to us. I am sorry to hear the speed is not at the previous your had it but your actual estimated line speed is still lower than what you are currently achieving. Due to this we cannot push this any further as the line is performing over an acceptable rate for the length of your line.

I have included the estimate below for you :

Our test also indicates that your line currently supports a fibre technology with an estimated WBC FTTC Broadband where consumers have received downstream line speed of 14.6Mbps.

Your line speed will fluctuate above and below this.  I do apologise for any inconvenience caused."


From BT's speed tester this morning:-
 
"Download speed achieved during the test was - 13704 Kbps
 For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 10535-15050 Kbps .
 Additional Information:
 IP Profile for your line is -15050 Kbps"

also:-

"We were unable to identify any performance problem with your service at this time."


Regards,

Paul.
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Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 03:13:11 PM »

Hi razpag,

Thanks for your response.

Yes, I have previously synced at around 35 Mbps - from BT's speed tester:-

 "Download speed achieved during the test was - 32359 Kbps
 For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 22767-32525 Kbps .
 Additional Information:
 IP Profile for your line is -32525 Kbps"

I take it (maybe incorrectly) that an IP profile of 32525 Kbps comes from a sync speed of around 35000 Kbps (35 Mbps).
That was the sync speed the original installation engineer told me I had achieved.

Even if my understanding is incorrect, actual download speeds were between 32 & 33 Mbps.

Very briefly, what is a HR type fault?

1) By road it is around 0.5 mile. In a straight line it is much less (not relevant though). The line is at the very least 10 years old, probably quite a bit older. It does zig-zag quite a bit too.
Just for curiosity, if the line was indeed much longer than 0.5 mile (say a full mile due to the zig-zagging), could I have ever synced at 35 Mbps? I have seen a few charts, but they do appear to contradict each other somewhat.

2) A short while ago this morning, my ISP confirmed they will be taking no further action as my service is being delivered within specification. I wrote back with a long (very long) response, particularly mentioning the crackly phone line.
As my phone provision is also via my ISP as a phone / broadband bundle, I am not allowed to contact BT regarding line "faults".

3) I expected some speed fluctuations (contention, traffic management, condition of mainly overhead line being affected by temperature/rain etc.).

4) There has been no mention of a hard cap by my ISP.
Two days after the fault "repair", according to a report from my ISP, it was confirmed that Interleaving was automatically set at "HIGH" for the downstream & at "ON" for the upstream.
The report also confirmed Downstream Speed 12.857 Mbps, Upstream Speed 0.79800004 Mbps.
Since then, the BT modem has been replaced & my profile reset (only at 24 Mbps though).
Would Interleaving affect sync speeds, or just throughput speeds? The engineer who replaced the modem & organised the profile reset had never heard of Interleaving so couldn't comment.
He also said he couldn't check anything in the cabinet as he wasn't allowed to access cabinets.
Do BT engineers have differing access levels? The original installation engineer did struggle a bit to get me set up, flitting between my home & the cabinet, saying he eventually found a dodgy connection in the cabinet.

Would the profile reset have turned off any interleaving anyway?


From what I have read up on so far (elsewhere), it appears that profile speeds via FTTC are very quickly lowered following "faults", but can take much more than 10 days to recover (sometimes being stuck forever at the lower rates).
Unlike ADSL, ISPs (& remotely located BT staff???) apparently now have no control whatsoever over profile speeds / interleaving etc., having to rely entirely on the DLM in the cabinet itself?

So many questions from a newbie!!!
Don't worry, once I'm an "expert" I will give back my own "two penn'orth".

Paul.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 03:22:35 PM by Bald_Eagle1 »
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waltergmw

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 03:25:01 PM »

Paul,

If you haven't already done so, you need to request that your PlusNet Help Assistant request is escalated to bob Pullen, their chief trainer, stating again that your line has performed significantly faster and that it appears to be exhibiting a High Resistance type of fault.

Kind regards,
Walter

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Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 03:39:09 PM »

Thanks Waltergmw,

Are you a Plusnetian too?

I have dealt with Bob Pullen in the past when, very rarely, matters appear to get stuck.
Not much can really go wrong with an ADSL provision of 1 Mbps, that actually gives you 1 Mbps.

This whole FTTC thing is a whole new ball game though.

There are others too, such as Adam, Jojo, Matt that I could ask via Community forums.

I didn't really want to go too public & come across as a right old whinger (not yet anyway).

Thanks also for clarifying what a HR fault is.

