My BT broadband speed is 1/5 meg !!! Yes, ONE FIFTH meg. That's not broadband speed but broadband crawl.
So I am getting a 4GEE mobile dongle to try and improve matters, although it will only work on 3G in Appleby. I wonder if anyone else in the village is using a dongle at all, and if so what speeds are they getting? Thanks.
From my understanding (which could always be out of date), but I thing EE are the only carrier that offers anything other than 2G coverage to the middle of Appleby, so other people with experience could be in short supply.
My son (Mike), is on the Vodafone network - they only offer 2G within the village, so more or less unusable.
Your broadband (0.5 Meg) sounds horrendous - do you have an NTE5 style master socket (google for an image if not certain), and if you still have a bell wire attached have you tried disconnecting it ? Bell wires are a major source of broadband interference, and are redundant these days (but are quite often still connected on older installations). Hopefully your router is connected at the master, and not an extension socket.
We are not that far from you and can (with a bit of messing around) get around 5.1 meg - although for stability I run the line at around 4.2 meg (we can even run 2 simultaneous Netflix sessions).
0.2 to 0.25 sounds well below "expected" given your distance from the exchange. Are you using BT's own speed tester (sort of assuming you are with BT).
Is your bell wire attached ? That can make quite a difference particularly on "older" installations.
EDIT -- Although if you have already bought the EE dongle sorting out your landline may be a little redundant. You're going to have to keep a very close eye on those download limits. On our TalkTalk line here we are regularly exceeding 100GB per month (our max. is around 160GB). A little extra speed would be nice - but unrealistic at mobile prices.
For what it is worth, fibre broadband for Appleby seems to have slipped a little - it is now "summer 2015".
Most speed testers give similar results. Yes I am with BT. But I don't need a speed tester to know it's bad here. Try downloading a video here, for example, and you will soon learn what long buffering is all about :-)
The house wiring is just pair of wires to 3 phone sockets I believe, nothing else.
As a recent check I connected to the master socket this morning and got .26 meg.
I'm not too sure that fibre to Appleby will help much. Isn't it just from Measham to the Junction box in Measham Rd,? Or will it go on to individual houses? It's the long overhead lines to here that is the trouble methinks.
I can't see the Austrey tower at present because of the trees in bloom.....hope the signal gets through the leaves. :-)
One coverage map put 3G all over Appleby, another put us 50 ft inside the limit !! One cannot believe any of these maps but it's worth a £30 punt to try it out for oneself.
I will let you know, Chris, if I am still a slow coach or not when the "Dingly Lane Dongle" arrives.
My next thoughts will be a Satellite link if the dongle just dangles. :-)
Fibre will be to the junction box. But at least that cuts out a couple of miles of old copper cable from the exchange, and you are probably less than a mile from the end of Parkfield Crescent.
The problem with mobile and satellite broadband for me at least is the cost.
Broadband is a sort of self fulfilling technology - the better and faster it is - the more you use it. Once you get your faster link there will always be the temptation to use it ...... what happens if ...............
When we (at our house) had "slow" broadband (around 2.5 meg) we just sort of accepted it and stayed within our 40 gig per month allowance and rarely use any streaming services. Once better broadband was available and I optimized our internal house wiring and filtering configuration, and moved to an unlimited broadband package things sort of went crazy. We are now regularly using over 100 gig a month, 3 of us using NetFlix, iPlayer etc. (although only 2 concurrently) eats up the gig.
So I getting a solid and consistent 4.25 meg (to the router), regularly download over 100 gig per month, and on the new contract I agreed last week - £7.25 per month including all our phone calls, plus line rental.
But good luck with EE. Your speed should be ok - capacity may be challenging on the wallet.
Horses for courses !!
p.s. The reason I asked about using the BT speed tester is that the new'ish BT Wholesale tester has a second level of more detailed performance numbers, and the last time I looked it gave a direct contact phone number you could use if your performance fell below their "acceptable" range, and I suspect 0.25 meg is below anyone's acceptable range. I am no longer with BT so can't check the exact details.
I've just carried out a BT speed test using my telephone number instead of a post code. BT said result was GOOD. Speed registered was .25 So much for the integrity of BT.
Chris, your new contract at £7.25 per month seems a very good deal for phone calls and line rental too.
Could I ask who that is with and also when you said, "once better broadband was available", how did this come about in the same house? Did your new contract increase your speed over the same wires from the exchange Surely not.
The VERY VERY long saga .................... and hopefully to clear any misunderstanding my earlier posts may have caused ...................... it all started in the dim mist of times past ...........
The "better" broadband initially started just over 3 years or so ago (I think) when Measham was upgraded to support 21CN (21st century) networks. This moved the (theoretical) max. speed from 8 meg to round about 20 meg. according to BT. About the same time I found out that TalkTalk had installed their LLU equipment in Measham, so they were no longer just piggy backing BT's IPStream service, but controlled their own capacity and line performance. They were at that time advertising up to 24 meg., so a little faster than BT. The advertising of "up to" speeds has been tightened up a lot since then and the normal claim is now "up to 17 meg" - obviously all theoretical where Appleby is concerned.
