A dropping connection fault can be one of the most frustrating faults to have on your broadband connection. I’m writing this guide to explain what can cause drops and what we do to try and resolve this issue on your behalf. This guide will go into quite some depth into the changes that can be made remotely as well as changes that can be made by engineers on the broadband network. If you are reading this and having a dropping connection fault, it may be worth reading the I have a Fault topic.
What can cause my connection to drop?
A broadband connection may drop from time to time which is actually quite normal. We would generally say that if your connection is dropping more than 3 or 4 times a day, this could be considered a problem. We generate a graph via our internal system which shows us the times as which your connection drops, they look very similar to this:
This is called a ‘Visual Radius’ graph. This information is collected on a back end server called a RADIUS Server which registers each and every connection. All of the information is collected from the past week/month and put into a form of the above graph. The lines on the graph show the disconnections and connections detected. The line with a red square at the bottom shows the connection being dropped and the green square at the top of the line shows the connection coming back up again. If your connection is dropping out it could be caused by:
A fault with your own broadband equipment
REIN (Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise)
A fault on the Broadband Network
For more information on what checks you should do before raising a fault to rule out your own equipment and internal wiring please visit our I have a Fault topic for more information.
REIN, what is REIN?
REIN stands for Repetitive Electrical Impulse Noise, which is essentially electrical interference which can cause your broadband connection to drop periodically. REIN can be caused by something you might have set on a timer within your premises or could be caused by a third party piece of equipment external to your premises. An example of this is, if you have your Christmas Tree lights set to come on at 19:00 and this ties in with your connection dropping out, it’s likely that the drops are being caused by electrical interference from the lights themselves. An example of external interference causing a problem; if your line goes past a takeaway which has a flashing ‘Open’ sign, this is likely giving off electrical interference which might be strong enough to cause your connection to drop out. So, what can we do to help with interference that is outside of your control and outside of Plusnet’s control? Well if an engineer finds the interference to be caused by your internal electrical appliances, it will be up to you to resolve this issue. If the interference is being caused by an external source, it might be worth having an engineer locate the source of the REIN and have them raise a REIN Case. A REIN Case gives us the pathway to arranging for a REIN trained engineer to visit your premises – sometimes out of hours to detect the interference you have experiencing. If the engineer locates the source of REIN to particular premises, a letter will be sent to advise that this is causing a problem to make the person/business aware. We do not have any authority to ensure that the offending equipment be removed; this is purely at the discretion of the owner. REIN Engineers can take some time to get booked in due to the out of hours work involved.
Why does my connection only drop when it rains?
We do get a large number of faults that filter through where the connection only really disconnects when we endure adverse weather. It is very common that we are not made aware of this fact, so it is really important that you tell us this, if you know that this is the case so we can resolve such issues as quickly as possible. Generally this type of fault is due to water/damp getting into some of the cabling on the Exchange Side of the broadband network. Over time, cabling can become exposed which can lead to intermittent issues a lot of the time. Ultimately, if there is a network fault, we are unlikely going to be able to locate it straight away – we send engineers to test and locate a fault in these instances. You may notice that your connection becomes very slow after experiencing a number of drops; this is likely due to Line Banding. Line banding can be removed, but won’t necessarily resolve the issue for you. Further information can be found on this via the above link. If you’re wondering what some of the testing we have done means, please take a look at our Faults Testing guide, this will also explain how we intend on fixing faults based on the information we have collated from our testing. Remember, if you have a fault, and have carried out the checks outlined here then do head over to http://faults.plus.net and complete the Broadband Fault Checker