cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Hi
I'm really hating ADSL right now. If a month goes by without a service outage - it usually comes back up but ends up running on dial-up speeds for a day or two - I consider myself luckier than a lottery winner. I know I'm not alone where I live, in having this experience. But, I've now got real suspicions that it is BT Openreach constantly faffing about in the street cabinet, that keeps triggering the outages round here. They're messing about down there at least 3-4 times a week!
I've spoken to two other people on the same cabinet as me who've had similar outages at similar times and at one point last year, on a village community forum, we had several people complain about an outage at the same time give or take five minutes. By sheer coincidence, Openreach were AGAIN messing about in the cabinet. And yet when I called them out to check the line the engineer complained about internal wiring. That'd be the same wiring that a colleague of his put in a couple of years ago, and hasn't been touched since...
This latest outage is just the last straw. I have a support ticket open at the minute (44867677) due to being without broadband since some time Saturday.
I've borrowed a full set of router, cables and microfilters from a friendly IT consultant who's switched to FTTC (and I know it works) and even with his kit that was working only a couple of weeks ago, it appears there's no DSL on the line at all. Tried both test sockets (our line goes to a junction box with two NTE5s off it, even BT don't know which one's the master!)
But, my phone line has miraculously lost its crackle and is quite a lot louder and crisper.
If I was to put money on the problem, I'd say one of their engineers has "borrowed" my connection to the copper overlay, and put me back onto the TPON, to try and keep one of their own customers sweet. Given that I once had to explain to one of their guys visiting my house, what a copper overlay was for and why I was connected to that rather than the TPON, it wouldn't surprise me at all if someone's done something that stupid.
So, couple of thoughts:
1. Does anyone at PlusNet have the means to run a check on that cabinet and just see if multiple customers are getting disconnects at the same time? Because clearly if BT are knackering Plusnet's customers' connections purely to solve problems with their own customers, that is anti-competitive.
2. If the problem is due to engineer incompetence how would I seek compensation from BT?
Cheers
18 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Hi tstaddon,
We can't make queries about a specific cabinet I'm afraid as you have to remember that it's shared with other customers whose lines are carried by other telco providers and who also may be on several different ISPs.
However if a fault has been reported and you suspect that is to blame we can request that relevant checks are done on the line pairs at the cabinet provided that an engineer visit is booked for you.
With regards to TPON it can't really be that as that is totally incompatible with ADSL and requires removal before broadband installations can take place.
After looking at your fault ticket I can see that we've identified a potential line fault, so it's hopeful that we can trace this to its origin (probably the cab from your description). I've added some notes and a link pointing back to your comments here...
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Thanks. Anyway, fringe benefit of working for an IT consultancy, I've saddled up the old laptop bag with spare cables etc so I should be able to eliminate any internal kit being the problem.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Ok, let us know how you get on with that as I can help progress the fault at this side if you're able to disprove your internal wiring and equipment.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

I updated the case in the small hours last night.
As of 8:30am I have tested: 2 routers and 4 different modem cables, connected to both telephone sockets (with filtered faceplate, without filtered faceplate, with and without microfilters, and tried the master sockets on both). Nothing.
A bit of closer investigation showed that the socket in the front room only had two wires (blue-white and white-blue). The others were all stripped away so it's always been like that, but there was a kink in the cable. On the off chance this was causing an issue. I trimmed and recrimped it just to be sure, and tested the phone in the socket. Clear as a bell, full volume. ADSL? Not a peep.
I haven't tweaked any other kit in the house though; I don't want any BT wrongmo to complain that I've tampered.
I will check again tonight if I get the chance unless an update to the case tells me not to bother.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

OK, thanks for keeping us posted.
If you still don't make any progress tonight do shout up and I'll make sure I push the fault report through to our suppliers.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

OK, I've made some progress. After a fashion. I think...
The Thomson Speedtouch is not at a phase where, if I connect it to the microfilter dongle and connect that to either socket in the house, with the phone plugged into the filtered faceplate on the other socket, it periodically flashes for a bit and then stops. This is because it's trying to connect, and not finding anything to connect to.
My trusted Bipac 5200g is different - the ADSL light flashes on and off whether the box is connected to the phone line or not but should go solid when it senses a connection to the DSLAM. It doesn't. 
I've tried taking the phone and filtered faceplate out of the equation with the same result. This suggests there's no interference from either device.
I'm going to post this into the case.
Thanks
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

By the sounds of it you've done all you can now to rule out anything internal to your premises as a cause of the fault.
I'll be able to dedicate some time today to progress this with our suppliers for you so bear with me and I'll be getting back to you before close of play.
Adam.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
With regards to TPON it can't really be that as that is totally incompatible with ADSL and requires removal before broadband installations can take place.

