/ Technology

Have you suffered from the broadband blues?

Fibre broadband

Our research suggests that 13 million households have suffered problems with their broadband. If you’re one of them, and have a broadband tale of woe to share, we want to hear from you.

When I get home tonight I’ll be utterly disconnected from the world thanks to my broken phone line, which also knocked out my broadband connection.

This is the second time I’ve experienced this problem in the space of a few weeks. The first time required a seemingly endless succession of calls to BT to get them to diagnose the issue. After speaking to a variety of departments, a missed call-back appointment and being cut-off from them mid-conversation on more than one occasion, I managed to persuade BT to send out an engineer.

The engineer arrived promptly and agreed that the line was disrupted, but that they couldn’t trace the source. Thankfully, after changing some wires in the road as well as in our flat, he managed to get it working.

Broadband down again

Yet, just four short weeks later, we’re facing the same problem again. After a 50 minute call to BT on Sunday afternoon, the company has agreed to send out another engineer. However, they stress that if the problem is found to be with the wiring or equipment within my boundary, they will charge £129.99. Perhaps that’s a fair charge, but it does seem a bit steep if it’s not me who caused the problem.

So that’s my story – have you experienced something similar? If you’ve had problems with slow internet, intermittent service or if you’ve had a nightmare setting up a new internet connection when moving house, I want to hear from you. I’ll use a selection of case studies in our up-coming Which? magazine article on broadband problems.

We’re also campaigning for better broadband, calling on providers to deliver the speeds you’re promised and to fix bad connections as speedily as possible. Join more than 26,000 others by signing our petition.

Comments
Member

A positive start. We had buzzing on our phone line, rented through John Lewis but serviced by BT. If the fault was on our property the charge to visit and fix would be £60. The BT engineer thought the problem lay in a cable we had disconnected a long time ago with water ingress. He rerouted the main cable to a much more convenient location, installed a new outlet box, removed old wiring and the problem was solved. Would not make a charge and refused a gratuity for his trouble. It’s not all bad.

Member

My parents have a very intermittent high pitch noise on their phone line that we can’t seem to pin down the cause. The charge that BT would want to levy is preventing them from putting a call in for an engineer 🙁

Member
David says:
11 April 2014

as long as the problem is not with “your equipment” the fault is covered by BT. Easy test. If you have a simple plug in phone, test the main BT jack point with that. If the fault recurs ask a neighbour if you can check the phone in their house. If the fault goes away its not down to you. If you don’t have a spare phone ask a nieghbour or relative. If that fails you can buy a cheap one at Maplins.

Member

A more positive test is not to test the main external jack point but to remove the faceplate, with most modern sockets, and plug a corded phone in the now-revealed test socket behind. In most cases this isolates all your internal wiring which is connected to the back of the faceplate. Then any fault must be on BT’s side and so you can’t be liable for any call-out charges.

Member
Ronnie says:
28 March 2015

Not strictly true. They have the policy that all internal wiring and equipment is the responsibility of the householder. Yes, the NTE Test Socket is supplied by them but ” it’s fitted internally and so must be looked after by the householder”.
Wrong in my opinion, but there you go, just be aware that if you’re fault is internal, then if the OPENREACH engineer does his job as instructed you will be charged. I was an OPENREACH engineer for over 30 years

Member
Deborah Blackham says:
8 April 2014

We live in a rural community less than 2 miles from the exchange of a large market town. Whilst BT is rolling out infinity in central town, the outskirts and surrounding villages have been abandoned, despite having large populations. Some villages having only just received broadband recently. The speeds we get are no better than dial-up. You can forget streaming video etc! Instead of providing people in the town (who already have decent speeds) with even better speeds with infinity, they should be investing in providing better speeds to outlying villages!

Member
CountryDweller says:
9 April 2014

Hear, hear, Deborah! I am in total agreement; my area is currently “under evaluation” for fibre; I expect that, in due course, the answer will be “No!” I am with Plusnet and it’s disgusting that we who live in Market 1 areas have to pay more than double for a derisory connection speed!

Member
DorsetRustic says:
11 April 2014

Deborah, how I sympathize! We are in exactly the same situation. When I contacted BT they said there was not going to be an upgrade in the foreseeable future. Yet they want us to pay the same line rental as people who have better facilities. I went to Talktalk who give us a better deal as far as rental is concerned but they cannot give us better broadband speeds as the lines are controlled by BT. Kafka should be around to describe the situation.

Member
Trevor Dorset rural says:
12 April 2014

Deborah, I also sympathise with you. I look out of my study window at the outskirts of my nearest town, about a mile away across the valley. Yet when I complain to BT about my abysmally slow Broad Band speeds ( on a good day and with a following wind I am lucky to get 2.4 mbps) BT insist on telling me I live in a rural area, It is a pity that they don’t concentrate more time and money on their core business of telecommunications, rather than spending millions of pounds competing with BSkyB and Virgin to brings us football etc.

