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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.

Persuading BT OPenreach to investigate broadband problem



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 24th 17, 04:41 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 291
Default Persuading BT OPenreach to investigate broadband problem

A client of mine lives at the end of a long phone line in a rural location.
He knows that his broadband speed will not be very fast.

But he is getting an unusual symptom. His router (BT HomeHub 5) always
reports speeds of about 1.2 Mbps down and 0.448 Mbps up, but he
intermittently gets no internet access.

I have seen this by running "ping news.bbc.co.uk" tests. At best he gets
response times of about 120 msec, but at other times the ping speed
increases to 3500-4000 msec, or else the test times-out altogether. All
along, the router's reported sync speed is still 1.2/0.45.

Restarting the router or unplugging the DSL cable tends to improve things
for a few minutes, but then it goes bad again, maybe with a spontaneous
improvement at some point.

Because the router reliably syncs, BT Openreach believe that it's not a line
problem, even though there are times when no data passes (eg ping test or
web browsing).

So a very intermittent problem.

I've been to inspect his setup today, and he has a simple BT drop cable from
pole to master socket - a continuous cable to within 1 metre of the master
socket, with a BT junction box to join the drop cable to the cable the runs
the last metre. There are no cables tee-ed into this drop cable, and there
is no extension wiring connected to the faceplate or connected to the
incoming wiring within the master socket.

Unfortunately the HomeHub 5 doesn't list any line stats like noise margin
and attenuation, and I didn't have my Netgear router with me that gives
those stats.

I've tried with a different hub (BT sent him a replacement HomeHub 5),
different filter and different RJ45 cable between filter and router.

His laptop is connected to the router by Ethernet - so wifi doesn't enter
the equation. I've tried with my laptop to eliminate anything weird with his
TCP config.

But when he raises the problem with BT Internet, his ISP, and they
commission a BT Openreach engineer to investigate, the response he gets is
"there's no point in my coming out - it's a fault with your own wiring".
Apparently they have twice been commissioned to investigate and have twice
cancelled.

I've proved that it's not a fault with his own wiring because he doesn't
have any house extension wiring - just a drop cable and a BT Master Socket
with faceplate.

How should we get this problem progressed? If an ISP says "we need BT
Openreach to investigate" and Openreach say "it's a customer line fault"
(from remote tests, without a home visit), where do you go from there?

The problem has dragged on for several months with intermittent service
which ranges from poor but usable to totally unusable.

Can BT wash their hands of the problem if the line is "too long" or has poor
quality cable or joints somewhere between house and exchange?

  #2  
Old August 24th 17, 05:52 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Dick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 77
Default Persuading BT OPenreach to investigate broadband problem

On 24-Aug-17 4:41 PM, NY wrote:
A client of mine lives at the end of a long phone line in a rural
location. He knows that his broadband speed will not be very fast.

But he is getting an unusual symptom. His router (BT HomeHub 5) always
reports speeds of about 1.2 Mbps down and 0.448 Mbps up, but he
intermittently gets no internet access.

I have seen this by running "ping news.bbc.co.uk" tests. At best he gets
response times of about 120 msec, but at other times the ping speed
increases to 3500-4000 msec, or else the test times-out altogether. All
along, the router's reported sync speed is still 1.2/0.45.

Restarting the router or unplugging the DSL cable tends to improve
things for a few minutes, but then it goes bad again, maybe with a
spontaneous improvement at some point.

Because the router reliably syncs, BT Openreach believe that it's not a
line problem, even though there are times when no data passes (eg ping
test or web browsing).

So a very intermittent problem.

I've been to inspect his setup today, and he has a simple BT drop cable
from pole to master socket - a continuous cable to within 1 metre of the
master socket, with a BT junction box to join the drop cable to the
cable the runs the last metre. There are no cables tee-ed into this drop
cable, and there is no extension wiring connected to the faceplate or
connected to the incoming wiring within the master socket.

Unfortunately the HomeHub 5 doesn't list any line stats like noise
margin and attenuation, and I didn't have my Netgear router with me that
gives those stats.

I've tried with a different hub (BT sent him a replacement HomeHub 5),
different filter and different RJ45 cable between filter and router.

His laptop is connected to the router by Ethernet - so wifi doesn't
enter the equation. I've tried with my laptop to eliminate anything
weird with his TCP config.

But when he raises the problem with BT Internet, his ISP, and they
commission a BT Openreach engineer to investigate, the response he gets
is "there's no point in my coming out - it's a fault with your own
wiring". Apparently they have twice been commissioned to investigate and
have twice cancelled.

I've proved that it's not a fault with his own wiring because he doesn't
have any house extension wiring - just a drop cable and a BT Master
Socket with faceplate.

How should we get this problem progressed? If an ISP says "we need BT
Openreach to investigate" and Openreach say "it's a customer line fault"
(from remote tests, without a home visit), where do you go from there?

The problem has dragged on for several months with intermittent service
which ranges from poor but usable to totally unusable.

Can BT wash their hands of the problem if the line is "too long" or has
poor quality cable or joints somewhere between house and exchange?

The Homehub 5 does list all the line stats. Go to Troubleshooting
helpdesk.
  #3  
Old August 24th 17, 06:00 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 291
Default Persuading BT OPenreach to investigate broadband problem

"Dick" wrote in message
news
Unfortunately the HomeHub 5 doesn't list any line stats like noise margin
and attenuation, and I didn't have my Netgear router with me that gives
those stats.


The Homehub 5 does list all the line stats. Go to Troubleshooting
helpdesk.


Ah, thanks. I'll remember that for next time. I wish all routers would have
consistent (or at least intuitive) menus for line stats/speed - the
Technicolour routers that Plusnet use are particicularly hard to fathom.

If it wasn't so far to drive and the customer wasn't so hard of hearing, I'd
check whether the stats vary between the times when ping and web access work
and when they don't, even though the line speed is the same in both cases.

I wonder whether part of the problem is that the router is being
over-ambitious: trying (and failing) to talk at a higher speed, when it
could work reliably at a slightly slower speed.

  #4  
Old August 24th 17, 06:13 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 566
Default Persuading BT OPenreach to investigate broadband problem

NY wrote:

[snip very common tale of woe]

Your only solution is to change ISP, to either Zen Internet or Andrews &
Arnold.

You should also get a proper router, one that reports the line stats.
Ideally you should get one that works with "Routerstats", see:

http://www.vwlowen.co.uk/internet/files.htm

or

http://www.vwlowen.co.uk/internet/betatesters.htm

Your description is of good sync but lack of bandwidth. This might just
be a very noisy line not handled properly by the router, but is more
likely to be a fault somewhere in the BT system. It might also be that
BT changes their DNS server and the router doesn't recognise it, so
pinging something by IP address might work, but by name will fail.

A good ISP will talk you through some diagnostics to help identify the
problem; then they will call out Openreach. The customer will have to
accept the cost if the fault is proven to be caused by his wiring, so
testing with a proper router first would be sensible. However if the
fault is external Zen or A&A will continue to pester Openreach until the
problem is resolved.

Be aware that this could be an ongoing problem for many months, so keep
a log and keep us updated with progress.

Both Zen or A&A will give the customer a static IP address so you can
monitor performance remotely using for example:

http://fruk.net/index.php?fruk=f8lure

A Vigor router will allow you to set up a VPN so you could leave your
own laptop on site running routerstats, and interrogate it from your
location using the VPN.

Also, when the Openreach engineer attends, always be present yourself IN
PERSON to supervise, and keep notes. Never delegate this to anybody else!

Also see:

https://www.aaisp.net.uk/broadband-trial.html

.... which says:

"If you are migrating your service to us, even though you know you have
a problem with your broadband line, we'll take on the fault. We'll
tackle the problem and get it fixed within one month. If we don't then
you can migrate away and owe us nothing for your migration to us and
your service charges for that month."

If the customer won't leave BT then you can decline to help him any further.

--
Graham J














  #5  
Old August 24th 17, 07:20 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 291
Default Persuading BT Openreach to investigate broadband problem

"Graham J" wrote in message
news
It might also be that BT changes their DNS server and the router doesn't
recognise it, so pinging something by IP address might work, but by name
will fail.


