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The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

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The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

Allow me to share with you all, a tale of misery and disdain (written when sleepy, so no complaints!).

It began on Monday 2nd April, without warning the phones in the house were not working - you pick one up and all there was, was the dead random noise you would get as if someone has left another phone off the hook. Checking around the house revealed no phones were off the hook, and further testing by unplugging everything except one in the master socket revealed, as expected, a problem with the line.

All was not lost however, as my trusty, ever-strong connection to Plusnet was still steaming away as I watched in satisfaction as another download comes whizzing down at over 800k/s (it's an old-school account with what is now classed as a business line before anyone asks). Being not much of a phone user, I log a report with BT and they confirm there is a line problem, inform me that someone will come along to have a look Wednesday, and proceed to 'deactivate' my phone line. Thankfully this only affected incoming voice calls, with an amusing message telling potential callers that there is a fault with the line on this number - take that all you sales people!

So along comes Wednesday, and I find myself greeting a dubiously young (I am only 26, but I swear I was much older than he) man introducing himself at the door. I clear a path (damn flowers) to the master socket and let him get on with his thing. I amusingly comment to a friend on msn "the BT guy just arrived, bye bye internet!" to which he replied "he'll probably take out mine instead" i reply with a "lol" but the message doesn't go through because, you guessed it, the BT guy has disconnected everything to test the wires. Shortly afterwards he confirms there is a fault with the line and mentions something about a "box" ... "100 meters away round the road" ... "damaged" - or something along those lines. He makes a few calls, no doubt to superiors as it is beyond his 14 day orientation training, and up turns another more experienced guy, mid forties i'd say, who seems to know his stuff - he had a toolbelt with all kinds of gadgets on it, hoho! So they wander off to fix this other thing.

A mere 10 minutes later, the young lad returns smiling away saying "should all be fine now", I thank him and he sets off. I check the phone, it indeed works. I check the internet, my sync speed seems to have dropped to 7.4~mbit. In a mild state of panic at losing the 8192 I had i proceed to pull the cable out and in about 10 times, reboot the router the same amount of times inbetween, until it becomes apparent that whatever it was they fixed has had a "minor" ill effect on my line. Thinking little of it, because lets face it, it is kind of a minor difference in speed anyway, I carry on with my internet usage.

Time passes over the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. During this time, my browsing has been slow; as I am connected at 7.3mbit I figured I must be down on my luck and Plusnet are having a bad day (sorry +net, I was a fool, I still love you). That is until I start getting irritated when downloaded a torrent at rather below standard 25k/s, and my web browsing slows to 56k speeds. Beginning to think something else is going on here, I cancel the torrent and proceed to test my speed on a German friends server, which I easily max out my line on because it is never crowded like the mostly-awful online speed testers.

Horror strikes: I download at a mere 29~k/s.

I try another server of someone else I know, 29~k/s. Reality begins to sink in like when you go to the fridge for a beer, only to find some **** has drunk the last one. I start frantically chopping up the wires in the master socket and re-crimping them myself as I decided the halfwit-bt-rejected-from-society-technician (as he then became known) did not do a very good job. No change. Reality finally sinks in (where has my beer gone) that in fact whatever these BT Openreach people did to the whatever the hell "box" thing it was they "fixed" in fact completely screwed up my dsl line.

Now I wait. In solitude, slowness (drag out the vowel sounds please), and an all-round severely annoyed-ness, as it is now Easter weekend and I will likely be stuck on 25k/s download until this time next week at the earliest - if i'm lucky.

So the moral of the story is as follows:

- Never trust BT if they are round your house.
- Sit on the stairs as they are messing with your phone line holding a bbgun and say "if you touch the dsl line, you will feel my wrath"
- let them know you are 'serious' by taking thier multimeter hostage
- If they have to go and fix something "round the road", consider it a codeword for "the secret place where we replace the copper wire with graphite from a pencil" and proceed to follow them and set up sniping position in the nearest tree.
- Plusnet are rarely, if ever to blame for a lot of what people think they are. Plusnet don't own the lines, BT (or tiscali etc.) do.

Fin.

PS: My misc. questions from the topic are as follows:

1 - Does anyone know a good, free, mib/snmp walker? I used to have one but can't remember what it is... does winXP have one of it's own?

