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BT wiring and slow speeds

newinvention
Grafter
Posts: 139
Registered: 30-07-2007

BT wiring and slow speeds

Hi - I'd like to know what people think about this -
We're 4 miles from our exchange out in the sticks and get a Broadband speed of around 670kb. My next door neighbour, however (who's with BT) gets a steady 2mb connection.
Until Sept this year our speed used to be just under a meg until Plusnet put us on to ADSLMax which reduced our speed, and then they said they couldn't move us back to the old service  Sad
At the time Pnet suggested I got an independent telephone engineer in to check that the wiring in the house was OK and not affecting the connection speed. I did that yesterday. Engineer has reported that everything is working fine in the house with no losses. He did however, point out that we had very old, thick copper wires (double wires?) coming into the property from the BT post outside and that this would be throttling the connection. He suggested I get BT out to upgrade the wiring into the property.
So I raised a ticket with Pnet about this, and got the following response:
I'm not sure why you think the line can support 2mb as a line check on www.samknows.com states your line should be able to support 0.5mb or greater. When you went on MaxDSL BT assess the line and they set a fault threshold rate on the line which is 576k. As you synch at 1088k and the speed profile is set at 750k this would not be seen as a fault with the service.
The quality of the copper line is part of the equation that determines speed but line length from the exchange is another and with the 63db loop loss on your line this would suggest a long line length. If we raised a fault to BT they would state the line is working fine for its capabilities and due to this I doubt very much they would replace the cabling you mention free of charge.
Please let us know if you want a fault raising to BT anyway , but if they send out an engineer who deems everything is working okay you can incur a callout charge for the engineer of £144+vat.[/
What are people's views and experiences with wiring issues? Are we right to expect to have our wires upgraded so they are fit for purpose? And should we pay for this? Any improvement on 670kb is worth having, isn't it?
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: BT wiring and slow speeds

Given your distance the PN response it totally reasonable.
Whether or not your old overhead cable is making things worse is debatable, it's only a very short section of the whole run.
However, I used to have old grey twin-core (untwisted) overhead cable too.
I was getting a few problems and noise on the quiet line test.
I reported it to BT, saying that it got worse when it was wet or windy.
Engineer came round, took one look at the cable, said it was too old, not to modern standard and probably degraded and just replaced it.
I must say it made no noticeable difference to my sync speed but did reduce intermittent problems on both phone and broadband.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: BT wiring and slow speeds

It is very difficult to know how much this old cable may be contributing to your poor performance (from extra noise pickup).
Distance doesn't really have everything to do with PN's statement per se, it is in all respects a statement of fact, as much as it might seem unhelpful. The only fairly certain way to get things upgraded at (likely) no cost is for there to be a POTS (plain old telephony service) fault.
Some comparisons with your neighbours line may be helpful. Also if you had a sync drop you may have an intermittent line problem of some sort.
First please check your phone line - do you have dial tone on your line, can you hear/have you heard any crackling or other intermittent noise on the line? Dial a 1 to get rid of the dial tone. If you need more time before the NUT (number unobtainable tone) dial the quiet line test 17070 option 2. (Don't use any ringback or other test). Who is your Telephone Line Rental provider?
What Modem/Router are you using? Do you know to access your Modem/Router ADSL line stats?
If you can post both Downstream and Upstream - Sync/connection speed, Attenuation, NoiseMargin (SNRM) and Power.
Try here - http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/frogstats.php - if you need guidance for many Modem/Routers.
Can you also post the results from http://www.speedtester.bt.com/ - (you need Java Runtime Environment installed for this to work - the latest version for your OS).
Login to https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed and advise what it says for your current profile/line speed. Include your exchange name/code but edit out your phone number.
Finally could you give an Outline description of your installation -
1) Do you have an NTE5 Master LineBox (the type with the removeable lower front plate) and which logo it has on it.?
2) Whether you have any fixed extension wiring and sockets & how many, and roughly how the cables go from one to another;
3) What filters do you have and where is the Modem/Router plugged in?
4) Do you have a corded phone, do you have a cordless phone - if so what type?
5) Is any other POTS (plain old telephone service) equipment (Faxes, Answer phones, Sky boxes or Alarms systems etc) plugged in/connected.
Ask your neighbour if he can look at his modem/router ADSL line stats (we need to see Sync(Line) Rate, Attenuation, Noise Margin (SNRM) and Power both Downstream & Upstream for all those). If you could post them as well as your own with the other information.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: BT wiring and slow speeds

Quote from: newinvention
I got an independent telephone engineer in to check that the wiring in the house was OK and not affecting the connection speed.

Just to point out that phone wiring configurations that are 100% valid and correct for telephone use can and do affect broadband speeds.
Unless your engineer was also a broadband engineer he may not be aware of that.
(typical issues are bell wire and flat non-CW1308 extension cabling often of the plug-in variety)
julesandtash
Grafter
Posts: 83
Registered: 12-10-2009

Re: BT wiring and slow speeds

What kind of attenuation figure does your router give for that line length? I am a fair old way from the exchange with a 60dB attenuation (according to a Netgear router although the BT Business Hub I am now using shows it as 57.8dB). Even so, I am getting sync above 2500Kbps so your 670 sounds very very low.
I have a similar problem though (see my long and rambling thread on the subject) where my neighbours get a 4Mbps connection and are connected to the same pole with a 10dB lower attenuation. But at least I get a decentish speeds (considering the estimate for my line was 1.5Mbps), yours sounds attrocious.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: BT wiring and slow speeds

Well jules, we will see that when we get the stats.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 17,642
Thanks: 538
Fixes: 160
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re:BT wiring and slow speeds

Going from the initial post the attenuation is 63db.
Quote
and with the 63db loop loss on your line this would suggest a long line length

As that's the highest most routers will report it could well be higher (it's also the highest I've ever seen show in a linetest from here).
Have you tried your modem/router from the master socket (or even better the test socket) with no extension leads and just 1 filter plugged in? If so what do your routerstats show then?
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff