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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.

Why is ADSL so finicky?

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Old June 6th 06, 10:52 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Why is ADSL so finicky?

On Tue, 06 Jun 2006 20:14:47 +0100, David M wrote:

Sorry, this is just a letting-off-steam grumble..

Why is ADSL so finicky?

For the past few months my broadband connection, which was previously
rock-solid, has been somewhat temperamental. It started off that
occasionally the router would lose sync, and take a little while to come
back up, before continuing merrily. I could live with that.

Then it happened that the router would lose sync, and would only come
back up again after having been physically powered-off for a few minutes.

So, as recommended, I tried using the master test socket, sometimes with
a little improvement, sometimes not. My ISP has said that line tests
revealed nothing wrong with my line. So I bought another router (prices
fortunately having dropped further in the meantime), and it was happy
for a couple of months.

But now I'm in the situation where my new router has not only started to
suffer the same problems as the first, but has recently almost completely
given up the ability to achieve sync in the first place (although, just
occasionally, it surprises itself into activity ..for a short period).
The old router has been dug up, and usually manages to sync quickly, but
again flails around if (*when*) it loses sync. To make things worse,
this old router has developed a habit of hissing relatively noisily,
making it unsuitable for leaving on overnight. And finally, it's now
come to the stage where the router can only keep sync for about 6 - 8
minutes at a time, before, again, having to power-off (in this case,
yanking the power line out - just how much would it have cost them to
add an on/off switch sigh?) for a few minutes before starting again.

Both routers use slightly different versions of the Conexant firmware
which I suspect is familiar to many of us (the new router seems to have
the latest firmware available for it). Is this generally a reliable
setup, or are some ADSL router-modems somewhat better than others?
(Or are they pretty much just all near-identical equally-crap commodity
items, all based on the the same chipset?)

The other possibility, of course, is that there may be something less
than ideal with the installed (when built [1]) telephone wiring within
my flat, although telephone service works just fine on both the main
socket and pre-wired extension. But as I said, using the master test
socket only seems to make a difference occasionally, which may just be
pure luck.

As you can imagine, I'm starting to find ADSL's finickiness as to when
it will and will not work rather exasperating.. :-(

[1] In the case of modern flats with pre-installed telephone wiring, do
BT install all of the wiring in the flat, or just to the master socket,
leaving any extensions to the (possibly less-professional?) builders?

Would asking my ISP to screw my line back down to 1Mb or 0.5Mb (if it is
possible to do such things now) be likely to make any difference?

What about Telewest cable? Obviously you're then stuck with a single
supplier, but is cable broadband any more reliable/less finicky than
ADSL? (And can you still use dial-thru call services with a Telewest

Maybe BT doing MaxDSL testing?



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