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Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

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Prologica
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Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Hi All,

I reported a fault to Plusnet on 8th Jan - intermittent loss of connection, poor stability, low/sub-normal speeds.

Looking back at my OKLA speedtest history I can see this issue started on 31 Dec.

Before the issue I was typically getting 15 mpbs download. Now even standing in front of the router (connected to master socket) it’s 8 at best and sometimes as low as 1 or even too low to run the test. I don’t have a laptop to Ethernet connector to test physical hook up.

Connection drops out, Zoom meetings fail/freeze or show “internet connection unstable”. This is across macbook, iPad, android mobile, Youview TV box (via AV plugs).

i usually use BT Homehub 6 with split bands. Result is same with the basic Sagecom Plusnet router. Aside from the AVplugs (I’ve recently replaced with new TP link plugs), I have a plug in TP link range extender to overcome black spots due to thick old walls, a google hub and a wireless printer. It’s rare that we are running all this kit at the same time (household of 2).

Openreach engineer visited and reported perfect speed at the master socket, though he could see there had been variable connection issues and dropouts. He said that sometimes it can be the prevailing weather conditions affecting connections in the physical cable to the exchange - can test fine on a dry day, bad on a wet day etc. He was just about to leave as I was testing Wi-fi speeds right by the router. Speeds fell off a cliff as a stiff wind piped up. He went up the nearby pole and reconnected us to a spare line with a “more continuous connection before it dives underground”. He tested again finding optimal speed at the master socket but Wi-fi speeds tested by me have only recovered to 8mbps at best and stability over this weekend has been poor.

Plusnet have responded with a number of tests to do at the Master socket before an engineer is called out again with the usual ‘it could cost you £65’ warnings. I’m sceptical of success.

C anyone shed any light on the possible issue?

 

thanks

david

 

 

59 REPLIES 59
Townman
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Hi David,

The possibilities are legion, so you need to structured approach to looking at this.  First ditch the data speed tests over wifi or ethernet, for they encompass too many variables to be helpful.

The engineer is correct, transient line issues are hard to locate and fix.  The act of testing a line can "fix" iffy joints for a short time.  What you really need to do here is cover the basics - a good sync speed, does not mean that the sync speed is fully usable - errors on the line will impact the achievable data speed.

Complaining about data speed having not examined sync speed and line performance is like trying to fix a crack in a wall build on sinking foundations!

Broadband is not going to work well if the "phone" line is not working properly.

Please perform a quiet line test - dial 17070 select option 2 using a corded phone plugged into the test socket behind the face plate of the master socket. It should be silent. A noisy phone line (or no dial tone) will have a marked adverse impact on the performance of broadband.

If the line is noisy or there is no dial tone, then a PHONE LINE fault needs to be raised with your phone provider. If this is PlusNet, you can report a fault on line using the button below.  From the Q&A list, choose the one which matches the problem, 'open' the 'section' and click the trouble-shooter link.  NB: If you receive a failure message (rather than a log-in prompt) then log-in to the user portal in a different browser tab and attempt to use the trouble-shooter again.


 

How is your line performing?

Please post your FULL router stats; for PN TG582n and 2704n routers use the buttons below, for other routers look at the Kitz link.

Also run a BT Wholesale speed test (ideally using an Ethernet wired PC with the WiFi turned off) then run the further diagnostics and post the results here. DO NOT REBOOT the router!

NB: Please use an Edge browser or IE as there have been many reports that others fail to function correctly when accessing the BTw speed test.


 

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Thanks Townman that’s a helpful steer. Unfortunately I don’t have an adaptor for a cabled test.

One issue I have with not rebooting the router is that the 2704n is just useless on range and the master socket is at the opposite end of the house. Could I run the tests and log results using the HH6?

thanks

david

Townman
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

By all means, do use the HH6. It’s better than the PN hub zero though not amongst the best available ... but they cost decent money.
Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

926B033D-1BFA-41AC-B95E-C558D3D7D3DA.png3E27F42F-02AF-4231-8A54-28D48420C325.png7556328F-8499-4CD7-8F3B-B5B766A8C5BE.pngHi Townman

Initial experience at the router with all other devices removed from the network was 8mbps over Wi-fi. (Our quoted connection speed rate by the way is 5-14)

Plugging the Plusnet router into the test socket, the router stats showed 18.7 mbps.  Testing the speed over WI-FI standing at the router showed 15 (!). Plugging back into the faceplate, the router stats showed 17.9 mbps, an 0.8mbps drop off. Another Wi-fi Test, again right by the router showed 14.3, still good!

Switching out the Plusnet router and connecting the BT homehub 6, the router stats showed 17.6 in the test socket and 

Could the engineer previously have not seated the faceplate correctly to explain this improvement?

A quiet line test using the only available phone (not cabled I’m afraid) seemed ok, possibly an extremely faint hiss.

I then gathered the data you asked for Townman, photos attached, then added devices to the network one by one, doing a Wi-fi speed test each time (not a perfect test as you say but hopefully indicative) and achieved 13-14 by the router and around 11 at the other end of the house.

WI-FI speeds have subsequently fallen back significantly to around 8-9. Router stats on the Homehub 6 are showing 16.44.

Interested to get your take on this. Is the 0.8 drop off between test socket and faceplate socket reasonable? Should I expect the much lower Wi-fi? Is it still best to have the router at the master socket even though it’s at the wrong end of the house for most usage?

I’ve ordered up an Ethernet adaptor so hopefully at the weekend I can test wired speed across the electrical circuit too.