I went though this many years back - we were supposed to get a copper overlay in the village to address TPON, back in 2003, but it didn't happen till I kicked off to Ben Verwaayen (then BT's Customer Services top dog) in 2006 about a SIM provision that BT were contractually obliged to do but couldn't service. Back then I was with Metronet.
I'm not versed in the technology but have been a point of contract for people in the village with broadband issues.
Two doors up from me, a BT Broadband customer got their line taken off the copper overlay after asking BT Customer Services that they were chuffed to finally have ADSL, but could anything could be done about the line volume without putting them back on TPON and killing the broadband. They were chuffed to bits to find their phone line quality improved a few days later, but weren't quite as impressed when they realised that to do this BT had done nothing more than put them back on the TPON.
It took weeks of arguing before BT accepted they'd actually gone against the wishes of the customer, but BT maintained that from their point of view, broadband's not an essential service but voice calls are. So even though the customer had said "don't put me back on the TPON", BT were also asked to address a quiet voice line.
So, I'm not disputing what you're saying, but it doesn't chime with our experience on the ground. That's not an isolated incident round here, in fact we even had to put a warning in a parish newsletter - "if you do get broadband then for god's sake NEVER tell BT that your voice line's a bit more crackly or not as loud".
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Hi there,
I do hear what you're saying, I'm going to neither agree or disagree about the TPON issue, I won't dismiss the matter either but just want to keep an open mind for now.
At present I'm logging a fault with our suppliers for you and I'm keeping owenership of this until we've at least made some movement on the issue for you.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Adam,
Do you have any technical information, fancy graphs, whoosh test results etc, on what's been tested so far, that can go on the question for me to look at? The more information you can provide me with, the better, considering I know enough about network & telecoms to not be bamboozled by the terminology.
As far as I can tell, the CLT result code indicates the copper overlay itself is in good working order, but without the TAM results to go with it, or a completed KBD, I'm guessing you already have a smoking gun and that's why you've escalated it to the supplier.
There's not much more I can do to test the CPE (I could always borrow another router, set of cables, filters, faceplates etc) but as far as the actual wiring goes, the last person to touch it was a BT engineer and I won't be particularly happy if after a week of downtime, an engineer shows up and blames the fault on an internal wiring problem or faulty kit when I could've been given prior warning that it was a possibility.
Cheers
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

OK,
Lets work through this together then. I don't have much at present that would be relevant to yourself but bear with me and I should have some information for you later.
My plan thus far is to push our suppliers to check the most obvious points of failure first (this will include checking whether the pairs connect to copper or TPON). Following that it will be as fast a process of elimination as possible.
Adam.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Our resident broadband guru in the office has kindly dropped off a bunch of brand new microfilters. This means I should be able to completely eliminate the one scenario I haven't been able to yet, i.e. if all my microfilters and filtered faceplates are faulty.
EDIT: Bearing in mind of course that I've already tried the scenario whereby no devices were in use other than the router, and technically speaking neither socket should require a microfilter.
Needless to say, I already tried jacking the routers into the NTE without filtering after removing all other devices; no joy.
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,982
Thanks: 141
Fixes: 46
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

I'd personally shed doubt on them all being faulty but 10 out of 10 for thoroughness all the same Smiley PS I'll keep an eye out for replies to your ticket.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
tstaddon
Rising Star
Posts: 151
Thanks: 23
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Is Openreach's constant faffing ruining my broadband connection?

Just for fun, I'm picking up another DSL router and cables and microfilter, on the way home tonight.
If it does turn out to be a CPE problem even after all this effort to mitigate that, I will be monumentally miffed.