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Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Hello, new to the forum but I have been a lurker for the past few weeks searching for tips. Posting this thread as I need some help and advice as I am going round in circles via the normal customer service route.
I have been a Plusnet ADSL customer since June 2014 and everything was fine for near on 6 months. Stable connection, good speed (16-17mb D/L) and never really had any connection problems from what I can remember.
End of January/start of Feb. Chaos. Regular drop outs, out of sync, sometimes unable to connect for hours on end. A frustrating unreliable connection. Not good as I use a lot of on-demand services and I am an online gamer.
I have had two BT engineers visit who have both stated it is not the wiring within the flat and it is definitely external. The first one said he done something at the exchange (not sure what but mentioned setting a default sync?) and Plusnet sent me a new router which I hooked up. All was fine after this engineer visit for around 6 days with no drops then boom. Same issues started again.
Another Engineer visits a few days later. Again tests show nothing wrong inside flat. He changes a connection block and a bit of wiring on the box outside the property where the cables come up from the street (5 flats in the building). He runs some more tests and the connection seems to be now be good. That must be it solved! This lasts for around 12 days with hardly no drop outs (was fantastic) until this Sunday just gone when I lost connection all together and I couldn't re-connect until Monday. Since then over the past 3 days it keeps dropping out regularly. Surprisingly I think it has been up for 4 hours tonight so far but I expect it to go any second.
Plusnet stated there may have been some work in my exchange on Monday night which could have caused this. But that doesn't explain why I lost connection Sunday and it's still dropping now.
I have raised another ticket (2200hrs on 10/03) but it doesn't look like anyone has picked it up yet. What I do not want is another engineer to visit to tell me the same things again, no problem inside the property, it's external or exchange. I can't afford to keep taking time off work to wait around.
I am plugged directly into the exchange as it is so close just at the bottom of my road so I don't go via any boxes. The problem must be either the cable from the building, under the road to the exchange or something in the exchange itself. I have changed nothing since I first got set up in June 2014.
Now, I had a message from Plusnet on 02/02/15 stating that I am being moved over to ADSL+2 21CN which will be completed on 04/02/15. That is more or less when this issue first started give or take a few days. Coincidence? Has the configuration been implemented properly at the exchange and within BT and Plusnet's network? Can someone check this? Has anyone else had issues after being upgraded to 21CN?
Can you send an engineer to the exchange directly rather than wasting my time and his time coming to my property AGAIN?
I would also appreciate if someone from Plusnet could post recent connection logs to see how bad the problem has been since Sunday. I only notice it in the evening, because I am in.
Just to let you know I have done all the tests I can possibly do myself. Changed router, changed filter, change DSL cable, plugged straight into master socket with faceplate off, reset router, only plug in router no phone etc. Still get the same results. I have no noise on my phone line when doing the silent line test. It must be external or the exchange. When the drops happen the Internet DSL light stays off with the broadband interchanging between flickering and being solid. The event logs just state xDSL linestate down multiple times until eventually I get a connection.
Please help! I have started to tether my mobile phones 3G connection to my laptop cos at least that is stable.
Latest from the router:
Uptime: 0 days, 4:04:28
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.5
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 415 / 15,908
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 13.10 / 109.63
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 10.1 / 0.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 5.5 / 10.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 31.8 / 11.4
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 818 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 142 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 3,942 / 12
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 1,505
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 11,428
Any advice or stories of similar issues would be happily received. Cheers!
47 REPLIES
Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Disconnected shortly after but connected straight back.
New stats after a solid 8 mins connected  Cheesy :
Uptime: 0 days, 0:08:29
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.5
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 1,183 / 19,179
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [kB/MB]: 203.19 / 1.26
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.6 / 0.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 5.5 / 10.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 6.5 / 6.1
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 6 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 7
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 34
JayG
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 884
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Big change in DS and US connection rates and SNRM's between the first and second sets of stats - a great improvement.
It will be interesting to see the next set...  
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 17,641
Thanks: 535
Fixes: 159
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

