How to find out if you can get ADSL

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. Where I live, I get a 512Kb service due to my distance from the
    exchange. My parents are even further away than me from the same
    exchange, and they are now muttering about getting broadband. I'd like
    to know if they will be able to get it or not.

    Now, one way I suppose is to go ahead and order it and see what happens
    -- that's probably the accepted wisdom?

    However, their neighbours did exactly that and 6 months later have no
    working ADSL. They started with AOL who were worse than useless, and
    then switched to Plusnet, who were were willing, but AFAIK it still
    does not work.

    Simililary in a school up the road where I do some IT work, BT managed
    to install and activate ADSL on an ISDN2e line with no master socket
    fitted. Clever eh?

    So I have no confidence in the standard activation procedure to
    correctly survey the line's capabilities.

    Is there any way to get a good survey?
     
    John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Christopher Guest

    Suggest that your parents try to place an order with BT - they will at least
    tell them quickly if a connection is not possible. There is no reason why,
    although further away from the exchange, your parents would not have a
    better line than yourself.
     
    Christopher, Jul 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Where I live, I get a 512Kb service due to my distance from the
    What do you mean by a "good survey"? Assuming you are talking about a BT
    line then you really are in the hands of BT.

    Why not start here?

    http://www.btwholesale.com/get_broadband/index.html

    Take a look and report back fwith the results for further advice


    Peter Crosland
     
    Peter Crosland, Jul 13, 2006
    #3
  4. John Carlyle-Clarke

    gort Guest

    That does not make any sense. I can think of lots of reasons why their
    line might be worse than his.

    DAve
     
    gort, Jul 13, 2006
    #4
  5. John Carlyle-Clarke

    John P Guest

    Since you already have ADSL on your line it would be useful to know
    some of the line statistics from it particularly Downstream
    Attenuation and Downstream SNR. It may turn out that your line will
    support much higher than 512 (despite what any checkers say) and from
    that you will get an idea of how your parents line might perform.

    If you are going with the lets order it and see then I suggest using
    someone who has a support line which is able to deal with problematic
    installations - from my experience that rules out BT, Plusnet, AOL,
    Tiscali but I would recommend Zen.

    JP
     
    John P, Jul 13, 2006
    #5
  6. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Tym Guest

    Are there any software packages that can provied this info? My old
    router had it built in - but the new Netgear one doesn't and I want to
    know!!!


    Tym

    ~There's no place like 127.0.0.1~
     
    Tym, Jul 13, 2006
    #6
  7. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Bob Eager Guest

    I can think of reasons why it might be better. So?
     
    Bob Eager, Jul 13, 2006
    #7
  8. John Carlyle-Clarke

    John P Guest

    Waht model of Netgear do you have ? Most have these figures under
    Router Status then Show Statistics
     
    John P, Jul 13, 2006
    #8
  9. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Alex Heney Guest

    That surprises me. I thought all netgear routers had it built in.

    Which model is yours?
     
    Alex Heney, Jul 13, 2006
    #9
  10. ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
    Connection Speed 576 kbps 288 kbps
    Line Attenuation 56 db 15.5 db
    Noise Margin 12 db 24 db

    As far as I know, that is not good enough for 1 meg.

    When we were all on dialup, I used to achieve between 36 and 40 kbps
    approx. They never connect above 28.8. Not conclusive, but indicates
    likelihood of a worse line to me. They also regularly have problems
    with trees causing damage to cables along the way, which suggests a few
    inline repairs by now maybe?

    You seem to highly rate Zen... interesting, as I'd like to move on from
    Plusnet myself.
     
    John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 14, 2006
    #10
  11. Those results are interesting, and seem to back up what Christopher
    said above.

    Parent's line:

    "Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and 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 2Mbps.


    "Our test also indicates that your line should be able to support a
    potential ADSL Max broadband line rate of 6.5Mbps up to 8Mbps.

    "The actual ADSL Max line rate supportable will be determined during
    the first 10 days of use, after which time the highest stable rate
    possible will be set.


    "Note: Our records indicate that a line-sharing device is connected
    to your line. This is the reason that the checker has returned this
    marginal result and may mean that Broadband could not be delivered
    on this line. Further investigations would be necessary as part of
    the ordering process to confirm whether or not you could receive
    Broadband service at this address. This could result in a delay to
    the provision of broadband at this address."

    This is odd - I had a feeling they might have a line-sharing device,
    although I thought they had got BT to remove it. I'll have to look
    into that. Curious that it refers to a "marginal" result, when the
    result sounds quite positive.

    What's also wierd is what this survey gives for me:

    "Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and 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 512Kbps. However, due to the
    length of your line, an engineer visit may be required, who will,
    where possible, supply the broadband service.


    "Our test also indicates that your line should be able to support a
    potential ADSL Max broadband line rate of 500Kbps or greater.

    "The actual ADSL Max line rate supportable will be determined during
    the first 10 days of use, after which time the highest stable rate
    possible will be set."