Member
Tricky Dicky says:
25 April 2014

Fully agree with your comments and those of other responders. I have been doing battle with BT Openreach for over 12 months trying to get our “cabinet” (2 miles outside market town that has superfast connection) upgraded. Their responses have been sporadic and inconsistent i.e. they only reply when they feel like it and then tell half-truths. The reality is probably that our location is going to cost more to upgrade than others and they want to take our tax-payers money and maximise their profit by whatever underhand way they can! Nobody seems to have the ability or will to hold them to account.

Member
Mike says:
7 May 2014

We are 6km from our exchange, and 4km from our cabinet. It is going live for fibre broadband shortly, but due to it’s ludicrous position, nobody in our village (Norton, Suffolk) will be in range to receive it….

Member
George says:
8 April 2014

Yes, more time than I care to remember. If you’d like to make a change, please sign my petition to abolish the minimum term contracts with Internet Service Providers. Thanks!

Member
George says:
8 April 2014

http://goo.gl/acOvM2 And that’s the link I missed! 😉

Member

Any reason for posting a “shortened” link where we can’t see where its will take you as opposed to the actual link where its obvious where you’ll end up ?

And looking at the preview stats (by adding a +) , seems to imply most of the click have come from Alaska and mainland USA.

Therefore I’ll be avoiding it. Sorry.

Member

It is a petition entitled ‘Abolish minimum term contracts with Internet Service Providers’ created by George on change.org. The reason for the short link is because the full URL is enormous. Which? vets all posts with links and I assume that they check for anything that might, for example, damage users’ computers. It would be nice to know for sure.

Member

It won’t work for many reasons! You can already legally exit a contract if the service you receive is substandard and not as promised.

Member

I am reasonably happy with my broadband service now that they have stopped pushing it as ‘Up to 24 Mbps’. My download speed is generally about 7 MBps, slower than suggested for my postcode (9 MBPs) but within the range of 6-11 Mbps range expected. I’m fortunate that it is not affected much by the time of day.

What does annoy me is that we lose service if there is even a momentary interruption in the mains. If my lights flicker, my broadband connection often drops at the same time. I have an uninterruptible power supply on my desktop computer and the battery in my laptop does the same job, so why cannot my USP keep its servers running if there is an interruption in power for less than a second?

Member

Seems unlikely to be your ISP. Are you sure it is not your hub that resets?

Member

Fair comment Malcolm. That was my original thought. I tried running my router via the UPS but that did not help. The router will reset within a few minutes but the break in service is significantly longer, sometimes up to half an hour.

Member

A short mains dropout can put a spike onto the phone line. Many USPs have a pass through to filter your phone line and keep connected equipment safe from,power surges. Also powering the router from the UPS is a very good idea

Member
EE Customer says:
10 April 2014

For all the tales of woe I wonder how many times we pick up our keyboards to write a tale of a hard working BT OpenReach engineer who solved my woeful BB.

I signed up with EE for 34MBit down estimated Fibre 38MBit service. Was 18MBit when the router was plugged in and the 10 day settling in period began. It slowly dropped to 16MBit and then 15MBit.

I phoned EE Customer services where we went through the normal steps of checking the connection, router set up, this was not the fault so escalated to Tier 2.

Next day Tier 2 rang to say that line tests and further investigation at the exchange had not revealed the problem. A BT OpenReach engineer was booked for the next day. NEXT DAY!

Matt arrived, was courteous, polite, listened to the problem, asked about the house wiring our needs etc.

He investigated house wiring, the drop line from the pole in the roof, the master socket. All to no avail.

He plugged in an oscillator and went to the cabinet, 700metres away, he then traced the wiring back and ascertained we had a 40MBit service in the pavement manhole cover but only 25Mbit at the house.

He replaced the connections on top of the telegraph pole, laid a new route for the drop cable, wired it very neatly down the wall (quietly, so my one year old baby son could do his afternoon sleep) and then brought the wire into my study and terminated it with a new master socket thus eliminating all the faulty wiring. He worked cleanly and methodically explaining as he went what was going on.

I now have a synch rate of 39.97MBit to the Exchange and a true 37.52MBit at the PC. EE estimated 2 days ago that the maximum on the line as was would be 27MBit…..

Sometimes it is not the ISP’s fault or even BT OpenReach, just a house built and wired in 1974, connected to a telegraph pole when we did not have Fibre Broadband when Spur Wiring seemed like a great idea…..

Thank you OpenReach for going the extra mile for me. I immediately placed an order for the 80MBit product since I now have such a clean line!

Member
Samantha says:
10 April 2014

We left O2 broadband after having years of no issues. To go to Orange/EE. Big mistake! Straight away our broadband would randomly drop out, taking hours to return. They refused to talk to myself, as it was in my husbands name. Who was often away at sea, or working late. Even after several attempts to add my name to the account, it never happened. Finally a year past (we just had a baby) and we were ringing, and asking for help, emailing , spending hours on the phone, phone call cutting off after 40 mins.
However we did finally get through to a lovely person when we decided to move isp but she talked us in too staying and trying fibre. So I thought it would be easier to stay,
Problem is still happening! Emailed several times, rang: same issues,
Same questions.
Was told by one tech that we had no faults, that if I unhappy I had to ring BT!! Who I do not have a contract with?!? I told him it was his job to do that as I pay for a service! But he told me no and hung up!
So i rang BT to be told they can only tell to EE! Waste of time!!
Eventually I got through to a decent EE tech support: but sadly cut off again! And he never rang back. I have emailed with no reply.
So have now informed them via complaints, that it has to be fixed
Still no reply.
Any idea what I can do?

