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Update: are you at breaking point with your broken broadband?

Fix Bad Broadband roadshow

The results of our nationwide broadband survey are in! Are you one of the many thousands putting up with bad broadband just because of where you live?

Update: 11 July 2017

Our Fix Bad Broadband roadshow has been a roaring success!

For the past two weeks, we’ve been visiting supporters in their hometowns hearing about their broadband problems. By taking our Fix Bad Broadband campaign on the road, we’ve been piloting whether these kind of events help us to reach more people, find new supporters and hear their powerful stories.

In Luton, for example, one new supporter told us that in his small village the internet connection was so bad that his business was failing to grow. It often took him well over an hour to check his emails as the connection would intermittently drop in and out. And sadly he told us the situation was causing him understandable financial hardship and emotional stress.

This is unfortunately not a unique story. The breadth of interest from communities and scale of concern from individuals continues to inspire us in our campaigning with you. We have many more stories like this and will be sharing some of them as the campaign ramps up.

To this end we also stopped at Parliament. During the day we spoke to 71 MPs about our Fix Bad Broadband campaign. They showed great enthusiasm to work with us and champion our broadband campaigning. Needless to say, we’re going to be continuing our conversations with MPs in an effort to get the voices of unhappy broadband customers heard in Parliament.

We also continued to promote our speed test tool during the roadshow. With 500,000 uses to date, we are building a clearer picture of problems across the UK, but we still need more in order to paint the fullest picture of the nation’s broadband health.

Thank you to all those who came out to see us. With your help we will improve the broadband service customers currently receive.

Original Convo: 27 June 2017

The UK’s best and worst broadband speeds have been revealed and the results make for very interesting reading.

The good, the bad and the almost there

Our speed test data analysis found the best-performing areas were Tamworth in the West Midlands, Reading, Adur in West Sussex, Enfield and Dundee City, in that order. However, those areas letting down residents as the worst-performing include the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Highlands, Ryedale in Yorkshire and Purbeck in Dorset. Average tests in these areas were all below 10Mbps.

The government’s own Universal Service Obligation suggests that the minimum download speed anyone should be experiencing is 10Mbps. However, our research shows that 12 areas, broken down in our research by local authority, aren’t quite achieving even this benchmark.

Of course, you may very well assume that many of the worst performing areas are going to be rural and for the most part, you’d be right. However, many residents living in some of the most built-up areas also lag behind the national average of 17Mbps. For example, speed tests taken in the London Boroughs of Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Hackney and the City of London all fall behind this download speed; a figure determined from our research.

Here’s a map of the best and worst locations for broadband coverage in the UK based on speed tests. How does your area fair?

Receiving a good broadband service can often be something of a postcode lottery but, aside from complaining to your provider until you’re blue in the face or moving house, there are of couple of other things you can do about it.

First and foremost. you can take our broadband speed test and log your results with us so we can continue to build on our current research. With over 400,000 uses, our tool is helping us create a complete picture of the UK’s broadband health. Click the button below to submit your speed.

Take our speed test

After you’ve done that, the next thing you can do is to come visit us on our roadshow!

Fix Bad Broadband roadshow

Over the next two weeks we’re going to be taking our broadband campaign on the road and we’re inviting you to come and speak to our team about the problems you face getting online.


Come and visit us when our Fix Bad Broadband van rolls into a town near you.

Our crack team of broadband boffins will be on hand to offer tips on how you can improve your under-performing connection, share details about our Fix Bad Broadband campaign and invite you to get involved, and listen to your stories so we can go to government, internet service providers and regulators with the real-world problems faced by customers all across the country.

Is your broken broadband holding you back? Tell us how slow internet affects your life in the comments below, but of course we’d much rather meet our valued supporters face-to-face on the Fix Bad Broadband roadshow.

Comments
Guest
Adrian says:
4 July 2017

No trust in any of the alleged communication providers. We live a mile from the exchange and have a regular visit from BT technicians (17) in the last year. Their main policy is the old chestnut about distance from the exchange. Our broadband is a joke, and the phone line ain’t much better. On the plus side the mobile signal has been improving slowly over the last few years. So with a bit of luck will be able to bin the garbage landline and just go mobile. Will need to invest in a large umbrella for those days when I will have to do the Vodafone boogie in the garden looking for my G. Oddly enough signal and broadband work perfectly for junk calls/texts and spam.

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Guest

Adrian I find it hard to believe that if you are a mile from the exchange , which means an even shorter distance from the cabinet that your broadband is so slow -less than 5Mbps , there is something wrong with this type of engineering logic , there must be other factors involved . As far as your Vodaphone signal is concerned thats Vodaphone,s problem and the positioning of their mast and signal strength. Could you provide some more data and information please ?

