cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Terrible urban broadband

Quidnunc
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2013

Terrible urban broadband

I live in BS10 which is 15 mins from the centre of Bristol, just down the road is Cribbs Causeway (the west’s biggest Mall) and I overlook the huge Avonmouth distribution complex populated by mega-businesses. I previously lived in a rural setting, BS35, and got very high (fibre) speeds. Now, in a house under 10 years old, surrounded by an older housing estate (which gets fibre >40mbps), we are told there are no plans to service our street with fibre.

 

Since moving here last August the speeds have been terrible. Zero on a bad day - I mean so slow we can’t even test the speed or access internet. The best we ever get during off-peak is 4-5mbps but that’s rare and 1-2mbps is more common. It’s always worse when it rains and after 4pm when school is over. Christmas and New Year were really bad. Streaming TV is hesitant (frequently buffering) to unwatchable. I have to switch off file sync with my office. Two people struggle to use services at the same time. In the morning, broadband radio is the only thing on and many days it won’t work (pre-school peak load I guess).

 

I’m no dummy and have done all tests with everything else disconnected except a laptop via LAN or single tablet via WiFi. We are permanently connected directly behind the BT wall plate (even though this means our burglar alarm isn’t monitored).

 

We moved from a fibre-served property in BS35 where we had been coaxed to switch to Plusnet six months before. Now, after moving, we are locked in and Plusnet force us to pay more, on a longer contract for a slower service which is truly awful. I feel conned and misled by them, trapped and ignored. They don’t meet their obligations on speed for a large proportion of the time. I might understand if I lived in rural Wales, but I live in a well populated suburb. There are no excuses although Plusnet will surely come up with a raft of reasons why they can’t (be bothered) do anything. I just don’t believe a word they say and I can’t even vote with my feet.

  • This is just a rant because I know nothing will change, but thanks for reading if you got this far..!
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,555
Thanks: 260
Fixes: 33
Registered: 13-08-2015

Re: Terrible urban broadband

What speeds are shown when you put your number/address into the DSL checker?

Did you keep the same number when you moved?

runhare
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 526
Thanks: 50
Fixes: 2
Registered: 09-10-2007

Re: Terrible urban broadband

You are not alone @Quidnunc ! There are tens of thousands of people across the uk in similar situations to yourself. 

However it's not reasonable to put the blame entirely on Plus Net. All isps providing a service to your location would struggle as the phone / internet network infrastructure is obviously very poor where you live . Also from the symptoms you describe it's sounds like there is seriius congestion at your exchange. With the connection speeds you have you can't expect to be able to use the internet  to do the things you wish to! I'd have given up long ago and just gone back to how things used to be..   The blame lies with BT who it appears can't or won't upgrade your area to fibre.enabled internet. There are parts  of central London and other cities with the same issues. 

If an isp consistently fails to provide acceptable speeds within the bt advertised limits then you can cite these as reasons for leaving a contract early. Changing isp is unlikely to make much difference as they all use the same infrastructure provided by bt. However I believe that talk talk and sky do use their own hardware at the exchange, due to LLP , so you may suffer less congestion if you moved to one of them 

Quidnunc
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2013

Re: Terrible urban broadband

ADSL Max download is listed as "Up to 2.5mbps" and a range of 1.5 to 5mbps. How the range can be higher than the max beats me.

Right now my download speed is 0.4mbps and upload is 0.93mbps according to speedtest.net, which is fairly typical. I can just about browse and send emails. My iPad might be replicating a couple of pics, but that's all. My Amazon Dot radio is now switched off because it was constantly buffering.

How on earth we're supposed to "connect with the world" post-Brexit is beyond me. I work with companies all over Europe. For example, one in Bosany, Solvakia which is just a small rural town with blistering broadband, but that's normal for our European cousins.

Quidnunc
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2013

Re: Terrible urban broadband

Hi runhare. That's what really worries me. In fact I'd say it was millions in real terms. I'll up the ante with Plusnet now, but we're only here until June when our new house in another internet desert will be completed. There the local speeds are just as bad as here, yet 1km down the road there is fibre broadband and over 40mbps.

 

Thankfully the local neighbourhood intends to object en-mass to a planning application for an Environment Agency flood defence scheme unless the big businesses coming to Avonmouth who benefit from better flood protection also invest in the surrounding communities. Perhaps we can get 20th century luxuries like mains gas and decent internet when living 15 mins from central Bristol. We're hoping this is what the Community Infrastructure Levy charged for new developments is supposed to be used for? We suspect the council actually use it to boost their coffers, but we can at least try.

All words of support and advice are much appreciated. Sometimes I just need to let of steam, but that's no excuse for Plusnet, joined at the hip with BT, to shirk their responsibilities and provide a decent service. As you say, other ISPs forced to use the same cabinet in the same exchange will suffer the same fate.

