Excruciatingly slow broadband speed

  ClownBoy 20:29 23 Jan 2007


I know, or rather suspect that you won't be able to actually fix my problem, but you may be able to tell me what to shout at the technical "support" people.

I have an 8Mb connection which approximately 4 months ago, overnight, started crawling during peak hours (i.e. 5pm until midnight). My ISP have sent out 4 engineers, and each time all they have done is test what speed my line is capable of!!!??? 4 times they have found out that my line IS CAPABLE of almost 8Mb.

Now, during these peak hours I can get as slow as 80 Kbps dload speed (not even twice the speed of dial-up). In the wee small hours of the morning I have measured my dload speed at over 6MB. I've tried my line on 3 different PCs, I have used a modem and a router, I have tried connecting via USB, ethernet and wireless, everytime the same result during those peak hours.

So, here's the thing, what is it they should be testing they are not? Is there something glaringly obvious that they are not checking/fixing? I'd appreciate some knowledgable feedback on this so that I can say,...did you check this??....have you tried that? Anything in fact would be good as this 4 month old problem is doing my head in!!

P.S. I have already switched ISPs, the new one (although they speak English) haven't been able to help yet either.

Thanks in advance.

  Koochy 20:34 23 Jan 2007

The speed of virtually every Internet connection will slow down at peak times due to high demand although i don't think it will slow down that much, Have you run an antivirus or anti spyware program lately as this may also be an issue?


  sinbads 20:36 23 Jan 2007

have you tried click here also have a look click here you may have tried these if not could help

  ClownBoy 20:51 23 Jan 2007

Koochy, 1stly thanks for the reply. There is never a drop from over 6000kbps down to 80 kbps due to high demand. Yes I have run all antivirus checks and anti-spyware programs I have even re-installed my OS on one pc and the only thing I did after that was to test my speed.

Sinbads, thanks for the reply, I will check the 1st suggestion, although, in truth, I don't hold out too much hope. The 2nd suggestion has already been eliminated from enquiries.


  ClownBoy 22:12 23 Jan 2007

Nope Sinbads, 1st one didn't help either :-(

Woe is me!

  Dipso 22:38 23 Jan 2007

You have proved you can get 6 Meg so it's not an issue with your equipment. The fact that you get good speeds in the small hours certainly does point to contention. Have you checked the status at your telephone exchange click here if it's RED then your exchange could be overloaded and due for an upgrade, this would explain the problems you are having.

Other than that it can only be a capacity problem with your ISP but as you have already tried another provider, that's seems unlikely.

It is possible to test your connection directly through BT bypassing your ISP which can rule out ISP capacity problems, but check the exchange situation first.

Clutching at straws now but you're sure no-one has access to your line e.g through an unsecured wireless network?

Do you leave your router switched on? Is it maintaining the connection and not dropping when you have the speed issues?

  ClownBoy 22:46 23 Jan 2007

Thank you Dipso, yes it was red and apparently there is an upgrade due on the 31st of this month.

If this is the case, why would the 4 engineers who said they visited the exchange not be aware of this???

Could this red reading be directly attributable to about 60 new flats being built near to the exchange?

This may solve the problem which manifests itself (to hopefully answer your other queries)as (when using a speedometer type speed tester) the dloads starting, dropping away, picking up, dropping away etc.

You have given me some hope.

I am grateful for your input, many thanks.

  ClownBoy 23:09 23 Jan 2007

addenda, actually, looking at the upgrades they stated, there have apparently been 4 scheduled since my problem started.

Oh dear, this may not be the panacea I was hoping for after all. :-(

  Dipso 10:42 24 Jan 2007

Many people are seeing this issue with their exchanges, me included, although my speed wasn't noticeably affected fortunately. It is also common for the upgrade work to either be rescheduled as you have seen or the work be done and then the RED status to return within a few weeks. Why the engineers would not be aware of this...your guess is as good as mine ;)

Presumably this now common occurance is due to the overwhelming take up of broadband in recent months. In your case the flats near the exchange could well be part of the problem.

The only thing I could suggest you do to avoid this problem would be to check which providers offer LLU in your area, then it's down to the providers capacity not the exchange...although that can have it's own issues...but I don't know how you are fixed contractually with your current provider.

If you enter your details in the checker click here it will tell you what is available at your exchange.

  2neat 12:52 24 Jan 2007

The info in the checker is wrong.
First it says my line is suitable for 1 meg only
Second it says Tiscali is not available!
Strange cos I am on Tiscali 2mB

  Dipso 13:03 24 Jan 2007

Can't comment on the accuracy I'm afraid...ironically the info is provided by BT ;) The info is sometimes slightly out of date and the advice is not set in stone. Some ISP's are willing to submit a request for 2 Meg when it only says you can get 1 and BT are often proved wrong.

So are you on Tiscali LLU?

I suggested the OP use the checker purely to advise them of possible alternatives to the poor service they are currently getting.

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