Read our Home Working Guide


< Back
You are here:

Slow Speeds

Checks To Complete

Slow speeds can be frustrating for a customer. Our main aim is to ensure that we can see evidence of the speeds achieved and to understand if there are any patterns to the poor performance (eg time of day related).

Check the Profile of the Line

All BT Wholesale connections have profiles associated to them at the exchange. The job of the profile it to ensure that the connection delivers a consistent and reliable speed, and should it feel that the line is unable to support a given speed it will lower the profile to achieve greater stability. If the profile is set low (eg 128k) then this will explain why the speeds achieved are low. For ADSL connections you can request that our support team complete an SNR reset to get the line to retrain and raise the profile again.

To check on the profile speed associated to a line you need to edit the broadband connection within the control panel. A profile icon will be available on all BT Wholesale ADSL and FTTx connections. A graph and table show the changes to the profile over time.

Without going into too much detail, if the profile is set low, there may be a reason for this, and any SNR reset benefits will be short lived. A typical scenario would be an intermittent line, whereby the software at the exchange is simply lowering the profile to regain stability. Fixing the intermittent issue should be your priority before tackling the speed as any fixes to improve the speed will be fruitless the next time it starts to drop.

Conducting Speed Tests

We appreciate that in some situations the speed of the connection can be so low making running speed tests seem impossible.

However, you still need to try. BT Wholesale doesn’t trust the results from any speed test other than their own and require it to be attempted before we can raise a fault with them. This is a mandatory step.

Make sure that at least 3 tests are run, but you’ll need to allow 2 hours between the tests. Make a note of the results and the date / time run. Feel free to also run the ‘further diagnostics’ that are presented to you at the end of the speed test results.

These will then log the results against your connection in BT Wholesale’s systems.

In addition the following speed test should be run. This is held on our own network and will be preferred above third party speed tests such as

Please copy and paste the results generated and note the time / day this was run.


  • Only run speed tests with a computer (not a mobile device) connected via an RJ45 cable to your router.
  • Never run using WiFi connectivity. The wireless signal itself could be the cause of the speed problems.
  • Ensure the bandwidth isn’t being utilised by other applications at the same time.
  • If you have a time of day speed issue make sure you run speed tests when it’s performing well as well as when it’s slow to help highlight the performance drop.

Trace Routes & MTR Test

Speed tests don’t always tell the full story. For example, the speed test is just a snapshot in time when a file was downloaded / uploaded to a particular provider. MTR tests can assist us in understanding the issue in more detail:

  • Identify which hops are particularly slow (eg is the first hop really slow? This could indicate an internal network fault, or line issue)
  • Identify potential packet loss issues (eg if packets are being dropped, as will be shown in the MTR test, we need to deal with this first before any speed issues.)
  • See the route taken

We have help files which detail carrying out these tests. We ask that you complete these tests to UK located sites (eg and that the MTR test be run for at least 5 minutes. Don’t send screen shots, simply copy and paste the results as plain text (eg paste into Notepad on Windows).

Testing the Phone Line

Checking to make sure that the line is clear and free from interference is important. Noise on a phone line for voice issues can cause the connection to drop intermittently and it can severely reduce the performance of the line. There is a really quick test any customer can complete using a handset:

Dial 17070 and select option 2

When you dial this Openreach test number the phone line will be read back to you. If you press ‘2’ from your keypad you can access the ‘Quiet Line Test’ facility which allows you a chance to carefully listen for any noise and crackles on the line. If it is present, you may like to also run this test with all broadband equipment disconnected.
If it is apparent that the line isn’t as clear as it should be this should be reported to the phone line provider with emphasis placed on the quality of the voice call as opposed to any broadband issues. Resolving noise issues can help broadband fault conditions dramatically.

Download Test (optional)

For much the same reason we ask for MTR tests, here are two files on our network that we would like you to attempt to download. What we’re interested in is the speed of the download showing in your browser 50% way through the download.

http://www./10mb.bin – 10Mb file

http://www./100mb.bin – 100Mb file

We appreciate that some modern browsers no longer show the download speed, so don’t worry too much if you can’t provide us with a result for this.

Raise Fault

Raise the fault to our support desk by completing a KBD diagnostic test in the control panel. It’s unlikely that the KBD will pick up on a fault for slow speeds, but it is certainly possible. Make sure you complete an intrusive test.

At the end of the test results you will see a big blue button to raise the fault. This will capture the points we have highlighted including the speed test results. An email will be raised to our support desk as well as yours which we can then start dialogue regarding.

Slow BT Wholesale Connection Check List

  1. The current profile of the line according to the control panel is set as:
  2. When I complete a broadband availability check on this phone line the predicted speed for the
    phone line is similar to the line profile speed or wildly different:
  3. I have completed the following BT Wholesale ( speed tests:
    TEST 1 SPEED RESULT (download / upload):
    TEST 2 SPEED RESULT (download / upload):
    TEST 3 SPEED RESULT (download / upload):
  4. I have completed the following local network ( speed tests:
    TEST 1 SPEED RESULT (download / upload):
    TEST 2 SPEED RESULT (download / upload):
    TEST 3 SPEED RESULT (download / upload):
  5. Have I completed an MTR test to a UK website which lasted for 5 minutes and have the results in a
    plain text file?
  6. When I dialled 17070 and selected option 2 I can confirm that the phone line was… (eg nice and
    quiet, crackly, hissing etc)
  7. I can confirm that all tests were carried out from what I believe to be the master phone socket and
    using a cable instead of WiFi.
Previous Ping Test (Windows)
Next Sync Present, Cannot Connect ADSL
Table of Contents
Go to Top