By Ross Kingdon - 17th May 2012 7:02am
I recall seeing recently that the Parish Council was seeking any comments re Broadband via the website, for a meeting to include a BT rep?
If I'm correct I would welcome our experiences to be passed on. We live on Longhill Lane, about 1 1/2 miles from the exchange. We have had ongoing problems with broadband speed and several Openreach engineer visits.
On the last occasion the engineer reset our broadband profile and we were getting a connection speed of 3.6 Mbps, with a download speed of 2.9 mbps and noise margin set at 9db.
The engineer told us there were no problems with the line and this speed should be maintained, if not (in his opinion) any lower speed was not related to the line but the broadband provider (in our case BT) "capping" the service.
Three days later the speed fell to connect at 3 mbps and download of 2.4 mbps. This was stable for two weeks but has now dropped to connection of 2.1 mbps and download of 1.5 mbps, the noise margin is now 15.9 db. This has again rendered the service practically unusable for watching iplayer or any streaming of films etc. which is one of our major uses.
I keep contacting BT and each time go through a lengthy process of answering the same questions about internal wiring etc, (we connect with Homehub 3, direct to master socket by filter with no internal extension wiring, and use the unlimited broadband package).
I see from the chatroom that BT broadband users in the village are now on ADSL 2+, following the upgrading of the exchange and getting much improved speeds. We are still on the old ADSL max service.
I contacted BT re this and was told that ADSL 2+ was available for our line but I needed to contact sales and agree a new contract to get this. I did so but they were unable to confirm anything or provide any advice other than say the upgrade should happen automatically and that I wait and see what happens.
We are still waiting and further research informs me that I shouldn't necessarily expect any improvement with ADSL 2+ though, as the benefit to users further from the exchange is drastically reduced and can even have a negative effect and reduce connection speeds.
So much for all the claims of faster broadband. I dread to think what speeds are available for anyone further from the exchange. To make matters worse we only occasionally get a mobile phone signal (on any network) at our house.
We do not live in the middle of nowhere or in a mountainous area and would expect, that in a developed country, it should be possible to provide what are increasingly considered essential services to all, including rural communities.
To rub salt in the wounds our son uses Virgin fibre optic broadband in neighbouring Stoke on Trent and gets a download speed of 60 mbps! I am now looking at having to purchase satellite broadband but resent the very high costs of doing this because our BT service over telephone line is inadequate (of course still need to rent the BT line as no reliable mobile signal).
I don't know if this information will help but wanted to share our experience in the hope that any discussions with BT are informed by a range of experiences.
Tuesday 17th Jul
Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Widnes
4,Hayfields Grove, off Moorsfield Avenue
Audlem Car Park