10th October 2012
It's a topic that crops up quite frequently when we go and visit customers around Devon, and we hear a lot about it on services like Twitter (@VPWITServices) too. The truth is that there are lots of ways to get good Broadband Connectivity, even if you're in a fairly rural location, but finding a provider who cares enough to help you get there is the challenge.
Most people think of Broadband providers in the sense of those you'd perhaps use for your domestic service - like BT Total Broadband, or Sky, Virgin and so on. These providers aren't actually the only way to get broadband, although sometimes we find customers misunderstand this and believe things like "I've got a BT Phone Line, so I have to use BT Broadband". It's not true on several levels.
So what makes a Broadband connection "quality"? There are several things to consider:
When you talk to the "big providers" the bottom line is that they won't care enough about you as an individual customer to look into issues in any detail, or help you get the best speeds from your particular line, simply because you're one in millions of customers. That's where the independent providers (yes, like us!) can help....
Unlike the big providers, we have to work hard to get new customers, which means we have a keen interest in ensuring they're getting the best service they can. This in turn means we'll look at what options are available for Broadband, and try and find you the best option that can give you the features you need within a budget you can afford. Sometimes "clever" Broadband solutions are needed.
The main ways broadband can be provided is:
There are other technologies out there, but we're focusing on the most commonly found options.
So, how do we make it quality - let's tackle each option:
This is the most common thing we hear - complaints that Broadband isn't reliable. You can address this in a number of ways. First is the actual router (hardware) you use. This can make a huge difference - some equipment isn't terribly reliable (especially cheaper kit like you'll find in the major shops), or may not handle noisy/poor lines very well. This is also the case with the bundled routers you find from most providers. We use multiple types of router and have helped customers get a more robust service through better equipment.
The next thing to look at is the line quality - everything from the filters you use to get broadband signals into the router, to the line running back to the nearest BT Exchange/Cabinet. Faults here can cause all sorts of trouble, so care may be needed to find and work with BT Openreach to address this.
We've seen customers have huge leaps in speeds despite being in a rural location. Equipment can play a part here - some performs better and allows greater line speeds than others. Sometimes this is also caused by line issues (you may have a subtle fault which doesn't stop the line working, but does reduce the speed you get). Speed can also be seriously affected by poor setup (either on the router, the line or your equipment). We've seen customers getting less than half a meg leap to over 6 meg by properly setting things up.
Sometimes a line and equipment may be as god as they can get - so you then can look at more advanced changes. For example, some locations may only be able to get 1-2 meg (for example, many parts of Marsh Barton in Exeter). Using Bonded Broadband technology, we can boost this providing 2, 3 or even 4 times the speed using the the bonded tech. This takes multiple lines, and combines them into a single line, giving you better speeds. Alternatively, we can look at other types of connection - such as EFM, which can offer speeds of 100 meg or more. Then there's the possibility of Fibre - some areas may be able to receive Fibre, so we could move you to a Fibre based service - we did this for a customer on the edge of Exeter, who had a very poor, unreliable and slow link and they now receive reliable 30-40 meg internet access - a massive leap.
If you're experiencing poor broadband, it might be worth getting our team involved - we can take an initial look remotely and then look at what options might make sense for you. We offer Fibre Broadband, Bonded Solutions, options for businesses looking for advanced security and functionality as well as "enterprise grade" solutions such as Leased Lines.
Just call us on 01392 950 950 - we'd be happy to help you.
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