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Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

hill47
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 06-11-2010

Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

Yesterday I reported a problem with a Plusnet broadband account which I look after.
The download speed used to be around 5Mb/s but it has now downgraded to under 0.5Mb/s.
The Plusnet technician said that the connection was suffering from multiple dropouts which
explained the slow speed, and requested me to do the usual checks including trying a different
router.
The only router available to us was one supplied by our previous provider O2, but amazingly this self
-configured to work on Plusnet and allowed us to connect to the internet.  The download speed
remained unchanged at around 0.5Mb/s.  To my mind this proved that the fault was not on our
premises and consequently we changed back to the original PlusNet router and I asked PlusNet to
escalate the problem to BT.
The technician then told me that I should have left the O2 router in place to see if the exchange
could negotiate a higher speed.
Surely, if the PlusNet router had been at fault, connecting the second router would have
immediately have given me a higher line rate.  The fact that this did not happen suggests to me that the
PlusNet router is ok. I know it takes a while to negotiate a safe speed, but I expected some
immediate improvement.
I would appreciate your comments because I am trying to improve my understanding of how it
works.
Thanks Geoff
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

When you said the download speed was unchanged with the O2 router was that the sync speed or a speed test - if it was a speed test had you checked that the BT IP Profile had increased and that the current line speed on the portal matched the IP profile (which can take up to 12 hours to update)?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,662
Thanks: 1,067
Fixes: 59
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

Posting the information requested in topic Speed faults - information needed to help diagnosis, including stats from both routers, would help community members to assist.
David
hill47
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 06-11-2010

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

Thanks Jelv, it was a speed test on speedtest.net
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

In that case you need to give us all the stats reported by the router which is one of the main points in the post linked by spraxyt.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
hill47
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 06-11-2010

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

OK Jelv, here are most of the router stats.  I have had to log in remotely to get them.
Uptime: 6:58
Bandwidth Up/Down: 440/572
Data Transferred: 3.74/1.74
O/P Power: 12.9/0.0
Line attenuation: 26.9/47.0
Noise Margin:  23.5/18.1
The account I am referring to is:  eryca01
Thanks.  I am hoping to get this problem fixed before next Thursday when our clubs use the computers.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

The noise margin is very high which is why the sync speed is low. The exchange sets a high target noise margin (probably 18 in your case) when it sees a lot of disconnections so when you changed to the O2 router you still had the slow speeds.
I recommend you put the O2 router on again and keep an eye on the connection time. What you need to see is that you have a continuous connection of 24hours+. If that doesn't happen there is a fault which PN will need to get an engineer to investigate. If it does stay stable Plusnet can request a SNR reset which will put the margin back down to 6 or 9 and give you back your speed.
BTW: I hope for this fault identification process you are using the phone test socket.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
RichardB
Pro
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Registered: 19-11-2008

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

just in case hill47 is not sure what the test socket is see:
http://community.plus.net/library/settings/testing-from-the-master-socket/
hill47
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 06-11-2010

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

Thanks Jelv.  I understand what you are saying, it's just that I expected at least a small increase in speed immediately when the O2 router was put in circuit.
I have asked my colleague who lives near the site to reinstall the O2 router into the test socket as you say, and also disconnect the phone in case there is a fault on that.
Presumably if it is a router problem there should be some improvement after 12 hours with the O2, and PlusNet should be aware of any line drops?
I noticed that the line attenuation seemed quite good at 47dB on download, but presumably that is at the low current line rate?
Thanks for your assistance.
Geoff
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

If you could get the stats immediately after the O2 router is put in place and also run a BT speedtest and post the results that would be helpful.
To run the speed test go to http://speedtest.btwholesale.com/ and run the initial test. When that completes you need to then run the Further Diagnostics test which is accessed from the button at the bottom of the page.
After 24 hours please run the BT tests again and post the results.
Please then leave the router exactly as it is with no further reboots,even if after 24 hours you've seen no improvement. There's certain things we have to check along the way and we need to make sure we do things in the optimum order.
An attenuation of 47 should give you an IP Profile of around 5500.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
hill47
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 06-11-2010

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

Hi Jelv,
              unfortunately I was not able to get anyone to change back to the O2 router yesterday, so the Plusnet router has remained in situ since sometime Saturday afternoon.
I was told by Plusnet this morning that the line has been stable since 7pm on Saturday, with no more dropouts and they wanted to wait for 72 hours after that to see if the exchange recalibrates the line.
I have just rechecked again @7:30pm Monday, and the download speed is still aprox 0.5Mb/s.  I logged into the router and the noise margin has reduuced from 18dB to just under16dB, but that is probably due to normal variation.  I have been told not to get back to Plusnet until Tuesday evening when the 72 hours will be up.
It is possible that the dropouts were being caused by the microfilter which we have changed.
I am not convinced at all about this.  Surely I should not have to wait 72 hours to see any improvement at all.
Any Comments?
Thanks Geoff
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,028
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

It would appear that, probably due to the dodgy filter, you line has been banded and Plusnet need to see 73 hours of stability before asking for a retrain
hill47
Grafter
Posts: 49
Registered: 06-11-2010

Re: Diagnosing a slow connection - your feedback requested

I would like to thank Danny in tech support at PlusNet who appears to have sorted out my slow speed problem. I wish more of the support staff were as helpful and knowledgeable.
After two days of stability the line speed should have improved  but it didn't due to some problem in the adaptive  line management software in the exchange. All it needed was an SNR reset which I asked for yesterday and was denied. After only a few minutes the speed has increased from 0.5 to around 6Mb/s.  I expect it will probably settle back down to a little less than this.
I think Plusnet need to slow down their growth rate until the standard of training has improved.
I hope Plusnet management read these postings.
Geoff