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Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

Until about two weeks ago my connection had been stable (for several years) with the sync speed at about 7600kbps, the noise margin around 6dB and my profile was 6.5mb. Over the past two weeks I have experienced periods of repeated disconnections interspersed with periods of stability. The sync speed and noise margin varied considerably and so did my profile.
With much effort I re-arranged my equipment so that the modem is plugged directly into the master socket. I tried two different modems and numerous micro-filters. All without any effect.
Last evening, after a couple of line drops, the connection collapsed completely. The modem was unable to sync. I powered down for about two hours and when I powered back up the sync rate was back to 7600 kbps and the noise margin was between 7 and 8dB. It has been stable at these levels since then (fingers crossed).
Overnight my profile was reduced to 0.25mb, presumably as a result of last evening's events. However at around 8am the profile was raised to 6.5mb. The speed with which the profile was raised (it had been around 4mb immediately prior to last evening's events) suggests to me some abnormal intervention by BT. (I believe that it normally would take some days for the profile to be restored after a drop.)
The exchange status checker reports:
Quote
BT is reporting that some of the virtual paths at this exchange are not operating within BT Wholesale's planning guidance, although they are still operating within the product specification.
At busy times, your ADSL connection may operate at a reduced speed, although not all customers on your exchange may be affected. You should only contact support if there is no current ETA date set.
The ETA fix time is: Not provided by BT
Record last updated: 21 Jan 11

This really tells me little. Is it likely that my experience over the past two weeks may have resulted from that problem?
Jim
22 REPLIES
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

Hi jkerr82508,
A lot of disconnections will result in BT's DLM reducing the profile. When It's such a large increase in profile this can happen within four hours (but not always, as we have seen on occasion) Plugging into the test socket should give you best performance and may stop the drops that the line keeps experiencing.
You have had a lot of disconnections which won't help towards a stable connection. See below...

Jojo Smiley
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

Since the evening of Sunday 23rd, my modem has been plugged into the master socket. As your chart demonstrates, this did not resolve the problem.
Does anyone know if the reported problems at the exchange could have caused the symptoms that I experienced?
Jim
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: ‎25-04-2008

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

It looks more like you have a physical line problem.
I'm sure that the virtual path issue mentioned at your exchange would not affect your sync speed.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

HI jkerr82508,
When you say the master socket, do you mean the test socket? If the most recent drops were not intentional and you are in the test socket I would certainly raise a fault.
As knowdice said the issue you quoted about VP would not affect your sync rate, your profile or cause any drops, the only thing that would cause would be a lower throughput.
JojoSmiley
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

I don't seem to have a test socket. The master socket is an ancient looking thing that was in the house when I bought it over 20 years ago. It is possible that it is not an official BT socket. There was a rented BT phone plugged into it when I bought the house and so I have always assumed that it was installed by BT. How long have BT been installing masters with test sockets? If it is not an official BT socket, I assume my first step should be to contact BT to have it changed. I realise that I will have to pay for this.
I thought that I had remedied all the cowboy workmanship that I found in this house when I bought it, but apparently not. Smiley
Jim
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,617
Thanks: 22
Registered: ‎29-06-2010

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

@jkerr82508
Can you post a picture?
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: ‎25-04-2008

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

I'm sure that Plusnet will "distance" themselves from my comment...but...
You can get an NTE5 from here - NTE5
And filtering faceplate - iPlate
And cheap punch-down tool - Clone Krone
BT will charge you £90 probably +VAT for the privilege...
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

@ Jaggies
I don't have access to a camera at present, but I have now managed to get myself down low enough to examine it. (Fortunately I was able to get up again, eventually. Smiley ) The face plate is about 7cm by 7cm and in the lower right corner there is what looks to me like a letter 'T' in a circle.

@ knowdice
Thanks for the information, but, if I do indeed have a line fault, I prefer not give BT an excuse for not investigating it.
Jim
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,617
Thanks: 22
Registered: ‎29-06-2010

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

Can you identify it at this site?
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

No. Although 68mm by 68mm would be the correct width and height, but it is less than 10mm in depth. I don't feel confident enough to remove the faceplate in order to examine it internally. I think that I will just go ahead and get BT to install a more modern socket, since I seem to need a test socket in order to conduct the tests that PN require before they will accept a fault report. Thanks for trying to help.
Jim
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: ‎25-04-2008

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

If you report it as a fault to BT then I would expect the first thing that they will do is replace the socket, if this cures the problem then there shouldn't be a cost to you. If it doesn't then you will get charged, so you do stand a chance of getting away without cost.
Just a thought... Smiley
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

But if they decide that I have an "illegal" master socket, won't I have to pay anyway? I'm close to being convinced that this socket was installed by some cowboy, like a lot of other things in this house, before I bought it. In any case BT won't listen to me if I mention broadband and PN seems to want me to test in a test socket (which I don't have) before they'll accept a fault report.
Jim
knowdice
Grafter
Posts: 328
Registered: ‎25-04-2008

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

I'm not sure that your socket is "illegal" it's just old/not current practice. These guys see so many strange installations I would be surprised if they question it.
It depends who you get on the day.
If you look closely at the "T" in a circle, is the right hand part of the top of the T actually may up of two dots? If so then that is a BT socket.
jkerr82508
Grafter
Posts: 62
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Unstable connection, but perhaps an explanation

Quote from: knowdice
If you look closely at the "T" in a circle, is the right hand part of the top of the T actually may up of two dots? If so then that is a BT socket.

Yes it is! The question now is how do I get BT to replace it with a modern socket. I don't know for certain that it is faulty and if I mention broadband they'll tell me to contact my ISP.  PN want me to test in a test socket before they'll accept a fault report. It's catch 22.
Jim