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Speed dropping.

redhedgehog42
Grafter
Posts: 50
Registered: 19-12-2014

Speed dropping.

When I originally joined Plusnet FTTC on an unlimited 80/20 contract my speeds were approximately 72 down and 17 up and remained so for several months. Then there was some sort of problem and the speeds dropped to as low as 10 down and 17 up. After raising a fault which revealed some sort of BT problem things were resolved with the speeds  recovering but then they slowly declined to about 66 down and 17 up and by then the IP Profile was being reported as 69.05 down and 20 up - a small reduction from the original 74 down and 20 up.
Yesterday my speeds dropped to about 52 Down and 16 up but the IP Profile was still being reported as 69.05. After contacting Plusnet and raising a fault and speaking to them on the phone things changed a bit:- The Plusnet person I spoke to had me switch off my router (not the modem) and then switch it on again and redo the BTW speed test after which my IP Profile was reported as 53.87. Following his instructions we then tried to set up a PPoE session directly to my computer bypassing the Router but it didn't work so back to the Router it was - IP Profile still 53.87.
At no time for many weeks other than as mentioned above has my Router been off, neither has my Modem.
I don't understand what has suddenly caused to IP Profile and line speeds to drop - and await the response to the fault with interest however if anyone has any ideas I would appreciate hearing them.

As an aside to the above:
In general terms it seems to me as though the whole FTTC scenario is a case of "pot luck" and "be grateful for what you get" irrespective of the contract that you signed up to. Maybe I'm being over critical but in any other commercial scenarios you would have redress or at least an easy path to getting things back to the starting point. But with FTTC it seems your IP Profile can just be lowered willy nilly - presumably by BT/OR and from what I have read no-one can sort it out without a BT engineer visit - which they are reluctant to facilitate, so you are stuck with lower line speeds. Is this poor organisation, or poor technology or are we being taken for suckers? I don't know but it feels like the latter. Sorry for the rant but frustration is getting the better of me. Any Comments?
7 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 5,601
Thanks: 530
Fixes: 203
Registered: 01-01-2012

Re: Speed dropping.

Unfortunately there's a number of reasons why FTTC speeds can drop.
Slow incremental drops can normally be pinned down to Crosstalk which is where interference builds up in the cabinet as more users swap over.
If it's a drop of 30% then our suppliers will investigate but ultimately depending on the cause there may not be anything that can be done.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
redhedgehog42
Grafter
Posts: 50
Registered: 19-12-2014

Re: Speed dropping.

In Reply to Matthew Wheeler.
Thank you Matthew for taking the time to respond.
I will now await the outcome of the Fault Teams investigations.
However I think your respose also neatly encapsulates what I was on about in my "rant". It seems that despite all the hype about superfast broadband the customer (and not just Plusnet customers) sometimes has no option but to accept what is delivered. Imagine buying a car that could do 100 mph the day it was delivered but 6 months later could only do 50 mph and then being told that there was nothing that could be done about it - buyers would be screaming "Trades Description Act", "Sale of Goods Act" etc. and demanding the situation was put right and if it wasn't then seeking and getting redress.
With the internet , as I said previously,  it seems to be a case of "pot luck" and "be grateful for what you get" and there is nothing that can be done and no-one is really championing the customers who appear to have little in the way of rights or legal protection.
It really does seem as though the technology cannot reliably and consistently deliver what appears to be being promised and no individual or ISP seems to have the power or ability to sort things out.
That's the end of my second rant. Hopefully now I've got rid of my frustration for the time being.
Andrue
Pro
Posts: 775
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Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Speed dropping.

Quote from: Seahog
However I think your respose also neatly encapsulates what I was on about in my "rant". It seems that despite all the hype about superfast broadband the customer (and not just Plusnet customers) sometimes has no option but to accept what is delivered.
Yes, that's right. They have to accept the well documented limitations of the technology and obey the laws of physics Wink
Quote
Imagine buying a car that could do 100 mph the day it was delivered but 6 months later could only do 50 mph and then being told that there was nothing that could be done about it - buyers would be screaming "Trades Description Act", "Sale of Goods Act" etc. and demanding the situation was put right and if it wasn't then seeking and getting redress.
Well first off that happens all the time and no-one complains. My car is capable of 100mph but I almost never get a chance to use it because of traffic or road layout. Even if I do get a chance the law says I shouldn't. I have no intention of going to Trading Standards about this because (as with broadband) this is a well known limitation of the technology.
But secondly broadband is a service, not a good. This means that a large chunk of the Sale of Goods Act simply does not apply. Services do not have to be fit for a particular purpose. The provider only has to be able to demonstrate that they are making reasonable efforts to provide the service, charging a reasonable price for it and not misleading the customer.
Quote
With the internet , as I said previously,  it seems to be a case of "pot luck" and "be grateful for what you get" and there is nothing that can be done and no-one is really championing the customers who appear to have little in the way of rights or legal protection.
Yeah, well. You tell us how you would design a data transmission network that not only goes from one end of the country to the other but actually spans the entire globe. Then tells us how you are going to guarantee throughput and bandwidth between any two points.
Quote
It really does seem as though the technology cannot reliably and consistently deliver what appears to be being promised and no individual or ISP seems to have the power or ability to sort things out.
That depends on the nature of the problem. If it's a genuine fault (eg capable broken or line card failed) and you weren't getting it fixed then you'd have a point. But the specific issue you've raised appears to be an expected and predicted issues arising from the nature of the technology being employed. And its worth noting that even if that could be addressed (say by FTTP) there comes a time when your data packets leave the BT and PlusNet networks and that's totally out of their control.
redhedgehog42
Grafter
Posts: 50
Registered: 19-12-2014

