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£90 to speed up your broadband
Wednesday 11 June 2008 13:51:57 by Andrew Ferguson

Clair Woffenden of WebUser magazine revealed the basic details of a new trial by the BT Home IT service last week.

BT Home IT support is a service aimed at BT Total broadband customers and can offer support over the telephone, or arrange home visits for various computing tasks. The service is now to offer a Broadand Accelerator service after carrying out research that revealed some 60% of its customers could get a 0.5Mbps broadband speed improvement from some simple changes, a trial has been started that buys one hour of engineer time in your home for £90, every additional 30 minutes is £30. The visit will look at both the telephone wiring, ADSL modem location and computer. One feature beyond just fixing things there and then will to educate the customer in how to carry out regular housekeeping on their computer.

This Broadband Accelerator service is currently only available in the South East of England, and if they cannot improve your speeds by 0.5Mbps or more then you don't have to pay. To find out more on the service visit www.bt.com/homeitsupport. While the Accelerator service is mainly all about raw line connection speed, some of what they do will also improve the stability, so even if you don't get any extra speed your ADSL line may run more reliably afterwards.

The half meg speed guarantee is based on the engineer looking at the access line speed (sync/connection speed) as reported by the ADSL modem on arrival, and again at the end of the visit with a further review after three days. We should point out that due to the way BT Total broadband works and other BT Wholesale IPStream services work, it will take up to 5 days for actual throughput speeds to improve. Thus even if the engineer improves things speed test results and file downloads will not improve immediately. The setting that people will be waiting to update is the IP Profile (FAQ explaining what this is here). Additionally the degree of speed improvement will vary from around 100Kbps to 500Kbps, due to the stepped nature of the IP Profile (the steps are detailed in one of our FAQ items).

The engineer who visits as part of the scheme will only be able to work on phone wiring up to the demarcation point, i.e. the back section of the master socket. Improvements to the wiring on the Openreach side of the master socket e.g. external wiring on the property will require the provider to book an Openreach engineer visit with its attendant charges.

One hour to get an extra 0.5Mbps from an ADSL line is probably plenty of time, as fairly simple tasks such as fitting a ADSL faceplate to your master socket, or removing the ring wire from the extension wiring can see your speed boost by 0.5 to 1.5Mbps, with a small number seeing even higher speed jumps. Other improvements such as replacing extension wiring that is not twisted pair for decent cables can also have an effect, some people may benefit from replacing the free RJ11 modem lead that came with their ADSL modem with a twisted pair one. Twisted pair cables can help to reduce the effects of interference that all our electrical gadgets in the home can produce. These speed improvements can then be further enhanced by optimising the computer for broadband speeds via sites like www.broadbandreports.com/tweaks.

BT Openreach installed wiring should use twisted pair, but many extension kits in the high street while not cheap can use thin wires without any twists meaning that their use can reduce your broadband speeds. Sites like www.adslnation.com and www.solwise.co.uk are good places to visit for the kit to carry out DIY improvements to your broadband/telephone wiring and may also offer advice on the best product for your needs. To refit the telephone wiring in the average home you are looking at a spend of around £10 to £25 on parts depending on the amount of cable needed.

We have not forgotten to mention the BT Wholesale iPlate, but until it is available there seems little point in covering it in any further depth.

Spending a little time on our own forums may be the cheapest way to find out what sort of speed improvements are possible and get actual feedback from people who've either done the various changes themselves or helped others to do them.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Funniest BT story yet LOL
Posted by MarcusJClifford over 8 years ago
This is going to be a bit of a hit and miss I feel.
The problem is that this service will be conducted during the day(light) time, when most modems will synch at their highest speed, unless the user knows this (so could probably do the work themselves) then if the last autoresych was at night (as most are), then there will be an increace - £90 please when in fact there is no actual improvement. I'd be very wary of this service, but having said that there are those out there who know nothing about setting up their router so at least it is a service for them.
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
"BT Home IT support is a service aimed at BT Total broadband customers....The service is now to offer a Broadand Accelerator service after carrying out research that revealed some 60% of its customers could get a 0.5Mbps broadband speed improvement from some simple changes"

Yep - they just come round, give you a MAC code and tell you to join SKY/O2 broadband instead - where you won't be throttled to death.
Posted by Colin_London over 8 years ago
One things for certain - the 'fixes' that the BT technician will try are all detailed on Thinkbroadband forums. Why gamble £90 when you can do it for free?

At the end of the day this is just about leveraging money out of people who don't understnd how to do it themselves.

