Frequently Asked Questions
Communications Provider 2012
Q. Can you explain why I’m experiencing poor internet speeds?
The 2 main reasons for poor broadband are:
1. The length of copper carrying the broadband from the exchange building to your home. Sometimes it could be the quality of the copper but usually it’s just the length of line.
2. The Exchange has not been upgraded to ADSL 2+ (and/or cabinets have not been upgraded to VDSL).
It’s a frustrating truth that broadband speeds may still vary from property to property – and that it’s hard to predict. At Spectrum Internet, we do everything we can to give you the best estimation of speed possible, prior to sign up. If, once your connection is installed, you feel you’re still getting way below your expected speeds, give us a call. Our technical teams will help you troubleshoot any other potential problems to get to the bottom of the issue.
Q. How can I improve my speed?
1. First, make sure that your phone line is in good condition. If the telephone wiring within your home is old or deteriorating, you might be picking up stray signals or cross talk from other phone lines. BT Openreach have a duty to provide you with a good working line. It can sometimes be a bit of a battle to prove your point but keep with it! We’ve seen the success!
Internal wiring can often be the cause of broadband speeds being lower than predicted. Check your telephone wires and line extensions to be sure they are not damaged, frayed, or twisted around power or other telephone cables. If you notice crackling in your phones, you might want to contact your phone provider to have them check the lines inside and outside your home to make sure they are in good condition.
2. It is also important to ensure your broadband filter is connected to the master socket in the house. This is the point that any engineer will test the service. Make sure you have broadband filters in ALL telephone sockets in your house and that any other filters (even fitted by BT!) are removed.
3. Check with your provider what speed they think you should be getting. They may be able to help diagnose if there is a quality issue.
Sometimes, it may not be possible to upgrade. However you can check on www.samknows.com for a guide or call us to find out what services should be available in your area.
Q. Are there any useful resources you can point me towards in order to explore my internet speeds?
1. http://www.samknows.com/broadband/ Although not 100% accurate it usually tells you what speed you are likely to get by just inputting your telephone number or postcode
2. http://www.speedtest.net/ From your computer, you can go to this website and conduct a speed test. This is very useful when talking to your ISP about what speed you are receiving. Try doing it a few times and at different times of the day. Some ISP’s networks may become congested at peak times.
Q. In a nutshell what are the benefits of coming with you as an ISP over say BT/Sky?
- Spectrum Internet are based in Cardiff and Chepstow so we are local and provide great customer service with knowledge of the area
- We feel our packages offer good value for money for a reliable service. We have compared the market and will continue to regularly review it.
- We will always tell you about all the services that are available to you and explain what the differences are
- If you move from another ISP, we’ll help you do it!
Q. Do you offer a service all over the UK?
We offer businesses services across the UK but Spectrum Internet Home Broadband is currently only available in areas where we have our own network in south Wales. We can check if you can be provided with a service. Just call or email us.
Q. Can I keep my email address that was given to me by my old ISP?
The short answer is - it depends on the ISP. However, if you have an account with Yahoo, Tiscali, Googlemail (Gmail), Hotmail or MSN these will continue to work without any problems. You can still have these email addresses forwarding to Outlook and mobile phones.
Q. What do I get with a Spectrum Internet service?
All monthly subscription packages include:
- A wireless router, cable and 2 x filters. Therefore you should be able to connect up and use your broadband from your ‘Go Live’ date.
There are a number of things we offer all our customers too:
- A great technical customer service team based in Cardiff – no automated system
- A local number for you to call to reach them by telephone
- Email/electronic support that provide automated confirmation support ticket and is logged in queue
- Remote support checks to your equipment for fast fault-finding
- On line ‘how to’ guides for many of the frequently asked questions
- Backhaul, exchange and cabinet equipment monitored 24/7 with back-up power
- Fibre optic line failure with 4 hour response
- South Wales based engineers who can access exchange and cabinets as part of diagnosis or repair as necessary
- Local knowledge of any problems/issues
- Free access to other Spectrum Internet ‘hot spots’
Q. What happens if we go over the download limit one month?
We will monitor everyone's usage but we know that sometimes you may go over the limit. Our system will let you know when you use 80% of your usage limit, and then again at 100%. We won't penalise you or charge you extra on the first occasion but if you continue to exceed it, we will notify you and suggest that you upgrade to the next package up or we will need to charge an administration fee of £12 per month.
If you upgrade, we’ll waive that month’s admin charge.
Q. Can I keep using my telephone line from BT but use Spectrum Internet broadband?
Yes! You can continue to use your existing telephone line – or you can bring that to us too!
Q. How will I pay for the service?
We are currently setting up a direct debit system with the bank and we will send you a form to complete with your bank details. At present we accept cheques or bank transfers.
Q. Can I get static IP addresses?
Yes, we charge £5+vat per month for a static IP address. Business lines already include 1 static IP.
Q. What upload will I get with my broadband?
This will depend on the service (and technology) you have chosen. Unfortunately it is also partly distance related. The Standard services use ADSL2+. This technology can give an upload upto 1.1Mbps but you are likely to see 800Kbps.
On our Premium service (VDSL2) we offer a 2Mb upload service on the Family package and 10Mb on the Family Plus and Business Premium packages.
Q. What are your contention ratios and how much to do ‘traffic manage/shape’?
We have a low contention ratio of about 25:1 however we have yet to see that at full capacity on the community connections to date! We have no policy in place to traffic shape. If this did need to be implemented we would provide full details in our terms and conditions.
Business customers can speak to us if they require prioritised traffic and we can provide details and costs based on requirements.
Q. Can I use my own router?
No, we provide a good quality wireless router that our engineers know well. This reduces frustrations for you, the customer if there are any issues with service. It also means that, if we think your router could be causing the problem we’ll swap it for you.
Q. What happens if I have a problem?
If the service is not working correctly, please call or email our support team. They will diagnose the issue with you. However, please note that we do not provide general IT support for PCs, printers, etc, but we will have a list of local PC repairers and IT support people that you might like to try.
Q. How do I move to you from my existing ISP?
Your existing ISP should provide you with fair and simple processes to follow for you to move away from them if you wish to. This will involve you requesting a MAC (Migration Authorisation Code). You will need to give us this code when you want to move over (within 30 days). We handle the swap from there.
If you are getting ready, as part of a community, it is worth checking your current contract.