Guest
Colin RF Dean says:
5 July 2017

I live 2and half miles from the exchange and 2and half miles from the cabinet the cabinet that supplies me is just outside the door of the exchange but i cant complain I get on average 3to 4 Mbps and living in the middle of nowhere is very nice and I dont think I we stand much chance of ever seeing fibre except in our breakfast cereal lol

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Guest

Thats actually not bad for the distance you quote Colin , your line must be good and so must your internal wiring /router etc.

Guest
Philip says:
6 July 2017

What speeds ????
Some people have BT’s Emergency Aluminium cabling, put down in the 1970’s. This was due to unavailability of copper wiring from South Africa, due to a dispute with the South Africans at the time.
It is a good phone line, but of course, we don’t have any internet access. There are no signals, because the alumimum in not compatible with the internet.
BT won’t change these lines without cost, and they do cost. It would be nice if they offered free compatible internet wiring
It doesn’t matter to us personally, because we are happy using a 3 dongle instead.
We live in the Lincolnshire Wolds. A lot of houses here have alumium.
So people with slow internet speeds are very lucky. Some people don’t get the internet at all!

Guest
Michael Nicholson says:
6 July 2017

When your broadband test makes my download and upload speeds about the same (10 mb/sec) and when I test other broad band speed test systems which give me download speeds 4x the speed that you estimate I tend to suspect that you are wrong.

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Guest

Got to agree Michael something far wrong here. Telephone companies set the upload speed to their requirements,download is faster as thats what customers want unless you are a business where you need a fast upload speed .A clue here is that if a speed tester uses Flash (or equivalent ) then 30 % of the SLOWEST packets transferred will NOT count , if in doubt use a HTML5 tester .

Guest
Philip says:
6 July 2017

What speeds???
Some people have BT’s Emergency Aluminium cabling, put down in the 1970’s. This was due to unavailability of copper wiring from South Africa, due to a dispute with the South Africans at the time.
It is a good phone line, but of course, we don’t have any internet access. There are no signals, because the alumimum in not compatible with the internet.
BT won’t change these lines without cost, and they do cost.
It doesn’t matter to us personally, because we are happy using a 3 dongle instead.
We live in the Lincolnshire Wolds. A lot of houses here have alumium.
So people with slow internet speeds are very lucky. Some people don’t get the internet at all!

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Guest

Philip in the area I worked in aluminium cable was tried out -failed and copper re-instated so BT hadn’t run out of copper it was just cheaper (or so they thought ) .You are right there was a world shortage of copper and prices rose steeply and this applied to the electrical installation industry so check out that 1970,s house you bought . I absolutely agree aluminium is rubbish for many reasons in the communications low voltage industry . For a potted history from an electrical engineering website , spoken in a down to earth manner by those in that industry click on the IET website : http://www.theiet.org/forums/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=205&threadid=41112 .This might interest Wavechange ?

Guest
Hilary says:
6 July 2017

I live in a high speed area but can’t get it because when the service was installed in our village the uptake was underestimated and our provider is waiting for BT to do more work to allow more people to connect to the higher speed service. BT say we have to check every so often to see if they have done this. They cannot tell us when they’ll do it or inform us when it is done. Meanwhile our provider charges us more than if we were in a town because they say we are in a high cost area

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Guest

Give me more details Hilary -you are being charged more for your line than normal because you are in a “high cost ” area thats a new one on me . BT charge those that “piggy -back” their lines a set charge depending on whether they have fibre or not its built into the legislation on BT,s conditions of service to other iSP,s using BT,s network. You cant be charged more on the basis of getting fibre in the future only on your actual engineering position ,something not right here. Do you mean FTTC was provided to a part of the village but there is more than one street cabinet and yours hasn’t been uprated to fibre ? BT install FTTC on a basis of the number of customer that would use it as costs can be £25,000+ (upwards ) . Can you name the village you are in Hilary or even the exchange you come off plus who is your supplier ?

Guest
David says:
10 July 2017

I live less than 500m straight line from an FTTC enabled Exchange. However, while BT keep telling me it is available in my area, it is not. My phone line is direct to the Exchange and not via a street cabinet. So some may laugh that I am complaining that my 20Mb ADSL2+ connection is slow, however the technology limits the upload to 1Mb. This means that when more than one person uses the internet it is negatively impacted for both users. I challenge BT that enabling the Exchange and then moving on to the next without deploying the technology to all lines connected to the Exchange is unacceptable and poor practice. I live in a major city, there are no alternative technologies available to me. I sit, I wait….for how long? For the cost of 4G mobile broadband to come down I guess.

