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As a BT Total Broadband customer on Option 2 I got the Accelerator Plate (iPlate) free, and also without asking for it, so the promise of making my 1 Mbps or less broadband faster was a very good one.
The instructions are a bit complicated I found, but once you actually figure out what they mean it is quite simple to install. You can only put the iPlate on the master socket (where the line comes into your home), and it's best to put your router here as your home wiring can cause interference, which is a bit annoying.
As I've said I used to get 1 Mbps or less, and now it is up to around 1.7 Mbps (obviously it isn't always this at peak time), which although now remarkable, is better than nothing.
To be honest the BT Accelerator Plate is not an excuse for not upgrading the broadband network, and I don't think that 1.7 Mbps is really acceptable, but as for the actual Accelerator plate, it completes its purpose, and it will be more noticeable on a faster line, so I would recommend it.
Having recently reactivated my ADSL broadband, it came as no shock to find my average throughput was roughly 3.5Mb/s after the initial training period.
Living in the countryside means that broadband speeds are constantly underwhelming no matter which provider you choose. The promises of 'up to 20mbps' are far more like '3 or 4 Mb/s' at the most.
BT made it very clear at the outset that my maximum achievable limit was likely to be in the region of 4.5Mb/s - and yet, included in my starter pack was a slip of paper advising me that I could still benefit from a small device named the 'BT accelerator'.
Over the course of several paragraphs, the advertising blurb declared that most households with the appliance fitted experienced a speed improvement of approximately 1.5mbps!
I'm always dubious of such claims, and this too looked like marketing witchcraft and doublespeak trickery. However, the accelerator was only £1.20 due to a broadband package discount, so I thought I might as well give it a whirl; after all, with BT suggesting this piece of plastic has helped some people achieve speed increases by as much as 4mbps, it seemed well worth the paltry investment.
WHAT IS IT & WHAT DOES IT DO?
The BT accelerator actually goes by half a dozen different names, including the 'BT iPlate' and the 'OpenWorld ADSL Filter'.
Essentially, the device disables the old 'bell' connector on your line; in the past this was used to make telephones ring out when somebody called. However, modern digital phones have their own ringers, rendering the bell connector redundant.
The accelerator inertly filters said wiring, cutting out the electromagnetic interference generated by the powered line. This helps to improve the overall quality of the remaining wiring.
HOW TO SET UP
Installing the plate is remarkably simple. If you can change a lightbulb, you shouldn't have any difficulty installing it whatsoever.
Firstly, you need to locate the master socket within the home. Identifying this shouldn't be too difficult - it's the wall-mounted phone panel that's split in half horizontally. (It should be noted that not all master sockets are designed like this, but BT suggests that roughly 70% of households have a compatible socket, so always double check before purchasing.)
Next, unscrew the master panel with a screwdriver and hook on the accelerator. It should easily clip into place using the concealed test socket.
Finally, it's just a matter of reattaching the faceplate with the longer screws to accommodate the surplus size of the device. It really is a two-minute task, and I'm confident that virtually anybody could do it - even the most ardent technophobe shouldn't have any trouble!
Reattach your filters, reboot your router, and you're ready to go. It may take several days for the full effects of the device to become apparent, but most people will see some kind of change almost immediately.
TESTING THE ACCELERATOR
Having placed my order, I decided to perform a number of speed tests before the device arrived. My results averaged out at a constant 3.45Mb/s download and there were no anomalous 'outlier' readings during my testing, verifying the line's overall stability.
Having installed the accelerator and rebooted the router, my new rate registered as being 2.74Mb/s. This initial fall was discouraging, but somewhat expected - after all, altered lines require a new training period so an initial dip in speed can occur; as the instructions point out, you may have to wait a few days for your final speed to become evident.
After three days, with my line fully retraced, my new average speed crept up to an impressive 4.82Mb/s - a 1.37Mb/s real-term increase over my original speed! Naturally, this testing took place during daylight hours, and as such it should be noted that my newly trained line could achieve speeds in excess of 5.21Mb/s during 'off-peak' hours!
I'll readily admit I was very surprised by the result of the accelerator. Having come to accept that there was virtually nothing I could presently do to improve my broadband speed, I was stunned to see it increase by almost 40% just by installing a hunk of white plastic on my master socket!
While it should be noted that this isn't a miracle product (it won't magically move you closer to your exchange or send your speeds stratospheric), it's certainly worth giving it a go if you're subject to poor quality ADSL day after day.
The BT accelerator can be purchased directly from BT for approximately £8-£12, or other vendors for roughly the same price. In my opinion it's definitively worth the small investment; even if you don't see blisteringly fast improvements it should at least give you a few 'kb/s' for your troubles.
Pretty much everyone you speak to who has broadband, always has the same complaint -it's not quick enough. Packages that were bought on the basis of having speeds of 8mbps and more are usually a more perdestrian 1mbps. Countless hours talking to technical helplines and many consumer programmes have failed to resolve the problem. It seemed up until recently that it was a case of you get what you are given. However, the most maligned of all service providers BT, seems to have come with if not a total solution, then at least a peace offering.
The BT Broadband I-Plate is an adapter that can be fitted to your main phone socket in order to improve your download speed by reducing electrical interference from home phone lines. The speed increase is upto 1.5mbps. BT Broadband customers can apply online for this item and will recieve it for free, with the only charge being £1.20 to cover p&p. Non Bt Broadband customers can still pick one up but expect to be charged £7.07 for the device.
So, does it work? Well yes my speed increased from 1mbps to 2mbps, so for the one off payment of £1.20 my £25 per month package doubles in speed. Instalation was pretty simple. You remove the lower portion of your NTE5 master socket, avoid disturbing the wiring, slide the I-PLate in and replace the faceplate. Hey presto you're ready to go.
I've experienced no problems in installation or in usage and the look of the material is the same as the socket it fits into, so no complaints there. In short, BT actually got something right for once.
I have been having trouble with broadband speed since I first switched from Dial Up to Broadband. Lots of tweaking , optimising software, accelerator software but no joy I was at best getting 1MB against advertised 8MB. Downloading an 30 minute program from BBC iplayer could take up to 3 hours and watching a program by streaming was impossible as it would keep buffering.
In a magazine I saw an article about the BT Accelerator Plate and how it could boost line spped by upto 2MB. Out of desperation I went online to BT website and purchased one for £7.95 including delivery. A few days later it arrived, at first was concerned as there was no installation instructions. Looking at it though it was obvious what you did.
You remove the two screws from your existing phone socket take off the plastic cover. The i-plate plugs into the socket and you then screw the cover back on using the two screws provided as they are longer. That is it.
You should check on the BT website that the phone socket you have is suitable as some older sockets cannot take the plate. My house in 13 years old so for vast majority this should not be an issue.
There is no impact immediately as for some technical reason the impact takes a week or so. If anyone can explain please do. So about a week later I went to download a program and it said 10 minutes download time a mistake I thought but no it took just under 10 minutes. Finally a gadget that does what it says. Let me go on the TV and shout the joys of the iplate. I checked line speed and it was showing 4MB. About a week later I checked again and it was showing 6MB. Happiness abounded in our household.
It is now possible to watch TV streaming and to view video without any buffering. Would I recommend this product yes I would and very loudly.