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Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi, I phoned earlier this evening to report that our broadband download speed had plummetted to well below 1 Mbps (right now it's 0.74 Mbps) - this always seems to happen when we get strong winds with rain, and BT has never resolved that problem, so we have to rely on Plusnet resetting the line, which usually reverts to (for us) a semi-decent download speed of around 2.75 Mbps.
The DSL Connection Rate had also plummetted, which meant the IP profile had dropped too  The young guy  I spoke to said he'd re-set something so I waited the prescribed half hour and rebooted the router. Sure enough, the DSL connection rate is now around 3.65 Mbps, but our download speed won't improve until the IP profile is also reset. Right now, a few hours after the DSL rate improved, it's still stuck at 0.75 Mbps, so our download speed is hamstrung by the IP profile.
We've got a lot of work to get done on Friday and over the weekend, so can't afford to sit twiddling our thumbs. Can you please arrange for someone to reset the IP profile  tonight, so we can get on with our work in the morning?
Thanks!
Anne
47 REPLIES 47
adamwalker
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi tillydaff,
We can't actually do an SNR reset as the IP profile hasn't altered.
Id I were you I'd keep an eye on this over the course of the next 24 hours or so and report a fault if things don't improve: http://faults.plus.net
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Quote from: _Adam_Walker_
We can't actually do an SNR reset as the IP profile hasn't altered.

I'm not quite sure what Adam meant by that, but an SNR Reset should be possible as long as the line isn't already in training - ie a reset done within the last 10 days.
I take from the figures that you are on a 20CN exchange, and as you no doubt know IP profile updates don't happen too speedily. However yours should have updated by now, the question would be has your Current Line speed (Login required) updated to match?
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi Adam & A notherone,
The IP profile was reset in the early hours of 13th November, and all was fine until tonight, when we had another bout of wet, windy weather. Yet again, this caused the line to drop out, and the DSL connection rate dropped from its normally fairly steady 3.6-3.8Mbps to 1.7. Once again, the IP profile has dropped to 1.5 Mbps, and the download speed is now an unhealthy 1.3 Mbps.
What I'd really like is for BT to fix this ongoing issue, especially since this is just the start of what's likely to be a long winter of wet, windy weather!!  But since they seem incapable of doing so, could Plusnet please reset our line and IP profile and line speed so we can get back to work?
I forgot to mention that I have turned the router off and on, and the DSL rate is now back up to 3.8Mbps.
Many Thanks
Anne
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi tillydaff,
This sort of Intermittent problem can be a real pain in the butt, and of course because the issue is intermittent a fault doesn't always show upon a line test. The way Openreach engineers are forced to worked these days does not help, as a number of them won't go looking for the more obvious possible causes of an intermittent issue if their tests doesn't show any obvious fault.
To get a clearer picture of what is happening, some more information will be helpful. Which modem/router are you using? If it's one of the Plusnet ones, can you post the current Full xDSL stats using one of the links in my sig (logging into the modem/router will be required when you click the link) - just do a copy and paste into a post. Also can you confirm which exchange you are on. If you don't want to say on the open forum, drop me a PM.
I assume you are getting the IP profile from the BTw Performance test (DON'T REBOOT, ignore the red preamble except make sure no other programs are using the Internet) then clicking the Further Diagnostics button. So when you post the stats can you also post the current IP Profile and your Current Line speed (Login required) (but don't post your phone number).
Lastly - but actually very important - can you/do you ever hear any crackling noises on the phone line when using the phone? Use the Quiet Line Test 17070 option 2 if need be.
PS. I see this post is on the Business User's board - can I just check that you are paying for a Business Line and Service, not a Residential one?
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi A notherone,
Thanks for getting in touch Smiley  We're on the Sauchen exchange. We use a Netgear router most of the time, though we have a Plusnet one which we use to test the line when there's a problem, to make sure it's not the router which is at fault (it never is!).
The BTw performance test keeps coming up with an error when we go to the 'further diagnostics' and only gives us the 'best effort download speed' which is currently 1.4 Mbps ... so I assume the IP profile is at 1.5 Mbps, but because of the error message, have no way of checking that.
"Current line speed" was 1.5 Mbps on Friday eve and Saturday, BUT this eve is now 3Mb.
DSL rate is still 3.8Mbps since rebooting the router on Friday eve.
I tested the phone line on the quiet line test from the master socket this eve - there are no crackling noises - just a very faint 'white noise' and regular faint click. The latter is always there - the engineers have repeatedly said it's likely to be an electric fence somewhere along the line - but it's there when the broadband speed is good AND bad, so presumably not a causative factor of the problem. Not sure about the faint white noise?
Yes, we pay for a Business line and service.
Did I miss anything?
Best Regards
Anne
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