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Guest

To provide you with a faster speed would entail one of two things -#1- you are provided with FTTP or-#2- that the copper cable is interceded with a street cabinet/junction box , that would cost BT £25,000 upwards . ASDL+ is provided for those living close to the telephone exchange and you are on the higher bandwidth version . Many people would love your speed in rural areas and are the 5 % in areas like that (but not all ) . You on the other hand are the 5 % E/O lines , some have been helped by what I said about putting a cabinet between them and the exchange but only a few , your best bet is to push for FTTP where BT+HMG give help to pay for it under a grant scheme as I dont see BT providing it free as the 5 % in the country would “raise the roof ” saying -he has 20Mbps and we have only 1Mbps or less . Sorry its not good news David .

Guest
Larry Johnston says:
10 July 2017

There is a live cabinet in my village, and most residents have a good connection. My nearest neighbour , half a kilometre from me, receives about 35 megs, while my speed is 0.5, sometimes reaching a miraculous 1.0. BT say on a website that I am too far from the cabinet and that they are looking at ways of providing a service. They have said that for two years. I have consulted every organisation I can think of, but there is never any positive response. It seems to be impossible to get proper information. Only recently someone has said that my phone line is connected to another cabinet that is 5k away, but I have no way of checking, given the fact that neither BT nor Openreach will deal with personal matters.

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Guest

Larry going by your speed you are on a different cabinet to your neighbour but I am surprised that BT wont help you , well I will thats what I am here for. You can check this out very easily on the BT Broadband Availability Checker , just input your telephone number in the top box and click on the submit box . At the top you will see your cabinet number and the current position of your line as regards fibre (FTTC ) or not. YEs it will work I just tried it on another browser its : https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html please get back will any query on this as I am not happy BT didn’t at least tell you about it or provide you with details about your line . Also log into MY BT and you will get your personal details on your telephone package and calls .

Guest
Linda McCulloch says:
12 July 2017

Wet live within 10 miles of gchq in a house built last year and a new unfinished road surface and our average speed from BT is 2.5 Mbps. Why wasn’t adequate broadband cabling installed during the build?

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Guest

Linda if you live on a new housing estate then the builders didn’t want to help to pay BT for upgrading their telephone lines nor did any other private telephone company in Britain as they have the legal right to do thereby allowing them the legal right to be part of the new estate . If your new home is isolated and not part of
an estate then you will be served off of existing telephone connections . GCHQ Communications are NOT supplied via normal means like the public for National Security reasons that an enemy could blow up a street cabinet etc to put them out of action. Could you name the exchange you come off Linda so that I can check its progress , I can assure you THAT wont be a state secret as most are publicly available to check into ?

Guest
Beverley Turner says:
12 July 2017

It is bad enough living with poor internet speeds (I appreciate that we are luckier than sum in having a connection at all and our speeds are poor – c 4 mbs when I did your test, though not the very lowest) – but why do we have to pay such large amounts for the privilege of having such a poor service? Time after time when I have been excited by some new broadband deal I have been disappointed as it is not available on our exchange. No deals, no choice, and high prices for a poor service is all that we are left with. Why are exchanges like ours ‘not open to competition’ as I have been told under the latest deal that I cannot benefit from?

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Guest

Hello Beverley BT telephone exchanges are “open to competition ” as you state its called Unbundling and its part of Telecommunications Act which means there is nothing stopping private companies installing their own equipment in BT,s exchanges and most do . The problem is those private companies dont want to pay for the upgrading of the exchanges to fibre enabled they want BT to pay and then they reap the benefits . The majority of exchanges have been upgraded by BT as of -2017 . There are plenty of big countries round the world where the national carrier is the original government owned one for various reasons , one being -national security , there are more. You pay for the maintenance and upkeep of your line , which in long lines cases is actually a lot more maintenance intensive due to the much longer distance but if you will tell me the exchange you come off I could check into ot for you.

Guest
John Collard says:
12 July 2017

We live about 300 yds from the Cabinet in our village (no idea where our local exchange is).
Fibre to the Cabinet, Copper wire to the house.
I seem to recall BT offered “Up to 76 mbps Download”.
According to the Which? Speed check (once – today), I get about 80mbps Download, according to BT Speed check (over several months) I get about 55 mbps Download.
However, after doing the Which? Speed check I was offered nothing local from BT with which to compare.

