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    Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

    This is a discussion on Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; I recently decided to change my television, phone and broadband from Virgin to Sky. The main motivation for the change ...

    1. #1
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      Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      I recently decided to change my television, phone and broadband from Virgin to Sky. The main motivation for the change was in order to get Sky TV, and, as I was told, more than once, by Sky sales people that I would need a BT line for Sky+ functionality, I decided that I would be best therefore taking up phone and broadband with Sky also. Sky TV was installed first and it was only then that I found that it was not necessary to have a BT line in order to use the Sky+ box. By that time I had already arranged to have BT reconnected so went ahead with it.

      It had been 10 years since we last had a BT line and when the BT engineer came to reconnect the line 3 days ago he told me that he was going to have to run a line from the telegraph pole as there was no line currently connected. He also said that he would install a new master socket in the front room where the new cable would enter the house. However, when I returned I found that he had instead connected the old master socket in the hall (though thankfully it’s a NTE5). I was a little concerned about this as the wiring leading to this socket is approximately 30 years old. I asked the engineer whether the cable would be okay for broadband and he told me it was copper pair and would be fine. I live on a row of semidetached houses and after the engineer left I also noticed that every residence has its own line running to it from the telegraph pole, however we have no line running to our residence and instead seem to share the one line with our neighbours. The line runs from the telegraph pole to the centre of our building and then separates to each of us.

      Before deciding upon Sky broadband I checked the location and capabilities of my local exchange (Maghull LVMAG). I found that I was just less than 1km away and that the exchange is ADSL and ADSL Max enabled and that Sky has an LLU operator presence there. I also ran online Broadband availability checks. I ran the Sky postcode check which reported that I was in a broadband area where base, mid and max are available; the BT Wholesale address check reported :-

      Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and our initial check on your address indicates that your line should be able to have an ADSL broadband service that provides a line rate up to 2Mbps.
      Our check also indicates that your line currently supports a potential ADSL Max broadband line rate of 6.5Mbps up to 8Mbps
      .”

      Finally, the postcode checks at Kiltz.co.uk estimated an ADSL speed of 6.5Mbps.

      Once the BT line had been installed I phoned Sky and ordered Sky talk and mid broadband. The salesperson was difficult to understand so when they told me my line was capable of 512kbps I queried and asked if they meant 512KBytes which would be around 4.5Mb. They told me that was correct. I was a little suspicious about whterher they knew what they were talking about or that perhaps that they were just keen to make a sale so I checked the available speed online again.

      As this was after the BT installation I was able to check broadband availability using my BT number and was alarmed at the results I received. Sky reported a speed of 512kps and that I currently had broadband with another provider and would therefore need a MAC code.

      BT wholesale reported:-
      “…our initial test on your line indicates that your line should be able to have an ADSL broadband service that provides a line rate up to 1Mbps. However due to the length of your line the 1Mbps service may require an engineer visit who will, where possible, supply the broadband service.
      Our initial test on your line indicates that your line may not support a reliable ADSL Max broadband service, with current technology
      .”

      Klitz.co.uk reported:-

      Fixed: Long line green for 1Mbps, Red for 2Mbps
      radsl: Line has over 75dB loss, ADSL unlikely, but will be tested by an engineer on-site
      MAX: Max may not be available – tests pending
      SDSL: Exchange Not Enabled
      TPON: TPON/Fibre not recorded
      Check: The check identified another service on your line which may prevent you from ordering a new ADSL connection. Examples are : Existing adsl connection, DACs, LLU, TPON

      My Sky router arrived this morning but according to the letter that also came from Sky, broadband will take 10-15 working days to go live.

      My apologies for writing at such length but I wanted to make sure that I included as much detail as possible. So finally, my questions
      1) Why only 512kbps? Could the line tests be inaccurate or might it have something to do with the BT drop cable being so old or the fact that it appears I share one with our neighbours?
      2) Why are Sky and Klitz.co.uk (also Samknows) reporting that I either already have broadband or “another service on your line which may prevent you from ordering a new ADSL connection. Examples are : Existing ADSL connection, DACs, LLU, TPON”? Could this be something to do with sharing a line form the telegraph pole with our neighbours?
      3) If the problem is the age and quality of the drop cable or the shared line from the telegraph pole, what are my chances of getting BT to fix the problem?
      4) I am inclined to withhold both the installation fee and rental from BT until the problem is resolved would this help?
      5) Could Sky exert any influence or contract BT Openreach to resolve the problem?
      6) Now that I have my Sky router can I obtain line statistics or must I wait until I’m connected to Sky broadband before I can do this?


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    3. #2
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      Re: Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      I would say you are probably on DACS (Digital Access Carrier System), which means you are sharing your line with your neighbour. If you neighbour is on Broadband they may find that their speed has plummeted. You can read about DACS HERE

      It may be nothing to worry about, as when a line is enabled for ADSL the DACS is removed. It was in my case as my line was shared with my next door neighbour.

      You can connect your router, but it will not sync until your line is ADSL enabled.

      Sky seem to have little or no influence with BT. In fact they seem to act like adversaries in a children's playground.

      TomD


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      Re: Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      Thank you very much for your reply! Very stupid of me but the existing ADSL service appears to be due to the Sky broadband order even though the broadband is not yet active. I discovered this when I rang BT to "order" their broadband in the hopes of getting to the botom of the problem. I'm sick of being told that the lack of speed is due to the length of the cable when in patently isn't!

    5. #4
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      Re: Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      Also just a not i wouldnt worry too much about what speeds BT say you will get.

      when i got Sky BB Mid they i would see speed of no more than 1.5Meg. here i am with a connection of 4MB.

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      Re: Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      They told me I would barely get 512kbs, and I get a full 8mb from a new line :P

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      Re: Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      Quote Originally Posted by jdp View Post
      however we have no line running to our residence and instead seem to share the one line with our neighbours. The line runs from the telegraph pole to the centre of our building and then separates to each of us.
      I think I am right in saying that BT (Openreach) usually use a 3 pair (ie 6 wire) cable from telegraph poles to private properties. A single telephone line only needs one pair (2 wires).

      Although your line is carried down the same outer sheath as your neighbours' I do not think you will be sharing their line as broadband would not work at all under these circumstances.

      You can test the line using a standard corded phone by dialing 17070 option 2 (quiet line test). You should hear absolute silence with no static, crackles or noises present. If not, then get back on to BT to fix it!

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      Re: Line test reports 521kbps despite being only 1km from exchange

      Thank you all for your advice. I'm now feeling a lot more optimistic about the speed I should get

     

     

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