Well, the crunch has happened. Just as we predicted
, the onset of winter has resulted in more broadband usage and, as a result, broadband in the town slows to a crawl each evening.
On October 27 our “8MB BT Broadband” slumped to 200kbps – about 2% of the headline speed. Since then we have been in regular correspondence with BT, but we seem to be getting nowhere.
In desperation I have searched around to find another supplier. Unfortunately, as far as I can find out, there is no other line supplier with access to Kintore. So, no matter whose name is at the top of your bill, the line is supplied by BT.
That means everyone in Kintore is in the same boat. OK, we may fare worse than some being something over a mile from the exchange, but I know from comments on this blog and on the Kintore Facebook page
that others are finding BT Broadband speeds so slow in the evenings that they cannot use services like iPlayer.
Certainly for us iPlayer has long been an impossibility in the evenings. Indeed, sometimes I struggle simply to get enough bandwidth to download the pages of a magazine from Zinio!
During the course of these discussions I have gleaned that our line is rated for 6MB. That would be fine. Indeed, occasionally during the day, it is fine and I have seen our Broadband achieve that giddy speed.
But at speeds sometimes as low as 200 kbps, or 500 kbps in the evenings, we are still only getting between 3% and 8% of what BT say our line is rated for!
Imagine if you bought a car and the salesman said it could do 70 mph. When you get home you find that, at certain times of the day, it will actually only do 2 mph.
You would be right to be upset.
Is the real truth possibly that, when the current infrastructure was installed in Kintore, the population was rather less?
Kintore’s population in the 2001 census was 1696. The latest estimate of the population is in the region of 3,300 with further expansion being planned.
I remember someone from BT telling us that the Kintore exchange was due to be upgraded to fibre-optic “in four years time”. That four years has come and gone, with no sign of any fibre-optic cable.
So, has BT’s broadband infrastructure simply not kept up with the expansion of Scotland’s fastest-growing town and, if not, what are BT (as the monopoly broadband supplier in Kintore) going to do about it?
- If you want to check your broadband speed, there are many speed testers available, but one of the easiest to use is http://speedtest.net.