/ Technology

The early bird catches the broadband

Working early

What’s your morning routine – a leisurely breakfast and a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee? Or do you make the most of the off peak broadband speeds to get your house or business in order? That’s the case for the locals living in Abererch, Gwynedd…

I’m sure we’ve all experienced the frustration of slow broadband – whether you’re paying your bills and checking your online banking or streaming your latest box set.

But getting up at 4am, because it’s the only time your broadband connection is reliable, to send emails and manage your business, just isn’t acceptable.

Access to superfast broadband

The broadband figures, revealed by the House of Commons, show seven of the top ten areas for the worst speeds in the UK are in Wales.

The government has recommended that the lowest acceptable download speed is 10Mbps, but Abererch was recorded as having a speed of just 2Mbps.

Liz Saville Roberts MP, for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said:

‘These figures serve to reaffirm the disproportionate divide between those areas which are able to access superfast broadband and those rural communities struggling to achieve the Government’s own baseline download speed.’

However, BT Openreach said:

‘Contrary to reports – the village of Abererch has had access to the fastest available broadband speeds in the UK since June last year. A majority of premises have access to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology– offering ultrafast speeds of up to 1Gbps, with further engineering work underway to connect up remaining properties.’

The reality of broadband speed

We are increasingly finding that the speeds promised by broadband providers are not always those experienced in reality. And this has become the motivation for our upcoming campaign – painting a true picture of broadband speeds across the UK and using that evidence to tackle the issue.

After successfully lobbying for misleading ‘up to’ advertising speeds to be changed over the last two years, we’re looking at what else can be done to tackle the frustration of poor speeds like those experienced by the people of Abererch, Gwynedd.

There will be more to come next week, but in the meantime, we thought you’d like a sneak preview of our new and improved speed checker and our new broadband speed complaint tool before we reveal all next week…

So, do you find your broadband sluggish? How do slower broadband speeds affect you?

Jenny Kenyon says:
1 April 2017

I lie a few miles inland from Criccieth, and have found the broad band speed has steadily deteriorated over the last few years, and these days it’s always intermittent, sometimes buffering films and not loading certain sites. This evening it’s not as bad as usual, and it registered a download speed of 3.6 on one occasion and 4.2 a while later.

There is no doubt that as soon as reliable broadband was installed a lot more traffic was generated and the more heavily capacity-consuming services like music downloads, streaming, games and interactive websites proliferated causing significant demand peaks which have to be smoothed out through the network by reducing speeds at popular times of day. The service providers are not innocent in this. Yes, they have used a lot of capital on rolling out fast broadband, but in order to get a return on their spending they are competing heavily against each other to deliver high-definition TV programmes and films that just eat up capacity. This explains BT’s massive buy-up of many popular sports events and series so that they can profit from their investment. They promise the earth but when subscribers have signed up long-term for a bundle they are often disappointed with the level of service actually available at their master socket.

1 April 2017

I couldn’t even get the test to run to check speeds. Yet i get charged the same as those who are benefiting from great broadband. Also bt keep putting the charge up. My contract states that bt pomises me zrto mg!,,,

We live near Cwmdu, Llandeilo. We just did the speed test and our download speed is .4 mbps. That’s .4, not 4. It takes up to 15 minutes to download an attachment in an email. Sometimes we can’t even get on the Internet during the day and we just give up. BT told us over a year ago that they’re putting in fibre optic cable but they don’t seem to be in any hurry to improve service to this rural area. We’re paying a shocking £16 per month for this diabolical service.

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Sheena says:
3 April 2017

Broadband – what Broadband?! We have to rely on WiFi Dongles!!

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Hello, Alex Neill (Which? Director of Home and Legal services) will be on BBC One’s The One Show between 7-730pm tonight to talk about broadband connectivity problems in the UK

I also am unable to get any broadband and have to pay more to access data through dongles!

What a joke, crying over 2mbps.
For 10 years my mum and dad at separate houses in the Dn173 are paid full costs and only received 0.800 Mbps.
Only when they upgraded to fiber optic could they get 10mbps my mum sometimes only gets 6mbps as Dn173 is at the end of the telephone lines. (Or as we are told).

My mum gets charged £70+ a month too fromBT

Have just checked my broadband speed. A very slow 1.19mps download. 0.19mps upload speed. Very disappointing!

I’ve just tested my broadband speed. It’s shocking at download speed 2.00 mbps and upload speed 0.6 mbps
We live in Llanfihangel-ar-arth 2 miles from Pencader. Pencader has fiber and we do not

Brenda Walker says:
4 April 2017

My friend lives just outside Castlewellan in Northern Ireland – over the past 4 years BT has been refusing to establish broadband in his area. So I agree with Sheena – never mind speed, what about BT getting to offer broadband in the first place.

Chris says:
4 April 2017

2 Mbps- luxury! I have been trying to build websites today using 5-600kbps download and 100kbps upload. We do not live in the middle of nowhere, but in the midlands, near Rugby, close to M1, M45 & M40. It’s about time we could claim a pro-rata rebate, based on what we get against what we pay for.

I feel you pain Bro.
How many cups of tea do you make when loading a page? I became obese because I had to fill the wait time with something lol.
Those kids don’t know the hardships of life! 2mbps is the dream when I was their age lol.
Best provider was virgin had 100mbps 6/7 years ago for £60 a month I think. But can’t get it where I live or where my parents live.

The U.K. Needs to up their game as 3rd world countries have better speeds!

Dave loosemore says:
4 April 2017

At my parents in wimbourne getting 2.1 down and 0.5 up, that’s with everyone’s phone and computers off, best I’ve seen it actually. Safe to say in today’s data hungry world it’s unusable.

I couldnt even perform a speed test! I dont live in the middle of nowhere. Everyone in my street has fibre optic to the door and i have asked for it a lot of times and they say its unavailable in my area. Whilst at least 5 of my neighbours and 2 of them either side of me has fibre optic. I have to go to the shopping mall to starbucks if i need to do something inportant. Its a disgrace in this day and age. really. £53 a month for nothing.

It’s not just wales! I live 6 miles from Portsmouth. PO7.
Internet is only available from BT 1.5 Mbs max, and quite intermittent. No options for fibre etc. About £30 per month. How can that be right when others pay the same and get very good service?

Lyn Gibbins says:
4 April 2017

We actually can’t get broadband and have to use mobile phone mast to get internet. We have been told many times we can get it but when BT come out to sort it we are then told we can’t get it. So we just wait and wait!

This tool does not work as I have tried so many times and all I get is cannot connect to the server,

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Acaster Malbis just 3 miles from York gets 0.5 Mbs if you are lucky. Some people have dumped the copper and taken up with a local company giving a minimum of 10 Mbs by line of site microwave. Not everyone can receive this though. BT were supposed to have put in fibre about 2 years ago, but still no sign of it.

I wish I was receiving 2Mbps (a fifth of the expected speed) After many complaints to my provider, BT and a BT Engineer visit to my property to check boxes and speed etc. etc. and a new BT HUB just installed my speed is now a magnificent 465Kbps, (0.465Mbps) … just over a fifth of the LOWEST speed in Britain. BT inform me that this is the best I can expect … but I still pay the same as those receiving 10 to 20 Mbps.
I just managed to get this message typed before I lost connection again … someone please help !!!

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