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My DSL connection gets even worse..

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by [TW]Fox, 1 Jun 2010.

  1. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,392

    Hi guys,

    I posted some time ago about problems with my DSL connection. I'll quickly recap.

    I've always had trouble getting a decent connection speed, usually 1500kbps was about my maximum. I'd learnt to live with it. In January, my connection speed increased to 2200kbps which was absolutely brilliant. No idea why, it just did. Unfortunately 2-3 weeks after it did this, I experienced a period of instability and since then, I have never again seen speeds anywhere near this.

    My line would only connect at 1100-1300kbps. It was, however, very stable. I am unable to stream things from youtube very well, and watching BBC Iplayer etc is something that its rarely worth bothering with.

    Today, I have noticed that I am now connected at just 704kbps. I've rebooted the router 4 times now and each time it syncs at a speed of about 704kbps. This is now ridiculously slow, slower than I've had for as long as I can remember.

    I really don't know what to do about it, really. I have a very long line despite living only 5 miles from the centre of a city with a population of 270,000 so it's not as if I'm sat in a rural farmhouse miles from anywhere wondering why my internet sucks. My line is long because BT routed it to an exchange that is, quite literally, on the other side of the city.

    Anyway, line stats at the moment..

    DSL Flavour = ADSL over POTS
    Reserved Bandwidth (kbit/s) up/down = 448 / 704

    Properties
    Output Power (dBm) up/down = 12.5 / 14.0
    Attenuation (dB) up/down = 31.5 / 63.0
    Noise Margin (dB) up/down = 11.0 / 15.5

    I've tried new equipment - a DG834G V4 with the DGTeam firmware - to no avail.

    Any ideas? :(

    I already have all the extension wiring in the house disconnected, the master faceplate removed, and the router plugged directly into the socket and have had for years.

    I'm with Plusnet, who probably couldn't care less so I doubt they'll help me.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2010
  2. ethos

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 May 2003

    Posts: 4,515

    Location: UK

    Fox, have you tried tweaking your SNR margin?

    It looks like because you've had some instability it's put you onto a 15dB margin, so plenty of room for tweaking (I'm sat at 3dB on the same router at the minute).

    Leaving it for a long period should improve matters, but these things quite often get stuck.

    Have you removed the bell wire out of interest?
     
  3. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,392

    What SNR settings have you gone for?
     
  4. Swifty55

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Feb 2006

    Posts: 5,647

    Location: Home

    What ISP you with?

    Try SNRs of 6, 9 and 12.
     
  5. Clown

    Soldato

    Joined: 13 Apr 2004

    Posts: 5,087

    Location: London

    Well he's on 11 now, so 12 would mean he connects even slower. I would try 6db and see how stable it is.

    You probably won't be able to fix the fluctuating connection speeds though, bar moving house or getting them to change exchanges (very unlikely). It sounds like the problem is external. You have already have a good router but maybe it might be worth trying a new splitter as some of them can be rubbish, they definitely aren't all made equal. You've eliminated internal wiring by connecting directly to the master socket.

    My ADSL speed changes depending on the weather :)
     
  6. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,392

    It just seems odd it's steadily getting worse. If it continues to degrade at the current rate, by Christmas I won't have an internet connection at all.
     
  7. jimbobaggies

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 Jun 2003

    Posts: 267

    Location: Torbay, UK

    Your line attenuation figure suggests you are quite far from the exchange, around 4.6km, but should be able to achieve a sync of ~2000kbps.

    As you are on ADSLMAX product your router should be trying to achieve a target SNR of 6dB, as has been stated. The higher noise margin, and drop in speed, are indicative of some instability, causing your target margin to be raised.

    You are in between the devil and the deep blue sea here. Should you choose to report a fault, and end up with a BT engineer turning up, unless he finds and fixes said fault, you would be liable for ~£120 charge.

    Do you have lots of re-syncs? Do you have noise on the line? Try the quiet line test. Is your line overhead, or underground? Have you noticed BT in the area working, or any utility companies working in the area since your problem started to appear?
     
  8. Swifty55

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Feb 2006

    Posts: 5,647

    Location: Home

    He's on 15. ;)
     
  9. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,392

    This concerns me.

    Not often, no. Had a few this evening which reminded me my internet sucked and prompted this post. Prior to that the uptime on the line was circa 3 weeks.

    How do I do this?

    It's an underground line to a property built in the mid 90's. I doubt a BT van has been in this area for some time, and I can only dream of the day when somebody like Virgin decides to cable the area I live instead of focusing all efforts on the inner city areas where nobody has a job anyway.. :p
     
  10. tolien

    Caporegime

    Joined: 16 May 2003

    Posts: 25,368

    Location: ::1

    Erm, you're only liable for the charge if the fault's found to be in your equipment. Your ISP should be making sure you've done that before they even arrange the visit...
     
