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Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,052
Thanks: 27
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-09-2007

Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

I do not really understand enough about how the broadband works.  I live in a remote rural area outside the local village. We are on copper here and if I do a speed test, it seems I get about 6 Mb download and our local postman is quicker on upload !

We are served from the exchange in the village which is about a mile away.  In the village, they have just had fibre installed and are now (recently) able to get Superfast Broadband.

For the last few weeks, we have been suffering from service drop but it is difficult to pin down the cause.  It could of course be my equipment.  I have a BT HomeHub 5 which has to serve the other rooms with three ethernet circuits, because the old cobb walls of my very long thin cottage are far too thick to support WiFi.

What happens is that regularly the broadband on two, separate ethernet circuits drops out.  My main computer which is on a third short ethernet cable attached directly to the router in the centre of the hosue, seems to be o.k. on these occasions, but without being in three places at once, it is difficult to tell.  Usually the broadband re-connects after about five minutes without having to do anything, but sometimes it is necessary to re-boot one or other computer to re-connect.

It is tempting to blame the cabling, but I really do not think that has anything to do with it because I have used various other loose long ethernet cables as a test with the same result. But obviously I cannot exclude it.

Now, I have noticed that this often happens at what may be peak times - breakfast time, lunchtime and about 6.30 in the evening when people in the village are getting home from work.  Hence my suggestion that it may be due to bandwidth.  Is it possible that the people in the village with their new Superfast broadband are suddenly hogging all the bandwidth, and those downstream like us who rely on copper suffer as a result ?  Might the fact also that my main computer, attached directly to the router, takes precedence over the longer ethernet circuits going round the house, and leaves too little bandwidth, which is already reduced in capacity due to the Superfast villagers, for the other two computers ?

It just seems odd to me that the computers just drop out, and then after a few minutes re-connect automatically, and that it happens on two separate circuits all the time.  This has only become a problem in the last few months since the Superfast broadband in the village went live, but that maybe a co-incidence.  I cannot help thinking that it has something to do with it, though.

I am reluctant to raise this with Plusnet Technical Support before I have understood the principles.  The last thing I want is for them to send out an engineer to find that it is my equipment at fault.  I am pretty sure that is not the case, but as I do not understand the technology, it is best to ask someone who does first.

Can anyone advise me ?

 

Thanks.

5 REPLIES
Gel
Pro
Posts: 1,387
Thanks: 133
Fixes: 10
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

It would be interesting to know if ADSL "shares" bandwidth with fibre: I was sort of wondering if the 2 were segregated?

Have you tried an alternative DNS Setting to see if that helps

eg Google's which are

8.8.8.8

8.8.4.4
6mb is around twice what I get in my village, though Gigaclear have recently installed FTTP all around. As others take up their offer I hope my ADSL will benefit Smiley

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,151
Thanks: 140
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Registered: 13-08-2015

Re: Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

You could have a look at the router logs to see if it is dropping out, whilst other Serbs on the network may slow things down, they are unlikely to cause two of your three pc's to drop out.

shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,052
Thanks: 27
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

That's a helpful idea but I cannot find any logs on my BT Homehub.  All I can find is under "Connection" which is currently showing 59 minutes.  At first I thought that suggested a drop-out but in fact the electricity board has just been here to test something and they had to cut the power about an hour ago for a few minutes while they carried out an earthing test to see if I could be connected to PMI.  So that is a red-herring.

I do not see anywhere on the router where there are any historic logs kept otherwise., unless anyone can point me in the right direction.

Gel
Pro
Posts: 1,387
Thanks: 133
Fixes: 10
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

This link may help, depending on which BT Hub you have:

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/networks/1403054/bt-home-hub-5-settings-guide-how-to-make-it-faster-a...

The PN HubOne which is similar to an older BT one has such data as below, once you're logged in to router, under EVENT LOG:

hub.PNG

shermans
Rising Star
Posts: 1,052
Thanks: 27
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-09-2007

Re: Does Broadband drop out due to lack of bandwidth or due to my equipment ?

Thanks for the link.  However, I have a BT Homehub 5,  I have read the link but in fact I was already aware of those settings.  There is nothing about a fault log mentioned, unfortunately.  As far as 5 GHz is concerned, my problem has always been one of range rather than speed - my house is long and thin, with very thick walls.

In the meantime, I used the "Chat" service which takes forever for an agent to become available,, but when I did get on line eventually, the agent agreed to re-set my line at the exchange.  Since then, the service seems to have settled down and there have been no more drop-outs.

What is interesting, though, is that the ethernet light on one of the two ethernet routers has become stable, which was not the case before - the ethernet light was constantly flashing whether there was a connection or not, even when all computers were turned off.  Now that the light is peaceful following the re-set at the exchange, all works again fine.

As DHCP is turned OFF on the two slave routers at the end of the two ethernet cables forcing the slave routers to use the DHCP of the master router, I am assuming that the poor connection to the exchange in the village was not for some reason accessing the DCHP reliably in respect of the slave routers, and that now that the exchange has been reset, the DHCP works properly again on the slave routers.  With my desktop computer connected directly to the master router, the DCHP was not an issue, which would explain why the desktop did not appear to drop out while the slave routers did drop out.  Is that logical or just a creative imagination ?