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back to article O2 and Be Broadband speeds dip

O2 and Be Broadband customers suffered a slowdown in the last year, against the market trend of improving speeds, it has been found. Downstream for the two home broadband providers, who use the same network, dropped on average by 13 per cent to 5.1Mbit/s, according to web-based speed tests. Against ADSL competitors - who …

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Bronze badge
Stop

BT network?

I am on LLU with Be and have not noticed any speed drops. I can get a solid 1.2 MegaBYTES (Not bits) per second download on a 11.5Mbit sync at any time of the day (Dependent on who I connect to of course and if they can provide fast enough upload speed to me).

I can only assume this slowdown is for those on the 8Mbit BT Non-LLU exchanges and not the 'up to 24Mbit' LLU connections.

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Megaphone

yup

not to mention to the crappy DNS servers that still flake out every night, OpenDNS ftw

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Boffin

Re: BT Network?

I was an O2 broadband on LLU and I (like many others in the forums) got caught in the speed throttling debacle. I could get 14mbit/sec all the way until about 5PM and then plummet to sub 400k/sec until after midnight.

The same every night and something people swear is only suffered by non-LLU access users, all the cursing from "O2 access" customers was attributed to BT.

O2's cust services often couldn't answer the phone, no idea's, a millions sets of line tests, attenuation tweaks, replacement modems etc and still throttled come 5pm.

Shifted to Plusnet and all is well. Maybe it's BT's effect (ie: plusnet is the subsidiary) but I should have been LLU'd on O2 so immune from the supposed "BT" effect. Other forum users had the same experience so seems a bit variable, some LLU folks are happy bunnies and some not.

Not needed to phone plusnet since going over so can't comment on their customer service.

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Also a BE user

and getting 2.4 megabytes (around 19 megabit) a second.

Not slow at all.

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Happy

I'm with O2

Best provider I've ever had, in fact never had ONE single fault....unlike POS Orange who's number was on speed dial and constantly blamed my line (funny I'm on the same one).

Not noticed any slow down, but I've only got 1.6Mb anyway.

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Happy

Speed not what was prommised, but...

NO fair useage policy if you buy the top BE package. So very nice not having to worry if the next download is going to bust the cap and limit your speed to 128kbits. Unlike the scum at demon internet.

To be honest, anything over 4Mbit is fast enough for anything I want to do, and if I am doing some big downloads or Bit torrenting, the bottleneck is very rarely my connection.

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Unhappy

Virgin Media = Ryanair = Tequila

Despite my better judgement, I'm awaiting my Virgin Media installation at my new home. A freeview coverage blackspot means I'll need them for TV anyway, so I bit the bullet on the rest. The omens are not good, since they've already called me to confirm delivery a day later than promised on a day I won't be here. Unfortunately the human phone-bot didn't understand the concept of my being "not in on that day", and wouldn't reschedule, so I'll have to take my chances with whatever transpires.

I last had Virgin (then NTL) in 2001; it's taken me nine years to get over that experience. And my provider in the meantime was Bulldog!

Virgin Media = Ryanair = Tequila. You tell yourself "never again". But you forget so quickly.... In other words - Be may be a few kbps slower, but don't forget about customer service as well!

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No complaints here

I'm still getting a solid 13½Mb/s (1.6MB/s) downstream with no dropouts or slowdowns at all with BE. And I downloaded 85GB last month (although I normally average more like 40GB, and upload a similar amount). Never regretted leaving VM. Hmm... maybe I'm part of the problem...

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FAIL

Dodgy Analysis

I'm also on Be LLU and still get the full 2.2MB/s download on a 24Mb/s connection and haven't noticed any problems. Measuring an average speed for all customers and then reporting that speeds are dropping is pretty useless, the comparison needs to be done like for like. It's like measuring the average speed on all roads then saying motorways are getting slower.

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Grenade

Virgin tops?

They provide a good speed until you reach your 750MB cap for the day, then you're slapped down to 2MB/s for 5 hours. Presumably these tests/numbers have been taken only from people running at full speed.

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Black Helicopters

I'm on Be (and proper LLU too)

and I have noticed a gradual slowdown in the last 18 months. It's quite variable though, its still possible to get very good download performance (12 Mbit on a 16Mbit sync'd line), but there seems to be some latency or routing problems at times with 'popular' websites.

The various Google-owned sites and Facebook (on the rare occasion that I go on there) are often incredibly slow, and I am advised by laptop-toting visitors that they don't have the same issues on other ISPs.

Their provided router often throws a wobbly and crashes as well (not a good occourence whilst broadcasting internet radio).

At the moment it is still worth the £18/mo to me, but not if it declines much further. Maybe occasionally shonky web performance is the price you pay for an unthrottled pipe...