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Guest

John according to my graph + statistics which I have stored on my PC what BT offered is right on the mark for your distance , Which speed tests are a bit “generous ” shall we say (politely ) .Local lines dont run as “the crow flies but twist and turn to get to your nearest pole DP (box on pole ) add to that even though you are told (fibre doesn’t get overhearing/noise etc–take my word for it it does !) so congestion can still occur on fibre lines as well as interference with each other plus your local copper line might be heavily used dropping your speed . You still have to eliminate internal problems so plug your router into the master socket using a LAN cable (not Wi-Fi ) after unplugging your internal wiring and check out your speed over a day or so , then get back and let me know.

Guest
Stephen Smith says:
12 July 2017

Hi there. I have a caravan in Pluckley in Kent and i have no connections at all ,no mobile and no broadband. maybe you can help us in your campain.

Regards.

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Guest

Stephen-Speaking personally a caravan being mobile (or in a caravan park -fixed caravan ) does not come under any Act of Parliament forcing an ISP /telephone company to provide you with service . Your best bet is Satellite or microwave radio communications , but if WHICH knows better ?? Vodaphone do just that -satellite for caravans and so does a motor-homes company , be aware it COSTS !

Guest
Kevin Oubridge says:
12 July 2017

Our download speed is 6.5 mbps, which is about half the average for Shropshire. Our main problem is that it regularly drops out. Other problems are that, to ensure our internet calls stay connected we have to turn off video and make sure nobody else is using the broadband for anything else.

Our upload speed is 0.9 mbps, which isn’t quite good enough for a VOIP line that doesn’t drop out all the time, so we’ve had to cancel our VOIP contract.

I have investigated a number of times upgrading to superfast but the various engineers I have spoken to have said it isn’t available and, on two occasions, they said it is available but our superfast speed would be 1.5 mbps, which is less than a quarter of the our current speed, so should actually be called superslow.

Slow and flaky broadband isn’t harming our business at the moment, although it is inconvenient. However, I am concerned that the situation will get worse rather than better, particularly when we start using more broadband based services and those services require increasingly higher speeds.

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Guest

Kevin it drops out for several reasons -#1- the loop resistance of your line is large-IE- its a long run of cable -#2- congestion lowering the noise rejection threshold-#3- you have an intermittent fault on your line noticeable during bad weather -#4- you have an internal fault -Wi-Fi – internal cables , computer ,etc . Connect up your router with a LAN cable and plug it ito your master socket after removing the internal wiring and test that for a day. Surprisingly , due to the way FTTC works you are sometimes actually better off on copper if you have a very long line so the BT engineers are correct. 6.5 Mbps was approx. what I got till it was upgraded to FTTC but there again I am only a short distance from my cabinet. Have they told you there are no faults on your line ?

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Guest

I live in an area where cable broadband from Virgin and fibre broadband from BT are readily available. However I live in a block of flats which only have copper telephone cables installed. Consequently we are only able to get a maximum of 3Mb/s internet speed while our neighbours next door can get up to tens of times faster. Our landlord is unwilling to do anything about it. Openreach is not going to do anything about it. Can anyone suggest how I can get faster internet service without moving home?

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Guest

Your situation presents engineering and legal problems HM1000 so I will need more information from you . You mention Virgin is it Virgin OR BT who provides your neighbours line ? Virgin have nothing to do with Openreach because they dig their own cable ducts and provide their own own underground cables and cabinets so your flats are either BT fed OR Virgin who usually have a contract to install them gaining a monopoly on the installation . If you mean another block of flats then that is a different situation in regards legal access by a company to provide it . The actual building owners have the power to deny any telephone company from installing lines to flats–if they want , neither BT nor Virgin can force entry . Your first course of action is to find out who services the building in communications but if your landlord refuses to allow anybody to install new equipment then there is nothing legally you can do.

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Guest

Thanks for your reply. I understand BT and Virgin are two different companies. Both are serving this area. I reckon the real problem here is neither the landlord nor any telecoms company is willing to pay for the cost of the extra installation inside the building. You are right that there is nothing I can do here.

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Guest

Thats the problem with flats , in the basement is a frame for the telephone lines to come into and the wiring is fed to each flat but under the Telecommunications Act all internal wiring belongs to the owner of the building as they pay a company to run it , not necessarily BT. Just the same as a single house has internal wiring that is the responsibility of the home owner the separation point is the master socket and in flats its the incoming frame from a direct feed under the ground so after the frame belongs to the owner . I have installed and wired up many flats there is a bit of work involved as most owners want the wiring hidden and piped in with conduit and then decorate the place covering up the wiring + piping and refuse to allow it to be touched as it would cost a lot of money to put back again and re-decorate .

