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Line Speed Hell

RichK
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 16-04-2010

Line Speed Hell

Im totally frustrated and exasperated with my Plusnet experience.
In January, I was coming to the end of 12 months with Sky+ Broadband, which had supplied a reliable 4Mb service using their DG934 black box. It didnt do 2 things - it was call centre hell if anything was a problem (which for broadband it was generally OK), and I couldnt VPN into my work. (Although my wife could VPN to hers... go figure!)
I decided to join Plusnet, and then the nightmare began.
Initial prospects OK - I had a known stable 4Mb line, and the initial estimate was 4Mb. Cool. No problems.
Then I connected to Plusnet... 2Mb. Called the call centre - got the usual "following the script" answers of leave it, and let it train, etc. So I did. Still 2Mb.
Another set of calls.... "its within parameters, so it isnt a fault"... What do you mean not a fault? Its half the speed it used to be! Not that that seemed to even register with them as being relevant. Yet more non-technical script following. No joy.
Got sick of calling, so gave up and put up with a sync of 2.0Mb, and speedtest.net of 1.83. Consistently EVERY time 1.83. Almost as though it were capped/limited in some way.
Wife is now about to work from home doing IT management - needs a good stable connection. So I decide to chase again. Usual call centre scripted twaddle "Its within parameters. Its not a problem".
Am now trying a colleague's Linksys WAG54GX which does sync faster (+300k... its a start), but it doesnt connect fully - see other forum post. Plusnet sent a replacement Thomson... but it is still as bad as the original one.
In my view... if I take my car to the garage and it does 70mph before, I damn well expect it to do 70mph after. NOT 35mph, and be told "its within parameters".
Something has changed for the worse - and the only equipment of mine that did was to swap the Sky+ DG934 box for the Plusnet Thomson. All else is beyond my control - sure BT may have knackered something; so investigate it, not tell me "its within parameters".
Some technical info:
Distance to exchange: 1.0mile
Previous Sky+ sync (for 12mths): 4.2Mb   best was 5M+, but that trained lower
Previous speedtest.net: 3.8Mb
Previous line estimates by Sky+ (before Plusnet): 4-6M
Initial estimate by Plusnet: 4Mb
Current Stats (Thomson)
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 2,240
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 12.0 / 18.5
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 27.0 / 49.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 17.0 / 11.0
I have tried everything - powering everything down, connecting to test socket, changing DSL filters, etc.
Can anyone help, or is my only answer to wait and pray they finish the FTTC work sooner rather than later (my exchange NORTHWICH, is due to be done in next 18mths), and then get a MAC code and be done with it?
What I really need is someone TECHNICAL at plusnet to champion the investigation, and not leave me swinging with the frustrating call centre operators who dont seem to actually be technical.
Frustrated... annoyed... wish I had never joined/disturbed the good Sky+ connection.
RichK
32 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,138
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Line Speed Hell

With that line attenuation a 4Mbps sync should be achievable with the normal 6dB target noise margin. It looks like the DLM has increased your target noise margin to try to stabilise what it sees as excessive transmission errors and disconnections. Do you turn the router off and on frequently which might be seen as instability?
Unfortunately the snippet of your router stats you posted doesn't show up-time or the FEC, CRC and HEC error counts to enable a view of those to be gathered.
David
RichK
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 16-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

I normally leave it on constantly. Its only when Ive been changing the routers around that Ive had multiple connects. I did leave it on for 4 weeks straight, and there was no improvement over that time.
Full stats from tonight:
0 days, 5:54:35
DSL Type: G.992.1 annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 2,240
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [kB/kB]: 0.00 / 0.00
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 12.0 / 18.5
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 27.0 / 49.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 17.0 / 11.5
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / TSTC
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 12 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 745
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 257
Cheers, RichK
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,138
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Line Speed Hell

The CRC error rate (3000 per day) is higher than many I've seen but presumably you have interleaving off (no FEC errors) which might account for that?
Does connecting to the test socket make any difference (rather than just not give the large improvement you were seeking)?
Have you any idea what caused the target noise margin to rise? Any period where the connection frequently dropped?
Sorry about asking the questions, but if your connection is stable (no uncommanded disconnections) the answers could support requesting a training period reset which would put the target noise margin back to 6dB (and should give you a higher sync speed)
David
RichK
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 16-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