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Re.

This is exactly what I'm noticing; especially with eBay UK and Google...

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Shows the problem with statistics...

This article is complete bull... my Be runs at 1.4MBytes/sec practically 24/7. Therefore at no point in the year has there been less than ~13MBits average speed on Be's backbone. I'm limited to this due to my line speed but my Be line has always pulled 100% of this speed!

If the average Be speed has gone down it will be due to more people who can achieve very low ADSL speeds transferring to Be because they are the best ISP (good customer support, active forums, ability to tinker with a lot of line settings) and therefore reducing the statistical average!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Dick E

Obviously you missed the "dropped on average", not all exchanges are equal and not all exchanges serve users with similar habits............

your post is as pointless as this one pointing out your senseless "hey look at the size of my broadband post” no one cares by the way, but i felt is was necessary to educate what appears to be a heard of commenter’s with an ever dwindling intellect…….

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FAIL

glass houses and stones

It's always a good idea to make sure of one's spelling, grammar and punctuation when talking about the dwindling intellect of the herd.

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Fraudband : PlusNet 2.8Mb/s

yeah, and here I am at 962Kbps. Inept

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Flame

AC @ Fraudband: MinusNet

You're lucky: I've been complaining since late October. Still, in December I had one day (Hogmanay) with a 2MBps+ speed. On every other date that I tested that month it has been lower than 2kBps. And yes, I've jumped through the hoops, connected to the test socket, tried another router (which they insist on calling a modem), and so on and so forth.

They're cute enough to write "We do not have any liability of any sort (including liability for negligence) for the acts or omissions of other service providers, or for faults in or failures of their networks and equipment" - although, of course MinusNet is owned by BT. As for trying to get them to have a BT engineer sent out - you might as well ask for them to organise a well-oiled stag night in Tehran.

It's getting so bad that I've even considered going back to the successors of Cabletel. What was wrong with a publicly-owned PSTN run for the benefit of the public, in the first place?

Thank goodness my work doesn't depend on the alleged broadband link - unlike my wife's. :-(

Tempted to put an "IT?" icon, since PlusNet doesn't seem to understand applying even the simplest of technology to benefit customers.

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Bronze badge

Speed 'dip' ?

I used to be with an Enta reseller, until Enta's service went completely down the toilet and speeds dropped to practically ISDN levels during peak hours (the hours that are metered and you're paying for the bandwidth) so I went to Be...

Breath of fresh air!!

Now I got 30% faster downstream AND upstream rates than I ever got on Enta (4.8mbit & 1.2mbit respectively), and they haven't throttled my speeds to death like Enta did.

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same here

since the beginning of the contract (june 07) until now rock solid 11Mb and no problems, only a few small ones but customers where informed before any work to be done on the exchange. and also customer services, although not based in the UK are technically skilled or will at least pass your phone call onto somebody who understands you not like others (virgin, anyone?).

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BE are great

I love my BE connection

syncing at the full 24mb.

can't fault it really, tech support is great, speed is good. beats the pants of virgin

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Acess package

The 'access' (non LLU) speeds were down to 0.5 megabit for a couple of months, due to them totally ****ing up the implementation of bandwidth throttling. It's mostly fixed now, but speeds are still only ~4 meg.

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02 - Cracking service

Only get the same 6MB rated speed as with BT (unsurprisingly as it's the same line), but no caps, no outages and on the one occasion I had to speak to someone (to sign up), the guy not only spoke English, but actually knew more than I did (not a high bar I admit, but one that BT never got near).

Oh and did I mention it's a third of the cost of BT?

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OFI
Alert

'No Cap'

For the record there is a cap on BTs highest package. Apparently set at 100GB/mo usage (up and download)

I hit it two months in a row and got throttled which is why I moved to O2.

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DNS...

has been my main problem with o2 BB the past few months - it seems to be on a constant lie down at busy periods, must say though, since changing the servers to the Google DNS service that has solved that problem.

Sync at 8Mbps, not sure of actual speed but have never had an issue with it (bar the DNS problems that others have mentioned)

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Seems about right...

My average download speed on O2 has dropped from 17.2 to 15.5 Mbps since April 2009.

I'm not complaining though because it's much faster than I really need, and there's no cap. That's not the point, though...

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BE rule ok!

BE pro, 500m from the exhchange, 21mb down, 2.5mb up, never fails to impress and if the mood takes me can download at over 2mb/sec all evening long and upload over 200k/sec...

(someone came round to take advantage, repopulated their steam catalogue) downloaded over 25gig that evening lol. no caps or shaping.

