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How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

dai
Grafter
Posts: 154
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Registered: 26-05-2010

How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

Well FTTC as just been enabled in my area, and so I am now able to get away from a measly 1.7Mb if im lucky, or so Hope.......  Putting my details into both the infinity checker and Plusnet upgrade option, it says I can expect speeds of 47.8Mb down and 10.9Mb up.  Well my question is, how accurate are these estimates?  I know how it states it is just a estimate, and a true reflection of the speed cannot be gathered untill the modem is actually connected by the installing engineer, but my in-laws, who live only around 400 metres further away from the cabinet than we do, were also given the same estimate, so they proceeded with the order with infinity.  The installation engineer turned up, did his work and proceeded to state that the max they could expect, was only 12Mb down, and at the moment he left them with only 2.5Mb, and said that another engineer would come out and try and sort the problem in a few days.  Now 2.5Mb is pathetic for FTTC, and even if they do eventually get 12Mb, that is nowhere near the 47.8Mb "Personal Estimate".  Naturally I am now very reluctant to upgrade if this is the outcome I can expect.  So how accurate are these "Personal Estimates", and what is the minimum figure I could expect from Plusnet if I was to upgrade to their FTTC product.  Sorry for being a long winded post, really appreciate all answers.
16 REPLIES
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

my personal experience is that the estimate is fairly accurate, mine was even a fraction on the low side.

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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

Mine started above the estimate (on a new cabinet) but has dropped to a little below as more people have been connected, it has been stable at just under 60Mb/s for many months now compared with an estimate of 62Mb/s.  I am approximately 500m line length from the cabinet.
Call me 'w23'
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grahamt
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

w23's experience matches mine. My estimate was (and is) 54.6mb/s down and 18mb/s up. When the 80/20 trial started in February I was getting 64 down and 16 up. By the end of last week that had dropped to 54 down and 15 up. This is probably the result of more people getting fibre, leading to crosstalk in the cabinet, an increased number of errors on the line and action taken by the line management software (DLM) to reduce speed in order to increase stability.
Interestingly, the upstream estimate has always been quite a lot higher than the speed I was able to get, even at the beginning. The BT upstream IP profile remained at 20 throughout  (the downstream IP profile was always a few mb/s higher than my actual speed at the time), but my actual upstream speed reduced whenever the downstream profile was lowered.
Graham
lorisarvendu
Grafter
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Registered: 26-08-2007

Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

I didn't get an estimate when I first got FTTC but was getting speeds of 32/1.6.
When I signed up for the upgrade to 80/20, PN estimated I'd get 63.5 down.  It's a week now and I'm fairly stable at about 69/16... that's with interleaving on.  So if anything they were a bit conservative with their estimate.
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mcintoshuk
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

They're estimates based on what is known about the line in question and so will be subject to some variability either up or down, but are usually reasonably good.  PlusNet and BT Infinity probably get their estimates from exactly the same source, so I'd be surprised if they ever differed by much, if at all. 
On my line, I've always found the estimates to be slightly optimistic (Both for DSLMax and FTTC), but not by much: I'm currently on a 40/10 service, but when the engineer did the install he tested the line and said it was delivering 53Mbps at best, while PN's estimate was (and is) 56.5Mbps - I'm content with a 6% error. 
The case described by the OP seems to be an extreme one.  I have heard of a case from a work colleague where there was an appalling service on DSL despite the exchange just being down the road, that a couple of engineer visits failed to resolve.  Eventually, on another visit several months later the engineer admitted "we need to change the cable to the pole, we'll be back tomorrow".  They did that, then a whole team of vans appeared.  Apparently they discovered that the main cable feeding the pole run through a culvert that had become waterlogged and saturated the cable which now needed replacing.  Three engineers up the pole rewiring subscriber lines simultaneously attracted a bit of attention.  My colleague then found that neighbours had been having weird, unresolved 'phone problems on and off for a couple of years.  Anyway, my point is, if the actual results are that far off from the estimate then it maybe suggests an underlying problem with the 'phone line.  However, BT might not feel obliged to do anything so long as the 'phone works Undecided .
dai
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

