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Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

nicki77
Grafter
Posts: 27
Thanks: 12
Registered: 04-08-2016

Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Up until about a month ago my broadband had been pretty stable with only a few dropouts and only very very occasional minimal phone interference since I moved my phone from BT to PlusNet 20 months ago (broadband has been with them for 10 years) .  Since 2016 my line has been regularly connecting at 14-16mbs and stable and speed tests showing 11/12mbs when the line max is supposed to only be up to 7 but there are a lot of virgin broadband users in the area so I suspect ADSL is not used that much on the exchange.

About a month ago I started getting intermittent very noisy interference on the phone line again and regular dropouts on the broadband connection.  One day it was dropping regularly every 30 minutes then went more stable for a week with a much lower connection speed then reconnected at higher speed and started dropped out every so often, some days worse than others.  Today its been dropping out again every 30 minutes yet I've no interference on the phone line for several days.

Quiet line test without microfilter connected is OK.  I did notice a couple of times when I did a quiet line test when there was phone interference that suddenly the line stabilised with little interference immediately afterwards but this could quite easily be a coincidence and hasn't happened recently.

The router has only been in use for 6 months with a new microfilter.

Current Connection details:

Connection Speed DS/US - 10805kbps 1162 kbps

Line Attenuation DS/US - 30.0db 18db

Noise Margin DS/US - 12.1db 5.9db

I've been running RouterStats Lite since last weekend (although forgot to set it to log to file) and every time the line drops Noise Margin drops to 0 with a spike.  Otherwise most of the time its been fairly stable around 12 and 6.  Earlier in the week nose margin was 6 and 6.

I'm somewhat suspicious about the fact that OpenReach were attending one of the houses along the road not long (can't remember exactly when) before I started encountering issues.  Don't know why as I don't know the new neighbour and haven't been to ask but in the past when another neighbour had an issue that was fixed, BT managed to disconnect me completely and there have also been other issues when OpenReach had been doing things in the cabinet/exchange.

I've tried a different microfilter and also replaced the lead between the router and the filter but still issues.

I don't really want to have to go down the route of having to purchase another router as this one has only had minimal unproblematic use but was purchased some time before installation.  I've been trying to get my head around which of the noise margins is perhaps a bigger issue and whether something internally could be causing issues but the fact that it started suddenly and nothing has changed in the house makes me think it probably isn't.  In the past I've had issues with broadband not working but phone was, and vice versa, so the fact that a quiet line test doesn't show any noise makes me think it could still be the data side of the line with the issue.  There are two lines to the properly but the second had a fault on it anyway as was switched to this one some years back.

Getting somewhat frustrated now since until recently no issues and stable fast ADSL broadband since May 2016.  Prior to moving my phone I did have issues with the phone line and intermittent interference but these went when I moved it to PN (suggesting it was something on BT's network that was causing the intermittent issue).  What I don't want is OpenReach setting my connection at a much lower speed when up until recently its been perfectly stable at a higher speed.  There has to be a problem somewhere for this to simply start happening a month back.

 

 

27 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: 01-01-2012

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Sorry to hear you're having issues with your connection.

It's certainly intermittent as shown below.

I'd recommend raising a fault here so we can investigate further.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Matthew, thank you for the reply but with all due respect could someone not just check the line for me rather than expect me to follow your set of tests most of which I have already done as detailed in my original post.

As the router is only 6 months old I don't see why I have to go and purchase a new microfilter (I've tried a second one I have but that also experienced dropouts).  I've already tested the phone and router via the microfilter in the test socket last week.  When the router was connected I got interference on the phoneline but when removed I didn't.  I then swapped the cable that connects the router to the microfilter with a new one but the dropouts have continued. 

At present I'm not getting interference on the phoneline, it tends to be intermittent, but I am still getting dropouts of varying degrees as I have been over the last few weeks.  Added to this DLM has kicked in and my speed is now 2/3rds of what It has been in the last 20 months up until a month ago.  While I appreciate that the estimated speed for this line is what I am currently getting that does not reflect the fact that up until recently I was getting a third faster on a regular basis (I have some speed test result snapshots that prove this) before the problems started (and before OpenReach had visited a neighbour down the street, yes I am suspicious about that). 

It would be far easier if someone could just test the data connection now to see what is happening. 

