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Forum Charter & Broadband FAQ - READ BEFORE YOU POST!

  • #1
    Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 27,926 mod Cabaal

    Forum Charter

    -The general rules apply.

    -Please try to use search before posting a question as your question could be very common and asked every almost every day/week. (However don't post in threads were the last post is over 12 months old, instead start a new thread if you wish to discuss a subject)

    -No spamming, no trolling, no flaming, no advertising, no muppetery in general. No posting or linking offensive or illegal material.

    -No Warez, Hackz, Appz, Crackz or copyright Movies or TV shows (advice/sourcing or discussion via bittorrent or otherwise)

    - Please only use colored text for a good reason as it is very hard to read and can't be read by some people using certain theme's

    -Personal abuse is not tolerated under any circumstances; if you have a point to make you can do so without resorting to petty insults. Insulting or provoking other users is not smart or witty and may result in a warning or ban.

    -Please use the "Report this post" feature (visible on each and every post under the user's profile) whenever you see something which breaches the charter or the general rules of boards.

    -A thread/post that has nothing to do with Broadband or related discussion shall be moved to a more appropriate forum, continued posting or discussion thats off-topic may result in a warning and/or a ban.

    -Text Speak is also frowned upon, please try to use your entire keyboard when making a post.

    - Every one who works for a Internet Service Provider or Phone operator please take care when they're posting details on this site. There has now been numerous cases where posts had to be deleted after posts contained internal information or employee details. In the future, users who need posts removed/deleted/edited will get banned.

    - Don't post remarks about a company and then request for these remarks to be removed. There has now been numerous cases where posts had to be deleted after posts contained remarks the poster did not wish to be public. In the future, users who need posts removed/deleted/edited will get banned.

    - Do not post contact details or names of any person whom you have been dealing with (i.e. support staff,sales,managers etc) within any Internet Service Provider or Telco provider without prior explicit permission. Ignoring this will earn you a weeks ban or longer if you're unlucky,

    - If you are banned from a forum elsewhere on the Internet, don't ask how to get around that. Re-regging is against this sites rules too, so we won't help you to break someone else's.

    - These rules are not open to debate, discussing a mods decision in a thread isoff topic is a banable offense, the mods decision is final.

    - Violations may lead to posts being modified and/or deleted, and may also lead to a banning or infraction/warning, at the sole discretion of the current forum moderators.

    - Users should not cross post to one of the "Talk To" sub-forums and the general Broadband forum or Mid-Band forum.

    -This Charter is subject to change.

    - Feedback & suggestions on the FAQ included below can be posted here -

    Working for a service provider
    If you work for a service provider you are welcome to post in this forum, many people here work in the industry and can often be the best people to respond to queries that are posed here. We now have had numerous cases where posts had to be deleted after posts contained internal information.
    In the future, users who need posts removed/deleted/edited will get banned.
    Please think before you post. Can you also clearly identify which are your views and those of your employer, you may also be asked to clearly things by a mod.

    Recommended Posting Layout
    In order to insure people can on this forum can help you in the best way we recommend you give as much relevant information as you can.

    As such please refrain from unhelpful post titles such as "help !!", "i'm gonna cry", "noob questions", "disconnections" etc as these may be edited and instead please try to post in a helpful format such as the following:
    Post Title: [ISP NAME] Can't connect with ROUTER NAME
    Post Title: [ISP NAME] Intermittent Connection

    This allows people to easily know what ISP your connecting with
    Additionally we recommend you include relevant information within your post

    For example:
    - Make/Model of router
    - Version of Operating system being used (eg: Windows XP, MaxOSX etc)

    Talk To Sub-Forums:
    The Broadband forum currently has two "Talk To" sub-forums, these are Vodafone and Three.

    In these forums you can deal directly with support reps from the companys in question in relation to issues you may have, in some instances you may get your issue resolved faster if you post in these forums rather then the general Broadband forum.

