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    Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

    This is a discussion on Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky? within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; For years now I've had an ADSL service from PlusNet and am very happy. But they restrict usage to 60Gb ...

    1. #1
      losip's Avatar
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      Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      For years now I've had an ADSL service from PlusNet and am very happy. But they restrict usage to 60Gb a month - about 2 hours a day of HDTV and I also want diversity for better reliability.

      So, I ordered a Broadband Unlimited from Sky with a new line. The new line runs direct from the DP to my master socket while the old PlusNet phone line meanders around the property connecting various extensions and devices. I was confidently expecting that a new line from Sky would give me a modest improvement in access line speed and was very disappointed when it's turned out 25% slower now that the initial DLM stuff has completed.

      My Sky router is plugged into the test socket via microfilter (which I've tried changing) and I'm getting these figures:
      ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 4095 kbps 797 kbps
      Line Attenuation 50.5 dB 31.8 dB
      Noise Margin 6.2 dB 12.7 dB

      while my PlusNet circuit gives:
      ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 5259 kbps 952 kbps
      Line Attenuation 48 dB 29.5 dB
      Noise Margin 7.5 dB 6.5 dB

      Now these two pairs go over an identical route to the Kemptown exchange and are therefore the same length which is measured at 2850m on an old router that gives such statistics for the wire distance.

      My question is: why are these different? Is it just a normal variation between pairs of wires, or the different MSLAM/DSLAM equipment, or the different router: PlusNet's Thomson versus Sky's Sagem?

      It's particularly annoying because I can stream HDTV over the PlusNet line but when using Sky, there are pauses while the data catches up.

      I doubt that I have much recourse to Sky except to cancel because their initial estimates for download speed were between 2 and 12 Mbps - a ridiculously wide range. The Line speed calculator on this site indicates that I should get between 6 and 7 Mbps and sometimes PlusNet manages over 6Mbps although not at this very moment.

      Opinions as to the cause would be very welcome, as would any suggested courses of action.


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    3. #2
      williammorris's Avatar
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      Have you just started? Everyone gets 4095kbps at the start them over 10 days it increases to the max, which according to your line DB is between 6mb to 7mb on 50.5db and between 6mb to 7mb on 48db so it should be about this.

      There is a minimum connection speed for your line in your account under My Broadband. if you don't reach that you can leave without fee. I am on 43DB and I get 7.7mbps and a max constant 7mbps.

      If you have not just started then I would call sky.. See if they can do anything. You should get the same as Plusnet I reckon.

    4. #3
      losip's Avatar
      losip is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      Thanks for replying William. I've been on now for 13days and I waited until the first 10 days had passed before making any judgements. Yes, under "My Broadband" it says:

      When you purchased Sky Broadband, we estimated that the maximum download speed for your line was2.0Mbps - 12.2Mbps
      This is such a wide range as to be useless and I certainly would have left already if I only got 2 Mbps!

      New to Sky, but having read a lot on this forum and the official Sky forum, I'm not expecting much sympathy or even comprehension if I call them.

    5. #4
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      Your Line Attenuation is higher on the Sky connection that is was with PlusNet. This indicates that it is possible that your wiring is a little longer now at the exchange side or that BTO have used poorer quality cables on your Sky connection than they did with the PlusNet connection.

      As for your stats, they otherwise look fine for your current connection.

      With all the local flooding yesterday I am glad that you still have a connection.

      If you are interested, FTTC should be installed later this year in your area. When this happens you should be able to get SFU or SFUP within a few months.

      SamKnows - Broadband Availability - Kemptown (SDKMPTW) Exchange

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

    6. #5
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      Scubbie is god.. Listen to her not me. She knows her stuff!

      And lucky you for getting fibre this year - ya git

    7. #6
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      It could be one of quite a few things

      Is your thompson a trendchip? they are keen with sync speed but have high error rates and line stabilty issues
      Is the sky dslam globespan or broadcom
      have you tried the filter you are using on the plusnet line on the sky line as i have seen quite a few bad sky filters
      or it could just be a longer line

    8. #7
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      No I'm not . I was just looking at the stats a little more carefully on this occasion.

      There are other possible reasons (chipsets, etc.) but this would confuse the issue. Essentially other than checking over the wiring at home, perhaps installing a new filtered faceplate and using the short grey ADSL lead, there is little else which can be accomplished for now.

    9. #8
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      Would a difference of 2.5db attentuation on the downstream cause a drop of 25% of the speed? I've tried changing filters and have a short DSL lead that only just reaches the router. But, as I say, I know the internal house wiring on the PlusNet line is little more that wet string wandering all over, unterninated and acting as an aerial so I really was hoping for improvment using a new, direct line from Sky.

      The exchange is fibre enabled in December but it may a long time until our local cabs are enabled - it's a tricky fibre run to Brighton Marina. And then, I'm still 200m from my cabinet but hopefully I should see decent speed increase. (On this site's Line Speed Calculator, what are the units for the distance? Metres? Feet? km?)

      Back to my Sky speeds: I assume the noise target is set at 6 or 7 db, but my upstream is showing 12.7db. Does this mean that the upstream has been capped? Do they turn on interleaving by default which would cap the speed? Can I ask for whatever cap has been applied to be turned off so that the noise margin is around 7db.

      Actually, since the Sky line is only a backup and for backups and iPlayer downloads, I don't mind a little instability. Can I request that Sky sets the noise margin target for both upstreamd and downstream to 5.5db or 6db? Would they be sympathetic to such a request, do you think?

    10. #9
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      you can get them to uncap the upstream
      and set delays to 8
      but thats about it
      they wont be setting no super low target

    11. #10
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      Re: Why is PlusNet line speed faster than Sky?

      they wont be setting no super low target
      Surprisingly enough there are some agents who are doing so. There is one member reporting recently that his margin has been set to 3db. It will depend on who you get and how hard you complain about the speed.

      With regards the line attenuation, what you can do is plug the Thomson into the Sky connection and note its stats. It will not connect without the proper details but it should sync with the exchange and give you a connection speed attenuation etc... You could also plug the Sagem into the Plusnet line and do the same. This will give you an idea whether it is the routers or the line which are throwing up the different attenuation.

      TomD


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