Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

deeplyblue

Any Experts On Broadband Here?

Recommended Posts

We're looking at a house which has some considerable charm, but I failed to run my usual broadband checks before we went viewing. After the first viewing, I went to samknows.com , my usual reference point, to discover that the "official" BT figure for ADSL access given there was ~0.5 Mbps - ouch. Proper broadband is crucial to me - doesn't have to be be mega fast, but it does have to be adequate for streaming video.

On a second viewing, I raised this with the bloke who said that, though he agreed 0.5 was the given BT figure, he was actually getting a measured ~1.5 Mbps. Now 1.5 might be manageable for a short while (after all writing to forums hardly takes a massive bandwidth), but not for the longer haul.

Mobile broadband is not the speediest of technologies, and the coverage maps are very discouraging (Orange: "You might get quite good 2G reception outdoors" TMobile: "no coverage in this area") - even in the locality there appears to be a little blind spot, in which this house seems to sit .

There seems little likelihood of cable arriving in the area, unless we get a government (or even a local council) who really support proper broadband in rural areas. (This one is a massive 10 minutes drive from the edge of Newcastle down a major trunk road - so we're really talking comms out in the sticks :snarl: ).

The property is nearly 3km from the exchange. So, the question is, will the advent of newer technologies in the exchange (WBC?) make a noticeable difference to the reach and speed of things like ADSL2? I'm a bit hazy on the ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL Max/ADSL2+ differences and possibilities. I believe (samknows.com again) that the exchange has not yet been upgraded to newer technologies.

So, does this forum boast any braodband experts who could enlighten me on what these various technologies mean in practice, and whether the situation with an ADSL connection is likely to improve in the near future?

db

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I am a broadband expert.

Short answer - you're fecked.

Long answer - really can't be arsed writing that one.

Suffice to say that checking broadband connectivity is a MAJOR part of myself considering a house to buy.

I would only buy a house that is currently cabled up to Virgin. Virgin's cable will allow significant speed increases for years to come and their bundled packages are about the most economical out there.

BT has technological limits on ADSL and as all other ADSL providers use BT Exchanges you not only have a limited connection but you have the luxury of paying about 15 quid a month to BT just to lease the line on which your ADSL runs before you pay your ADSL provider.

There is no chance of any cable roll outs for years - too expensive.

If I was you I would cut my losses and go for the Sky package - at least that way you get decent TV choice and some kind of BT provided ADSL thrown in.

In reality, sorry to sound harsh, I would simply not buy such a property.

Things like mobile broadband, satellite broadband have all sorts of cost, latency and access issues. Usually, if you are too far from a BT exchange it means there are few broadband transceivers near you anyhow... You can buy 3G devices in Maplins which detect 3G signals so might be worth you checking with one. I use 3G broadband on my mobile phone and, frankly, it is still sh*te IMPO.

Sorry to be harsh but if broadband is a factor for you you need to find a house with good connectivity. Obviously, you make your own choices about where you buy or don't buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds like it is further than 3km away from the exchange, or the house had very bad internal wiring.... If you are sure there is only 3k of cable between the house and the exchange, then you may be able to get more speed by simplifying the telephone wiring in the house/rewiring/disconnecting any other internal phone sockets. But you wont know until your in and your probably stuffed. Coming techonoligies, 4g mobile internet will eventually give you faster speeds over the mobile network, but if you don't have 3g you can imagine how long that will take

Another option would be to buy two telephone lines and load balance them together with a fancy router. It wont help with speeding up individual downloads/streaming, but it may allow you to different things at the same time. But it would probably be better/cheaper to sign up to lovefilm :P and curb watching of online videos.

Distance against speed (IMHO much further than 3km away)

adsl2graph.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My exchange (Uxbridge) was recently upgraded to WBC and my download speed DROPPED from 4Mb to 2Mb. BT of course showed no interest in improving this (if an engineer comes out it will cost you £160) so I switched to O2 LLU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We're looking at a house which has some considerable charm, but I failed to run my usual broadband checks before we went viewing. After the first viewing, I went to samknows.com , my usual reference point, to discover that the "official" BT figure for ADSL access given there was ~0.5 Mbps - ouch. Proper broadband is crucial to me - doesn't have to be be mega fast, but it does have to be adequate for streaming video.

