A Curious Tale Of An Under-Performing Internet Connection

One of the things you get used to around these parts is waiting for pages to load, so having been spoiled by an ADSL line almost to myself for a year the adjustment to sharing a line with other people felt like running in sand.

One of the things my new boss pushed in my direction was to see whether we should upgrade the office broadband. In 2014 they had requested to our ISP (Bytes Technology Group) to upgrade them from 1.024Mb/s to 2.048Mb/s (I can hear many of my overseas readers chortling at this), but nobody really noticed a change and page loading was still sluggish at best.

Speedtest: Bytes Tech Group / BTC in Gaborone
Speedtest: Bytes Technology Group / BTC to a server in Gaborone – paying for 2.048Mb/s.

The shock came when I logged on to the modem-router and found that it was reporting our line speed as 1.024Mb/s… a year after the upgrade was requested and billing increased accordingly.

Bytes Technology Group – Line Speed Skulduggery

Router status showing xDSL line type.
Smoking gun: internet connection not as expected.

A bit more poking around in the modem-router popped up another status screen showing similar information:

Router report showing 1.024kb/s connection.
Router report showing 1.024Mb/s connection.

I called downstairs and asked our administrator to enquire from Bytes what was going on, which she duly did and was given the “Yes, you’re on a 2.048Mb/s connection, have you rebooted your router?” line.  So we duly rebooted our router, and lo!  There we were, running at 2.048Mb/s.  Because there’s no chance we haven’t had to reboot it in the previous year… in the land of persistent load-shedding.

Router report showing 2.048kb/s connection
Router report showing 2.048Mb/s connection.

Did it make a difference?

After observing the miraculous change in line speed being reported I ran another Speedtest, which showed… no change.

Speedtest: Bytes Tech Group / BTC in Gaborone
Speedtest: Bytes Tech Group / BTC in Gaborone on a 2.048Mb/s line with other people around.

Benefit of the doubt and all that, so I waited until everybody had gone home, rebooted everything and ran another test the next morning before anybody else arrived:

Speedtest: Bytes Tech Group / BTC in Gaborone
Speedtest: Bytes Tech Group / BTC in Gaborone on a 2.048Mb/s line and an empty office.

Hurrah, more or less what we’re paying for.

But what about the year paying for 2.048Mb/s when you were only getting 1.024Mb/s?

After some dodging from junior employees:

Them: “We’re only the ISP, the line speed is Botswana Telecommunication’s responsibility, it’s their fault.”

Us: “So why did it change within seconds of us ‘phoning you?”

Them: “You rebooted the router.”

Us: “Can I speak to your manager?”

Eventually we did get a call from the manager who apologised and we are negotiating a way to reclaim the amounts paid for a service not delivered, possibly in the form of not paying extra for an upgrade to 4Mb/s.

Author: Michael

Parent, husband and civil engineer born and raised in Britain before emigrating to Botswana. Interests in construction, information technology, fitness, mechanics and mapping, among others.

3 thoughts on “A Curious Tale Of An Under-Performing Internet Connection”

  1. “upgrade them from 1.024Mb/s to 2.048kb/s”

    Am I missing something or are the megas and kilos a bit mixed up in this post?

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