I always check that the name-to-IP resolution has worked - and in this case
it was because I was getting an IP address listed in the "Pinging" message.

A good ISP will talk you through some diagnostics to help identify the
problem; then they will call out Openreach. The customer will have to
accept the cost if the fault is proven to be caused by his wiring, so
testing with a proper router first would be sensible. However if the
fault is external Zen or A&A will continue to pester Openreach until the
problem is resolved.

Be aware that this could be an ongoing problem for many months, so keep a
log and keep us updated with progress.

Both Zen or A&A will give the customer a static IP address so you can
monitor performance remotely using for example:

http://fruk.net/index.php?fruk=f8lure

A Vigor router will allow you to set up a VPN so you could leave your own
laptop on site running routerstats, and interrogate it from your location
using the VPN.

Also, when the Openreach engineer attends, always be present yourself IN
PERSON to supervise, and keep notes. Never delegate this to anybody else!

Also see:

https://www.aaisp.net.uk/broadband-trial.html

... which says:

"If you are migrating your service to us, even though you know you have a
problem with your broadband line, we'll take on the fault. We'll tackle
the problem and get it fixed within one month. If we don't then you can
migrate away and owe us nothing for your migration to us and your service
charges for that month."

If the customer won't leave BT then you can decline to help him any
further.



This is what you (probably) pay extra for: terrier-like tenacity in getting
the problem sorted out. Underlying most ISPs' connections is a BT line, but
what sorts the sheep from the goats is that some will provide extra support,
in terms of talking through the problem in a sensible manner which shows
that they have listened to what I'd already tried. Plusnet provide good
support, though they are harder to contact than they used to be when I
started recommending them as being a good compromise between cost and
support quality. I've not had dealings with A&A or Zen, but I've seen a lot
of good reports of them.

It all boils down to cost. If Zen/A&A work out more expensive than MoorsNet
who provide a long-range wifi service to villages that have very poor ADSL,
then the customer will go with MoorsNet and cut his losses. But I'll suggest
Zen or A&A as a possibility.


The problem in this particular case (as far as I can gather from the client)
is that the ISP has twice requested Openreach to attend to measure the line
stats from the customer's end, and OR have refused to attend because their
tests from the exchange have "proved" that the fault lies with the
customer's wiring. My question to them is now "what wiring?" given than
there's nothing connected to the master socket except the filter, router and
cordless phone - and I've proved that a different filter, ADSL cable, a
different router (though still a BT HH5) and no phone connected still gives
the fault.

Am I right that the demarcation point is still deemed to be the master
socket? The only slightly non-standard thing is that the drop cable doesn't
go right to the master socket but ends at a rectangular BT junction box with
about a metre of white cable from that box to the BT master socket.

  #6  
Old August 24th 17, 07:25 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Dick
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 77
Default Persuading BT Openreach to investigate broadband problem

On 24-Aug-17 7:20 PM, NY wrote:

Am I right that the demarcation point is still deemed to be the master
socket? The only slightly non-standard thing is that the drop cable
doesn't go right to the master socket but ends at a rectangular BT
junction box with about a metre of white cable from that box to the BT
master socket.


That's why there is a test socket behind the removable faceplate of the
master socket. Reomving the faceplate disconnects all internal wiring
and provides a demarcation point.
  #7  
Old August 24th 17, 07:32 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Graham J[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 566
Default Persuading BT Openreach to investigate broadband problem

NY wrote:

[snip]


Am I right that the demarcation point is still deemed to be the master
socket? The only slightly non-standard thing is that the drop cable
doesn't go right to the master socket but ends at a rectangular BT
junction box with about a metre of white cable from that box to the BT
master socket.



This is a moot point. My experience is the demarcation is the end of
the dropwire unless the junction box and the cable to the master socket
are all clearly provided by Openreach.

What you describe is non-standard. Have you opened junction box and
seen what is inside? I've known Openreach equip these boxes with
filters to prevent audio noise, and they block ADSL quite effectively!
The old ones contain a lightning arrester which can upset the ADSL signals.

This is why you should be present when the Openreach engineer attends -
you can ask why that box is there, and whether it is causing the
unreliability.

