Ending Your Woes over ADSL Broadband

  • Added:
    Oct 28, 2013
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Draytek 2820 ADSL/ADSL2+ Router
Draytek 2820 ADSL/ADSL2+ Router
Photo by Mr ATM

The broadband in the UK these days is very good. We are getting average speeds of 17 Mb per second, and averages in city areas of upwards of 30 Mb per second. However, many of us will have problems from time to time with our broadband connection. When this happens, it can be incredibly frustrating and we can be left wondering how we can solve the issue.
Speak To Your Provider
The first thing you should do is speak to your provider to find out whether there are any issues on the line between the telephone exchange and the street level cabinet. The provider will also be able to assess whether there are issues in the telephone exchange.
Internet problems outside your home are outside your control. A simple line test should be enough for your provider to find out whether there is anything that they need to put engineering teams to work on.
When you speak to your provider make sure that you are courteous and polite, but ensure that you encourage them to be proactive in the resolution of issues. ADSL technology is delivered through the BT infrastructure. Therefore if you are with Primus broadband, Sky broadband, or any other non-BT provider, issues will probably have to be escalated to BT Open Reach for resolution. Some providers have historically been very poor at doing this escalation, so ensure that you encourage the provider to get BT involved.
If your provider has their own equipment installed in the local telephone exchange then they may be able to solve the issues themselves.
Check Your Setup
Your provider will also take you through a troubleshooting exercise to check your setup. The fundamentals of this will be to ensure that the equipment on your line is working and the setup of the cabling is correct.
The first thing they will probably ask you to check is that you are plugged into the main socket in your home. If you are plugged onto a secondary socket further down the telephone line, then there will be lots of interference affecting your connectivity. Passing your broadband signal down your telephone line is not optimal, as there will be severe loss of speed over the distance
You will also be asked to find out whether your micro filters are connected correctly. Micro filters reduce interference on the line and split the data and voice components of your line. Faulty micro filters can cause faulty broadband. Micro filters should be between devices and your telephone line throughout your home.
Your provider will also ask you to check that the cables going into your router and telephone socket are pushed in properly. They may well ask you to tell them which lights are flashing and which are solid on the front of your router. If lights are flashing then it will mean that your router is probably searching for connection and therefore not getting data from down the line.
Your Router Placement
The placement of your router is important if you are connecting wirelessly. If you place your router within a metre or so of other electrical devices, or behind solid objects, you will get interference and obstruction to wireless data signals.
Your router should be placed in an elevated position as centrally in your home as possible. This will give it the best opportunity to pass signals to the connecting devices.
Doing a Speed Test
A speed test will help you to understand whether you are having problems connecting wirelessly or whether there are problems at your router. Plug-in an Ethernet cable to your router and your connecting device, and find out whether the speed is faster than connecting wirelessly. If this is the case then you should do an assessment of the wireless connection.
Wireless Issues
We’ve already seen that wireless issues can be caused by improper placement of your router. There can also be issues that are outside your control.
Most routers work on a 2.4 GHz frequency. If you live in an area that is populated with many broadband users, there may be lots of wireless signals flying through the air space, causing interference with your connection. You can also get routers with 5 GHz frequency signals, and if you are having problems it may be worth upgrading to a dual band router.
You can also solve wireless issues by buying a repeater. A repeater is a signal amplifier that will relay your signal further around your home. Repeaters are cheap, and can be used to get signals to locations which are struggling prior to this intervention. Some people will put a wireless repeater at the top of their stairs, in order to service the upstairs of their home.
Indeed, walls and ceilings of older homes tend to be dense and can form difficult barriers for the wireless signals to penetrate. A repeater or home plug system may be the solution.
Fibre-Optic Broadband
Fibre-optic broadband is rolling around the UK. It is hitting the major urban areas first, before rolling out to suburban and rural areas. You can currently get fibre-optic broadband in around 60% of the UK. As fibre-optic broadband comes to your area you may well want to upgrade to the new technology. If you live a long way from the local telephone exchange then your ADSL connection will not be particularly good, and a fibre-optic broadband solution will revolutionise the way in which you interact with the Internet.
Fibre-optic broadband is more expensive than ADSL, but you don’t have to hold a telephone line rental package after you move onto fibre-optic broadband. This can save you £15 per month.
Final Word
Having a bad Internet connection can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you are struggling to get it sorted. If you really aren’t happy, then have a conversation with the customer retention team of your broadband provider. They may have more power to get problems sorted, or may even be able to allow you to leave your contract in order to search for a more suitable provider. Don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Make sure any provider that you do move to is going to be better than the one you left.

Author's Profile

Phil Turner was unhappy with his old broadband provider so he ran searches on comparison sites like uSwitch and came up with a much faster deal from Primus broadband that was only a few extra pounds a month.

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