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    Ofcom Voluntary Speed Code of Practice

    Find out about what the Ofcom Speed Code of Practice means for you.

    Plusnet is a signatory to Ofcom's Voluntary Speed Code of Practice.

    Voluntary Speed FAQs

    The Code lays out the information we need to provide regarding the estimated broadband speed you're likely to achieve when taking a broadband service with us.

    When you choose your broadband service with us we provide you with a speed estimate in the form of a range, in Megabits per second (Mbps). Under normal circumstances the speed you get should fall within this range.

    We also provide you with a Minimum Guaranteed Speed. If the speed you receive consistently falls below this value you should contact us. We'll try to fix the issue and aim to get your speed above the minimum we gave you, and if possible, within your original speed estimate range.

    If we can't get this resolved within a minimum period of 30 days you can discuss the issue with us. You'll be given the opportunity to leave your contract without an early termination charge.

    Please contact us to let us know. We may ask you to make some checks within your home, just to make sure everything's set up correctly. We might also arrange for an engineer to visit you.

    You can use a speed tester, such as the one at speedtest.btwholesale.com to check what speed you are getting. Several things can affect the speed you get, such as the time of day (it's busier on the network between 8pm - 10pm), the product speed you ordered, how many and what sort of devices are connected, intermittent faults and even bad weather.

    Wi-Fi in particular can really affect the speeds you get. Try putting your Hub or router in a central location in your home and make sure you're using the fastest Wi-Fi capability of your devices. Household appliances such as baby monitors and microwave ovens can often cause interference and slow your speed down.

    This is why we recommend using a laptop or PC with an Ethernet connection to your Hub or router before carrying out speed tests.

    For more information on what factors can affect your broadband speeds see About broadband speed.

    If you've been given a Minimum Guaranteed Speed when you signed up to us, changed your package or moved home you can check what this is by referring to the Welcome email we sent you.

    If you signed up before 31st May 2017 and haven't changed your product or moved house since then you may not have been given a Minimum Guaranteed Speed, however we'll always do our best to make sure your broadband speed falls within the estimated speed range for your line.

    When you check availability using our website we’ll provide an estimate of the broadband speeds your telephone line will support and give you a Minimum Guaranteed Speed.

    If a customer has an existing Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service and uses their telephone number to check broadband availability, their actual (observed) speed will be used.

    We apply a series of calculations to account for peak-time conditions and throughput overhead. Under normal circumstances the broadband speed you get should fall within the speed range we give you.

    For customers with standard broadband, if you use a postcode to check broadband speed, or who are currently without a broadband service, we will continue to use estimates from Openreach. These estimates are based on the performance of similar broadband connections across the country. 

    More information is available from Ofcom's website.

    How we calculate throughput overheads

    The speed estimates provided by Openreach are known as sync speeds.  To more accurately represent what you would see by running a speed test on your line, we apply an overhead value to the sync speed estimate. To calculate this value we use the high level testing principles set out in Annex 5 of the Voluntary Code of Practice.

    • We use data from 35 thousand lines on the BT network each month to calculate by how much speed is affected by peak-time and IP overheads
    • We partner with SamKnows to provide the speed tests we carry out
    • Our test panel covers all our main products including standard broadband (ADSL2+) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). This represents our product base across a range of exchanges, network status and line speeds
    • Test results are updated quarterly
    • We run tests throughout the day. Peak time is 8pm to 10pm
    • If we detect more than 160Kbps of traffic on the line, we won't run the test. This reduces the impact on our customers and avoids negatively impacting the results
    • The speed test runs a 3-thread TCP test to determine the speed of the broadband connection
    • We compare the throughput result to the sync speed at the time of the test. This helps us work out the normally available and maximum overheads for our products. We then remove these peak-time overhead amounts from the relevant sync speed provided by Openreach to provide the estimates we show you
    • Speed tests are measured to test servers located off of the BT network, with no favourable traffic routing applied

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