24 Meg Broadband - too good to be true?


Book Reviewer
Just seen an offer from a bunch called bethere.co.uk offering 24 Mb broadband for £20 a month.

Any tecchy types out there know anything about it? could be just what I'm looking for, but as I get (even) older I realise that if something is too good to be true, it's not true :)

Be There

* Up to 24 meg download speed
* Up to 1.3 meg upload speed
* Unlimited Internet access
* No download caps
* Free high specification wireless Be Box modem
the http://www.ispreview.co.uk/broadband/xdsl.shtml don't seem to have any info, 24 Meg un-capped. I'll wager within 1 month It will get capped or the 24 Meg becomes 56k .BT internet backbone is no way ready for that kind of workload.

I'd give it a while before jumping onto this one........
Old Snowy, bear in mind that any system goes at the speed of it's slowest component.

If you have tried 512k, 1M and 2M, and noticed no difference between them, then unless you have a brand new telephone line, there is no-one else in your local area who has yet come out of the dark ages and you have a PC that NASA would be proud of, the you probably won't notice much difference with 24M either.

Imagine a line from you to the Internet Service Provider, going down your own telephone line, into the local line switch box just down the road, then on to the nearest BT exchange, then down a pipe to wherever your Internet Service Provider's physical network plugs into BT. The 24M claim is made at the point where the Internet Service Provider's physical connection plugs into the BT network. If the BT network between your home and that point is not capable of supporting 24M (and I would really doubt that it could), then your download speed will be reduced to whatever the network can handle. Of course at busy times of day this may (but not necessarily) be reduced further.

The best answer would be to check with BT (or whoever your phone provider is) to see what they say, but I wouldn't expect a straight answer.


Book Reviewer
Hmmm. thanks for the advice. It won't help that an Interneet cafe has opened up down the road (same exchange, I expect). They'll probably go bust soon, as most seem to do, but in the meantime could this seriously slow down my viewing pleaseure?

(e.g. ruin my viewing of Milfhunter?)
I'd heard that the copper cabling that makes up most BT exchange -> user lines has effectively reached it's peak at 2mb. I live in the sticks so was faced with the choice of either having my internet delivered weekly by horse & cart or signing up to a wireless network which involves having a tranceiver gaffered to the TV aerial. Sounds dodgy but I can get 2mb down and upstream. Talking to the boffins, they say that they are marking time with this 2mb technology and are playing with something else that may go past 8mb. They didn't mention 24mb though. What is notable is that they agreed taht telephone lines have kinda had it unless someone pulls a real flanker with software compression.
Hope this helps.
OldSnowy said:
Hmmm. thanks for the advice. It won't help that an Interneet cafe has opened up down the road (same exchange, I expect). They'll probably go bust soon, as most seem to do, but in the meantime could this seriously slow down my viewing pleaseure?

(e.g. ruin my viewing of Milfhunter?)
Actually, that's unlikely. If you imagine everyone having a pretty natty telephone line going into the local switch, from where there is a good quality high bandwidth line to the exchange, from where the line is superb quality, very high bandwidth. To upgrade the quality of the hardware in the exchange, the switch and the line between them is fairly straightforward. It is the millions of domestic telephone lines which BT has not got the facilities to upgrade in line with demand. But an internet cafe would be quite likely to have an upgraded (i.e. new, different type) line to the switch, which would probably not plug into the same panel of lines as your domestic line. This would mean it is not 'in contention' with your line at the switch. In this case unless the line between the switch and the exchange were unable to cope with the capacity (and BT are pretty hot on upgrading before this level is reached), you are very unlikely to notice any adverse effect on your broadband performance. What would affect it is if all the other domestic users in your area got broadband and starting using it all the time to download films, because you would all be in contention on the same components on the telephone exchange and switch system.

I've stuck a couple of references on the bottom which are quite good for explaining some of the technical aspects in beginner speak (better than I am anyway!)

Broadband Beginner's Guide:


Broadband FAQs:


Broadband connectivity diagram:

If you look at the documentation that you got with your ADSL modem/router you'll see it is capable of 8Mb. ADSL2 will allow you to go a lot faster. However the faster you go, the closer to the excahnge you are going to have to be. Also bear in mind that whilst BT typically run 155Mb of backhaul into the exchange others might not run in so much to support their DSLAMs. There is then the tricky question of what size of transit conneciton they have and what the contention ratios are likely to be in practice. Hint: Cheapskate ISPS attract bandwidth gobbling cheapskate users who surf for p0rn 24x7, we charge a heck of a lot more, but as it is mainly business users the network is fairly fast out of "normal" hours.
I'd be happy if the tossers at BT could even deliver 1mb.
Apparently 5km from the exchange is too far for their bloody system to manage :roll:

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