Guest
Douglas Wragg says:
12 July 2017

I have just used the speed test, and the results are:-
Response time = 240ms
Download speed = 7.0 Mbps
Upload speed = 2.9 Mbps

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Guest

I would not rely on that figure Douglas try : http://beta.speedtest.net/

Guest
Moira says:
12 July 2017

I did the Which speediest and obtained a download of 3Mbps – this is in urban Berkshire! I sent the letter advising that the speed falls far short of the advertised “up to 17Mbps” and only since then I have experienced interference on my emails and phone!! I have complained constantly since November 2016 but came to the eventual conclusion only a fibre service will resolve the issues- is this true or should I look elsewhere for the supply of broadband? The one offered also appears to be among the most expensive! I am so disillusioned, being taken advantage of.

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Guest

It sounds like your cabinet has been upgraded to FTTC otherwise they could not offer you that service Moira . The first thing to find out is how far you are from the street cabinet so that a calculation of your eventual approx.speed can be judged. Every cabinet has a number to find yours go to : https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/adsl.htm?s_cid=ws_furls_adslchecker input telephone number and click on box saying -submit the cabinet number will be at the top. If it is BT that is the dearest then remember -all that glitters is not gold as others have hidden disadvantages but if money is number one then choose somebody else. Get back Moira.

Guest
John Henderson says:
13 July 2017

We are 30 miles from Central London in aChilterns village where we have an average speed 2.5 mips download. We are 2 miles from exchange, BT / Open Reach say they have no plans to upgrade us. We have a verbal preliminary quote of £45,000 (amongst about 30 users) to install a new box in the village. How come we have to pay for what the great majority get ” free”?

To add insult to injury, for the last 18 months our home has had a problem on our BT broadband where’s the broadband disconnects when the phone rings. This is a real pain when doing banking. 7 engineers have been and gone since last October and the problem remains. We have had numerous new filters, 4 new routers and a complete new house phone system without success.

Why should I pay for a service which is partially broken. BT won’t let me speak to Open Reach (an independent company) which BT tell me is not public facing. It’s a complete scandal. To add insult to injury, Open Reach turn up in a van with the words “Super fast broadband” on the rear. I suggest they should be forced to cover these words up and have “slow broadband” displayed whenever they enter areas where speed is less than 10mips.

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Guest

John you lose your broadband when the phone rings due to the high loop resistance of your telephone line -IE- you are a long way away from the exchange . It can also occur when you have a fault in your outside wiring anywhere from the overhead wiring to the exchange called “ringing on a dis ” meaning the current flowing in the cable breaks down a bad connection and your line is cut off . In your case the line is not cut off as telephone can operate under adverse conditions but not broadband (noise etc ) .This fault is very hard to spot as it wont usually show up in tests but requires each part of the line checked out including the cabinet connections . I would recommend your overhead wiring is tested first , the non-scientific way I tested it is to grasp the wire and waggle it that usually works by breaking down the fragile connection – cure renew overhead -second go to the cabinet and re-terminate the connections -thirdly – check exchange connections. £45,000 is not bad for FTTC it could be up to £100,000 but please make sure you are all part of he government +BT grant scheme first . Your alternative is microwave radio , a receiver placed on a high point in your village and dishes fitted externally to your property , many companies in England provide this service boasting – 100Mbps . Thinking about it as an ex BT employee I would think you have a genuine fault but proving it is another thing.

Guest
Roger says:
15 July 2017

Hi John, We also live in the Chilterns. In our case we are some 7 km of abraided copper cable from our exchange we get less than 0.5mb/sec down that ! Fortunately we can see from our chimney a good 4G providers mast a couple of KM away and get good 4G data from that. As far as pressure on BT is concerned they just hate competition. For our saga see https://connect8.org/
Good luck

Guest
JMO says:
14 July 2017

We cannot get broadband where we live – we are about 4-5 miles from the nearest exchange, but apparently our phone line is on the exchange that’s further, about 9 miles away. As we’re in a dip we cannot get satellite broadband either so we have to rely on adequate (lags if trying to do anything heavy), but relatively expensive 3G dongles which have a maximum of 40 GB per month. This isn’t ideal with 3 teenagers and a main self employed business run from home, plus a part time second self employment. We’ve tried many things over the years, and are frustrated that nearly EVERYTHING is referred to online. Helplines, including government, always advise online solutions, schools assume their students can look up and download anything, and many pages we open now have ads and graphics embedded that contribute to using our data up quite quickly, probably assuming everyone has unlimited. We had been paying for landline, dongle, top ups to dongle when we run out, and mobile phones with mobile data (not great signal). We’ve just cancelled our landline, despite it being a main business number, because we can no longer justify it.

