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Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

markroxxy123
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Registered: ‎19-04-2020

Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Hello,

 

The broadband availability checker states the following;

                                            High       Low

VDSL Range A (Clean)       41.8       27.4

VDSL Range B (Impacted)  40.5       24.6

 

My broadband service

  • Product: Unlimited Fibre
  • Estimated Download Range: 24 - 38Mbps
  • Estimated Upload Range: 5 - 7Mbps
  • Minimum Guaranteed Speed: 22.7Mbps
  • Current Line Speed (Download): 18.4Mbps

 

My IP Profile is currently set at 18.52mbps

For my connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 12.96 - 18.52 Mbps
 

I have logged a fault previously, but an openreach visit could not find any fault. It was suggested the line was performing as expected. It was indicated it was not possible to achieve the speeds as shown in the availability checker.

 

Why would Plusnet offer speeds that are not achievable? Why is the availability checker so inaccurate in over estimating possible speeds? I have seen other posts where the checker underestimated their speeds.

 

The openreach engineer confirmed it wouldn't matter what provider I used.

 

The upload estimates align across the checker, Plusnet and actual results.

 

19 REPLIES 19
Baldrick1
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

@markroxxy123 

You have to realise that Plusnet are just a reseller of the broadband service so can only pass on the speeds estimated and quoted to them by those who actually provide the service, be they also part of the BT group.

The question has to be asked whether you have done all the necessary tests in your property and that this is the synch speed when your hub is plugged in to the BT Test socket, that's the one you access by taking the front off the Master socket and hence disconnecting all extension wiring? I have known extension cabling to cause a massive drop in synch speed.

markroxxy123
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Thanks.

I have been through two faults, plugged into the test socket numerous times (this makes no difference).

The engineer replaced the wall socket, the router and all wires have been replaced with no affect.

Most (if not all) providers use the checker, it is also used by local and central governments when quoting figures about superfast broadband coverage.

 

I know I have to accept the speeds I get, I wondered why the checker is so inaccurate? I am struggling to find answers.

The FTTC speeds I get are the same as ADSL. 

As the cabinet I am connected to was installed next to the exchange, then am I right in thinking FTTC would not make a difference to my speeds?

Does the checker make too many presumptions around FTTC? My line length is around 1.2km, but as the crow flies it is around 0.4km. Does the checker not use line length in its estimates?

 

 

 

 

 

 

markroxxy123
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

After some digging, I have discovered the reason.

Based on the ISPs signed up to the OFCOM code of practice (BT, EE, Talk Talk and Utility warehouse), the speeds offered to customers are the same - speed range 16-18mb, minimum guarantee of 15mb.

 

If I try to purchase business broadband, I am given a speed range of 25-38mb, with a minimum guarantee of 23mb.

 

So clearly the line is capable of the speeds as per the availability checker, but these speeds are reserved for business customers only.

Mustrum
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

@markroxxy123  that's not how it works. A business line cannot overcome the length from the cabinet.

 

Ask PN for a GEA test to see your line length, plus any issue you may have.

Is there any noise on your line causing it to slow, or is it just the condition of the wires between you and the cabinet. 

All the time an ISP is not delivering your minimum speed you can raise a fault until either they let you leave for free or the line gets fixed. mind you, going elsewhere may not help increase speeds.

OR engineers are very good at fobbing off customers and saying nothing else can be done, but there are good ones - if you find one make sure you get the best biccies out and lots of tea!

markroxxy123
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Registered: ‎19-04-2020

Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Thanks for the reply.

 

I have raised numerous faults, without any success. my line length is around 1.2km from cabinet/exchange (cabinet was installed just outside the exchange).

I don't see the point of raising another fault. The Openreach engineer visit, stated no fault was found with the line or equipment. I have subsequently been told any further engineer visits will be chargeable.

I think it is safe to say that changing providers wont make a difference (unless its for business broadband potentially).

I am just intrigued why the availability checker gives such high estimates given the line length. It is confusing - as providers who offer non-business broadband suggest 16-18mb, but business broadband providers suggest 25-38mb. 

I wonder if there are capacity issues given COVID? with more people working from home, I wonder if speeds are capped to cope with extra traffic?

 

 

markroxxy123
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Plusnet have finally admitted to banding my line (this is after nearly year of fault reporting)

So I understand now what the process is. I didn’t know what banding was until my 4th fault was raised.

Plusnet automatically place banding (in effect speed capping) on customers broadband.

Wait for customer to raise fault.
Whilst fault is open, secretly remove banding without informing customer so that the speeds jump up to meet contractual obligations.
Fault is closed are speeds are now satisfactory.

Shortly afterwards place banding online again.
Customer raises second fault.
Engineer visit arranged to coincide with removing of banding.
Engineer confirms no fault on line and customer confirms speeds now satisfactory.
2nd fault is now closed.