Thanks

David

 

 

Moderators Note: Personal information images removed

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Hi Townman

final 4 images from event log

regards

david61D34C08-D077-4054-A79A-2DD461CD6242.pngE22CB33C-C711-4263-A90B-890DD5B9B474.png4C33CF5F-B85A-45C7-80CC-E5027B88F035.png2F7E7800-E7B5-4D44-89B6-DE45F486C066.png

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

I apologise for persisting with speed tests Townman...just been back by the router and got 14 mpbs

Townman
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Hi David,

Thank you for all of the info - that is a lot of hard work - and a fair few questions.

 

Face plate - that ought not to case any issues, but it has been known for tarnished contacts on the faceplate plug to cause some issues.  See if they might be cleaned.

At the wrong end of the house - have you had the router located somewhere else?  If yes what kind of extension cable where you using?  Many extension cables will work fine for a telephone, but will totally trash broadband performance.

 

There are some inconsistences with all of the stats - I have no experience with BT HH6 - personally I abhor anything offered by BT! as they have a tendency to hide anything useful which might point to an issue requiring engineering attention.  I make the following observations [I take it that everything posted was contemporaneous?] ...  

  1. The log reports the ADSL start-up stats as DS/US - Sync 19.13/1.11 - SNRM 6.10/3.3
  2. Current (data rate) stats DS/US - Sync 17.65/1.18 - SNRM 3.1/7.5
  3. Max rate 18.5 DS

I suspect that there are reporting errors in the HH6 - someone else around here might have a view.  I note that the firmware was last updated in April 2020 ... but there are numerous reports about BT's botched firmware changes - for example HH6 FIRMWARE SG4B1000E020 UPDATE ISSUES - Page 2 - BT Community

After a router has established ADSL line sync, the sync speed DOES NOT change - it is not rate adaptive.  Therefore the variance between the log report of the sync speed, the current (data) speed and the max (data) rate seem odd.

@Baldrick1 - would you know if BT HH6 reports USABLE sync speed (net of error rate?) rather than the actual sync speed?

 

Otherwise these stats all look fairly good.  The log start up stats are right on the nail for a 24dB attenuated line.

With a 17.65mbps SYNC speed you should see a usable data transfer speed of 15.5mbps, but remember you need to allow for line control and packet over heads so expect 12-13mbps for DATA transfer.

Data transfer rate test sites are quite variable in how they perform, both themselves and the browser you use.  The reference test system if the BT Wholesale test site.

 

I would turn some attention to inspecting your wifi spectrum to see how many other wifi stations your router is "fighting" with.  Insidder is a useful free tool for this.

 

Townman
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14


@Prologica wrote:

I apologise for persisting with speed tests Townman...just been back by the router and got 14 mpbs


If by that you mean you've run a DATA SPEED TEST from your PC, then that is totally in-line with everything - right on the nail for your line's expected performance.

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

I forgot the Wholesale test. Had to conduct this on Wi-fi with iPad 9A6F0E18-9E3B-478D-8346-C6504841E56A.png

Townman
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Looking good.

I would start questioning the dependability of the other test services you used.

As a point of illustration, I have a fairly decent Zyxel router on a 54/20 FTTC service.  My rather mature laptops (upstairs) are luck to see 5/5 over wifi.  One needs to be cognisant of the local environment when doing data speed tests.

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Hi @Townman ,

 

thanks for getting back  to me. Glad the stats were helpful.

Re your last post, the “14mb by the router” is testing over Wi-fi...no Ethernet connector for MacBook yet.

Re your other questions, the Master socket was only replaced by Openreach last September as part of line reinstatement after it was pulled down be a telehandler so tarnished contacts probably unlikely.

Re the master socket location, this is in a bedroom closest to the pole. But main Wi-fi usage is downstairs at the opposite end of the house with thick Victorian fireplace etc in between, hence the TP Link repeater downstairs and (new) TP link AV plugs to support Humax Youview box for the TV.

From the master socket an extension cable is wired in directly into the plaster. Looks like very basic cable - it was here when I moved in 21 years ago. I used to have the router in a kitchen extension socket where perservely it worked well until I started losing signal at the Humax box. It was in fact @Baldrick1 who recommended it was moved to the master socket. This didn’t solve the signal over the AVPlugs to the Humax box. A pair of new plugs solved that issue.

And yes all the logs were taken one after the other.

im yet to be able to fully determine if the connection will prove to be stable.

Townman
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14


@Prologica wrote:

From the master socket an extension cable is wired in directly into the plaster. Looks like very basic cable - it was here when I moved in 21 years ago. I used to have the router in a kitchen extension socket where perservely it worked well


Ah!!

Is that extension wire still connected?

How does it connect to the line in the master socket - via the face plate or some other (bodged) arrangement?

Is there a telephone plugged into the extension?

If yes, does it have a filter?

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

@Townman  Hi, until the master socket was replaced by Openreach in September we had the type with no socket, so the extension cable leads to a nearby socket which I assume is the first in a chain. There is another upstairs and a couple downstairs. The phone is connected to a downstairs socket. There’s a microfilter on the router and the phone (which connects to its twin - by radio wave I believe). Nothing connected to the remaining sockets.

The new master socket features a socket in the faceplate. This is removed by squeezing the sides to reveal the test socket. The extension cable is wired into the main connection point so I think sharing the external cables connection - wired in by the engineer when replaced. I know the logic is to have the router at the Master socket and I followed Baldrick1s advice to move it there when I had problems with connection at the Humax Youview Box.

Prologica
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Re: Deterioration in speed and stability since 31 Dec - Watton at Stone SG14

Ps the speed (over Wi-fi at least) often falls off in the evening...just thought I’d throw that in...we are pretty consistent users across the day. When i upload files to Dropbox (e.g a fifteen minute video of songs for church at 720) it can take 2-3 hours and often fails in the process...in case that helps!