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Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

pieplanter
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 27-10-2012

Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

When we signed up to Plusnet Fibre Extra, we were given an estimated speed of 33Mb down and 5Mb up, to within a tolerance of +/- 1Mb.  When fibre broadband was actually installed, the first speed test showed 35Mb down.  I didn't bother checking much after that because I thought everything was as it should be.
However, curiosity got the better of me and just a short while later, speed testing showed we were down to 20Mb down and 1Mb up.  Within a week of installation, we were down to around 11Mb down and 0.7Mb up.  To be fair though, PN has now arranged for a site visit by BTOR.
Setting aside the pending visit by BTOR, PN have sort of confirmed that the maximum speed we will ever get is around 20Mb down and 1.0Mb up. 
In this respect, the nearest green cabinet is 350m from our house.  According to this website (http://www.thinkbroadband.com/guide/fibre-broadband.html) we should be getting a download speed in the region of  40Mb, let alone 30Mb.  Not only that but when PN have posted line test results (on my ticket) there's always a statement that reads along the lines of...
Our test also indicates that your line currently supports a fibre technology with an estimated WBC FTTC Broadband where consumers HAVE received downstream line speed of 33.8Mb ps and upstream line speed of 5.9Mb ps.
So, my question is, where is it all going wrong and why isn't it made more clear in the sales blurb?
89 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Hi there,
Regarding your question it's not clear whether you mean what went wrong with your line that led to the slow speeds, or whether you mean regarding the speed estimates - or possibly if you mean why the speed estimates don't tally up with the calculations you made following the visit to thinkbroadband?
The former is down to a line fault I'm afraid hence why the engineer is attending. As for the estimates themselves, these are calculated by BT I assume based on individual line length and also what speeds have been achieved in the same area (though of course each line is different and may lead to different speeds). For the latter, it depends on what route the wiring takes - FTTC runs on standard twisted copper pair from the green box to your premises, and while the green box may be a set distance as the crow flies it unfortunately doesn't necessarily follow that the copper runs the same way, hence the differences in speed.
Hope that helps explain a bit.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

I'm significantly over 350m (following the route that the(underground) telephone lines take) from my cabinet, my current sync speed is just below 60Mb/s and I normally achieve over 50Mb/s on any speedtest, are you sure you're connected to the cabinet you think you are and, is it possible to follow the cable route to get a more accurate distance?
If you are around 350m from the cabinet 'as the cable flies' your speed should probably be better.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
pieplanter
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Quote from: Matt

Regarding your question it's not clear whether you mean what went wrong with your line that led to the slow speeds, or whether you mean regarding the speed estimates - or possibly if you mean why the speed estimates don't tally up with the calculations you made following the visit to thinkbroadband?
The former is down to a line fault I'm afraid hence why the engineer is attending. As for the estimates themselves, these are calculated by BT I assume based on individual line length and also what speeds have been achieved in the same area (though of course each line is different and may lead to different speeds). For the latter, it depends on what route the wiring takes - FTTC runs on standard twisted copper pair from the green box to your premises, and while the green box may be a set distance as the crow flies it unfortunately doesn't necessarily follow that the copper runs the same way, hence the differences in speed.

Hi Matt
I'm talking about why the speed estimate is so far out, when it comes to actual installation.  PN gives everyone a speed estimate, +/- 1Mb, not +/- 10Mb or +/- 20Mb.  Then, when you query why the actual speed is way less than the estimated speed, PN's fall back position is that provided you are getting something, then PN have at least fulfilled their obligation.
I don't know how many customers PN has but out of your entire customer base, how many households actually get their estimated speed?  And for customers like us, who are only getting around 67% of the estimated speed, why is PN's estimating so far out?  Afterall, delivering broadband is your core business, so presumably you must have this information to hand?
Regarding the green cabinet, the 350m is the actual distance to our house; I've walked it along the line of the chambers.  For sure it could be out, I can't possibly say.  What I have done though, is I've sent PN a scale drawing on which I've plotted the green cabinet, our house and the route I've assumed our line takes.  Presumably PN can now tell me if I've gone to the wrong cabinet?
The main reason why I've taken to the forum with this 'debate' is that I don't like being fobbed off.  I'm not an IT consultant but I like to be given sensible answers.  And, if PN doesn't know what the actual speed is likely to be, until the line is in place, then just say so. Please.

