back to article Vodafone exceeds own upper broadband speed limit to hit 80Mbps

El Reg reader Jerry Vernon has been in touch to express his amazement that Vodafone can supply broadband to his Birmingham address at a 80Mbps, noticeably faster even than its 76Mbps Ultrafast Fibre package. That's according to the telco's broadband speed checker (see here), which does indeed indicate breathtaking velocity: …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    Voda wants to 'Embiggen' the figures to gain more biz?

    Shirley not....????

    1. JetSetJim

      Re: Perhaps

      Meh - Voda says "Broadband not available at your postcode", BT says "Superfast embiggened broadband available", but I wouldn't trust either of them to organise a beverage-enjoying session at St James's Gate, Dublin. Thankfully someone else came along offering FTTP, which is even more embiggened than anything BT can offer me for the next 50 years or so, even if they update their infrastructure.

      Icon - what should happen to all BT call centres

  2. future research

    Not surprising.

    When FTTC was first being used it was advertised as up to 40Mb or 80Mb, but it was rare to get that actual speed, so I believe ofcom forced ISP to advertise it lower to increase the number of people getting the top speed. the tech never changed so if you are right on top of the cabinet and have a good new copper phone line, then real limit can still be 80Mb.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Not surprising.

      "if you are right on top of the cabinet and have a good new copper phone line, then real limit can still be 80Mb."

      The real limit is much higher than that. At my old house I routinely got over 110Mbps actual download speed, and at my current house I still manage over 80Mbps on a good day. 80 might be the highest they're happy to advertise if they can't guarantee better than that, but it's not a fundamental limit on what the kit can actually support.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly broken.

    Says broadband is not available where I am despite having 2 Demon (Vodafone) broadband connections.....

    Epic Fail...

  4. Commswonk

    Ah but wait a moment...

    VW cars detect that an emissions test is being conducted; perhaps Service Providers detect that someone is conducting a speed test and "make adjustments accordingly".

    Oh those few, heady, exhilarating seconds of joy... followed by dull normality.

    You heard it here first.

    1. Tristan

      Re: Ah but wait a moment...

      Yes, virgin are well known for prioritising traffic to tests. That traffic is also exempt throttling which is applied to any other traffic one you've transferred over the allowance in the time period. Which last time I checked was an average of 4mbit upload, or 3gb in 2 hours.... Far short of the 5mbit or 12.5mbit uplink sold.

      Virgin are not good at cloudy bavkups.!

      1. Spacedinvader

        Re: Ah but wait a moment...

        43GB in ~2 hours says different. I regularly hit 19+MB/s in Steam while streaming a 1080p ya tube video (gotta do something while the game d/ls). Can hit same with torrents if there are enough seeders or it's a *nix distro. Oh, and they're upgrading me to 200mb/s next month :D

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah but wait a moment...

          That is because Steam download speed is not network throughput but the size of uncompressed data divided by time.

          Steam obviously send your download compressed hence larger size than maximum bandwidth more than possible

          Try comparing steam value with the one in taskmanager for example, you will see they are different

          1. Christopher W

            Re: Ah but wait a moment...

            Not my Steam downloads :-). If I download at 70 megabits per second, Steam seems to reflect, pretty much, 70 megabits per second in its own speed indication. It's very slightly lower but I'm putting that down to protocol overhead.

            Steam also essentially tallies with independent OS speed meter apps (hooking into NDIS) and a bandwidth meter running on my router's interface, rendered in real time through its web interface.

            AIUI, to be able to accurately indicate an effective uncompressed download speed for compressed files... which I think would be useless... Steam would have to either 1) know the exact compression ratio or 2) know how far through it was in the compressed files it's receiving with some kind of index or lookup table, which would be impossible or extremely technically difficult (i.e., not worth bothering with) to accomplish.

      2. Oneman2Many

        Re: Ah but wait a moment...

        AFAIK the only throttling is to usenet and P2P traffic ?

    2. sjaddy

      Re: Ah but wait a moment...

      from 2002! sorry old news that ISP's cheat! ;)

      1. Commswonk

        Re: Ah but wait a moment...

        Any chance that OFCOM will follow this up?

