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Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

DaveA
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 28-02-2014

Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Hi PlusNet Forums,
I shall keep this short but sweet.
Since PlusNet began offering £2.99 unlimited broadband services, my broadband speed has had a fixed speed drop of 10.5Mb. This is a 24/7 fixed speed drop, this is not due to congestion, at 2am the speed drop is still the fixed amount slower (10.5Mb). I have started this poll to see if this suspicious speed drop has occurred for any other PlusNet customers since this promotion and what feedback they have had from customer "support".
What did customer support say to you?
Customer support did not even attempt to diagnose the speed issue, they simply stated that they can only escalate to BT if the speed falls below 75% of the estimate. This is even more suspicious to me, as my past experience with PlusNet support had been excellent, and this does beg the question, why the hell do I pay PlusNet if they can't do anything to help me?
Please note, BT's line checker did show that there is nothing wrong with my line and that it is fully capable of supporting the speed I used to enjoy...
Why should I care?
I firmly believe that this speed cut is to accommodate the surge of new customers, I signed up to a contract where my estimated speed was satisfactory to me, my internet has operated at that estimated speed for over a year, to have 15% of my previously stable broadband speed unceremoniously taken away at the same time this promotion started smacks to me of unfair business practices, and to have customer "support" tell me they will only act if it gets even [Censored], leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
What can I do?
If PlusNet are not willing to fix this / undo whatever black magic they performed, I want out - is there any legal recourse to terminate the contract on these grounds?
EDIT:
Oldjim, please see below for the information requested - I am on VDSL (what seems to be called fibre).
BT Wholesale Broadband Performance Test
Download Speed (Mbps): 58.38
Upload Speed (Mbps): 16.87
Ping Latency (ms): 32.63
Further Info Test
Best Effort Download: 58.38 Mbps
Upstream Test: 16.87 Mbps
* Your speed test has completed and the results are shown above, however during the test an error occurred while trying to retrieve additional details regarding your service.
Member Center Line Speed
Estimated line speed:
    There's no speed estimate currently held on your account. (<-- this used to have my previous estimated line speed...)
Current line speed:
    62 Mb

19 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

I suggest that you post the information requested here http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,96155.0.html excluding the stats as I assume that you are on fibre
DaveA
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 28-02-2014

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Oldjim, I have updated my original post with the requested information.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

We needed the further diagnostics information which glitched but it appears that your sync speed has dropped and Plusnet have no control over that
Assuming that the Plusnet profile of 62Mb/s is correct then the IP profile should be no greater than 62.1Mb/s and your speed test results aren't far off
The most likely reason for thje drop is that there has been an increase in cross talk as more users connected to the cab
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
Thanks: 4
Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

If you are on a fibre connection, then you may well have been hit by crosstalk as take-up has increased. Or by interference from some other source.
Whatever source, a basic level of intervention by DLM for fibre is likely to consume between 10 and 20% of your bandwidth, and add 8ms to your latency. It can be worse than this, if the interference is bad.
If the source was temporary, then it can take 2-3 weeks for DLM to reduce or remove its intervention.
In nearly 3 years, this has happened to me three times. On my current line, the problem was caused by a physical line problem both times. Once that was fixed, DLM recovered 3 weeks later. On my previous line, interference was present since day 1, and DLM intervention was ever-present from day 3, until additional frequency space was allowed by NICC.
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
Thanks: 4
Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

As oldjim says, if your sync speed has reduced, then this is your limiting factor... and nothing in the Plusnet network.
Have you kept any records of the "IP profile" value from speed tests on the BT speedchecker? (I see from your edit of the original post that you missed this information out)
And does your current IP profile value (from there) match the "current line speed" from this portal page?
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
DaveA
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 28-02-2014

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Firstly, thank you WWWombat for your input on this issue, and thank you Oldjim for replying.
I just want to point out a few things:
1) I'm being told by Plusnet Support that they can't talk to BT if my line speed hasn't fallen to 75% of the estimate when I signed up.
2) You are now telling me (PlusNet forum support) that the sync speed on my line has dropped and that this isn't PlusNet's fault and they can't do anything about it.
Taken from the Original Support E-mail
Username xxxxxxx
We are pleased to be able to inform you that a member of our Customer Support Centre has now escalated your Question [number  81734272 ] for further investigation.
The following comment was added to the Question Dear Dr xxxxxxxx, Tests confirm the The connection is stable, error free and in sync at 64.4mbps downstream and 20mbps upstream.  The results retrieved from BT's line checker tool estimate your line to be capable of 69.3d/s and 19.9 u/s.  We can only escalate to BT if the connection speed falls below 75% of the estimate please let us know if this ever happens and we will continue to investigate.
Actions
Will PlusNet now forward this to BT seeing as there is an issue regarding cross talk/line profiles/syncing? Will PlusNet do anything to help me losing 15% of my internet speed?
If PlusNet cant/wont do anything to help me, what legal recourse do I have to leave? Do I need to speak to OTELO or Citizens Advice?
WWWombat - I have tried five times now and cannot get further detail on the line, I continue to receive the following:
Your speed test has completed and the results are shown above, however during the test an error occurred while trying to retrieve additional details regarding your service. As a result we are unable to determine if the speed you received during the test is acceptable for your service. Please re-run the test if you require this additional information.

Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Hi DaveA,
I've taken a look at the ticket you are referring to that the Faults Team responded to you on and can see that they did run a full set of tests on your line. What we are unable to see, is the actual speeds that you're receiving.
The speeds we see, are those between your FTTC Cabinet and your Openreach Modem, which are currently:
Downstream Speed: 64.1 Mbps
Upstream Speed: 20.0 Mbps
Which from our point of view look fine. You mention that the BT Speedtester doesn't allow you to run a Speed Test? Can you provide a screenshot of the error so I can report this for you so we can get that working for you?
Once we get that fixed, you can then run the Speed Test using http://speedtest.btwholesale.com - out suppliers have access to these results, as do we. Without hard evidence of the speeds you're experiencing, it's very difficult for us to take this to our suppliers on your behalf.
If you're only seeing speeds of 10.5Mb then that is completely unacceptable, but we need evidence to support this. The speeds you receive have absolutely no bearing on any offers that we decide to advertise.
Out of interest, are the Speed Tests that you do run (perhaps on different speed test websites) are you completing these with an Ethernet Cable connected? Have you tried connected directly to the Modem as shown here: http://community.plus.net/library/broadband/fibre-help-how-to-set-up-a-pppoe-dialler-in-vistawindows... and run a further Speed Test to see what speeds you get via that method.
We're more than happy to help - absolutely, but we just need some evidence so we can take this up with our suppliers.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

where are you getting those speeds from as the BT speedtest - in first post - look OK
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,412
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Registered: 29-01-2009

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Quote from: DaveA
WWWombat - I have tried five times now and cannot get further detail on the line,

That's annoying. That piece of information is one of the key things to know: It will show your IP Profile, from which we can calculate the connection speed, so would be a determining factor as to whether there is anything to push about.
The next nearest we can do is use the "current line speed" from the PN portal page. This you say is 62Mbps; it should match the IP profile value at BT, but sometimes doesn't. So (for now) lets assume that it does.
With an IP profile of 62Mbps, you would have a connection speed of 64Mbps  (People with an 80Mbps sync speed get an IP profile of 77.4), and 64Mbps seems to match the quote you have from a ticket.
Quote from: DaveA
1) I'm being told by Plusnet Support that they can't talk to BT if my line speed hasn't fallen to 75% of the estimate when I signed up.

From your post, you were given a connection speed estimate of 69.3Mbps. PN Support are saying that they can deal with an issue when this reduces to 75% - ie to just below 52Mbps.
But right now your connection speed is 64Mbps (or looks to be), which seems to be within those limits.
And with a connection speed of 64Mbps, I'd expect speedtests to give results of around 59-60Mbps, though obviously can go lower if *other* things get in the way. BT's own speedtester seems to vary more than speedtest.net IMO, but you seem to be in the ballpark.
Or am I mis-reading something you are saying?
Oh, and when you say that your speed has dropped 10.5Mbps - what was the original speed, and what type of speed was it? A download speed on a speedtester, an IP Profile, or a sync speed (connection speed)?
Quote
2) You are now telling me (PlusNet forum support) that the sync speed on my line has dropped and that this isn't PlusNet's fault and they can't do anything about it.

