Question Constant poor rural broadband

thewerepuppygrr

Standard Member
OK, so here is my issue in a nutshell. Bear in mind by knowledge of networking is definite noob-level.

I live in a rural area, in a 100+ year old Victorian solid brick property that has, at most, two power outlets per room.

Our current WiFi is provided by Boundless who specialize in rural broadband. The speed is OK if you just want to browse sites but streaming often takes hours of buffering which is super frustrating. We got them to boost the signal but it was still pretty prehistoric.

I got an outbuilding built outside about 25ft from the house and asked Boundless about getting the broadband extended to that. They said it could probably be done via running an ethernet, and recommended a guy. Looked up said guy (we'll call him Dave) and found he had a lot of positive reviews and was local.

Dave came round and said I wouldn't need to run ethernet and that he could set up a TP powerlink system that would work just as well. He put this in place, and it seemed to work fine. The next day - not so much. My outdoor computer said it was connected, but just kept buffering. Couldn't load a page. Indoor was sporadic; some devices were fine, others had the same buffering issue and others dropped in and out. Got him to come back and he adjusted some stuff, but it didn't seem to help: again fine when he was around, but back to square one the next day.

A week later everything goes down. Get in touch with Boundless who told me the usual 'turn it off and on again' before sending out the engineers. Engineers spent two hours sorting it and reverting it back to how it was before Dave got involved. Said they couldn't understand what Dave had done, and that the WiFi booster should be in a socket on it's own (not ideal when you only have two sockets to play with and they're both in use). Now it's slow, intermittent and doesn't extend outside. ***.

So I guess now I'm in a quandary. I'll have to get Dave back as I paid £250 to get this sorted and he guaranteed streaming-level connections but I feel like I'm never going to get the internet I want.

From my vague information, does anyone have any thoughts?
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
£250? :eek: For some powerline adaptors? Blimey. Is that all he did for £250, just supply some TP-Link powerline adaptors?

Firstly, what speed are you getting into the house to start with?
 

thewerepuppygrr

Standard Member
2 TP Link Wifi N Dual Band Routers
1 TP Link Powerline Boost Kit
Installation

Was running at around 1MB. Boundless are supposed to do 'up to 5MB' in my area.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
The problem is, if you only have 1MB coming in, even if you have the world's fastest internal network, you still only have 1MB coming in. The fact he guaranteed it would be fast enough for streaming when you only have 1MB is a shocker right there.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
I dream of 5Mb and ours is supplied by BT
 

mbmapit

Well-known Member
Have you thought about getting in contact with your local councilor? I was stuck on pitiful internet with the openreach site (https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx) saying that fibre was 12 months away (it said this for 14 months). Within a week of speaking to the councilor, openreach had updated the site to within 10 months then the following week within 4 months and after 7-8 weeks fibre was installed and running in my village.
 

JH4

Well-known Member
Crazy isn't it, when Virgin can give 300 (sometimes 330 Mb/s ) down and 20 up, these days. Even more for business.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Plenty of service providers can provide pretty much any amount of bandwidth you like - if you are prepared to put you hand in your pocket and pay for the cost of the street works, planning permissions, obtain the way-leaves, line equipment, etc. etc. (ISTR there was a village mentioned in the press a while ago that did so.) Even then, it can sometimes take a long time to achieve.

If not, if we want it for a fiver a month - unfortunately we have to wait until "they" reach our area, which is often driven by the economics of whether there's enough subscribers in the locale to take up the service, government subsidies/prodding, etc.

Incidentally, this is not a problem unique to rural areas - in my professional capacity I've had to do sustained and bloody battle over service to buildings in London.
 
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Varsas

Active Member
Whatever happens you need to be careful running ethernet from one building to another, it's a lightning risk unless it's buried and done properly.

Just to be picky but also to help you when dealing with providers etc it's (probably) not your WiFi that's slow, it's your broadband. If your WiFi was slow that would be an easy thing to fix. Also, you have said you get 5MB. As in 5 MBytes/second. That's 40Mbit/second and should be more than good enough to watch 4k UHD video from Amazon etc in real time with no buffering, I do that with about 38mb/second. Do you mean 5Mbit/second? Again, you may be confusing people by using the wrong terminology.

Have you ever tried plugging a computer/laptop straight into the router, with a network/ethernet cable and with every other network device (computer/smart TV etc) switched off, what speeds do you get then?

I would not be surprised if a TP link network didn't work well in such an old property. Also I assume that the outhouse is on a separate spur or ringmain? Not a good candidate for powerline networking, though if it only has to cope with 5Mb it might be OK!
 
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wormvortex

Distinguished Member
A networking guy recommending power line adapters over Ethernet isn't someone you should be taking advice from IMO.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
A networking guy recommending power line adapters over Ethernet isn't someone you should be taking advice from IMO.

Even more so at a property that is over 100 years old. Powerline adapters are great but are massively dependant on the quality of the house wiring. Suggesting that over Ethernet in the OP's property was a shocker, then to charge £250 for it too!
 

Varsas

Active Member
A networking guy recommending power line adapters over Ethernet isn't someone you should be taking advice from IMO.

Even more so at a property that is over 100 years old. Powerline adapters are great but are massively dependant on the quality of the house wiring. Suggesting that over Ethernet in the OP's property was a shocker, then to charge £250 for it too!

