How I Fixed My BT Broadband Speed Problems

Today we are ever more dependent on a reliable, fast connection to the internet and the choice of Internet Service Provider we choose for our home broadband connection is critical. Slow or unreliable broadband connections can cause severe inconvenience, potential loss of income and even social isolation. When I had to change my provider I found it ridiculously stressful. I have decided to share my experience of increasing my BT Broadband speed for the benefit of others having similar problems with BT.

With a self-employed husband who sometimes works from home, teenagers, who are permanently plugged into the internet and my own online activities, a reliable, consistently fast broadband connection is essential for our everyday survival. Connection to the internet is also an expensive monthly outlay for most families and needs to be chosen with care.

Capped By Orange Broadband

Because we had been with Orange since the Freeserve and Wanadoo days, we had managed to hold on to a contract with unlimited download capacity. When a letter suddenly arrived from Orange to say we had exceeded our peak time download limit and must cut our usage to avoid being capped, I immediately rang up only to be told we had already been capped that day. Panicking about the loss of service I demanded a MAC Code and began searching for a new ISP.

Switching To BT Total Broadband Option 3

Despite reservations and other reports of problems with slow BT Broadband speeds, I signed up for BT Broadband immediately. The website was so easy to use and the deal seemed at least as good as that offered by any other ISP. The order was processed effortlessly and the equipment arrived on the promised day. Clear instructions and user-friendly features made setting up BT Broadband easy and initially I had high hopes for the service.

The problem started as soon as I connected to the internet. Our speed had dropped from a steady 5Mbps with Orange to 2Mbps with BT Broadband, despite the BT website suggesting our line was capable of speeds up to 6Mbps. The bigger shock happened at 17.25 when the service dropped to less than 0.5 Mbps – worse than dial-up speed. This pattern was set to repeat itself every evening, with speeds plummeting at 17.25 precisely only to return to 2Mbs at midnight.

No Help From The BT Technical Help Desk

I began ringing the BT Broadband Technical Help Desk after several days and continued for 3 weeks to try and get some advice without success. As anyone who has used the service will testify, it is a very difficult process and after such a long time, my lack of progress was starting to cause me significant frustration.

Finding Help On The BT Users Forum

In desperation, I turned to the BT Help Forum where I posted a message about my problem. I was intersted to see on the forum that another capped Orange user was reporting exactly the same problem. Was it possible that the Orange cap had somehow been left in place?

Eventually a BT Moderator asked me to send more details about my BT Broadband speed issues and I was careful to provide them with everything they asked for including the results from their own online BT speed tester and I tried to remain polite at all times despite my frustration. I highlighted the fact that the drop in speed I was experiencing was a regular event (like a switch being turned on or off) and not the gradual slowing down you might expect from contention issues.

A Successful Outcome To My BT Broadband Speed Problems

I had to wait another week and exchange several more messages before the moderators rang me up and said they had called out an engineer to look at my local exchange. Gradually over the next 48 hours our BT Broadband connection speed increased. Although no formal explanation was given for the initial problems, we have since enjoyed a steady 6Mbps connection speed with no noticeable congestion at peak times.

Reasons To Stay With BT Broadband

Despite the initial teething problems with our BT Broadband speed I am staying with BT for the foreseeable future because:

  • We now have a reliable and fast BT Broadband connection with no congestion issues
  • The BT Forum is a useful source of help and advice when problems are encountered
  • The BT moderators are polite and genuinely helpful
  • BT Broadband Option 3 Unlimited now has a realistic monthly download limit of 300Gb
  • BT provides an online usage monitor so you can see how much bandwidth you have used
  • BT equipment is easy to set up and use
  • BT are willing to negotiate the price of your BT Broadband package if you ask them
  • BT Vision is an excellent, affordable alternative to Sky, satellite or Cable TV
  • A lack of reliable, objective information on other Internet Service Providers


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