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180 kbps on Broadband Plus—Help!

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180 kbps on Broadband Plus—Help!

A couple of months a ago, I subscribed to PlusNet Broadband Plus. At first it was very good; on the 12th March, the speed was 1889 kbps. PlusNet and BT told me that my line was only capable of 2mb, but until you use the service, these numbers are meaningless.

Having experienced 1889 kbps, If I could get this speed regularly, with no disconnections, I'd be happy. Sadly, after the 12th March, everything went downhill. During the last 2 weeks, the average speed has been around 475 kbps. This morning, the PlusNet speed was 334.8. This afternoon, the speed on BTMax is 476.

On the 28th March, the speed was 180.3 kbps.

On top of this, I can't get, or keep a connection. Most days, it can take 5 or 6 attempts to access the service. I've just been trying to run the BT Broadband Tester, but the connection dropped 4 times. I've run other tests, as suggested by PlusNet support, but the service remains as bad as before. The only test I haven't done is the one which requires you to repeat the test at different times. I can't rely upon getting online when I want to and the tests are very time-consuming.

I'm not happy. I'm paying for 8mb, but getting less than a quarter of the expected 2mb. I'm not greedy, but an average speed of 475 kbps and regular disconnections is not good enough.

Can PlusNet or BT do anything to improve the situation? Are people like me who live in rural areas only ever going to receive a second-rate service?

The only device plugged into my iMac is the Voyager 105 USB Modem supplied by PlusNet. The modem is connected to a standard BT 'phone socket via the cable and splitter supplied by PlusNet. There are no extension cables to extra 'phones.

Thanks,

Ian
5 REPLIES
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

180 kbps on Broadband Plus—Help!

Hi,

Looking at your line speed history from BT it's all over the place, most recently dropping down to 576kbps, but it has been as high as 7Mbps.

The way that Max works is that the throughput speed rate is set based on your sync rate, when the sync rate decreases the throughput decreases straight away, if the sync rate increases it takes 3-5 days for the throughput to increase.

I could be wrong here, but I'm wondering if the key here is that you are using the Voyager 105 on a Mac with Max.

First question are you using Tiger (10.4.x)? And is the iMac a PowerPC Mac?

To check click the Apple Menu and About this Mac. If yes to both questions then you probably need an updated driver which you can get from here (Mac OSX Tiger/MaxDSL driver):

http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/hardware/index.shtml

Make sure you've Stuffit Expander, then unplug the modem and run the uninstall (Mac HD -> Applications -> Voyager 105 Modem -> Uninstall), reboot then follow the installation file.
N/A

Drivers upgraded

Thanks, Dave,
Yes, I'm using OS 10.4.8 on a 2ghz G5 iMac. The drivers on the link you provided are listed as;
Driver version 1.02.0003E-A (Mac OSX.x). The installer is version 1.0.12

I unplugged the modem, uninstalled, installed the new drivers and logged on without any problems, but according to the PlusNet Speed test page, the current speed (after installing the new drivers) is still only 486.70 kbps.

BT Max
In an e-mail response to an earlier query I made about poor performance, PlusNet Support said this;

'Your telephone line uses a service called BT max which uses the total bandwidth of your telephone line to connect to our services at the fastest possible speeds. This can be up to 8MB but is dependent on the contention of your line and the speeds that your local telephone exchange will support. Currently your local exchange supports up to 2MB, as BT upgrades this exchange you will experience faster speeds.'

The Mac Setup Guide on the web, not the PDF, says;
'At no point does the Voyager 105 lose synchronisation with the DSL line. These problems only occur with Broadband Max'. 'You can resolve all these problems by downloading and installing the following drivers'.

I did this, but still had problems.

This might be very interesting, but it's all theory. What do I do?
------------------------------------------------------------

Concerning sync, you said 'The way that Max works is that the throughput speed rate is set based on your sync rate, when the sync rate decreases the throughput decreases straight away, if the sync rate increases it takes 3-5 days for the throughput to increase.'

That's as clear as mud.

The 'Throughput speed rate' seems to be another name for the current broadband speed. According to the Connection Settings page it's 1000 kbps.

Is there an online application that tells me what the current 'sync rate' is? Can you expand on this a little?

I'll try disconnecting and reconnecting the modem once a day for 3 days to see what happens, but what if the performance is still poor?

By the way, I've been online for 2 hours without a dropped connection.

Ian
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

180 kbps on Broadband Plus—Help!

If my memory of the Voyager 105 is correct in the same folder as the uninstall program on the Mac HD should be a status application which I think will tell you the sync rate.

The fact that the line has been stable I think means that the driver upgrade has worked however it's going to take 3-5 days for it to be fixed whilst all the databases catch up.

If we assume that status shows that you are sync'd at a higher rate than you were before then what will happen in about 3-5 days is the BT systems will increase your throughput speed.

If it doesn't work then we can look at doing a few other tests, but I think there's a good chance that this will fix it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,345
Thanks: 600
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

180 kbps on Broadband Plus—Help!

If you can get http://speedtester.bt.com/ to run it will tell you your current sync speed. It will also tell you your BT set IP Profile speed which as Dave says you should see rise in 3 days or so.
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 (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
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Re: Drivers upgraded

Quote
I unplugged the modem, uninstalled, installed the new drivers and logged on without any problems, but according to the PlusNet Speed test page, the current speed (after installing the new drivers) is still only 486.70 kbps.


If your previous driver version has caused your line to sync at a lower rate then BT will have reduced your IP Profile and this might be restricting your throughput. See later for more.

Quote
Concerning sync, you said 'The way that Max works is that the throughput speed rate is set based on your sync rate, when the sync rate decreases the throughput decreases straight away, if the sync rate increases it takes 3-5 days for the throughput to increase.'

That's as clear as mud.


What this means is that MaxADSL is an "adaptive rate" technology- the line will sync at a "maximum stable rate" set by BT and adapting to conditions at the time. If your line drops or loses sync then BT will reduce the maximum stable rate, or IP profile, to try and prevent packet loss and maintain line stability.

The profile will only increase again if your line has been syncing at a higher speed for 3-5 days without any further drops.

Quote
The 'Throughput speed rate' seems to be another name for the current broadband speed. According to the Connection Settings page it's 1000 kbps.

Is there an online application that tells me what the current 'sync rate' is? Can you expand on this a little?


The current sync rate should be in your modem stats (this page has details of how you can find these for many routers).

The IP Profile assigned to your line by BT can by found by using the BT Speedtester.