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The slow ‘faster’ Internet

BT sells Infinity, even to today, as having between 38 and 76Mbps speeds.

BT sells Infinity, even to today, as having between 38 and 76Mbps speeds. Click for bigger picture.

I was one of the lead campaigners to bring BT Infinity to my lovely town of Whitchurch, Hampshire during the ‘Race to Infinity’ competition way back in the autumn of 2010. There were to be 10 rural towns in the UK to be upgraded first to fibre optic technology and its associated faster connection speeds to the Internet.

We won! It was a fantastic community-led campaign that introduced me to so many great people – see the campaign archive: click HERE.

Some people in town have now benefited from BT’s claimed 38 to 76Mbps connection speeds.

However, 3 years on from the win, and others are still waiting for the service to be installed. Ironically, those in the town centre are the most affected by the delays; as well as some of the rural villages neighouring our town. See the various stories on the town website for that — click HERE.

Then there is me…

BT Openreach engineers install the FTTC fibre cabinet on London Street, Whitchurch, Hampshire in March 2012

BT OpenReach engineers install the FTTC fibre cabinet on London Street, Whitchurch, Hampshire in March 2012

GOLDILOCKS

Those of us who live in the ‘Goldilocks’ area – not too close to the town centre, and not too far away either – were able to place orders since May 2012.

My line was to be upgraded on 1 June 2012. Alas, my installation didn’t go well – 6, or was it 7?, visits by BT to try and get it working – and I was left with a very basic service in September. To their credit, BT offered a discount to entice me to stay with the service rather than going back to my previous ADSL connection.

Our house is apparently right at the end of a line that runs from the cabinet, up the main street, past a pub (surely that’s relevant?), around a corner and then up my street, with several cable splits/joins along the way.

I wrote a letter to the town’s website to let others know of my situation – see HERE.

A LOT LESS THAN PROMISED

BT tweets on 3 July 2012 that 15Mbps is the minimum speed for the Infinity product.

BT tweets on 3 July 2012 that 15Mbps is the minimum speed for the Infinity product.

BT told me I should get 19.7Mbps download speed, and “up to” 2Mbps upload speed (for comparison, on their ADSL technology I had about 7Mbps download and 0.3Mbps upload).

After the installation in September, I was seeing 14.7Mbps – which is just under the 15Mbps that BT themselves told me was  their lower limit for the technology to be sold to customers. They claimed I was getting 15Mbps but I couldn’t see that because there was ‘overhead’. I presume they mean extra data exchanged on the line – or perhaps some small bit given over to BT FON.

FURTHER SLOW-DOWN

The official BT speed test of my service shows a very slow service indeed.

The official BT speed test of my service shows a very slow service indeed.

The connection speed has deteriorated significantly since its installation. Yesterday and today the download speed was under 10Mbps – it was 9.3Mbps Saturday evening, and now on Sunday morning it is at 9.5Mbps.

I have contacted BT Care but I hold out little hope of a massive improvement, though. To fix it right, they would need to relay the cabling along our road or install a cabinet closer. Ha! I asked for that last year and got nowhere.

2 comments to The slow ‘faster’ Internet

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  • BT said there was a problem in the exchange (!?). Just after midnight today, I saw the download speed increase to just above 15Mbps, and the upload speed hover around 0.8Mbps. Let’s hope it gets even better.

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