    Strange that it mentions the length of the line for me and not them,
    when theirs is at least a mile longer. Also strange it gives them a
    higher possible speed! Also strange that when my broadband was
    supplied, no engineer visited.

    Is it normal for the potential ASDL max speed to be lower than the
    standard ADSL speed?
     
    John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 14, 2006
    #11
  12. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Alex Heney Guest

    How do you know their line is a mile longer?

    Lines do not always follow the shortest route, and even if you are on
    the same exchange (you might not be), your line may take a more
    circuitous route.
    No, they will always try it without first. Note that it says *may* be
    required. They would have sent one out if the connection had not
    worked.
    Yes. The potential is a very rough estimate of what you will actually
    get with ADSLMax. The maximum is always 8Mb.
     
    Alex Heney, Jul 14, 2006
    #12
  13. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Alex Heney Guest

    It is enough for a "fixed" 1Mb service - that depends mainly on
    attenuation, and you can get 1Mb with attenuation up to 60dB.

    For ADSLMax, you will get the highest speed that results in an SNR of
    about 6.

    With yours currently being 12, you probably won't get much more than
    1Mb.

    When I was on 512K, I had attenuation of 62dB, and SNR of 23.

    I now (with ADLSMax) normally connect at just over 2Mb, but
    unfortunately not quite enough over with all connections for my BRAS
    rate to be set to 2000, so I am limited most of the time to 1500.

    The characteristics which affect dial up are different to the ones
    which affect broadband, so that is not *necessarily* a guide.
     
    Alex Heney, Jul 14, 2006
    #13
  14. We are definitely on the same exchange, and I know where the lines run.
    They are all on poles out here, so it's fairly obvious. Basically,
    both sets of lines run fairly directly to the old village exchange,
    which is now a derelict building with a green roadside box opposite it.
    The actual exchange is now a rack in the town in a few miles away.
    Checking Mappoint confirms it - the run to their house is a lot longer
    than to mine.
     
    John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 14, 2006
    #14
  15. Interesting - I was told in another post elsewhere a while back that

    "BT limit for 1M is 60 dB downstream attenuation, you need a Noise /
    SNR margin of 15 or more now if 1M is to work."
     
    John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 14, 2006
    #15
  16. John Carlyle-Clarke

    Christopher Guest

    BT's limits are + or - 5db
    my line syncs at 3360/448
    att 61db / 31.5db
    SN margin 6.5 / 13

    I was on a fixed 512 so feel rather lucky to be downloading at 1900 or
    thereabouts.
     
    Christopher, Jul 14, 2006
    #16
  17. John Carlyle-Clarke

    John P Guest

    Yes I do rate Zen highly particularly in a situation where support is
    required. I was on Metronet myself until MAXADSL became available on
    this exchange. Rather than wait for upgrade from them, knowing that it
    might cause problems which I would not be able to contact Metronet
    about, I migrated to Zen. Have also dealt with Zen support over a very
    problematic line elsewhere and they were excellent. Above all they
    answer the phone!

    You comments elsewhere about a line sharing device explain the 28.8
    connection speed on dialup.

    If your question in another thread about home extension wiring applies
    to your own line it may be well worth doing to see what it does to the
    SNR figure - you dont need to fit a faceplate if you can temporarily
    isolate the extension wiring to check your SNR.

    If you migrate to Zen you will go onto the Max product and there is a
    possibility you could end up with slower or less stable connection
    than you have now.

    As for your parents line the checker results are worthless - best just
    place an order and see what happens-don't buy any kit since you can
    test it with your own router - you will eventually get a refund if it
    cannot be made to work.

    JP
     
    John P, Jul 14, 2006
    #17
  18. Yeah, I'm suprised to see that mentioned... I had an idea my brother
    pursuaded BT to remove it a few years ago. Now that I think about it
    though, I can picture BT's response - basically "You're lucky to get
    28.8, we aren't going to do anything".

    If there is not enough copper going to my parents and their neighbours
    for the lines they have (hence the line sharing devices), and they both
    order ADSL, what would BT do? Refuse ADSL? Take away a line or two?
    Run new copper?

    If I understand correctly, with dial-up there is no requirement for BT
    to provide a line capable of anything above fax transmission, whereas
    if you order ADSL they have to make it work or refund you.
    Actually, that is about my boss's house (a.k.a. the company
    headquarters) but the same does apply to my house and I am about to
    replace part of the internal wiring and remove all the redundant stuff.

    Thanks for the response.
     
    John Carlyle-Clarke, Jul 14, 2006
    #18
  19. John Carlyle-Clarke

    John P Guest

    BT will attempt to put new wiring in place to remove the need for a
    DACS unit but only up to a certain cost level - about £1000 I think.
    If it would cost more than that they will decline to do it.

    JP
     
    John P, Jul 14, 2006
    #19
  20. John Carlyle-Clarke

    John P Guest

    And I meant to add you need not approach BT directly about the DACS
    unit - just place an order for ADSL and the removal (or not) of DACS
    will be part of the process. It will cause some delay from days to weeks.

    JP
     
    John P, Jul 14, 2006
    #20
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