UkOnline say leave and go to BT

  A p o l l o 18:50 05 Oct 2010

My broadband speed has been appalling since Saturday - down to 0.12Mb/s download (tested on, usual speed is between 1-2Mb/s. So I called UkOnline Tech Support who have said that due to excessive usage on their network and the contention ratio of 50:1 there is nothing they can do. The tech support said they escalated the problem, but they are not going to anything about it. He suggested I call customer services in the morning, request my MAC code and migrate to BT.
Shocked by this, I'm just wondering if anyone else has issues with their UkOnline Broadband recently and were they told the same thing?

  961 19:09 05 Oct 2010

I think it's important that the problem, whatever it is, is sorted before you ask for a mac code

If the problem turns out to be something else you may have difficulty getting a new supplier to fix it

Have you tested your own installation by running the router direct from the test socket within the master bt socket to ensure you do not have a fault on your internal wiring?

  Forum Editor 19:09 05 Oct 2010

because they probably don't have any spare bandwidth to play with. Additional bandwidth costs a great deal of money, and lots of ISPs who cut their prices to the bone to attract customers end up finding they have made a rod for their own back. The problems start once a few people start hogging bandwidth to download illegal copies of films and sharing thousands of music tracks illegally. With the normal domestic contention ratio of 50:1 it that 's a matter of time before big peak-time downloaders can slow things to a crawl for everyone.

If there isn't enough money in the business to fork out for more bandwidth, and the ISP can't do anything about the few people who spoil it for the rest there's a stalemate.

I'm not suggesting that this is definitely the problem with your ISP, but from what you say it sounds possible.

  jack 20:06 05 Oct 2010

If I understand things correctly- the low contenion ratio the UKonline work to limits the number of subscribers to a given exchange- so if they have a lot of customers to their equipment in your area as FE stated not much they can do.
For my part -I am the same ISP- and no problems at all
So I wont tell you where I live.

  jack 20:08 05 Oct 2010

UKonlune are not the one of the cheapies either.

  Forum Editor 23:57 05 Oct 2010

And your point is?

  wiz-king 06:11 06 Oct 2010

It is a problem that all ISP's have, users want to use vast amounts of bandwidth by watching video clips and catchup TV on the computer whereas a couple of years ago all they did was a little bit of web surfing. However before moving you need to do some homework to check both your computer and your line. If you change supplier you may not get a better speed/service from others.
I have a UKonline service here as well as Virgin cable and I have been satisfied with both of them, because of the length of copper to my exchange I can only get BB at 512K from the telephone line and all providers say the cant do any better so I haven't changed.

  KremmenUK 06:51 06 Oct 2010

I can understand how a contention ratio of 50:1 can cause just what you are experiencing in peak times.

I would look to switch to one of the ADSL2+ companies if they operate from your exchange.

Personally I would look at O2 who always get good reviews and are always 2nd in the Which? tests.

Zen are first but they are expensive and capped quite low.

Use the SamKnows website for info.

  morddwyd 07:15 06 Oct 2010

"Personally I would look at O2 who always get good reviews and are always 2nd in the Which? tests."

Just (yesterday) moved from O2 because of this very problem.

When I complained they admitted it was a contention problem, caused by a few selfish heavy downloaders, and they were going to enforce their "fair usage" policy more rigorously.

Things improved for a few weeks and then went back to as they were, so I moved.

  A p o l l o 09:11 06 Oct 2010

Thanks for all the responses

Did another speed test at 7am this morning and got 2.5mb/s download - that's better !!

So it does look like the contention ratio is the issue as I bet I won't get that speed later tonight, I wouldn't mind getting under 1Mb, but I can't even surf web pages sensibly with 0.1Mb/s. so looks like I will be getting a MAC code and going to BT (wish me luck)

The IT manager at work joked that if I wait long enough, more people will leave UkOnline that have the same problem and my service will resume to normal !!

I'll leave this open for a while for any other comments or suggestions. Thanks again.

  Proclaimer 09:31 06 Oct 2010

'The problems start once a few people start hogging bandwidth to download illegal copies of films and sharing thousands of music tracks illegally.'

I wondered at that statement too FE.

I don't suggest that you believe this is the only thing slowing ISP's down but at the same time I don't believe this is where the problems start or that it is a few people either.

I think the content on the Internet itself is the main reason things get slow now. My Friends, Family and I download huge amounts of data every month.
Heck, the last game I downloaded was 7GB and I buy a new game every 2 weeks or so.

Then there is Love Film for streaming Movies to the TV (or PC if you wish). Do that a lot too. Not forgetting the BBC iPlayer. If I played games online I think my bandwith would look like a small company intranet.

As for music, I either stream 'Planet Rock' Radio all day or stream from 'Spotify'. Depends how I feel.

So really either everyone I know is fairly unique in their use of bandwidth today or we are a bunch of Hogs! I doubt that the game thief's can compete with our use.
Times are changing fast and there is so much content out there and so many ways other than a PC to access it.

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