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BT Broadband - Forest Hill Exchange Upgrade
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jgdoherty


Posts: 297
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
04-10-2010 09:25 AM

In August 210 BT announced that a major upgrade would be undertaken at their Forest Hill exchange and that this would provide an up to 20mbps for all users connected to that exchange.

Since that time a handful of neighbours and friends have experienced a reduction in reliability and for those who signed up for the new package, have not had the promised increase in speed delivered by BT.

We range in distances from 285m to 1.8km from the exchange and all have different degrees of problems from speed degradation to page drop-outs.

In the last seven days I have been advised by BT that whilst at the August position their own estimates of line speed for me was 13mbps, all of their estimates have now been revised and speeds reduced by more than 50%. For example this takes my speed back to just a 1mbps increase from the pre-upgrade position.

Are there more BT customers out there with similar problems or are we just an unlucky few ?

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Brockley_Babe


Posts: 57
Joined: Jul 2009
Post: #2
04-10-2010 10:56 AM

I have had problems all weekend having to go through the hassle of rebooting the hub - assumed it was the stormy weather!

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Snazy


Posts: 1,504
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #3
04-10-2010 11:14 AM

Are they not rolling out infinity yet?
I'm on Virgin these days, with a nice stable 20mb connection

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
04-10-2010 11:18 AM

Last couple of weeks have seen my first broadband outages in over 5 years. Haven't noticed any significant increase or decrease in connection speed though

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jgdoherty


Posts: 297
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
04-10-2010 11:22 AM

Infinity due December 2010 - but may have tech difficulties at FH - so not holding my breath.

Cable did not pass all our front doors - so we are without any significant alternatives re-performance choices.

Contrary to common urban myth (as I learned only recently) - rebooting your HomeHub too may times does not increase speed - but may result in speed synchronisation being reduced. Use this technique sparingly or indeed only as a last resort.

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
04-10-2010 03:56 PM

Aha! I'm in Honor Oak Park, would I be using that exchange? Probably. I've been wondering for a few weeks why video is jumpy and pages take longer to view. It's quite rubbish in fact compared with almost tv quality streaming before this change.
Thanks for this info, I'll get my complaints hat on now.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #7
04-10-2010 04:25 PM

Go with Be (or O2 who use the same network). I have been with them for four years now and get 14Mbps reliably with them.

If you can get the current attenuation statistics from your router, then this graph will show you the speeds you can expect to get when you change from the Max product (ADSL - Upto 8Mbps) to Total (ADSL2+ - Upto 20/24Mbps)

The speeds you get depend on the quality of all the connections between you and the exchange. I used to get 18Mbps, but then BT did some work on the cables in the pavement and my speeds dropped to 14Mbps. Since BT only guarantee you a voice quality line, there is nothing you can do about this.

To find out which exhange you are on, try Samknows Broadband Checker or Exchange Search

We could be in for a further boost in broadband speeds with FTTC scheduled for December (FTTC - Fibre to the Cabinet, upto 40/100Mbps) :D

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jgdoherty


Posts: 297
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
04-10-2010 05:49 PM

Thank you NewForester.

Had taken numbers from the HomeHub and BT's IP Profile and calculated that my line would get 12.5 to 14Mbps into which BT's estimate of 13 meg fitted bang in the mid-range.

BT's revised estimates (which are without any coherence) have been re-cast to 50% of the possible data throughput - and they themselves cannot get the relevant BT team to provide any explanation.

For Honor Oak - I would guess you are on Forest Hill exchange - but that can be tested from BT's web-site by typing in your landline number.

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rbmartin


Posts: 795
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #9
04-10-2010 05:54 PM

Quote:
Aha! I'm in Honor Oak Park, would I be using that exchange?


If your phone number has 8699 or 8291 after the 020, then you are part of the FH exchange.

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #10
04-10-2010 09:19 PM

Thanks. This explains a lot.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #11
04-10-2010 09:48 PM

Throughput will depend on many variables, including how many users are using the 'pipe' from the exchange onwards (this is known as 'contention ratio'), the connection which the server (computer) which hosts (stores) the website uses and your upload speed (the speed your computer can talk to the exchange) and download speed (exchange to your computer).

The speed you have been quoted is the download speed. The upload speed will be a lot less (typically 390kbps, 1.3Mbps or 2.5Mbps). This is what the 'A' in ADSL stands for (Asynchronous). The reason for this is that when you download a page / video / software from the internet, your computer simply says "can I have a bit of this file" and "next" while the computer at the other end sends you the various chunks of data.