        Silly question of the day decade, I suppose...

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          Re: Ah but wait a moment...

          Any chance that OFCOM will follow this up?

          I don't think it's up to Ofcom. It was the ASA that mandated the 76Mb/s figure (something like you can't quote a figure if less than 10% of users achieve it).

  5. Brian Miller 1
    Thumb Up

    I believe it

    My house is less than 20ft from the Fibre cabinet. I have seen peak speeds of 11MB/s or 88mbps on my supposedly 76mbps line.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: I believe it

      I have seen peak speeds of 11MB/s or 88mbps on my supposedly 76mbps line.

      That will be an artefact of the tester or software. BT's implementation of FTTC is hard limited to a sync of 79999 kbps. It doesn't matter how good your line is the cabinet DSLAM simply will not sync any higher. When I first got FTTC my line was syncing at 79999 (80Mb/s) with an attainable of 92Mb/s. Sadly over the next six months crosstalk began to kick in. It seems to have stabilised now though and it's been at 68Mb/s for nearly two years.

  6. AndrueC Silver badge

    Meh. This '76Mb/s' malarky never was a sensible idea to my mind. At least 'up to 80Mb/s' is an accurate, factual statement. The service that openreach provide on their cabinets supports sync speeds up to 80Mb/s.

    All people ever needed to understand was that the actual connection speed that they as individuals would see depended on their particular telephone line. But as I mention below that's only part of the story and maybe not a very useful part either, at least as far as advertising and comparing ISPs is concerned.

    The '10% must have achieved..' is pointless. So what if 10% of UK FTTC enabled telephone lines achieve 76Mb/s. It means nothing to an individual customer. Maybe they are in the 10%, maybe they are outside it. Just because someone in Chipping Sodbury gets a fast connection says nothing about the hopes and aspirations of someone in Leamington Spa.

    The worst of it is that no ISP other than VM can do anything about that figure anyway. The laws of physics and physical infrastructure mean that your line gets what it gets and it'll be the same for all ISPs (excluding VM as noted above). Ironically the one throughput figure an ISP can affect (peak time throughput) is something that no-one quotes and Ofcom never bothers about. Your 'up to 76Mb/s' line may only be running at 80% of capacity at 8pm because your ISP can't get the data to you any faster but there's little to no official support for complaining about that. Likewise if their interlinks are poor there's no help with that.

    1. Victor Ludorum

      As someone in Leamington Spa...

      Just because someone in Chipping Sodbury gets a fast connection says nothing about the hopes and aspirations of someone in Leamington Spa.

      My office is on the same street as Leamington Spa exchange but I can't get fibre (stuck on 24Mb ADSL) because my cabinet doesn't have enough residential connections so Openreach aren't planning on upgrading it...

      At home, my 152Mb VM connection is to get bumped up to 200Mb 'from next month'. I'm not holding my breath, 152 is fast enough really.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And all for rubbish TV programmes...

  8. Roland6 Silver badge

    Used the wrong BT speed checker!

    So what figures do the following return:

    The first is the speed checker many ISPs such as Zen use as the basis for their contractual connection QoS and hence if you don't actually get this speed or better using SpeedTest, they will get OpenReach to take a look at your line.

  9. just another employee


    I would be happy with a 20th of that. !!!

    1.5 miles from a "fast-as-f@!k" cabinet here but BTclosedreach won't connect me so we have to live with maxing out at 1.5MBs ADSL.

    What's that tinkling sound? Oh, it's just BT banking their subsidy to upgrade non-City areas....

    1. Christopher W

      Until very recently, it was the same for me. Stuck on sub-3 meg whilst streets either side were enjoying their upgraded cabinets or Virgin Media superfast (they never cabled our street).

      They FINALLY upgraded my cabinet - over a year and a half after enabling the exchange - and I was on it quicker than the tax man on an incorrect self-assessment.

      Word of caution - check the Openreach Superfast checker frequently. Someone I've spoken to was connected to a cabinet which was upgraded - but closed to new customers the day FTTC was enabled on it as Openreach hadn't provisioned enough capacity. So, for about 6 hours, they could have technically ordered it... But missed the window. They're still stuck on ultraslow broadband.

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