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Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

First time post I wonder if someone can help me? Would appreciate anyones feedback.
Feel like I'm going round in circles with Plusnet support. Progress is like pulling teeth and frustrating. For info we live in Maida Vale London and are connected to the LORDS exchange i believe. Router model is zoom X7N. Connection is ADSL2+
My issue:
We've had approx 3 good years of steady broadband service until about a month ago when seemingly out of nowhere every night between roughly 8.30pm-11.30pm i lose approx 60-70 percent of my broadband download speed.
When i first raised a ticket I had a download speed of 10.5 MB. From 8.30pm-11.30pm this would drop to anywhere between 2 - 4 meg.
Plusnet tech support have tried various things - increase SNR, turn on interleaving i think (maybe wrong). Did not fix problem - just slowed line.
After much pushing a BT Open Reach engineer visited last week. He found a fault replaced the internal master socket and the line synch speed went from 11mb with errors to 15mb with none (his report) - ip profile increased to 14.6 mb. Was quite pleased with this but still the initial problem persists.
Got about 12 - 13MB in the day but come 8.30pm - 9pm this would drop again by approx 60%-70% to around 4 - 5 meg until approx 11pm when it would begin to rise again.
Reported this to Plusnet who did something to the line on Saturday morning? (A few disconnects occurred then got a message from support) Now have an ip profile of 7.1MB but a synch speed of 16606 kbps? With plusnet now stating there is very little that can be done?
Found this problem below (see link) posted last year - Could my issue have a similar solution? Be at the BT end needing something replaced at the exchange?
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,103946.16.html
Has anyone had a similar problem or any advice on what it might be? how it could be fixed?
I appreciate the difficulty in diagnosing what seems to be an intermittent issue  but dealing with Plusnet support (ticket system) is a draining process and i thought I'd ask in here and hope for better results.
I attach my router stats as of now 11.50am and will do the same during the drop later tonight.
50 REPLIES
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Do you mean the sync speed drops or the throughput drops?
If it's just the throughput, you're being messed about.
If it's the sync speed, that's a lot of interference - which seems in fact to be very regular, rather than intermittent.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Hi there,
Is the slowdown across all protocols or do you notice it more on any specific sites or services? Do speed tests run during the slower periods also reflect the same thing?
brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Thanks for the replies.
Not being very technically minded but i think i understand. The synch speed stays the same 16606 kbps during the period. It's the actual download speed that you might see on speedtest.net or the BT wholesale speed test site that drops quite dramatically between 8.30pm - 11.30pm.
It seems to be across all sites and platforms. Best speed i can get is through my laptop. The speed is worse on my phone if i try to track it through speedtest app.
I attach here a screenshot of speed test taken last night at 8.40pm using the BT site.
Grateful for any help.
brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Also aside from the evening speed issue could anyone at Plusnet tell me why the current line speed has gone from 14.6mb to 7.1mb as of this weekend just gone? Synch speed has stayed the same 16606 Kbps.
Thanks
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Quote from: brooklucie
The synch speed stays the same 16606 kbps during the period.

PlusNet staff are usually quick to post RADIUS graphs if a line-quality-related disconnection & low re-sync has lowered your profile.
Might be worth keeping track of SNR and sync speed with RouterStats Lite (which I think works with your Zoom X7N).
No point being given the run around if it isn't actually a line problem, and keeping track will help you to see whether or not you are being given the run around.
The PN profile dropping and not been updated again properly is far from unusual, though. It's a problem which may never be solved...
brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Thanks for the heads up. Is this software Windows only?
I'm on Mac OS. Is there an alternative that you know of that i could download?
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Not that I can think of off hand which will also support the modem/router. But give RouterStats a go in WineBottler. I haven't tried, but it should work. Of course, your internet connection should work as well, so no guarantees!
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,821
Thanks: 117
Fixes: 23
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

You promised router stats from your 'bad' period but I cannot find any.  Before, during and after would be very helpful.
brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

OK will try with WineBottler tomorrow.
At about 7 - 8pm (didn't catch the exact time) tonight the line speed was changed from 7.1mb to 14.6. Back to what it was last week. Am unsure if this would effect tonight stats? Perhaps someone with more knowledge would know? I'll continue to monitor tomorrow throughout the day and into the evening during the bad 8.30ish to 11.30pm period.
The stats from tonight are attached below. This was a bad period. 3 sets from 10.15 to 10.30pm. I was using the speedtest on the BT wholesale site.
Results were:
10.15pm
download speed: 5.75mbps ping 92.75
Router stat: Downstream rate 16595 Kbps
10.23pm
download speed: 4.39mbps ping 49.13
Downstream rate As above
10.30pm 3.85mbps ping 53.25
Downstream rate again stays the same
Can anyone spot anything in the stats that might be causing this problem? Or any idea what it could be?
Thanks in advance
brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Now through the bad period speed has risen again to 12MB downstream rate steady at 16595
Any ideas Plusnet?
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Quote from: brooklucie
At about 7 - 8pm (didn't catch the exact time) tonight the line speed was changed from 7.1mb to 14.6.

This is the automatic update schedule for the PN profile, although it can also be changed manually.
It looks from your stats snapshots as if the connection was up continuously throughout the evening with a stable SNR margin. Continuous monitoring would give a better picture. There are some errors, but they don't account for the significant dip in throughput you are seeing during the peak period.
I'm thinking you can change as many sockets as you like and fiddle with the noise margin and interleaving settings until the cows come home, but it will all just be wasting time and not making any difference to the actual issue.
What are you thinking, Matt?
brooklucie
Dabbler
Posts: 23
Registered: 14-10-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Download speed is steady today at between 11MB and 12.5MB. Downstream static at 16595 Kbps.
The drop period last night started a bit later approx 9.30pm reaching it's worst state download speed of 3.85MB around 10.30pm. By midnight it was back up to 11.82MB.
Anyone at Plusnet with any idea what might be causing this? Downstream or SNR don't seem to budge during the slowdown and as I've said previous to this we've had 3 years of pretty much trouble free service. 
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,081
Thanks: 393
Fixes: 5
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Disconnections:

We got a profile change from BT on 2013-10-12 21:18:27 which dropped your speed to 7100 and then one which set it back to 14600 on 2013-10-14 19:09:50.
Your profile has changed around a bit.  It seemed reasonable steady at around the 10Mbps mark until the start of the month when it jumped up to 14Mbps. Did you change anything then?
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
SuperZoom
Grafter
Posts: 353
Registered: 17-05-2013

Re: Kafkaesque Problems with Plusnet Support - Speed drops 60% at night

Kelly, could you post a sync speed chart as well since client-side monitoring may be a problem for the OP on Mac OS?
The one Chris Purvey posted for RPMozley in the profile not updating thread seemed to have about 2 weeks of historical data on it, and that would be useful to see.
Presumably, the line sync is not in fact dipping down to 2-3Mbps; but if it is then the chart will show that.
Sounds from the initial post as if the line speed increase to 14Mbps was the result of an Openreach engineer actually improving the line quality, but that he was only sent out because the problem raised was being incorrectly treated as a line issue.
The increase is purely incidental if the OP was getting perfectly good throughput on a worse quality line for the preceding 3 years.