Give me back interleaving

Oh well, I guess I spoke to soon. Since I last commented on the removal of interleaving by BTw, speed continues to drop and noise margins have gone haywire. In fact donwload speeds are lower than before this whole sorry saga started. So I am now wondering why the interleaving was removed without even notifying users? So to sum up, in rural areas where you are some distance from the exchange my impression is that it is worth putting up with slightly reduced speeds with interleaving but have a much more stable connection.

Hmm… me thinks I will have to hassle my ISP!!

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BT settings changed?

Well after almost 3 months, the internet speed has been stable and twice the speed we had before. The only slight issue was that last weekend all of a sudden the speed doubled again (i.e. 4 times the original speed!!!) but the downside was that the connection kept dropping. The only difference that I could see was that the interleaving seemed to have been switched off (by BT ?) – so technically the connection can really fly and probably explains why neighbours get more speed than our ISP (not BT) permits . Anyway, our internet speed has now reverted to double the original speed and is back to being stable. Which is fine for email and browsing but not great for video or VPN. Still, technology is evolving and speed over copper can be fast (as shown by last weekend’s glitch) so who know, maybe in rural areas we will see decent broadband in the future.

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Escalation and resolution

Eventually I was notified that “We are pleased to be able to inform you that a member of our Customer Support Centre has now escalated your question  for further investigation.” and the problem has now been resolved. In fact if anything we now have a faster connection so I do wonder how much throttling was gong on somewhere.

The lesson here for customers is that it is worth chasing up your Internet Service Provider (ISP)if you think that your speed is slower than it should be but that can mean a lot of effort. The lesson for suppliers (ISPs and BT) is that it is worth evaluating how services are delivered and whether methods (e.g. IP profiles) are appropriate or at least need modified to ensure that services meet the customer needs. All in all, this whole saga left me extremely angry due to the time it took for me to sort it but at least I can catch up on the backlog of activity I was wanting to do.

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BTs new narrowband

After a week since I realised we had a problem with slow speeds, today hits rock bottom with 87kbs downloading. The weird thing is that the downstream DSL connection rate has gone up since last week from 1888 kbs to today’s figure of 2880 kbs! The IP profile for the line has not changed i.e. still 135 kbs.

So what next? I have asked nicely my ISP (PlusNet) to ask BT to reset my IP profile but they tell me to be patient. To be honest I am sick of being patient. I have spent many hours trying to get this sorted and it makes me wonder just how much time is spent nationally by people trying to resolve such issues – time that could be spent more productively (e.g. helping to develop The Big Society). My options are a) keep waiting and hoping b) switch to another ISP (unfortunately the Local Loop on our exchange is not unbundled so may not make any differenc) c) move to dial up (might as well) or d) stop using the Internet. If only there was some sort of national campaign to get rural areas a fair system!

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BT moan

I came across this posting Why BT broadband sucks! and must admit I do agree particualrly as my download speed was down to 89kbps today! What this and similar comments point to is the degree of frustration and this is not a new thing as you can find similar moans about IP profiles going back years.

Isn’t it about time that government did something about this or is it that BT wholesale have such control that people in rural areas have to continue to suffer the indignity of poor service. However, there are a couple of good things that have come out of this issue a) I am posting at last on my blog (albeit slowly) and b) makes me realise that there are real risks if we think that the ‘wired’ future will reduce our global footprint in the future. Quite simply, as systems (e.g. Internet) increase in size and complexity they naturally become inherently unstable. So if BT can’t sort a simple problem by implementing a ‘lift and shift’ of my IP profile, it is easy to see how other forces (e.g. terrorists) could be able to bring down the systems that we have come to depend on so much.

This whole saga is such a shame as I was unable to work from home but also have not been able to continue supporting the Systems Thinking World conversation “Are there too many people in the World?” (- perhaps there are just not enough BT engineers?)

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BT and the ongoing saga

Well, I went out and bought a new modem complete with new filter (in case the other two were faulty), plugged the modem in the main socket with no other attachments – now getting 89kbs download speed!! I guess it is only a matter of time before the thing grinds completely to a halt. Still, it has got me monitoring the DSL connection so I might be able to nip the problem in the bud before it happens again – I recommend that everyone should do this. However, I still am so angry that BT use this method and won’t reset my IP profile but that what comes of having a monopoly running our local loop.

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BT and use of IP and BRAS profiles

I am spitting mad as BT have clamped my IP profile!!! Why? Because there were intermittent problems 4 days ago (I suspect there might be a hacker nearby or water in the connection) and rightly so, BT reduced the speed of my connection BUT THAT WAS 4 DAYS AGO. I have done all the tests (changing microfilters, moving the router to the main socket etc.), reported it to my ISP (which incidentally also is known for throttling some services e.g. VPN) but still BT won’t release my IP profile so I am stuck with low speeds (this morning it is 96kbs download but upload speeds are unaffected). As a result I can’t work from home so I have to travel – so much for technology reducing my global footprint!!

Why don’t BT get rid of this ancient practice or at least set it up so that it resets automatically after say 60 minutes?

If you are lucky to have your Local Loop Unbundled, you can at least choose a product that does not carry out this practice.

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Al James @ the Birdcage

This weekend we were down in Musselburgh near Edinburgh for the christening of Emily (hope to get a link to some photos soon).

We stayed with Ken and on Saturday evening we went out for a meal at the Birdcage (Table#2). The setting of this restaurant is lovely but you need to know it is there! The service was really excellent and the food was great – not too many choices, which for me means that the food is most likely being prepared on the premises. What was more is that the menu was slightly different – I had spicy fishcakes, followed by lamb shank on broad beans (if you like your tatties you need to order a side dish) followed by a really tasty cherry sorbet.If you like olives you really must try their apetiser!

What really made the night was that Al James was playing. So whilst we were eating our meal we had fantastic music (not the canned stuff!) and what was even nicer was that whilst we had our coffee (well Ken had coffeee, I had peppermint tea and Mandy had camomile !) we sat near the bar and listened to Al playing. Well when I say we sat, we did get up and have a dance.  Al seems to be able to paly just about anything – we particularly liked his take on Elton, Sinatra, Joel, Bublé …… add that to a really great voice and piano skills mixed in with a bit of humour = extremely professional. Eclectic!!

To sum up – a really fantastic evening!

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Hello world!

Hello – what more is there to say at this moment in time 🙂

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