Rural broadband – anything I can do to get it faster?

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  • Rural broadband – anything I can do to get it faster?
  • Premier Icon Mat
    Subscriber

    I live 2km away from the exchange and I think I’m copper wire all the way there. As a result my broadband speed is pretty terrible (often less than 1 Mbps). We generally seem to be able to stream music/TV but trying to Remote Desktop to work is woeful!

    Any suggestions on how we could sort it out? We get 4G but I’m not sure it’d be all that faster plus there’s the DL cap. Was wondering if it would be rediclous to try and privately fund a connection upgrade if I could get other nearby properties interested?

    EDIT: oops! Wrong forum! Mods, please move!

    When I lived in a sub 1mbps area I looked into alternatives but they all were super expensive to set up – around 5to700 ish.
    Not much else you can do as an individual. 4g will be quicker than copper.

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Subscriber

    Depends how many properties are on the same local exchange really. There are stories of upgraded performance from replacement of all the BT wire in your house with cat5e network cable, but BT will get upset if you rewire the master socket and refuse repair if you do. The gains aren’t massive speaking from experience (my pup chewed the line to the master, so I had little to lose!). In that house there was a line under the moor to the exchange that terminated at a box on the garage that then came over above head height to the outside wall and another Jcn box and then another cable to the inside and the master socket. I had to go back to the outside wall. It was like the difference between 2 and 4Mbps or do for me. Still slow, but better. The original wiring may have simply been poor.

    Get your router on your master socket and minimise anything else plugged in. The connnection is never going to be great without persuading BT to do fibre to the exchange for you which is unlikely to happen unless you pay.

    If you have a decent mobile signal, 4g may well be much quicker. Experiment with your phone as hotspot, and if it’s an improvement worth having, consider upgrading your contract. Obviously subscribed streaming services may be a problem.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    4g can be massively quicker. At home I get 67mb download on 4G, and 17mb download on my ‘fibre’ broadband.

    P-Jay
    Member

    What’s available at the exchange? 2Km of copper will always causes a lot of loss, but can you upgrade to fibre (to the cab).

    4G is probably the most practical, other options are more expensive and less reliable.

    Murray
    Member

    A mate of mine ran his office in Leeds for months using PAYG 4G SIMs and a 4G router. Iconically he was right in the centre of town but because the office was in a listed building there was all sorts of paperwork before BT could drill a hole to put the comms into his office.

    If that doesn’t work, try what we did in our village to get FTTC. We got written confirmation from more than 80% of houses that we’d take up FTTC if available, presented to Connected Counties (our local broadband roll out lot), BT Openreach, MP etc. In less than 3 years the cabinet was upgraded.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    2km of wire shouldn’t be the issue, surely?

    Are you sure your own set up is ‘good’ – router plugged into main socket etc?

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    Try and get FTTH/FTTP (Fibre all the way). I managed to get it on BT free as part of the rural high speed program. Took 6(!) months end to end, but now I have it I get 50Mb down and 10Mb up consistently, and its not that expensive per month.

    Premier Icon Mat
    Subscriber

    Thanks for all the responses!

    – I’m pretty sure I’m plugged into the master, it’s the only socket in the house with a split plate. I can’t see any white boxes anywhere and can’t see any line running into the house.

    – (from sam knows) I’m told at the exchange FTTC & FTTP is available in some areas – for my area it says neither of these are available. How do I go about pushing for this to be upgraded?

    drofluf
    Member

    Check any extensions that you may have. We had a dead one in our house, when I removed the cable from the socket the speed doubled, from 2 to 4 mb/s so noticeable!

    trail_rat
    Member

    good luck

    mat as you know your on the same set up as me

    our local councillor has been on the case for getting us upgraded for about 18 months now . ITs well complained about.

    evilly – both me and Mat have full blown fibre going past our road ends (all along north deeside is now fibre – drumoak , crathes out to banchory and possibly even beyond) but they are not interested in upgrading the 2km of overhead lines to the house. in our case its the overheadlines causing the issue – we can have 3mb one minute – then the wind picks up or it rains and then we have nothing.

    even the clout of a large commercial building with offices along the road hasnt helped.

    allthegear
    Member

    If your connection is able to stream music/TV and not a Remote Desktop connection, then whoever is hosting your Remote Desktop is doing a terrible job of it. It should be much easier.

    Rachel

    balfa
    Member

    In a similar situation to you but further even further away from the exchange. We managed 4mbps on our copper line when it worked. However, it rarely worked and BT were useless at fixing it. We moved to a 4G router and now get about 22mbps. We are on a monthly rolling contract with vodafone with 50Gb for £30 a month. We have no line rental now so is working out cheaper as long as we keep tabs on the data usage. I work from home occasionally and there is no significant lag or other problems when using RD. If you need more data you could always get 2 contracts! We’re now looking at getting an external 4G ariel and better router to increase the speed further.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Interesting stuff, my parents are in the same situation with a green cabinet maybe 2km away in the nearest village but they are on copper wire. Openreach say because the wires are bundled, the more it is used the slower it gets for everyone through electromagnetic effects, also they can’t find how the cables route underground from the exchange to the houses.