Depending on the website I am connected to, I get throughput of 2Mbps-12Mbps (roughly 0.2MBps-1.2MBps; b=bits, B=bytes)

BT may simply have downgraded the throughput to reduce customer expectations. This is also why they claim "Upto 20Mbps" rather than the actual "Upto 24Mbps" - you almost have to live in the exchange to get 24Mbps. (similarly for 40Mbps -v- 100Mbps for Infinity)

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
05-10-2010 12:32 AM

Tiny correction to an otherwise very useful post - the "A" stands for Asymmetric. Otherwise excellent info.

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Gabriella


Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2010
Post: #13
05-10-2010 08:33 AM

we are having this exact problem so thanks for the post & info. We are in HOP with one of those FH exhange numbers. The internet is unreliable, disconnecting and the picture streaming on the vision box is worse. It's been driving us mad!

Did BT give an indication of when the upgrade would be finished?

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #14
05-10-2010 02:06 PM

OopsBlush

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jgdoherty


Posts: 297
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #15
07-10-2010 08:30 AM

Gabriella, I believe the August upgrade at the exchange is complete and whilst the upgrade to the Infinity product is scheduled for December 2010, neither the duration of the works nor a completion date is indicated.

By calculation for my line, the synchronisation speed, attenuation and signal to noise ratio margin figures show that a throughput speed that lies in range between 12.5 and 14.1 mbps is achievable on an upto 20mbps service.

These values matched what BT estimated as being deliverable. It is only in the the post upgrade period that the test figures on BT's system have been hurriedly downgraded across the exchange.

Given that previously I could achieve 5.7 (+/- 0.6) mbps on an uptp 8mbps service, an increase of around 1mbps does not represent any improvement that could be classed as significant.

The questions of how or why these estimates in the BT system have been downgraded and why the actual performance figures remain so low have not been answered by BT.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #16
07-12-2010 11:45 AM

According to the latest update from Openreach, we are now due to get Infinity (FTTC) in June 2011.

However, there is an additional letter in the table- 'P'. This means that they will also be rolling out FTTP - Fibre to the Premises (or Fibre to the Home [FTTH] as it was known), which will mean speeds of upto 110Mbps will soon be available in Forest Hill.

If you are in a Virgin Media cabled area, then they are also rolling out a 100Mbps service. No date available yet, but it is supposed to be imminent.

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jgdoherty


Posts: 297
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #17
07-12-2010 02:27 PM

Interesting update from OpenReach.

The web-site Samknows has also revised its estimated date for FTTC to March 2011 - see link at http://www.samknows.com/broadband/exchange/LSFOR. The estimate in August 2010 set the last upgrade date to FTTC at Dec 2010.

Typically no certainty is provided and both sites stress that these are estimates. As I said in earlier comments a BT Technical Team in N Ireland had advised me that they believed Openreach were having difficulties at the Forest Hill exchange and delays may occur in the upgrade roll-out. So plenty of ambiguity and delay and no real evidence of substantial progress.

Whilst it is exciting to see the FTTP flag set - it would be difficult to predict when that may occur. BT (OpenReach) would have to lay optic fibre cables from all nearby BT cabinets to individual homes and premises to make this high speed feature work. Many people in the industry believe that BT's announcement on their FTTP delivery is little more that a puff-piece that is intended to spoil Virgin's recent claims to be the only ISP that delivers 100Mbps.

For the record, the last upgrade in August has only been partially delivered, with a marginal improvement in speeds which still represents approximately half that which was promised. Page drop-outs and BT resets on the line remain at an unacceptably high level.

Still not holding my breath for the FTTC upgrade as BT continues to fail in its delivery programme.

FTTP is almost certainly in the class of jam tomorrow - and if BT prove me wrong I will have mine on toast please.

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theplanner


Posts: 14
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #18
08-12-2010 08:02 PM

Interestingly, when I checked at the BT Infinity site using my address, it informed me that "BT Infinity is not currently due to be rolled out in your area. Register and we will keep you up to date about the BT Infinity rollout." which is odd as when I interrogated the site using the map, I was informed that Forest Hill was due to be completed by 31st March 2011. I have an 8699 phone number so must be linked to FH exchange. Fingers crossed as my "up to 20MB" Sky connection has dropped to a dismal 1.8MB recently despite my complaints......

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #19
08-12-2010 08:34 PM

10.63meg with Sky now. It does change and was awful a few weeks ago.

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NewForester


Posts: 377
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #20
09-12-2010 10:43 PM

Rock steady 18Mb with Be Wink (although they did have a glitch earlier this week)

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