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Intermittent loss of connection

sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Intermittent loss of connection

I've had a problem with my Plusnet ADSL for around 8 months now that I'm getting nowhere with them sorting it out.

It began last August / September time when the service overnight became unusable. Internet radio was buffering all the time, web pages either failed to load or were terribly slow, TV streaming was impossible. Gradually got better to the point where now most of the time it's acceptable but most evenings I have a few 5 minute sessions of nothing loading and also get the odd day where problems last longer.

I should comment that NowTV / Youtube seems not to suffer these problems any more, just web browsing, internet radio (TuneIn Radio) and the odd mobile app.

Plusnet are adamant there is nothing wrong at their end but are reluctant to send out an engineer. They keep saying I need one but when I go back with a list of times they do some tests and decide there is nothing wrong so I don't need one and we have sort of ended up in a loop since January where I want and engineer, they offer one then withdraw the offer before one can be booked.

I've tried everything here, I use a TPLink Archer D20 modem but have gone back to the Technicolour one Plusnet supplied with no difference. Tried a new microfilter, tried the quiet line test etc. Affects several devices, both wired and wireless so it isn't a device-specific or connection specific issue.

All I have noticed is that my router stats show a lot of upstream errors. Plusnet have tried tweaking the SNR and applying interleaving but nothing has fixed this. The router doesn't seem to give a lot of stats - what it does I've pasted below.

Various speed tests I've done come back OK and Plusnet keep asserting that their speed tests are find so there isn't a problem, but keep missing the fact that speeds are Ok when there is a connection, but that connection keeps stopping. The only other thing is that pings are slow and variable. I sometimes get 40msec but it's usually closer to 100 and it isn't unknown to be over 300msec. A progressive traceroute shows delays within the Plusnet/BT network.

All points to an issue within Plusnet but they won't admit it...

Any suggestions? Anything else I can do other than keep pushing for an engineer? Although I'm slightly loth in a way to book one as I know they won't find anything and I'll get charged £65... I'd really like to leave Plusnet but I was lied to when we had to move in an emergency (flood) and got tied in to a contract longer than we were told it would be. Of course there is no record of the conversation so nothing I can do to get out so still got another 12 months before we can get out.

 

ADSL_2plus
 
  Upstream Downstream
Current Rate(kbps) 1167 14424
Max Rate(kbps) 1172 14328
SNR Margin(dB) 6.1 5.8
Line Attenuation(dB) 11.7 23.1
Errors(pkts) 33065 1834
28 REPLIES
japeandshini
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 19-04-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Take screenshots each time connection drops. It is not a proof but it is an indicator. We have a new contract and similar faults and have given up with the so called help teams after too many long delays, holds, inaction, mistakes and even downright lies. The ombudsman will act on evidence of your number of calls and similar proof.

It costs plusnet upto £400 for the openreach second tier engineers so the reluctance is obvious. On the whole they have poor tech support on the phones so you will go in many circles and luck will play a part.
Have you tried a NEW router? This shall be our next trial as we found by chance that some, not all, of the disconnects and slowdowns occurred using wifi but ethernet cable still worked.
Thus these faults can have multiple causes and their tech staff become inadequate.
Record and go to Ombudsman.
sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Ideally I don't want to have to buy a new modem as I want to upgrade to fibre but until this is fixed I can't really do so with Plusnet.

I think it is time for the ombusdman - presumably I have to go through Plusnet complaints procedure first?

Browni
Seasoned Champion
Posts: 1,508
Thanks: 425
Fixes: 35
Registered: 02-03-2016

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

You can find the Complaints Code of Practice here which should explain the complaints route.

I must have been really bad in a previous life. This is my 3rd ISP in a row that uses lithium.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,916
Thanks: 335
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

You could buy a new modem/router that supports VDSL2 so could be used directly on a FTTC connection.

Perhaps look into continuously monitoring your DSL stats with a program such as RouterStats or DSLstats - which requires a compatible modem/router, the Technicolor probably would work with RouterStats, the TP-Link most likely wouldn't work with either program.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,145
Thanks: 139
Fixes: 26
Registered: 13-08-2015

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

How are you connecting to the router, wired or wireless?

And how many devices do you have connected when you are having the issues?

Your line speeds look reasonable, suggesting the disconnections are not to the router, which may mean your issues are with WiFi. Lots of things to look at once we get a bit more information.

sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Primary connections are via Wifi, however one device is wired and I've temporarily run a wire to the PC for testing and it's not helped. We've got maybe 6 or 7 devices connected in total but at most are using 3 at a time. It doesn't seem to matter what is running though when I get the issues, I've had times when I've been the only one it the house and only using the PC when it's happened. Disconnecting my phone from Wifi and running on 3G is much more reliable usually.

What could be the cause of all the upstream errors I'm seeing? And should the attenuation between up and down be that much different?

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,916
Thanks: 335
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Without correlating increases in the upstream error count with periods when the connection is unusable, there's not really anything to show if the upstream error count is of any significance.

The downstream speed could be banded. There may be more errors on the upstream than the downstream merely because more error protection has been applied on the downstream than the upstream, but it's not possible to say for certain without more detailed stats.

The upstream attenuation compared to the downstream attenuation is probably about normal.

 

sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

I've not reset the router for about a week so the error count and timing can't tell us much I'm afraid. Also, as the problem has improved since I took close note of it so even that info is of limited use.

Is the attenuation out for upstream and out and back for downstream?

Unfortunately that is all that the TPLink router gives in terms of stats. I'm so close to swearing at Plusnet now as yet another idiot has been assigned my ticket and done the 'no problem here, close the ticket' malarkey.

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,916
Thanks: 335
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

The difference in reported attenuation for the upstream and downstream is because higher frequencies have higher attenuation, and the downstream frequencies are higher than the upstream frequencies.

sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Makes sense! I assumed both communicated using the same frequency but I guess that is to allow full-duplex comms.

Now being told they can't even book an engineer for the next 3 days so heaven knows when I'll actually get one.

sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Utterly stunned. On Livechat now. Plusnet can't find a problem using their diagnostics so won't do anything further. Won't book and engineer, won't let me cancel my contract, won't let me upgrade to fibre. I've just got to live with a service that doesn't work unless I can prove the fault through the BT online diagnostics, which of course I can't do as I can't access online diagnostics when web pages won't load in!

sghughes42
Dabbler
Posts: 19
Registered: 24-01-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

And are refusing to give me a deadlock code so I can take this to CISAS....

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,916
Thanks: 335
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

Other options, besides DSL stats monitoring programs, would be setting up a ThinkBroadband Quality Monitor (which requires your router to reply to pings, and preferably a static IP address), and making sure there's nothing doing some uploading when the connection becomes unusable.

japeandshini
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: 19-04-2017

Re: Intermittent loss of connection

A costly realisation of injustice and powerlessness. Your turn to pay as life goes on and serves as a reminder that power of action depends on one's power of resource.
It may be that you can use facebook and media, it may be that you can use other legal or financial courses of action and it may be that you simply cut losses.
Whatever, a timely reminder for all of us. Sorry it is at your expense this time. If you are being honest and not manipulative, try cursing them using magic or an equivalent.