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Is TalkTalk right to say half million homes lose 4 Mbps?
Monday 07 October 2013 13:47:28 by Andrew Ferguson

The spiders web of telephone wiring that people have inherited or even installed themselves over the years has been the bane of DSL based broadband services for a decade now and TalkTalk are it seems running their annual reminder. A slight rewording and it is almost identical to a press release some 16 months ago.

BT Wholesale highlighted the issue of the effect of home wiring on ADSL2+ based services, hence the availability of the easy to install I-Plate that should help reduce the problems from noise pickup in extension wiring. Fitting one of those is a lot cheaper than booking a BrightSparks visit at £50. For the faster FTTC based services, generally the engineer based installs should mean that wiring is optimised by the Openreach installer, and for those that want to locate the Openreach modem elsewhere in the property, the use of a decent quality RJ11 twisted pair cable, or a dedicated extension installed on the data extension connector of the VDSL faceplate should mean minimal effect on speeds.

The change for TalkTalk hence the new release appears to be a revamp of their online test service, now termed on Online Service Centre.

Of course there is the school of thought that if you are buying a broadband service and the speeds do not meet the estimates given at the time of sale the onus should be on the broadband provider to help the consumer improve their speeds or investigate and determine if the issue was faulty data behind the original estimate.

For those keen to find out whether they may be losing 4 Mbps of speed, due to their wiring, the best guide for an ADSL or ADSL2+ service is the router statistics and a simple online calculator that will show whether your speeds are reasonable or not. Then if your connection speed is low for a given attenuation (distance) time to pay a visit to our forums to see what others in the same scenario have done.

For those on faster services, one of the more common problems is that wireless (Wi-Fi) can sometimes fail to keep up with the connection speed, or drop out intermittently. Always double check your speeds via Ethernet using a speed test that shows your throughput graph (wireless issues tend to show as burst speeds, whereas Ethernet should provide a steady throughput on an otherwise good connection.

For those on a FTTC service and unsure if they are getting the right speeds, locating your street cabinet and measuring the distance and using our lookup table to see if your speeds are reasonable is a good starting point. HINT: To find out which street cabinet you are connected to enter your phone number or full address on the BT Wholesale availability checker, it will list the cabinet number which should also be stencilled onto the physical green cabinet.

For those wanting a simpler primer on broadband speeds we have a good read in our broadband speed guide.

Comments

Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
Ah! If only a lot of us had 4mb to lose....................!
Posted by Egg_ over 3 years ago
Great it seems I have no problems. Oh except with an ever decreasing TV service with increasing cost. Poor fixes to existing issues like recording the drama channel, pop ups for channels that are in error, the ever lasting inability to book and record extra paid for content like the sky channels and they say I have no problems. Please someone get me out of this awful companies contract. Seriously, buyer beware!!
Posted by chrysalis over 3 years ago
funny how openreach and co are so keen to raise home wiring as a cause of slow speeds and want to conveniantly fix it but they make far less noise about the high levels of crosstalk on their network and faults they refuse to look for and fix.
Posted by michaelkenward over 3 years ago
TalkTalk's problem is not the lost 4Mbps, but the lost 5Mbps during the day. There are times when I get >6Mbps at quiet periods, only to see it plummet late in the evening to <1Mbps when I want to do something like video streaming.
Posted by michaels_perry over 3 years ago
House wiring issues can easily be rectified by having a filtered master socket fitted at the input point. Telephone internal wiring is then fed from the filtered output using good quality cables. Broadband is best connected directly to the ADSL socket on that faceplate. That virtually eliminates the internal phone wiring from the equation.
The key measure is the throughput speed (often mistaken for the sync speed) and even with Ethernet that tends to vary over time. A large download will show a varying speed anyway.
Posted by mikehuk over 3 years ago
My talktalk gives me a steady 7086mkbs download at almost all times of the day but I'm on copper not fibre
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