Member

No good phoning BT when your line is with EE. You have no contract with BT, only EE, so BT won’t talk to you.

You need to write a formal complaint letter to EE. Your husband should also write a formal letter appointing you as his accredited representative and giving all your identification details. Do you think Lord Much personally calls his service provider’s every time something goes wrong?

Member

My broadband was switching itself on and off for no apparent reason. When I reported it, BT checked the line and said they had found an ‘instability’ on the line. It will be tomorrow evening before it will be repaired. This has gone on for about three weeks altogether

Member

We have had to deal with a BT shambles too.
We requested a new line on the 10th January for our newly built property. The line has finally been installed today – still no broadband. I am only able to respond now by dangling my mobile phone out the window!
Customer service has been appalling – I have been consistently told the delay is because of flooding elsewhere, despite the fact that numerous engineers who have visited the site indicated that the pole was”full” needing replacement. We only established this information by actively approaching them ourselves.
Escalation of the complaint was laughable. Numerous phone calls with promises of updates never materialised.One customer service person indicated that he didn’t even have a boss to escalate complaints!
The executive complaints department has been more helpful but I only managed to get hold of their email through another seriously disgruntled customer! The order was still not expedited despite the “executive” complaints department being involved
Absolutely shambolic!

Member
Conrad says:
11 April 2014

My broadband link constantly drops out every so often and even after spending hours on the phone to Virgin, they can not seem to cure the problem. Also I was without email for 4 days this week due to a server fault somewhere out on the network.

Member
Brian Hastings says:
11 April 2014

My connection is from Plusnet that advertises its award winning service. My line goes through trees and every 18 months or so it suffers a worn out drop wire. In days gone by, you rang BT faults, they told you your line was faulty and a man came and fixed it. No longer. Openreach positively discourage consumers ( see their website). There appears to be no complaints mechanism. You contact them through Plusnet. Emails take 2-3 days to get a reply. Phone calls take 30 -60 minutes to get through. A faulty drop wire meant I was without a broadband connection for nearly three months. Occasionally it worked as is the issue with a intermittent circuit but mainly it did not. Plusnet send endless meaningless messages which feels like techy internal communication and none of it gets a man to fix it. They had me take off faceplates, check phones and even seek out a neighbour to borrow another router. I became my own engineer when I knew the root cause. After hours on the phone and many e-mails an engineer turned up, fixed the problem and introduced some new faults by faulty workmanship. You are then back in the never-ending Plusnet loop of despair, hanging on phones and e- mails taking an age for reply. Finally, I was in touch with someone half sensible and had direct communication. It was finally fixed and then was faulty again. A faulty DNS server at Plusnet was to blame this time. Lengthy wait to talk to them. Their response ? Keep trying it will be fixed but may take a few days. Award winning service? I am pleased I am not with the losers if this is what an award feels like. Why is it so hard to get an engineer? It feels as though they are incentivised to keep you away from an engineer. I never thought I ‘d say it but splitting up BT was a great disservice to consumers. Working through intermediaries (eg Plusnet) is flawed and Openreach are accountable to no-one.

Member

“Openreach positively discourage consumers” : That’s because as end users you don’t have a contract with OpenReach. Openreach’s contracts are with companies like BT and Plusnet etc. and those are the companies us as individuals are expected to contact.

Member
Brian Hastings says:
11 April 2014

William, thank you but I do understand that. My point is that in practice this disbenefits consumers as the threshold is hard to cross. I would rather pay them if I must, to fix it speedily, even if I pay for a unnecessary visit. The present system is a barrier to prompt and speedy service. For me this is a recurrent problem and each time there has been lengthy waits. As the end user I have little concern who contracts who or how they are paid. I do however recognise good service when I see it and this is most certainly not good service.

Member

I think I commented before about the BT shambles we had, after getting them to move a physical line to facilitate building work outside our house, 2-3 years ago. We had to pay quite steeply for the privilege, but it was necessary to give builders access to the wall. The move led to, among other things, slower broadband. After that, there were interminable calls to Indian call centres, threats of charging us another £129 or so for a fault in “our equipment” etc, and no resolution.

It was all sorted in the end by Which? Legal Services, with advice on direct emails to the then CEO of BT. It turned out BT had an “executive-level complaints department” or similar, one of them phoned me back and exchanged various emails which included his department name, then sent an experienced engineer to troubleshoot the problem which had been introduced when the competent-looking but outsourced engineer moved the line a few feet from one outside wall to the wall next to it.

At the moment, broadband is working though not really “state-of-the-art”. I’d really like to be able to unbundle broadband service from voice, TV and all the other call-plan rubbish they want to sell you, but without having to pay BT or others a fortune to install a separate physical line. Then, you might be able to switch broadband service among different suppliers (though our exchange only hosts 2 or 3 – Ofcom say this is “competitive” but I don’t believe them). At the moment my broadband comes from TalkTalk, who are just as useless as BT when other problems arise, eg billing, but usually seem to be able to continue to provide my service, which they purchased from Tiscali who bought it from Pipex.