    Please check the support hours on these forums as the company support reps are not live on the forums 24/7


  • Types of Broadband available in Ireland

    As a "rough" check to see what types of Broadband are available in your area you can use the Broadband Gov website by visiting, you may also find Comreg's callcosts website handy if your looking for the "best value" package for your needs -

    On a broadband related note if your interesting in finding a VoIP provider to replace your telephone line if your using a Cable Broadband provider then please have a look at the VoIP forum. Additionally a number of Broadband suppliers such as UPC, Metro & Digiweb Mobile allow the use of VoIP services or provide you with a VoIP phone service as part of the package.

    Below is a list of the main types of Broadband access available in Ireland.

    DSL via Phone Line. You have to pay about €26 per month simply to have a telephone line with nothing installed on it

    Bundles are available which can help reduce the cost of your Phone/Broadband package and if your lucky you might be able to avail of a ADSL Provider that supplys its service via LLU or Local Loop Bundling, these providers include Smart Telecom and BT Business Broadband.

    When you get a telephone line (PSTN line) installed there is no guarantee you will be able to get an ADSL service installed on your line, unfortunately a high proportion of lines fail for DSL, especially in rural areas.

    If your PSTN line is unable to take DSL then you are stuck paying line rental for your telephone line for a minimum time and you may have paid over 90e to get the telephone line installed only to find its no good to you.

    Cable Broadband: Mostly only in Major cities (ie: Waterford, Cork, Dublin, Limerick). The majority of cable Broadband access in Ireland is provided by UPC (Chorus/NTL) and due to the recent takeover by UPC the cable network is undergoing alot of upgrades so that more and more people can be provided with cable broadband.

    There are however a number of smaller cable broadband suppliers in Ireland most notable Cablesurf in Dungarvan in Co Waterford.

    Fixed Wireless: Variable in quality according to supplier and technology.

    Some areas only one or no suppliers, the main differences in interference are:
    2.4GHz WiFi band: No licence needed, but nothing can be done about disruption due to video senders or other WiFi signals.

    Unlicensed Registered: The 5.x GHz Band. Slightly less interference but not really protected.

    Licensed (Also called FWA or FWALA.): Comreg has to track down and block any interference. Each operator's base / channel is licensed and protected. 3.5, 3.6 and 10.5GHz bands.

    Notable suppliers of these services include Digiweb and Irish Broadband, however there are a number of smaller operates throughout Ireland which may be listed on the Government Broadband site listed above

    Fibre: If you really need 100Mbps to 10Gbps and you happen to be near one that belongs to Shannon Broadband, eNet, BT/CIE, ESB or Digiweb. For what you get it's not bad, but if not near it forget it. For Data Centres and ISP backhaul. The incumbent eircom has them too.

    2 Way Satellite: 512k if you use it all day it might be suitable for some people's needs from a cost point of view compared to dialup. Latency is a big factor and as such its unsuitable for on-line gaming and services such as VoIP.

    Sky does not supply broadband in Ireland, either via satellite or cables. They never have, and they never will, so stop asking.

    3G Mobile Broadband: You can use phone handset, PCMICA card or USB modem.

    It's 50k to 3Mbps down and 50k to 350k up, depending on which mast you get, how busy it is etc.

    Max 24 users on a sector for the fastest Up to HSDPA mode. If the sector is busy you may not get connected, or get 70k rather than 3600k.

    Some Internet applications don't work very well on some Providers such as on-line gaming and VoIP services. Access is generally via USB Data modem, however Mobile Broadband by its very nature can be suited to people on the move alot.

    Quality of Mobile Broadband can vary greatly, as such its best to test the service alot during the trial period.

    A basic two way satellite is bit more expensive but actually works virtually all the time. GSM/GPRS/EDGE is 900MHz (Vodaphone, O2) or 1800MHz (Meteor) depending on operator. 3G/HSDPA/HSUPA is 2100MHz band. Lower frequencies give more reliable coverage. Only O2 does EDGE and HSDPA.

