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I claim the lowest possible speed profile rate at 135Kbps

chris99
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 02-06-2009

I claim the lowest possible speed profile rate at 135Kbps

I've been a Plusnet customer for several years now, and though I've had cause, on several occasions, to consult the pages on these boards, I've never (previously) got to the point of actually posting anything.  Most of the time my ADSL connection has just worked (that's what it should do) and I've been happy with a DS Rate of between 5 and 6 Mb.
I should point out early on that I'm not sure that this is really a rant directly specifically at Plusnet, though I will admit that I would appreciate rather more information from them, and indirectly from BT, as to what has caused my problem.
When I first started having a problem with my ADSL line (back on or around Thursday 22nd May), I naturally started by checking my own network bits.
This problem seems to suggest to me that my BT line suddenly became noisy - regular line drops, unable to sustain line speeds.  So naturally, I checked (i.e. changed) filters, internal wires.  I tested with JUST the ADSL router on the line - then moved on to obtaining and trying a replacement router, Eventually  I confirmed to myself what I'd suspected from the start - the problem is on BT's side of the interface socket.
Unfortunately, due, in part, to the intermittent nature of the problem, a delay in sourcing an alternative router, and the fact that I am still lucky enough (in the current economic climate) to work for a living, it took me up to Saturday 30th to complete these tests
Now coming from a software testing background, it doesn't seem convincing to me that the network service provider (ie BT) can operate a system in which they do not have some form of manual control over the reconfiguration of a specific network connection. This seems to me particularly unlikely in a set of circumstances where the auto-reconfiguration mechanism seems to have a build-in lag time of 72 hours (or so I'm being told)!
Is it truly the case that BT staff are unable to make these type of changes on their network, or is it just that they are unwilling to make the changes for 3rd party ISPs?
So, from my point of view, I have already been without a usable connection for nearly two weeks.  So far, I have been given no indication as to what caused the failure in the first place - if the company I work for provided its service in this manner, we'd have no customers left.  When one of our products experiences a glitch of some type, it is standard procedure for us to provide an RCA (Route Cause Analysis) to explain "what" happened (and "why?" and "how we've made sure it won't happen again!").
The underlying problem here MAY have been corrected, but there is a total absence of information on that subject.  Up to now, any information related back to me on the basis of the PlusNet "ticket" I raised, relates to things that have been changed in an attempt to alter the state of the line as it is NOW.
For example, Plusnet support decided to ask BT to turn on "Interleaving" on my line in the hopes that it would stabilize things.  Prior to Thursday 22nd May, my line had been quite stable without the need to add this error checking facility.
No-one seems to be able to tell me what changed on my line on or around Thursday 22nd May when I went (from my point of view) from a normally operating ADSL connection (which generally sustained between 5 and 6 Mb) to one that spent a week bouncing up and down and left me with a rock bottom speed profile (135 Kbps is NOT a usable speed!).  And now that it appears that I have a reasonably solid connection to the exchange again, the story is that there's no way to change the profile speed manually - I just have to wait for the automatic mechanism to recognise my "improved line stability" and automatically raise my speed profile (just give it 72 hours!)
It also struck me as "interesting" that the underlying line connection (between my router and the local exchange) suddenly seemed to become much more solid again at exactly midnight on Saturday 30th May (aside: is there a policy as to when reconfiguration changes will be made on BT switch equipment?)
I only know (suspect) that this happened because, at 17:20 on Sunday afternoon, my router's "modem status" screen told me, I'd managed to sustained a solid line (with no resets) for 17 hours 20 mins.  Funny timing that - for the previous week right up to about 10:00PM on Saturday evening, it seems that my connection was unsustainable (without regular reset events) at anything other that the absolute minimum speed (US Rate 90, DS Rate 160)
It also seems that any attempt to diagnose what happened is now just likely to prolong the problem for me.  If the problem HAS already been resolved, I have to wait for 72 hours to see my line speed return to anything like a normal value.  If my connection fails/resets in the course of that time, it seems I have to start the 72 hours again from scratch.
Also, from my outsider's point of view, it would appear that any diagnostic/status data that Plusnet have been able to retrieve (or get BT to retrieve) on the state of my line, has been at the cost of an intrusive event. Since midnight on Saturday most (though admittedly not all) of the resets on my line seem to have occurred when BT or PlusNet were making a change (BT altering the interleaving setting; PlusNet doing their line test checks, and extracting connection reset data),
So, I seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I want to know what went wrong, so I can recognise what it was, in case (or for when) it happens again:- I'll know what to do (and how to get it fixed quickly).  But I actually want to have my apparently "working" line brought back up to a usable speed so that I can actually make use of it.
It's now been two weeks during which I've been paying for a service that's been pretty unusable.
Can someone explain how these service providers can behave in this way?
PS: While composing this missive during the course of today, it transpires that my connection has reset again (at about 16:13 this afternoon).  Prior to that, I believe I may have complete about 24 hours since the previous reset - not good enough.  So my 72 hours is now again 66 hours away, and though my current connection is steady at a DS Rate of 6016 and I haven't had a logged line error in that 6 hour period, and I'm still stuck with a rock bottom profile speed of 135 Kbps.  And judging by the way things are at the moment, with my once a day blips, I'll be there forever more!
1 REPLY
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,319
Thanks: 1,104
Fixes: 89
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: I claim the lowest possible speed profile rate at 135Kbps

Hi there,
What you've described are some of the shortcomings of BT Wholesale's dynamic line management tools. I'm not sure you can claim the lowest IP profile though because mine was also 135kbps a day or two ago (it's now 350kbps and like you I'm still waiting for it to rise). Your line dropping connection won't necessarily reset the 'up to 72 hour' recovery period. As an example, my line rarely stays connected for that long and the IP profile is updated on almost a daily basis.
Regarding what caused your problem, there's a good chance that you won't find out what it was to be honest. It could just be 'one of those things' that seem to just fix themselves. I know that doesn't sound overly technical but these things do happen.
The attached screengrab is is what happened to my line for an hour a couple of nights ago. It hasn't done it since and I've no idea as to what caused it. I'd like to think that I'm quite proficient in diagnosing such problems too (and of course I have access to a lot of BT's systems).
I have just checked your line using BT Wholesale's systems and there is a 160kbps sync event that was recorded at 01/06/2009 05:58:37.
You might want to consider installing something like RouterStats to monitor your SNR and sync speeds over a period of time to see if you can spot any patterns.
If the problem you have is intermittent or down to interference on the line then it can be a bit of a pita to pinpoint.
Keep an eye on things over the coming days and let us know how you get on. If your profile's the same after another day or so then give one of us a shout and we'll check things at this side again for you.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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