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Author Topic: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?  (Read 11143 times)

danieltharris

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Hi,

I'm new to the forum so first post here.

Sorry if any of this comes out as a rant, as it's quite frustrating but just really need to see if there's anything I can realistically do to help us, and our neighbours.

Me and my girlfriend recently bought a new house, a new build and we have major issues with our broadband.

We were with Talk Talk, but just switched over to Plus Net as i'd heard bad things about TT so switched during the 14 day period.

We get rediculously slow speeds, aparently due to us having a very long line to the exchange. However, the speeds we get are plain rediculous, we get 25 kb/s download speeds...MAX!

This is horrible for me, as I am a software engineer and general geek, so I obviously make a lot of use out of our internet connection. We can't get Virgin Media in our area, as they either didn't have the hindsight, didn't know, or didn't think it worth the cost to cable our area when all the new houses were being built, so that option is out of the window :-(

Very frustrating as I know the closest road to us not part of the new development can get get up to 30 meg broadband, as opposed to our 270 odd K ADSL.

It seems a combination of long line, and cheap materials used by BT are the cause of the slow speed. Are we doomed to slow speeds until Virgin Media cable our area? Or is there anything realistic we can do?

All the other homeowners here have the same problem, and we are trying to get together to somehow convince Virgin Media it's worth cabling the area (If that's even possible at this stage).

Both technical, and non-technical people are frustrated by the speeds, streaming anything from YouTube, iPlayer or anything like that is a no-go, reasonable size downloads take forever, it's really not that much faster than Dialup was, I remember getting 3.5 kb/s speeds back in 1997!

With all the talk and advertisement you see for up to 50Meg speeds in some parts of the country, and with me never getting lower than 4Meg speeds (That was in the city centre and max speed!)  I never realised there are still parts of non-rural areas where people genuinely have problems with broadband. It seems getting the entire country onto decent speed broadband is either never going to happen, or will take another 10 years if in some areas we are now only getting speeds around 6-7 times faster than we were 14 years ago.

Any answer to the problem, or just pray that one day Virgin Media cable the area? Because if BT have used the cheapest wiring possible now, on brand new properties then I don't see them doing any upgrade works in the next 10 years.

2 properties ago I was on 20Meg Virgin Media with reliable speeds, and that was in a much less populated part of the country. Really hoping they decide to do it at some point, they would clean up in this area because everybody is ready to switch to them.
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roseway

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 12:53:25 PM »

Hi and welcome,

So we can get a handle on the condition of your connection, could you copy your router stats here.
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danieltharris

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 01:22:22 PM »

ADSL Mode:    ADSL2
Interleaving:    Off
DSL Line Speed
Up: 443 kbps    Down: 207 kbps
Line Attenuation
Up: 45.0 dB      Down: 63.5 dB
SN Margin
Up: 7.3 dB  Down: 4.1 dB
Total Errors Seconds:    0

These are the stats from the router. Line Attenuation could indeed be higher, but as far as i'm aware most routers won't show anything higher than 63.5dB, even if it's higher in reality.

If you need anything else please let me know.
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burakkucat

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 01:35:32 PM »

Hi Daniel,

Those statistic look terrible. :(

What modem/router are you using? Can you set it to G.Dmt (the original ADSL1 mode)?

To which exchange are you connected? Perhaps you would input your phone number and postcode into Kitz' ADSL Exchange and Line Checker, then copy/paste all the relevant output (eliding any private information)?

As a new build development, do you have an External NTE (bottom of the page)? If that is the case, then all your internal wiring will be by the builder's electrician and not necessarily of the standard required for an ADSL signal.
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AdrianH

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 01:39:48 PM »

You should definitely get better throughput than that , even on the old lines across the Purbecks people are getting nearer 2mb , 4km from the exchange.
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roseway

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 02:54:54 PM »

I second what b*cat said - if your router has the capability, you may well find that you get better performance in ADSL1 mode (G.Dmt). But with such a long line you shouldn't set your expectations too high - as the upstream attenuation is 45 dB, it's quite probable that the true downstream attenuation is a lot more than 63.5 dB.

And as mentioned, it would be a good idea to check out your internal wiring very carefully, to try to eliminate every possible cause of non-optimal performance.
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  Eric

razpag

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 03:25:21 PM »

Hi,

I'm new to the forum so first post here.

Sorry if any of this comes out as a rant, as it's quite frustrating but just really need to see if there's anything I can realistically do to help us, and our neighbours.

Me and my girlfriend recently bought a new house, a new build and we have major issues with our broadband.

We were with Talk Talk, but just switched over to Plus Net as i'd heard bad things about TT so switched during the 14 day period.

