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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

I started having speed problems in October - the speed drops to around 100kbps for days at a time, I start a fault, then after a few days it is back to about 4Mbps and the fault is closed but returns again. I have opened several faults with Plusnet but it never gets resolved. The BT speed test doesn't work when my speed is slow (now it has even claimed that I am logged in as 'Paddyclark' whoever he is!)

Today I have gone down to 35kbps for most of the morning but its back to 4Mbps for now.

Has anybody else got this problem, or has Plusnet resolved it? I'd be grateful for any advice - I'm at the end of my tether here.

Janet
12 REPLIES
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

i have been experiencing exactly the same since the beginning of december. My speed at times can go up to 5 or 6mb for about a week then back down to 100kbps. It has been up and down many times since. Everytime i raise a fault PN do something then its back up again. Over the last week my speed has been at around 100kbps constanlty, have made many phone calls and raised tickets. But i cant help feeling i'm being given excuses just to make me hang up. These can vary from bad weather, do further speed tests, wait 3 days or we are looking into and will get back to you. Suprisingly they never commit to a turnaround time, this would be something that would really make them stand out from all the other ISP's.

You are not the only one, i'm still suffering and waiting patiently to have my speed problem fixed. Looks like there is nothing we can do but wait for PN to sort this out. I'm not sure if it is a PN fault or BT, so even changing ISP which i have considred many times over the last week may not help.
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

I think the blame lies with BT and their Maxdsl system. I also think that if this Max thing can cut speeds back to around dial-up then BT, and by extension ones ISP, is failing to provide a broadband service as expected by the customer.

It's all very well saying it's often only temporary or that it's within certain limits but I'll wager that almost everyone with current speed issues had a pretty solid service until recently.

Something has happened and it would be nice if those responsible had the guts to say what it is.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Hi,

I think the problems that are happening here are because at some point each of your connections is losing sync and resync'ing at a rate below 288kbps.

BT's systems are designed with two different speed rates, the sync rate and the throughput rate (IP Profile in the BT speedtest). The throughput rate is calculated from the sync rate using the table in this page:

http://www.plus.net/support/broadband/network/dslmax_guide.shtml

If the sync rate drops then the throughput rate will drop as well straightaway. However, unless the sync drop was a one off or only for a few minutes the throughput rate will only go back up again if the sync rate stays stable for at least 3-5 days.

So as I say, what I think is happening here is something is causing the sync speed to decrease, it then goes back to normal but you have slow speeds for several days before the BT systems increase the throughput rate again.

The only real solution is to try and find out what's causing the (possibly very brief) sync loss.

Thing is, it could be almost anything, so the best way is try and look for a pattern. Such as does it always happen at a certain time of day or a certain day of the week? What's the weather like? Copper cabling and rain don't mix very well and a lot of problems we see reported only happen when it rains, or just after it rains as the rain water floods the underground cabling for example. Is there anything that could cause interference, street lights, security lights, traffic lights, central heating, electric fences, power substations?

DSLMax works on the limits of ADSL technology so things that may not have been enough to cause a problem before may noy be enough to cause the connection to drop and resync.
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Should the countries internet backbone be at the mercy of a system that cannot handle rain or street lights?

Surely, to satisfy the end user, the workings of the internet must be invisible and not in anyway hinder the end user.

One may not get the full 8mb experience, or even half that, but the services we do have must be stable and at a speed which reflects what we are paying for, not some almost as slow as dial-up fiasco that many seem to be experiencing.

If an ISP cannot provide this because of the nature of dslmax then pressure must be put on BT to come up with an alternative.
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Reply to Dave Tomlinson,

As you may or may not recall, I am also suffering the same kind of data rate problems since the 22nd of January - you closed my fault/question with your standard letter response attributing the problem to absolutely everything except PlusNet :lol:

Whilst I can't speak for others, I can testify that my line synch's at 8.1Mbps, 99.9% of the time. I've only ever seen two occasions where it synch'd otherwise - once at something like 7.6Mbps (out of curiousity, I rebooted and it synch'd back at 8.1Mbps immediately), and one bizzare occasion when my modem claimed to have sync'd at something like 24.Mbps (freakish!).

When I have been suffering the 40kbps speeds (in reality, far worse with the latency), the speeds have almost always returned to a full 4Mbps+ after about 1 A.M. which does not support your BT throughput modification theory at all.

Also, most significantly, I discovered that at the times when my browsing/surfing was appalingly slow, my email and streaming video appeared to be absolutely fine. Now, to the best of my knowledge BT do not differentiate between data type/protocol at the exchanges - only PlusNet do that.

Everything, in my experience, points to PlusNet's lack of capacity at peak times, and their consequent traffic managment, being the source of the problem.

PlusNet even have a Service Announcement notice dating 19th of January which appears to acknowledge that some people are/were being impacted by known traffic management issues.

I am gobsmacked by the number of people on the forums complaining about these extaordinarily low speed issues - and PlusNet's stance of blaming everything but PlusNet, despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary.

Mark H.
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Quote
Reply to Dave Tomlinson,

As you may or may not recall, I am also suffering the same kind of data rate problems since the 22nd of January - you closed my fault/question with your standard letter response attributing the problem to absolutely everything except PlusNet :lol:

Whilst I can't speak for others, I can testify that my line synch's at 8.1Mbps, 99.9% of the time. I've only ever seen two occasions where it synch'd otherwise - once at something like 7.6Mbps (out of curiousity, I rebooted and it synch'd back at 8.1Mbps immediately), and one bizzare occasion when my modem claimed to have sync'd at something like 24.Mbps (freakish!).