The worst thing about this idea is that for £90 they won't do anything about the line outside your property, which is the bit people might actually be prepared to pay good money for.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
If they send a BT engineer like some ive seen and experienced for your 90 quid you will get...
Missed appointments
No speed increase
Phone disconnected while he poodles of to the exchange on to be seen the next day
dodgy rewiring that isnt clipped into place
90 quid... id sooner blow my nose on £20 notes
Posted by Hmacsnoopy over 8 years ago
I have to agree, several engineers have visited my premises sit on the floor with a laptop eamine wiring, disappear for hours and sometimes telephone, give you negative results My slow speed is down to the poor quality of the line from the exchange. I have tried all the improvments suggested by Thinkbroadband but have seen NO improvment in speed. enquired about an Iplate but they are still on trial. Can I trial one please "NO" was the answer.
This is just another money generating exercise for the shareholders of BT ..IMHO
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
If removing the ringwire made then no difference then the iPlate will make no difference.

A real possibility is that for the attenuation of line you have that you are running as fast as can be expected. Post stats on the forums and ask for someone to look at them.
Posted by adslmax over 8 years ago
BT 'Broadband Accelerator' is just another word 'OnSpeed' to gain extra 0.5Mbp by installed software on the pc and correct MTU setting on router and pc and that's it. A rip off and con by BT to charge you £90 one off fee for just a little increased of speed. I believe BT are using the software here: http://www.onspeed.com/en/index.php but changed the name to 'Broadband Accelerator' instead on 'OnSpeed'.

Don't buy it. It just waste of time.
Posted by andykcole over 8 years ago
A typical BT con...the sort of over pricing hike that gave them a bad name when they ran the roost. you can do it yourself for free, if you look on the web for help...or you can get a download for less than £30 that you keep..
BT money grabbing rubbish as usual
Posted by digitaldales over 8 years ago
The company I use as my ISP, South Witham Broadband, do this as standard, without any charges whatsoever. Pity every ISP doesn't emulate SWBB. I went from an impoverished less than 0.5Mbps to 1.5-2Mbps when I changed to them. Worth every penny. Oh, that's right, it didn't cost me any more to be with them than the poxy ISP I was with before.....who shall remain acronymless.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
In response to ADSLMAX I've seen no indication that the £90 just buys an install of an 'OnSpeed' clone. If you seriously have some proof of this an email would be nice.

Speaking to BT Retail, the visits will include extension wiring changes. If it can be done a lot cheaper, then scope for PCWorld, Geek Squad et al to make a killing.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 8 years ago
BT need to start getting the local loop right first ..getting rid of aluminum might be a good start ..i can't believe they have the cheek " well madam we've installed your new line " 2 yogurt pots and a piece of string lol
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
I don't know about BT 'Broadband Accelerator' but I do know that Metronet used to have Onspeed-type technology as part of their dialup (and, iirc, broadband) services. Included at no extra charge, driven by some proxy-based magic.

Now, who owns Metronet these days?

Wrt Openreach engineers: the few I've dealt with have been entirely competent, and not even wanted feeding. The same cannot be said for the BT call centre folks.
Posted by realgenius over 8 years ago
you have to laugh, with BT offering most people "upto 8Mbps" and most people getting less than 3.... How can they possibly improve a service when we aint running at 8Mbps..

Another case of BT talking rubbish and false promises.... One day they might employ someone who is IT Knowledgeable.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
realgenius - note the words 'up to'...

What's the IT problem with BT?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
As for this being false promises, plenty of examples on our forums of beign able to get more speed out of an ADSL line with fairly simple changes.

To some these simple changes are not so simple, or they prefer to pay others to do this sort of thing. Like some people pay people to to clean their house - its a personal choice
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
"Why gamble £90 when you can do it for free?" - because a lot of people can't or don't. Like the lady I visited earlier this week who had been told by her ISP that her PC was the problem when there was no ADSL sync.

She had no filters on any phones and a 200m extension to a workshop, also with an unfiltered phone. It didn't cost her £90 but she would have paid that if it got her online.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"She had no filters on any phones and a 200m extension to a workshop, also with an unfiltered phone. It didn't cost her £90 but she would have paid that if it got her online."

Or in other words she was too dumb to read setup guides.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 8 years ago
maybe she got some of them BT gremlins lol
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
"Or in other words she was too dumb to read setup guides."

equally her ISP support was fairly useless, perhaps they don't provide a "setup guide".

She certainly wasn't as dumb as you are arrogant. Anoraks on here need to remember that most people just want to use their computer and neither know nor care how it works. They want it to be like the TV - switch on and use.
Posted by realgenius over 8 years ago
somerset - yes i put upto... point being before bringing out stupid schemes why not do better schemes of repairing crap infrastructure cabling to ensure that an 8Mbps is more reachable. As they have neglected their notwerk for so long its gonna cost far too much now to upgrade the old/cheap cabling.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"equally her ISP support was fairly useless, perhaps they don't provide a "setup guide".