As anticipated, your exchange is a 20CN only exchange which makes this sort of problem even more frustrating because it can sometimes take upto 5 days before an improvement in IP profile occurs and that's before your Current Line speed gets updated!
The regular faint click is most likely an electric fence unit if it's regular and around every couple of seconds or so - that was my first thought - it won't be the cause of the problem you are seeing, but it might have a small impact on overall achievable performance but unfortunately there is likely to be little you could do about that. The very faint 'white noise' is fine.
The issue of the BTw Diagnostic Test failing and giving an error is something Plusnet should have taken up with BT Wholesale. It went through a phase of being a common problem, but is less so now and when cases have been reported they have been resolved (when diligently pursued by Plusnet).
If you can post the basic stats from your Netgear - both Downstream and Upstream - sync (DSL) rates, attenuation and SNRM (Noise Margin) - that'll give us a better idea of what your line should be capable of achieving.  Any CRC or ES error rates could also be informative.
Your description of the problem does sound like an intermittent line issue and so one would expect to hear audible noise on the line when the problem is present. Do check (a bit OCDish) and certainly when your sync speed drops, for audible crackling etc noises on the line. If you can confirm that, then this has to be pursued as a phone fault (not a broadband one) - rubbish phone line = rubbish broadband. Very often mentioning the broadband (rather than just the phone and making it crystal clear that it's an intermittent fault) will very often lead to you getting the run around. In any case it then all depends on how diligent an engineer you happen to get (depending on how the fault had been raised by Plusnet).
Looking at your previous posts, I see this has been going on for a couple of years Shocked      As you pay for a Business Service (I assume you pay the line rental to Plusnet) then IMHO they should have pursued the problem more vigorously.  I would guess that most (if not all) of your line is overhead and certainly it's likely to be an overhead section causing the problems from your description.
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi A notherone,
It's very frustrating that this intermittent fault is still ongoing - it's been happening for several years. Strong winds with rain or snow are always associated with the drop in speed, then as soon as the line is reset, it's OK again. And BT engineers never seem to arrive during wet and windy weather!!!
The good news is that the IP profile has now been reset to 3 Mbps, though the downstream speed hadn't improved so I switched the router on and off 20 minutes ago, and the download speed is much improved at 2.8 Mbps ... that seems to be the speed which is stable in 'normal' weather.
Here are the stats you asked for from the router (poll interval = 5 seconds):
ADSL Link                Downstream Upstream
Connection Speed 3648 kbps      448 kbps
Line Attenuation      50 db              14.5 db
Noise Margin          11 db              21 db
Thanks again for your help and advice. Any more suggestions gratefully received! 
Anne
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Can I just make a small comment on terminology so that there isn't any confusion - you said
Quote from: tillydaff
The good news is that the IP profile has now been reset to 3 Mbps

I suspect that you might have meant that the IP Profile has updated, rather than reset. Reset would imply that someone at Plusnet has taken the specific action of doing an SNR Reset on your line which isn't necessarily the best course of action if your disconnects are of a greater frequency at present.
You mentioned switching the router on & off in a previous post, and just now in relation to getting an improved speed. I'm not sure if you've been given advice on this, but that can be a bad idea in the wrong circumstances as you lose sync by doing so.
If the reason for this is purely to get the benefit of an updated Profile/Current Line Speed, then if your current sync speed is OK, you are better off dropping the PPP Internet session (that's not the sync) by logging into the modem/router and clicking a Disconnect button in your Internet connection section and then a Connect about 30 seconds later. But not all (modem/)routers have this ability, so it then becomes more tricky about the best way to achieve this when you already have line problems. Too many "losses of sync" in a short time scale means DLM can see them as dropped connections and will do things like raise the Target SNRM (with resultant slower sync speed) and/or increase Interleaving (resulting in greater latency).
Your current stats suggest the possibility of your line being capable of maybe around 1Mbps faster, but that will depend on some other factors, and knowing your current "Target SNRM" will be helpful. The current SNRM doesn't necessarily indicate one way or the other whether an SNRM reset has been done, but does suggest you may have a 12dB target SNRM.
Hopefully one of the CRT can have a look at you current settings and let us know.
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

hi A notherone,
Thank you for the info on terminology ... I'll bear that in mind for future posts Smiley
I was a little nervous about switching the router off and on, but that's usually what Plusnet ask me to do when changes have been made to the IP profile but no speed benefit has occurred yet.  I'll try the 'disconnect' option in the router menu next time.  Does the 'reboot' option do the same thing as the 'disconnect' option?
By the way, our line from the exchange is overhead for at least a couple of miles of the 2.5 miles from the exchange. My immediate neighbour (a few metres further down the line than me) consistently gets a better download speed of over 3 Mbps after hassling BT over poor service for some months a couple of years ago.
The highest DSL rate we've experienced was over 5 Mbps when the BT engineers had come and tweaked a few things, but it lasted only a few minutes before dropping to a little over 4 Mbps. Things work pretty well here when the DSl is 3.8 and download speed is 2.8. One of these decades we hope rural fast broadband will reach us, but we're not holding our breath!
Thanks again,
Anne
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