On a second viewing, I raised this with the bloke who said that, though he agreed 0.5 was the given BT figure, he was actually getting a measured ~1.5 Mbps. Now 1.5 might be manageable for a short while (after all writing to forums hardly takes a massive bandwidth), but not for the longer haul.

Mobile broadband is not the speediest of technologies, and the coverage maps are very discouraging (Orange: "You might get quite good 2G reception outdoors" TMobile: "no coverage in this area") - even in the locality there appears to be a little blind spot, in which this house seems to sit .

There seems little likelihood of cable arriving in the area, unless we get a government (or even a local council) who really support proper broadband in rural areas. (This one is a massive 10 minutes drive from the edge of Newcastle down a major trunk road - so we're really talking comms out in the sticks :snarl: ).

The property is nearly 3km from the exchange. So, the question is, will the advent of newer technologies in the exchange (WBC?) make a noticeable difference to the reach and speed of things like ADSL2? I'm a bit hazy on the ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL Max/ADSL2+ differences and possibilities. I believe (samknows.com again) that the exchange has not yet been upgraded to newer technologies.

So, does this forum boast any braodband experts who could enlighten me on what these various technologies mean in practice, and whether the situation with an ADSL connection is likely to improve in the near future?

db

have you tried deleting all your system files and re-booting ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aluminium cables maybe, or one line has been already split for two telephone signals between you and the exchange.

Try this as well

http://www.jarviser.co.uk/jarviser/broadbandspeed.html

I had no idea that aluminium cables had been used in the UK instead of copper during parts of the 80s...until I had the misfortune of living in a house with them. That was 2 years of internet hell, though we weren't particularly far from the local exchange.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BT has technological limits on ADSL

I'm not doubting your knowledge here Tulip, but I can't help casting my mind back a few years.

Wasn't there a time when we were told it was impossible to get faster speeds than 56kbit over ordinary telephone lines? And then that we would never get more than 1Mbit, and that would only happen if we lived less than 12 yards from the exchange?

Again, I know what you are saying is true, but it is only true at the moment. Who knows what will come next?

moo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had no idea that aluminium cables had been used in the UK instead of copper during parts of the 80s...until I had the misfortune of living in a house with them. That was 2 years of internet hell, though we weren't particularly far from the local exchange.

Used in the 1970s too: I had a severe problem with aluminium telephone cabling: installed by contractors (BICC) on a new estate without any conduit...........

When BT's precursor, PO Telephones, finally agreed there were significant issues (Line hanging open after handset replaced: lots of fun on expensive international calls!), they sent out their cabling men to dig up the pavement and when they finally unearthed the junction, it was a mass of festering, rotten, waterlogged, corroded aluminium cables, badly wrapped in tape.............

Until and unless Britain is properly cabled with fibre optic, Brown's idle wish for delivering High Speed Broadband to every home in the land will remain precisely that: an idle wish.

However, this won't stop the new tax on landlines of course!

You can thank that doyen of business, enterprise and forward thinking for this fiasco: Thatcher.

The 1986 Telecommunications Act forbad BT to carry entertainment on their network, as part of their new license.

Thus they had no interest in replacing the extant POTS (Much of which was Victorian copper, wrapped in Gutta Percha and brown paper and tar!), with fibre optic cabling, as the capital cost would have been too much with little chance of any ROI (Return on Capital Invested).

Bandwidth and thus speed is constrained by archaic cabling and switching gear and the reality of Multi-Plexing: i.e. carrying a number of signals over the same cable sets.

Welcome to technology advanced high speed Britain!

Not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FWIW - I was told that my BB would be 'marginal' when I first enquired. When I asked for an explanation they said it may not even be the 0.5Mbps that they considered a minimum speed (this was 2 years ago).

