Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 1. What does the BTWholesale Broadband Performance Tester do?
  2. 2. What tests does the BTWholesale Broadband Tester complete?
  3. 3. What types of faults or problems can the Broadband Performance Tester can help me with?
  4. 4. What are the pre-requisites for using the Performance Tester?
  5. 5. What do the different speeds shown in the test results mean?
  6. 6. What do Test1, Test2 and Test3 in Performance Tester test and is it useful to run all three tests?
  7. 7. What is Service ID and how can I find what is the Service ID for my broadband connection?
  8. 8. Do I always need to enter Service ID?
  9. 9. What should I do if I am not able to find/follow the instructions for additional test configurations?
  10. 10. I am not able to see the message 'PERFORMANCE TESTER' at the top of my screen.



Q1. What does Broadband Performance Tester do?
A1. The BT Wholesale Broadband Performance Tester will enable you to test the throughput performance (speed) of your broadband service and the results can help your broadband Service Provider to determine if you have a problem with your service. There are many factors that influence broadband performance and speed. The BT Wholesale Performance Tester can be used to help understand whether your broadband service is performing as expected. To do this you will need to carry out a number of tests at different times of the day as there will be times when the broadband throughput performance is affected by 'Busy Peak Periods'. In the majority of cases these periods are in the evenings.

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Q2. What tests does the BT Wholesale Broadband Performance Tester complete?

A2. The tests completed will depend on the service you purchase from your Service Provider and the features your Service Provider purchases from BT Wholesale. The initial test will complete a basic download, upload and latency test. These tests can be run and re-run as many times as you require. The test will use an Adobe Flash application to send and receive data to and from your device (PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone etc.). The application will use standard internet protocols (TCP/IP) to send and receive the data. Once the basic test has completed, and if you think you may have a performance problem, you can choose to complete a further diagnostic test. The diagnostic test will compare your results from the initial tests against our BT Wholesale systems. The tool will determine if the throughput you have received is in-line with the product service levels that BT Wholesale provides to your broadband Service Provider. The results will be presented back to you and should you wish to discuss them you will need to contact your Service Provider. Depending on the broadband service supplied by your Service Provider the Tester may also offer you a priority traffic test. The priority traffic test is a special test to determine if higher priority data traffic is being sent above the standard internet browsing/email traffic – this priority traffic feature can be used to support live TV streaming, video streaming etc. If your Service Provider subscribes to this service you will automatically be asked if you want to complete this test within the ‘Further Diagnostics’ section. The results of the further diagnostic tests are recorded within our BTWholesale systems and are available for your Service Provider to assist with any fault diagnostics.

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Q3. What types of faults or problems can the Broadband Performance Tester can help me with?
A3. The Broadband Performance Tester has been designed to help you with throughput performance related problems (may also be known as speed related problems).

This is where your service has a working connection but appears to be doing so very slowly. For example; your downloads are taking far too long, your internet service keeps stopping, the BBC iPlayer keeps stopping and starting or your gaming is too slow etc.

Sometimes performance related issues are not caused by your physical broadband connection but are a result of recent changes to your service, interference from other electrical devices, how you connect to your router i.e. either Wi-Fi or cable, or lots of people trying to access the same website/piece of content, etc..

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Q4. What are the pre-requisites for using the BTWholesale Performance Tester?

A4. Before you can use the BTWholesale Performance Tester, please ensure:

1. Your broadband is supplied to your broadband Service Provider by BTWholesale.

2. Your broadband modem or router must be ‘in sync’ This means that the indicator light on your modem or router (this is the box that connects your device to your broadband enabled line) is lit steadily (i.e. not blinking) and that you can browse to website (i.e. www.google.co.uk)

3. Your device must have Adobe Flash Player installed and it is recommended that you use the latest version of the Flash player. You can check for the latest version at: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

4. Your computer is connected to the broadband line to be tested. The BTWholesale Performance Tester may not work on iPads/Tablets, smartphones or other mobile devices.

5. Your computer is directly connected to your modem/router via an Ethernet connection (i.e. not via wireless or power-line adapters).

6. Any wireless adapter in your computer is switched off.

7. Close any other programs that may be running on your computer. This includes any background programs such as a corporate VPN or peer2peer clients etc.

8. Reboot your modem/router by powering it off, waiting one minute, and then powering it up again. Wait for any lights on the router to stabilise before starting the test.