A&A will be more expensive.

Zen might not be more expensive depending on the bundle chosen; they
could well be cheaper.

--
Graham J

  #8  
Old August 24th 17, 08:39 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 291
Default Persuading BT Openreach to investigate broadband problem

"Graham J" wrote in message
news
My experience is the demarcation is the end of the dropwire unless the
junction box and the cable to the master socket are all clearly provided
by Openreach.

What you describe is non-standard. Have you opened junction box and seen
what is inside? I've known Openreach equip these boxes with filters to
prevent audio noise, and they block ADSL quite effectively! The old ones
contain a lightning arrester which can upset the ADSL signals.


I didn't open the junction box. I assumed (which you should never do) that
it simply joined the fairly stiff drop cable to more flexible cable which
was routed along the window sill, and then round the edge of it to pass
underneath it, along the skirting board and into the master socket.

Hopefully if BT OR do attend they will investigate this as well as
everything else and get to the bottom of why the data throughput is
sometimes so bad even though the sync speed is fairly constant at 1.2 / 0.5
which is slow by modern standards (*) but usable providing it's reliable and
you always get roughly that speed.

During a period when I was getting ping times of about 120 msec (as opposed
to 4000 msec!) I ran speedtest.net and got about 0.9 / 0.3 Mbps, so not
much slower than the sync speed that the router reported.


(*) I can remember the very early days of ADSL when 512 kbps was fairly
typical, and people would kill to get 2 Mbps. How times have changed!

  #9  
Old August 24th 17, 08:49 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
Woody
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 585
Default Persuading BT Openreach to investigate broadband problem


"NY" wrote in message
o.uk...
"Graham J" wrote in message
news
My experience is the demarcation is the end of the dropwire unless
the junction box and the cable to the master socket are all clearly
provided by Openreach.

What you describe is non-standard. Have you opened junction box
and seen what is inside? I've known Openreach equip these boxes
with filters to prevent audio noise, and they block ADSL quite
effectively! The old ones contain a lightning arrester which can
upset the ADSL signals.


I didn't open the junction box. I assumed (which you should never
do) that it simply joined the fairly stiff drop cable to more
flexible cable which was routed along the window sill, and then
round the edge of it to pass underneath it, along the skirting board
and into the master socket.

Hopefully if BT OR do attend they will investigate this as well as
everything else and get to the bottom of why the data throughput is
sometimes so bad even though the sync speed is fairly constant at
1.2 / 0.5 which is slow by modern standards (*) but usable providing
it's reliable and you always get roughly that speed.

During a period when I was getting ping times of about 120 msec (as
opposed to 4000 msec!) I ran speedtest.net and got about 0.9 / 0.3
Mbps, so not much slower than the sync speed that the router
reported.


(*) I can remember the very early days of ADSL when 512 kbps was
fairly typical, and people would kill to get 2 Mbps. How times have
changed!


Beware. If the drop cable does not go to the BT line box they could
have grounds for saying you have done this extra bit of wiring and as
a consequence charge you for a callout.



--
Woody

harrogate3 at ntlworld dot com


  #10  
Old August 24th 17, 09:04 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 291
Default Persuading BT Openreach to investigate broadband problem

"Woody" wrote in message
news
Beware. If the drop cable does not go to the BT line box they could have
grounds for saying you have done this extra bit of wiring and as a
consequence charge you for a callout.


What is the approved BT method of getting drop cable to the master socket
when the route that it must take within the house involves tight curves that
are too severe for drop cable to manage? I've seen these little junction
boxes between drop and white cable quite often in phone installations and
I've not thought anything of it other than that it provides a transition
between thick, stiff cable and thinner, flexible cable.

How does one convince BT OR that what they see it what they, BT OR,
installed a few years earlier?

How diligent are BT OR at attending to investigate poor broadband on long
lines? Are they known for sometimes deciding not to attend a callout that
has been made at the ISP's request if they know that the line is long and
the cables in the area are poor quality or involve lots of joints on pole
boxes or underground boxes. The distance from the house to the exchange is
about 6 km as the crow flies but I don't know what route the
overhead/underground cables may follow.

 




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