512 kbps limit - will it be overcome?

  CurlyWhirly 10:12 16 Jul 2004

I have had broadband for just over a year now and even though I consider myself to be VERY lucky being able to get (as there is no ADSL Cable in my area) I am on the limit of being able to get it as I live around 5.5km from my local exchange.
Then I read on various broadband websites that BT have increased the line length from 5.5km to 6km and are now starting a trial to see whether people can receive the standard 512kbps speed service at up to 10km!
If BT manage to do this does anyone think that they could do a similar thing with customers (like me) who wish to upgrade to the 1mbps service but are currently too far away to receive a 'stable connection'?
Any view anyone?

p.s. Even though BT has a monopoly on the line rental I still rate broadband as really good value for money as I am paying only around £9 a month more than I used to pay when I was on dial-up and I have (nearly) 10 times the speed!

  CurlyWhirly 11:18 16 Jul 2004


I am pleased you are getting broadband next month and it IS indeed a MASSIVE improvement over dial-up as you said in your last reply!
The reason why I want the faster 1 mbps speed is as broadband usage grows websites will offer more and more video content, streaming video, etc and this is bound to push up the speed requirements to get a smooth video experience!
Also on some large sites like click here and howstuffworks.com it still takes a while to load though I must emphasise that it is still MUCH faster than dial-up!
Also with my ISP the 1 mbps service is only £5 a month more than I am paying now so it is hardly likely to break the bank!
I think most businesses would use the 2 mbps speed (and above) but I don't think it really matters whether you are a business customer or not
as long as you pay your monthly subscription!
I tell you what since having broadband I find I am spending MUCH more time online at the expense of watching less tv!
I think not having to wait for ages for web pages and downloads to load is the main reason!

  CurlyWhirly 11:24 16 Jul 2004

I forgot to mention that I am on AOL broadband Gold at £24.99 (512kbps) and the AOL broadband Platinum service is only £29.99 (1mbps) a month so this works out at £5 a month more or £1.25 a week!
I have read various complaints against AOL but I can only say that I have had no problems with them so far and I have been with them for nearly 3 years as I started up on dial-up with them.

  Sapins 13:15 16 Jul 2004

I have recently upgraded to 1mb broadband and the difference from 512kb is so noticeable, some downloads are complete before I can blink, I'm not even worrying about SP2 when it arrives! By the way I thought I was paying a lot for this but at 34.90€ with Wanadoo France,(about £25) it now seems a good deal.



  CurlyWhirly 21:21 16 Jul 2004


I am glad that you are both enjoying your 1 mbps service but as explained before I am currently unable to get this service!
So I go back to my question - do you think BT will be able to extend the range of the 1 mbps service in a similar way to what they are trying to do with the 512 kbps that is extending it from 6km to 10km?

  CurlyWhirly 21:35 16 Jul 2004


I have just read your reply and I hope you are right ith your prediction!
I personally think that BT have seriously under estimated the interest in broadband and now they are dumping the exchange registration scheme and enabling nearly ALL exchanges EXCEPT the smallest ones where it wouldn't be economically viable to do so as they wouldn't be able to make enough money from them in order to get their investment back.
I too have the feeling that BT will be squeezed in the future from satellite, cable, WI-Fi and powerline broadband.
I would go down the satellite route but it is too expensive and also even though the download speeds are excellent most satellite broadband providers rely on a standard dial-up connection for uploading data which is way too slow and no good for people wishing to play online games - I think this is right?
So it would then mean having 2 ISP's - the satellite provider AND the dial-up ISP.
Not very appealing eh?

  CurlyWhirly 00:29 17 Jul 2004


I have only had a PC for just over 2 years (having previously used a Playstation 2) so I don't know anything about the K6!
My first processor was an AMD Athlon (not XP).
Going back to your last e-mail I thought that Longhorn was due out in 2005-2006 not 2008-2009?
If this is true then I won't bother upgrading to the new 64 bit processors as there is no 64 bit operating system to take advantage of the increased speed!
I agree with your comment about BT having to 'expand or fall by the wayside' but how can they do this if they are limited by the current ADSL technology?
What I mean is as you get further from the exchange the ADSL signal gets weaker and weaker due to signal loss so how are they supposed to sort this out?
I have heard a rumour that ADSL2 could possibly be the answer but if BT goes about upgrading to ADSL2 the way it has managed current ADSL exchanges we could be in for a long wait as it would require a lot of money invested in upgrading the exchanges.

  CurlyWhirly 00:48 17 Jul 2004


I agree with your comments but as regards whether BT shareholders will forsake some of their dividends remains to be seen!
If they don't keep up with the times they will fall by the wayside!

  Forum Editor 08:34 17 Jul 2004

you need to bear in mind a few important points.

The question of whether or not a particular line can handle the ADSL service is based on a line test, and the results often depend very much on the condition of the copper cable through which the ADSL signal must travel. That's often why one person can get the service when another person - possibly no further from the exchange in terms of line-length cannot.

The reason there's a line-length limit is that the signal degrades as it meets the copper-line resistance, and this degradation increases with distance. There comes a point at which no reliable service will be possible.

The extended reach ADSL service - increasing the distance from 5.5km to 6.0km is possible not (as some people imagine) because there's been a leap forward in technological terms, but because BT has raised the acceptable line signal loss from 55dB to 60dB, so lines that might previously have failed the line test will now pass. This extends the subscriber to exchange distance limit by up to 700metres or so.

When BT carries out tests with new ADSL technologies the results may not always be translatable to real-life scenarios. It's necessary to consider what ISPs will be able to reliably provide over the networks, rather than what is theoretically possible in ideal conditions.

  CurlyWhirly 18:44 17 Jul 2004


I have read your comments and links respectively and i have to say I think I am wrong in thinking it is a lack of investment on BT's part as it has more to do with the technological advances of the day.
I think the only solution is to lay fibre optic cables which i can't see ever happening due to the cost so it looks like I am stuck on 512kbps unless I upgrade to Satellite but I am not very keen on going down this route as it is quite expensive!
Another possible solution is Powerline broadband but that again is years away!
Thank you FORUM EDITOR for finding the time to answer my question in detail als o to EVERYONE who contributed and finally I would just like to say what a GREAT forum this is!

  mammak 22:08 20 Jul 2004

Wait what am i missing here,
probably way of track (as always),
On the 07/07/2004 BT enables our local exchange for Broadband,
On the 15/07/2004 my package arrives as promised by BT,
After 5 mins i have installed BT Broadband,
No problems! so why is it that when i hover my mouse over my BB connection it reads 576.0kbs
am i missing sommit here surley that's more than 512kbs' so where is it BT have went wrong?
enlighten me please.Kindest Regards Mammak.

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