What is Broadband ?
ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Asymmetric,
because the download speed is faster than the upload speed. The
speeds are the same each way for SDSL.
The basic DSL protocol splits your existing copper line into 256
logical channels, only one of which is needed to provide the
telephone/fax service that the whole line used to provide. That
single channel remains connected into the national switched
telephone network and its traffic continues to be time-chargeable
as before. Thus the manner in which you use the line does not
change and is quite unaffected by what is happening on the 255 DSL
channels. Your line rental agreement can be transferred to us
without in any way affecting the broadband operation.
The other 255 channels are used for the parallel transmission of IP
packets, which are the currency of internet traffic. IP stands for
Internet Protocol. These channels connect into the national IP
network, a different part of your local BT exchange. Data from the
255 channels is re-assembled at the exchange and transmitted across
the internet. Your DSL connection is always on, and is not
Residential systems usually have a 'contention' of 50:1 and this
also suits basic business use. A contention level of 50:1 means
there really could be 49 other people trying to get down the same
line at the same time as you, which is why the 20:1 products are
rated to give you more exclusive access. Such congestion really
does happen with some mass market home broadband ISP's who manage
their own BT exchange delivery and data. In such instances
increasing the download speed does not help much. The only
solution is to change to a less congested provider. Like us.
Why M-Line Broadband ?
1. High quality, very reliable. Our service is delivered over
BT's IPStream system *.
2. It is billed along with your calls on same bill. A single bill
for all your land line telephony.
3. Only one month's notice period. Most suppliers make you commit
for 3 to 12 months minimum.
4. Contention ratios are lower in practice than the services are
5. No premium number help lines. Normal 0800 number access as for
the telecoms service. We do not out-source to call centres.
6. No download limit (except in the capped instances shown below).
Many providers restrict this, and/or charge extra.
7. Upload limit for e-mail attachments is a very generous 25mb. No
limit for FTP.
8. All systems below give you a single fixed IP address. Free.
* BT's IPStream is very stable and reliable. It uses BT's
traffic prioritisation (contention ratios) and as such cannot be
overloaded and has no single point of failure. We use multiple data
'pipes' across the data centres and are thus able to balance the
load from our end-users. Even at busy times there is no degradation
of quality or connection and in the event of a 'pipe' fault or
failure there is built-in redundancy.
The Agreement & Fault Handling
The broadband service we provide is 'wires only'. That means we
give you access to the internet at the network teminating
point (NTE) on your premises. Our obligation is thus exactly
the same as for line rental. All equipment, wiring and other
matters beyond the NTE are the responsibility of the customer. The
router you will use to connect your computer to the internet is as
much your responsibility as are your computers and telephone
handsets, notwithstanding we may have supplied the router ready
programmed at the outset.
We do not manage your e-mail. If e-mail is not working, but you
can still browse websites, there is nothing wrong with our
connection. You will need to contact your domain managers or e-mail
We will of course be helpful on occasions where a fault is
suspected, but we ask you to apply some first aid in an attempt to
diagnose the fault. This will save time and frustration. The bottom
line is that it is most unlikely the fault is actually with the
broadband connection itself, and that in most instances you can
fix the problems yourself:
1. Remove all equipment from the line except the filter, plug in
a single reliable corded handset, and check if you can call in and
out to your mobile. If you cannot, please report a line fault. To
0800 026 1550 or 0800 980 5090.
2. If voice works, the fault is not with the line. In the vast
majority of such cases the fault lies with the router. First switch
it off, wait for 30 minutes then power up again. Watch the DSL
light flash red, then settle to steady green. Check access again.
If that does not solve the problem, your router may well have
3. Routers do not last long, and you should always have a spare
ready for such instances. On your monthly invoice we include
information (ADSL username and password) about your broadband that
(if we supply your broadband) will enable you or your equipment
supplier to set up a new router. It will also be clear from that
information if we do not supply your broadband.
4. In very rare instances, not even that restores the
connection. In such cases we have to file an actual broadband
fault. One of the first questions are are then asked is 'has the
user changed the router'. So buying another router when the first
router might not have been at fault is not a disaster. You will
need it at some stage.