Living in a small town with no cable, I’m too afraid to try to move from TalkTalk because of the difficulty of dealing with any of these low-cost “light-touch-regulated” operators. How do we get Virgin Media to install cable to more locations? I use them in a cabled house in a city nearby, and the performance there seems to be much better than anything BT can offer with “fibre to the cabinet” in our home area.

FWIW.

Member
Peter Hemsley says:
11 April 2014

My service provider is Taltalk, but the cabling to the exchange is provided by BT. I live in a village which is some miles from the BT exchange. My daughter who lives in the Nottingham area is about half a mile from her local exchange but just at the end of her street is a large green BT cabinet with a label declaring that it is for “Broadband on your street”. I live in Wales and the other night the BBC Wales news reported that there has been a small take up for the BT fast broadband… chance would be a fine thing here!

Member

I have just been converted from O2 to Sky Broadband.
The speed is now reminiscent of dial-up modem days.
The drop-out rate is unbelievable. Almost every time I advance a page, it defaults to a two minute “trying to connect” ritual, which is usually unsuccessful.
To add insult to injury, I hung on the help line for 15 minutes before being disconnected without talking to a live person.
I’m extremely disappointed.

Member
Alan Graham says:
11 April 2014

My plus net service ran well with no problems after installation for several months. Then one Saturday it just stopped, dead as a hammer. I rang Plus Net that evening – took an hour to get through (I’ve since read in Which that Plus Net aknowledged waits had increased and are building more resources). Anyway I was advised of the exact time that afternon that the service had failed and was told to try new ASDL filters which made no difference. I was told that if the problem was internal there would be a BT call out fee. A day later I contacted Plus Net again (another wait to get through) to be advised that the service was now operating again – from an exact time which they told me. I checked it and it was. Nobody had done anything that I’m aware of and Plus Net could give no explanation – just one of those things. And it’s been fine ever since.

Member

You will sometimes get those occasions, usually at weekends, where your BB starts playing up, either slowing down, disconnecting or stopping completely. Then a few hours later or by Monday AM at the latest it recovers.

There’s no point in contacting your ISP, altho’ it might be their responsibility it is not of their making, and all they can do is contact BTw. It is most likely some BT Openreach engineer messing about at your exchange or cab with someone else’s line and has messed up yours. After the w/end it is noticed when the full team is on and it is fixed w/out having to report it.

Member

As my ISP just confirmed to me this is happening more and more as more users switch to fibre and the engineers have to swap cables between the ordinary BT cab and the FTTC cab.

Member
John Appleton says:
12 April 2014

I live in a town no more than 35 miles from central London. Best download speed here with BT is 4.5Mcps & upload 0.43Mcps despite trying every thing to improve it. I would gladly pay for higher speeds but BT do not have plans to survey local exchange for Infinity until mid 2015 at the earliest. Buffering whilst watching video streams like BBC iPlayer is normal & trying to uploading e-mail attachments & photos is awfully slow.
My MP has tried to help but seems only able to report BT’s plans. What I find particularly annoying is that every time I watch TV there are adverts for Infinity that I can not get in my area.

Member

> ‘BT do not have plans to survey local exchange for Infinity’

BT aren’t surveying for ‘Infinity’; it’s FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) that will be installed by BT Openreach.

‘Infinity’ is just BT Retail’s (the ISP) brand name for it, but you can buy FTTC from any ISP you wish once it is installed. BT’s adverts are misleading as they imply to the public that only BT can supply ‘superfast’ Fibre.

What exchange you on?

Member
John Appleton says:
12 April 2014

I am on Hullbridge Essex exchange. Information from County Council says they are partnered with BT in “Superfast Essex Team”. Quote in letter sent to MP from Kevin Bentley Deputy Leader of the council is: “The timeline for delivery has started with surveys & planning under way & the actual network build running from April to June 2016. Hullbridge currently sits in Phase 6, planned for the quarter July to September 2015.”
Some further data is on http://www.superfastessex.org.
I have taken to using a 3G SIM in my iPad to get higher speeds & this seems to be pretty successful most of the time although it adds £7.50 to my monthly costs.

Member

You may be able to get much faster speeds, UP TO 24 Meg, from TalkTalk or Sky, who have their own kit in your exchange, DEPENDING ON HOW FAR YOU ARE FROM EXCHANGE.

Member
John Appleton says:
12 April 2014

Thanx – will investigate TalkTalk & Sky. I am about 0.75 miles from exchange.

Member

Can you read off your Downstream Attenuation from your router stats? That’s the only accurate way of measuring line length.

Member
John Appleton says:
15 April 2014

Sorry for delayed reply !

Here is the data:
Line Attenuation (Down/Up) 23.0dB / 14.0dB
Noise margin (Down/Up) 10.8dB / 14.0dB
Line State shows: Downstrean 4,352 Kbps & Upstream 448 Kbps !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Member

You should be getting the full 8 Meg now from your existing BT ADSL Max platform, as as long as your internal wiring is not faulty.

