Swanage Exchange Upgrade 2012

The Swanage Exchange was upgraded earlier this year and now supports 21CN WBC.

This means broadband users should get much faster download and upload speeds. Some users might get close to 24Mbps, but most will probably see double their existing speed.

What is “21CN”?
21CN (21st Century Network) is a Next Generation Network (NGN) being deployed by British Telecom over the next 5 years. The core aim of the project is to bring the UK’s telecoms network in to the digital age, whilst at the same time allowing BT to save up to £1billion per year in costs. The total cost of the project is estimated at £10billion.

The following are some of the key changes that 21CN will bring:

  • The national PSTN phone network will be moved on to a digital IP network
  • The retirement of 16 existing legacy networks and the introduction of a single “multi-service” network
  • The national roll-out of ADSL2+, offering services at up to 24Mbps. ADSL2+ Annex M will also be deployed, offering upstream rates of up to 2.5Mbps
  • A complete overhaul of the broadband services offered. A range of new configurable QoS (Quality of Service) products will be made available

In recent years BT has seen its traditional revenue sources (i.e. phone calls) decline considerably, and its “new wave” products (such as broadband) explode in popularity. Ultimately, 21CN should help BT to surf this new wave of demand and reduce their dependence on traditional revenue streams.

Source: SamKnows.com — 21CN Overview: More details about BT Wholesale 21CN

Swanage ADSL status:
ADSL Max status: Enabled as of 01/10/2003
SDSL status: Enabled as of 31/03/2006
21CN WBC status: Enabled 2012

Fluctuating Broadband Speed (Again)

A lot of people (possibly everybody) in the Purbeck Area are experiencing wild fluctuations in broadband speed again. To be fair, broadband speed results are never the same from one test to the next, but over the last three to four weeks my speeds have varied from a good 6 MB (6000 kbps) to an appalling 0.8 MB (900 kbps) in less than 30 mins… then back to 6 MB again an hour later.

Consistency in speed appears to be the number one problem (frustration) here in the Isle of Purbeck.

A number of people are running speed tests on a regular bases – I personally run hour tests using www.mybroadbandspeed.co.uk as it keeps a record of all your tests and also allows you to export the results.

We would like to hear from anybody in the Purbeck area (Wareham through to Swanage) who is also experiencing fluctuating broadband speeds.

Please leave a comment below, stating your broadband supplier and a brief overview of the best and worst speeds.

Tiscali customers frustrated by move to TalkTalk

Tiscali customers are facing a second day of frustration as their phone lines are moved/migrated to TalkTalk.

Purbeck Broadband has heard from a number of customers who have no phone or broadband service. When speaking to customer support, they are told disruptions could last 24 hours, the same answer was given last week!

Are you a Tiscali user? Have any thoughts good or bad?

Broadband Outage 29/30 November 2010

Last nights Broadband outage that affected (some?) users in the Isle of Purbeck, appears to have been caused by planed engineering work in Reading by BT.

The outage lasted around two hours and appears to have come back on at 1.50am (approx.).

Speeds seem normal, although there has been some fluctuation over the last few days again!

The BT Superfast Broadband Lottery

On Monday (4th October 2010), BT announced Race to Infinity, a competition allowing members of the public and businesses the chance to vote for superfast fibre broadband to be installed at their exchange.

What is the Race to Infinity?
The Race to Infinity is a nationwide competition run by BT whereby members of the public and local businesses can vote to get our superfast fibre broadband, BT Infinity, in their exchange. The top 5 exchanges with the most registered interest as a % of the total telephone exchange size on 31st December will be added to BT’s fibre rollout plan. Exchanges need to get a minimum of 1,000 votes in order to enter the race. People will be able to register their interest via the web site (www.bt.com/racetoinfinity) from 4th October to 31st December 2010.

So after the race has finished, BT will upgrade the top 5 exchanges with the most votes registered as a percentage of the total telephone exchange size. But each exchange would need at least 1,000 votes in order to enter the race.

The Isle of Purbeck has 4 exchanges, located in Corfe Castle, Studland, Swanage and Worth Matravers (5 if you count Wareham). This would mean each exchange would be racing against each other, with Swanage and Wareham having a tactical advantage over the rest as they have a lot more people and businesses being served by their exchanges. Corfe, Studland and Worth have a limited number of residents and business with Studland and Worth falling way short of even the required 1,000 votes to enter.
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We need your help!

If you are a resident of Purbeck (particularly if you are on the Corfe Castle or Worth Matravers telephone exchanges, though the problems may be more widespread) and are experiencing problems with your broadband connection (mainly fluctuating and inconsistent download speed at random times of the day and night, recently made worse by severe packet loss during afternoons and early evenings), and you wouldn’t mind your name being included in a complaint/report to the BT Chairman’s office, please get in touch either via email to info@purbeckbroadband.co.uk or the contact form.

Our ISP, Fast.co.uk, is willing to log a complaint/report with the BT Chairman’s office on our behalf on the issues we’ve been having with our broadband connections in the last seven months (we have supplied lots of evidence and hundreds of speed tests etc. in that time). But to give the complaint/report more weight, they would like to hear from other Purbeck residents who are having similar problems. The more residents who come forward and put their names to the complaint/report the more likely it is that BT will take it seriously. As things stand we have reached an impasse: our ISP can’t do anything more because BT Wholesale refuse to acknowledge that there is an underlying problem with broadband performance/speeds in some areas of Purbeck.

So, if you are as fed up as us with the quality of your broadband connection and want to help us try to do something to improve it, please get in touch. The more the merrier, as it were. A little community action and we might get this sorted before Christmas!

Broadband Testers Required

Hi, we are looking for volunteers who can ideally test their Broadband Speed and Ping Times* on a daily basis.

As you will have noticed, there has been an ongoing problem in the Purbeck area since December 2009, possibly even earlier. Our ISP (Internet Service Provider) has suggested that we collate data to persuade BT that there is still a serious problem that is causing random fluctuations in speed and loss of data (packet loss*).

Can you help?
If you live in the Isle of Purbeck and have 5 – 10 minutes spare a day to test your Broadband Speed and Ping Time (ideally first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon) then we would really appreciate it if you could visit the following websites and send us your results.

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Fluctuating download speed and occasional packet loss – again

Download speed and throughput are fluctuating again today. I’m also seeing packet loss. Nothing new then.

Just to let regular visitors to Purbeck Broadband know that lack of updates from us doesn’t mean that all is fine. I experience fluctuating download speed and throughput at various times throughout the day – it is rarely consistently fast. We tend to only add an update to the blog when things are worse than “normal”.

Inconsistent download speed/throughput and packet loss

For the last several hours download speed has been yo-yoing again – throughput is inconsistent. To make things worse, I’m seeing 5 – 10% packet loss during nearly every ping test. I was hoping to find the situation had improved after taking a two-week holiday, but if anything it’s worse than before I went away.

This issue started in December 2009. We’re now into June 2010 and there is no end in sight. It amazes me that BT can get away with providing a substandard broadband service for so long. My ISP has proved useless in getting BT to do something about the problem.