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Connection Speed Queries

Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Connection Speed Queries

Additional Reading

Since the release of BT’s ADSL Max service, there has been a large amount of confusion what should and should not be expected performance wise. I think that this is partly down to a number of people not really understanding the way that the service now works. Clearly that’s no one’s fault, but I hope that by reading this, it will allow more to have a better understanding of what they are receiving speed wise.

One very useful tool is the BT Speedtest, which can be found at

It will ask you for your telephone number and your login name. This will probably be Once you have processed this information, it will give you some information which will look like this:

IP profile for your line is - 7150 kbps
DSL connection rate: 832 kbps(UP-STREAM) 8128 kbps(DOWN-STREAM)
Actual IP throughput achieved during the test was - 6782 kbps

So what does this actually mean? The IP Profile that the test refers to is a figure close to the restriction at BT’s end, often referred to as the bRAS profile. This is the maximum speed that you will be able to get out of your line until this profile is amended. The DSL connection rate shows you at what speed signal your modem or router is connecting to your exchange at. The actual IP throughput shows you the speed at which you downloaded a file at against our Network.

So, what’s this bRAS thing I’m referring to? It’s basically a BT restriction setting what they believe the fastest you will be able to download at. It is meant to be judged on your lowest connection speed over a 3 day period. It is designed to recalculate every 3 days, giving you a truly rate adaptive service.

As such, your connection speed can be susceptible to improvement or degradation frequently. So, obviously everyone will want to ensure that they are getting the best speed available to them. Now, ADSL Max is a lot more “fragile” than the fixed rate services that BT used to offer as it will allow you to gain the nest possible speeds from your line, which means pushing the boundaries a bit more. There are a number of factors that play into the connection rate that you will receive, and normally this means to ensure that your wiring is sensible, on other words, connecting directly into your master socket via a micro filter. It’s also often a sensible idea to ensure that all of your internal BT sockets have filters connected.

We also have our internal profiling. This is shown as “High Speed Broadband” in the connection settings area of your member centre. This can be found here:

This should be set at a similar rate to the bRAS profile. It is merely us mapping the information that BT have sent us.

We also have a comprehensive guide to the Max Broadband service:

NB: Please note. This information applies to those on a BT IPStream service. Those on IPStream Max will have an upstream connection speed of 448kbps, whereas on a Tiscali service, upstream speeds will generally be higher.