Could you also possibly advise please whether interleaving is still enabled on my line?  It was turned on some years ago because of frequent dropout problems and I've not noticed anything recently to suggest whether it is still enabled as this became less obvious with the new router than the old one last September.

 

 

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

I'd be grateful if someone from PlusNet would actually respond instead of simply ignoring me because of my complaint about being pushed down the fault checker router because I have already done most of the things on there.

So far this afternoon my line has fallen over several times and has now been strangled by DLM to connecting at 4mbps when previously was connecting at 14-16mbps.  As I am sure you can appreciate, I am not prepared to accept that as this is within the expected speed of the line I should have to put up with it in light of the fact up to now I've been connecting at the higher speed for 20 months plus with little issues.

My router logs for today show the following:

[Internet connected] IP address: 87.112.182.158, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:46:21
[Internet disconnected] Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:46:04
[Internet connected] IP address: 87.114.71.107, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:44:07
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:43:58
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:43:06
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:42:54
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:42:01
[Internet connected] IP address: 87.112.162.14, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:41:47
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:41:32
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:40:39
[Internet connected] IP address: 87.112.199.46, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:39:59
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:39:50
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:38:56
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:38:38
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:37:46
[Internet disconnected] Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:37:40
[Internet connected] IP address: 84.51.186.76, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:36:08
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:35:58
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:35:06
[DHCP IP: (192.168.0.2)] to MAC address 84:16:F9:11:88:9F, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 13:32:11
[Time synchronized with NTP server] Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 12:22:07
[Internet connected] IP address: 87.114.207.21, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 12:07:34
[DSL Event] DSL: Up Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 12:07:22
[DSL Event] DSL: Down Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 12:06:31
[DHCP IP: (192.168.0.2)] to MAC address 84:16:F9:11:88:9F, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 08:25:48
[DHCP IP: (192.168.0.2)] to MAC address 84:16:F9:11:88:9F, Wednesday, Mar 28,2018 07:07:56]

I also attach some speed tests that prove I've been getting far faster and stable speeds previous to the last few weeks.

 

 

 

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Plusnets NTP server appears to be running on GMT so the times in the earlier log are an hour out.  My connection dropped out again at 15:20 BST, chronic interference on the line.  Connected micro filter with phone and broadband into the BT test socket.  As soon as router starts to connect, chronic interference returns.  I've tried the old router I was using prior to the new one being installed in Sept 2017 and that was worse. 

Broadband is currently connecting again at 9mbs even with interference.  Interestingly it seems to have stabilised at the moment but then it has stopped raining.  My BT line runs underground.  We have issues round here with mice/rats causing damage to the lines and the second line to the property already has a fault and was swapped out of use over 10 years ago because of issues.  I can't remember for certain but I think this current round of issues may have started just after the really bad snow/low temperatures at the beginning of this month.

I will purchase a new filter and see but I still think the problem is with the line and not my equipment.

 

Perhaps PlusNet would also answer my question regarding whether interleaving is enabled still on my line please?

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

16:17 line dropped out again, possibly after I picked the phone up to see if there was any interference on the line (which there was).

Router Stats lite is showing a big spike for interference on the downstream connection at the time it dropped out.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 13-08-2015

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

If you have a noisy phone line you need to get that sorted before your broadband will improve.

Have you reported a phone fault?

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Raising a line fault involves doing exactly the same checks that I already said I'd done in my original post, plus having to purchase a new micro filter and try a different modem.  I've given in and purchased a new micro filter and as expected it has not resolved the problem.  The interference is on the data side of the line as the line is clear until the router tries to connect or is already connected.  As long as PlusNet do not expect me to spend any more to log a fault, rather than them check which I know they could do via the forum because they have done for others, then I will raise a fault request.  Up until today when it has been raining, over the last few days when its not rained the line has dropped out but not been noisy.  Today its been raining and the line is noisy.

However, it would be nice if Plusnet would respond to the enquiry as to whether interleaving is still enabled on my line, although after today's issues I don't think interleaving will be the issue if it has been disabled.  It would appear to be a fault on the line.. 

Community Veteran
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Registered: 13-08-2015

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

It might be nice, but this is a public forum, not a support service, and you have not bothered to report a phone fault - until you do there is not a lot going to happen - it most likely needs an Openreach engineer to sort out the problem. Without a fault being raised, that will not happen.

