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Standard User grazie
(newbie) Thu 27-Sep-18 16:08:53
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Best ISPs in East Kent?


[link to this post]
 
Been having a bad time with ISPs for the last year or more and I'm tired of being messed around. Tried searching for the answers to my questions, but didn't find what I needed.

I'm in a fairly rural location, but use to get 2.5Mbps for a number of years. Switched to Origin last December and the speed dropped to less than 1Mbps. After a month of stressful arguing, I eventually got them to improve it, but ended up with 2Mbps at best. After reading some posts on this forum, it would appear that the supplied ASUS router/modem could be partly to blame. However, nearly all ISPs are still only guaranteeing 1Mbps or less for my address.

The good news is that a fibre cabinet was installed close by this summer. Kent County Council have assured me that the cabinet will go live by the end of this week after the planned completion for Summer 2018 was missed. I don't believe them or what they're being told by Open Reach more likely. The cabinet will support fast-fibre and possibly superfast-fibre too. KCC's website states that no upgrade for my area is planned. The Open Reach website states that the cabinet is at the 'Connect' state, meaning up to another 4 months of waiting. If what KCC tell me is true, surely it should be at the 'Activate' state by now?

It'd be very nice to get 35Mbps or more, but I'm not sure I need it, so I'm reluctant to pay a lot more.

What I'd like to know is :-

1. Is there a more reliable source of information regarding how long it'll take before the cabinet goes live?
2. Will I get a better connection when the cabinet goes live by default? I've been told all lines will be transferred from the old to the new cabinet. In fact, I think the old cabinet has already gone, but I haven't seen any improvement yet. An increase from 2Mbps to 10Mbps would be great for me, especially if it won't cost extra.
3. Can Origin charge me a disconnection fee if I don't move ISP at the end of contract or I don't renew my contract (I can't find their terms & conditions)? I'm thinking if I don't agree to the T&Cs of their new contract, they'll just disconnect me, which would be fine. I'm also thinking that I may have a lot more flexibility with 4G broadband or maybe just a better mobile phone deal (EE have the only half decent 4G provision in my area). I never use my landline.
4. If I go to a new ISP, which of them will let me leave after they've connected me without penalty during a cooling off period? Most ISP cooling off periods seem to expire before any connection has been made, which is almost useless.
5. Any recommended ISPs for my area? I've had bad experiences with the Post Office (customer service), Sky (connection & customer service) and Origin (broadband & customer service). Also a friends' fibre connection with PlusNet was handled badly quite recently.

Edited by grazie (Thu 27-Sep-18 18:02:09)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 27-Sep-18 17:21:54
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
There are a few Openreach checkers around of varying reliability, but this BT Wholesale checker is almost always reliable and also the most important. Openreach checkers give forecasts for their part being finished, this one is effectively the one ISPs use to decide what service they can offer you.

If your phone isn't recognised, use the Address checker. Do not use the pure Postcode checker. It no longer accesses fibre data.

It won't give you a forecast date, but will be the first to say fibre is available.

If you post the exchange name and cabinet number from the line above the table, some "informed guesses" may appear wink.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 72623/13368Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Thu 27-Sep-18 17:51:05
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Roberto, that's really useful. The results are in this link.

The exchange is BOUGHTON and the cabinet is 13.

Any educated guesses on the way prices are going? There's a Plusnet deal that ends at midnight, which works out as £10.24/month for basic broadband and line rental, if you pay up front for 12 months. Not keen on this option, but if prices are on the up, I may be tempted.

Edited by grazie (Thu 27-Sep-18 17:55:44)


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Standard User baby_frogmella
(knowledge is power) Thu 27-Sep-18 18:14:25
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by grazie:
5. Any recommended ISPs for my area? I've had bad experiences with the Post Office (customer service), Sky (connection & customer service) and Origin (broadband & customer service). Also a friends' fibre connection with PlusNet was handled badly quite recently.