When I have been suffering the 40kbps speeds (in reality, far worse with the latency), the speeds have almost always returned to a full 4Mbps+ after about 1 A.M. which does not support your BT throughput modification theory at all.

Also, most significantly, I discovered that at the times when my browsing/surfing was appalingly slow, my email and streaming video appeared to be absolutely fine. Now, to the best of my knowledge BT do not differentiate between data type/protocol at the exchanges - only PlusNet do that.

Everything, in my experience, points to PlusNet's lack of capacity at peak times, and their consequent traffic managment, being the source of the problem.

PlusNet even have a Service Announcement notice dating 19th of January which appears to acknowledge that some people are/were being impacted by known traffic management issues.

I am gobsmacked by the number of people on the forums complaining about these extaordinarily low speed issues - and PlusNet's stance of blaming everything but PlusNet, despite a great deal of evidence to the contrary.

Mark H.

Hear hear - absolutely frackin the same with me - from the 1am pickup, web and email crawling but streaming video fine, right down to the appalling "close the ticket" response (three times now). The only difference - I have put up with this since October having been fobbed off with a "its the BT exchange" excuse. I have asked for someone to explain what is going on - no joy.

Your supposition above reassures me I am not being unreasonable in raising a ticket or wanting a response from PN on this - or in thinking that another ISP may not have the same excessive traffic management problems.
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Watch out, any moment now a moderator will slap you down for quoting my entire text. :lol:

Always makes me laugh, that they are so pedantic about this - like 1kB of data storage costs so much.

Still, makes somebody feel important I guess.
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Reply to and question for Dave Tomlinson

Thanks for the link - I don't really understand it, but I have noticed that the BT speed tester sometimes gives my sync speed as 6.5 Mbps and other times as 6 Mbps. My hardware, the BT Voyager modem provided by Plusnet, has always reported 7.3 Mbps and doesn't seem to want to change despite rebooting regularly. Is this significant?

As far as I know the line hasn't dropped its sync much.

None of this has ever been mentioned when I log a fault.

I appreciate the input, thanks!
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What happened in October 2006?

Same problem with me. Almost constant 1mb plus speeds up to October 2006(I'm a way from the Exchange so don;t expect a lot). But since then its been pants. Sometimes hardly better than dial up. No joy from any fault reporting.
A lot of people are reporting problems from October 2006, what happened then?
AndyBot
Dabbler
Posts: 15
Registered: 03-08-2007

Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Had the same problem June to November 2006 when I managed to get "downgraded" back to a fixed 2Mb ADSL link - still had rto get Interleaving turned off - a whole different "challenge".

Bottom line:
DSLmax and Interleaving are not fit for purpose, if BT Wholesale were held to account the way manufacturers and car dealers are they'd be out of the ISP business pretty damm quick - but as most things sold to do with Personal Computers are pretty much "sort it out yourself"
- I guess the answer is to find a good ISP with a LLU operation, but not definitley not CPW/TalkTalk or Tiscali (whom I believe PNet was buying bandwidth from?)
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Im having exactly the same problem but only really noticed since a few days ago. When i first signed up to plusnet at my current address it was fine, i was getting around 4.5meg, for the last few days it has been almost unuseable, last night it dropped down to 95kbps! which is the same speed internet i was getting about 10 years ago. I actually have 2 accounts with plusnet at different address's. I have had one of the accounts for about 5 years and never had a problem since the maxdsl rollout, this connection suffers from p2p applications visably slowing down at around 4 pm EVERY day which leads me to believe that is plusnet blocking some p2p ports. The other connection at my new home is terrible i cant seem to get any dl speed from any p2p application or usenet wether its peak or off peak time, and for the last few days speedtests have been showing around 100kbps dropping down as low as 77kbps last night. I raised a ticket about it on my account and all PN could say was it was within the acceptable limit for bt, i found this quite funny as im on upto 8mb service, it is clearly stated on the plusnet fault checker that bt's acceptable limits are as follows:

100kbps - acceptable for 512kbps service

200kbps - acceptable for 1mb service

400kbps - acceptable for 2mb, 4mb and 8mb service

Im no mathematical genious but 77 is less than 400 even i can work that one out!

Today the speed went upto 2.5 meg for a brief time then as soon as 4pm struck i was cut back down to dial up speeds again.
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Intermittent Speed Problems since October - is it just me?

Quote
Had the same problem June to November 2006 when I managed to get "downgraded" back to a fixed 2Mb ADSL link - still had rto get Interleaving turned off - a whole different "challenge".

Bottom line:
DSLmax and Interleaving are not fit for purpose, if BT Wholesale were held to account the way manufacturers and car dealers are they'd be out of the ISP business pretty damm quick - but as most things sold to do with Personal Computers are pretty much "sort it out yourself"
- I guess the answer is to find a good ISP with a LLU operation, but not definitley not CPW/TalkTalk or Tiscali (whom I believe PNet was buying bandwidth from?)


Im thinking about sky, there equipment is in my exchange, they offer upto 8m broadband with 40gb monthly useage peak time and a sky tv package with 2 mixers for £20 month with free equipment and installation, which is only a fiver more than plusnet and there 4gb/month plus account.