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Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Superuser
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Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

@Care team
Two questions...
1. Why is there a difference for BT OR visit and they finding no fault between a residential line user and a business line user?  £50+VAT vs. £144+VAT.  The BTOR engineer has exactly the same task to perform so why the cost difference?  Is this a matter of BT thinking businesses have money to throw around?  As a small business owner, I can assure you that this is not universally the case.  Do business users get preferntial response times?
2. How does one 'protect' one self from BTOR attending during the day and not finding a fault (thereby wanting to stiff the business consumer a hefty £144+), when one's experience is that the BB service is acceptable (even if 3.5M) during the day / dry weather but is markedly poor (unusable) at night or when its been raining for days?
My PN supplied Thompson router reports high levels of FEC & HEC errors whilst the support man in PN says there are none.
Now found a means of fitting an alternative filter beteen my ADSL face-plate and the master socket.  What a faf! Stats taken circa 14:45 after router restart after insertion of new filter - it is bright and dry today and teh service is quite fast, but the error rate seems high.
Quote
Uptime: 0 days, 0:41:25  
DSL Type: G.992.5 annex A  
Maximum Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 864 / 6,680  
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 864 / 6,272  
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 1.51 / 6.96  
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 12.0 / 19.5  
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 25.0 / 44.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 12.5 / 4.0  
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / IFTN  
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 303 / 0  
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 1 / 0  
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0  
Loss of Link (Remote): 0  
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 131,072 / 0  
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 774 / 539,880  
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 13 / 9,164  
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 26 / 12,754

That is 217 FEC errors per second and 5 HEC errors per second... is this considered acceptable?  Also note the error seconds is higher than the duration of the connection time - is this a stats error in the Thompson routers?  If yes, are there other known problems which might contribute to a poor BB experience with these devices?
If anyone wants to look at call history see the BUSINESS account on my referrals list.
Cheers,
Kevin
296 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,776
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Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Hi there,
Quote
1. Why is there a difference for BT OR visit and they finding no fault between a residential line user and a business line user?  £50+VAT vs. £144+VAT.  The BTOR engineer has exactly the same task to perform so why the cost difference?  Is this a matter of BT thinking businesses have money to throw around?  As a small business owner, I can assure you that this is not universally the case.  Do business users get preferntial response times?

Both charges mentioned are actually lower than the full cost to ourselves for an abortive engineer visit (or one where the customer's equipment is identified as a cause) we've set those figures ourselves and as you may know we have separate support departments that are responsible for residential and business support so the difference in the figures don't have any direct relation to each other.
Quote
2. How does one 'protect' one self from BTOR attending during the day and not finding a fault (thereby wanting to stiff the business consumer a hefty £144+),

The charge isn't levied if no fault is found, as already hinted its when the engineer can't gain access during the agreed time slot or if the cause of the fault is identified as being the customer's equipment.
If you're asking these questions in relation to a specific fault we're looking at for you then let me know the ticket ID as in that case I'd like to make sure notes are passed on to the engineers mentioning the nature of the issue. To give you an example, I've dealt with a fault in the past which only seemed to occur in wet weather, as the weather was dry around the time of the engineer visit we added very specific notes to request that the cable joints on the E and D side cables were checked, so the engineer identified the cause of the issue without needing to see the symptoms.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Quote from: townman
Do business users get preferential response times?

I don't know about Plusnet but if you are with BT for your telephone and report a telephone fault then business users most definitely get preferential response times.
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
If you're asking these questions in relation to a specific fault we're looking at for you then let me know the ticket ID as in that case I'd like to make sure notes are passed on to the engineers mentioning the nature of the issue. To give you an example, I've dealt with a fault in the past which only seemed to occur in wet weather, as the weather was dry around the time of the engineer visit we added very specific notes to request that the cable joints on the E and D side cables were checked, so the engineer identified the cause of the issue without needing to see the symptoms.

Hi Adam,
Thank you for this 'offer' the ticket number is 63223897.
It's now a bright but cold morning here and the BB is performing well as it did yesterday but in between during the dark hours it was useless.
Thanks,
Kevin
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 12,776
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Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

No problem,
I could do with a little clarification about when this happens thought, I can see that my colleague who you spoke with on Sunday noted:
Quote
...only occurs morning and evening,

and I'm not sure if what you're saying contradicts that:
Quote
It's now a bright but cold morning here and the BB is performing well as it did yesterday but in between during the dark hours it was useless.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Hi Adam,
Thank you.  Generally the service has been fine, except in very wet weather it degrades to the point of being unusable(day and night), even though synch and speed are maintained.  Old router used to report very high SNR figure, which if taken as 2's compliment was minus 1 or 2.  Thompson router reports high FEC error counts.  Usually a router bounce cured the problem for an hour or so.
More recently the service has become similarly unusable at night irrespective of weather (not sure where the agent got morning from) with the router reporting high FEC and HEC  error rates, router bounce does not help.  Also local error seconds are high, indeed sometimes higher than the connection duration.  Last night was particularly bad, this morning it s fine!  See stats, SN Down was just 1 last night.
Current stats 10:40
Link Information
Uptime: 0 days, 13:27:29
DSL Type: G.992.5 annex A
Maximum Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 864 / 6,660
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 864 / 4,717
Data Transferred (Sent/Received) [MB/MB]: 110.42 / 236.04
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]: 12.0 / 17.5
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]: 25.0 / 43.0
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]: 12.0 / 10.0
Vendor ID (Local/Remote): TMMB / IFTN
Loss of Framing (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Signal (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Power (Local/Remote): 0 / 0
Loss of Link (Remote): 0
Error Seconds (Local/Remote): 38,753 / 0
FEC Errors (Up/Down): 49,812 / 41,829,870
CRC Errors (Up/Down): 3,884 / 2,212,018
HEC Errors (Up/Down): 1,576,599,632 / 44,932,646