Place on banding on line again.
3rd fault raised.
Customer told engineer visits I are now chargeable. Visits declined by customer.
Banding is lifted again, though only slight speeds increased, fault is closed as plusnet say nothing more can be done.

Banding placed on line again, but this time speeds reduced to below half of minimum guaranteed speed.
4th fault raised.
9 days later plusnet admit to banding and say it will take a couple of days to remove.
At the time of writing no reason for banding is given, but last contact indicates no fault exists.
pjmarsh
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Plusnet (or any ISP for that matter) don't have the ability to place banding on your line.  They also only have limited ability to remove it (unless things have changed, as that was a trial a while ago).  Banding is placed on lines by DLM, which is part of the equipment in the cabinet, which is there to try and balance the speed and stability of your line.  It used to be a case that the only way it could be removed was via an engineer visit, though as I say, there was a tool being trialled a while ago (possibly a year or 2 ago) that allowed participating ISPs to request that the banding on a specific line was reset.  I seem to remember even then it took a while (overnight I think) and didn't always work.

On another comment you've made, "Customer told engineer visits I are now chargeable", all visits are chargeable if the fault is shown not to be with the Openreach equipment/line, unless the Openreach systems are showing that there is an issue within their equipment/line.

 

markroxxy123
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

So plusnet are lying to me? They said that my speed is banded and they have sent an email to their un-banding team.

Regarding engineer visit costs, I have already had an engineer visit. My line is Openreach, master socket faceplate was fitted by Openreach. Router and wires provided by plusnet.
I was told if no fault found then I would have to pay for second visit. My first visit identified no fault, so I chose not to incur cost of second visit.
pjmarsh
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

I don’t see how that differs from what I said. If the agent has emailed the unbanding team, then that is probably just the team with access to the Openreach tool I mentioned. It doesn’t mean that they have banded you themselves.
Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

I just thought I’d post to clarify a few things. The fibre unbanding process is as follows:

  • Agent emails a faults agent and the line details are added to the DLM reset tracker
  • Tracker’s sent across to suppliers at the end of each working day for bulk DLM resets
  • DLM is reset within 3 working days

We also don’t charge per engineer visit if part of the same fault investigation. The maximum we’d charge for an engineer call out is £65 per fault investigation.

We robustly defend all engineer charges and we’ll only pass on £65 of the charge we receive within 90 days of a fault investigation closing, based on the overall outcome.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
markroxxy123
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Thanks for the reply.

I would still like to know why my line is banded in the first place. The DLM resets always occur around 2-3am in the morning, suggesting it is scheduled.

Since the latest banding was applied, my speeds are typically below 10mbps against an minimum guarantee of 22.5mbps and a BT wholesale estimate of 20-40.

If there is no fault on the line (as per the GEA test and Openreach engineer visit), why are my speeds so low? Will it ever be possible to find out why?

I suspect the FTTC technology used by Openreach has had a negative impact on speeds rather than a positive one. The speeds I get now are far worse compared to to those achieved under ADSL, but I can’t move back to ADSL now.

Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

I'm afraid we aren't given a reason why DLM does the things it does, such as apply banding to a line. Line tests aren't showing any issues and your connection's stable so it's a bit of a mystery.

Let's see where your speed goes to once the banding's been removed and how things go from there. If your speed drops again we'd likely need to arrange another engineer visit to investigate further.

We'd be happy to downgrade your service back to standard broadband as a goodwill gesture due to the issues you're having. If you'd like to arrange this, I'd recommend calling our customer options team on 0800 013 2632.

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 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
markroxxy123
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Thanks for your reply. I will update again once the banding has been removed. I am not expecting up to 40mbps as per the by wholesale checker but when my speed is around 20mbps this does generally meet my needs.

My concern about going back to ADSL is will it be as good as it was? Is capacity an issue? Where I live is popular with commuters so wonder if due to COVID, the exchange is dealing with far more than it could have ever been expected to deal with?
Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband Availability Checker / Minimum Speed Guarantee / Reality

Generally if there's a capacity issue at the exchange it would affect both fibre and ADSL as both would share BT's SVLAN infrastructure. If you aren't seeing slowdowns at peak times now then there doesn't seem to be a capacity issue (and tests show this too), so a capacity issue shouldn't suddenly occur when moving back to ADSL.

We can always move you back to fibre if you find for one reason or another ADSL wasn't as good as it once was or fibre's still better. Although that'd depend on how full the cabinet is, because you'd be forfeiting your fibre port by moving to ADSL, so if cabinet capacity is full, someone else may take the port you've got.

Obviously it'd be ideal to fix your fibre service so you've got a consistent speed within expectations. 

Let me know how it goes next week once the banding's been removed.

[edit]

Do you know anybody in your neighbourhood who has fibre and what kind of speeds they're getting?

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