    Frustratingly there’s a bunch of 24 fibres going all the way up the road past the houses to a 4G mast, with only 4 in use, laid by openreach, the openreach engineers said the others could be used for domestic broadband but there’s basically no chance of getting a request in and seen through, which was refreshingly honest…

    4G is strong from the nearby mast which is an interesting option, not sure if it’s an option for iplayer etc at that cost though.

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    First thing to do is see what service you can get to your postcode on the BT site, not your phone number. If you put in a number you wont get offered full fibre, if you put in your postcode you can see all the options.

    trail_rat
    Member

    1Mb-3.5Mb is what the bt site says .for our area.

    which is about what we get on a good day but its variable.

    Premier Icon Mat
    Subscriber

    Rachel – hmm yeah perhaps, not sure how much clout me complaining would have mind! I suppose it’s worth raising.

    Ben – when I put my postcode and address in it tells me I can only get standard broadband.

    TR yeah that’s what I get too

    I use a 4G Router (a proper router, not a dongle) with a PAYG phone SIM in it – gives me up to 25MB speeds compared to 2/3MB max over a phone line in my area. Costs me 20 euro a month for the sim. IF 60GB is too little, you can always grab a second SIM.

    Murray
    Member

    OP, try the BT checker, it goes to the cabinet level

    Blackflag
    Member

    We were in the same boat and complained to BT about the low speeds. They sent an engineer out who discovered that the cabinet had us on a line that was a mix of copper and alu. He swapped us over (at the cabinet) to a better copper line and we went from 1-2 mbps to 6 mbps. Which is enough for netflix to work 🙂

    Ewan
    Member

    Where abouts are you? There are some rural bb providers – e.g. there is one in glostershire my mate has who will give him 1gig/s! BT can offer him 300kbps.

    ChrisE
    Member

    We get 1Gbps in deepest rural Yorkshire Dales. That’s with a community thing called B4RN. £25 a month. You just need to get all your locals to get involved and do some digging of a 7mm duct. They then come and blow fibre right into your house/business/whatever.

    It’s brilliant

    C

    TheBrick
    Member

    4g or if there is somewhere witha good fibre all the way connection near by try and get a point to point WiFi setup. Line of site can get a couple of km or do a mid way boost.

    Premier Icon charliew
    Subscriber

    Fibre to the cabinet isn’t always faster than your normal service. If you’re a reasonable distance from the cabinet then it is likely to be slower.

    Fibre from the cabinet trades off noise resilience (i.e. how far the broadband signal will travel) for speed. If you live near cabinet this works great, however after a certain distance it drops off rapidly.

    If you aren’t streaming lots of content go for 4G, it wouldn’t work for our household usage, but for a lot of people it’ll work fine.

    timber
    Member

    A village near us (Crai) is just having the finishing touches to a microwave link setup. Dyfed IT have managed the project, but sure there will be other similar enterprises, bit like B4RN.
    Friend of my dads has been providing a similar setup to a farm in Cornwall for years.

    stevious
    Member

    Bigjim – are your folks still on the black isle? There are a couple of wireless broadband operators up there that might be worth looking at if they haven’t already. I’ve heard some good things about http://www.cfwn.co.uk/map

    cozz
    Member

    we get 1-2 MB on our broadband at work (rural)

    got myself a EE 4g router £21 a month for 30GB data

    getting 20mb now, sometimes more

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Subscriber

    We get about 2mb on fibre. We’re miles from our green box though.

    Looking at the checker link we could have FTTP, I’d dread to think of the cost though.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Rural where? Are you in B4RN’s catchment area? Friends of mine.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Also,

    – I’m pretty sure I’m plugged into the master, it’s the only socket in the house with a split plate. I can’t see any white boxes anywhere and can’t see any line running into the house.

    Remove the bottom face plate and plug directly into the ‘test’ socket behind. Any different?

    Premier Icon dickyhepburn
    Subscriber

    Your Remote Desktop problem will be related to your upoload speed, I have the same issue – can stream stuff (download) at 2-5mbps, but upoald Speed is <1mbps often 0.1mbps so emails don’t send, remote access doesn’t work.

    Premier Icon Mat
    Subscriber

    woah – there’s been a whole load of evening replies I’d not seen!

    Yeah dickyH the upload speed issue sounds like it could be the crux of the problem! mine is oftern <1MBps

    Will try the faceplate thing.

    Premier Icon xora
    Subscriber

    2km is right next door to exchange in rural terms. I am 7 miles (11.27km) from exchange! And 2Mbs was what I got until I went to FTTC.

    wysiwyg
    Member

    1 on a good day with a following wind for me. The council cut the line with the hedgecutter. It actually improved .1

    Premier Icon nwmlarge
    Subscriber

    Where I work my office is about 5m’s from a fibre net work but I can’t get a connection as its not a residence!

    Premier Icon leftyboy
    Subscriber

    @Mat see my rant here Fibre rollout reaches village but…

    Persistence and making yourself a PITTA worked for us, we were 6KM from the exchange and barely hit 0.5mb, now we have ~56Mb with fewer dropouts.

    Get as many people as you can to pre-regsiter for fibre send OpenReach and BT weekly emails, get your local parish and district councillors on side.

    It took nearly 3 years for us but that was because OpenReach had classed the cabinet as not commercially viable.

    Good luck!

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