Problems with Slow BT Broadband

This BT Broadband Customer has sent in this complaint about problems with very slow broadband speed and wanted to share this with everyone my sending it in to us. Send in your BT Complaint and we will put it on this website plus include it in the report that will be sent for investigation.

Dear Sir

Having looked at your BT complaints website, I feel there is no point writing to BT to complain but it is worth registering the problem we had for the benefit of others.

Up to and including Mon 9th Nov we have had broadband at about 0.8 to 1.3 Mbps. We live some distance from the exchange and were told to expect at least 0.5 Mbps. On Tuesday 10th Nov we found we had could not connect to broadband.

A call to my ISP talked me through some checks which identified that broadband was available only at the BT test socket accessed by removing the front plate of the BT box. I was able to do this easily because I have a spare modem so did not need to move the whole PC from the study to the hall.

The house has two extension cables. With no phones etc connected to them, reconnecting either cable caused the ADSL signal to drop out. So it appeared that overnight, both cables had developed faults. This is improbable because the cables follow entirely different routes and one route is entirely inspectable. A call to BT created a line check which said there was no fault on the line.

I pointed out the improbability of two extension cables going faulty but they said it must be the cables. I found some old telephone extension cables and these produced the same effect. Basic electrical checks on these cables showed that they had no short circuits and no broken conductors. Eventually I borrowed another extension from a neighbour.

At 5m long this was shorter than the 10m ones I had tried before. With this short cable I could access broadband but only at 0.4 to 0.6 Mbps. However, connecting the phone extensions to out the broadband as described above. To entirely eliminate the possibility of cable faults, I bought a new 10m extension. This would sometimes connect at 0.4 to 0.6 Mbps and sometimes not.

A further call to BT resulted in restatement of their original advice i.e. if we have broadband at the test socket but none with cables connected, we have a faulty cable, this despite it being a new cable. I had been reluctant call out the BT engineer because they charge £125 if called to a fault which is not in their equipment. By now it was Sat 14th Nov.and I had spent over a day messing about with various cables and checks.

Then on Sun 15th I found that I could connect via the new cable at 1.8mbps, this cable being the one that previously worked sometimes at 0.5mbps and sometimes not at all. Reconnecting an extension dropped the rate to 1.4mbps so clearly the number and length of cables can affect broadband speed. I quickly put the system back to its original configuration and found that everything worked as it had before 10th Nov i.e. about 1Mbps.

I have since discovered that many others in the village have had faulty broadband which is now repaired.

Conclusion, a BT line test does not reveal all faults.

BT may be wrong in saying you have faulty cables if you have broadband at the test socket but not with your cables connected.

I was also told by BT that the extension delivering the broadband should not be a plug in extension but should be wired in to the removable front plate of the BT box. This is clearly not essential. BT also told me that I might have faulty telephone sockets. Again, two going faulty at the same time is as improbable as two cables going faulty at the same time.

I feel that BT gave me very bad advice resulting in much waste of time.

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  • Broadband is not designed to work with extension cables. Plug your router in next to the socket and use wireless or long ethernet cables to connect instead.

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