Is TalkTalk right to say half million homes lose 4 Mbps?
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.