UNSTABLE & SLOW BROADBAND
Forgive me but this is going to be quite a lengthy post. I will try to be as brief as possible.
In Nov 2019 I renewed my Broadband & Home Telephone contract with Plusnet with. At their request, an upgrade to fibre. This is FTTC with speeds detailed as 15-22Mb/S with a guaranteed minimum of 13Mb/S. My property is in a rural location and is a lone house, 1901m from the cabinet. I should add at this point it has long been my habit to check broadband speeds weekly
After the mandated 2 weeks wait following receipt of the Plusnet and connection by Open Reach I was getting 23Mb/S with a wireless connection. Very happy with that. Over time that speed decayed bit by bit until it seemed to plateau out at between 12 to 15Mb/S and this would be around March 2020. It was adequate for my use at the time so I left it unremarked. The speed remained stable at those speeds until early October 2020 when it dropped to 8 to 10Mb/S and then after a couple of weeks to 6 to 7.
It was at this point that I contacted the much vaunted Plusnet Customer Service. The advisor to whom I spoke said that he was seeing 10Mb/S when he did a line test and that, anyway, 6 to 7Mb/S was within my contracted speed parameters. I pointed out to him that was not the case and let him know that I still had hard copy and e-mail evidence as to what my contracted speeds are. He then confirmed that I was correct but that, on my line and at this distance from the cabinet, 6 to 7Mb/S was the best that I could hope for. I was then given the options of being passed on to someone and try to negotiate a lower price for the remainder of my contract or exit the contract without penalty and find another provider. My response was to say that I didn’t believe that was how contracts worked.
With no improvement to my service I contacted the Customer Service again and was now advised that I must conduct a line speed check using the BT Wholesale Speed Check tool, that it must be wired and not wireless and that I should download the test results and add that to the open ticket. I did that, repositioning my PC right next to the master socket and using a 50cm ethernet cable. I did the tests wired and wireless to demonstrate that there was no difference between the two methodologies. By now my line speed was down to between 3 to 4Mb/S. I attached the test results to the ticket and there was no response.
Further conversations with customer service had me repositioning my PC again, removing the faceplate from the master socket and connecting the router, via an ADSL filter, direct to the master socket. Again, test results downloaded and no response.
When I telephoned again the line test results showed up a fault of ‘Imbalanced Cable’. Open reach were on the case! An engineer telephoned me within the defined timescale and said that he had found corrosion on the connectors at the cabinet, that he had cleaned that corrosion off and that I now had 15.8Mb/S at the master socket. During the conversation with him he mentioned ‘resetting’ the broadband and he agreed to carry out that for me. 18Mb/S at the master socket. But only 1.7MbS on a wired speed test.
More conversations with customer service and I was sent a new router – the same model as the old one. Made no difference.
Further contact with customer service and Open Reach on the case again. This time the engineer visited my house after he had ‘rectified’ the fault by replacing corroded contactors at the cabinet. He passed me his portable test device which showed a bar graph with periods when the signal had dropped out all together and the variation in speeds over time. It also showed that I now had 22Mb/S at the master socket. I asked how long that was likely to last – his response – hopefully for good. A wireless speed test showed 15Mb/S at my PC.
That speed has now dropped again and levelled out at a steady 8.7Mb/S (wireless) although there are still fairly frequent periods when it drops to around 5Mb/S, sometimes briefly and sometimes for an hour or so, and occasionally it drops to less than 1Mb/S or drops out completely
I have added a lot of information to the ticket but no one responds.
Before I speak to customer service again can someone more knowledgeable than I offer an explanation as to what it is that may cause this decay of speed over time. My suspicion is that the speed is being throttled. I would also value opinion in respect of the contractual situation.
I would also appreciate views on whether replacing the Plusnet router with a BT Smart Hub 6 might help. I read here that it is compatible with the Plusnet service.
Finally, if you have persisted and read all the way through this missive I thank you very much, whether you are able to help or not.