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

That's as maybe Mustrum but I'm sure you have seen yourself on the forum that some staff have actually checked lines for customers via here and not via the fault service.  To raise the fault I have had to spend money that wasn't (as suspected) necessary to prove that a new micro filter hasn't fixed the problem.  Perhaps I should have just said I'd done this anyway and raised the fault anyhow based on the checks I have done myself.

However, public form or not, at the very least someone could have given me the courtesy of replying about interleaving on the line because up until the interference today the phone had been clear of noise for several days and it could have been down to interleaving being disabled and not a line fault.  I am happy to stand corrected but I believe interleaving is something that PlusNet themselves enabled and not OpenReach, but as nobody can be bothered to respond about that I don't know for definite.  I've had dropouts in the past some years ago which was why interleaving was enabled on the line and if it had been disabled it may have saved me wasting money on purchasing an unnecessary new micro filter.  At the very least an answer to the question may have eliminated that as a possible problem.

Today's issues again with noise do indeed suggest a fault on the line and I have now raised a fault request.  However I would still politely request that someone from PlusNet would answer the question about interleaving on the line as I'm pretty sure they do not need to ask OpenReach to answer it.

JayG
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Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Audible noise on your phone line will definitely affect your broadband. Although either the DLM or PlusNet can apply (or remove) interleaving neither will be the actual cause of the line noise itself.

 

Hopefully the fault will be identified and rectified soon.

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Hi JayG I know that lack of interleaving won't be causing the interference.  However, its very intermittent and until yesterday there hadn't been any on the line for several days, hence the suspicion that the ongoing dropout issue of varying lengths may have been down to interleaving being turned off.  Interleaving was enabled on the line in Sept 2011 (still got the email advising of it) to reduce instability on the line after a product change.  Up until recently it definitely was enabled because it would manifest itself by a flash on the phone itself every time it checked connectivity (it also used to flash the DSL light on the old router prior to me changing routers at which point it became less obvious).  I cannot remember when this actually stopped happening but as far as I can see I don't think it is currently enabled and may explain some of the dropouts that have happened in recent weeks when there hasn't been interference on the line.  That is if I could find out for certain if it is not currently enabled.  Last night my connection dropped to 2.7mbs DS and 229kbs US with chronic interference.  PlusNet have run test on the line and found nothing to suggest a line fault and have requested I redo tests I've already done previously.  They also when testing reset my connection which has gone back to 9mbs DS and 1mb US which DLM has had it set at for the last few days.  At present there is no interference on the line again (whether plugged in normally or via the test socket), however its due to rain later so it will be interesting to see if it reappears as it did yesterday when it started raining.  When the connection speed dropped to 2.5mbs some of the interference on the phoneline disappeared but not completely.  At the moment the line is clear but unlike last night it is not currently raining.  My router is currently connected via the test socket and apart from one dropout a little earlier so far no interference and no regular dropouts so will just have to see what happens, but I would like to know whether interleaving has been turned off.

JayG
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 30-10-2011

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

If you can access your router's stats you might be able to find either a count of FEC errors (zero if interleaving is off, a possibly quite high number if on) or a reference to 'interleave depth', which if '1' means it's off, if a figure of 32, 64 or more it means it's on. (This info may also be visible in Routerstats itself if you're still running it.)

Either way, you won't have a reliable connection until you have a noise-free phone line.

nicki77
Grafter
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Registered: 04-08-2016

Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

Unfortunately my Netgear router (DGN2200v4) doesn't appear to have anywhere to view errors.  I'm pretty sure the one it replaced last September did, I may swap them over to see at some point.  I'm only running RouterStats Lite which only provides minimal info.  Have to wait and see what happens when it starts raining again as so far this morning its stable (apart from a dropout early on) and no interference on the line.

richi
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Re: Repeated Broadband Dropouts for last month

If you hear noises, it's so much easier to raise a voice fault, which should resolve the underlying issue. Joints can go bad, trees can damage wires, etc.

Note this is nothing to do with microfilters or modems. But you might want to check with a spare phone and use the test socket behind your master-socket faceplate(s).

Most phone lines were never designed to carry anything other than voice, so xDSL speed is on a "reasonable efforts" basis. But get the metallic path working right for voice and you'll generally get the best result for xDSL.