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Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

anotherbob
Grafter
Posts: 113
Registered: 02-09-2007

Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

I recently changed to "Unlimited Fibre Extra" and I'm getting speeds of around 38 mbps. I see that "Unlimited Fibre" offers speeds up to 38mbps, should I downgrade to save a few quid?
19 REPLIES
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 13-10-2012

Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

In a word - YES
danludlow
Rising Star
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

I was on Extra until a month ago. initially I was getting around 50Mbps down, but as 2015 began, my speeds dropped to about 35Mbps. I was told crosstalk was to blame and therefore Extra couldn't be delivered.
This meant a cost saving of about £5 a month for the reduced (and reasonably stable) service, however, I had McAfee FOC for up to 7 devices as per the Extra features, it now costs me £2 month, so I only save £3, if my figures are right.
I have been told that BTW supply every connection as 80/20 and that PlusNet throttle down to 40/10 themselves. Presumably, paying BTW a fixed price means that there's more profit in supplying an 80/20, but offset this against needing more equipment to handle greater throughput?
It may well be that a 40/10 service is more stable than an 80/20? I understand that one uses more frequencies than the other, but I'm no expert.
Community Veteran
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Plusnet 'Un-extra' Unlimited Fibre is actually 40/20, not 40/10 so it's (normally) provisioned exactly the same as 80/20 and only 'throttled' to 40Mbps on the download side by Plusnet.
The modem still syncs exactly the same as it would if you were on 'Extra' so the same frequencies are used and there should be absolutely no difference in stability.

As an 'aside', this can have a slightly odd effect if using the BT Wholesale performance tester 'Further Diagnostics', I have a sync and BT IP profile over 60Mb/s but download on the tester just below 40Mb/s and the tester thinks the 'low speed' of 40Mb/s indicates a possible problem with my service.  Grin
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.
danludlow
Rising Star
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Thanks for Clarifying w23, it explains why I get more than 10Mbps Up, Somehow I'd convinced myself that it was 80/20 or 40/10, Easily persuaded perhaps! ^-)
Something positive will have to be done regarding speeds, because the pressure will only ever be for faster as time passes and nobody will appreciate having a service that actually slows down, will they. Sufficient speed today rapidly seems to become insufficient speed tomorrow.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 01-01-2012

Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

@anotherbob
You were estimated at 66mbps when you signed up so if your getting below this it may be worth looking at this as a fault before deciding to move packages. If you use our troubleshooter we can investigate https://faults.plus.net
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
jafreer
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

I am on the 40/20 product and could get around 46 Mbps if on the 80/20 product.
At least on the 40/20 product, I am getting all the speed I am paying for (peak time slowdowns aside - that's a whole other story).
If on the 80/20 product, most people will not get too close to the 80, so I think of it as paying for speed I am not getting. Maybe a whacky way of looking at it, but I think you should pay a graded scale for the speed you actually get. How practical that is, I'm not sure. If my sync starts to drop below 40, then I will be annoyed, because I won't even be getting all the speed I am paying for.
On a related note, the BT speed estimates are becoming a farce. The estimate, before you get connected, is an estimate (for what that is worth). However, once you are connected, the 'estimate' is adjusted to reflect the actual speeds you are getting. That is a flawed system in my book. It is flawed because BT and ISP's use these estimates to determine thresholds for faults on your line. These estimates are also used to give customers an idea of speeds for their line before they buy.
If a line is not performing optimally, the 'estimate' adjusts downwards. Best of luck trying to persuade anyone your line is underperforming at that point. They will say it is performing within estimates. Of course it is, the 'estimate' is based on the actual speed. It is a chicken and egg situation at that point.
Some would say that before your line is connected, then an estimate will never be that accurate, so it is better to adjust the estimate based on actual speeds. That logic would be ok if the estimate adjustment was performed on a clean line. It may not be, it is just applied to whatever speeds you are getting.
For example, my line was underperforming because of a large number of errors induced by home networking plugs. I had no idea of this until I analysed line stats on an unlocked modem. The BT speed estimate on my line had dropped according to my actual speeds. That estimate was essentially reflecting a line with problems. That would be very hard to persuade anyone of that because my line was performing within estimates (the new estimates).
So I think the estimate system is seriously flawed.
anotherbob
Grafter
Posts: 113
Registered: 02-09-2007

Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Quote from: Matthew
@anotherbob
You were estimated at 66mbps when you signed up so if your getting below this it may be worth looking at this as a fault before deciding to move packages. If you use our troubleshooter we can investigate https://faults.plus.net


I began the process then remembered that, even though I requested an extension cable, the engineer who installed the fibre setup told me that my existing extension would be OK. It is a TESCO phone extension lead which is a transparent flat lead which is on a kind of "reel". the modem is about 9m away from the primary socket. I wonder if this is up to the job. I asked him at the time and he said it would be fine.
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

@anotherbob - It worries me that installers are telling people that the existing extension wiring is fine when a proper VDSL extension is included in the price of the installation.
When my installation was done, the Kelly installer said my extension wiring would be fine (old flat cable). I had even pre-installed CAT6 twisted pair cable all ready for the day of install, so why he wanted to use the existing cabling I have no idea. I asked him to use the CAT6, which he did.
Anyway, I would recommend twisted pair cable for VDSL extensions. The flat extension cable is not twisted pair. Changing to a better cable will not be a guarantee that it will improve things, but it is a fact that twisted pair cable is more immune to noise than the flat cable.
You can use CAT5E cable, CAT6, CW1308, they should all be better than the flat cable.
I would also recommend that you use a twisted pair cable from the extension box to the modem. I have a wall mounted RJ11 box at the end of my VDSL extension, then a Belkin RJ11 to RJ11 lead (twisted pair) going from that box to the modem. I think it was 3 or 4 pounds from Amazon. Better than the flat RJ11 cable supplied with the Openreach modem.
Like I say, there is no guarantee of improvement, but it gives your connection the best start.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

@anotherbob
I'd recommend finishing the troubleshooter off and putting that info in the additional information field.
We may need to get a engineer out to do the job properly.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
JasonMassey
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Quote from: jafreer

I would also recommend that you use a twisted pair cable from the extension box to the modem. I have a wall mounted RJ11 box at the end of my VDSL extension, then a Belkin RJ11 to RJ11 lead (twisted pair) going from that box to the modem. I think it was 3 or 4 pounds from Amazon. Better than the flat RJ11 cable supplied with the Openreach modem.

I'm using a short length Tandy RJ11 for my own modem.  Not sure if it's making any difference but as you say gives connection the best possible chance.
http://www.tandyonline.co.uk/high-speed-rj11-dsl-cable-0-5m.html
Community Veteran
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Quote from: anotherbob
I began the process then remembered that, even though I requested an extension cable, the engineer who installed the fibre setup told me that my existing extension would be OK. It is a TESCO phone extension lead which is a transparent flat lead which is on a kind of "reel". the modem is about 9m away from the primary socket. I wonder if this is up to the job. I asked him at the time and he said it would be fine.

A flat extension cable is bad news especially if it is long.
Is there any cable left on the reel or is it fully unwound? If there is any left on the reel that is really bad news.
If you there is power near the master socket a simple solution would be to put the modem in to the master and then run an Ethernet cable to the router - that can be up to 100M with absolutely no loss of performance.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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goldenfibre
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

If my FTTC drop from 74/18 to 45/18 when the cabinet fill up with crosstalk. Then I will downgrade to 40/20.
anotherbob
Grafter
Posts: 113
Registered: 02-09-2007

Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Quote from: Matthew
@anotherbob
I'd recommend finishing the troubleshooter off and putting that info in the additional information field.
We may need to get a engineer out to do the job properly.

I went through the troubleshooter process. I connected the modem directly to the primary socket and connected a laptop to the router by LAN. In the 3 BT speedtests I got the same as I did using my original setup including the extension cable and connecting by Wi-Fi. When I did the test involving changing the user name on my router to speedtest@speedtest_net I got another 20 MBPS download speed but it reported only 2MBPS upload. I'll wait to see what my fault report brings.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Am I wasting money on "EXTRA"

Thanks for raising it.
Our faults team will be in touch as soon as possible.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team