I moved to TalkTalk.
Like most houses in Appleby our house was built before broadband became available. So although everything was more than adequate for ordinary phone and even ISDN services it was not suitable for broadband. A bell wire had been included (no idea why other than that is the way it has always done), our internal phone cabling was actually aluminium (very good quality aluminium, but aluminium) - broadband does not like aluminium - I've heard that a lot of BT's overhead cable jointing in Appleby is aluminium. Plus our master socket was in an unusable position, so extension sockets were used for the house phones and router.
Once we had the better speed broadband I replaced our NTE5 master socket faceplate with an ADSL Nation filtered face plate (far better signal filtering than those little dangly filters that come with the router), and then I by-passed the house's internal phone wiring by installing a short STP (shielded twisted pair) extension cable, a lot less prone to picking up interference, and that connected the router directly to the master socket.
Before 21CN I was getting around 2.6 meg at the master socket, but only around 1.6 at the router (mainly because of the house's internal wiring).
With TalkTalk if you have a good understanding about what you are doing, you can actually "speak" to UK based technical specialists, working with them you can "tune" your broadband line by changing things like performance profiles, interleaving and dynamic line management. After "balancing" all that I was getting just over 5 meg - but it was a little unstable and needed some management. So I swapped my TalkTalk router out and installed a NetGear router, as they have a very good reputation for use on longer BT lines (like Measham to Appleby). My speed (measured at the router) went down to just over 4.2 meg, but it is absolutely rock solid (famous last words), apart from village power cuts and one firmware upgrade I have only had a couple of outages in over two year (and they have both been overnight).
The other thing I like about TalkTalk is that (after you have been with them for even a short'ish while) you can actually phone them up and negotiate you own (unadvertised) contract - they need you more than you need them. This year I managed a new 12 month contract at half price, then another £2 per month off "for loyalty". Also with TalkTalk (at the moment) you can get an extra 15% off your bill by paying within 24 hours of receiving your monthly invoice - so in reality I'm now paying less than £7 per month for unlimited broadband and all my phone calls.
Also, with this new contract they have provided a YouView box (Freeview channels + On Demand + Subscription channels etc. etc.) and a pair of PowerPlug Adapters (Ethernet over the house's electricity circuit) - all at zero cost (hoping I will purchase their pay to view services). But at their imaginative prices £350 worth of kit, not too shabby.
Line rental is on top of that (sorry if that wasn't clear in my earlier post), but you can get discounts by paying a year up front, or again 15% off for paying quickly each month. But however you pay I think they are still cheaper than BT's line rental.
But all in all I'm quite pleased I moved to TalkTalk. I'm a bit of a geek so I enjoy messing around with my systems, and negotiating your own contract can save a good chunk of money, and is quite fun if you enjoy a bit of haggling. I used to find BT's inflexibility very restricting. And of course being an OAP gives me the time to do all this.
TalkTalk tend to be a short while after BT when it comes to providing fibre. At the moment TalkTalk's bottom end fibre offering is their "up to" 38 meg service. Will I get 38 meg - no way. Will I get a good deal more than my current 4.2 meg - almost certainly (but unproven until fibre becomes available and they can run line estimates). That fibre package costs £5 per month at the moment, so I will probably be investing (as long as their estimated speed looks tempting).
One downside of fibre - it is all totally managed by BT Openreach - so they manage the installation and all the performance parameters etc., and apparently don't like "outsiders" interfering - so less personal control.
"For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen" ............. Douglas Adams - HHGTTG.
Well Chris, thanks very much for that mammoth explanation. A very interesting read. It does seem to pay to 'geek around' on one's installation to tweek it up as you have done. Something I have never done. I ran all my own extensions with copper wire many years ago.
I'm afraid that when it comes to computers I am no geek at all........my 'geekiness' for what it is, lies in other spheres.:-)
I did realise that your cost would not have included line rental, but even so you have a good deal there.
The only way I can slightly improve the speed here is to have the router next to the laptop and use an ethernet connection between them instead of the wireless one. But that only increases speed by about .05 (point O five) !!
Someone I know living in Mansfield district gets nearly 84 meg from Virginmedia. WOW! He sent me 8 off 4 meg high quality images which took over 20 minutes to download here. He can download them in 3 seconds and now only sends me small jpegs :-)
Well Chris, it's all very interesting what you have achieved and gives me food for more thought. I have a cheap Belkin router so maybe an upgrade to something like yours would help.
But the dongle should be arriving soon, so the router may not be in the frame any longer. We shall see. Regards,
Great news - but keep a very close eye on your usage.
Now that you have decent broadband you will be tempted to use it - and it ain't cheap when priced by the gig..
I've just had a quick look on the EE web site and for our family's typical usage we would be paying around £400 per month - ouch !! EE's top of the range package is round about half our monthly usage (and that costs £50), everything else would be add-on capacity - expensive. So very much horses for courses, but impractical for a lot of people, particularly families with active broadband usage (kids).
But if it solves your problem successfully - enjoy the freedom of the internet.
p.s. Someone did something to our broadband last night and we had a little "bump up". Our downstream is now 4.5 meg - better - but still no where near your new speed.