I would highly recommend Kent based isp, Orbital Net who have LLU'd most exchanges in Kent. I used to be with Orbital many years ago (when I lived in the Swale area) and they were great. I think their prices start from £30 pm for their FTTC services.

https://www.orbital.net/products/connectivity/fttc

FluidOne FTTPoD 330/30
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 27-Sep-18 18:42:03
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
Note that it is saying the VDSL/FTTC service is not yet available. So you can't order it from any ISP yet. Even when it is, there will be no automatic change to your service. It has to be ordered as prices are higher than ADSLx.

There are always several deals running so I wouldn't worry too much over that.

"Contracts" are mislabelled in a way. They are for a minimum term. They don't expire. You just reach the end of that term.

At the end of the term the service continues on a monthly basis, but the price will normally rise to the standard level, not any discounted deal that you signed up to. Many ISPs will give another discount deal if contacted but that almost always involves a new minimum term.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 72623/13368Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6

Edited by RobertoS (Thu 27-Sep-18 18:42:49)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 27-Sep-18 18:47:07
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
Coming up to the end of the quarter, which is used as a place holder date for Openreach is not sure, so do not hold your breath, around 50 cabinets that match your pattern each week.

There is no cabinet 13 in our cabinet database as yet, because one has not existed before, which suggests that cabinet 13 is an infill cabinet, i.e. lines will be moved onto the new cabinet that is closer to the premises it will cover than the existing cabinet. This in itself if you have an ADSL2+ service will not improve speeds at all.

If your 1 Mbps is from a very slow VDSL2 service then once the move is complete your speeds will probably increase, but for infill cabinets there are delays as they need to co-ordinate with all the broadband providers involved to ensure that the move of FTTC services has been told to them - i.e. they cannot just break the service and move people without warning and consent from providers.

Entering into a basic broadband (ADSL2+) contract at this time is a bit of waste, as you will be locked to that provider and while many will let your regrade to FTTC you won't get their best offer prices at that point.

So when will cab be live, no one can predict and if this is infill which looks likely the timetable is outside of Openreach control.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 27-Sep-18 18:55:14
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More info


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Have figured out where cabinet 13 is probably going to be, and looks like your old cabinet was number 6 which is around 2km away, so unlikely that you had any VDSL2 speeds before. Have added to our database, but not moved anyone to the cabinet as yet.

If no VDSL2 services involved for others and from distance looks possible, they will be no need to chase the providers, so its just a wait for the cabinet to live under Openreach control - assuming that there is not some delay with fibre or power getting to the cabinet.

Likely this is what is called an all in one cabinet, i.e. just one new cabinet that cabinets a traditional cabinet with the modern VDSL2 components.

My advice when checking, also check neighbouring postcodes as sometimes the infill cabinets appear in chunks and if someone is said to have availability and you don't it may mean the checkers need a prod, and I can prod Openreach on your behalf if that does happen.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User R0NSKI
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 27-Sep-18 19:05:36
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
Code Look up states live by November, but take that with a very large pinch of salt, it could be earlier or later.

https://www.telecom-tariffs.co.uk/codelook.htm?xid=1...

It would be worth keeping an eye on https://roadworks.org/ and change the date (top right) to 12 months, this can show up things like cabinet installation (already installed by the sound of it), power connection or roadworks to get fibre to the cab.

I also recommend Orbital Net, they are not far from you being based in Bekesbourne and we have our business broadband with them, oh and my brother in law works there smile

PS. If you post in the fibre broadband forum if anyone has an idea when NDBOU13 might be live someone may well give you a good hint smile

Standard User grazie
(newbie) Thu 27-Sep-18 20:44:42
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Re: More info


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the extra info. I'm beginning to see how the system works.

What's the relationship between Orbit and VFAST? They appear to be the same company in all but name.
Standard User baby_frogmella
(knowledge is power) Thu 27-Sep-18 20:58:32
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by grazie:
What's the relationship between Orbit and VFAST?

Orbital are the parent company of vfast. Vfast are primarily a wireless Broadband (WiMAX) isp who donít offer greater than 20-30 Mbps through the external antenna they install for you. Whereas orbital are a fixed line isp with mostly business customers but they also supply residential services as well.