We get rediculously slow speeds, aparently due to us having a very long line to the exchange. However, the speeds we get are plain rediculous, we get 25 kb/s download speeds...MAX!

This is horrible for me, as I am a software engineer and general geek, so I obviously make a lot of use out of our internet connection. We can't get Virgin Media in our area, as they either didn't have the hindsight, didn't know, or didn't think it worth the cost to cable our area when all the new houses were being built, so that option is out of the window :-(

Very frustrating as I know the closest road to us not part of the new development can get get up to 30 meg broadband, as opposed to our 270 odd K ADSL.

It seems a combination of long line, and cheap materials used by BT are the cause of the slow speed. Are we doomed to slow speeds until Virgin Media cable our area? Or is there anything realistic we can do?

All the other homeowners here have the same problem, and we are trying to get together to somehow convince Virgin Media it's worth cabling the area (If that's even possible at this stage).

Both technical, and non-technical people are frustrated by the speeds, streaming anything from YouTube, iPlayer or anything like that is a no-go, reasonable size downloads take forever, it's really not that much faster than Dialup was, I remember getting 3.5 kb/s speeds back in 1997!

With all the talk and advertisement you see for up to 50Meg speeds in some parts of the country, and with me never getting lower than 4Meg speeds (That was in the city centre and max speed!)  I never realised there are still parts of non-rural areas where people genuinely have problems with broadband. It seems getting the entire country onto decent speed broadband is either never going to happen, or will take another 10 years if in some areas we are now only getting speeds around 6-7 times faster than we were 14 years ago.

Any answer to the problem, or just pray that one day Virgin Media cable the area? Because if BT have used the cheapest wiring possible now, on brand new properties then I don't see them doing any upgrade works in the next 10 years.

2 properties ago I was on 20Meg Virgin Media with reliable speeds, and that was in a much less populated part of the country. Really hoping they decide to do it at some point, they would clean up in this area because everybody is ready to switch to them.

Not sure where you've got this idea from fella ?? BT's infrastructure has been in place for over a hundred years, and is (nowadays) mostly made up of copper and aliminium cables. The market prices dictated what cable was used over the decades.

The cables that were 'put in the ground' back then, were not designed for up to 2.2Mhz frequencies being pumped down them. They were designed and implemented to accomodate the low-end frequency scale. If hindsight ever became foresight, I'm sure they'd have invented Fibre-Optics a lot sooner.

The cable that goes into the ground today isn't just any old cheap stuff, and I don't know if you are aware, but copper is worth a kings ransom on todays markets ?. The cable also has to satisfy certain criteria as to 'twists per metre' to eliminate induction and radiation.

FTTC is an ongoing process that is being rolled out across the country. You might want to check the 'Infinity' website ??. Your comment about Virgin cabling up your area ...... forget it, won't ever, ever happen. NTL (as they were) only cabled in high-volume areas in order to recoup their initial outlay.

With new-build properties, I find the problem is 90% with the way the builder/electrician has wired the internal sockets up. I speak from 25yrs of experience, not guesswork.

I'd personally follow advice from those posting above me to try and get to the bottom of your problem. There are things that can be done to get quicker speeds.
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jeffbb

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 09:12:28 PM »

Hi
quote we get 25 kb/s download speeds...MAX!
quote DSL Line Speed
          Up: 443 kbps    Down: 207 kbps


You may have a low synch rate ,It may be that your distance from the exchange is the cause .However if the distance was that bad I am surprised that you still synch at 443Kbps US
As a matter of interest where did you get your DL speed from ?, Speed testers or actual downloads as actual downloads normally report in KBytes ,rather than Kbits 
Regards Jeff
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burakkucat

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 09:58:52 PM »

One other question that I failed to ask earlier --

Who provides your telephone service? PlusNet or BT?
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danieltharris

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 06:17:22 PM »

Hi,

Sorry for the late response, and thanks to everybody who has commented.

Before answering the questions i'll just update you that I switched to a Plusnet provided router and have been able to occasionally get download speeds of 40kb/s, such as when download Lync and .NET 4 Standalone installer from the Microsoft site (Already have these but usually it's a good site for providing files at decent speeds)

@burakkucat - I have tried with the Talk Talk Huawei router, and a Thompson one provided from Plusnet, haven't had a chance to buy anything else yet, as we had Sky in the last place, we used the Sky router as it wasn't terrible and I think technically at least, with Sky it's in the terms to use their router anyway.

I can't see anywhere to change to ADSL1, but will have another look on both tonight. If anybody has either of these routers please let me know. I'd like to try it and if it improves things inform the other homeowners in the area, as I know people keep raising it as an issue on a monthly basis.

It's Plusnet who provide the phone service, prior to that it was Talk Talk.

