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Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

JASLincs
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

About a week ago we lost internet connection each time the phone was used.  A few minutes after the call the 'net would work again but at 0.2mps raher than the normal 3.2.  On many occasions the internet would only become available after a router reset.  The phone line was (and still is) noisy.  Also the internet connection became unstable and randomly slow even when the phone was not in use.
Plusnet adjusted the SNR margin from 3 to 9 - this gave a slower speed of 2.6 but prevented randon dropouts and slowing.  However, the loss of usable internet during and after a call persists.  I've done all the things - new filter, different phone, test socket etc (we are used to that as this is the third time we have had a major issue in the past 3 years).
It seems that using the phone conflicts with the broadband and that persists (we've left it several hours on a few occasions)  unless the router is switched off and on again when we get a stable connection of arouns 1.6mps until the phone rings again or we make a call.  We have copper wire to the exchange 3km away with no hope of getting the line replaced either with new wire or fibre.  Ther is fibre to the exchange but it is not being rolled out to properties (we are in a very rural area).
Any ideas?
11 REPLIES
Blake
Grafter
Posts: 68
Registered: ‎22-07-2015

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

It's most likely to be the handset at fault or an exchange fault.
You could use the phone troubleshooting section via help and support section if the website, that runs a line test and if an issue is found it automatically raises it to openreach which is pretty awesome.
If that comes back clear then changing the handset would be the next port of call.
JASLincs
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

Thanks, Blake.  I shall try to borrow another handset although we have tried with an older wired phone we had in the loft.and that had the same effect.  Will take your tip ref the line test although I have spoken to plusnet who insist there is no fault on the line and want to send an engineer to the house.  Obviously I don't want to do that if I haven't exhausted other means first.  On the 2 previous occasions when we had interruptions of service it was found to be a bad earth in the line to the exchange but the symptoms were a bit different and they could tell when I rang that the line was faulty.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

I don't believe it's the handset at all, you have a line problem. Let me just re-read your OP and post again.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

OK, that 3km to the exchange, is that as the crow flies or have you been told that is the length of the line?
If you do a Quiet Line Test 17070 option 2, can you hear crackling and/or other noises on the line?
The symptoms you describe are indicative or a high resistance joint on the line, but might also be a Battery or Earth Fault.
Can you answer the following -
Do you have a Master Socket similar to the one on the left?
Do you have any extension phone sockets, and what is normally plugged in where? Do you use any plug-in extension phone/router leads?
Do all your Microfilters look similar to this?
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

Right a little bit more in addition to the above, the Phone Troubleshooter mentioned here is worth using as suggested by Blake. Your fault is obviously intermittent and they are the worst of faults to catch. Plusnet are wrong to insist there is no line fault when it's intermittent, something you need to make clear to them if/when next speaking with them. Until the phone line fault is found and fixed, your broadband is going to suffer, and right now it's doing so badly. But you need to complain about the line noise (almost forget the broadband), keep running the tests until the fault is picked up in a test. Do you find it worse when it's windy or when it's wet? - good time to test ,and certainly try when you hear noise on the line.
In addition to the questions in my last post, can you also post the full xDSL stats (link in my sig if using a Plusnet modem/router) that'll help give a good picture of the current situation, also run the BTw Performance test (DON'T REBOOT, ignore the red preamble except make sure no other programs are using the Internet) and at the end of the first run, click the Further Diagnostics button, enter just your Phone number and Run the Further Diagnostics Test.
Do a Copy and Paste of the results and post here (no need to grab an image).
Also post your Current Line speed (Login required) - but not your phone number.
If you need to unplug the modem/router at any point for checks, in view of all your current disconnects I suggest you adopt the following "Graceful Disconnect" method -
A "Graceful Disconnect" means logging into the modem/router interface, going to the Internet connection box and first clicking "Disconnect" - this drops the PPP(oA) Internet session to one's ISP (that's not the sync to the exchange), wait about a minute, and then pull the power plug of the modem/router (that's of course when sync will cease) - don't just simply unplug it from the line. If you don't have a means of dropping your PPP session, just pull the power plug.
After about another minute you can unplug it from the line if you need to change anything, investigate wiring etc, but stay offline for at least 10 minutes. When you re-connect and power up, you may need to Login to the Modem/Router and click Connect to establish a new PPP session.
Don't do this more than 5 times in an hour, then leave it for the rest of the day. The method is to help stop the Exchange DLM from thinking your sync loss was a dropped connection.
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JASLincs
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

