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Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: 26-08-2007

Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

I first upgraded to FTTC from ADSL in October 2011.  It's down on my Blog as "Fibre Day 1".
After about 5 days of training, things settled at about 32 Mbps.  Mind you, that was through 200AV Homeplugs so I don't know what the true speed was at the BT modem as back then I didn't have a laptop so testing directly at the router was out of the question.  But 32Mbps wasn't bad for a 40/20 connection.  Certainly better than the 2Mbps I was getting on ADSL!
October 2012 and I upgraded to 80/40.  After a couple of days of training speeds finally settled at a very respectable 72Mbps downstream and 15.7Mbps upstream.

October 2013, and after I'd eventually given up boasting about my speeds to my friends I happened to do another speed test, and found I was now getting around the 53Mbps mark downstream. 
I raised a fault call, but nothing untoward came to light, and PN's conclusion was that this was just down to increased FTTC take-up in my area (I was one of the first to get FTTC when the Exchange went Fibre in 2011).
February 2014 and a speed test has just now given me 52.5Mbps down and 18.4Mbps up so that seems to be the new norm, meaning that I'm only about 1.5 times faster than I was in 2011, even though I'm technically on a package that should be (and intially was) twice the speed.
How have any other early adopters fared?
A tortoise? What's that?
You know what a turtle is? Same thing.
26 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,326
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Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Thanks for taking the time to post an honest account of your experience in the long term lorisarvendu.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
NorthEasterner
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 25-09-2012

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

If you are sold a product for speed at 71meg you should get 71meg.
Whether or not demand has gone up, as plus net has to make sure you get those speeds. If there is more demand, then openreach has to put up the speed then share out equally but still receive 71meg.
Ex Plusnet Fibre customer. BT Infinity Customer using a BT Smart Hub. If you wish to say thanks, please click the thumbs up Thumbs Up
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Down to the nature of the technology, it isn't as simple as that.
As more people adopt FTTC, the issue isn't the speed between the cabinet and the internet, it is often because the extra wiring for the extra customers introduces more crosstalk and interference so the speed is reduced to compensate. It does seem to level / bottom out at a reasonable level though.
My initial speed was 73Mb and I'm currently at around 62Mb but could do with a modem reboot as I haven't done one for a few months.
I was told I'd get around 50Mb so I'm still well above what was estimated.
I can see you're not happy with BT now NorthEasterner - you had a bit of a major moan at PN before moving over and now you're saying you want to move back ?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

@NorthEasterner
Oh and in reply to your thread on BT about the extension - maybe have a look at these :
http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/dect-wireless-phone-line-extender-a82fy
I'm sure you can find a cheaper version than Maplins if you look around a bit.
*Edit - these look the same and a bit cheaper although you'll need to buy the BT socket to adapter lead separately.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/RTX-WIRELESS-PHONEJACK-Wireless-Phone/dp/B000NJQHL4/ref=sr_1_39?s=electronic...
Dhaos
Grafter
Posts: 140
Registered: 26-02-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Been with plusnet exactly a year, went for the 80/20 package, i was told i would receive 66 i was getting 76 and it settled down to 72 after a month, not had to ring up customer service for any problems as i have had none, although i was with BE before these on a 12mb line for 5 years and i think i only needed to ring CS once. Although i never did hook up the supplied router as i had a Asus N56u as i needed one for the 5ghz band as our baby monitor plays hell with the 2.4ghz.
dannystokie
Grafter
Posts: 58
Registered: 02-04-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

I was quoted 60 when I signed up, I was the first person on it at my exchange and a year later I still have 73 down and 18 up.
I think my street cabinet is now full, so it all seems good
Community Veteran
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Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

