Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Would You Like Faster Broadband?

Ever since we moved house the broadband hasn't been as reliable as I would like. Periodically it has dropped so low I would have been better off on dial-up! Now I don't know what the problem is but I would like to find a solution.

It turns out that one common cause of slow broadband is noise on the line caused by a redundant part of the phone cable (for those in the know it is the bell wire that is the culprit). BT sell something they call the I-Plate (what is with the fascination of adding I to the beginning of product names?) that is supposed to filter out this noise. Apparently they have been selling the I-Plate for over a year but I've never heard of it before.

The I-Plate can only be fitted to certain types of phone socket (for those who like product codes then it's the NTE5 type master socket) that look like the one in the picture.

What is interesting is that as of July they started to make them available to BT Total Broadband customers (which includes me) for just the price of the P&P -- at the current moment that is just £1.20. If you qualify you can request yours through this short questionnaire, if not then you can buy one direct from BT through their online shop.

So given I have the right kind of phone socket and am a BT Total Broadband customer I've ordered mine and I'll let you know if it makes any difference once it has arrived.
6 August 2009 at 15:33 , GB said...

I shall be very interested to hear the result. I do not have the correct sort of socket although the now redundant spare line in the house does and I may be able to swap the two.

6 August 2009 at 18:24 , Mark said...

Is the spare line actually a separate line or just an unused extension? If it's an unused extension and it looks like the photo then it actually is the master socket and adding the I-Plate should should improve the performance even if nothing is plugged into that socket.

If it is a seperate line and the socket you use is different then there are a couple of options 1) you might already have this filter built into the socket or 2) the actual master socket is hidden somewhere. It's worth following the questionaire because it shows you all different types of socket and tells you what is and isn't possible.

I've had an e-mail to say it should arrive within the next 7 days so I'll let you know if there is any improvement once it is in place.

6 August 2009 at 18:32 , GB said...

It is a completely separate line. The main socket for the principal line into the house is one I fitted myself. The history of it all is lost in the mists of time but the line comes into the roof and I've split it. I'll try the questionnaire and see where it gets me. Thanks for the advice.

7 August 2009 at 07:39 , Scriptor Senex said...

Ho, ho, ho, Couldn't open the product questionnaire page in any browser - presumably the Broadband is too slow this morning....

7 August 2009 at 07:55 , Mark said...

Oh dear, and it must be your end that's the problem as it opens fine from here.

7 August 2009 at 08:03 , GB said...

I don't get past stage 2 of the questionnaire because I have a flat faced socket. I'm actually wondering if I can swap them over as I mentioned in my first comment. I might have a play today.

7 August 2009 at 08:07 , Mark said...

So GB, if you disappear from the face of the internet for a few days we know the playing went pear shaped!

Given that you fitted it in the first place though I'm guessing you know what to change so it shouldn't be too hard (I believe there are just two screws connecting the outside line to the inside of the box but I've never gone as far as checking).

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