FluidOne FTTPoD 330/30
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Thu 27-Sep-18 21:16:29
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Re: Best ISPs in East Kent?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Note that it is saying the VDSL/FTTC service is not yet available. So you can't order it from any ISP yet. Even when it is, there will be no automatic change to your service. It has to be ordered as prices are higher than ADSLx.

There are always several deals running so I wouldn't worry too much over that.

"Contracts" are mislabelled in a way. They are for a minimum term. They don't expire. You just reach the end of that term.

At the end of the term the service continues on a monthly basis, but the price will normally rise to the standard level, not any discounted deal that you signed up to. Many ISPs will give another discount deal if contacted but that almost always involves a new minimum term.

Yes I realise that in order to get VDSL/FTTC I would need to place an order for it. However, what I was wondering was whether my ADSL2+ would improve with the installation of new kit. From what others have said, it appears unlikely.

Thanks for the clarification on contracts.
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Fri 28-Sep-18 13:13:25
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Re: More info


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Likely this is what is called an all in one cabinet, i.e. just one new cabinet that cabinets a traditional cabinet with the modern VDSL2 components.

Given that there's no sign of the old cabinet having ever been there, this sound like what's been done. I assume that this means the ADSL2+ copper wire from the cabinet to the exchange will remain exactly the same?

In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Have added to our database, but not moved anyone to the cabinet as yet.

Don't know if the above is the reason, but my cabinet is now showing as active.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 28-Sep-18 13:18:44
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
Our database is not linked to Openreach was referring to the model we run that lets us produce the data at https://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local

Your ADSL2+ is going to remain the same, you need to price a provider/package for the new faster services.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Fri 28-Sep-18 13:25:32
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Re: More info


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
Any views on SSE? Nobody appears to have voiced on opinion on this forum, which is surprising. They don't get very good reviews elsewhere by and large, but some seem entirely satisfied.

I like the 30 day rolling contract given my experiences of late. I'm also already an SSE customer, which makes it even more attractive. I'm concerned that no disconnection charges are given in the promotional advertising.

Anybody know what router they're currently sending out?
Standard User 23Prince
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 30-Sep-18 13:31:23
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
I had them for 2 months - Honestly wished I never bothered - I had to go to the ombudsman to get out of it.

I have Virgin and AAISP now - recommend them both.
Standard User Spud2003
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 30-Sep-18 15:55:38
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
I'm with them, no problems, good performance at all times of day - UK support. The only downside is they seem to prefer phone contact over e-mail(and no tech support through online chat the last time I checked). Topcashback also have offers from £50-£125 for SSE broadband, so take a look at those before you order.

I'd say give them a try, with a one month rolling contract and cashback you've nothing to lose. tongue
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Sun 30-Sep-18 17:57:41
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Re: More info


[re: 23Prince] [link to this post]
 
Not heard of AAISP, thanks. They seem to be priced on the high side, but I can only get an ADSL quote at present.

I definitely can't get Virgin or Vodafone. I don't want Sky or the PO. Not had a great time with Origin and they want an 18 month commitment for fibre. Also a bit concerned by what appears to be the majority of suppliers putting up their prices.

Still tempted by SSE's 30 day rolling contract as if they are as bad as many say, I can easily move. Does mean being possibly inconvenienced for 3 weeks though or so.

When VDSL is hooked up, does it still take a while for it to get up to maximum speed like, ADSL?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sun 30-Sep-18 19:13:07
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
ASDL would sync at maximum speed on day 1 unless it was Sky

VDSL2 is max sync on day 1 too

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User j0hn83
(experienced) Tue 02-Oct-18 11:10:09
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Re: More info


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
ASDL would sync at maximum speed on day 1 unless it was Sky

VDSL2 is max sync on day 1 too


While technically correct that the DSLAM will sync at the maximum rate for the default DLM profile some lines can see a 15Mb increase between day 1 and the end of week 2.

All new provisions (both Huawei and ECI DSLAM's) will start with low interleaving @6dB target SNRM.
ECI lines can see a 10-15% increase with a change to fastpath.
Huawei lines can benefit much more with G.INP and 3dB SNRM targets.

