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Fibre. Any good?

bullfist
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-08-2015

Fibre. Any good?

I'm on a 2Mbit ADSL link ('cos we're quite a long way out of town).  Although we're getting 2Mbit, at peak times the contention ratio gets atrocious - it's almost hopeless trying to stream video in the evenings.
So I have two options move to fibre or go elsewhere.
Although fibre gives me a higher data rate, will the contention ratio still give me problems and drop-outs while streaming video at peak times?
(Contention ratio = everybody in the street having to use the one link from the exchange to the internet).
10 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Fibre. Any good?

if you can advise which exchange you are on the staff here will be able to check for contention problms
What is the estimate for fibre from http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/ADSLChecker.TelephoneNumberOutput
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Also, is your ADSL currently with Plusnet? I ask because apparently TalkTalk products that don't use an LLU exchange can be very bad for speed. I know that when I used to have TalkTalk through a Market 1 exchange (no LLU), the speeds were atrocious in the evenings.
As for fibre itself, I think it is superb. Your speed will obviously depend on your distance from the cabinet. BT Speed estimates are just that - the speed you will get could be higher or lower than the estimate.
You are doing the right thing in checking for any congestion or capacity issues in the first instance.
MattyC
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Registered: ‎10-04-2014

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Either way, your estimate is about 35/7 so drastically better than what you'd be getting now. I recommend it, though you may prefer words from non-Plusnet staff.
ex-Plusnet staffer. Any posts after 28/07/2017 aren't on behalf of Plusnet
Superuser
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Fibre. Any good?

With that download estimate I suggest giving fibre a try. However the product Plusnet will put you on is 40/2 (more properly 38/1.9) so your upstream speeds will (effectively) be capped.
Compared with what you have now this would be paradise, but is there any likelihood that multiple users (family members) might try to stream or download simultaneously?
David
David
lf2k
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎12-05-2015

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Once you've had FTTC it's very hard to go back to a 2Mbps ADSL line!
Whilst you would end up on the 40/2 you should be able to run multiple streams no problem, and you'll find the streams will be of a higher quality (they tend to dynamically scale up/down depending available bandwidth).
You will also  probably find that any congestion issues at your exchange become a thing of the past when you move to fibre.
Andrue
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Registered: ‎12-01-2015

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Quote from: bullfist
(Contention ratio = everybody in the street having to use the one link from the exchange to the internet)
With ADSL your telephone link goes direct to the exchange so it is physically impossible to have contention with just your neighbours. The earliest point at which you can have contention is the exchange itself - your contention will be with people all over your town, not just your street. I'll also say that exchange contention issues are fairly uncommon and usually short lived because BT and LLUOs are normally pretty good at managing capacity (not always but usually).
As for switching to fibre: It's worth noting that contention is a characteristic of the network, not the physical connection. In fact fibre introduces an additional potential point for contention. With fibre your telephone line only goes as far as the cabinet (at least for data, voice is unchanged) so you actually are potentially competing with your neighbours with fibre although it'll be surrounding streets rather than just your own street. As happens it's very unlikely you'd get contention artefacts at the cabinet because BT have installed ample 'backhaul' between cabinets and exchange. Another problem with fibre is the higher bandwidth which demands more overall network capacity and thus could make contention management more difficult and costly.
But should you switch?
Probably, yes. The higher connection speed has to be worth it alone and if you go with a big name ISP (avoiding the cheap, 'never-heard-of-them-before' brigade) contention shouldn't be an issue. PN would normally be a good choice but there is a persistent issue (ongoing since January) that can see people sometimes end up on a dodgy 'gateway'. This can result in poor peak time speeds and in some cases actually unusable connections. Sad to say, therefore, I cannot recommend PN to anyone for fibre at the moment. I'm staying here because I know the workaround and am out of contract but anyone about to commit to an ISP for the next year or more should probably look elsewhere. I just don't know where - AAISP are great but far too expensive  Undecided
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Re: Fibre. Any good?

@bullfist - and just on that point about Plusnet's new fibre provisions, as has been stated, you would be on the 40/2 product. Whilst you may think 2Mbps upload is fine, it may be more important than you think to have good upload speed, especially with the increasing use of cloud based services.
Plusnet have chosen to offer the 40/2 service for new provisions, whilst many other ISPs (like BT) still offer the 40/10 product. I think Plusnet have done this to save money. I am still on their 40/20 product, as the 40/2 product would be a dealbreaker for me, and I would leave Plusnet.
So choose carefully. I can no longer recommend the 40/2 product with Plusnet as I think it is a backwards step. If upload speed is important to you, Plusnet will only give you a fifth of what many other providers will give you.
mlmclaren
Grafter
Posts: 855
Registered: ‎04-12-2014

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Quote from: bullfist
I'm on a 2Mbit ADSL link ('cos we're quite a long way out of town).  Although we're getting 2Mbit, at peak times the contention ratio gets atrocious - it's almost hopeless trying to stream video in the evenings.
So I have two options move to fibre or go elsewhere.
Although fibre gives me a higher data rate, will the contention ratio still give me problems and drop-outs while streaming video at peak times?
(Contention ratio = everybody in the street having to use the one link from the exchange to the internet).

Yeah fibres worth a go... but not with Plusnet.... go with BT or if your exchange has equipment for other providers then maybe try them instead to avoid any issues with congestion.
mlmclaren
Grafter
Posts: 855
Registered: ‎04-12-2014

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Quote from: MattyC
Either way, your estimate is about 35/7 so drastically better than what you'd be getting now. I recommend it, though you may prefer words from non-Plusnet staff.

Thats a bit misleading Matty, surely you mean their estimate is 35/1.9....
and yes the words from customers is, avoid like the plague!
jafreer
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎13-10-2012

Re: Fibre. Any good?

Quote from: The
Thats a bit misleading Matty, surely you mean their estimate is 35/1.9....

I agree, since their upload product would be 2Mbps (1.9 in practice), quoting the 7 Mbps estimate is misleading. I am sure it was just an error as the change to the 2Mbps product is fairly recent.