We've had fibre for nearly 3 years, of which 2 years is in our current house. We're between 350 and 400 metres away from the cabinet.
In those 2 years, we started on the 40/10 product, and switched to 80/20 as soon as it was available/trialled - which IIRC was very early in that time.
Sync & Attainable Speeds
While running at 40/10, the modem reported an attainable speed of 90/25; once switched to 80Mbps the attainable figure dropped to 85/25.
The attainable figure gradually dropped to 82/25 over the course of 2012. I then left the modem synchronised for about 6 months ... and that attainable dropped to about 72/24 (while staying synced at 80/20). After a re-sync in mid-2013, I expected the speed to drop, but it didn't... I got 80/20, and the attainable speed had gone back up to 82/25 (and gradually dropped again over the next 2 months).
The recent change to modem firmware (farmed out automatically by Openreach) has resulted in my attainable speed staying consistent at 83/25, while the sync speed has stayed at 80/20.
DLM Intervention
We've had DLM intervene twice, taking about 10% off our sync speed each time, in order to turn on FEC and interleaving. Both times, we saw problems on the voice line too, but both were really "one-off" events fixed quickly.
Each time, it took around 3 weeks for DLM to remove its intervention, and in neither case did Plusnet's copy of the IP Profile get updated automatically - we had to request a manual change (and you feel silly asking for a 70+ Mbps profile to be increased!)
Download Speeds
At first, the packages were limited during peak hours - and we'd see some restrictions placed in the evening.
However, since the packages have changed, we have seen very few slowdowns at any time of day. Our automatic tester pretty much shows 72Mbps downloads all the time.
The only "gripe" is that the settings behind Plusnet's IP profile means that downloads don't quite run at the absolute full speed that the line is capable of. There's another 2-3Mbps available when you are put on the faux "no limit" limit; this difference is visible in the Ofcom broadband speeds report (May 2013), where the Plusnet speeds (on "up to 76" packages) are a hair behind the BT equivalents.
Oh... and there was one period when PN caused everyone's download speed to max out at 40Mbps for a while. While it could be seen during speed tests, it wasn't very noticeable in real use.
Upload Speeds
We've never seen a problem with these.
Using the unlocked Huawei modem, I changed the QoS setting (to turn QoS off), which resulted in upload speeds increasing; IIRC it gives you about an extra 1.5 Mbps.
Usage
When we first ordered fibre, we were running at around 13GB usage per month, with 2 people working from home. And a good chunk overnight too.
We now go through around 100GB, little overnight, and are comfortably under our 250GB limit. It seems that giving kids an iPad at school, and them discovering iPlayer, causes a leap in usage Wink
The only problem is that, because we haven't seen the need to change from the old "Fibre Extra" package to the new "Unlimited" equivalent, they won't let us trial the PN TV product Sad
Plusnet Customer
Using FTTC since 2011. Currently on 80/20 Unlimited Fibre Extra.
NorthEasterner
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Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

@DomS
How do you know that i'm moaning about BT speed?
secondly how do you know I need wireless telephone extension?
Sounds as someones stalking me  Wink
Ex Plusnet Fibre customer. BT Infinity Customer using a BT Smart Hub. If you wish to say thanks, please click the thumbs up Thumbs Up
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

You linked to the BT forum on here about your BT66 junction box - it lets you view the other posts the member has been and I noticed you'd had a moan that you were getting a slower speed than on PN.
Did you have PN to that property before (I vaguely remember you saying it was a newish build or something).
Even down our street, FTTC speed varies quite considerably.
NorthEasterner
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Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Yes I had plus net at the new build on the same line ending on 1140
I thought the speed would be the same. Unless I've been moved location inside the cabinet.
Ex Plusnet Fibre customer. BT Infinity Customer using a BT Smart Hub. If you wish to say thanks, please click the thumbs up Thumbs Up
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Hmm strange one if it's the same physical line (which it should be) as it's really the distance from the cab that makes the main difference in speed.
NorthEasterner
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Registered: 25-09-2012

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

I live on a estate that it is in a development stage.  So more people are moving in and taking broadband whether it is FTTC.  So that increases demand at the cabinet.
Is that why the speed slowed down?
Ex Plusnet Fibre customer. BT Infinity Customer using a BT Smart Hub. If you wish to say thanks, please click the thumbs up Thumbs Up
Community Veteran
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Registered: 18-01-2013

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Possibly.
As the cabinet fills up, crosstalk issues can happen and the speeds slow down a little.
It could also be down to a number of other things though.
lorisarvendu
Grafter
Posts: 334
Registered: 26-08-2007

Re: Two years on - Fibre, how am I doing?

Well after posting the original question there's been quite a lot of feedback, and all of it very interesting.  I seem to be alone in experiencing such a drop in speed over the past year though. Obviously my house hasn't crawled further away from the cabinet, so there must be something else at play here.  Assuming that fibre take-up is the same across the board then I would assume everyone else would have the same increase in contention and crosstalk to me.  So why my difference?
There is the fact that the underground wiring in our estate is aluminium, and that is more susceptible to crosstalk than copper.  However it hasn't been a gradual degredation (it's the same now as it was last October), which I would expect if it was related to steadily increasing subscribers.  So maybe something "happened" a year ago and there is now a long-term issue with the cabinet but because everyone's speed is still well within the accepted margins, BT don't see fit to address it. 
A tortoise? What's that?
You know what a turtle is? Same thing.