hi @Mike, I heard you talking about broadband issues this week. I’d love a stream on what you have learned. I have been losing shows (radio) recently with 15min drops. Yesterday I dropped out about 12 times. Had OpenReach virtually living here. Having BT Business installed. I’d love e to hear your story. I recall you’ve had problems in the past too. Thanks D
Wow, David, this could turn into a big thread but sure I’ll start to share what I’ve learned.
Note this will all be very UK centrtic as this is where I live. Connections may vary from place to place around the world.
This is by no means comprehensive but it’s what I understand at the time I’m writing this. I’m not an expert so listen to others who know more. I hope this thread may spark some more discussion on internet connnections especially as speed is so crucial to creators like us
Basic Home Internet Connections
Are you still living in the 90s?! Best thing I remember about this were the noises a modem used to make when connecting. Would make a great jingle now
Most old school and rural properties have these and they’re pretty slow! No live streaming, radio shows or Netflix on these. You’re usually looking at 5 Mbps max down and 1 Mbps up
Fibre Connection (VDSL or FTTC)
FTTC means Fibre to the Cabinet. Essentially an ultra fast fibre connection runs from the telephone exchange (found in most towns) to green cabinets (found in most streets). You then get a copper connection from the cabinet to your property.
If you’re close to a cabinet you can expect 80 Mbps down and 20 Mbs up. Perfect for live streams, podcasting, online radio and more
Internet Connection Conclusions
There are other options such as G.fast and FTTP but neither of these are common or available in my area right now.
If you’re not in an area served by FTTC or happen to be too far away from a green street cabinet your internet connection will likely be poor and not capable of hosting live streams or other real time online events such as podcast calls and more.
So, what are the options if your internet connection is too slow for live streaming?
There are three options should the worst happen and they all have plus and minus points.
Faster Business Oriented Internet Connections
Certain ISPs offer bonded FTTC connections. This means you get 2, 3 or 4 phone lines coming into your house and they get merged by a heavy duty router that gives you double, triple or quadruple your quoted single line speed.
If you hav a potential of 25 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up (not sufficient to host a high quality 1080P live stream in real time). You could potentially make your connection nearly 100 Mbps down and nearly 20 Mbps up with 4 bonded lines. The speed does appartently dimish the more lines you have and there are two providers I found that do it right now Andrews & Arnold and Cerberus Networks.
Both seem to offer 96% nationwide coverage and the big plus is you can have this all working in around 10-15 days from placing an order.
The cost is a little crazy of between £200-£335 depending on number of lines. This is very close to my next (slightly bettter option) of a Leased Line.
Leased Line Internet
You get a dedicated line connected right to the telephone exchange and direct to the internet. It’s not shared with any of your neighbours so you really get a solid connection with low ping times and fast download and upload. You also get dedicated service which means, if your connection go down Openreach need to fix it in around 5 hours! Upload and download speeds are matched so if you go for a 100 Mbps line you get that in download and upload you can even order a gigabit leased line
This really is the best option for live streamers in the UK right now if you can stomach the costs. Around £300 per month and possible install costs too. You’ll usually be up and running with a dedicated leased line in around 3 months from what I understand.
FTTPoD (Fibre to the Premesis on Demand)
You don’t have fibre but you want it and have deep pockets then why not pay Openreach to dig up your area. They’ll run a fibre connection from your property to the exchange but you could pay anywhere from a few thousand to 5 figures.
The final result is a shared fibre connection that will give you 330 Mbps down and 30 Mbps up but Openreach did announce higher plans recently taking you up to 1000 Mbps down and around 100 Mbps up. Montly cost after the high install fee starts from a more reasonable £100. The real kicker here is, I’ve been reading online, people are placing orders, paying and waiting up to a year or more to get connected
Long term this will likely be cheaper than Bonded FTTC or a Leased Line but are you willing to pay up front for construction costs and wait?
Obviously you could use a 4G dongle or have one plugged in for failover if you’re in a good 4G area. 5G may also come along and change the game on all this so watch this space!
Interested to hear your thoughts and what others think about getting the best internet connection for live streaming and online creators who love uploading YouTube videos
Thanks for your story @Mike. Unlike you, I am not streaming video, only music, so my speed needs are a little different to yours. My speeds here (near Ascot in the UK) are not too shabby being 65mbs down and 10mbs up.
My big problem has drop outs. As you well know, when live, there is enough going on without the stress of dropping out. Last Friday, luckily a day I am not on air, I had 20 drops at least. I decided to pre-record the weekend shows.
An OpenReach engineer came out (again) this Monday and found the cabinet was flooded. Apparently, they are designed to let some moisture in which seems odd, but there you go! I am FTTC.
I bought a Vodafone mobile router (the only network that has coverage in my home), but it didn’t kick in. It seems the only way it will kick in straight away (on Mac at least), is if I unplug the ethernet cable and run purely wifi which I am not willing to do.
So, the latest is, since Monday I have had no drops at all, despite the storms and next Tuesday I am having BT Business installed. Cheaper than my current package, a dedicated phone support line and apparently the router supplied has a 4G back-up pre-installed in it.
I will give you an update after they have been in.
Our present business broadband connection gives around 70 Mbps down and 19 Mbps up which is perfect for MRC live streams and more. That may all change when we relocate
I remember when we first got connected we were getting drops all the time it was impossible to live stream or do anything in real time for an hour or more without some kind of issue.
Fortunately, paying for the top BT business plan really helped. BT called out Openreach (different companies from what I understand) around 5 times before they finally had enough of engineers looking and not being able to take action. Shortly after the fifth engineer visit Openreach vans rolled in to our area. Plenty of pole climbing occured and we’ve hardly had an issue since
A great end to this episode. We’ll be staying on the Isle of Wight so hoping for a WightFibre service area in an ideal world or that they complete their Gigabit Island plan in the coming few years. What an awesome company to be taking on a project like this. Hope gigabit is the norm for all UK soon
I should also add that I’ve had the same experience with 4G failover. It’s not quick enough, in my experience, to save a live stream from going down. Saying that I’m interested in this FireBrick FB2900 router with 4G dongle possibilities. It may be a case of you get what you pay for for 4G backup of a live stream.
Interested to hear more thoughts.
I’ve noticed @Mike, with envy, that you’ve not had a drop in ages. Does your BT Business router have built in 4G back-up? In your current set-up, do you have back-up? Crazy isn’t it, for all the work we put in, we are only as strong as the weakest link, which in our case is the connection to the world via our broadband…
ps - will look in to that router…