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Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?

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Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?

I know the contention ratios have been set by BT rather than Plusnet and although there'll be a slowdown to a certain degree as more ports are being used, it is assumed that not too many people will be downloading simultaniously, but I do wonder in view of the problems we've been having recently if it's down to an unrealisticly high ratio of 50/1 to work as efficiently as previously expected.

Some other ISPs have been affected by simular problems to that experienced by Plusnet users, even BTOpenworld (though not recently as far as I'm aware).

Any thoughts and even facts on this issue would be very interesting.

Melodytune
5 REPLIES
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RE: Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?

> I know the contention ratios have been set by BT rather than Plusnet and although there'll be a slowdown to a certain degree as more ports are being used, it is assumed that not too many people will be downloading simultaniously, but I do wonder in view of the problems we've been having recently if it's down to an unrealisticly high ratio of 50/1 to work as efficiently as previously expected.
>

Hi,

With a fully contended UK ADSL network (in e.g 12 months time), do not expect the kind of performance that ADSL was giving e.g 12 months ago. ADSL was always designed to be contended but this has not been implemented by BT. If it's a busy evening, you will notice the difference and downloads will not be the 60K/sec that many have come to expect. It is worth acknowledging that fact.

In reality, the service will still work extremely well and your unlikely to often notice contention to any great extent. As we know from monitoring of dialup etc. it is so rarely the case that all 50 customers connected to one exchange card will all be requesting data at the same time. It just doesn't happen like that. Hence why businesses of 50 computers can run successfully on a 128K ISDN line.

This is only one viewpoint and there may be a number of factors that I've failed to consider here. Any comments are welcome.

Regards, Torsten.

--
| Torsten Dettlaff...............Unmetered & ADSL solutions
| Customer Support......................for Home & Business
| PlusNet Technologies Ltd............@ http://www.plus.net
+ ----- My Referrals - It pays to recommend PlusNet ----- +
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RE: Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?

As the internet is not just about viewing websites any more, this is a fairly serious matter.

More and more people are downloading software, movies, music and playing games over the net.

This is why we choose to have a faster more reliable 24hr service and pay the subscription.

If the service is just going to decrease in quality that much then what is being planned to rectify the situation?

This goes for all ISPs, BT and the Government bodies....after all the Government is keen to get the whole country online. Will there be a reliable infrastructure to support the future demand?

John
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RE: Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?


The existance of any contention ratio is a nonsense when it comes to streaming video, which is what we want to send and recieve.

Recently I am not even getting modem connection speeds and feel ripped off for the amount I am paying.

If you sold a car on the basis that you could only use it for 1/50th of the day because the rest of the time, a design fault stopped it working, it would be obvious to everyone what a con this concept is in practice. In any other field, like insurance for example, the regulatory government body would have imprisoned everyone by now and yet plusnet, on behalf of Bt, still gets away with it.

I accept that statistically a number of people can share a link but the reality is that 50 is a stupid and impractical number. As far as I understand it that would bring the connection down to 2k for each user in practice. That is about the speed I get now. The bandwidth test service gives me 146k (that is late in the evening when it works well!) and describes this as unacceptably poor!!

The fact is that we all use it at certain times and I have found I generally cannot even connect for 2 or 3 minutes each time (or at all late afternoon) so there is some serious misuse and misrepresentation of bandwidth going on.

I know plusnet have stated clearly that BT have a router problem but Plusnet take my money and therefore are responsible for meeting the contract. At the moment regardlesss of the letter of the contract (and I am sure your get out clasues will protect you) you are not providing a service "suitable for the purpose intended" and should stop charging me (and others affected).

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RE: Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?

Hmm... I am yet to notice any adverse effects of the contention ratio, but then I live in an area almost exclusively populated by retired people, many of whom are unlikely to have heard of ADSL let alone actually want to subscribe to it. (This is not ageist, merely an observation)
However, I take your point(s). ADSL WILL catch on simply because of the types of files people want to download now (I was watching Andorra TV last night streamed at 400kps and it was fine). I suspect that once we start to catch up with other countries (Sweden, Germany etc) in terms of ADSL population then someone (BT ?) might start worrying about it. Does anyone know what contention ratios they have in Sweden where over 25% of the population is broadband enabled ?
What BT fail to realise is that the more stable and reliable their service is, the more people will want it. Waiting until enough people complain before fixing problems doesn't make sense... people will find an alternative... ie NTL.

NTL have only just got their act together in this area. A friend of mine phoned NTL on Saturday, received the equipment needed to connect to his set top box (cables, ethernet to USB converter, software) on Monday, and was using broadband by Tuesday morning. This cost him NOTHING, except the £25 per month for the access.

So, I guess there are a few solutions...

1) move to Sweden.
2) move to an area with lots of old folk (Bournemouth)
3) get NTL if it's available.

Sorry to rant. For what it's worth, I think PlusNet are great. Service may not be perfect, but if you don't like it vote with your feet and try and find a better ISP...

Daniel
Smiley~
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RE: Is The 50/1 Contention Ratio Proving Too Much?

Thank you to everyone who has posted here with their views.

I would just like to say to support that so much as I don't expect to achieve 60KB/s downloads all the time (now that would be daft) we do come to expect a service that was designed to be faster than a 56k dial-up. So I expect there to be some "variations" in overall speed/performance of the ADSL service especially at busy times but what I didn't expect was to find myself in a situation when sometimes it's actually been quicker for me to logon to a 56k dialup service and actually have pages loading in less than 10 seconds generally where as with this ADSL service it's sometimes taken 2-3 times to logon and then have such an unresponsive connectiion that some pages actually time out after say a minute.

SO I thought (and still think) that BT are being over optimistic with the 50/1 contention ratio. Mind you when it came to investment in an infrostructure that would make a service work efficiently them BT were never hot on that were they?