A summary of experiences to date.
Let us know yours....!

With the introduction of high speed broadband into the village in the last week or so, it might be useful to review the situation as it is being reported by people with different experiences. This hopefully may give an overview which could be useful in understanding difficulties that might be experienced. The following is a distillation of information I have received from various people. It cannot be claimed to be expertly informed, so if the following encourages to take a course of action, check it out first with your service providers!

Friday,17th March

Today, being St Patrick's Day, set me to wondering who the patron saint of the Internet is, on account of my  needing some urgent divine help to improve my Internet service. It is becoming very clear that OpenReach is not going to be much help! Apparently it is St. Isidore of Seville, who died in 636. He was canonised in1598. He was named as Patron Saint of the Internet by Pope John Paul II in 1992, some ten years before broadband.
Apparently he wrote twenty books in which he tried to record everything that was known. I wonder if it has occurred to Pope Francis that St. Isidore should also be named the Patron Saint of Wikipedia. Should his responsibilities also be extended  to Wikileaks! Or is that an area for another department in the supernatural order of things?

You will have gathered from the above that I am not making much progress in my attempt to reach the Holy Grail of Winsham Broadband speeds-52Mb/s download. However hope remains eternal, especially after John Chance, a fairly close neighbour is reporting that he achieved speeds near the 50Mb/s mark after tampering with his router, following a chat with BT. Unfortunately, I do not have this option  as my PC refuses to talk to my router. Probably an independence issue. Perhaps it was made in Scotland! Best bet is to switch the router off for a couple of minutes, and hope (and pray) for the best-this is what the sainted Gerard of Chard has suggested as a useful interim step. Furthermore , you can try a useful link, by clicking HERE

I will also let you know if St. Isidore has been of any help.

Friday,24th February

I did get some response from my appeal last week for information on Broadband speed, but the effect was a bit underwhelming! I continue to get download speeds around 32Mb/s, and upload speeds of between 5-10Mb/s. Belinda & Wayne Harris hit the jackpot with download speeds of 47/51 Mb/s. They live very close to the exchange. I expect it is the quarter of a mile of old copper wire that is causing me grief!

Saturday, 11th February

I am not a happy bunny this morning. Since about 7.00am my Broadband service has failed three or four times-albeit only for a minute or two each time, as I studied the daily papers. Furthermore at 9.15 am, my download speeds were down to 31Mb/s and upload was11Mb/s. I thought that the service was to improve in the week or so that followed installation, not get worse! And last evening, watching a Netflix film, the buffering was worse than pre-high speed broadband. What is going on. I spotted a couple of Outreach vans at Whatley Cross yesterday, but what they were up to, I do not know.

Saturday 4th February

Reports back from new users of the high speed service have been generally favourable, although personally, I have not experienced the increase in speed that was indicated we might, in last weeks edition. My speed remains at about 35Mb/s download and about 7.3Mb/s upload.With my type of use, this is not a problem, although the BT guy did say that we would get 55Mb/s when I agreed the contract. I must check out the Jubilee Hall speeds-these may be significant for anyone who wants to organise a public showing of a programme (after checking out with Sandy about the licensing situation which has recently changed.

The chaos I referred to last week has been sorted, with BT admitting the fault. The last I heard is that they promised to fix it within 72 hours.

I also heard that someone did connected after presumably being refused (as I understand it). If you are still having problems, maybe it might be asking other service providers. Maybe they have lines from the broadband cabinet allocated to them that they have not used yet.

Still interested in getting your feedback. It is helpful to know what is going on in the parish.

Saturday28th January

  It is probably true to say that for most the experience of transferring from the copper wire system to fibre optic has been fairly satisfactory. The average speed to Winsham users with the old system was about 6-7Mb/s download, and upload speeds of about 10% of this figure, if one was lucky. The fibre optic service now seems to be operating at about 35-40Mb/s  with about a 10Mb.s upload, which is a great improvement-but more about that later.


Some, sadly, cannot receive a fibre optic service at all (and of course all the high speed broadband services to Winsham are fibre optic only to the cabinet, not to your home). Super high speed connections are only available where the fibre optic cables goes straight to your home, and there is no prospect of that for Winsham in the foreseeable future. You can, I understand have your own Fibre Optic cable to your own home, direct from Chard, but this will cost you 6k for installation, so is unlikely to be of interest to anyone, other than a heavy usage business.


The problem is that these cabinets are very expensive to provide and install, and we ones we have do not have sufficient connections to provide a service to everyone. Eventually the full exchange will be wired up for fibre optic, but this part off the programme will not start until 2021. However , as quite a number of people in Winsham who are covered by a cabinet will use the high speed option this should mean a reduced load on the existing copper speed, with an hoped for increase in speeds up to about 10-11Mb/s. Some consolation for the rejected!


We now move on to experiences of people that do have the new service. By and large people have been able to change the new router passwords that are necessary to get the new routers to talk to PCs, Apple Macs, i-Pads, Smart phones, tablets and laptops. But not everyone. Whether this is because of problems with home networks or elderly equipment, or some other reason, is not yet known. As more information emerges I will add it to this web page. . Let me know your experiences, by clicking Your High Speed Broad Band Experiences

With regard to broadband speeds Jason Stevens sent me an interesting e-mail this morning which I reproduce below:


I read with interest your dialogue on internet speeds. We're with Plus Net and these are our scores on the doors as of 10 minutes ago:

Now that's roughly 31mbps better than it was a week ago, BUT it's not what we're paying for - which was promised to be around the 68Mb mark (with the proviso it may vary between 53.3Mb and 68.7Mb).


Cutting a long story short - they also say something else about these lower speeds at the start, which may be of interest for the next e-letter.  And I quote:

"When we first set up your broadband, we won't know exactly how fast it'll be. It'll take a little while to get to a more settled speed. Here's what you can expect.

The first ten days

To find out your eventual speed, we'll run some tests from your telephone exchange. Because of that, the speed will go up and down and you might get disconnected a few times. But don't worry, that doesn't mean there's a problem, it just means we're trying to find the best balance between speed and reliability for you.

After ten days

Your broadband will settle into a speed close to the estimate we gave when you signed up. Small changes are normal and nothing to worry about. If there's a problem affecting your connection, the speed will go down for a while to give you the most reliable service possible".             


This therefore may explain the ups and downs you are hearing about - if the situation with BT is the same as Plus Net, nobody is at 'optimum' speed yet as it's the first few days.  



My own experience is very similar to Jason's, which is not surprising as we only live about a 150m. from one and other.


If you are not sure how to test your internet speed, try the one I use. it is extremely simple thing to do. Just follow the link below. There are lots of other speed checkers.



'Bye for now!

John Sullivan