Cant agree with the stats behind these articles much. Perhaps if all ISP halfed their 'upto' speeds, then acheived percentage of users would go upto all round, but moreso on larger ISPS who are the one who tend to do the worse due to contention and not adsl sync issues.

Probably people with the poorest line quality are the people who most change provider for the higher 'upto' packages, so drag the average down over time, after hearing good reviews from people who did their research and realised that they would get a fairly decent mb out of 24 :)

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ah but..

how do you know how close you live to the exchange and whether it's LLU ?

I have 24mbit Be Pro account and have never got better than 2mb downstream.

I have also experienced the huge drop in performance on sites like ebay, FB and Google in the evenings.

I'm pretty underwhelmed with Be TBH..

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title me up

Phone and ask them about the distance.

Back when I signed up for O2 Broadband (sometime mid 07), I was told by them during their speed checks for me that my exchange is about 1.5 km away and that I'll get about 15 MBit from the then advertised 16 MBit package (now also advertised as 20 MBit).

Their support so far seem quite good, friendly, and sometimes even knowledgeable.

I often end up with a Scottish guy, but so far he seems quite fun :)

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WTF?

Odd

Since the beginning of December I've noticed a steady increase in our home lines effective speed by about 500k depending on the time of day.

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8Mb package

The article mentions that fact that plusnets speed increases could be largely to do with starting to offer ADSL2+, it doesn't mention that BE and O2 do up to 24Mb and up to 8Mb. If there is a growing take up in the 8Mb package then average speeds are going to fall.

Note above, not a single BE user complaining about their service, add me to the list. Never had a problem. When I've contacted customer services they've been very quick and easy to deal with.

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Bronze badge
Jobs Horns

Great!

Been with Be for over 2 years and I have no complaints. I'm in central London (bankside exchange) so I was expecting my connection to be decent - it is. I was worried that reliability would be sacrificed for speed... nope.

Swapped family over to Be as well, banking some free months service through the referral program.

My only slight niggle is the BeBox... it's a Thompson Speedtouch unit and its admin UI is the most terrible thing ever made. Using loads of non-standard phrases to describe the functions in the menus to make it easier for noobs, but just confusing everyone instead! But that's not Be's fault.

What needs to happen though is this... cheaper pricing across the board.

One relative uses the internet for basic web/email stuff so I switched them to PlusNet's £5.99 p/m package and that's excellent value. They're in a broadband competitive area so the pricing stays at £5.99 p/m, however if you're in a rural area it rises to £12.99 p/m after 3 months.

I'd like to see cheap basic broadband packages for five/six quid available everywhere, not just in towns. Especially when rural areas don't get the same speeds as us townies.

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Jobs Horns

Perhaps

Could these figures just mean that more country folk are switching to Be and dropping the average?

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Be be good

I've been getting about 18Mb/s from Be for about four years, but I do live about 400m from the exchange. My only complaint is that, through November and early December, my connection seemed to drop every few hours.

Thumbs up, overall.

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Alien

Depends on your test server

I use speedtest.net.

I get 3meg from the Maidenhead server, but 10 meg from the Birmingham server.

Trust no-one.

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Thumb Up

Speed ok, dns sucks.

I'm switched from Tiscali to O2 recently, and I can honestly say that so far I'm more than pleased with the switch. I get better speeds than what I was originally quoted at the time of becoming an o2 customer.

I have to agree with a previous commentard, in that the o2 DNS sucks, (or it did when I took up my contract), Opendns is our friend.

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Thumb Up

Thumbs up

I get the full 10Mbps that they guessed at. Had to pull all the extension cables from the master socket due to crappy wiring but after that I hit the full 10Mbps. Only had one outage and they texted me beforehand to say so! All this for excellent prices too :)

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Happy

Another (generally) happy BE customer...

Modem connects at 21Mbit... usually get up to 2.2Mb downloads... peaks occasionally at 2.4Mb/sec. However in the last few months the number of random disconnects has been slowly rising... once a week I'll have a period of an hour or two where my net drops every 10-15 minutes or so. Different days and times during the day... was told by support its the modem needing firmware upgrade. Rollocks is it. Still does it.

Slow speed I can cope with, not working at all is infuriating! On the positive side it does reconnect immediately each time... sigh...

Shame about their website...

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Go

the only problem....

i have with BE is that they give me nothing at all to complain about... except for the crappy custom formware in the tompson speedtouch wireless router with the open back door for customer services... need if your a dork and screw up your router settings by playing around, but if you know what you are doing, its not worht the security risk...

oh, and they forget to bill me 1 month in 3.....

other than that, top speeds of 2.3MB/sdown.... no plans of looking for another service provider...