The higher syncing a line the more it is likely to benefit from a lower target SNRM. Lines which make good use of the D3 band benefit the most.
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Sun 07-Oct-18 23:35:02
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Re: More info


[re: Spud2003] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Spud2003:
Topcashback also have offers from £50-£125 for SSE broadband, so take a look at those before you order.

Was Topcashback available when you (or anybody else) signed up with SSE? If so, how long did it take for SSE to pay up? I've just signed up for 'Fibre & Anytime Plus' today to get the £151 cashback (ends today) and it's already tracked. I don't really need the Anytime Plus, but with that much cashback it was a bit of a no brainer. However, I don't want to keep paying out for months on end and never get the cashback.
Standard User Spud2003
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 08-Oct-18 19:27:46
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
I signed up over the phone, not through TopCashback - can't give you timescales, but maybe you can open a support ticket with TCB. I should add I've never had a problem getting ISP cashbacks, and I've claimed a lot.
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Fri 12-Oct-18 12:37:53
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Re: More info


[re: Spud2003] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Spud. For anyone else that may be interested, TCB is quoting 22 weeks before paying out.
Standard User grazie
(newbie) Sat 27-Oct-18 10:51:24
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
Line connected yesterday. Disappointing that Origin disconnected there service at 6am. Open Reach didn't hook me up to fibre until about 11am. Rather amusingly, the engineer couldn't get into the new cabinet so was hitting it with a big hammer to resolve the problem (I happened to be waiting for bus while he was doing the work).

More disappointing is that the fasted speed I've had is only 12Mbps. SSE Tech Support have been great. They say they can see 39/40Mbps to my router so are currently running some tests to check the line further. However, they've also said they can't pass on the problem to Open Reach, if their test shows no faults, until 10 days after the switch over, which is a little disappointing.

Is there anything I can do to see why the speed I'm getting is slow?

So far, SSE's Technical Support has been top notch.
Standard User baby_frogmella
(knowledge is power) Sat 27-Oct-18 11:05:08
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
Can you post your router stats? If using Wi-Fi for Speedtests, can you test using a wired connection?

FluidOne FTTPoD 330/30
Linksys EA9500v2
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 27-Oct-18 11:12:15
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
That sounds like SSE or their underlying supplier are talking to BT Wholesale, not Openreach.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - AAISP Home::1 80/20. 200GB. Sync 01/10/18 - 71908/13506Kbps @ 600m. BQMs - IPv4 & IPv6
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.

Edited by RobertoS (Sat 27-Oct-18 11:13:39)

Standard User grazie
(newbie) Sat 27-Oct-18 13:35:17
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Re: More info


[re: baby_frogmella] [link to this post]
 
All sorted now, as speed reported by router and other speed test websites is 38Mbps. A very happy chappie!

I know this isn't that the replace to ask, but not sure where to go. Where should I ask about setting up a VPN on the supplied Techicolor MediaAccess TG589vac v2 router/modem? It doesn't seem possible to me, but the user interface isn't great and I can't see anything in the user guide.

I don't know the difference between BT Openreach and BT Wholesale, but it was BT Openreach who where at my local cabinet and Openreach was the 'word' used by SSE.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 27-Oct-18 19:23:47
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Re: More info


[re: grazie] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by grazie:
I know this isn't that the replace to ask, but not sure where to go. Where should I ask about setting up a VPN on the supplied Techicolor MediaAccess TG589vac v2 router/modem? It doesn't seem possible to me, but the user interface isn't great and I can't see anything in the user guide.

I don't think you can run a VPN client (or server) on that router. VPN traffic from a VPN client (or server) on a PC or other device would likely pass through it.

If you wish to connect to public VPN servers, I would expect them to tell you how to configure your client.

Why do you want a VPN. What are you trying to connect to what? I have managed to install VPN servers on two different NAS devices at home using Openvpn protocol. I can use a VPN client on my laptop to connect to these servers from other locations.

Michael Chare
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