You could be getting about 17 – 18 Meg from TT’s or Sky’s LLU ADSL2+ at your exchange.

However the disadvantage with both of those is that you have to put your landline with them, which makes it difficult if you ever want to come back to a BT based system. You can avoid that by going with a reseller, such as Xilo or Vivaciti, who resells Partial LLU but they will be more expensive.

Member
David says:
12 April 2014

Repeated calls to BT to complain my wireless Broadband connection kept dropping off, despite all blue light on. The only way to reinstate was to switch off the hub and reboot.
Lots of useless advice over emails.
Wrote to the CEO who arranged for an engineer.
Engineer called, changed a junction box but gave no reason.
Advised a fault on the line somewhere but not once did he look at the PC or see the symptoms, nor suggest changing the hub channels.
Fault persisted- contacted CEO again with FULL details, only to be asked on call back to explain the problem yet again with the excuse ” if we are to work together I need the info”
New engineer called- took one look at the symptoms and said Faulty HUB but advised he had to go through the check procedures and BT were not keen on changing hubs.
Hub changed -fault cleared.
Call from CEO office minion to check on satisfaction.
On question he advised he had no technical knowledge but purely Customer Service skills?
Initially claimed could that a months free broadband was his last offer and no way could he compensate for time and frustration
Eventually got 4 months free broadband + £8.

You have to stick in there

Member
Hazel Richards says:
12 April 2014

I had a crackle noise on my phone for two weeks. I rang Swalec Talk my phone supplier to check the line. The first time they reported no problem. I rang again a week later again no problem was found but a very sympathetic lady said she could arrange for an engineer to come the next day although there would be a charge of over £100. I agreed and the fault was found on the pole out side my house. The wire was broken and the rain was getting in. I was not charged and I was very impressed by the service. My broadband is now fine and I am able to have a conversation on the phone.

Member
Roland Nevett says:
12 April 2014

Talktalk have sent out engineers eight times over the last two years and on each occasion those engineers say the problem could have been resolved by the call centre. Waste of my time and Talktalk’s money. The issue has arisen again and again they insist on sending out an Engineer. We will see what happens this time.
Recently I reported slow speeds and the operative said nothing could bedone. After a battle to speak to the next level the issue was resolved. This agent said only his level had the resources to fix this problem and the first line knew nothing of what could be done. Absolutely crazy.

Member
Kieran Morgan says:
12 April 2014

I live 5 miles from a major city but might as well be in the Outer Hebrides. We are served by copper wire which goes through overgrown hedges which have stretched and damaged the line. This is all in plain sight! I and the two other houses served by this line have off and on phone connection and slow and intermittant broadband. We have gone through TalkTalk’s fault procedures – in my case three times – which is like entering a Groundhog Day-like loop. When we finally get Open Reach to attend they fiddle with something, give up and go away promising further action – which does not happen. I too have given up, abandoned my landline and use my mobile phone and a satellite connection for broadband which costs £50 per month. The others are persevering but we are not hopeful. The truly appalling thing about this service is that there is no way to get hold of BT/Open Reach. You have to go through the ‘provider’ whose fault service seems specifically designed to prevent any progress if the fault lies with BT.

Member

I have to agree with everyone who has said that one of the real problems is the inability of consumers to deal directly with the people who can actually rectify technical problems, combined with people at the ISP who seem to be tasked with making it as difficult at possible to get those technical people involved and addressing the problem. When you finally see an Open Reach engineer they’re competent and friendly and cannot understand why you had to wait weeks because they have plenty of capacity in their team.

It’s a system which clearly isn’t working, but because it is hundreds of different consumers who each suffer in a different way that point isn’t recognised or addressed.

Member
Martin Sherwin says:
12 April 2014

In rural Dorset we can only expect a download speed of around 7Mbps but when we moved just 30 yards across the road ours dropped off to about 0.5Mbps. Having tried everything that Which Computing’s help line advised to no effect I called BT but found myself in an “over an hour ” queue. Rang off and tried again saying I wanted to cancel my Broadband; this time I went straight through! After 40 minutes of various tests I was told that a fault on the line had been detected, which would be sorted out in 48 hours; the girl also said she would ring me in a given 15 minute slot the next day. That call never came and after 48 hours there was no improvement. Again I called to cancel and again got through straight away. After another 50 minutes during which the same set of tests were done I was again told a fault had been detected which would be sorted within 48 hours. I was also given a fault reference number. Yet again there was no improvement so I went through the same procedure and yet again the BT assistant wanted to go through a series of tests; I rejected this and insisted an engineer should visit. An appointment was made for two days hence having been advised that it would cost me £129.99 if the fault was at my end.
However, surprise, surprise, the very next day I was rung to say that the engineers had found a fault at the exchange and it would be dealt with by 8.00pm the following day. And it was!!
Now I have a regular download speed above 6.5Mbps but it drops off to less than 2.00Mbps between 9.00 and 10.00pm each evening so it is still not possible to watch BBC IPlayer or BT Sport at prime time.