Thanks, Anotherone.  I will do those things you have suggested but it might be a day or two until I get time.  We have had problems with the line before.  The distance to the exchange is the length of wire as told to me by an Openreach engineeer on the last visit.  The line runs underground and on the last two occasions it was found to be a problem with a joint in the cable - different joint each time - and they needed to locate and repair the defective joint.  I am not very literate in such things so I couldn'y say what the exact nature of the problem was except that once repaired all returned to normal.  The line could be half a century old!!
The master socket matches the one in your link as does the filter.  We have no extension sockets and use a cordless phone plugged into the master socket along with an extension that is only plugged into the mains electric, not the phone line.  The hissing and crackling occurs on both and a call made or answered on either causes the internet loss.  We have u/l minutes on wife's mobile so make all calls on that now.
We use power line adapters (the main one and one in the bedroom area and another at the back of the house).  I have a separate modem and router which was set up a couple of years ago by my son (who is an IT program manager and company director who agrees that this seems to be a line fault but he lives far away and can't offer immediate help)) and gave us a slightly better speed and consistency of service compared to the modem/router.  The system has worked very well up until last week. 
It's so bad we are considering getting rid of the landline and using u/l minutes mobiles and an EE 4g 50gb dongle connected to the router.  More expensive by about £30 a month but at least we would have speed and reliability and not be held to ransom by last century's technology.  We have little faith in the Governments much vaunted but quite useless rural broadband scheme which would more accurately be called the ''Rural broadband for towns and villages but not real country properties scheme''!
Thanks again for your thorough reply.  I will go through the points carefully when work permits.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

If the line is only 3km your sync speed should be much better. Keep running that phone trouble shooter until it comes up with a fault.  Use te Quiet Line Test first to see if it's worth running. Ask your son how to get the stats from your modem, probably the most important info right now. If he doesn't know post the exact make & model?
JASLincs
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

Update:
Openreach engineer came yesterday and found a ''battery problem'' on the line 1500m from the house.  After this was fixed by replacing a corroded joint we are back to normal.
Apparently the weight of modern traffic on rural roads has doubled since the 30 cm deep conduits for the cables were placed.  He tells me that this is quite a frequent problem (certainly our third time in 3 years) where the underground lines follow rural roads.  However, as remedying the problem would cost money it won't happen.  In much the same way that the Government's much-vaunted ''High Speed Rural Broadband'' only applies to significant population centres not truly rural areas. It would be better named  ''Semi-rural High Speed Broadband as Long as you are close enough to existing infrastructure and it doesn't cost much to provide'.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

Let's hope you have a trouble free connection now then. Glad the engineer found a fault. Post back if any problems continue.
JASLincs
Dabbler
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎20-08-2015

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

Quote from: Anotherone
Let's hope you have a trouble free connection now then. Glad the engineer found a fault. Post back if any problems continue.

Thanks for your input earlier in the thread - it certainly opened my eyes to the complexity of the issue.  However, it all comes back to out-of-date hardware (in this case the extremely long line to the exchange which is both old and subject to various physical stresses) and I fully expect a repeat of the problem (this was the third time in 3 years that a bad joint broke the service).  Only when we get 21st century hardware, of which there is virtually no hope, will we get a dependable connection.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Internet disconnects when using phone, tenth of normal speed unless router reset

The real problem with cables like that is they may be Aluminium rather than Copper, these tend to degrade quicker, but whilst ok for Telephone, which is course what they were put in for, they don't perform as well with ADSL. Apart from poorer performance, the more frequent issues tend to be down to the quality of the joints. Whilst efforts were made to get the joints hermetically sealed, the materials and tools available in those days just don't come up to the high standard that can be achieved today. The other problem with joints if it is aluminium cable, is that they tend to be more vulnerable as the wire is more brittle. But once all the joints on your line are remade, you should find it more dependable even if it's not the highest performer.