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Slow broadband - network problem?

Posts: 14,503
Thanks: 5,507
Fixes: 31
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Slow broadband - network problem?


TPE - long time since I've seen these discussed - thought it was called a Tied Pair Exchange!! Embarrassed


Looking at some of the other questions, I have just spent about an hour and a half running speed tests … and I am starting to doubt the dependability of the measuring systems.  I know that some review of the BTw speed test results was undertaken recently - what did that conclude?

I ran speed tests to four test services using three different browsers - the results are disconcerting!  Nothing is consistent! 

The figures below are DS/US, they were run randomly across the 3 browsers and the 4 providers.  Accepted they are over WiFi (not practical to do over ethernet at the moment.

  • Win10 Edge
    • BT
      • 7.9/3.8 - 8.4/3.7 - 8.4/3.7
    • AAISP
      • 11.6/4.3 - 10.0/4.1 - 11.7/4.2
    • Think Broadband
      • 2.1/2.5 - 1.1/2.5 - 2.1/2.2
    • FAST
      • 7.0/3.6 - 8.8/3.2 - 8.1/3.5
  • Chrome
    • BT - Cannot run this on Chrome - Yes / No radio buttons cannot be selected
    • AAISP
      • 18.7/4.1 - 21.7/4.0 - 18.0/4.2
    • Think Broadband
      • 14.2/3.9 - 16.9/3.6 - 10.4/3.1
    • FAST
      • 8.6/3.6 - 15.0/3.3 - 9.9/3.4
  • Internet Explorer
    • BT
      • 16.4/3.7 - 14.4/3.7 - 12.2/3.7
    • AAISP (does not display results graphically - this is the text version)
      • 11.5/4.0 - 12.3/4.2 - 21.6/4.0
    • Think Broadband
      • 6.3/1.8 - 9.4/1.7 - 7.9/1.6
    • FAST
      • 14/2.9 - 22/3.5 - 22/3.6

There is no consistency here:

  • Think Broadband reports better on Chrome
  • BT will not run on Chrome, reports best on the old IE browser
  • FAST is fairly consistent on Edge & Chrome, reports better on IE
  • AAISP reports best on Chrome

Whilst these tests are not as controlled as they might be, I suggest that they give grounds for concern.

Gandalf - has there been any "lab" work done on examining the results returned by different speed test providers, running on different browsers in a controlled environment?  Unless there can be confidence in the measuring systems / methods, ISPs are going to be spending time chasing red herrings.

Synch speed is an absolute measurement; as soon as one starts to measure the shipment of data (useful utilisation) so much more comes into play...

  • Performance capability of the PC
  • Data transfer handling methodology of the PC client application (data package size, ability to use available xDSL capacity...)
  • Capacity and performance of the back haul
  • Capacity and performance of peering links to speed test platforms
  • Performance of the speed test platforms

Superuser citation

This topic has been cited by one of the Superusers; the purpose of which is to provide a note for information which might help to focus continued discussion (but might not result in a staff response).


Community Veteran
Posts: 26,785
Thanks: 985
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Slow broadband - network problem?

The OP posted a TTB speed test on those forums:


x1 test far slower than x6 points in an obvious direction!

jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£14.40/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Posts: 28
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎16-04-2018

Re: Slow broadband - network problem?

In the end we gave up with this and I switched provider to a small relatively unheard of company.

This problem did initially follow me to the new provider, but what my new provider lacked in communications, they made up for in their ability to actually get the problem sorted.

Two days after the switch date, I managed to speak to my new provider on the phone (it took an hour to get through to the new provider, which was disappointing compared to Plusnet who had taken to calling me at every juncture) and at the end of another half hour phone call all I got was a promise that a service manager would call me back same day to discuss.

About a week later, I still hadn't heard anything back, but the problem had been resolved. Eventually I phoned them back to find out what what happened, and they confirmed that they had asked their supplier to make some change to a setting on the line - and that seems to have resolved the problem.

Around the same time, we also discovered that you can make a complaint directly to Openreach, so we submitted a complaint directly to them round about when we switched provider, but Openreach just sent us the standard response that we have to contact our ISP.

So who knows what happened here. Plusnet's complaints team were excellent though.