Friday, 15 November 2013

Where's my cabinet?

In the last post we looked at what fibre to the cabinet means. The question then arises: what cabinet am I connected to and what speeds might I get when superfast broadband comes?

We saw previously that the maximum speeds we are likely to get is somewhere in the region of 25-30 Mbps compared to the 1-8 Mbps we get at the moment and that this is dependent on how long the wire is that connects your house to the cabinet.

Recently I was asked if I could help a resident who lives in one of the smaller settlements around Stocksfield identify where their cabinet was as their broadband speed seemed to be very low. Unfortunately, BT do not publish maps of where their cabinets are but with some helpful web sites we can, at least, find out what cabinet we are connected to and what broadband speed we should currently be getting. If you follow this up with a walk (or drive) around the area you might be able to physically locate the cabinet and thus determine how far you are from it.

Identifying your cabinet

To find out what cabinet your phone is served by, type in  your phone number to the box on this web page http://www.dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/adslchecker.welcome and hit the 'submit' button. (If the web page doesn't recognise your phone number there is a link on that page that takes you to a version that works with post codes.)

 This is what came back when I put in my own telephone number:

Telephone Number 01661XXXXXX on Exchange STOCKSFIELD is served by Cabinet 5
Available ProductsDownstream Line Rate(Mbps)Upstream Line Rate(Mbps)Downstream Range(Mbps)Availability Date
Featured Products
ADSL MaxUp to 8--7 to 8Available
Fixed Rate2----Available

According to that I am connected to Cabinet 5 and I should be getting a current broadband speed of 7-8 Mbps. I then put in the details for a premises in one of the local settlements outside of the main Stocksfield area and got this:

Telephone Number 01661XXXXXX on Exchange STOCKSFIELD is served by Cabinet 2
Available ProductsDownstream Line Rate(Mbps)Upstream Line Rate(Mbps)Downstream Range(Mbps)Availability Date
Featured Products
ADSL MaxUp to 0.75--0.75 to 2.5Available
Fixed Rate1----Available

Clearly, this house is a lot farther from its cabinet than I am from mine. This person reported they were getting very slow broadband and the results above confirm that this is to be expected.

While this will not tell you how fast your 'superfast' connection is going to be, it might give you an indication that if your're currently getting a speed towards the top end of the range then you will probably get a correspondingly high speed next year. Conversely, if your current speed is at the lower end (say 1 Mbps) then you will probably not be getting a 25 Mbps connection next year but it should be faster than you're getting now.

Of course, as soon as I find out any further information I will post it on this site.


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