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Good and Bad

daimon
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Good and Bad

I joined Plusnet about a month ago, but have decided to take advantage of the 30 day trial period and go back to where I came from.
I got connected on time and in a week, they moved my phone line (albeit with a bit of a delay) and everything you need to know is laid out on the Plusnet website very nicely.  I got a VoIP account set-up, although don’t expect anyone to know anything about VoIP at Plusnet.  That’s an RTFM exercise.
The problem has been the line speed and the dreaded automated BRAS profiling.  We used to be at SKY and we know we can get 2.5mb+ on the line.  When SKY test the line they tell you that is what you will get.  On Plusnet after the 10 days we were at 1.5mb and armed with a few routers played around and could get the line sync up to as high as 3,002 kb at night, but still only 1.75mb on a speed test after midnight.
So as we did at Sky, they had this habit of defaulting the profiling now and again and we had to ring up and say “don’t touch” , switch off ADSL2 and open up a 4MB circuit and we were back to our normal 2.5-3.0 MB on a speed test.  The problem at Plusnet is they do NOT APPEAR to have the control SKY have and cannot manually optimise a line and watch for error etc.  Its automated, then it is what is.  The result has been that BBC iPlayer which we “did” watch keeps buffering and the Sky TV is a case of forget it in terms of streaming.  That needs 2.5mb at least. 
From a Gaming point of view, my son tell me its great as the gaming ports are optimised and the bandwidth need is limited.
Anyway, I waited a week for a MAC code and we are off back to SKY.  If you are on a long line to the exchange and you are in the ~2MB line speeds, you could be doing better.  If I was getting 2.5MB I would have stayed as I could actually understand the Plusnet staff, that bit is great!
I am leaving my phone line with Plusnet and that is a nice package, but I will loose the VoIP I battled for days to get working.
As I say its good and bad!
4 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,750
Thanks: 267
Fixes: 78
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Good and Bad

I'm sorry to hear that our VOIP and broadband services didn't work out at all well for you.
Looking at your line stats I can't honestly say that any better could be achieved via the BT wholesale network used by ourselves. I'm not sure what level of control Sky have over their broadband circuits but we do have procedures in place to test for, diagnose and raise faults I have followed these procedures through and I can't honestly see any issues.
To comment more specifically on VOIP and what we believe understand you were wanting to use the service for, you may have had an increased level of service in that area by taking a business package with us as these are given more appropriate traffic management priorities for VOIP plus further options are available such as a MAX premium service (offering an increased upstream of 832kbps) which are normally recommended for the best possible performance using VOIP.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
daimon
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Good and Bad

Thanks for your comments.
Its a strange situation with line speed, but when the 8MB & 24MB speeds that are liberally advertised are effectively 4 miles away down a cable, you tend to get a bit desperate to achieve the best possible connection speed. So if you have 4-6MB it would not matter, but when it takes out iPlayer and Sky player in terms of streaming which we use a lot we felt it was a step backwards.
The email Sky sent said we are likely to get 2.5mb from their standard line check.  We have a Zyxel router that insists on having the noise threshold at 11db verses a Netgears 7db and the sync speed is somewhat lower.  With a Broadcom chipset based router (old SKY Netgear router) and using the DMT Linux interface software,  it is possible while watching the error rate to force down the noise threshold and increase the sync speed and increase the resultant speed.  On SKY you can ask for the 4mb circuit to be enabled and make sure they release a default 2MB limit.  At night its then quite possible to get a speed of 3.2mb+ .  Its then down to having some knowledge of routers, but 2.8mb is sustainable on the line.  So it seems the automated line profiling leaves a very wide margin of safety which I think Sky have realised and have acted upon.  The changes on Sky are immediate following a resync rather than 3 days.
As regards VoIP that has settled down, but that gets cut off apparently with the Broadband.
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Good and Bad

LLU doesn't have DLM like BT Wholesale circuits do, but you can have a banded profile of sorts, which is probably what Sky use.
For lines with fluctuating speeds LLU is sometimes the better option, as you get the throughput speeds everytime you reconnect.
daimon
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Good and Bad

The maximum sync speed we gained at Plusnet was 3.02 mbit, but with 1.75mbit maximum download speed.  The initial sync at Sky is 3.6mbit with speedtest download at 3.11mbits.  Downloading of first files at solid 383kbps. Quite a difference.