Broadband Contention

  DocP 12:34 29 Oct 2005

A friends Broadband connection works well during the day, but in the evenings repeatedly drops the connection.

Could this be due to contention - ie, overload? Is there any way of measuring or establishing this.

BT say there is no problem with the line.


  Stuartli 13:07 29 Oct 2005

Contention is not necessarily overload, more the perceived maximum number of users an ISP believes is acceptable for overall average use.

The more you pay for broadband (such as fees for businesses) the lower the contention rate as speed is usually more important to them than cost.

  Djohn 17:08 29 Oct 2005

Your ISP will check out your local exchange to see if the VP is ok. You can do it yourself by going to click here

Samknows . com just follow the links from there.

Also if you disconnect from your ISP then make a new connection direct to your local exchange you can see if its the exchange or your ISP that is holding you back. For instance you may be getting low speed results on any of the on-line testers you use, this only informs you that somewhere on the net, there is congestion.

If you get a good result direct from the BT exchange connection, you know its network congestion holding you back, if you get a poor speed result from your exchange then you know there is a problem with congestion at your exchange.

Its quite easy to do this check, I even have a shortcut Icon on my desktop so that I can log off my ISP connection and connect direct to the exchange in less than 15 seconds.

First thing you need to do is go into your connection settings and make a new connection to BT, follow the new connection wizard just the same as you would to make a broadband connection to your ISP, but instead of tapping in your ISP address, use the following.

speedtest @ speedtest _ domain

Type it exactly the same as above but without the spaces, don't use www or anything else. This will place a new "Connection" Icon in your panel.

Now when you want to test your exchange for congestion, log off your ISP, go into internet connections by clicking on START/CONNECT TO and click on the new Icon you have just made.

Dial-up window will appear on-screen, use your username and any password you want, the latter is not important. You will see the window disappear and your connection will show in the lower right of your taskbar, just the same as if you were connected to your ISP.

Open up your browser and in the address bar type.

speedtester. bt. com

Again, exactly as I've shown above but without the spaces, no www or anything else. You will then see a dialogue box to type in your phone number, do so and click on the go button, wait a moment and full details will come back from B T's checker giving you your IP address, speed and a reference number.

You are only allowed to do 1 test every 30 minutes. take a note of, or print off the results, close your browser and right click on the Icon in your system tray [lower right of task bar] select, Disconnect and then just make your normal connection to your ISP and carry on surfing.

You can go to the BT test site through your normal ISP, but any result you get will be false because your using your ISP and the internet just the same as you would for any test at any site.

Use the method above and you do not go through your ISP or the internet, you go direct to your exchange on a closed line. Try to surf from that connection if you want, you won't be able to go anywhere because its not connected to the net.

These are the only speed results that BT will accept if you make a complaint through your ISP about slow speeds. If you do make a complaint, BT will ask you to run the above test for a few days, so you might as well run them beforehand and save a few days in lost time.

Hope the above is of help to you.

  Daveboy 21:22 29 Oct 2005

How far are you from your exch (APPROX), this is possibly a "noise" problem (SNR), you are probably below 10 dB during the day (hanging in there) but as more people go on line in the evenings this will drop as they "add" more noise to those beyond them on the same cable. If you drop below 6dB your modem will have trouble staying synchronised.

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