The straw that broke the camels back


Living at the 'end of the line' when it comes to internet connectivity is not all it's cracked up to be. I live 1.5KM from the little green box (DSLAM) at the side of the road. BT Openreach as they were then, decided some 10 years ago to remove the DSLAM which serviced 10 homes. No big deal, we were only on ADSL at the time, fibre and superfast internet was a distant dream.

In 2014, along came Connecting Cheshire, a new government initiative that would bring superfast internet to homes across Cheshire, there was some hope that my neighbours and I would be on the list to achieve this great new service.

Here we are in 2018 and my neighbours and I are no further ahead in speed than the beginning. The service provided by BT/Openreach is shocking. I have had more down time than I care to mention. The latest being January where we lost our phone and internet for over a month. Each time an engineer came, the situation was not resolved. Well, we are now back online..... just.

During all this, my son, a university student came home for the holiday's, however, like many students they have work to be getting on with which needs to be sent back to the teachers at a set time. Due to the lack of internet, he was unable to upload his work and had no other choice than to go back to uni to complete the task. It's not like he was local either, Leeds is a bit of a drive.

O.K, so some might argue that he could have gone to an internet cafe or local McDonald's, which might have seemed logical now you think about it. But the point I'm making is that it caused a lot of inconvenience, the world seems to revolve around internet and the speeds you can achieve.

So enough is enough, time to look at other solutions.

Speeds drop considerably the further away you are from the green cabinet, in my case, the distance leaves me with a speed that is 5Mbps down and 0.8Kbps upload. According to BT Wholesale site, I can get 15Mbps, but that is on a 'clean' line with no patches or degraded cables.

There are a few ways you can audit your connection.

Start by looking here: http://www.speedtest.btwholesale.com/ It is recommended that you complete this test with a wired connection from your computer. This will not work correctly on a mobile device like a phone or tablet.

Once you have the speeds noted down the next step is here: https://www.btwholesale.com/adslchecker/ Just type in your telephone number and click submit. Give it a moment and you should be presented with table showing you what you are able to get in both best and lowest.

Compare this with your notes from the first test and compare.

Please note that high demand times do effect the results, so best to try this before 4pm or after 10pm.


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