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Guest

JMO that valley you are in must be very deep , the elevation angle ( approx ) is 20 degrees to 26 degrees in the UK . The further North you go the lower the angle , I live in the north and my dishes face my cottage in a generally SSE direction which is 30 yards from my cottage and has large bushes there , even so I can easily pick up Eurobird at 28.5 degrees East as well as Astra -2 at 28.3 degrees East / Astra 1- at 19. 2 degrees East (German satellite / European ) also Hotbird at -13 degrees East of the Prime Meridian .There again I am using large dishes , much larger than the normal SKY/ etc ones . Are you sure you cant pick up satellite ?? if the dish is mis-aligned even a degree or so there can be no signal , both the vertical and horizontal alignment is critical as well as skew . One UK company say around 30 degrees elevation and for their satellite – 9 degrees East , -IE must face South . Astra -2f covers England +Wales broadband for example thats part of Astra-2 -I quoted above thats one thats used as well . You haven’t mentioned microwave radio broadband thats another option . If you need any help on this I can provide more engineering detail , can you narrow down your location so I can help you ?

Guest
Stephen Sp says:
14 July 2017

How about Which campaigning for this idea. Mobile internet speeds in some areas are better than will ever be delivered by ADSL (copper) or Fibre. If eg BT only offers ADSL in an area e.g. Less that 5MB/s…. but mobile delivers 50 MB/s. But mobile packages are more expensive and capped. So let’s have a law which says mobile internet should be sold at same rates to fibre … say a price per megabit….to those houses/businesses who can’t get fibre. Or where fibre performance is say 70% or less of advertised rates. Not for use on phones but for wifi routers for home/business use. Let’s face it for our home internet we don’t care how it’s delivered, only how fast it is.

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Guest

Stephen much as I sympathies with your post , reality strikes in the shape of money/profit /hire etc for those companies using satellites the satellite owners charge high rates to the companies renting use of their satellites for very technical reasons , which I am sure nobody wants me to go into. One satellite transponder can cost $2 Million /year to rent or one quarter of a transponder -$500,000 /year for 36Mbps its down to bandwidth and a lot of other perimeters and yes I have down loaded a satellite companies charges to satellite broadband sellers. In any case you can see why they charge so much . Mini satellites are the latest thing but for the public who dont spy on whether your neighbor is scratching his nose they wont be generally available at this minute although they probably will be in the future. I can supply more financial costs if asked ?

Guest
Derek says:
16 July 2017

I live just over 2 miles from the BT exchange and less than 100 yards from the distribution cabinet for my house. My current speed is supposed to be “up to” 17Mb/s.
My broadband speed, when performing well, is about 3.1Mb/s. The usual speed is around 2Mb/s, with regular drop-outs. Reliability is a complete non-starter. Online television is out of the question. But I am having to pay the same as everyone else.
My daughter, living about twice the distance from the SAME exchange, has fibre service, with speeds far above mine.
I applied for fibre, when available, over 5 years ago, when it was first mooted by BT. Before that a “superfast” copper service was promised for the area, but after regular 6 monthly slippages, this was quietly forgotten.
My cabinet has recently become fibre-enabled but, surprise surprise, I have been informed the “limited fibre connections” have already been exhausted. No expansion is in prospect.

Guest
Bob Wareham says:
16 July 2017

We are with sky internet and pay £40.0 per month with a maximum speed of 3.5gb

Guest
Elaine says:
17 July 2017

I have Literally been reduced to tears by my BT Broadbannd. Download Speeds of 0.3Mb are actually reasonable for my line, but they have been 0.023Mb, but it is the fact that it drops out several times a day on a good day, and 10-15 times an hour on a poorish one. Of course, that does not take into account the days when I am begging them to reboot the line from the Exchange, but they are telling me that the engineer needs to access my home. They don’t. They never do, it ALWAYS just needs rebooting at the exchange, and they can do it from their desk, if they want to.
I have begged the engineers to try to get something done. They sympathise, but that means Openreach spending MONEY. BT tell me that there is No Point in their requesting Openreach to take action on the 10 local lines which all have the same difficulties – Openreach is “Contractually Bound” to take no notice (I kid you not!) and my MP has sent me a copy of the local plans to improve the Broadband, which, ironically, are NOT including our homes in their improvements!
I have been advised that, in order to get a better Broadband service the only option is for me to move house. Regrettably, the loss in value caused by the Broadband service means that it will cost me tens of thousands of pounds in lost home value, and although I could, theoretically, get satellite broadband, it would cost me £400 this year, more next, and I am receiving disability benefits which do not allow such luxuries.
All this may seem that I hold a grudge against BT, but the reverse is actually true. Before I became disabled I worked for them, and receive a pension from them! All I Really want is to receive a decent service, the broadband service which I have been paying.
Am I REALLY expecting too much in 2017?

