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Weak Wi-Fi Signal, Unable to WFH


We were set up on Now Super Fibre Broadband on 2nd October, and ever since the wi-fi signal has been so poor, it's practically unusable. Husband works from home and is still piggybacking off of the old TalkTalk connection that's still live to join Teams meetings. 

When the router was installed, the installer disconnected us from OpenReach's FTTP box, and had to reattach the copper that OR disconnected. Is this typical of a Super Fibre connection?

A speed test shows 20MB downloads where Now guarantees 60MB (and is testing at 72MB apparently). It showed a poor wi-fi signal, asked me to reset the router and then said "it's now working!". (Nothing has changed.)

We live in a 3-storey house and I expect this will be given as a reason as to a weak signal. But we had no problem with TT for 4 years. I want to know what my next steps and remedials are, as it's not sustainable while working from home?

Many thanks.




Super Fibre is FTTC (fibre to the cabinet), and then copper to the property. It’s a great deal slower than the FTTP (fibre to the property) you had, a service that is capable of 900Mbps (though you may have been running it slower than that, at an accordingly lower cost).

A speed test needs to be carried out on a wired line, e.g. an Ethernet cable to a laptop or similar, as WiFi speed falls off with distance from the router. Even WiFi on a device held as close as possible to the router will lose some speed, due to the overhead inherent in WiFi.

The Now router is notoriously poor in regards to its WiFi range. That’s why it won’t reach where the TalkTalk router did. This, though, is nothing to do with FTTC versus FTTP.

There are ways round it - mesh systems, WiFi booster, buying a better router (and going back to your TalkTalk one, it probably won’t be suitable for Now, for a number of reasons).

But in a property where you can get FTTP, going back to FTTC just isn’t the way to go. it’s slower, it’s less reliable (five times less, according to Vodafone). And, as you have found, FTTC from Now comes with a very inferior router, especially for a three storey house.

So, bad enough for domestic - but WFH? Staking your livelihood on it? Probably not just to get cheaper broadband (I hope!) but because TalkTalk no longer suited you? They don’t have a great reputation for customer service, it’s true.

But there are lots of other ISPs you could have gone to, and stayed on FTTP - even Sky, Now’s owner, who have a good business package for not much more than domestic cost, with cellular fallback if the landline ever goes out.

Alas, you are out of the 14-day cooling-off period for Now; though if they can’t get your 20Mbps back up to 60 within 30 days, you can leave without penalty.

For now, though, source a Sky SR203 router off eBay, and swap it in to replace the Now one. It won’t need any complicated reconfiguration, will have a much better WiFi range, and will at least solve that problem, while you wrestle with the speed one.

I used to WFH over 25Mbps, and it was pretty usable; I just had to avoid big file uploads (downloads were fine). But we’re on 500 Mbps from BT now; going back would seem like swapping a Ferrari for a horse and cart 😛

Set a Payment PIN on your account so that no-one but you can buy memberships on it. Check your bank accounts monthly for any other unexpected payments to Now. That way you can at least nip them in the bud, while you and Now figure out whose fault they are.
Champion 2


Echoing the sentiments expressed by @RoyB  and especially: why on earth would you downgrade from a Full Fibre service to a far inferior FTTC service? In my own case, I am using a TalkTalk Full Fibre 150 service which is more than enough for all our needs with decent WiFi reach from the their Hub and my wife happily uses it to work from home on a regular basis. 

Elite 3

Very good advice from the previous posters, but I just wondered were you aware you would be moving back to FTTC when you ordered, and how did you order. If it was over the phone, you could possibly complain you were badly advised, and try to get out of the contract that way.

I'm a bit surprised you were even able to get FTTC if FTTP was available, although there is usually an overlap period where both can be ordered.

Had you gone to any other ISP it would have used the same FTTP connection as Talk-Talk, but Now (for some unknown reason) don't use it.