Its the standard Thomson - so its whatever settings it was set to re interleaving.
I tried the test socket - no change. Im not after a large improvement - all Im after is what I had reliably for 12mths with Sky+. Not too much to ask?Huh
Nothing else changed as far as I know - the same phones, the same connections, the same sockets - the only differences were the Plusnet Thomson box, and the Plusnet service.
After one of the call sequences, I did get a retraining period. But no real change - which is why I suspected the Thomson box may be dodgy - but this is now the second box, and it gives the same results.
Cheers, RichK
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,138
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Line Speed Hell

Quote from: RichK
After one of the call sequences, I did get a retraining period. But no real change - which is why I suspected the Thomson box may be dodgy - but this is now the second box, and it gives the same results.

By 'no real change' do you mean not even initially? I would expect a training period reset to start with a target noise margin of 6dB which should have increased the sync speed to around 4Mbps. Did that not happen?
David
RichK
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 16-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

Nope... didnt see any change - but then maybe the call centre person didnt kick off the process. I was advised that it would start the following day and that I should disconnect daily to get it to resync right. That seemed wrong, so I wasnt rigorous on daily disconnects.
Hence my plea for someone TECHNICAL to look at it - the call centre staff were not exactly impressing me with their knowledge.
Cheers, RichK
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,138
Thanks: 546
Fixes: 46
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Line Speed Hell

In that case maybe it didn't get done for some reason. Hopefully one of the Digital Care Team will take a look on Monday.
David
RichK
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 16-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

Latest stats:
Link Information

Uptime: 1 day, 17:30:48
DSL Type: G.992.1 annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 448 / 2,240
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [kB/kB]: 0.00 / 0.00
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 12.0 / 18.5
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 27.0 / 49.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 17.0 / 11.5
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / TSTC
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 12 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 1 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 0
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 4,193
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 0 / 1,415
1 LoS, 12 LoF ... not so great. Although, granted those two stats havent changed for over 24 hours.
chrisoldinho
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 12-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

Rich you're not alone mate. I just changed from AOL on a 2.8/3.0mb connection and now getting circa 1.5 with a real donload speed of 70 kb/sec. not sure if it's the thomson router?
have you tried flashing the netear router back to factory settings as opposed to sky custom ones, you could then run this with PN. Might make no difference, just a thought...
RichK
Dabbler
Posts: 20
Registered: 16-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

Im sort of building myself up to that - cant find the original Sky CD, and digging the image file out is irritating. (Big download, for a small file). Im not sure I'll want to go to the hassle of re-flashing, when I may end up throwing the towel in and MACing.
Since Plusnet are adamant that they only support the Thomson, then they can damn well get me back to my Sky+ linespeeds using their preferred equipment. If they cant, then they lose a customer. Simples.
chrisoldinho
Grafter
Posts: 65
Registered: 12-04-2010

Re: Line Speed Hell

thinking along the same road. albeit i know aol were an llu provider and i presume you were on sky connect (bt equipment??) which would explain why my speeds are a touch slower but not by this much...
funniest (sarcasm) of it all is i changed to the pn pro package for the dedicated servers for low ping times on games, and my ping time is so bad with pn i can't even get into any games!!!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Line Speed Hell

Sorry chaps you are trying to compare chalk with rotten cheese.
Have you checked your exchange status? as LLU dont actually use BT equipment, just the line. 
http://usertools.plus.net/exchanges/
PeeGee
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,081
Thanks: 45
Fixes: 3
Registered: 05-04-2009

Re: Line Speed Hell

I notice no-one has commented on the change from ADSL2 with SKY to ADSL (G992.1 Annex A) with Plusnet. I had the same problem when changing from SKY and a transfer to 21CN upped the sync rate.
Phil
Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Line Speed Hell

@RichK, @chrisoldinho - from checking the exchanges it looks like you were both on LLU with your previous providers. It'll be the change of exchange equipment that's altered the connection profile, BTs line management tends to be a little more severe than the majority of LLU providers.
I'll take a look through to make sure there aren't any issues apparent but it'd definitely be worth the usual test from the master socket with all phones and other line items removed just to prove any issues aren't caused by anything internal.