Zach Beauvais

Open Letter to my ISP

Written by Zach Beauvais

Feb 12, 2009

This evening I sent this letter to my ISP in response to their support followup (I’ve removed the company name):

Please, please don’t give me a list of troubleshooting tips again…

The broadband router is attached directly to the test socket, therefore guaranteed by BT.

My microfilter is fine, and I’ve had different units at various times (of different makes and even colours); and, before you ask, I’ve got one on every phone line in the house.

I’ve reset the router in the past (though I’ve been informed that this can actually cause up to 5-days delay, it’s been more than a fortnight since the last reset).

My speeds are the same.

Nothing changes them.

I have nothing else running when I run speedtests, and have used multiple sites.

I’ve double and more checked all settings on the router itself, and have even switched SSID channels just for grins (no change).

I receive the same speedtest results on different more or less identical systems (OS X 10.5.6 each) though not at the same time, and receive the same result.

My iPhone also grows excessively sluggish between 5pm and bedtime.

My last ISP supplied me with a list of 13 troubleshooting tasks, and I completed them duly before each escalation… none of them resulted in any increase in speed whatsoever. The only thing I could think to do further is to construct a DIY parabola booster to increase the signal from the router to my Mac, though, since I write this from less than 3 meters from the router, I doubt that would help much either.

The speeds drop at peak times. That means there’s too much traffic for the infrastructure you supply. I’ve had no problem with (name of ISP) so far, and am fully aware that the West Midlands is low on its priority list (or, at least, BT’s list), and have come to terms with the low bandwidth that entails. However, you advertise speeds in my area (and have said in correspondence that you expect speeds in my area) to be at around 3MB/s. This is not true, daily.

Not only have my speeds routinely dipped below 1.5MB, but have even dipped below 500k on several occasions. I’ve not experienced “broadband” of that quality in years.

I appreciate your prompt replies, and hope you find whatever it is that’s causing this slow-down, though I can save you some trouble. It’s my neighbours, and their neighbours—all using limited bandwidth which you and other ISP’s continue to degrade by accepting more customers than you can supply.


Related Articles


Is everyone a content creator?

A couple weeks back, I spoke at a client conference for Zengenti (where I work). We split the day into two broad streams – one focused on developers and sysadmins, and the other for "content." It's been interesting working for a CMS vendor, and I like the fact that...

read more