Sure have recently announced that they will be upgrading all Sure Broadband customers to a universal 8 Mbit service, and broadband pro users to a 20 Mbit service.
Finally users in Guernsey are getting faster access, with these planned speeds better aligned to UK speeds, which will be welcomed by many. Another important thing is the upgrade to ADSL2+. For Internet speeds faster than 12 Mbits, the line has to be ADSL2+, and so this must surely be used for Broadband pro users. There are no specific details on any new pricing nor on any of the details about the all important upload speeds.
[UPDATE: See my newer post, the upgrade is now live]
Cable & Wireless have recently increased the upload speed for Sure Broadband users to 384 kbps. This is an increase of 128 kbps from the previous speed.
Although it appears only a small increase, it will be welcomed by many, especially users running devices such as Slingboxes, which rely on fast upload speeds to serve video content. Also people with Home Servers or uploading videos may see an increase in speed.
However, all of this upgrading appears to be having an effect on the C&W network: Download speeds are now frequently in the 3.5 Mbps range, and actual upload speeds appear to be no quicker than around 330 kbps.
It seems odd that although internet speeds are still very slow compared to UK standards (in their ‘up to’ speeds, at least), the network is already starting to show its toll in terms of contention and available bandwidth to end users. I hate to think what might happen if Sure switch to a universal 8 Mbps service. This could see actual internet speeds running a lot slower than advertised.
I just checked on Speedtest.net, and my connection is now 4 Mbps! The upgrade wasn’t meant to happen until 1st May, so either it’s early, or Sure are just testing the network. Lets hope it’s the first one.
Update @ 7pm: I have run a few more Speedtests, and have discovered that speeds have dropped to about 3.2 Mbps. It appears that although the speeds have been bumped up, the 40:1 contention ratio is causing slowdowns during those peak evening periods. As speeds get higher, users will probably notice larger variations in Internet speed at different times of day, dependent on network load.
Leave comments if you are experiencing the same in your area of Guernsey
With less than a month to go until the 4 Mbps upgrade for Guernsey broadband customers, Sure has posted new pricing plans on their website.
The current Anytime plan stays at £24.99 pm and has been rebranded “Sure Broadband”, with the speed being bumped up to 4 Mbps. However, to my disappointment, the upload speed remains fixed at 256 kbps. I was hoping for a bump to at least 512 kbps so that my home Slingbox will work better abroad.
Sure have scrapped the two tier Pro Broadband plans in favour of one plan, now called “Broadband Pro”. It offers the same 8 Mbps download and 768 kbps upload, but with a price of £49.99. This, in my opinion, is still massively overpriced, but it is a reduction nonetheless.
So, overall, slightly disappointing. I was rather hoping that the Pro broadband would be set at or under a £40 price point, but it is still too pricey for home users having to pay out nearly £600 a year for what many in the UK would consider expensive for the speed you are getting.
I hope the pricing gets cheaper if/when sure introduce ADSL2+ services.
Line attenuation is simply the measure of how much signal is lost on your ADSL line from when it leaves the telephone exchange. The more attenuation, the lower the signal ‘strength’, and so eventually the slower your internet connection.
This is one of the main reasons that many people don’t get the advertised ‘up to’ speeds that they expect. If you live a long way away from an exchange, then it is likely that your line attenuation is very high.
There’s a really great website that allows you to input your line attenuation, and it tells you approximately how long your telephone line is. Butit also tells you the maximum speed that your line can connect at. This is a good way to see if your line could support higher speeds, if you were planning to upgrade to a higher speed service, for example.
Here are my results for a Guernsey ADSL connection. What makes it so painful, is that the line could support full ADSL2+ speeds, but it isn’t yet available on the island.
Here’s the website: http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/max_speed_calc.php
It may be long overdue, but finally Cable & Wireless (I mean, Sure) have decided to upgrade all standard users on the 2Mbit connection to 4 Mbits this May. Although many in the UK have access to 50Mbit cable, in Guernsey, we are stuck in a time warp in terms of internet.
Yes, many people say it is more expensive on an island, etc etc, but Jersey has much faster speeds compared to Guernsey, so I still don’t see why it has taken so long. But at least it’s now on its way…
Another exciting prospect is that of ADSL2+. While it is unlikely that C&W will launch a service offering 24 Mbits like Sky broadband in the UK, it opens up the door for faster services in the future (the current ADSL only supports a theoretical maximum of 8 Mbits)
Of course, we will have to wait until C&W announce new pricing (if any) until anyone can draw firm conclusions.