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What's Wrong With My Connection?


What's Wrong With My Connection?

OK right, I've tried to do a bit of reading up on this over the past few days in the hope I might be able to sort this out myself but alas I am now stumped.

I have issues with very slow connection speeds but not all the time. Most of time (like now for instance) it's not too bad to use at all, not lightening quick but still, not bad. Sometimes though, such as this morning, it's on the verge of unusable, web pages will struggle to load and sometimes time out. This hasn't always been the case, I've been a customer on the same package for nearly two years and the problems started happening in the past few weeks.

So here's the details and what I've tried.

Package: Broadband Plus (no current issues with overuse as far as I know)
Router: Netgear DG834G v3 (latest firmware)
Exchange status: Green

Plusnet speed test: 500kb/s

BT Speedtest: *sigh* this is now saying it's too busy to give me the results

Current downstream connection stats:
Speed: 160Kbps
Line Attenuation: 56db
Noise Margin 12db

The results were the same this morning however yesterday the above was 2000kbps with a noise margin of 3db.

I have the modem plugged directly into the master socket which has no test connection. No other devices are on the line.

The router logs show some disconnections (loss of synchronization) this may be as I have been disconnecting the router while I do some decorating.

I have done a silent line test and all I could hear was a very low level of hissing.

Now some more history, about a year ago our connection kept timing out a lot. After conducing some of our own tests we contacted Plusnet and got a very prompt reply about them contacting BT. An engineer visited and did some work on our master socket, did some tests and muttering something about the line not being very good. He left and the connection issues did stop.

I live on a large housing estate near Wolverhampton, not what you would call rural, the exchange is in a town a few miles away.

The line quality during phone calls is quite poor imo.

Does anybody have any thoughts or suggestions?

My main confusion is the difference I'm seeing in downstream connection speeds and how these don't seem to relate in the slightest to browser performance.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: 04-04-2007

What's Wrong With My Connection?


I think I can give an explanation, although I don't know the exact cause.

Looking at your recent line speed history there's a lot of fluctuations in speed going as low as 160kbps but on occassions up to 1.5 or 2Mbps.

It does look like the line is a very long line, the line loss of 56dB indicates it's probably up towards 5km.

From what I can see the line is fairly unstable and the sync rate is changing a lot, the way that Max works is that if your sync speed decreases then BT will decrease your throughput rate straight away, but if the sync rate goes up it needs to stay sync'd at a higher rate for 3-5 days for the throughput rate to increase.

This might be why the browsing speeds don't always correspond with the sync rate. If it resyncs at 2Mbps then it needs to stay at 2Mbps for 3-5 days for the throughput (and thus browsing speed) to increase.

From the speed history the line resync'd to around 160kbps on 02/04/2007 02:40:40, again on 03/04/2007 00:59:55 and again on 10/04/2007 17:38:34 (times are usually accurate to about an hour). Do those times help at all?

One thing that I picked up on is where you line quality during voice calls. Has this always been the case or something that's changed recently? Also how bad are we talking, for example is the line crackly or quiet?

I'd also suggest to take a look at this to see if anything helps:

Depending on the voice quality it may be best to raise it with your phone supplier as a voice fault and see if they can find any problems.
Posts: 112
Registered: 30-07-2007

What's Wrong With My Connection?

If you hear anything at all during the 'quiet line test' there is something wrong with your line and you should report a voice fault to BT. Are you sure you do not have a test socket? I ask, as a few years ago I had a BT Tech in and the first thing he did was change the old type socket for a new type and he seemed to infer that this was normal practise, when a line fault was checked. If you have an old type the chances are there is redundant wiring in it which could be part of your problem. If you do get a BT tech out, speak nicely to him and ask him to replace your old socket. A cup of tea sometimes works wonders. Wink Also ask him to remove the bellwire.If you have cordless phones, it is not needed and can cause problems.

It is sometimes possible to bang the socket with the hoover, hard enough to crack or dislodge it Wink

What's Wrong With My Connection?

Guys thank you for your assistance.

It would seem the problem is with the line quality.

dtomlinson I'm not sure what to think regarding those times, is it only in April that the sync speed issues show? It certainly only seems to have started being a problem in the past month.

tomdonoghue I'm pretty sure there's no test socket. The house is 23 years old and I have firked the cover off the master socked both inside and outside the house, just to see if there's a test socked hidden away.

I guess I need to speak to BT and raise an issue of a voice quality fault. If they do I guess I better hoover up around it and get the best tea bags out Wink

Thank you again.

Similar problem for me too!

I seem to be having the same problem with regards to web pages hanging. I'll apologise straight off as I'm not as computer literate as some of you out there!!! I've only been a Plusnet user for just over a year and the problems started approximately around Christmas time. It takes ages to actually connect to Broadband and then when I'm on the web the eggtimer appears and then the message 'not responding'. This is getting more and more frequent and making it almost unusable. Not to mention incredibly frustrating!!! I've contacted the Plusnet help desk a couple of times but I still have the problem. I live in rural Wales so the connection is slow and I can live with that, it's just this freezing that is driving me mad!!! What should I do nextHuh
Posts: 112
Registered: 30-07-2007

What's Wrong With My Connection?

If you are running IE7, make sure the Phishing filter is turned off. This can slow web pages down to a crawl. If you suspect a site, it is easy enough to turn it on for that site only.

If you have not already done it, download TCPOptimizer It will enable you to tune your connection to get the most from it.

What's Wrong With My Connection?

Thank you! I will give it a try. Keep your fingers crossed!