Re: Speed dropping.

Reply to Andrue,
Thank you for your considered response, its good when someone reads a post and bothers to reply.
As I said, I was having a bit of a rant as it better relieves frustration than talking to the wall.
I agree with much of your response and whilst maybe my analogies were a bit simplistic but I still think they made a valid point.
Obviously much of business is bounded by the legal framework it operates in but sometimes I feel it might be worth looking at the way customers are informed about the likely outcome of buying a service with everyting explained in a more up front way - too often everything is in the "terms and conditions" and not everyone has the technical ability to understand the implications of what they are reading.
Anyway once again thanks for taking the trouble to respond.
danludlow
Rising Star
Posts: 395
Thanks: 24
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Registered: 03-12-2014

Re: Speed dropping.

Many of us have been here Seahog, some of us (like myself) have had the odd rant too.
I'm thankful that I have FTTC available out here in the sticks, that I can watch TV without buffering, but I'm also very aware that the technology isn't perfect. Piggybacking onto the phone system saved cost and time, but even so, the outlay has to be enormous. Forgetting for a moment the capital cost of supplying each of us with VDSL, in less than a year I have had 6 engineer visits, arguably for the same problem that was not "put to bed", but perhaps not.
Whatever, if I were BT, I'd be worried, and would actively seek to reduce costs which includes engineer visits. For what I pay (full price, from the start, not 6 months or a year discounted), BT will have made nothing from me this year, although they made profit (through PlusNet) for many years previously on ADSL. The economics don't encourage better from BT, do they.
Maybe if an element of each bill related to delivered speed there would be more reason to sort out the technology? Either that (or as well as), what about charging a premium for a faster service which could cover the cost of extra engineering to achieve it?
Just a thought. The "suck it and see" approach does not seem professional or serious.
Andrue
Pro
Posts: 775
Thanks: 90
Fixes: 1
Registered: 12-01-2015

Re: Speed dropping.

I think one of the problems we have is the Ofcom enforced separation of BT Openreach. It means that none of us can raise a complaint with the company that actually owns and operates the plant. We complain to our ISP. Our ISP mentions it to BT Wholesale. BT Wholesale may or may not bother to say something to BT Openreach. And whilst my comments were honest and accurate it is annoying to see connection degradation.
But..what we have is what we have. It's the result of a compromise between what is technologically possible and what is financially practical. I'm nearly 50 years old. I'm a computer programmer. But sometimes I have to stop and think just how amazing it is that I can access files on an old friend's computer in South America any time I want Smiley
redhedgehog42
Grafter
Posts: 50
Registered: 19-12-2014

Re: Speed dropping.

Repliy to danludlow:
Thanks for your observations, some interesting ideas  regarding billing although I can't see it happening without the requirement being imposed by law. I agree that "suck it and see" doesn't look like a professional approach - who knows, one day it may change.
Reply to Andrue:
I agree about the BT / Openreach split but again maybe that will change eventually. I seem to remember that there was some talk about a re-integration of BTW and Openreach in the papers at the end of last year. I also believe that there are more recent calls for Openreach to be totally split from BT putting it in a similar position to Railtrack vis a vis the train operators - who knows -  but it is clearly wrong that there is no way the general public can contact Openreach directly, after all, unless we're with Virgin Fibre, we have to use the infrastructure they are responsible for..
I am 20 years older than you but I worked in an IT department from the days when "Mini Computers" were the size of large fridges up to the time when PC's first became commonplace and like you I find it amazing when I consider just how far we have come since then. With the pace of technological change while it may be a case of "we have what we have ' but it certainly shouldn't be the case of  "and that's what we will always have" . Onwards and upwards and better and better should be the goal of developers and businesses - but of course economics will have to play its part !!!
Once again thanks to everyone. Maybe it's time to end this thread for now - I'll let people know what the result of my fault ticket is in due course.