She certainly wasn't as dumb as you are arrogant. Anoraks on here need to remember that most people just want to use their computer and neither know nor care how it works. They want it to be like the TV - switch on and use."

Ill agree with you entirely about the ISP part, she must be with someone terrible if they didnt go through the regular filter etc spiel.

I dont think the remark was arrogant, most modems and routers have instructions telling you to plug in a filter etc.
Posted by andykcole over 8 years ago
In resoonse to.. andrew ( staff member) comment about 'someone else cleaning your house' yes agreed, these people can afford this, especially those who want the best without financial worries..but in my opinion, others who are not expert enough to tweak their settings,are being conned by the extortionate cost by BT. by the way, if you're not worried enough to learn a D I Y resolve you're probably not worried about the speed anyway.
Posted by jrenals over 8 years ago
Tried to order the service (0800 169 0024) and was told although I have a BT line it was not available to me because my broadband is via BE Unlimited !
Posted by keith_thfc over 8 years ago
Yep - the service is only for BT Total Broadband customers.

My guess is that the BT engineer has a hidden webcam which Phorm pay him to slip on your desktop when you're not looking.....

:)
Posted by harryhound1 over 8 years ago
In 2007 I was on dial-up. I signed up with MAAF and got the standard 2 filters, router & instructions. No mention of the dangers of long extensions, keeping away from the mains and transformers etc. BT had me on a DACS line BUT WITH NO SHARER. My extension fed a hard wired bell in a workshop.
MAAF warned of trouble ahead. The BT engineer was not at all bothered. Fortunately I had the good sense to connect to the master socket and add the extensions one at a time.
Performance degraded rapidly. The bell killed the BB signal.
People here sorted me out. I now get > 4Mbps. MANY THANKS
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
c_j_ - And I remember the issues which onspeed caused as well, which rendered several popular sites inaccessable to their customers.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Ive also just noticed and thought, obviously an engineer will have to come back in 3 days or so to see if your speed has increased, wont they????

Thats gonna be interesting, i bet 9/10 times (atleast in large areas) you get a different engineer which wont have a clue what speed you were getting previously anyway. Lets be honest not only BT but many large companys when it comes to handling trivial info like that are not exactly reliable.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Um no, Carpet. They can monitor line synch speeds.
Posted by Foggy_UK over 8 years ago
CARPETBURN, The engineer will be trying to improve Sync Speed when he visits, by what ever means posible but excluding touching any part of the line which is Openreach controlled. NTE2000 SSFP, data kits and internal rewires are all okay, but not a new pair, dropwire, lead-in or NTE5. BT Retails engineers have no more rights to interfear with Openreach kit than you or I, but you might just get an engineer who knowes what he's doing!
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
do BT think all slow synch problems are down to local wiring? all they bothered about is ways to make more revenue rather than actually increasing the quality of service.
Posted by ianwild over 8 years ago
I've seen a piece of BT Wholesale research that says 7 out of 10 premises could receive a speed boost by taking action with internal wiring / faceplates. I have a feeling a proportion of the remaining 30% will the readers of this site!

It strikes me that so long as no improvement = No Fee, it's a decent deal. If 3 out of 10 engineer rolls are free the costs have to be factored. Of course whether consumers will perceive value from this remains to be seen, but it might well be popular.