9. Restart your browser.

10. Ensure no other people or devices (e.g. broadband-connected TV set-top boxes) are using the broadband line to be tested.

Please note, it can take up to 10 days for your broadband line to train up to its full speed. So bear

in mind that any speed test during this period may not reflect the true long-term speed of your

broadband.

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Q4. What do the different speeds shown in the test results mean?

A5.Explanation of results:

Basic Test Results

  • Download Speed (Mbps) - This is the actual download throughput speed achieved during the performance test and is measured in mega-bits per second (Mbps). This shows how fast your connection was able to download a file from the test server onto your device.
  • Upload Speed (Mbps) - This is the actual upload throughput speed achieved during the performance test and is measured in mega-bits per second (Mbps). This shows how fast your connection was able to upload a file from your device to the test server.
  • Latency(ms)-This is a measure of how long it takes to request a data item from a remote location. In this test, your device requests a file from the speed test server using HTTP and the delay is calculated on how long it takes for the file to arrive on your device. The time delay is measured in milliseconds.

Further Diagnostic Results (Please note, you may not see all of the results listed below on your test results. The actual parameters shown depend on the broadband service provided).
  • Acceptable range of speeds (Mbps). - This is the speed range that we believe is acceptable for your broadband circuit and is measured in Mega-bits per second (Mbps). If your download throughput speed lies in this range, then there is no fault on your line and your broadband service is deemed to be working fine.
  • DSL Upstream connection rate (Mbps). This is the upstream broadband synchronisation rate (also known as line rate). Your broadband modem/router needs to synchronise with the broadband equipment within your local telephone exchange or street cabinet. When the equipment synchronises it agrees on a maximum rate that data can be transferred between them. This line rate (or synchronisation rate) will always be higher than the actual throughput speed you can achieve when uploading/sending data.
  • DSL connection rate – Downstream (Mbps). This is the downstream broadband synchronisation rate (also known as line rate). Your broadband modem/router needs to synchronise with the broadband equipment within your local telephone exchange or street cabinet. When the equipment synchronises it agrees on a maximum rate that data can be transferred between them. This line rate (or synchronisation rate) will always be higher than the actual throughput speed you can achieve when downloading/receiving data.
  • IP profile rate (Mbps) – To ensure your line doesn’t receive more data than it can cope with; we set a parameter within our network called IP Profile. This profile will be slightly less than the DSL connection rate negotiated by your router. If this wasn’t set we may try to transmit more data to you than your broadband circuit can managed and this would end up having a negative effect on your broadband speed.
  • Assured Rate IP Profile* (Mbps) - This is the IP rate for the Quality of Service (QoS) session. This is the rate at which priority traffic can be sent to your device. This rate will only be displayed if the priority traffic test has been completed.
  • Assured Rate - download speed* - This is the actual throughput speed that twas achieved during the priority traffic test.

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    Q6. What is a Service ID and how can I find what is the Service ID for my broadband connection?

    A6. . A service ID is another unique identifier like your telephone number. It is used by BT Wholesale to uniquely identify a broadband service. You will need to call your broadband Service Provider to get the Service ID of your broadband circuit.

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    Q7. . Do I always need to enter a Service ID?

    A7. . If your broadband service is provided to you using copper wires and is connected to a standard telephone socket within your premises then in the majority of cases you should be able to use your telephone when completing the Further Diagnostic tests. If you have problems using your number and you receive an error message then please contact your broadband Service Provider and request your BT Wholesale broadband Service ID. If your broadband service is supplied using fibre cables into your premises then you will need to search for your property address or enter you Service ID.

    The broadband circuit would have been installed by an engineer and the fibre cable will be connected directly into an Openreach modem. If you have problems using the address matching facility then please contact your broadband Service Provider and request your BT Wholesale broadband Service ID.

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    Q8. What should I do if I am asked to change my logon details in-order to complete further tests but I am not sure how to do it?

    A8. . If you have any difficulty changing your login details (if requested to do so by the tester) then please contact your broadband Service Provider.

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    Q9. What should I do if I have difficulty running the Performance Tester?

    A9.If you have any difficulties in running the tester then please contact your broadband Service Provider.



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    Q10. Adobe Flash player is not supported on my device. Can I still run the Performance Tester?

    A10.At present no. Your device must support and have installed an Adobe Flash player in-order to complete a performance test. It is recommended that your device uses the latest version of the Flash player. You can check for the latest version at: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/



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