I think the point most people are missing is that they are quoting the average speed of all customers.. and that can be explained by the flood of new customers. when i sighned up near two years ago, i heard that if you were likely to get speeds of less than 12mbit/s they would not let you on the network... this as i understand it was totaly un-official... if they have now let in slower connections to increase customer base then the av speeds will be lower...

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<title></title>

The backdoors can be closed however.

There's one open port somewhere in the 7k range iirc, howtos are on the net how to close it (have to telnet onto the router), as well as their super user accounts on the router.

Not sure if the login credentials are publicly available for the Be version of the box, for the O2 Thomson box they are (probably inofficial though, google's your friend), so I've deactivated them (or rather renamed and given other passwords)

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Boffin

More likely...

Be customers are generally more IT-centric and will chase/tinker to improve their lines/remove dodgy extensions.

Add O2 customers into the mix and suddenly you've got people who accept the first sync speed and carry on regardless.

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Heart

I'm with O2 Broadband

Everything with O2 Broadband is great apart from their DNS servers - GET THESE SORTED O2 PLEEEEASE !!! (1,103 Kbps average).

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Pint

An O2 user and proper F***** off.

Sick of rebooting the shitty router O2 supplied, so swapped to a only slightly less shitty netgear. Same issue, still rebooting when i wake up, when i come in and before i go to bed.

Fkin useless and DONT get me started on their customer service as its by FAR the crappiest ive ever come accross. Yes, crappier then Orange, VM and AOL ever were.

Also seen my speed drop from an almost constant 700mbps to about 520 mbps.

Its only because its 7 and a half quid i stick with em.

Beer cos they have almost driven me to drink.

But not that shandy you southerners drink. I drink Mans beer, like fosters and carling.

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FAIL

Idiots rule OK

You think that O2/Be are actually capable of remote rebooting your *INDEPENDENT* Netgear?

You think that your speed is 520*m*bps?

You think their CS is worse than VM of all people?

You think Fosters and Carling is "Mans" beer?

Guess what I think?

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FAIL

You sir are an idiot.

1) you drink horse piss and think its beer? Drink a beer with some colour in it. you sir ARE a shandy drinker.

2) You think thier router is shit so you buy a nice shiny replacement which has the same problems? and thats thier fault? I think its not a modem problem. Have you been tweaking your profile with modem tools that you dont understand like dmt? I'd ask to get it reset if I were you.

3) your complaining about 520mbps? really? m's and k's all the same really arn't they.

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Pint

Uhm

Fosters is beer?

I always thought it was coloured water, given the taste of it?

German beer all the way :)

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Happy

Couldn't BE Better

Your article doesn't reflect my experience. Have been on BE for 2 years and my speed hasn't degraded at all. I use their pro package and get Annexe M double upload, also I'm a heavy downloader (30Gigs + per month) and don't get capped or shaped ever. Best ever on customer service too, 0800 number to people who actually understand the internets. Oh, and great pings for gaming, can't beat it really

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Anonymous Coward

Poor article

It just means a growing customer base with more users on the end of long lines, perhaps combined with capacity issues the investment this time last year successfully addressed. Meanwhile other providers are getting to take advantage of ADSL2+ via WBC and VM introduce 50mbit, so their averages improve. Be/o2 (and similarly Sky/Easynet) have always had that advantage, generally have provided a very good service, and don't have any room for improvement.

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Anonymous Coward

Be Limiting

Not only are my real-world speeds lower than they used to be, but my synch speeds lowered in 2009. I'm used to seasonal fluctuations, but I just can't maintain a connection at the speeds I used to. The line drops, even when the margins are over 6db up and down.

There are also lots of spontaneous line drops. I used to see up-times of 150 days before bad weather or a power cut would drop the line. In 2009 I only once saw it reach 50 days, and that was at the slowest synch speed of the year.

Didn't they get rid of some key support and engineering people last February? Proper Be people, and replace them with O2 people. I was always worried what would happen when O2 started making their presence felt. I hope it doesn't turn into another Orange or Talk Talk.

I would have seriously considered going to Entanet, except that seems to have fallen apart too in the last couple of years? Maybe I'll have to see whether IDnet have lowered their prices, or look into Andrews & Arnold, who I've read good things about and have heard described as "the modern day Pipex or Nildram".

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Looks about right.

http://www.hoagieshouse.com/weather/myhouse_ping.png

This is the ping time for my house to the server where the image is.

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Anonymous Coward

No speed dip for me

Though I only signed up in the middle of last year so perhaps I'd never notice anyway.

I get a solid 1.6MB/s every time I need it. Not great but that's BTs crap copper for you.

DNS seems fine to me but OpenDNS is on secondary just in case. I'm happy.

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