Guest
MC says:
19 July 2017

In the latest issue of the magazine the Which? Fix Bad Broadband campaign highlights slowest broadband speeds of 6.3Mbps. I’m afraid there are speeds a lot lower than that and you need to highlight the fact. Our speed here in north Northumberland is less than 1Mbps. Yes, less than 1!!! And no immediate prospect of any improvement Get real Which?

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Mike Rees says:
19 July 2017

I am on BT Infinity and I used the Which Broadband speed checker. My speeds were woefully less than my contract even after trying the suggested remedies. I then complained to BT and had a phone call I assume from someone in India. In the end I was given a choice either make sure the fault was not within my home or PC or have engineer call out at cost of just under £130 if the fault was deemed to be in my house I would have to pay this sum. So take the gamble was the message. I was not prepared to be put in that position and will be withdrawing from BT. I think that is shocking considering how much I pay each month

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Ken Moore says:
19 July 2017

my son lives in a new build in bishopstoke Hampshire and your speed test shows download speed of less than 1MB and upload crashes or measures 0MB using Sky who advertise as UP TO 38mb download and 1oMB upload . His internet is unusable.

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

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Ken: I’d edit your post above to remove the postcode.

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I think house-builders and estate agents should carry out a reliable and independent broadband speed test on properties being sold and include it in their particulars of sale.

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John on new estates the owners of the land /house builders are given the opportunity to ask BT for service or Virgin Media . The deal is that BT comes in and lays cables into the street while the builder can employ private companies to dig ducting into the homes so that cable can be laid , also ( if they will pay for it ) a FTTC if it is not already in the area. In doing so BT ask other providers for financial help to pay for installation , most times its denied so BT/Virgin media then have exclusive rights over that estate . On the other hand if it is a new build on its own in an established area the service is taken from the nearest BT DP ( distribution point -black box on pole ) which could be a long distance away depending on the position of the house build from other homes , this will mean or could mean slow speed . So if the builder wants maximum profit they will use the cheapest method –the nearest pole so they know it wont be a good selling point to emphasis the rubbish speed.

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I appreciate what you are saying, Duncan. Our house was a new-build purchase four years ago so we are aware of how the cable providers operate and how sharp the house-builders are. BT installed the cables on our small development and we have FTTP and no complaints. We do not subscribe to BT Infinity as the ordinary service is good enough for our requirements. I have never checked the broadband speed because there is no need to – it is always adequate. I feel, however, given how important a good broadband service is these days for most residents, it ought to be a standard inclusion in property details to give an actual speed reading. Many estate agents do comment on broadband speed in their particulars but only in generalised terms, and – as you say – only where it is a positive feature. But when considering a pre-owned house a prospective buyer can ask the agent for more information or actually ask the owner for a check reading. When buying a brand new property the purchaser has to rely on what the house-builder [or their agent] says or doesn’t say. I realise there is a problem with readings from different on-line checkers not necessarily being reliable or comparable with other readings, but what people need to know is not necessarily the exact reading at a particular time but the speed range from a minimum to a maximum in bands such as: Under 10Mbps at all times, 5-10 Mbps at all times, 10-20 Mbps at all times, and so on. I would expect new fibre services to have high capacity and good speed from new but it will depend on the number of properties they will serve [some of which might not have been built yet], and also on whether they connect to a cabinet upstream that is already at or near breaking point. It seems to me that fibre is a slippery eel in the hands of marketing people and telecom service providers – including BT and Virgin – and that home buyers are entitled to reliable information and support whether it is for a new or a pre-owned property.

When the house-builder’s on-site representative takes potential customers around the show home, or the shell of the next release, they can open a tap and prove that the plumbing and drains work, and they can flick a switch and show that the lights work, but they can never demonstrate the broadband service because the property is not connected. With luck the sales rep might allow a customer to check the speed on the computer in their showroom but that line might not be coming off the same cabinet as the properties currently for sale.

This is not the biggest problem that needs solving with slow speed broadband but I feel it would repay serious attention. For some purchasers it might be significantly more important than the location of the nearest school with a good Ofsted rating.