  11. Ryan111

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 29 May 2009

    Posts: 2,177

    Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

    Which exchange are you connected to mate? I am on the Plympton one (Well, was, before I moved to cable) Doesnt Plymouth have like 7 exchanges?
     
  12. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 157,392

    Crownhill.

    I dont live anywhere near Crownhill :(
     
  13. Westyfield2

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 12,494

    Location: Bath

    Connect a good telephone into your master socket and dial 17070.

    Last time I did it (though someone has told me that since then some of the options require an engineers PIN code to access), you hear a female pre-recorded voice say:

    This circuit is defined as 01234 123123.
    BT line test facilities.
    Please press 1 for ring back, 2 for quiet line, 3 for fast test, 4 for fast cleanse or clear down.
    [message repeats 3 times]


    Choose option 2, Quiet Line Test

    At this stage you should hear absolutely nothing. It would help if you pressed the 'Secrecy' / 'Mute Mic' button on your phone as your phones mic may introduce noise.

    If you do hear some form of noise be it a Buzz, Hum or cracking and popping, make a note of the time.

    Repeat the test at another time say in a few hours and then the next day at the same time. For instance if you do the test in the day then when it is dark then maybe again. This is just so that you can say when the problem is happening.

    If you are confident that the problem is persistent and you know the times it occurs then ring up you phone service provider and report it as a fault.

    If at the time that the engineer comes there is no fault, then mention the times which it does occur.

    The problem with this type of fault is that it can be there but only occur at certain times, maybe when it is dark, or when it is raining, windy or something like that so you need to be sure when it occurs, to avoid being charged for the call out.

    This is a Phone Service fault and not a ADSL fault, but it does effect your ADSL connection.
     
  14. jimbobaggies

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 Jun 2003

    Posts: 267

    Location: Torbay, UK

    If BT come out and find no fault then you are liable for a charge.

    I had a line fault, the BT engineer came out and reported no fault found, I was not home to argue the toss. Next day I phoned and they arranged for another engineer to come and he found the fault at a line cabinet between my house and the exchange.

    On my next quarterly bill there was a ~£120 charge because the first engineer had closed the job as no fault found, took over a month to get refunded.
     
  15. tolien

    Caporegime

    Joined: 16 May 2003

    Posts: 25,368

    Location: ::1

    No, you're not.

    Because it shouldn't have been put there in the first place and this is why?
     
  16. jimbobaggies

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 Jun 2003

    Posts: 267

    Location: Torbay, UK

    @tolien

    I'm sorry, but where do you get your information from exactly?

    If BT come to fix a reported fault, and find no fault, they charge you for it, if they find the fault to be with your equipment or internal wiring they charge for it, they actually tell you this before they arrange an engineer visit, and that is why most ISPs are very anal about getting you to rule out any internal wiring or equipment, and actually showing a fault before contacting BT.
     
  17. ethos

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 May 2003

    Posts: 4,515

    Location: UK

    This was my understanding of it as well.
     
  18. xb8browney

    Soldato

    Joined: 19 May 2005

    Posts: 6,351

    Happened to me £150 I got charged.
     
  19. tolien

    Caporegime

    Joined: 16 May 2003

    Posts: 25,368

    Location: ::1

    For better or worse BT Wholesale and experience with more than a single line. Where are you getting yours from?

    They don't. If we're going to be picky here, it's the ISP that gets charged if there's any charging to be done.
    They might try, like in your case, but if you have an ISP with a clue you shouldn't be paying for an engineer visit just because no fault was found.

    Which is what I said.

    Getting back to the actual topic, you could ask Plusnet to ask Wholesale to reset your SNR margin back to the default 6dB. You'd probably find it was less stable (it's almost certainly been increased as a product of past instability) but it would be faster. The fun will be finding anyone with a clue.
     
  20. Mattus

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,916

    Location: London

    The length of the line is annoying, but it's not the cause of the problem. You should still get a stable 2000k-ish.

    The SNR margin has been raised to 15dB due to repeated instability (i.e. disconnects). If you've still had disconnects today, there's an intermittent fault with the line (or the internal wiring). No line that's functioning properly will suffer disconnects on a 15dB margin.

    Since it looks like the fault is intermittent, the problem is demonstrating to BT that it actually exists. I guess it may come down to luck in the appearance of the fault coinciding with an engineer investigating it :(
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2010