Thursday, October 12, 2006

TalkTalk - the boring phase begins

After yesterday's excitement, it looks like I'm going to be setting down to routing broadband niggles like the rest of the world.

Yesterday, broadband seemed to be available at a nominal 8 Mbit/s but slower real speeds of course. I checked the speed at ADSL Guide and apparently had 120k (for comparison, the GPRS phone connection I've been using for the last fortnight gives me 33k at the same site).

Then the connection went, Then it came back And so on. All very normal for day one of an unbundled service. When it went off for a lengthy period, I phoned TalkTalk, and discovered the problems everyone else knows - I've had to go back a generation.

TalkTalk won't do a lot of support unless you use their equipment - a USB-connected
Alcatel/Thomson SpeedTouch. This is the old-fashioned frog, used by BT for a long while, in a new casing. It takes broadband and makes it look like fast dial-up, and won't do all the things I've been taking
for granted like sharing the Internet round the house.

I'm up for trying anything new (old), and it does seem unfair to expect them to help with unfamiliar equipment over the phone (even if it's a lovely Fritz box, with good diagnostics, that's been working happily for months). So I've installed the USB modem and - lo and behold! - I'm getting 2.9 Mbit/s over it.

My support guy tells me it's possibly due to attentuation in the house - the SpeedTouch may be less fussy and work with a weaker signal than the Fritz. I'm not sure, but that means the next thing to do is try the Fritz in the master socket...

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