@razpag, I admit i'm no expert on phone lines etc, and much of that was a rant, just never thought people had these problems these days as i've always been lucky enough to get above roughly 4 Meg in the past. Didn't realise people in the UK in non-rural areas were living in "Broadband Poverty" as some may say.

If I could somehow get evidence that the wiring in the houses is causing a problem, we could probably get together than try to get the wiring repaired under a warranty or something (If we were lucky), but I don't know how we can get it checked without going into the walls.

I don't have the knowledge or equipment to fully check all the wiring in the house, and we do have an External NTE so unfortunately no BT test socket to try. I have questioned in my mind that it could be a wiring issue, and if the same person wired up most of the houses then that could explain the consistent problem.

Is there anything you could recommend that anybody can try at home, or what I would need to specifically ask an expert to check? - When we were having problems Talk Talk sent out a Broadband Engineer (CUBE engineer or something I think he referred to himself as), but he said from what he could see at the sockets the wiring looked good, but that we should think about looking into that if there's no other solution.

Whenever i've called any provider to get an estimated speed when we were looking to setup the broadband they all commented on us being a long way from the exchange. I accept that though and would be happy if we could even hit 2Meg or close to it.

@jeffbb - I used a few "speed checker" sites such as ZDNet broadband checker and a few others, which I know aren't 100% accurate.

I know Virgin/NTL really probably won't cable into the area, but it's so unlucky that people literally 50 yards from where the new housing development starts can get 30Meg speeds (Virgins quote) according to their site if you put in the address of the nearest house not part of the development.
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razpag

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 06:22:49 PM »

Hi

The CUBE engineer (or whatever they call themselves) are a 'First look' engineer. In other words, not very good.

I would, as soon as you've read this post, ring your ISP and ask to have an SFI Broadband Task raised. This will mean an Openreach Broadband engineer will atend site and if he's worth his salt, there's lots he can do and suggest to get you the best speeds possible.

Seriously, we could talk till the cows come home but an SFI is what's needed. Do it. ;D
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danieltharris

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 07:14:57 PM »

Thanks I will call them tomorrow to try and get somebody to come out.

Hopefully there won't be too much of a charge but it's got to be better than just hoping it improves.

I'd be happy with a consistent 1 - 1.5 meg connection even to be honest.

Cheers for all the help.
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danieltharris

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 07:27:20 PM »

Just wanted to check something.

I went onto the BT Infinity website, and looked up the North West on the map, and the exchange we are apparently on is already supporting Infinity, does it depend on other things as well as the exchange being ready? Do they need to install cabinets around the area and/or new Fibre etc?

As I know for sure Infinity isn't available, i'm guessing there's more to it than just the exchange supporting it? If we ever get it in the future will there be a need for new wiring in the area?
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danieltharris

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2011, 03:24:22 PM »

I second what b*cat said - if your router has the capability, you may well find that you get better performance in ADSL1 mode (G.Dmt). But with such a long line you shouldn't set your expectations too high - as the upstream attenuation is 45 dB, it's quite probable that the true downstream attenuation is a lot more than 63.5 dB.

And as mentioned, it would be a good idea to check out your internal wiring very carefully, to try to eliminate every possible cause of non-optimal performance.

The wiring looks like it was done by the electrician who wired up the rest of the house, i've heard a lot of the time they do things wrong when they try and do telephone wiring.

One of the wires wasn't even connected at the second socket, stopping all the extensions except the first one from working.

I connected the wire and now all but 1 of the 5 sockets are active and getting a dial tone.

I think I am going to (after following some advice from walter), cut the ringwire at the external NTE, disconnect the ringwire at each socket.

After that I was thinking about just keeping the first socket wired up (The first extension after the XNTE), as we don't really need the other sockets to be active. Surely hoping that will cut down any other possible issues with the wiring...The wiring from the XNTE to the first socket should be short, and hopefully less likely to have any problems, extending to 4 other sockets all around the house (1 of which is still not working) can't be a good idea for healthy ADSL.

Ringwire shall be disconnected this evening, according to
http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/btsockets.htm

It's not usually connected at the XNTE, although ours is, and i'd assume all our neighbours too...Would this be wired up by Openreach, or the electrician, it's technically on our side of the wiring where it connects (To the right of the yellow plug)
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waltergmw

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Re: Is there ANY real solution to slow speeds with a long line length?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2011, 03:49:07 PM »

@ Daniel,

Whilst I admit to writing the words it's all here on this splendid site !

http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/socket.htm

Having done it many times before for various folk, I am reasonably confident that you will see some improvement.

(My latest horror story was on a line of 131 m from the exchange in another local village which achieved a magnificent 130 kbps download and afterwards runs very nicely on full whack.)

Kind regards,
Walter
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