Ian
Posted by macnag over 8 years ago
My low speeds are all because the line from the substation is miles long and more and more people in my village are using broadband. I have been using the free Google Web Accelerator. Does anyone know if that is worthwhile?
Posted by browolf over 8 years ago
£90 for 0.5 mb ~ what use is 0.5mb unless you're under say 1mb.
Posted by donran over 8 years ago
This is totally unacceptable, because I am subsidising all the other BT broadband customers who get much higher speeds than myself. BT's so called IT support knows next to nothing about how to incerase broadband speeds. This is a rip-off plan (to charge a customer £90 plus) that BT has announced. Instead BT should do this task completely free of charge and win customer confidence. It is no longer the company that I worked for 40 years and was proud of. What a disgusting idea.
Posted by dgoldsmith123 over 8 years ago
Classic! This is where all the BT engineers are??? It has taken BT 5 weeks to put a new line in to my office (quoted 7 to 10 days) And they still haven't sorted it out. What chance do we stand? They really don't care about the customer, Just how can they Get their hands on more of our money and rip you off even more. God help you if you complain!
Posted by Vibration over 8 years ago
a perfect ploy to extract money .... slug the line at the exchange for a few weeks then s quick resync after the engineer has been round for coffee £90.
my system ran at 6.5 megs with line running at 8096 or similar ... they had been pratting around in the cabinet at the top of the road .... down to 500k two engineers later they fixed the breaks in the line said how low resistance the loop was but never got over 5.5 megs again.. there are lots BT can tweek to gain or loose .5 meg speed ... maybe if I pay £90 the 1 meg difference will come back
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
On the subject of internal phone wiring, im even more confused why you would want to pay them 90 quid... Ok i can understand if your house is many many years old and the cable is as rotten as an old tomato, but 7/10 homes!!! I dunno about others but where i live there are hundreds of new homes built daily so that figure seems a bit hard to believe... Even if it is accurate and again the wiring isnt that old, what the heck did you pay BT for in the first place?? (assuming they originally wired your home).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Im also interested in how exactly they are gonna tell if you got an improvements, as with a MAX based rate adaptive system it can take a while to register a new speed be it slower or faster, ok they say its free if their is no improvement, but you can read that a few ways... 1) whos gonna be happy getting just 0.5Mb more for 90 quid (i wouldnt) and 2) If they cant speed up your connection, are they gonna do anything about the rubbish wiring outside your home?? Or are they more likely to shrug their shoulders and leave you to rubbish speeds? I think i can guess ;)
Posted by Foggy_UK over 8 years ago
The engineer will record the sync speed at the start of the visit and check again once he has made some changes to the setup or wiring. As I've already said, the wiring before the NTE "the line" is out of his control and would require a visit from an Openreach engineer to fix any issues. (dgoldsmith123, take note). The engineers attending these apointments will be from BTOperate and on behalf of your ISP, BTRetail. Only Openreach Engineers install, shift and fix phone lines.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Going by some of the comments there is a hankering for a return to engineer installs at £150 to £250 per visit, with ability to do some drop wire work and fit faceplates.

Now of course that would also mean longer activation times, or paying more so that they can have a larger pool of engineers.

As for all the local loop is trash comments, UK speeds already far exceed original ADSL estimates and not just those from BT.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
andrew you trying to tell us with slow synchs we imagining things and the local loop is world class? A better service would have been openreach engineer visit £90 includes ganruantueed dropwire check, junction box check, pair check, all swapped during visit to see if improvements. If improvement no charge as proven BT side problem, if no improvement £90 charge for unneeded work. That would have been a far better option.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"As for all the local loop is trash comments, UK speeds already far exceed original ADSL estimates and not just those from BT."

If that is true (and yes i know you are basically quoting surveys etc) then the mind boggles why they are even offering a service to speed things up, especially if average speed is already way above their expectations in this country. Personally i think the truth is found if you read between the lines rather than the info whats spoon fed ;)
Im looking forward to all the i didnt get an improvement but they still took my money storys.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
£90 visit charge applies and based on service taking up to 1 hour. Additional time charged per 30 mins (whole or part) rate depending on time of appointment. If 3 days after the visit your broadband download speed is not improved by at least 0.5Mb we will refund the charge for the visit to your subsequent BT phone bill. Minimum computer specifications and BT line required. Excludes Channel Islands, Isle of Wight/Man and Islands of Scotland. Terms and conditions apply.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Actually which surveys do you think I was quoting? It was based on things like ANFP and what was documented as to be expected from ADSL way way back in 2000.

As is often the case there is a middle ground, some get good, some get bad, but from the way some emphasis the bad constantly you could imagine that all UK broadband was bad.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"you could imagine that all UK broadband was bad."

I thought the average speed for the uk was around 3Mb... Not exactly impressive when a product is claimed to be able to deliver upto 8Mb... I wonder what the country wide average ADSL2+ BT figures will be, personally i dont think that average speed figure is going to change substantially.
Services of any types come in 2 flavours, good and bad as i said if things are so rosey and people get faster speeds than bT and others expected the mind boggles why this service has even been introduced.
Posted by KarlAustin over 8 years ago
Of course if BT moves everyone to ADSL2+ and people upgrade their CPE then the average WILL increase. AFAIK ADSL2+ performs no worse on poor lines than ADSLv1 does, but on semi-decent to decent lines it performs a lot better, so the average will increase - it can't go down. A friend on Be with similar line stats, syncs at 11.5Mbit/s from memory, I'm syncing at about 7969kbit/s from memory on plain old ADSL.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Which also raises the question again of why are they bothering with this?? Given the statements they can provide adsl2+ cheaper in addition to current adsl performing better than expected... very puzzling, then again its BT and their prices, products provided and much more rarely makes concrete sense.
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