Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Current, Sad, Situation

The very slow Internet access that we currently have available in Temple is called ADSL.  This stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line which is a long way of saying that we get our Internet connection through our phone line courtesy of BT, Virgin, Talk-Talk or a number of other providers.   There are some alternatives to using a phone lines (discussed in another article) but none are as easy, fast, or cheap as ADSL.

The telephone line that comes into our homes originates at an exchange.   The exchange is connected to a number of cabinets each of which serves a group of homes and businesses.  We are on the Littlewick Green exchange which is about four miles away from us over on the A4.  Interestingly the closest exchange to us is in Marlow and is only two miles away.  Bisham is served by the Marlow exchange.  More about this in the next article.

The cabinet that we are connected to is #9 from the Littlewick Green exchange.   This cabinet is located at the Henley Roundabout and is a couple miles away from us.

The distances that I mention above are very important when it comes to the speed of our ADSL connection.   The further a signal has to travel from the exchange the more it becomes attenuated, or degraded.   We are about three miles from the Littlewick Green exchange but by the time the phone line leaves the exchange, travels to the cabinet, and finally reaches us it has actually traveled somewhere between four and five miles (based on the speed we are seeing).   Five miles is the edge of what is even possible.   In other words, we are at the end of the line, and this is why our Internet connection speed is so very, very bad with a speed that ranges from 1Mbps to 3Mbps (on the very best of days).

By contrast, if we lived in Bisham, our speed would range from 8.5 to 12Mbps indicating a wire traveled distance from the Marlow exchange of between 2.5 and three miles.  We could also choose a Fibre connection and be getting 18 to 25Mbps!  See this page for more on speeds around us.

Next Article:  The Unfulfilled Promise of Fibre

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