As JayG pointed out, the connection speeds and SNR margins have changed dramatically between those 2 connections.
Generally looking at the connection logs your line seems to be pretty stable between 6am and 2pm, with the drops happening mainly outside of these times.
This may sound odd, but do those times coincide with anything you can think of? Are they the times you get home and turn something on, does a security light turn on?
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Thanks for the reply chaps.
Chris, I don't do anything routinely to be honest. I usually arrive home from work post 1900hrs so the disconnections are happening before that. When in I guess I switch the TV on and make some food. The building doesn't have a security light and as mentioned everything was fine for 6 months. Nothing has changed here since then, well, not that I am aware of. Something has obviously happened somewhere for this change end of Jan/start of Feb. The only thing I can figure out is the change over to 21CN.
Thanks for the graph. Looks worse than I thought. That online for 7 days looks like heaven. Good times.
My ticket has finally been picked up and you guessed it. Plusnet want me to arrange another engineer to visit. Feels like a complete waste of time. I will have to explain everything to another engineer who will go through everything again when personally I think they would be better off going to the exchange. But we shall see. More time off work waiting around. Gahhh!!
Latest router stats below. Just got home. Seems there was a disconnection 2hrs 40mins ago. Maybe more before that. I was connected when I left for work this morning at 8am. SN margain has changed...
Uptime: 0 days, 2:40:41
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.1
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 1,120 / 8,128
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 46.44 / 149.07
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 9.4 / 19.8
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 5.5 / 8.5
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 7.0 / 15.2
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 79 / -
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 10 / -
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / -
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 921 / -
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 12
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 961 / 22

Thanks for the advice, keep it coming. Also, apologies if my first message was a bit ranty. Didn't mean to come across like that. Was late and I was fed up with the connection issues!
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,975
Thanks: 372
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

If you had 16Mb speeds at the start (June 2014), then you've always been on 21CN. The message on 02/02/15 supposedly about you being moved to 21CN probably should really have said something else. It was probably automatically generated when something like turning on interleaving or resetting the SNR was done as part of the fault raised back then.
Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Thanks ejs. That rules that out then. But I wonder what generated those messages. Be good if someone could confirm. Here they are for info:
Script User - Automated Script Pool
1:17am, Monday 2 Feb 2015
Provisioning of your ADSL Account Information
New Action 21CN Modify Submitted added
(via ADSL2+ Order System Interface)
Followed by:
Service Notification
6:05am, Monday 2 Feb 2015
An update report has been received for this account.
The broadband service is now being transferred to the 21C Network.
The transfer will complete by midnight on 04/02/2015
Any ideas?
Just had another disconnect. Took around 5 mins to gain a connection again I think. Phoned Plusnet and have the 3rd engineer coming on Monday morning (next available slot). Another weekend without a good connection is on the way then and more time off work. Can Plusnet provide my boss with a sick note?! Good job I have a good 3G data package on my mobile phone.

Link Information
Uptime: 0 days, 0:18:31
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.5
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 1,167 / 19,371
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 183.87 / 180.90
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.5 / 0.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 5.5 / 10.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 6.4 / 6.0
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 87 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 11 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 992 / 20
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 168 / 282
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 453 / 5,366
JayG
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 884
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Can't help noticing that since yesterday evening you appear to have jumped from ADSL2+ to ADSL1, and now back to ADSL2+, with corresponding changes in download sync rate. 10 losses of signal reported between yesterday evening and your first set of DSL stats this evening (11 in total.)
I don't know enough about the subject to offer an explanation as to what is going on here unfortunately, but this behaviour does seem rather unusual from what I have learned from my time on these forums.
Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Thanks JayG. How do you tell that it's switched between ADSL1 and ADSL2+ ? Do you think this suggests some kind of sync or authentication issue somewhere on the network?
Had another disconnection. SN margin gone from 6.4 to 21 (up) and 6.0 to 12.4 (down).
Link Information
Uptime: 0 days, 0:41:34
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.5
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 331 / 15,601
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 342.77 / 553.14
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 10.1 / 0.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 6.0 / 11.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 21.3 / 12.4
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 96 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 12 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 1,214 / 27
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 27
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 172
JayG
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 884
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Quote from: Platty
Thanks JayG. How do you tell that it's switched between ADSL1 and ADSL2+ ? Do you think this suggests some kind of sync or authentication issue somewhere on the network?