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Dr David Croot says:
22 July 2017

We live in Wiltshire, and according to the data, should have superfast broadband. Unfortunately Openreach and Wiltshire Council mis-measured the distance from the exchange to our hamlet of 30 houses and we have appallingly slow and unreliable broadband (2 Mbps maximum). For the past 6 weeks our internet has been non-existent. After innumerable phone calls to BT and tests from their end which apparently showed we have 2.4 Mbps we were sent an engineer to test from our end. He wrote a report to the effect that we have NO broadband. A second engineer arrived from Openreach some weeks later who again tested the line from our end, went to the cabinet and the exchange and confirmed that we have no connection and that it is a provider problem (BT). Report submitted, but no action taken. Our latest attempts to get them to address the problem have resulted in no further action apart from the offer of a token rebate of 35pounds. We have tried to get released from our contract on the grounds that they are not providing the minimum service level, but have been told that we have to pay a release fee of 85 pounds. We have now resorted to satellite broadband, which is slow and costly (like the old dial-up). We are told we may get fibre in 2018…….
Conclusions:
1. Do not believe the simplistic data that is bandied about as it hides the reality and
2. will someone please tell BT customer services to at least believe their own engineers reports and take ACTION!

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My understanding is that if a speed lower than their guaranteed speed is consistently provided then you can cancel the contract. Advise you to stop the direct debit and contact Ofcom.

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Ewan says:
25 July 2017

A house we are looking at, which is otherwise great, has a line speed (according to Sky, BT and EE) of 2.5mbps. Despite this, on the openreach checker it states “superfast accepting orders”. I can’t get a straight answer as to why this is, and can only assume that openreach are talking nonsense – which of course makes it look like they are providing good coverage. Plusnet told me I was in a “FTTP enabled area”, however the two FTTP providers (BT and Virgin) told me that they couldn’t provide FTTP to the address. We are used to 52mbps+ so dropping to 2.5 will be a real struggle I think. Is that even fast enough to watch a Youtube video?

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I should also add that the Openreach checker states that the address is FTTC, so…I have no idea what the truth is.

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Hello Ewan ,your first post is nearly correct and the official line is quote- if the lowest consistent speed (continually ) is lower than the bundle you are paying for you can drop to a lower or basic bundle or cancel the contract with no financial loss to yourself (contract broken due to non-compliance ) . If , in your case you are speculating on a house purchase then you did rightly by checking out the broadband conditions . By saying an exchange is “fibre enabled ” is not a legal admittance that every line +cabinet coming off it is also fibre enabled , the same as ,if a cabinet is fibre enabled FTTC it does not guarantee that every subscriber coming off it will get high broadband speeds . This is due entirely to engineering logistics -IE- the further you are away from the cabinet the slower the speed , even FTTC slows down dramatically over a mile distant and at 2 miles or more is getting down to copper figures . FTTP costs a lot of money and both BT+Virgin will not supply it if its only individual customers applying UNLESS you are a bona fide business customer and even there they must pay. In your case , if you say its FTTC enabled to YOUR address then the nice house you were looking at must be 2 miles or more from the cabinet you come off (regardless of other cabinets . You are not allowed to post your (home ) address on Which for obvious reasons so I cant be more precise . ONe saving grace is if its in the North B4RN will provide fibre to the nearest road and you install fibre to your home with the help of neighbours friends . https://b4m.org.uk/ excellent company for rural areas even the Americans are amazed at it – British owned / British run very good reputation – fastest rural broadband in the WORLD for FTTP — 1000 Mbps ( their words ) -nobody has challenged this -yet . .

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bishbut says:
4 August 2017

Just blame someone else if you can No one wants to take responsibility for any faulty thing .Not just broadband

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helen says:
4 August 2017

I have spent weeks, two engineer visits, endless phone calls and a new BT Hub4, which I was assured would increase my upload speed. None have increased my upload speed, despite repeated promises. I work from home and need to upload data, speeds are currently only 1Mbp, while the download is >6Mbp. Yesterday I was told that upload is not BT’s responsibility. How can that be? Surely BT has some responsibility.

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Helen, have you done a speed test? What are the results?

A link to the Which? broadband speed test:
https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/

Another one:
http://www.speedtest.net/

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Domestic broadband is asynchronous and upload speeds are often as low as a tenth of the download speed, the reason being that most people download more data than they upload. That’s no help to Helen or to gamers, who need a decent upload speed. Fibre broadband is still asynchronous (well mine is) but at least it will give better upload and download speeds. Faster broadband will overcome Helen’s problem and many more.