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Fate will always win!

Pendragon
Rising Star
Posts: 425
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Fate will always win!

This is a long post for which I apologise in advance but it is written to reassure some posters that we can all suffer problems and often they are nothing to do with anything you do but everything to do with fate. This by the way is no slur on F9 support they were top notch throughout, although like me they were mostly bystanders to the problems.
To put this into context I am the chap who can drive down a straight road and see way in the distance a roundabout with no traffic at all coming from the right, all the cars ahead of me have clear passage round the roundabout but when I get there at least one, usually more cars will come from the right and I alone have to stop.
So what has this to do with broadband? Well some of you from the old F9 forum may remember early this year a post with the title ‘OK I give up’ in which I was having major problems with my broadband connection with speeds down to dial up and connections dropping like stones in a pond. All due to a neighbour in the next street asking BT to install a new Fax line and dear old Openreach really screwing up the simple request so much it took 3 months and cost thousands of pounds to put right. And to add insult to injury when it was finally fixed our broadband speed had dropped by nearly 2 Meg from a heady 6.5 Meg to just over 4.5 Meg never to return again because of all the extra joints in the cables.
So last Friday lunchtime fate reared its ugly head again. It started with a minor flicker of the lights and a reset of our computers and broadband. Then around 6 in the evening out went the lot, nothing, zilch, and no electric nothing.
The cause, a blow-out in an underground 250 volt cable junction in the next street, right where Openreach were digging early this year to fix the phone problems. Not only did it take out the electric supply to the whole estate but took out a chunk of the telephone cable as well. All is repaired now, but yet again we have more junctions in the cable and down go our broadband speeds (we are now on 3776).
Yesterday the SNR was all over the place going from +9db to -3db with a graph looking like the Himalayas but today it seems to have stabilised at around 9 to 10db so with a bit of luck we may be able to push the speed back up a bit but I don’t hold out much hope.
I have attached a couple of pictures to show what happened and just what fate may have in store for you when your broadband goes ‘base over apex’ and there is not a thing you can do about it. So all you 8 Meg speed merchants just spare a thought for us country dwellers hanging on to what ever speed we can get with fate looking over our shoulder to smack us back down again as soon as we get something stable to use. Sometimes all the screaming and shouting in the world can’t bypass problems both your ISP and Openreach have no control over.
Picture 1 is the damaged joint.
Picture 2 and 3 the repaired cables.
Regards, P.

7 REPLIES
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

Perhaps fate looms large in the fact that BT relies a great deal on the use of contractors nowadays.
The supervision of these contractors does not seem to be the same as it used to be.
( It never used to be like that when I was a lad)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

And I dare say you wouldnt have used what appears to be a plastic bag and a roll of black insulating tape either Bob.
For a repair job, that looks horrific.

James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

Good to see what £140 +VAT gets you these days Smiley
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

Mark,
Good to hear from you.
In the old days plastic wasn't invented.
By the way the 'black' was was put into the sheathing to prevent deterioration in sunlight.
That made the sheathing into a semi-permeable membrane. ------ You have heard of osmosis haven't you?
So you know why a lot of BT's local cables are full of water. So much for signals up to 1MHz.
How's your " up to 8 .. etc "Huh
Cheers,
Bob
Pendragon
Rising Star
Posts: 425
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

Just for information, the plastic bags are put over the joints simply to keep out mud and earth when the hole is backfilled, nothing more. The actual joint under the bag is a new product they have started using this year (so the Openreach engineer told me when they repaired my cable for the umpteenth time).
Each tube is hinged down one side and fixes with snap clips, there are rubber seals that clamp around the cable and keep out water (if fitted correctly, Doh!  Cheesy), and internal ducts and things to help keep the cables aligned. Very efficient if used correctly but can be damaged by heavy handed back filling with a motorised tamper.
Oh yes and it’s not £140 + VAT, it’s that plus 2 * £500 for opening the hole and backfilling it again (contractor price to Openreach so they told me).
Regards, P.
MikeWhitehead
Grafter
Posts: 748
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

£500 for digging a hole?! BT really need to find some better contractors!
Pendragon
Rising Star
Posts: 425
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Fate will always win!

And another £500 to fill it in again  Wink.
That does get you two men, a pickup truck, a lorry with extending grab (to pick up excess waste) and picks and shovels etc.
Best fed with tea and biscuits while working if you want a nice finish to your path when complete  Cheesy.
Regards, P.