Thankyou for the replies.  Hopefully the estimate will be a realistic one, but I am not overly optimistic.  Mcintoshuk, I have had a nagging feeling the lines around here are a problem.  Even on my current broadband connnection is very inconsistent, but like you say, if your phone works ok, then they rule out any problems.  The main lines going from pole to pole reguarly run through tree branches and sway around, I have no doubt that this is no good for the connections, but again BT fails to act.
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

I totally gareewith the previous posts. My estimate was 47 down & 12 up. I'm actually getting 45 down & 13 up. It does seem to fluctuate quite a lot during the day but I'm told that's normal.
My first Plusnet supplied router started to fail after a few days & was promptly replaced by Plusnet. The 2nd one quickly lost speed wirelessly when I only moved my laptop to the next room. I've now invested £39.00 in TP Link WR1043ND. It's money well spent believe me. My speed has increased overall & there's no reduction, even when I'm out in the garden.
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

In my experience I've noticed from previous posts on here that estimates more often that not tend to be accurate or just below the actual achievable speeds.
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lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: 26-08-2007

Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

As regards comparing estimates to actual speeds, I'm lucky enough to have 3 main PCs, one of which has linux on it, so I've been able to run speed tests on each one...and I was finding them strangely different.  Thanks to Jelv I've tweaked my RWIN settings on Windows and increased actual download speed enormously. 
Remember that what your speed test says may be different to what the BT engineer's one says, and the fault may be with your PC, not the line.
-Dave
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Ronski
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

the speed estimates are generally a bit low, but the general consensus is that the estimate takes into account eventual   loss of speed caused by cross talk as the cabinet fills up.
However my estimate is 57 Meg,  but I'm only getting 42, which translates to about 38 on speed tests :-( I just need to find a way to prove there is a fault ......
dai
Grafter
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Registered: 26-05-2010

Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

Thanks for all the replies, I feel a little more confident that the problems that my in-laws are having may just be a fault with their line.  However, is there a minimum figure that Plusnet promise on a FTTC connection, and if this isnt achieved on installation, then you can refuse it?
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

If your in-laws hear any crackling or other noises on their line when using the phone, or have any problems with incoming or outgoing calls then they must pursue a line fault with their line rental provider (but not mention the broadband).
dai
Grafter
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Registered: 26-05-2010

Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

Anotherone, they have had numerous problems with their line over the last 2 years, specifically noise and even complete loss of service.  This seems to happen especially during bad weather (Wind and rain).  Usually by the time BT has come out, this weather has subsided, leaving BT saying there is no fault.  One time however I am pretty sure (I may be wrong)! The engineer said there was water ingress onto a battery on the line?  He changed this, but the problems do persist during bad weather.  This is why I feel the cables running through the tree branches are at fault, but they don’t even bother checking them!  This main cable running through the trees also feeds our house, before it branches off to the in-laws a few hundred metres away.  We have not had such severe problems as the in-laws, although we defiantly notice a degradation in our service during inclement weather.
Ronski
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Re: How accurate are the FTTC Estimates?

Battery on the line is not a battery in the sense that you and I think of it, it is in fact a condition of two separate lines being connected, either by the wires touching or water causing an electrical circuit, it would be more accurate to call it a battery effect, as it has nothing to do with batteries. I did see a good description recently of it, but can't seem to find it. Please note this is my understanding from what I've read recently.
You need to start monitoring the connection that has the problems, router stats can be used for ADSL, or if it's FTTC you will need to unlock a HG612 modem, and then use the login scripts - if you need to do this post back and I'll find links to the required info.
If you can hear noise on the line when the problem happens, then phone your phone provider then, and make sure they acknowledge the noise.