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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Weird intermittent ADSL router problem - any ideas?

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Old June 6th 04, 04:05 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Greg Watson
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Posts: 1
Default Weird intermittent ADSL router problem - any ideas?


For almost a year now I have been struggling with Onetel and their
complete inability to fix an intermittent problem I have with my ADSL
connection. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas what might be
going on. Here is a brief history:

ADSL line goes live and works fine for about a year.
Suddenly I start getting connection drop outs. Symptoms include the
router web page showing the router is IDLE (when I'm trying to send
traffic through it) or sometimes CONNECTING. Sometimes it fails to
connect and returns an error about the remote network not responding;
sometimes it connects and then a minute later goes to idle. In any
event, I can't get more than a handful or ping packets through before
the router drops the connection.

Sometimes it works fine for hours, but usually if I'm using it a lot,
it will start to dop out. Sometimes if I keep forcing it to reconnect,
eventually it will seem to "pick up" a solid connection and then be OK
for a few more hours, but sometimes I can try to reconnect for hours
without getting a stable connection. Quite often the WAN light will be
Amber whilst this is happening.

I have had this problem at all times of day, even at 4am. There is
only a fax machine sharing the line and yes, I have tried it without
this connected.

Sometimes the line looks OK until I start to put data through it, and
then it drops.

Eventually I managed to get BT round and they did something to do with
the pairs - I dunno exactly but maybe switched the ADSL line to use a
different pair or something? Anyway it didn't help.

After several months of Onetel completely failing to deal with it, I
took a Cisco 837 ADSL router from work, configured it up, and put it
in instead of the BT router. Everything then worked fine for 3 months.
Finally I put the BT router back in and within a day the problem had

Thinking that I had now proved it was a faulty router I contacted
Onetel and logged the fault AGAIN (since thy keep closing it down
after a few days whether it's working or not) and they finally got BT
round with a new router. Imagine my surprise when this too showed the
same problem after a day or two.

Phoned Onetel AGAIN, logged the call AGAIN and eventually another BT
engineer came round with notes saying "Dead router. Replace router. If
existing router not faulty, bill customer". Brilliant eh? They had no
knowledge of the ongoing problems.. that's all the engineer had. No
wonder the problem isn't getting fixed if that's the sort of duff info
Onetel are sending across to BT.

So now I'm confused. My best guess at this point would be that there
is something about the line that is not ideal (noise or something??)
and that the Cisco is able to deal with it better than the BT router.

As far as Onetel go, they seem to have no concept whatsoever of an
escalation procedure, and they keep closing the call even though I
keep saying "Don't close it until I say it's fixed". What seems to
keep happening is that BT take a look at the line, see that it's been
connected for 5 hours (during the day when I'm not actually using the
line, very useful test) and then say there's nothing wrong with it.

Any ideas (a) what might be going on and (b) how on earth do I get
Onetel / BT to actually fix the damn problem??????

In case it's useful it's a non-NAT ADSL with 4 IP addresses (I think).
I have a hardware firewall in place but like I said, when I swap a
Cisco router in (but use the existing cables) it all works fine.

Desperate In Tongham
Old June 6th 04, 04:45 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
Posts: 40
Default Weird intermittent ADSL router problem - any ideas?

probably a firmware issue with the BT router, I would look at another test
router if possible with a view to replacing the BT router with your own. You
will get more help firmware wise if you try the forum on

Old June 6th 04, 09:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
Posts: 4
Default Weird intermittent ADSL router problem - any ideas?

Greg Watson wrote:


For almost a year now I have been struggling with Onetel and their
without getting a stable connection. Quite often the WAN light will be
Amber whilst this is happening.

That means that the router has lost sync ,and as the router has been changed
that would indicate some problem not on your property , in the exchange or
the cable to your property. Is the problem worse when it is wet outside if
so posable line fault .

I had a similar problem that they could not trace and an old BT engineer
found corrosion in the Line Jack unit which his younger colleges had not
thought to look for. As I am sure you are aware copper oxide acts like a
diode which won't help with ADSL this cured my customers problem.

Output Certified Microsoft free
Checked with Suse 9.1

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