Member
DorsetRustic says:
12 April 2014

It appears from all the comments that most of us in non-metropolitan areas are not getting good broadband. However, after buying a Kindle HD I am amazed that when I use it to watch BBC iPlayer I can watch programs without any problems, no buffering etc. Yet it uses the signal from the same Talktalk router connected to my computer, on which I suffer all the problems of download speeds described in other posts. Any explanations?

Member
Danny Buoy says:
6 March 2015

There are many possible reasons for this. Here are a few:

First is that the Kindle will probably be automatically downloading a lower quality and smaller file size video than your computer. The Kindle has a smaller screen than your computer so it automatically chooses a lower quality video stream which is a smaller file size. Hence the file downloads quickly enough to no notice any delay.

Another possibility is that the smaller video being transferred by BBC iPlayer is transferred at a faster speed. Not all files on the Internet download at the same speed – it can depend on where the file being downloaded is hosted, on how many servers is the file hosted, if the file is in cache on a server somewhere and on how many people are trying to download that file at the same time.

Lastly, but least likely is that your Kindle may be better connected to your Talktalk router than your computer is. I had issue where I have slow Internet, but really really bad Internet with my new laptop after a number of weeks. Then I finally identified that the even slower performance started the same time that an update to my laptops wireless driver was installed. I did a driver rollback and that fixed it. Unfortunately it was not a black and white situation where the new driver broke my WiFi connection – that would have made identifying the issue easier. Instead the wireless still worked but often internet connection speed dropped to zero – I thought it was the service provider, but it was actually the laptop!

Member
Wiclif McCready says:
12 April 2014

I think that the price paid for the internet service should be related to the download speed. At least then those of us with speeds of less than 2MB would have some form of compensation in the form of lower costs

Member
Phil Davies says:
13 April 2014

I suffer from the slowest broadband speed in our entire street (about 1.2 – 1.3 megabytes) typically less than half what neighbours can achieve. I have complained endlessly to BT and a series of engineers have visited but have never done more than restore a basic service when it dies altogether. I am convinced the problem lies in our copper wire connection to the street cabinet, but BT are not willing to repair or replace it. Presumably even moving to another service provide wil not fix this. Is there anything I can do?
In despair!
(P.S. We still have no date for the upgrading of our exchange to Infinity.)

Member

When high speed fibre became available at higher price, wired version became slower. Obviously tey want me to pat more.

Member
Jon Godwin says:
14 April 2014

I would rather have a slow but utterly stable connexion than a faster but intermittent one. In fact, I have both, in two different locations.

One is in a “remote rural” location in Perthshire, which provides about 0.5 Mb/s download speed with almost never a hiccup. Useless for streaming, TV etc and there is no prospect of our little exchange the other side of the glen being upgraded to fibre within the next several years. However, it is almost always on.

The other location is a stone’s throw from the centre of Glasgow, where there is still only copper wire although, download speeds sometimes reach about 10 Mb/s. However, the service drops out several times a day, an issue which has been mentioned above. Drop-outs do not not really receive sufficient prominence in general assessments of services based on speed, etc.

I have had endless conversations with BT’s Indian call centres, the first stage seemingly always to try to claim that my contract has expired and then, after endless contortions, on two occasions finally offering to send a new router, as the original one was a very early model with a history of overheating and other problems. Having even been browbeaten into taking out a new contract, as my old one was of a type now being phased out, and the two new routers having never materialised, I bought one on eBay for 99p and it is working much better. However, the drop-outs, although very much reduced, still occur quite frequently. I used to log them, and have scores of pages full of dates and times, although have now given up in the hope that central Glasgow must surely have fibre access before too long. So much for all of the TV advertising, which would have been better spent on that.

Member
46414 says:
16 April 2014

I live in a Cornish village 3 miles from the nearest town. Broadband is very slow and, recently, when the phone line went dead, the BT engineer who came to fix it told me that the phone line was alloy, not copper, and was installed early ’80’s, when copper was expensive. The alloy is prone to corrosion, and should be replaced. I had high hopes that this would be fibre-optic in a short time, but nothing has been done, although much of Cornwall has gone fibre. Not this small village, however, with little industrial poke.

Member
Catalina Roberts says:
20 April 2014

It took BT 2 months to install a new broadband connection after we moved house. There were countless problems, ranging from inadvertently connecting us to someone else’s landline, postponed engineer visits, countless calls to get wifi working, and then to top it all, a bill for landline and calls that we didn’t have or use! It was refunded after a twitter complaint but all in all a horrendous experience.

Member
Geoffrey says:
30 April 2014

I recently changed from Plusnet to BTinfinity and was told that a MAC code was not required. Plusnet demanded a cessation fee of £30 because I did not ask them for a MAC code.I objected to paying for something that is not required but Plusnet still insist. Has anyone run into this stupidity?

Member

A MAC (the ‘code’ is already in the C :)) is always required for transferring BB on a BTW WLR phone line, which applies to both Plusnet & BT. You only don’t need one when moving to/from a Full LLU ISP, like Sky or TT.

You were misinformed, presumably by the gaining ISP. Why should PN lose out by BT’s mistake? They are only passing on a charge levied by BTw when you ceased to BB by not using a MAC.