    "Broadband" in a box: Irish Broadband (IBB) ripwave, Clearwire.

    Service can provide between 250k to 1M, but it can also be 60k with 2000ms pings which once again can make this service unsuitable for on-line gaming and VoIP services.

    Coverage can be patchy as many factors such as construction of buildings can affect the signal strenght. Service is a bit like a cross between WiFi, WiMax and Mobile Broadband.

    Really the fixed wireless with outdoor aerial is much better (see Fixed Wireless section and providers and packages by like Digiweb & Irish Broadband).

    If you can recive it in your area and there is nothing better take the trial and test it out, if it isn't good make sure and get them to sign for it when you take it back.

    Hobby/Enthusiast/Community outdoor WiFi: may or may not connect to the actual Internet, such as Mid West WAN.

    Using a pair of MMDS style mesh dishs and WiFi bridges or routers you can do your own private licence free link to a friend that can get Internet, 8km is easily achieved at a once off cost under 500 Euro.

    If you can't get any of the Broadband types listed above it may be worth checking in your area to see if a Hobby/Enthusiast/Community outdoor WiFi service is available as many are run throughout Ireland.

    Its worth noting that many of the providers above are either wireless or use 3G to provide internet access to your PC, due to the very nature of this type of technology network performance can vary ALOT!
    Many factors that can affect a wireless connection are:
    - Amount of users in your area
    - The distance you are from the transmitter
    - Buildings, Mountains, Hills etc between you and the transmitter
    - If you live in a built up area buildings around you can affect the signal

    As such while such types of Broadband may not work for you in your location it may work for others, please try to remember this :)

    I'd like to thank Watty for writing the bulk of this post for me :)

    Miminum speed and definitions of broadband.
    FCC: Broadband must have a MINIMUM speed of 768k
    Update 22nd July 2010; FCC has placed a new minimum of 4Mbps downstream, and 1Mbps upstream, for broadband in the USA.
    Links to source: &

  • Usage Caps & Charges

    Its important to remember that at the end of the day if you go over the cap and you get charged you only have yourself to blame as you agreed to Terms & Conditions that advised you could be charged for going over your cap. :)

    ADSL Providers
    Plain and simply Eircom have the right to charge, it would appear Eircom like many ISP's only charges when you abuse the service and as such reports are mixed. Some people have been charged, others have not.

    UTV Internet*
    UTV have always charged customers for going over there cap but UTV do have a "unlimited*" upgrade option for a small fee which is more then fair to customers who believe they may go over their usage cap

    BT Internet
    Plain and simply BT have the right to charge, BT have been known to charge customers but not others.
    It would appear the odds of being charged are slim but don't say you weren't warned.
    Recently it would appear BT have been speed throttling some users who go over there limit.
    The cap is not upload and download and instead is download only

    BT Business Broadband
    This is a unlimited service and no download caps or usage policy's applies,

    Imagine Broadband*
    While at present Imagine do not charge for going over your usage cap they do according to their Terms & Conditions reserve the right to upgrade your Broadband package to a package more suitable to your usage needs, continued breach of your cap can result in the termination of your Imagine Broadband account. Imagine offer a 60GB usage cap on all packages for 98c extra per month.

    Smart Telecom Broadband
    Smart currently don't have download caps or usage caps according to their website

    TalkTalk Broadband*
    TalkTalk currently don't have download caps or usage caps according to their website but they do however have a Fair Usage Policy with no current specific details.

    Perlico Broadband
    Plain and simply Perlico have the right to charge as outlined in their Broadband Terms & Conditions, website and on-line account management section (usage monitor), it would appear Perlico like many ISP's only charges when you abuse the service and as such reports are mixed. Some people have been charged, others have not.

    Mobile/Wireless Broadband Providers
    Three Broadband
    Three Broadband have been known to charge customers if they go over there usage cap.

