Finally Faster Internet

Two years ago I complained that British Telecom haven’t upgraded the exchange that our house is connected to for over five years. Unsurprisingly BT  still haven’t upgraded the exchange during the last two years. Recently however TalkTalk another major British telecommunication provider connected the local exchange to their broadband network. This didn’t immediately help us because we wouldn’t want to use their residential service as TalkTalk offer neither static IPv4 addresses nor IPv6.

But fortunately AAISP have recently started to sell their Internet service over TalkTalk ADSL connections. As a first step AAISP moved all their customers that were like us still stuck with BT 20CN (British Telecom’s old ATM based broadband network) ADSL1 connections to TalkTalk ADSL2+ connections for free. The migration of our broadband connection went off without a hitch. After a downtime of about 15 minutes my Internet connection was almost twice as fast as before.

Unfortunately however it turned out that our Cisco router doesn’t support ADSL2+ very well. It was able to establish a connection to the exchange fine but dropped it about once every half hour followed by a downtime of several minutes. In the end I had no choice and bought an external ADSL modem. Considering that I can use neither the Cisco’s WiFi  (no IPv6 support, only 802.11g) nor its ADSL interface I’m seriously considering to replace the router. A NetBSD machine could move packets between ethernet interface just fine, would have a more flexible and powerful firewall and wouldn’t require a support contract to download software updates. The Cisco 870 product line is also end of life which makes me wonder how much longer my old router will be supported.

Last Wednesday our Internet connection was updated again on my request. It is now operating in Annex M mode which more than doubled our upload bandwidth. But there were again technical problems at the beginning. Our new modem wouldn’t establish a connection to the exchange before we reconfigured it from Multimode (automatic detection) to ADSL2+ annex M.

Altogether I’m very happy with the update: a lot more bandwidth for the same amount of money. 🙂