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Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Sheffield BT Infinity Broadband Speed Review - What to Know Before Signing Up!

ConsumerWatch / Sheffield Jan 02, 2015 - 05:00 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat


BT still retains a telecoms monopoly across most of Britain's major cities with competitors such as Virgin Media having only made marginal headway into competing for fibre optic broadband services. This article illustrates what people in cities such as Sheffield can typically expect after signing up to BT Infinity in terms of quality of service and broadband speeds.

Signing Up to BT Infinity 38mb/s Service

On signing up to BT Infinity 38 mb/s broadband service with a BT suggested line speed rating of 28 mb/s, customers need to request the MAC code from their existing broadband supplier (SKY) which should not take more than 5 days, on receipt of which needs to be supplied to BT via their online portal. Following this an installation appointment can be booked typically for within 2 weeks of supplying the MAC code. In the meantime BT will send out their HUB router hardware that customers must have received before the BT installer calls.

Installation Day

BT typically gives a 5 hour window for the installer to turn up i.e. 1pm to 6pm.

The first sign that an installer should soon be due is when your existing broadband service stops working. On this occasion this happened at 4pm, connecting up the HUB via the ethernet cable soon established an internet connection albeit at a slow connection speed of just 10.5 mb/s.

Eventually the BT engineer arrived at 5.15pm, though was soon gone within 30 minutes.

What the BT Engineer Does

  • Changes the existing phone socket to Open Reach.
  • Ensures that the broadband service is active.

What the BT Engineer Does Not Do

  • Not interested in the fact that the 10.5 mb/s connection is near 1/4 the rate expected, only that there is a connection.

BT Infinity's Fatal Flaw

Overall the impression where BT installers are concerned is that it's a case of quantity over quality as the installer understands that for most customers BT Infinity is all hype due to the fatal flaw in that 2010's fibre optic cables connect to 1970's copper cables which means that unless you have a BT cabinet right outside your home then the connection speeds are going to drop substantially every few 10's of metres.

Dealing with BT Customer Support

Being in receipt of 10.5 mb/s whilst being billed for 38/mb's is going to prompt many customers to contact BT Support. What customers need to understand is that BT deploys a huge array of delaying tactics so as to avoid doing anything for weeks and even months, hoping that the customer just gives up. One such tactic is the 10 day BT Retail Servers test, basically BT to all intents and purposes does nothing for 10 days whilst giving the impression to customers that a test is being performed by the retail servers

What tends to happen after the 10days is the support ticket is automatically closed without fixing anything in respect of connection speed, which leaves the customer having to again attempt to get BT to do something, which depending on the lottery at BT support usually results in a another 10 day BT Retail Servers test.

BT Infinity Compared to Sky Broadband

Sky BT
Connection Reliability 9.5 5.5
Advertised Speed 17 38
Suggested 12 28
Actual 7.5 10.5
Cost / Mth £5 £23
Cost / Mb's £0.67 £2.19
Cust Support 8 3
Overall Rating 8 3


Unfortunately many customers are likely to often experience the following page whilst browsing as BT Infinity is proving far LESS reliable than traditional older broadband services.

Overall Conclusion

BT Infinity for most potential users in cities such as Sheffield amounts to costly hype over substance and as more customers signup the situation can only get worse due to limited bandwidth being shared amongst increasing number of copper cable customers to each BT cabinet.

Therefore broadband users are far better off signing up to true fibre optic network services that are cabled right into their homes rather than BT's fibre / copper mish mash that for most just does not work i.e. such as that offered by Virgin Media in approx 15% of locations.

By Nadeem Walayat

Copyright © 2005-2014 (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 25 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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