Note current connection time is circa 48400 seconds against 38750 error seconds.  One other observation, when BB performance is poor, router admin interface becomes near unusable - I'm guessing that's because the router is so busy managing FEC error correction.
Is there anything I can do to assist here?  Last year when we had line problems (lift and shift done) I data scraped and plotted the stas from my old router.  It should be possible to do the same from the Thompson router one way or another if thought useful.
Cheers,
Kevin
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

You don't need to do anything clever to scrape the stats - just use RouterStats
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Hi Jelv,
Thank you for the pointer, though Thompson TG585v8 is not listed on the known to work list.
I gave this tool a try with my previous router and did not find it overly successful.  I thus created a spreadsheet, using the router's stats web page as a data source.  Coupled with a pair of simple macros, firing once a minute, I could readily acquire historical data for analysis and plotting.  The beauty of the spreadsheet approach is that it should work with any router with minor tailoring.
Cheers,
Kevin
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

I've seen a report that it partly works when configured as ST585 v6,v7
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

@Jelv,
Yup!  Cheesy  Have just fired it up on a "what the heck" basis configured for TG585v6/7 and it seems to be doing its stuff.  Will provide updates if it misbehaves.  It is dusk here now, so I sit and wait to see how badly the BB service deteriorates this evening.  What's the betting than now I'm all set up to watch it, it remains fineHuh
...hmm just during the few minutes it has taken to write, preview and edit this post SN has fallen from circa 9.0 to 4.0... the gremlins are coming out to play in the cable conduits!
Cheer, Kevin
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Routerstats works completely on the TG575v8 if you select the ST585v6 and v7 type setting. (I speak from experience.)
David
David
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

@Adam
Problem being progressed by tech team - thank you, however some questions, the answers to which may be informative.
Quote
Ticket 62518774 21Nov12
Profile Info: WBC 160K - 24M Medium delay (INP 1) 6dB Downstream, UC Medium delay (INP 2) 6dB Upstream (ADSL2+)

Quote
Ticket 63223897 12Dec12
DLM Data:WBC 160K - 24M Low delay (INP 0) 3dB Downstream, UC Medium delay (INP 2) 6dB Upstream (ADSL2+) Interleaving:I ILQ: A
The line is currently configured incorrectly and has a target SNR margin which causes problems for circuit stability.

The 'fix' to the 21Nov issue was to set the SN to 6dB as shown.  The suggested cause of my current problem is that the SN is now set to 3dB.
1. Any ideas how / where / why the target set around 21Nov got changed?  Any possibility of some PN (or BTOR) automated process undoing what the tech guys carefully put in place to address the previously reported line issues?
2. Setting aside the 'target', during the day when the service is fine the SN is 9.5 to 10dB.  This is clearly different to the 'target', however when things go wrong the SN has changed to a lower figure, typically 3.5 to 4dB being somewhat nearer the 'target'.  Is there something which resets the SN to the 'target' each day and is thereby the cause of this problem... which takes time to self resolve... so that by some 16 hours later all is well again?  This might suggest that the 'reset' time is somewhere between 16:00 and 17:00, the consequence of which clears shortly after 8:00 the following morning.  Of recent days, I have only had BB usable for around 8 hours during the working day, OK from day light but gone by dusk... or is this all just coincidental?
3. Any suggestion as to why the SN being 'wrong' produces such a binary result on performance?  I could understand a gradual decay in performance and a grdual return to normal performance, but the 'square wave' appreance of the graphs from RouertStats is to say the least perculiar. [See graphs appended to curret ticket - was going to add them here, but the method is not entirely obvious... even to me - I guess one needs somewhere on the internet to host the images... without exposing one's own website here.]
...something smells fishy here - finding answers might take time, but that might shine some light on to what has happened here and thereby drive service improvement...
Cheers,
Kevin
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Quote from: townman
… graphs from RoutertStats is to say the least peculiar. [See graphs appended to current ticket - was going to add them here, but the method is not entirely obvious... even to me - I guess one needs somewhere on the internet to host the images... without exposing one's own website here.]

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David
Superuser
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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

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Re: Suspected line faults and BTOR charges

Is this setup connected to an NTE5a Master socket and is there any extension cables or extension wiring and sockets?
Are you using RouterStats or RouterStats Lite? The SNRM reporting resolution by the modem/router can determine the graph appearance. IIRC the 585v8 is 0.5db steps only, but spraxyt could confirm that!
Edit: Graphs show 0.5dB resolution.