Paul.
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silversurfer44

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2011, 03:42:58 PM »

I have read this thread with interest and there is one thing that stands out.
Quote
However, they say that as my line faults were "fixed", & I was achieving download speeds higher than the estimated 15 Mbps, there is nothing they can do to report a fault to BT:-
That absolutely stinks of the old upto 8megs. I know we are talking higher figures with the FTTC but the mention of achieving what they (Plusnet owned by BT) feel is an acceptable connection rate. I would say you are on an uphill struggle to improve things. It's like trying to run through treacle once things like that get mentioned.
If Walters suggestion works then it will be wonderful, however I doubt very much that you will get any favourable response as it will leave the door wide open for anyone in the same or similar situation contacting the person mentioned.
Good luck all the same.
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Colin II : It's no good being a pessimist, it wouldn't work anyway.

Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011, 04:12:13 PM »

Cheers silversurfer44,

I have been tempted to contact that person a few times already, but have intentionally held off until now as he does seem to pick up a lot of unnecessarily messy "issues".

I don't know how/why he does it for the money (whatever he gets - it won't be enough).

As FTTC is a relatively new(ish) technology, I have been giving people the benefit of doubt that we don't yet fully understand it.
By carefully (& repeatedly) explaining my own issues to them (backed up with hard facts), I hoped they would take my feedback as a learning curve for us all.

I am however now wondering whether or not I made the right decision in switching my BT phone line provision to an ISP provider (albeit BT owned) as reaction times to phone line "faults" appear to have slipped a little.

I have struggled up a few hills in my time & I ain't giving up on this one.

Paul.
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jeffbb

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2011, 04:31:09 PM »

Hi
As a matter of interest what is your current SNR margin? and what was it when you were synching at 30 +Mbits
Regards Jeff
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Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2011, 04:41:02 PM »

Hi jeffbb,

I have no idea.

The BT provided VDSL modem has no access for numpties like end-users.

The Netgear WNR1000 v 3 router that goes with it doesn't provide this information either (unless I just can't find it).

Paul.
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waltergmw

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2011, 06:50:21 PM »

Hi Paul,

I help a lot of folks out in the sticks of the Surrey Hills so I have some experience of several ISPs.

It will be well worth finding out as much as we can of your perceived line length a) from here http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/adslchecker.php

and b) if you would kindly PM me with the phone number (not to be used or disclosed elsewhere) I may be able to obtain some other data.

I also fully support SS44's comments. This type of reply is IMHO quite unacceptable on an expensive FTTC service. It makes a total mockery of all the Ofcom calculations recently published. Nor does it help good engineers such as RP to get authorisation to investigate what might be a reasonably simple fault to investigate.

Kind regards,
Walter
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Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2011, 07:03:51 PM »

Hi waltergmw,

These are the results, but they are from the exchange for ADSL checking purposes.
Distance:- Direct:    4.28 km
  (appx)* By Road: 4.99 km

For FTTC, as I understand it, the relevant distance is from the end-user to the cabinet.

I know from the BT engineers which cabinet I am connected to, & by road it is around 0.5 mile.
The overhead line does also take a bit of a zig-zag route.

Paul.

P.S. PM sent.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 07:33:08 PM by Bald_Eagle1 »
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waltergmw

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2011, 07:45:27 PM »

Hi again Paul,

You're absolutely correct re the distance you need. I suspect somebody in PlusNet has not yet woken up to the fact that it's PCP to home distance than now needs to be measured, but I for one don't have access to that information. (@ RP do you know the new FTTC to EU distances or can you only measure them with your JDSU or whatever?)
My check suggests you have a bRAS rate of 15050 Kbps, that you have a 21CN line from MROLD and that your line length as recorded by BT is a mere 5283m !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I also believe you are connected to PCP 51 and that all lines in that postcode are similarly connected. You might have an uplift of 18.21 times your exchange speed (Take that with a pinch of salt) and that your installation was supposed to be complete in phase 2 of BT's FTTC programme.

Kind regards,
Walter
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Bald_Eagle1

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Re: FTTC - Distance from the Cabinet - Realistic speed estimate
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2011, 08:00:32 PM »

Hi Walter,

Yes, the BT engineers (various) have confirmed it is indeed PCP 51.

If needs be, I could PM you with my actual home location if it would help determine actual line length from the PCP.

That is exactly the same as reported in this morning's BT speedtest, with a 13704 Kbps achieved download speed.

What are/were the dated for BT's FTTC programme?

Paul.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 08:04:33 PM by Bald_Eagle1 »
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