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Standard User wildstoo
(newbie) Thu 06-Dec-12 16:36:47
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Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


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Hi TBB forums,

I work for an Independent School, currently stuck on a single 8mb ADSL Max line on a Market 1 exchange.

As our reliance on cloud-based services has increased, the limited bandwidth offered by this connection has become untenable.

What are our options on this exchange in terms of ISPs and connections? I am by no means well-versed in broadband tech, so feel free to educate me.

For example, I've been reading about bonded ADSL2+ Annex M. Any ISPs offering such a service here? If we could bond 4 lines (or 2+2 loadbalance) that would even be an option. I'd need specifics on how to implement that tho.

Ultimately, the more bandwidth the better. I'm willing to look at both capped and uncapped plans, but uncapped would be preferable.

Basically, we have lots of frustrated users at the moment, so I'd like to see ALL our options, no matter the cost.

Thanks for reading!
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 06-Dec-12 23:52:17
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: wildstoo] [link to this post]
 
The exchange has ADSL2+ available via BT Wholesale, so if your existing line is running at over 4 Meg you should be able to get a boost of some description switching to that. maps.thinkbroadband.com has people recording speeds in excess of 8 Meg on the exchange.

The key is what is the current attenuation of the line, as you can estimate ADSL2+ speeds from that via http://www.coolwebhome.co.uk/calc/calculator.php

If looking at bonding, and Annex M (which should be available via BT Wholesale, but really is only a benefit to lines running at over 10 Mbps already) then take a look at http://www.fluidata.co.uk/

NOTE: Annex is just a faster upstream variant, you can bond and/or load balance using the standard ADSL2+

The Scottish Government has a plan under way to improve broadband speeds, and looking at Inverclyde I would expect the town to get some improvements via this project in 2013/2014/2015, this might bring speeds of 40 to 80 Mbps to you.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User johnleee
(newbie) Fri 07-Dec-12 05:31:33
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
ADSL Max premium will (we hope _ give us better upload speed and traffic priority with any luck (we get 7950kb download and 448kb upload at present) and help with our VPN and FTP traffic, as well as reduce throttling at peak times.

pitter


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Standard User Drew_M
(regular) Fri 07-Dec-12 07:27:50
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: johnleee] [link to this post]
 
Premium upgrade should help you with your upload on MAX and FTTC products. It's also worth looking at for ADSL2 as well but the impact is less obvious as they all have the same speed. For ADSL2 the Annex M option might work for you if you don't mind trading some of your download to achieve a more symmetric service.

If you need improved speed generally, bonding ADSL lines might work better. We have customers on rural MAX only exchanges with 4x bonded premium lines achieving about 24Mb/s down and 3.5mb/s upload.

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 07-Dec-12 10:17:14
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: johnleee] [link to this post]
 
If you are also at that school, then Max Premium is NOT the way to go, you want to look at someone offering WBC ADSL2+ as it is definitely available on the Inverclyde exchange.

WBC ADSL2+ can provide double or more the upstream compared to Max for the same price.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User DrBC
(newbie) Fri 07-Dec-12 12:03:53
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: wildstoo] [link to this post]
 
As the others have said ADSL2+ is available on the Kilmacolm exchange (I'm on the same exchange and on 24MB sync currently). Sam Knows is also a bit out of date as TalkTalk's network has been extended to cover Kilmacolm.

I think that yes, your only realistic option is bonded ADSL2+ as Kilmacolm is unlikely to get any vaguely modern broadband technology in the foreseeable future. Whether Annex M will offer any benefit depends on how far the school (St Columba by any chance?) is from the exchange at Smithy Brae.
Standard User vivaciti
(knowledge is power) Fri 07-Dec-12 13:53:54
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: wildstoo] [link to this post]
 
Hi,
Bonded is an option and is available from a number of other providers so don't take one persons reply literally.
The other thing you may want to look at depending on budgets is a leased line or EFM type service, this will give you more than xDSL services in terms of connection speed, throughputs etc, EFM would be dependent on location but you will find these type of services more expensive, but they are true business grade services.
How many people would be using the service? Is the issue the current connection speed for one or is it more when loads are people are using it does it start to crawl? The answer to that will help work out if you want load balanced or true bonding.

www.vivaciti.net
Vivaciti Broadband
0800 0911797

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Standard User wildstoo
(newbie) Fri 07-Dec-12 14:24:47
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: vivaciti] [link to this post]
 
Wow, thanks for all the responses guys.

johnleee is not connected with the school, I dunno why he mentioned Premium Max except as a possibility.

DrBC: yes, it's St. Columba's, how did you ever guess? wink

We're about 250m from the exchange as the crow flies, so the copper run is probably closer to double that.

I checked our line last night, we had 10db attenuation and 9.5db margin. I have no idea if that's good or bad.

There are 300+ computers in the school, but concurrent users probably won't exceed 100. The issue is we run an Exchange server, we use a RDP-based management service (unbelievably slow with just a few users) and there's talk about giving all staff VPN access all of which will require MUCH more upstream bandwidth.

At the moment I'm leaning towards bonded ADSL2+ with Annex M as a strong possibility.

What's the limit on bondable lines? Does it vary by ISP? Can we bond 4x24mb lines?

I have no idea if our budget will stretch to leased lines. Need to figure out what solution offers the best value.

Again, thanks for the responses so far. Very helpful.
Standard User vivaciti
(knowledge is power) Fri 07-Dec-12 14:53:57
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: wildstoo] [link to this post]
 
10db attenuation is not too shabby, whats your current connection speed?
OK, so you would really be looking at bonded rather than load balancing.
You can bond Annex M, most bonding solutions will allow you to bond 4 lines, although I am sure there are solutions out there that allow more than 4 lines to be bonded but with a 10db attenuation would you need more than 4?
The other thing to think about would be if you needed the bonded solution managed with router or would be something you would want to do from your end?
There are a few sites on the net that will give you a benchmark leased line price although none will be accurate and you would be best to get a proper quote but the guide price will let you know if it it worth even looking at a leased line solution.

www.vivaciti.net
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0800 0911797

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Standard User wildstoo
(newbie) Fri 07-Dec-12 15:47:27
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Re: Independent School on Market 1 Exchange seeks ISP


[re: vivaciti] [link to this post]
 
When I ran speedtest.net last night I was getting around 7.2mb down, but since I was doing it remotely that was probably a factor. I'd need to disconnect everything and test with nothing else on the line, but I *think* we're getting pretty close to stated line speed.

I dunno if the Cisco router we use has more information on that. I'm an IOS neophyte. Had to google to get the line stats tongue

4x24mb lines would probably be enough. Certainly far better than what we have now.

As for local or managed.. whatever offers better service. What are the pros and cons? What kind of equipment do we need?
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