can’t pull the wool over my eyes…

wool over eyes

For the past few weeks, my home broadband has been poor. Very poor. When it was connected, it was about 0.5mb. But it was disconnecting randomly and it got to the stage where i just used my o2 mobile broadband exclusively at home…


Our home broadband is with vodafone, formerly BT. Under BT, zero problems. In fact i don’t even remember having to contact them about anything. With vodafone, things haven’t been so smooth.

Back in April, i contacted them about poor speeds;

However 0.04mb surely can’t be put down to contention? That’s what i was dealing with for several hours a couple of nights ago…
Even now, ping times are in the hundreds

Their response;

There’s definitely an issue with the line profile.
We had you on 7mb, but the line can’t take it.

So the line profile was dropped to 6mb, then 5mb, then 4mb where it remained up until yesterday. You’d think i’d be very passionate about this sort of stuff but i’m not really. I like speed and the more the merrier but i don’t need 7mb broadband. A rock solid 2mb or 3mb connection is fine with me provided i can rely on it. From then up until the last few weeks it had been ok. I wouldn’t call it super consistent, but it was decent.

The Problem

Last week i decided to get on to them again;

Slow, timing out, completely unpredictable… i’ve done all the usual stuff like eliminating potential interference from other devices, plugging modem directly in to main socket etc…

We have an old 2005 BT router (P660RU-T1), could this be a problem? I assume it’s not because vodafone never mentioned it during the switchover…

Their response;

I reckon it might be time to get a new router out to you, 2005 seems quite old, so if you’d like, I can ask the guys to order for you.
The only snag is that it’s either an 80 euro charge, or a 12 month contract extension to get.

I was disappointed with that response, it suggested that they *suspected* the old modem was at the route of the problem but they weren’t prepared to help a customer get a better service for free. Obviously i didn’t want another 12 month extension, why would i when i was complaining about the quality of their service?! I knew €80 was pretty steep for something that wasn’t guaranteed to work so i didn’t want to pay that, get the router and find out it had no impact whatsoever.

So i had a look at the router they send out to new customers and tried to get it online. I eventually came across someone from cork selling their vodafone branded one. It was just what i wanted. €32 including delivery but it was cheaper than the €80 vodafone would have charged for the same thing. It always pays to shop around…

Vodafone router

So i got that on Tuesday, installed it and made sure the configuration was perfect. I tested it and then sent this to vodafone;

Just got a new vodafone router today (HG556a), set it up, updated to latest firmware, replaced all filters in the house etc…
Doesn’t like it has done any good but hopefully now you’ll be able to access it and see if there’s any problems.
Speed is still very low. Consistently less than 1mb.

Yesterday, they got back to me;

I’ve upped your speed profile from here, could you keep an eye on it and let me know if anything changes?

Problem Solved

And now, here’s the kind of speed i’m getting… what i should have been getting all along…

vodafone speed

So it all makes no sense whatsoever, the new router initially appeared to have zero effect on the connection speed and stability but once they upped the speed profile from their end (which remember, they throttled back in April), things magically seemed to get better.

Deeper Investigation

I wasn’t happy with that… that’s not the way it was supposed to have gone… i had anticipated that the new router would have little or no effect on speed whatsoever. Being ‘old’ isn’t a legitimate reason on it’s own to replace things but that’s the exact reason why vodafone told me to get a new router.

So determined not to just leave it at that and accept that everything was now rosey and i was the stupid customer with the dinosaur set up, i decided to disconnect the new router and put all the old equipment back in place, exactly as i had it before. The same set up which just a few days ago was giving me a speed of 0.04mb and ping times in the 4 digit range. And guess what….

old router

Pretty much the exact same speed. So take from that what you will… this whole situation, although it appears to have been resolved, has left me with a lot more questions than answers;

  • why did vodafone initially lower my line profile back in April to 4mb from 7mb?
  • what happened over the last few weeks that crippled my broadband speed?
  • why did vodafone ask me to get a new router when presumably there was no evidence to suggest i needed one?
  • how come things magically went back to normal overnight after they re-raised my line profile to 7mb?
  • how many others have the same problems as i did only don’t have the technical knowledge to understand, communicate & help fix things?

1 thought on “can’t pull the wool over my eyes…”

  1. this may be a super bump, but i feel like I should tell you… Vodafone are unreliable as all hell… they will lower your speed, when your using all of it, and raise it again when your using none of it… that is just ONE of the crappy things they do… I strongly advise you to get a different internet provider
    if you havn’t already!

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