Member
Simon says:
6 May 2014

BT Infinity is not fit for the purpose as far as I’m concerned. Was drawn by the lure of faster speeds, but found yes although we were receiving a 70 meg connection we couldn’t stream anything online without buffering, latency was very high (no use for online gaming) and the line going completely dead for broadband every couple of weeks.
No fault according to BT executive level complaints even though the line was dead???
This is when BT tell you lies lies and more lies, the line was monitored for 2 weeks of which BT saw no disconnections, hmmmm there was one because we had a power cut?
Then the phone issues started with bad weather couldn’t hear anyone and constant NO LINE. The problem was intermittent between phone and broadband.
Open Reach sent out again no fault found even though the line was noisy, Open Reach assigned a case handler to the fault and we got 2 engineers together.
This engineer found a fault and then the Broadband would not re-sync. At last someone saw the problem, sorted the line out but now we can only get 40 meg download and they wont do anything and the phone line still bad.
We have moved to Sky Fibre and there were issues in activation due to a fault found on the exchange equipment, low and behold now quiet phone and touch wood not one broadband disconnection but still only 40 meg which is enough for me.
On talking to a friend who I haven’t seen for a couple of years confirms what I though as his BT Infinity line was the same always going down and constant engineers.
20th century broadband in the UK, I don’t think so yet

Member
Joanne Park says:
3 June 2014

We have been without BT broadband for 8+ weeks now. The latest update is that they will be checking on the progress at the local cabinet again around mid-June. (Original connection date was 4th April, then 8th May). We have barely any phone reception and no 3G so we are pretty much cut off once we get home in the evening. We live in a busy village on a large estate 8 miles outside of the main town. My parents live along the road and they have broadband but apparently BT have not provided enough capacity in the local cabinet to include us, despite the fact that our house dates back to the 1950s. I am tearing my hair out, they have got us over a barrel as we have no-one else to turn to. Even if we cancel who’s to say that another provider will have any capacity in this local cabinet? I’m tired of their apologies and the varied excuses about copper piping not having arrived yet etc etc. They were perfectly happy to take my £30 connection fee though and advertise that BT Infinity is available in my postcode area.

Member
Patricia Mullin says:
14 July 2014

My BT broadband kept dropping this started last Wednesday after two lengthy calls and lots of the same tests on the Home Hub 3 they decided to send me a new Home Hub 4, it arrived today, July 14th, I have set it up and exactly the same problem occurs, if my laptop is next to it I have a signal if I move away to the desk I have worked at successfully for the last 15 months, then I have no connection. I think it is an exchange or line problem they insist everything is fine.

I despair of BT, I’ve had other problems in the past, they charged me for a phone line that I had stopped and it took over a year and the ombudsman to get back the £195 they owed me. I live in the Norfolk countryside and they appear to be my only option, they are a ghastly useless company.

Member

I’d look at what other electrical equipment you have that’s on in the general area, and if there’s a neighbouring wall, what does you neighbour have on?

Try switching off other electrical appliances to see if it one of those that’s interfering. And that includes phones.

It may not be anything like that, but good luck anyway.

Member

How can it be an exchange or line problem if moving the PC from the router changes things?

It is obviously a wireless issue.

Member
Mandeep says:
16 August 2014

I moved to my new address on 1st of august and today is the 16th of august I still don’t have broadband connection and mg phone lune is dead. I have raised so many complaints with BT and no one is willing to take ownership or giving me honest answers when this will be sorted I’m so furious and unhappy with the service I’m receiving from BT team. Their complaint team doesn’t have no time scale to resolve complains from customers. This had cause me do much distress and hassle spending everyday hours try and get the answer from BT when my internet and phone line will be connected.

Member
MCOD1999 says:
20 December 2014

Well my Broadband is sometimes good (getting promised speeds) but on weekends it drops to BELOW Dial-up speeds. I was once downloading a steam game at 67BYTES/S!!!!! NOT EVEN A killer byte!!!! It happens every weekend and not raging at BT I decide to write them a friendly email and they respond to me saying some rubish of using an ethernet cable which I would do BUT, Wireless is fine for me on weekdays it’s just weekends. BT just didn’t bother responding to me properly probably because they don’t care! Fiber has been delayed where I live so it is a long and painful wait. None of my friends get Broadband lag! Why should I have it? I REALLY HOPE A NEW COMPANY COMES ALONG AND BEATS BT! They need to up their game but they have no competition atm!

Member

If you have a problem with a wireless connection it’s worth trying a wired link to a computer with an Ethernet cable. If that works well it would suggest a problem with interference, which you might be able to identify as suggested above by William.

Interference problems can be solved by changing the channel used by the router.

Member
MCOD1999 says:
30 December 2014

Thanks for the advice I’m building a new PC soon and it will have a much better net card (up to 300mbps) which should help secure a more stable connection and I tried an Ethernet and nothing happened. I suggested changing channels to my dad but he doesn’t care and said it wont work. Any way I can change it without him?? (I don’t think he has set a password for the router)

Thanks again.

Happy New Year!

