Tag Archives: corfe castle

Broadband Problems 3rd November 2014

There appears to be a number of issues this morning across the Isle of Purbeck. BT and other Internet suppliers appear to be aware of the problems.

We suspect the issues are due to the very large amount of rain we have had overnight.

If you have no internet, first try powering everything off and back on again (i.e. your broadband router, computer/laptop, tablet and phone).

If you still have problems then call your broadband supplier and report the problem.

Interleaving Broadband in Church Knowle and Kimmeridge

We are hearing from more and more users who are experiencing very slow Broadband, particularly users who connect to the Corfe Castle exchange — we have had reports from PlusNet, Mad as a Fish and Virgin users in Church Knowle, Kimmeridge and Harmans Cross — they’re at least 2+ miles away from the Corfe Castle Exchange, and have also reported random noise on their telephone lines.

A helpful support person confirmed that they have had to turn on ‘Interleaving’, which appears to help, but there are several drawbacks to using this.

What is Interleaving?

Interleaving is a form of error correction that can help reduce the number of ‘errors’ on a line. This will be activated by default on new broadband services and where a fault has previously been reported. It helps to stabilise a line that might otherwise suffer frequent disconnections. One drawback of interleaving is that it can increase ping times, which may cause problems for people that play online games. Whilst we’d recommend against it, if it is switched on, interleaving can be turned off if you ask us.
Source: PlusNet

Traditionally adsl used what is known as “FAST” method for transmitting data.
MaxDSL & LLU can make use of a technology called Interleaving to help maintain the tolerance against noise on longer length lines.

If during transit more than a certain amount of data has been lost then the data cannot be correctly decoded by your router. Short bursts of noise on the line can cause these data packets to become corrupt and the modem has to re-request data which in turn can slow down the overall rate at which data is transmitted.

Interleaving is a method of taking data packets, chopping them up into smaller bits and then rearranging them so that once contiguous data is now spaced further apart into a non continuous stream. Data packets are re-assembled by your modem.

If your line is particularly susceptible to bursts of noise then interleaving should improve your adsl experience simply because if you lose a whole batch of data then this could cause your modem to loose sync with the exchange.

By now you may be asking if interleaving is so good, then why isn’t it used by default?
The answer to that is that it can also have a downside – chopping up, rearranging and decoding of the data adds a small amount of additional time it takes for data transmission. Forward Error Correction will also add to the delay, since the check bytes will take additional transmission time.

BT state that interleaving can increase latency by an additional 20-40ms. Whilst this will not be noticeable to the vast majority of users, ardent gamers are the ones most likely to complain about additional latency and therefore prefer a slower synch speed than higher latency.

It should also be pointed out that whilst BTw state that applying interleaving shouldn’t reduce your line speed, it does reduce the maximum line rate achievable from 8128kbps to 7616kbps due to the additional overhead required for check bytes.
Source: kitz.co.uk

We would be interested to hear from anybody who is experiencing very slow Broadband in Purbeck. We would also be interested to hear what ISPs are saying is causing the problem(s) and how they are fixing them.

Note: Remember to turn your Router off/on and check all cabling before calling your ISP, you can guarantee they will ask you to do this first before they investigate the problem!

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!

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”.

Degraded service/packet loss/websites not loading

I’m currently seeing almost 100% packet loss to some websites while others seem to load perfectly (like Purbeck Broadband). Sites that aren’t loading include Twitter (pinged: 85% packet loss, site not loading), Facebook and the New York Times (pinged: 100% packet loss, site not loading). Anyone else having problems accessing certain websites? There was a similar issue a couple of days ago – it affected both Worth and Corfe but fixed itself after 30 minutes or so.

I’ve also been having the usual problems with wildly fluctuating download speeds most of the Easter weekend.

Update 9:25 p.m.: Still no improvement – I cannot access a number of websites because of severe packet loss. My download speed has also nosedived in the last 20 minutes. I suspect this issue is affecting other households but it’s difficult to get any confirmation at this time on a Bank Holiday.

Update 10:38 p.m.: I hope I’m not tempting fate, but things seem to have returned to “normal”. It’s doubtful we’ll get to know what caused this latest issue – it wouldn’t surprise me if it was related to the problems we’ve been having in this area for the last several months. Download speed remains inconsistent.

No Service in Corfe Castle and Worth Matravers

As of 11.30 am (1st April 2010) there appears to be a problem with broadband in the Corfe Castle and Worth Matravers area.

We are awaiting a response from our ISP and will update this post with any news/info.

Unfortunately, this is not an April Fools, and we would be interested to know if anybody else is having similar problems (please leave comment below).

Note: if you are having problems, please report it to your own ISP so that the problem will ‘hopefully’ be fixed ASAP.

Update – 12.33 pm Service has returned to normal (whatever that means). There is no explanation yet, hopefully our ISP will be able to inform us of the reason.

Update – 13.05 pm BT acknowledged a fault in the Corfe Castle area, but were unclear as what was causing the problem!

Update – 13.31 pm BT have said there is an Internet problem in the Dorset Area affecting 01929 and 01305 dialling codes:

Dialling codes affected: 01929, 01305
Estimated time to resolve: 2hrs
We are aware of a temporary problem in the Dorset area that may be causing some users difficulties accessing the Internet. Our engineers are working to resolve this problem and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Update – 14.37 pm – Looks like the fault has been fixed, but latest update suggests it affected most of south Dorset – area codes affected: 0130, 01300, 01305, 01308, 01929!

Update – 16.30 pm – BT have said this mornings outage was due to a “power issue” in the Salisbury area (see comments below for details).

Fluctuating Broadband Speeds in Corfe (again)

My broadband speed here in Corfe Castle has been relatively good since last week’s problems (on the 12th March), but this afternoon it has been going up and down like a yo-yo!

I’m fortunate enough to live about half a mile from the exchange and usually have a good connection of 6+ Mbps, but this afternoon speed is fluctuating from 1 Mbps to 4.5 Mbps.

I have also noticed that when I reboot (restart) my router there are a number of “CHAP authentication failed” errors. I’m not sure if this is related, but it would be interesting to know if other users in the Purbeck area are experiencing similar problems.

If anybody else is having similar problems, please leave a comment or contact us via our contact page.

BT Major Service Outage

BT declared a Major Service Outage (MSO) for the Corfe Castle and Worth Matravers exchanges at 17:58 GMT on the 11th March (by this time many local households’ broadband connections had been unusable for a day or more because of very slow speed). Most households’ connections were down completely until BT issued the all-clear about seven hours later at 01:05 GMT on the 12th March. More details are available here.

A few minutes after the MSO was cleared our internet connection’s speed/throughput was a consistent 6.5 Mbps. Since then throughput has deteriorated and become inconsistent (as I type it is yo-yoing between 2.5 and 6 Mbps), which suggests that the underlying fault remains. (We have been informed by our ISP that the Planned Engineering Works (PEW) with reference number PW124654, issued yesterday, have yet to be completed.)

We experienced the same pattern – Major Service Outage, followed by high, consistent speed, followed by a gradual decline in the quality and speed of our connection – after the last BT MSO on the 21st February.

David has been informed by several other residents of Corfe Castle that they are still experiencing slow internet speeds, or have no connection at all.

We will publish more information when it becomes available.