    Vodafone Broadband*
    Plain and simply Vodafone have the right to charge, Vodafone have been known to charge customers and as such you may be charged if you go over your cap. Fair Usage Policy applys to some packages.

    O2 Broadband*
    O2 Broadband have a cap and a Fair Usage Policy attached to this, according to there Terms & Conditions they can do the following "O2 reserves the right, at our sole discretion, and having provided you with notice, to introduce an excess Usage charge",, while this shouldn't be a problem for the majority of customers its best to watch your usage, continued heavy usage can result in the suspension, modification or termination of your service.

    Digiweb Broadband
    Connection speed is throttled when customers go over cap or Fair Usage Policy,

    Cable Providers
    NTL/Chorus/UPC do not currently charge customers who go over there usage cap, however they will either warn customers that they face termination of there account if they continue to overuse the service or they may force you to upgrade to the next package so that you have a larger more suitable cap Feb 2009: UPC appear to have recently warned a number of users for going over 250GB which they are warning is against their Fair Usage Policy.

    * Fair Usage Policy applies

  • Traffic monitors

    Username*: Phone Number, AREA-NUMBER
    Password*: Eircom account number.
    *Note: Unique usernames and passwords were given out at the early stages of eircom DSL services. You may have to use one of these instead of your phone and account numbers to log in.

    IOL aka BT Ireland
    Username: Chosen on sign up
    Password: Chosen on sign up

    Username: Chosen on sign up
    Password: Chosen on sign up
    Click on "Bandwith Usage" on the lefthand column.

    Username: Chosen on sign up
    Password: Chosen on sign up

    Three Mobile Broadband

    Perlico Broadband
    You must first setup an on-line account in order to monitor usage

    To track your usage just register your USB modem on the My Account' Section on
    Here you'll find out all you need to know in the 'Frequently Asked Questions' pages in the broadband section.

    Traffic Monitor Applications
    The following programs will allow you to monitor usage on your PC, please be aware these will not monitor traffic caused by game consoles like X-Box's etc, there's are ideal if you want to keep track of your usage without depending on your ISP to do so.
    DU Meter -
    NetMeter (free) -
    NetLimiter (also does shaping) -

  • Technical Docs
    - How to wire a standard Eircom Phone Socket -
    - How to interpret your adsl Line Stats, an explanation of SNR and SNR Margin -

    How to's
    - How do I setup port forwarding/pinholing so my file sharing, game, bittorrent program works? -

    Modem/Router Setup Guides
    BT BT Voyager 2110 Wireless router (PDF) BT Voyager 210 (wired) router (PDF) Zyxel Prestige 623/660 Router (PDF)

    Eircom All Eircom Netopia modems/routers

    UTV Internet
    UTV supply the same BT Voyager 210 & 2110 routers as BT.
    The setup guides from BT can also be used for UTV. The exception being the username/password used.

    Smart Telecom Broadband AoLynk Wired modem/router AoLynk Wireless modem/router Setting for using your own modem on Smart broadband

    Broadband Speed Testers
    Below is a list of Broadband on-line speed tests that you can use to test the speed of your Broadband connection, its generally recommended you run the tests a number of times over a number of hours to get your average Broadband speed.

    Remember that many factors can affect your actual speed and some of these factors can be beyond your ISP's control.

    Irish ISP Speed Test -
    ThinkBroadband - - -

  • Basic Troubleshoot for ADSL Broadband Issues
    If you find your you've experiencing any of the issues on the list below then this is recommended reading:
    - Total loss of ADSL service
    - Experiencing a intermittent ADSL service
    - Phone doesn't work right with Broadband equipment connected
    - Broadband stopped working when you got Sky installed
    - Broadband disconnects when your phone rings
    - Both your phone and/or broadband fails to works when Broadband equipment is connected

    Here are some basic steps you should do before calling your Internet Service Provider or creating a thread on regarding your problem :).

