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How good is ADSL2+?

How good is ADSL2+?

How good is ADSL2+?

We all want to go faster.  And one of the most anticipated changes in the UK broadband market has started. As part of BT's 21st Century Network project a programme to upgrade the UK's exchanges to support ADSL2+ is well under way. We want to be able to offer our customers the fastest speed possible as soon as possible. But we also want to make sure customers will get a reliable service. So I wanted to see for myself just how good ADSL2+ is. Back in June we first wrote about our plans to use BT's new products to offer our customers faster speeds. We provided an update in September to confirm that our new backhaul link had been successfully installed. From the outset we've made it clear that we plan to take things steadily - we and our customers had a tough time in 2006 when the IPStream Max 8Mbps upgrades went a little awry. So this time round we want to be certain we won't drown in a wave of service issues as customers get faster speeds but less stable lines. So lots of testing is key to that, and the first round of trials involves staff broadband lines. When the Plusnet product team first asked me if I wanted to be the first staff member to trial ADSL2+ on my line my answer was a very straight 'no'. Why? Because I rely on my broadband line for working from home. I watch iPlayer most days, I'm always on email and use the web for news, blogs, banking and entertainment. I couldn't tell you the last time I looked in the Yellow Pages, because like many people now I rely on Google to find everything I want. So the idea of going onto a trial that might mean intermittent service did not appeal at all. So after half a dozen staff lines had been upgraded (and admittedly a few of those were a bit bumpy!) I finally succumbed to Dave and James' nagging and the order went into BT Wholesale. My line synchronises to the exchange at 7.5Mbps usually and I get a pretty steady 5 or 6Mbps throughput on speed testers. Despite being a constant web user I rarely use more than 5GB in a month. My line was upgraded, on time, with no noticeable down-time. Using my existing router, a 2-Wire gateway, I could see that my upstream synch had increased to 855Kbps and speed tests confirmed this. However my downstream synch speed had only increased to about 8Mbps. Slightly disappointed by this, I followed up with the guys in the office the next day. James checked my router stats (6dBs is apparently pretty good for downstream SNR) and we decided my router was probably the issue. So armed with a shiny new D-Link 2640B I tried again. Straight away things improved. Synch increased from 7.5Mbps downstream to 12Mbps, upstream stayed the same at 855Kbps. A new speedtest showed the increase in throughput too. So what of the experience? Well, web browsing seems to be a little snappier. Top Gear looks great in high quality mode on the iPlayer and Skype still works fine for video-conferencing to Japan. I used to get one or two drops in synch a week but so far my line actually seems more stable with ADSL2+ than it did ADSL. All in all I'm happy. But I have a feeling there's more I can do to get my synch rate up from 12Mbps to perhaps 16Mbps. I'll keep experimenting and will let you know how I get on. In the meantime BT has announced a whole load of new exchange go-live dates which you can check at SamKnows or from the Plusnet Usergroup site. The product team will also be back here to update you all on how our testing is going and when we hope to launch upto 24Mbps speeds for our customers to try out. We also need to decide what headline speed to use. Happy surfing :-) Neil Armstrong Products Director, Plusnet

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20 Comments
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20 Comments
Dabbler
Hi, Was just wondering what your router was before you changed to the D-link Also Great name ;-) Thanks Neil
Grafter
Neil had a 2wire 1800HG if I remember rightly. Ian
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the 2wire router 1800hgv is not good at syncing high even with a firmware update. The netgears with a broadcom chipset will yield a higher sync, possibly 18mb to 20mb
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[...] accounts live on the trial (and another 4 in progress), including Neil Armstrong, whose initial feedback you can read here, feedback from the other trialists has been positive thus far as [...]
Seasoned Pro
Can a connection on ADSL2 be switched back to ADSL1 if it doesn't perform? Preferably without waiting for BT.
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@axisofevil. Supposedly yes. Most routers have the ability to set the type of modulation they use thus forcing the router to 'talk' to the exchange in ADSL1 mode. Some routers will simply ignore that, and revert back to ADSL2+ - you could say the router knows best Wink If it does that, a simple ticket to support asking them to switch you back to ADSL1 should solve the problem within 24-48 hours.
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Can you tell me what software you used to get the results on the tests. I have tried a few online tests but they appear to vary quite a bit. Also is there software that tells you how far from the exchange you are? I have an 8Mbs line but i'm only getting 270Kb/s download speeds using a Draytec Vigor 2800 router. Thanks
Anonymous
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I wonder if you could indicate the distance Neil is from his exchange. My local exchange is due for upgrade at the end of next Feb and I'd like to know if I might expect a similar result. Does anyone know if ADSL2+ is more or less fussy about distance?
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[...] the start of the trial and an update on how things are going from September. There’s also a blog from our Marketing director, Neil Armstrong, about his trial line and how that’s [...]
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Vety unimpressed! Still looks like 99.9% of us will not benifit as:. 1. do not live in the south or near to where any the directors of the major telecoms live 2. we live more than 2.2meteres fom the exchange When is real bradband comming? you know 100mbps min. Like S.Korea.
Not applicable
@ Chris Hyslop, I used www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk you can check your distance from the exchange on www.samknows.co.uk @Alistair Walker, I live 1.08km according to SamKnows but that's a straight line distance @Paul, ADSL2+ coverage is planned to cover 40% of the population by April 09 and then goes up to 90% over the next 12 months I think. I live in Sheffield and am just over 1km from the exchange
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[...] 21CN Much has been said about the next generation of BT Wholesale products and BT’s new 21CN network. If you’ve not heard anything about this (where have you been?), then you can bring yourself up to speed by reading the blog posts here and here. [...]
Dabbler
It's up to BT and Virgin Media, I guess. http://www.broadband-finder.co.uk/blog/2009/03/04/bts-next-gen-broadband-given-regulatory-go-ahead/ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/cable/a95732/analogue-axe-could-lead-to-100mbps-net.html See Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS http://www.broadband-finder.co.uk/blog/category/virgin-media/
Grafter
i have a draytek vigor 2800g recently left aol for O2 Oh Boy!!1 do i regret this.....now i get between 315 kbs and 760 kbs download Today i asked for my mac.... question ? where do i go now, any help please
Grafter
sorry meant to say I live in Aberdeen....kincorth exchange
mak
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b.t are just to slow. my speed is so poor, and the customer service is a joke say away from them, there money mad, 21cn belive it when i see it, b.t have made the u.k broadband slow and poor, virgin all the way for me
Dabbler
Connection rates 5M before 8M after - Upload speed has doubled to 834k
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I don't know about ADSL2+, I would be happy with download speeds greater than 8kbps... Yes just 8kbps, not he 4000 kbps that I should be getting with Plusnet. Bet Neil Armstrong wouldn't tolerate such a rubbish service would he!
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So far i have seen no change in line speed on ADSL +2 Its still the same old rubbish 1.5Mbps which is generally no good for anything, if you think 1.5Mbps is good enough then you obviously don't use the internet properly and just probably check your emails and look at text websites. Apparently i live just a few more meters over the maximum distance from the exchange to get anything more than 1.5Mbps Surely there must be something i can do or someone i can contact to sort this problem out!! Can i not contact BT Directly and get them to sort my line out "Im willing to pay money to receive a better service" Put a new Line in Put better hardware in the exchange? Anything ? I guess for now i will have to look into Mobile broadband as clearly BT can't manage much.
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Yes, we can't know how the world would be if don't have Adsl connection.