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,471
Thanks: 1,451
Fixes: 34
Registered: 16-10-2014

Re: Terrible urban broadband

Quidnunc wrote:

...yet 1km down the road there is fibre broadband and over 40mbps.

Well there's the rub @Quidnunc, in DSL terms that's a long way.

Baldrick1
Seasoned Champion
Posts: 1,564
Thanks: 669
Fixes: 52
Registered: 30-06-2016

Re: Terrible urban broadband


Quidnunc wrote:
This is just a rant because I know nothing will change, but thanks for reading if you got this far..!

I agree that it is a good rant but I'm not sure if it will help in the longer term.

I don't know what you think Plusnet can do about it. They can only connect you to the infrastructure provided by other parts of BT, over which they have no control. I'm sure they would love to supply you with faster more expenseve fibre if it was available to them.

I suspect that internet speed will become more of a selling point (positive or negative) when buying or selling properties.

Have you considered going wireless using the mobile network?


 

Quidnunc
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2013

Re: Terrible urban broadband

British homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020

This is in stark contrast to what Plusnet tell me - that there are no plans to improve connections in the foreseeable future. But 2020 is two years away. I plan that far ahead in my business, surely Plusnet and BT can?

Will they be building new exchanges next to every house? I don't think so. Houses enjoying fibre down the road from me also go to the same Henbury phone exchange, are the same distance away or even further, but the cabinet for their street is enabled, mine clearly isn't.

bmc
Pro
Posts: 894
Thanks: 183
Fixes: 6
Registered: 28-02-2017

Re: Terrible urban broadband

Is there a local "superfast broadband" project for your area. If so, what so they say.

 

Brian

Quidnunc
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2013

Re: Terrible urban broadband

Hi Baldrick1,

My stance is that the ISPs and cable providers are communication companies. Communication is what they're supposed to do and enable for the rest of us. Therefore they are all failing in their duty to communicate with one another. I don't have the resources to change things, but ISPs working together can.

Ofcom report finds 4% of UK properties cannot access speeds of at least 10Mbps deemed necessary for ... - that's over 1 million households and businesses (15/12/2017).

In broadband speed terms the UK is ranked 31st worldwide, whilst 20 of the top 30 are in Europe. Sweden is top in the EU, with its many remote communities, and averages 40mbps compared to the UK average of 16mbps. 

 

We switched to Plusnet after EE, with whom we had our previous contract, couldn't even provide a working connection and terminated our contract leaving us high and dry. Plusnet took over, telling me they had space in the local cabinet and could provide service, whereas all of EE's slots were occupied.

EE did provide us with wireless in the period they tried to fix the problem (I had to pay for a wireless router though). They gave us 6GB at a time, which I had to renew every few days. The speed was sufficient though. If I'd had to pay it would have cost me hundreds of pounds each month. So WiFi isn't an option in reality.

 

 

Baldrick1
Seasoned Champion
Posts: 1,564
Thanks: 669
Fixes: 52
Registered: 30-06-2016

Re: Terrible urban broadband


Quidnunc wrote:

My stance is that the ISPs and cable providers are communication companies. Communication is what they're supposed to do and enable for the rest of us. Therefore they are all failing in their duty to communicate with one another. I don't have the resources to change things, but ISPs working together can.


I'm afraid that we must differ on this one. Plusnet exist solely to make money for their parent company, BT by selling a service that happens to use the BT infrastructure. They have no duty to improve this infrastructure, they simply exist to flog to we consumers that which is available.

 


Quidnunc wrote:
EE did provide us with wireless in the period they tried to fix the problem (I had to pay for a wireless router though). They gave us 6GB at a time, which I had to renew every few days. The speed was sufficient though. If I'd had to pay it would have cost me hundreds of pounds each month. So WiFi isn't an option in reality.

Have you looked at any other mobile company? Looking at the 3 Network, if I understand what they are offering, which to be honest I don't find very clear, they seem to have an 'All you can eat' data plan on a month long contract for £27 per month. It might be worth further investigation?

Quidnunc
Hooked
Posts: 8
Registered: 09-08-2013

Re: Terrible urban broadband

Thanks, I’ll check out 3. Mobile is a good option provided the price is right. I’ve resorted to my mobile hotspot many times at home when the speed has dropped to completely unusable.

 

Any provider who is content to let their customers suffer because their suppliers are substandard should take a long hard look at their business model. A post-Brexit Britain founded on mediocrity and poor service is the worst outcome of all.

Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 8,965
Thanks: 2,821
Fixes: 443
Registered: 21-04-2017

Re: Terrible urban broadband

Hi there. I'm sorry to hear you're experiencing speed problems.

I can see we've got an engineer visit booked in for next time week. Can you let us know how it goes?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team