Neither Oldjim nor myself are Plusnet Support staff. Just customers, so we can't give you Plusnet's official position. But we can give more reasoning about *why* PN staff say what they do, and certainly can let you know when we think they're wrong.
IF it is a reduction in sync speed, then it isn't a thing caused by PN - they can't affect this, beyond regrading you to a 40Mbps package, which hasn't happened. A drop in sync speed will only be caused by conditions on your line, that triggers a reaction from your modem or the modem within the green FTTC cabinet. The line conditions could be a line fault, or "regular" noise on the line, or crosstalk from an increasing number of FTTC subscribers.
IF it is crosstalk, then there is nothing Plusnet can do to restore speeds - and, frankly, nothing that BT can do either. It is just a fact of life when running an FTTC system, and is a fact seen by all customers, although the effect is both variable and appears random. There are technical solutions on the horizon, but they're a while off becoming widespread reality.
The impact of crosstalk appears in two ways - one where noise levels increase, and the modem just reduces speeds to compensate; and one where interference and errors increase, so DLM intervenes to reduce the error rate... which also reduces the sync speed. A mix is possible too. As a factor, crosstalk is known to BT  (and is common to all suppliers using VDSL2), and is probably why they specify this threshold - they don't want to keep sending engineers out to investigate, just to find that there is nothing that can be done.
On the other hand, it could be a fault on the line. But, if the connection is truly stable, and otherwise works OK, then this seems unlikely. Real faults on the line will tend to show with dropping connections, and regular changes to the sync speed.
Quote
If PlusNet cant/wont do anything to help me, what legal recourse do I have to leave? Do I need to speak to OTELO or Citizens Advice?

Not my forte, I'm afraid. I'm best at explaining what effect people are likely to see, and leave them to decide whether it is worth going down the legal route, or changing ISP.
Right now, I'd say that a change of ISP is unlikely to result in any better speeds. Things would be different if you were seeing an unstable connection with errors.
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
DaveA
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 28-02-2014

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Again, WWWombat thank you for your continued interest and assistance in this issue.
I have re-run the speed test from the BTW site and this has actually worked this time. My IP profile is not what it used to be.
IP Profile is 62.06Mbps
Upstream Rate IP Profile is 20Mbps
Although I can understand your reasoning behind crosstalk, VDSL only suffers significant performance degradation from FEXT (Far-End CrossTalk) and this problem does not exist in the downstream direction and would not cause my downstream issues.
(frequency division multiplexing with four frequency bands (two for upstream and two for downstream) in the138-kHz-to-12-MHz frequency range where FEXT noise is the major crosstalk impairment. It requires power-back off in the upstream direction.)
For the past 13 months I have had a 68Mbps - 70Mbps downstream download on www.speedtest.net with absolutely zero issues, it has now magically dropped to 57Mbps - 58Mbps - that kind of speed drop is unacceptable to me.
On the other hand, it could be a fault on the line. But, if the connection is truly stable, and otherwise works OK, then this seems unlikely. Real faults on the line will tend to show with dropping connections, and regular changes to the sync speed.
My internet did disconnect today, I had originally thought it was PlusNet restoring my line, however this was not the case.
Chris Pettit
I appreciate your involvement but I don't believe you have read my post correctly
For the past 13 months I have had no problem with my service, no problem with speeds. I now have seen a consistent, fixed ~15% drop in my speed from 68Mbps - 70Mbps downstream download on www.speedtest.net with absolutely zero issues, it has now magically dropped to 57Mbps - 58Mbps - that kind of speed drop is unacceptable to me.
Out of interest, are the Speed Tests that you do run (perhaps on different speed test websites) are you completing these with an Ethernet Cable connected? Have you tried connected directly to the Modem as shown here: http://community.plus.net...ialler-in-vistawindows-7/ and run a further Speed Test to see what speeds you get via that method.
Once I noticed the issue was permanent, I tested whilst connected directly to the modem with no improvement. Note: I don't ever use WiFi, my entire house is cabled as CAT6 Gigabit.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,017
Thanks: 145
Fixes: 48
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

DaveA,
As Chris mentioned we'll do what we can to help you with this, can you try the BT speedtester again please and get us a screenshot of any errors you see? Having the results of a BT speedtest will help us broach this with our suppliers for you.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
DaveA
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 28-02-2014

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Hi Adam,
Speedtest from BT:
DaveA
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: 28-02-2014

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Bump.
New Speed test(s) from BT - speed has now at best case halved again, and at worst case sits around 8mb.
#1
http://imgur.com/Hdn53lg
#2
http://imgur.com/Mp5ydIJ
apollo1
Grafter
Posts: 185
Registered: 16-09-2007

Re: Fixed Speed Drop Since PlusNet Offer £2.99 Unlimited

Hi
Since having fibre installed nearly 18 months ago my speed has gone down from estimated 51mb to actually receiving 32mb
Openreach have been out and could find no fault. As my speed profile keeping going down and my current speed is within that profile then there will never be a fault.
I guess it's due to people taking up fttc and having crosstalk at the cabinet. Hoping the BT vectoring trials will help eliminate this problem. I'm less than 250 metres. From the cabinet.