Regards
Peter
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Quote from: pieplanter
Regarding the green cabinet, the 350m is the actual distance to our house; I've walked it along the line of the chambers. 

Exactly the same method as I 'measured' my distance (though my cabinet is some 50m+ NEARER the house than the old cabinet so I had to allow for the distance to the old cabinet and back to the new one), total around 450m.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
pieplanter
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Quote from: pieplanter

Regarding the green cabinet, the 350m is the actual distance to our house; I've walked it along the line of the chambers.  For sure it could be out, I can't possibly say.  What I have done though, is I've sent PN a scale drawing on which I've plotted the green cabinet, our house and the route I've assumed our line takes.  Presumably PN can now tell me if I've gone to the wrong cabinet?

Oops, poor form responding to my own post, I know, but the light has just come on;  I can ask BTOR where my cabinet is, when they turn up on Friday  Embarrassed 
I would still like to know, though, if PN has access to this information?
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

The engineer should have a piece of test equipment that will check the sync speed etc. between your house and the cabinet.
It's also possible that that may be able to indicate line length - worth asking the question and making a note of the results he/she gets...
vultura
Grafter
Posts: 255
Thanks: 4
Registered: 22-05-2011

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Quote from: knowdice
The engineer should have a piece of test equipment that will check the sync speed etc. between your house and the cabinet.

Had my install a couple of weeks ago, the "engineer" used a Tablet connected to my TG582n router to test the speed received.
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: 25-04-2008

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

They should have used some "proper" test equipment, when mine was installed the engineer tested the line and sync before connecting the VDSL modem.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Exactly the same for me.  Special tester plugged into the new master socket faceplate to check sync with the cabinet before installing the modem.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
pieplanter
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

UPDATE
BTOR arrived at 2.30pm and have just gone leaving us with...erm 12Mb down and 1.0Mb up!  He said he ran out of time (can't work in the dark) and that someone will call again tomorrow.
- the chap agreed the speed was woefully low, and that it had to be improved
- he said he was getting 20Mb in the box about 20m away from our house
- I now know that we're not connected to the cabinet 350m away but another cabinet he estimated was 1100m from the house.  If that is the case, then according to the table on the thinkbroadband site, 20Mb would be about right.  
Whilst 20Mb is a significant improvement on what we had before with Sky LLU, I doubt we would have bothered to move the account if we were given that as our estimate.  But we weren't.  We were told 33Mb down and 5Mb up give or take a Mb.
So, my question still is, where is it all going wrong?
If PN get their estimates from BTOR (or whoever it is) then when the actual speed proves to be way under the estimate, why doesn't PN simply tell BTOR to go and sort it?
At what stage can we, as the customer, tell PN to take their service away and put us back to where we were before?  Without incurring any cost?

pieplanter
Grafter
Posts: 47
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

This has just been posted on my support ticket
'We would like to inform you that your Help Assistant Question [ ######## ] has now been returned to the BOT - FTTC Logged Faults - Speed pool. A member of our Support Team will investigate your issue as soon as possible'.
Could somebody please tell me what this means?
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,761
Thanks: 1,147
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

It means the ticket/question has been on hold while some third party action was completed (engineer visit?) but has now been released back to the active pool (ticket queue) from where it should be picked up again by a Broadband Operations Team FTTC speed faults analyst.
Just for information, there is no need to blank out ticket numbers on these forums - only you and Plusnet staff can see their content.
David
mushy
Grafter
Posts: 182
Registered: 16-10-2012

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Never got mine metered out once the connection was made, he just plugged in the modem and made sure the DSL light came on, connected the router and checked that l could connect to it and opened a web brower to see if i  was picking up the web.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,616
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Registered: 29-06-2010

Re: Transparency, please, with estimated FTTC speed

Quote from: pieplanter
We were told 33Mb down and 5Mb up give or take a Mb.
So, my question still is, where is it all going wrong?
If PN get their estimates from BTOR (or whoever it is) then when the actual speed proves to be way under the estimate, why doesn't PN simply tell BTOR to go and sort it?

Where did you get the estimate from? If it was the postcode checker then it will probably just be based on expected performance at the nearest cabinet, but as you appear to be connected at a different cabinet all bets are off. If it was the number checker, it may be incorrect.
In any case, estimates are just that, and can't be read as Gospel.