    These steps apply regardless of your ADSL provider, so weather your using Eircom, BT, Smart or Imagine its recommended you follow these steps to save yourself time and possibly money! :)

    I can't stress enough that its VERY IMPORTANT, that any phones, fax, sky digital boxes, credit card machines, monitored alarms that use your phone line or any device connected to your phone line MUST be corrected filtered with a ADSL microfilter.

    Step 1. Disconnect everything from the phoneline, I mean everything...all phones, sky digibox box's, fax machine, modem and filters.

    Step 2. Unplug the ADSL modem or router from the power and connect it directly into the Eircom master socket, without a filter, then power it up. Check the sync speed again for any improvement.

    If its a disconnection problem you may need to test your connection for awhile.

    If you experienced a total loss of sync and you've regained sync by following the above then its recommended you reconnect everything one at a time using ADSL filters correctly so you can identify the cause of the connection problem.

    Step 3. If there is still no improvement, try a different phone cable from the modem to the phone socket.

    Step 4. If you can try a different phone socket in your home.

    Step 5. If you can try a different ADSL modem or router.

    Step 6. Finally disconnect all extension sockets in the house, if possible, and check internal phone wiring.

    What to do now?
    Thats really as much as you can do yourself. If the problem still persists it's most likely a line fault of an exchange fault and as such you should call your ISP and explain what you have already tested, they can then test the line and raise a fault ticket to investigate the issue.

    Why am I doing this?
    The reason for checking at the main socket and disconnecting all non ADSL equipment (eg: phones, fax's, sky etc) is so you can rule out any cause of your problem that are not classed as a fault by your ISP.

    Should an engineer be dispatched to your home and find that for example you have a Sky Digital box connected to your phone line without an ADSL filter and this was the cause of your connection/disconnection problem could result in a engineer callout charge that you are liable to pay!

    Its also a good idea to check all of the above so you don't waste time calling your ISP's support line while they talk you through checking basic things, as such this will also save your money on your phone bill :)

    How to deal with your ISP:
    So you have a tech or billing issue with your ISP and want it resolved, don't loose the head!
    Instead I'd recommend reading some tips here -

    I'd like to thank kaizersoze for writing some of this post,

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  • The Issue Itself
    So your experiencing slows speeds on your Broadband connection (Cable/ADSL),....coming soon!

  • Broadband Providers in Ireland
    There are numerous different types of Broadband suppliers in Ireland at present and below you'll find a list of the main suppliers who will often have varying prices so its worth shopping around.

    If your looking for so called "Mobile Broadband" then please visit the Midband forum.

    Cable Providers
    Often cheaper then ADSL as it does not require a landline to be installed, generally provides faster speeds then whats available through ADSL.

    UPC (Chorus/NTL) -
    Casey Cable Vision (Only Available in Dungarvan Co Waterford) -

    ADSL: Bit-Stream Resellers
    Bit-Stream is Eircom Wholesales ADSL Broadband product, this product is resold through numerous different ISP's in Ireland (incl Eircom) and is the most popular ADSL Broadband service in Ireland.

    Vodafone -
    UTV Internet -
    Eircom -
    Perlico -
    Imagine -
    Digiweb -
    IFA Telecom -

    ADSL: LLU (Local Loop Unbundling)
    Generally better value then bit-stream resellers but only available in selected areas

    Magnet -
    Smart Telecom -

    Digiweb Metro -
    Imagine -
    Westnet -

  • I want a static IP address:
    Many people have posted lately saying they want a static IP, well the first question is why do you need a static IP?

    You don't really need a static IP unless you run services like VNC but even then you don't "NEED" a static IP as you can use and similar services to get the same affect, additionally downloading from any source be it ftp, http or P2P is not affected by a dynamic or static IP.

    If want a static IP address to hosty a website, ftp or irc server on your Broadband connections its worth remembering that hosting such services is likely against your ISP's Terms & Conditions and as such is not recommended. Also speed for such services is likely to be very slow and as such your much better off buying a webhosting package from a separate company.

