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Thursday 29 September 2005 4.24pm
After a week we are already fed up with being back on dial-up (just moved in), but we can't get proper broadband - just 200 yards from Waterloo Station!

By my reckoning we are about 3-400 metres from the SouthBank exchange, yet I have just been referred by Tiscali (polite way of them saying they can't give us full broadband). BT's site says:

"At the moment, your telephone line is unable to support our 2Mb speed broadband package. Also, due to the length of your line, an engineer visit may be required to set up your broadband service."

Does anyone know if there is a mechanism for requiring BT to give us a more direct connection to our local exchange?

(I checked with Homechoice, and they can only go at the speed of the line provided by BT, so no point switching to them. )

Any other helpful suggestions welcome. 1 MB will do I suppose, but only if we can't get a speedier connection.

Thanks in advance
Thursday 29 September 2005 5.38pm
(I think that) even if you're a BT customer, you only get 2mb speed if you're lucky enough that your exchange has been "tweaked" (trans: I don't know what I'm talking about, but they "do something").

We're on bt internet and used to be 1mb until a few months ago. I remember reading at the time that this was an improvement that they were rolling out gradually. Maybe your area just hasn't been improved yet?

[edited to add: now you're in the area, you'll no doubt be keen to make some cider....]

...if you press it, they will come.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 29 September 2005 5.39pm by Ivanhoe.
Thursday 29 September 2005 5.45pm
With reservations I could say try Bulldog or some other supplier that performs local loop unbundling (llu) or whatever it's called - basically they take over your BT line and install their own equipment. This allows you, with Bulldog for example, to get to 8megabit speeds. The benefit apart from speed is that you can keep your existing number or get a new one, you don't pay the BT line rental fee and you just pay Bulldog monthly - I think 40 per month for 8megabits but you could check on-line for latest prices. The downside with Bulldog is that they can make a real meal out of getting you set-up and their customer service has been awful, though they say they are working hard to improve it.

I'm unsure if llu is still dependent then on distance from the exchange etc. as I think (but am not sure) that the llu piece occurs actually at the exchange, but maybe Bulldog or similar would be able to tell you.

I'm not affiliated to Bulldog but have used them as my ISP for about 3 years. My experience has been that once you are actually set-up and working it's very good, but if you have problems in getting set-up then it can be incredibly frustrating and extremely hard work to fix.

Thursday 29 September 2005 7.12pm
Before deciding on Bulldog please read the thread in the chatter section and think hard!
Thursday 29 September 2005 8.40pm
Well we're in the area for the foreseeable future, but probably in this house for just the 6 months, so we're not likely to sign up with anyone except BT unfortunately (we'd have stuck with Tiscali if we could) as I guess they mostly want 12 months minimum (they may not, but we'll worry about the real speeds when we get permanently settled).

And I've read enough on here and elsewhere about Bulldog to be a little wary, although the general consensus seems to be when it's good its very good (but when it's bad etc etc).

[pretending to have edited to say: I'm certainly inclined to explore drinking cider, actually making it may be too much of a challenge to my Guinness-ing instincts]

Still, we're walking to Paris (well, the first bit of the journey anyway) in a couple of weeks, so that makes up for an awful lot... bliss...and that French cider is ever so nice, we had a lovely glass or two in Dinan last year (just to show I understand that every thread must lean towards cidery references!).

Thanks for the suggestions anyway :-)

Thursday 29 September 2005 9.13pm
When I first tried to get Tesco BB at Tower Bridge, BT used every delaying tactic in the book including saying that BB wasn't available (or something like that - I have a file under the desk). I got legalistic with BT and Hey Presto, suddenly I was in a BB area! So much for Tony Blair's Broadband Britain - I read somewhere recently that Britain has the lowest uptake of BB in the Developed World.

Anyhow, hoping you lovely people at Waterloo have success (in everything).
Friday 30 September 2005 10.26am
markandjoan Wrote:
> Well we're in the area for the foreseeable future,
> but probably in this house for just the 6 months,

Fair enough, but in the interest of giving you ALL the info, I think Bulldog only demand 1 month contracts.......though it might take you a month to get on in the first place... :o)
Friday 30 September 2005 11.30am
?Drink lots of cider, and your connection will be MUCH too fast and may even make you dizzy?

...if you press it, they will come.
Friday 30 September 2005 12.56pm
We too live about 200 yards from Waterloo, we have pipex at 2mb and all the problems in set-up lie with BT, which is why they have just been forced to put the llu part of the business in a separate company. I would persist, all London exchanges offer broadband. You will encounter the same problems when you move house as BT control the local loop and are quite useless. Probably deliberately. The other trick they run is that when they see you applying for broadband with another supplier they ring up and offer their version.

Distance is only a problem in the country but there is now a fix for that. The Shetlands are now wired up! Good luck.
Sunday 2 October 2005 11.13pm
There is a tiny problem with Local Loop Unbundling if you have just taken over a BT phone line in that you may be in a 12 month BT voice contract so you can't be unbundled until this time next year. However Bulldog and others also offer non-LLU services that are cheaper and perform as well as BT. Not up to the 8Meg speed from Bulldog, but quite respectable 1Meg or 2 Meg. Also please note that Bulldog's unbundled voice/data products are not cheap at all for calls to mobile phones (no cheap evening rate).

There is a good web site called that lists all the ADSL offerings and has a forum dedicated to success and horror stories. Don't know 'bout now but a few months ago, Nildram was reckoned to be the bee's knees for quality and support service.

Alternatively, buy a wireless card and jack in to one of the many unsecured WiFi LANs operated by your public-spirited neighbours (I can see six!).

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