Really not trying to be one of those guys but, agan, some incorrect phrasiology here which, again, may cause confusion. Those TP link devices (and similar) run ethernet over your power lines, not the other way around. You do get power over ethernet (PoE) but that's not what's happening here unless I have misunderstood. Proper, dedicated wired ethernet is the way to go for the OP (and almost everyone else IMHO) with the caveats I brought up about how it gets to the outbuilding. From what I have heard I do not believe the OP's internal network is the source of his issues, though the test I asked for would tell us for sure.

To help the OP I would want to start from the beginning, just a laptop plugged straight into his router.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Really not trying to be one of those guys but, agan, some incorrect phrasiology here which, again, may cause confusion. Those TP link devices (and similar) run ethernet over your power lines, not the other way around. You do get power over ethernet (PoE) but that's not what's happening here unless I have misunderstood. Proper, dedicated wired ethernet is the way to go for the OP (and almost everyone else IMHO) with the caveats I brought up about how it gets to the outbuilding. From what I have heard I do not believe the OP's internal network is the source of his issues, though the test I asked for would tell us for sure.

To help the OP I would want to start from the beginning, just a laptop plugged straight into his router.

I think you've misunderstood. I was talking about using powerline adapters compared to a wired Ethernet system which would have been better for the OP in an old house with old wiring.
 

Varsas

Active Member
I think you've misunderstood. I was talking about using powerline adapters compared to a wired Ethernet system which would have been better for the OP in an old house with old wiring.

Ah, I see. Apologies to you both!

Looks like we are all in agreement, anyway!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I live in a rural location in a stone house built in 1813 and know your pain.

Dave - is mental, though not that Mental as he has your £250!

Outhouse - HomePlug is not the solution Dave should have specified. A buried cable (we often use Fibre) is the way to go and a decent Network Switch plus Wired Access Point(s) are required.

As others have said once you have the internal wiring/network sorted you then need to look at the incoming signal.

My Broadband speed is average 2.7Mb (Down) and 0.8 (Upload) - it is 'OK' for day to day business and just about holds it together for iPlayer and the like but 'streaming' in an UHD movie from SKY is a 2-3 day affair.

Options I have here are Community Broadband (delivered using a Wireless Receiver from our local Community Centre) - that delivers up to 18Mb though is more prone to outages than BT or go with a Satellite Broadband service.

The last option is to hold out for Fibre - which is getting close, it will likely never be 'to the house' but 'to the box', which will hopefully be a big improvement as we are currently over 7.5km (of copper) to our exchange whilst our nearest switch is only 0.5 km away.

Joe
 

ben16v

Active Member
just for information about tp link extenders that i use - i get 50mbps down 20 up to my 1880 stone house via fibre to the exchange which is approx 500m away, i use a wifi tp link extender in the summer house which is on 3 extension leads and on a different ring main (garage) to the main router. i get 30mbps via wifi in the summer house on the ps3 and while i appreciate this is not the ideal set up - it does show they can work (for me) on different rings etc
so not too much of a drop via un-ideal set up, although as said it will depend on your incoming speed im afraid
one other thing is that i changed my supplied router (hh5) to a tplink and speed went from 30 to 50mbps
 

dw89

Active Member
To OP,

As others have mentioned; it sounds like you're getting 5Mbit/s. So thatll be good for normal usage and 'normal' streaming (with some buffering depending on time of day etc no doubt) but UHD is definitely out and even full HD may be problematic at times.

As has been said also, powerline networking on old wiring is bad news and, at the end of the day, eats up more sockets. Best advice being to run an underground fibre or cat5e to your other building if you want full speed. Still, if thats too much of an issue, and your ipad/phone/pc/mac/whatever can use 802.11ac then upgrade your router. Obviously this depends on distance between building etc etc but Im 'really' surprised none of this was brought up by 'Dave'! Either way, noob or not, it should be relatively easy to fix. Best thing is to check speeds via a) cat5e plugged into router b) wifi in house c) wifi speed/coverage outside before any upgrades to see what capability you have now. If you can use it there are ways to boost the signal.

Dave:) (no relation!)
 

dawson001

Active Member
My wife's family live on a farm in the middle of nowhere (Devon) and their broadband speed is just 0.09MB....yes 0.09MB!!

I think they would literally kill for 5MB broadband!!
 

billbrooks

Active Member
This probably isn't the right place but I recently complained about my broadband speed and got an immediate boost from 25 to 100 Mb. This was achieved by UNPLUGGING THE ETHERNET. The problem was a slow ethernet card - I got the full speed through wi-fi. This was against everything I was taught!
 

chrisgal

Active Member
I’ve sorted out my terrible BB speed by purchasing a Homefi package from 3. It was 100gb at £28 per month plus router. In addition you get unlimited data for Netflix, TVplayer etc (obviously you need to be subscribed to them).

My old BB from BT downloaded 2-3mbps and uploaded at about 0.65. I can get 50mbps download and 40 upload with this.

Even better I’ll be moving house soon to a more rural location so can just take this with me and plug straight in, so way less hassle [emoji106]

Only caveat is that you’ll need to be in an area covered by the networks 4g to get the higher speed.
 

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