Broadband query

  Septogenarian 09:18 23 Aug 2009

Broadband companies keep offering me faster broadband speeds , but as they still rely on out dated BT wires ( except virgin ) how do they achieve
this ? As far as I am aware I am getting the best speed BT can provide by their old cabling system and my distance from the exchange .

  carver 10:50 23 Aug 2009

Try this site click here it will give you a good idea of the sort of speeds you should be able to obtain.

Just type in your Downstream Attenuation, obtained from you router stats and it will work out what the max speed is for your line.

  Septogenarian 11:11 23 Aug 2009

Thanks for your reply , the point I am trying to make is , how can they improve on an old fashioned wiring system that is already creaking under the strain of new technology , unless they come to my road and rewire in adsl cable . I still can't understand how they can make these claims when the system is just the same .

  natdoor 12:17 23 Aug 2009

Trials of ADSL2+ are currently taking place and this offers upto 20Mb/s broadband. Rates achieved range from 7.5Mb/s to 17.5Mb/s in the trials. The BT 21CN project will offer higher speeds to most people within a couple of years. This will include the use of fibre-optic cable from exchanges to roadside cabins, thus greatly reducing the length ofcopper run for most users.

I suspect that the offers you are getting at the moment are not related to 21CN but jut to a less severely throttled package.

  Kaacee 12:38 23 Aug 2009


I have also been asking the same question and so far, have never received a satisfactory answer.

Whats even more strange is that BT's quoted MAXIMUM speed for my line is often exceeded by a considerable amount, which I find even more confusing.

  Pine Man 13:57 23 Aug 2009

I am not sure what you mean about trials. I have been with O2 for over a year now and receive my BB via ADSL2+.

BT say that the maximum speed they can (want to) provide is 4.5Mbps capped and I actually get 12.5Mbps uncapped from O2.

I wouldn't worry about how but who!

If 02 have unbundled your exchange ask them what speed you will get from them. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised.

  interzone55 15:39 23 Aug 2009

The answer lies in your local exchange.

If you use an ISP that relies on BT Wholesale ADSL lines then you'll get pretty much the same speed whichever ISP you use.

If, however, you choose an ISP that has their own equipment at your exchange, known as LLU (Local Loop Unbundling) you'll find you can probably get significantly faster speeds. Mine jumped from around 2mbs to 4.5mbs by switching from Demon to O2.

Pop your phone number into the search box on this page click here and you'll be able to see which ISPs have equipment in your exchange.

As an added bonus you'll often find the LLU ISPs are cheaper than BT Wholesale ISPs as they don't have to pay BT £14 a month for your line...

  OTT_Buzzard 16:17 23 Aug 2009

The wires are not the only issue with bb speeds. The exchange needs to be updated and your distance to the exchange is a critical factor in determining max bb speed.

Also take into account the number of users in the area (contention ratio).

To check the capability of your exchange go to click here

This will etl you know if your local exchange has been unbundled (i.e. LLU) and if it has been upgraded to ADSL2+ or 21CN. If that hasn't been done it will give dates for when the work is due to be carried out.


  Septogenarian 14:01 24 Aug 2009

Thanks for all the replies which were very informative , I now know my exchange has LLU and O2 capability .

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