The "Disconnect" option is not the same as a "Reboot".  I have come across some modem/routers where a "Disconnect" button has annoyingly dropped the sync..... and then proceeded to even more annoyingly promptly reconnect. My expectation is that if I initiate a Disconnect (of whatever sort) I do not expect an attempt at reconnection until I initiate it, it will invariably cause problems sooner or later with what one's trying to achieve.
A "Reboot" can effectively be achieved by a Power off for a period. In both cases all the stats information (and the modem/router) is reset/restarted (not a factory reset -  note, that would remove any user specific settings - reboots/power offs shouldn't do that). The difference between them is a Reboot will obviously drop the connection and will take only the length of time to restart the device before it attempts to Connect. If you power off, you decide how long it will be before you power on again to reconnect.
On longer lines especially if you already have a dropping connection problem (and some users may not actually realise that) a reboot might get seen by DLM as a drop. Powering off for say 10 minutes will not usually result in that, but also it's usually seen in the Radius logs (your PPP connection) as specific user action and shouldn't be seen by Plusnet as a drop in connection. Unfortunately some less experienced CSC agents don't appreciate the difference.
Quote from: tillydaff
I was a little nervous about switching the router off and on, but that's usually what Plusnet ask me to do when changes have been made to the IP profile but no speed benefit has occurred yet.

And most of the time that's really bad advice, but especially on longer 20CN lines but in particular after dark. I (and others) have lambasted Plusnet in the past for giving such advice in these situations - unfortunately that clearly has not filtered through to those responsible for CSC agent training - which already continues to be sub-standard judging by some of the posts and criticisms around the forum.
Noise levels increase between dusk and dawn as a result of increased AM/MW propagation. A connection will always sync at the then current Target SNRM, so with increased noise levels you'll usually end up with a slower sync speed, and if the objective was to benefit from an increased profile, such action can be totally self defeating.  Hence it's best to do this in daylight hours at least a good hour after sunrise and a good hour before sunset.
However there is a cautionary note to that, if your line has a large variation in SNRM between day and night, then depending on you Target SNRM, at night the SNRM may drop too low causing sufficient errors as to make the connection very slow or cause it to drop sync resulting in a much slower connection. Intermittent line issues can cause similar effects.
So we really need a CRT member to tell us your current broadband profile.
Also if you can post some stats a couple of times in the evening it might give us a feel for how much the SNRM varies after dark. There are some more specific monitoring methods that can be suggested if need be.
MatthewWheeler
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

The profile for the line is "12dB/Interleaved"
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Matthew Wheeler
 Plusnet Help Team
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Thanks Matthew.
Oops not so good, that's certainly limiting the speed somewhat, but as I've already mentioned we need to see how much the SNRM varies.
tillydaff
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎20-10-2013

Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

Hi again,
Just checked the stats ... all figures are identical to this afternoon, except for the downstream noise margin, which has been varying between 4 and 10 db for the last 3 or 4 minutes.
I've checked the router options, and there is a "disconnect" and "connect" option, so I'll use that next time, rather than a reboot or manual switch off/on.
What does the 12db/interleaved target actually mean? Is it better to have a higher or lower target, and how is the target set?
Anne
Anotherone
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Re: Broadband speed plummetted today during storm - needs IP profile resetting

That's a huge variation in SNRM which will need to be addressed. I'll post back with some more specific questions with regard to that later.
I thought I'd just ask which model of Netgear and firmware you are using, that may help in you being given any more specific modem/router related advice.
When a line is initially activated it is given a 6dB Target SNRM with no Interleaving.
Interleaving is a form of error correction. If a line has too may errors the automatic exchange DLM (Dynamic Line Management) can apply Interleaving. This however introduces latency (otherwise called lag) into the connection which isn't a problem for most users, ping times are longer. It can be an issue for Gamers who often need a rapid response. The greater the depth of Interleaving the greater the latency.
If the noise margin (SNRM) on a line drops too low errors usually increase often to the point where the connection drops. If this happens too often in a short time-scale, DLM can raise the Target SNRM. The net effect of this is that you get a slower speed.
So for optimum speed you want a lower Target, but a higher Target may given better stability. I say may, because it rather depends on the cause of the Margin getting too low.
Hope that helps, I've left out a fair bit of technical detail, but if you want a more detailed explanation please ask.