The Internet; it’s a quick medium of communication – that’s a generally accepted fact. Fibre Broadband should be faster than copper Broadband – that’s an expectation that most would hope for. Well. not if your a Vodafone Broadband customer. My new Vodafone Broadband contract went live on the 18th August, and now, on the 23rd August I’m ringing them to have it cancelled and replaced by another service provider. Why?
My old copper ADSL2+ Broadband was with the excellent BE; the business arm of O2, but that was subsequently taken over by Sky. Since then I’ve been looking for the right deal to move away from Sky and I thought I’d got it with Vodafone; twelve months free Unlimited Fibre Broadband and an eighteen month contract.
The copper setup was tested regularly for throughput speed, as opposed to connection speed as that latter figure means little, using BT Wholsale’s Speedtest program and it regularly achieved speeds averaging 12-13Mbps download and 0.8Mbps upload. This compared favourably with their Broadband Availability Checker which said that my ADSL 2+ download stream was a maximum of 6.5Mbps. Given that the availability checker said that my ‘clean’ line connection speed on a fibre Broadband connection would be somewhere between 27 and 35Mbps, the Vodafone deal seemed to be just what I was looking for.
However, following installation the router was reporting connection speeds of just 15Mbps and throughput tests were indicating 12-13Mbps download, often falling to 10Mbps, and upload speeds of 0.2-0.4Mbps. This was clearly not ‘Super Fast’ Broadband and a call to their technical help desk revealed that Vodafone were unwilling to do anything about this poor performance as it fell within the parameters of BT’s indicated connection speed of an ‘impacted’ line; a line which BT states is, “a line which may have wiring issues (e.g. Bridge Taps) and/or Copper line conditions”. So clearly this indicated that there were issues on the line but Vodafone reckoned that it was working fine and they said that there was absolutely nothing they could, or indeed would, do about it.
So, I ended up with a ‘Super Fast’ fibre Broadband service that was no faster, in real terms, that my old copper service – not what anybody would expect.
Anyway, BT rang me yesterday (23rd) and offered me a guaranteed minimum download of 23Mbps and a typical rate of 27-35Mbps which is exactly in line with the availability checkers predictions for a ‘clean’ line that is free from wiring issues and line conditions and their web site (below).
Furthermore, the upload speed will be between 1 and 7Mbps, much better since I do upload a lot of data including web sites and online backups of my computers’ hard disks.
So am I now a happy bunny? Only time will tell, the Vodafone contract’s been cancelled under the 30 day cooling off period and the line will switch to BT on the 7th September. I’m back to paying what I was before I switched to Vodafone so I’m no worse off at the end of the day. Lets hope that BT lives up to its promises but do take heart and do not be afraid to cancel a new service if you’re not happy with it.