Member
BigStu09 says:
26 March 2015

I have suffered constant drop outs from BT Infinity 2 for seven weeks.
BT have no clue as to what is wrong.
Cable from cab to house is aluminum which is about fort years old and not designed for Broadband never mind Infinity.
Even when working relatively well speeds are no where near estimates.
Told upload would be between 6-7.9Mbps but told by engineer line only supports 2Mbps upload, they know the true speeds but lie to get you to sign up.
Britain used to lead the way in infrastructure but are now so far behind we will never catch up, whole phone/broadband network needs replaced right into customers properties along with new exchanges.

Member
Trev says:
29 April 2015

I have been trying to set up broadband for a friend since January 27 of this year. I have spoken to date to no less than 37 BT representatives both in this country and India. We have had the broadband working for less than 3 days in that time and that was because one of BT reps gave us someone else’s ID, in fact we could peruse all of their personal details and more. We have been told it’s a line fault, a junction box fault, a software fault and now we have been told that the line is still tagged from a previous provider and because the provider as changed hands that the line is also slammed. (whatever that might mean) I have cancelled on behalf of my friend who incidentally is over 80 years of age and I have to break the news to her that good old BT can not get her on line despite the promises that have been broken and she we probably have to pay £60 to set up another line. Progress bring it on.

Member
Bally says:
30 June 2016

Having problems with phone line crackling. this going on since Novemvber after heavy rain. Constantly in touch with both Plus net as broadband dropping out and noise. Dropping out increased when we received incoming calls. BT Indian calll centre constantly told us line tested no fault. Felt this was total b******t as when contacting Plusnet their contact centre could hear noise. Ongoing with all tests asked by both companies,changed filter ran direct connections with phone and broadband.

Came into contact with an old colleague who done me a favour . No internal fauklt but fault externally at groundfloor box 25 mts from the house. Indicated water ingress causing fault.

Got onto BT and after numerous assertive moments got an engineer out. He checked and found no faults internally but was overhead linesman not and underground engineer, he suggest that I contact BT and tell them this. Contacted the call centre and was told job was closed. Starting to become despondent with this crap and more b******t that I am being told. Also they kept ringing me on the landline phone and with the difficult I have in understanding them and the noise on the landline it became farcical.

Plus net ran tests and state fault is with incoming line BT of course deny this. We have finally after numerous texts , phone calls have another engineer visiting tomorrow. Now received text to inform us that following further test they have found an internal fault and if confirmed by engineer this will cost £129.99.

I have texted back to find out why the first engineer stated internal no fault but those in the call centre can find one, also asked what the fault was and guess what – no text back to inform me.

I will await with anticipation their visit tomorrow amnd report, but will certainly question this after readuing dozens of reports not only hear but all over the internet regard this the of service.

And if they think I will pay any fees for this service after suffering inconvience, loss of connection ,slow broadband they will be mistaken.

After 30 years of working within HMPs I have learnt when your are trying to be conned and BT are on the top of this list

Member

Hello Bally I was lucky to find you as this is an old Convo but let me give you my 19 years of working for BT —- I back you up 100 % !! I usually defend BT as people aren’t always right ,but you are not BT or Clive of India. I have repaired this fault so often because in my day we did the lot from home to exchange that if I had a £1 for every time I did it I would be a rich man . It IS an external fault UNLESS you are going to tell me you poured water/whisky / wine over the Master socket . So question #1- Have you removed everything from the master socket and plugged a phone in and is it still crackling ? #2- between the master socket and the the wiring that goes out your house has it been damaged or moved ? Other than that its external ,you are absolutely right when it rains it gets worse , you have either an overhead wiring fault or an underground cable fault or a bad connection at the box on the pole . The reason it tests okay is as you say water is affecting it , it could be the overhead brushing on a tree branch baring the wire allowing rain in or water getting into the box on the pole or the box on the wall or even getting into the underground cable but until that happens it will test okay . Bally why is BT so sure its an internal fault ?? do as I say plug your phone into the master socket if still noisy and you havent damaged the socket or wiring going out your house then its BT,s problem as they are liable for maintenance from the master socket back out the house . Do not let the engineer out of your sight WATCH everything he does ask questions its YOUR money thats involved . I want to help you get back quickly before he arrives please ! Only 2 % of the cases of crackling I have ever come across were internal due to people pouring liquid on sockets or hoovers damaging sockets . Time is short dont leave this . Even if you can get the engineer to post to me on Which I will reply if I can ,to tell me what he found.

Member
Mark says:
27 January 2017

I have been suffering with numerous disconnections (dropping) of my new superfast fibre connection from Plusnet. Previously I was a Plusnet ADSL customer and never suffered any drops. Now it seems that Plusnet have told me that i can experience up to FIVE drops in my connection a day as this is deemed acceptable by them and the wholesaler BT. Is this true?? I feel I am being fobbed off.

Member

Mark -Its not acceptable I am with BT and experienced many dropouts when FTTC was installed -turned out it was a High Resistance Dis(disconnection ) at the cabinet . Get a check using BT line checker and report the fault . Some of those faults are hard to locate took two engineers and a specialist to find the fault after the HH5 was changed and my internal wiring was checked /master socket/filter changed . Even your Plusnet website forum agrees with this have a look on it if it is real dropouts then your exchange equipment will be reset and you will lose speed for a while till, it stabilizes , if it is continual every day then you have a fault