2 - Is it 'safe' to telnet to a router and edit the webserver files for the router config? I want to just edit some menu layouts etc. and implement an SNR, att. etc. display in the status for my router which is currently not displayed. I'm basically not sure if it is a wise thing to try and do on a 'live' flash.
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

re: Q1, google for "getif"
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The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

Thats the program I forgot I had! Still installed too (i'm an idiot sometimes). Perfect, thanks Paul.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

What router do you have?

Chilly
N/A

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

It's a Linksys WAG54GX2.
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

Hi Cozmosis,

A sad, sad story (where is my box of tissues!?!). All is not lost, though, I'm looking into your problem right now! We WILL fix this and the last chapter will be a happy ending!

Looking at a report of your BRAS profiles I can see the fluctuations of the last few days and it seems to be sitting at 288kbps right now.

What is your sync speed right now? Still going strong at 7.4Mb or is it fluctuating? Could you possibly run the BT Speedtester (http://speedtester.bt.com)

If the profile is stuck low, it normally comes back up after about 3 days. Reconnecting the router a couple of times a day often helps prompts BT's Dynamic Line Management back into life. If not, we'll need to raise an ADSL fault to BT.
N/A

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

Hi Liam, thanks for the reply.

I believe the speedtest speaks for itself:

IP profile for your line is - 250 kbps
DSL connection rate: 448 kbps(UP-STREAM) 7328 kbps(DOWN-STREAM)
Actual IP throughput achieved during the test was - 180 kbps

I reconnect the router every 3-4 hours and it seems to hang around the 7.3-7.4 mark. Just as a matter of note, during the time they were doing things with the line I kept reconnecting my router because it sync'd at anywhere from about 400-5500 to the point I just let it rest for a couple of hours til they had long finished. Since then like I say, it has been hovering around the 7.3/7.4 mark.

On the plus side, my upload is faster than my download... HA! not many consumers in the UK can say that.
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

*Raising fault with BT Wholesale*
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

... and raised. Do keep rebooting daily as the Dynamic Line Management might lift the speed at some point. However, I've now raised the fault through to BT. They normally reject them as the first hop, but we'll see.

It's unlikely we'll see much movement over the easter weekend, but if it's not sorted on Tuesday I'll give them some prodding!
bikepump
Grafter
Posts: 79
Registered: 01-10-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

could someone from PN please update me on the situation with my max dsl upgrade?

I placed the request around 2 weeks ago and had an email from PN 2 days ago saying that my speed would be upgraded soon. How soon is soon and should i be rebooting my router every day?

thanks,

bikepump Cool
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The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

Thanks again Liam.

Indeed we shall se, i'm hoping that as there should be record of work carried out on my line, they will be more willing to accept there is a problem caused by them.

Still, i'm standing by my estimation of 'at least this time next week' - it's no good getting ones hopes up for speedy solutions when BT are involved!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

@ bikepump

Hi there.

Your regrade order has been placed and should be complete by Tuesday. This is usually done in the early morning and should be complete when you get up, providing that is at a normal hour Smiley

Reboot your router first thing Tuesday morning and let us know how you get on.

@ cozmosis

Liam has taken ownership of your issue and wont let them slack off Smiley He'll keep you posted.
bikepump
Grafter
Posts: 79
Registered: 01-10-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

thanks mark Smiley
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The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

A short update. As of approximately 20:30 hours (Friday 6th) it seems my speed has returned to which it was, I can download easily >700k/s.

The line still syncs at the 7.3-7.4 mbit mark, which is a touch shy of what it was, but at least the speed seems to have returned to some kind of normality.

@Liam - Not sure if the ticket should continue being held with BT Wholesale, perhaps it will be ok from now on? Though it's a touch annoying i've lost 100k/s or so and have gone down to only about 750k/s ish as my maximum download speed, but i can live with that for a while, i think.
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: 04-04-2007

The onslaught of BT: a tale of woe (and several questions)

BT Wholesale have now cleared the fault and returned it back to us. Following your comments here, I have accepted the clear and closed the fault down with them.

The small speed decrease is possibly due to work that the BT engineer may have carried out to fix your voice problem. (i.e. your line may be routed slightly differently now etc...) You may find it increases back to what it was given time.

Glad your speed is back to acceptable levels, though. :-)