The pub next door to me was running at 3Mbps and so I proceeded with the order and it actually runs at 3.5Mbps (apart from Sunday evenings).

I suspect they err on the side of caution for fear of dissapointing a customer.

Buckers

It could be that BT assumed the worse case for contention (how many are competing with you for the connection) - I used to work for the company that make the 'line cards' that go into the BT exchanges They had better ones coming onstream and on the drawing board all the time.

The OP may find it worth asking BT if the exchange has been upgraded yet according to BT's 21CN program, or if they have plans to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In far flung lands long distance WiFi seems to be making headway. There are a lot of variables (as line of sight is important) but if the OP has a friend near the exchange this might be a way forward. The cost would be significant but probably not in the context of a house purchase.

p-o-p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

im looking to rent an office for my work. ive 2 exchanges both adsl2+ 21st century broadband enabled etc etc .

yet the one 900m away gets adsl2+ and the one that is literally 3 houses down from the exchange doesnt!

1 - be/city exchange

BT7 1dq

offering up to 16mbps adsl2+ even although it is 900m from the exchange

ADSL available at ~6.5Mbps

ADSL2+ available at ~16Mbps

Cable services available

2-malone exchange

BT9 6AL

less than 100m from exchange.perfect location for me but doesnt seem to be returning ADSL2+

ADSL available at ~6.5Mbps

ADSL2+ is not available

Cable services available

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not doubting your knowledge here Tulip, but I can't help casting my mind back a few years.

Wasn't there a time when we were told it was impossible to get faster speeds than 56kbit over ordinary telephone lines? And then that we would never get more than 1Mbit, and that would only happen if we lived less than 12 yards from the exchange?

Again, I know what you are saying is true, but it is only true at the moment. Who knows what will come next?

moo.

I wrote you a really long and detailed reply moo, I hit add reply and it disappeared into the ether.

In short, physical constraits of the physical wire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2-malone exchange

BT9 6AL

less than 100m from exchange.perfect location for me but doesnt seem to be returning ADSL2+

ADSL available at ~6.5Mbps

ADSL2+ is not available

Cable services available

It could well be that the latter exchange doesn't yet have a ADSL2+ enabled line card in it? Ask BT if they have any plan to install (or enable) one or more. Their 21CN program is a rolling program of improvements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not doubting your knowledge here Tulip, but I can't help casting my mind back a few years.

Wasn't there a time when we were told it was impossible to get faster speeds than 56kbit over ordinary telephone lines? And then that we would never get more than 1Mbit, and that would only happen if we lived less than 12 yards from the exchange?

Again, I know what you are saying is true, but it is only true at the moment. Who knows what will come next?

moo.

Have a read here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codec

As I stated previously, the limiting factor here is BT's archaic POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) network.

They use Multiplexing (PCM or Pulse Controlled Modulation) to "Chop Up" a number of signals and overlay these signals upon each other to gain more lines from their limited network system.

For analogue telephone service this doesn't really matter: all that happens is the signal suffers "Clipping" of certain frequencies: which the user doesn't hear, as the frequency response of telephone lines is limited in any case.

It matters not whatever gizmos are placed at either end of your landline: these gizmos can theoretically deliver awesome bandwidth: however the bottleneck is simply the old fashioned lines.

Until and unless Government and BT bite the bullet and cable the whole country, then bandwidth and thus data transmission speeds will be limited by the archaic nature of the landline network.

The whole of data processing is very similar: matters not how rapid the CPU is: or the peripheral equipment, the one thing which limits processing speeds from CPU to screen and keyboard to CPU et al, is the Data Bus.

And since Compaq re-designed the original IBM Personal PC Data Bus for the system 386, not much has changed really.

Back in the mid 1980s, certain silicon chip design houses were experimenting on mini computers such as DEC, with evacuated nitrogen quenched CPUs and Data Buses to try and emulate a condition towards Super Conductivity!

Which provides an idea of the scope of the physical problems.

Technology is always a matter of compromise: there is always one bit of any system which proves the ass ache!

:huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   291 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.