    So if your ISP does not provide static IP address the bottom line is:
    - Change to a Business Broadband package or ISP that does
    - use services like etc
    - Move to an ISP like UTV or Smart that allows you to get a static IP for a monthly fee

  • Bittorrent Configuration
    As there are a number of different BitTorrent clients available I'm only going to cover the popular one's here. This will be expanded in time. Please remember that when discussing use of P2P applications on that discussions should cover downloading of legal content only in-line with the Broadband charter.

    uTorrent: -
    Further information with regards uTorrent and its client is available from wikipedia -

    Guide on how to use and configure uTorrent are available from their website -

    Vuze aka Azureus: -
    Further information with regards Vuze aka Azureus and its client is available from wikipedia -

    Guide on how to use and configure Vuze are available from their website -

    Router Configuration:
    Generally speaking if you are using bittorrent and using a Broadband router then you will most likely need to setup port forwarding (what is this?), in order to do this please review any Help Files or FAQ's that came with your router and also take a note of the ports that your bittorrent client is using. provides a wealth of information on how to configure your router for use with Bitorrent and other applications.

  • Does a truly unlimited Internet Service Provider exist?
    This is my view from personal experience in relation to this subject:

    There is no such things as a truly unlimited Internet Service Provider (FUP), the business model is not sustainable in the long term once the ISP starts to receive an influx of heavy users.

    Lets take an example of an ISP's business model....
    An ISP offers an upto 8MB Broadband service for 20e a month, the ISP takes a gamble on a number of factors for this package:
    - The customer will call their support X amount of times
    - The customer will use generally a small percentage of bandwidth
    - The ISP will only have to buy X amount of backhaul

    All works well and good if the ISP has what it views as "averge joe's".

    However the problems accur when the ISP gets an influx of "heavy users", when the ISP gets more heavy users the backhaul costs start to outweigh the money the ISP makes from the customers 20e a month fee and as such it it can start to become less profitable and like it or not all ISP's are out there to make money :)

    In addition to this depending on what backhaul an ISP has and what network management they have if heavy users start downloading in a given area they may affect network performance and thus drive support calls from "averge joe's" which no ISP wants.

    Lets remember that "heavy users" generally represent a very small percentage of the ISP's user base but can often end up utilising 90% of the ISP network traffic due to use of P2P etc.

    ISP's make money on the fact that the vast majority of people pay say 15e for 8MB Broadband and then only use it for web browsing and clock up 10GB, thats how it can be so cheap.

    If everyone uses 1TB then expect to pay ALOT more for your Broadband based on the current business models used in the likes of Ireland and the UK.

    Those who think that this is all only happening in Ireland are wrong, you'll note that many ISP's years ago including Orange, BT, NTL and Plusnet in the UK had no caps or FUP's but thats changed, I wouldn't expect it to change back in a hurry.

    How do ISP's get around this?
    Plain and simple ISP's introduce set caps or Fair Usage Policy which are outlined in the ISP's Terms & Conditions and allow the ISP as needed to manage its "heavy users".

    Examples of ISP's with caps or FUP's include:

    Some ISP's are often better then others in relation to making caps and FUP's more visable to its customer base but I can't stress it enough that anybody signing up to ANY ISP should make sure to read the Terms & Conditions!

    Other ISP's have also been inventive by introducing "Unlimited" options which allow their customer to from from say a 6GB set cap to "Unlimited*" once they pay a small monthly fee, other ISP's also allow their customers to increase there set cap by paying an additional monthly fee.

    So whats the long and short of this?
    As services like BBC iPlayer or 4-On-Demand increase then ISP's will be forced to increase caps and things will change but this will take time.

    In the short term. some ISP's offer business packages or LLU packages that may be cheaper for the ISP to provide backhaul and are more suitable for heavy downloading but will cost the customer more.

    Until then I'd advise everyone to read their T&C's and choose the package best suited to their needs and yes I'm fully aware the situation is far from ideal :)

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