Which broadband provider is fastest in Escrick?

The question of which company provides the fastest broadband in Escrick arises from time to time.

There is only one wholesale provider of wired broadband in Escrick - Openreach (BT as was).  There is no Virgin Media, and no 'local loop unbundling' - therefore whether you go with BT, Sky, TalkTalk, PlusNet or whoever - the wire to your house will be provided by Openreach and will be capable of the same speeds (minor caveats below).

Openreach provide three types of service in Escrick for other providers to resell:

  • ADSL Max (typically not offered to new customers, "up to 7mbps")
  • ADSL2 often sold as broadband "up to 17mbps"
  • Fibre broadband - usually sold as fibre broadband 'up to 38mbps' or 'up to 76mbps' packages

ADSL2 was enabled during April 2018.

ADSL connections are provided from the telephone exchange (located opposite the church) - in practice almost all of the village is capable of getting close to the theoretical maximum speed of 17mbps ... this reduces to 1.5mbps by outlying areas such as the business park and Menagerie. (NB: Prior to April 2018, those on ADSL connections will have only been able to get 7mbps as ADSL2 wasn't enabled on the Escrick exchange).

Fibre broadband is provided from one of three cabinets. The village is served by a cabinet located outside the exchange (cabinet 3), and the Menagerie and business park each have their own cabinets (cabinets 2 & 4).

Fibre broadband speeds are much more dependent on the distance from the cabinet.  Dower Chase and other areas near the exchange achieve the full 80mbps; The Glade/Carrs Meadow/Escrick Park Gardens get around 40mbps.

You can see what speed your line is capable of by putting your phone number into this tool: http://dslchecker.bt.com/

Swapping providers won't change the speed that your line is capable of. The line can be provisioned by Openreach as either:

  • Traditional broadband, capable of 'up to 7mbps' or 'up to 17th mbps'
  • Fibre broadband, usually at either 'up to 38mbps' or 'up to 76mbps' service.

Other factors

If you are getting slower speeds than your line is capable of it could be due to a number of causes:

  • Your internet provider's network might be congested, or they might be throttling your connection - there's an element of 'you get what you pay for' - so if you're on a bargain deal with a bargain provider, typically it's more like to suffer congestion and throttling. If your internet seems to slow down in the evenings and school holidays, this is a likely cause. Various websites provide reviews of the performance of different providers.
  • You might have issues with your WiFi within your house - such as interference or weak signals through walls. Again, better WiFi hubs tend to manage this issue better, but in a large house you might need multiple WiFi access points.
  • You might be getting your bits and bytes confused.  I've lost count of the number of times I've been told "I'm barely getting 1MB/sec and I'm supposed to be getting 8" ....  Broadband is sold in 'bits per second' - e.g. 'up to 7 mbps' whereas computers generally report file sizes and download speeds in 'bytes per second'.  A byte consists of 8 bits'.  So, if you are getting 1MB/sec showing on the computer, you are actually getting 8mbps on the broadband.
  • DLM profile - put simply this is the trade-off between speed and stability. BT, Plusnet, and Zen choose a profile that favours speed; EE, Sky, Talktalk and Vodafone choose one that favours stability over speed. The differences are typically relatively small - perhaps 5mbps on a 40 mbps connection.
  • More potential issues are covered here: http://labs.f17.co.uk/page/the-internet-is-going-slow/

Openreach has enabled new features since first launching fibre broadband that better handle certain types of line faults and noise. Some modems originally supplied by Openreach (those with a serial number beginning with "ECI" on the back) do not support these features ... so if you've got an ECI modem you *might* get a small speed improvement by getting a new modem/router - look for one that supports G.INP.

Other types of broadband

It is worth noting that in many parts of Escrick, 4G mobile data connections offer higher speeds than fixed line - but these usually cost more unless your usage is quite limited. They are also more prone to congestion, and therefore likely to slow down over time as more people make heavier use of 4G.

Related pages:  Mobile coverage in Escrick