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The Internet

+ - BT DSL Max 'upgrades'

Submitted by
myxiplx
myxiplx writes "Over the past couple of months, BT have been quietly upgrading our home users to 'DSL Max'. So far I have seen 8 lines 'upgraded', and not a single one is running anywhere near the speed it should be.

Of our six 8Mb accounts, three are reporting speeds below 300kb/s, and none of the others are above 1Mb/s. My home account hasn't run faster than 130kb/s in over a month. Prior to the 'upgrades' these were fixed 2Mb accounts, and at least three had been regularly speed tested with average results well over 1700kb/s.

Aside from the agravation and hassle of having to report so many problems to multiple ISP's, it's left me wondering how many other people have been affected by this. How many people have had this 'upgrade' from BT and are now receiving just a fraction of the speed they are paying for? How many people are already in this position without realising it?

In our case, if it hadn't been for one attentive user at the office we would have been unaware that this work was going on. Fortunately he noticed that his internet connection had become very slow, and when our IT department contacted his ISP we found out that this work was being carried out on several of our accounts.

In the cases I have investigated so far where the speed of the line has dropped, the modem on site has adapted to DSL Max perfectly. Connections between the modem and the exchange have increased without fail, but despite this the lines themselves have been running as slow as 120kb/s. What we have found is that the slowdown has been caused by mis-configuration within BT, with their network artificially throttling the speed of the lines.

We first saw problems like this in June this year, when we upgraded our office line from 2Mb/s to 4Mb/s. The modem was synchronising with the exchange at 7Mb/s but the expected increase in speed did not materialise. BT traced the problem to their BRAS profile — the upgrade had worked, but this profile was still set to 2Mb/s and BT's network was throttling the traffic.

This month my home account was hit by an almost identical problem, a previously fine 2Mb line had not run faster than 130kb/s for over a month, the problem: BT's BRAS profile yet again, this time set to 135kb/s. How BT manage to throttle my account at 135kb/s when upgrading a 2Mb line I don't know, but I suspect this will be the problem we are facing on the six other accounts I mentioned above.

Even the BT engineer who came to my house had experienced these problems, with again the BRAS profile within the BT network being the cause.

Counting the BT engineer, that means that I know of 9 lines that have been upgraded to DSL Max, across four different ISP's, with all but one running slower after the upgrade, and not one running faster. In all three that have been resolved, the BRAS profile within the BT network has been the cause of the problems, and they have taken at least two weeks to resolve.

What concerns me is that BT seem to be carrying out these upgrades without informing customers, and don't seem to be performing any checks to ensure that the upgrade has worked as intended. End users are left receiving a fraction of the speed they are paying for, and BT are quite happy to let them find this out for themselves.

I wonder how widespread this is, and how many others at slashdot have experienced similar problems?"

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