The DSL type changed from G.992.5 to G.992.1 and then back to G.992.5
As previously mentioned, my observational skills are far greater than my DSL knowledge base, so I can only repeat that instability of this magnitude seems quite unusual - I'm sure PlusNet's faults team will run the appropriate tests and diagnose the problem, and in the meantime one of the more experienced members may post about having seen similar behaviour before, which may provide a few more clues.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,429
Thanks: 1,912
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Hi Platty,
Welcome to the forums - lets see what we can do to help you.  From all that has been posted, the following (for me) stand out starkly...
1. You've had several BTOR visits, bits changed and you still see the same problem
2. You live in a multiple occupancy building, which I guess means that there will be several other broadband users on the same common BT cabling as yourself
3. The modulation is randomly swapping from ADSL(1) to ADSL2+
4. Setting aside the synch changes due to (3) the synch (and SNRM) is all over the place
5. The visual radius (VR) graph shows swarms of disconnections in specific time-slots
For me this has all the hallmarks of REIN - this can be caused by a multiplicity of electrical devices.  They can be new or existing ones which have deteriorated, they may be in your home or a neighbours.  To eliminate or confirm this possibility, it is very useful for individuals to run their own monitoring 24x7 using tools freely available on the internet.
If you feel up to this, please go down-load RouterStats (full version) from here - http://www.vwlowen.co.uk/internet/files.htm and configure as I describe / directed in this tread - http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,134248.msg1206753.html#msg1206753 - see also the rest of that thread as an illustration of what we are looking for.
If you see messy graphs similar to "CoffeeQueen" or "Ratbag" then we can look at tracking them down.  If you see nice clean graphs, then that is a potential issue eliminated!
Kevin
PS: What version of firmware is in the router please?
Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Thanks Kevin.
I Will download router stats and give that a go.
The router is running 10.2.2.B.
The event logs today are showing lots of FIREWALL icmp checks. Almost one every 20 minutes. Is this normal and the router is doing it's job?
Also looks like I have been up for a good 14 hours so far. What the hell is going on...

Link Information
Uptime: 0 days, 14:36:27
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.5
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 1,183 / 19,447
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/GB]: 526.59 / 1.83
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 11.8 / 0.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 5.5 / 10.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 6.3 / 6.3
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 1,581 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 227 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 5,326 / 86
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 298 / 736
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 804 / 17,120
JayG
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 884
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

If Townman's theory about REIN is correct, it's possible that what are now excellent looking stats (assuming the router hasn't been rebooted for several days) is because it's now the weekend (individual responsible away for the weekend, or a business only open M-F. Undecided)
Running Routerstats will help you keep track of what's happening if the gremlins return, although I suspect it won't easily explain why you have changed DSL mode in the past few days.
Platty
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 11-03-2015

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Got the router stats running now but will be going out soon for the rest of the day.
Had a disconnect just before I started running the tool. Took a few minutes to re-connect but the stats have now gone a bit screwy again (See below). Looks like most of my neighbours are out as their cars are all gone. Thought I would do some further in house testing this morning and unplugged everything in the flat aside from the router and this laptop running off the battery. Doesn't seem to have helped. I could ask all my neighbours if they have changed any habits in the past month or got any new electrical equipment at around the start of Feb. Feels a bit rude and odd though....No work has been done on the building, unless the weather has got to the cables somewhere. The last BTOR engineer stated that the building looks like it's cabled up using CAT5 to the main sockets.

Link Information
Uptime: 0 days, 0:20:35
DSL Type: ITU-T G.992.1
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 1,120 / 8,128
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/GB]: 530.68 / 1.87
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 9.4 / 19.9
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 5.5 / 8.5
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 7.0 / 15.1
System Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / ----
Chipset Vendor ID (Local/Remote): BDCM / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 1,589 / -
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 228 / -
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / -
Loss of Link (Remote): -
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 5,339 / -
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 1
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 804 / 0
JayG
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 884
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Help! Unreliable connection for the past month

Back to ADSL1 again!  Sad
Can you leave the PC running while you are out so Routerstats will continue to run in your absence?