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Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

JayG
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Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

28/1 - 3 loss of synch 0554, 0653 and 0724
29/1 - 3 loss of synch 0502, 0523 and 0725
2/2 - 6 loss of synch 0252, 0426, 0444, 0519, 0553 and 0738
3/2 - 1 loss of synch 0704
5/2 - 1 loss of PPP 0245, 2 loss of synch 0501 and 0638
9/2 - 1 loss of synch 0827
11/2 - 2 loss of synch 0442, 0603.
12/2 - 9 loss of synch 0150, 0220, 0229, 0303, 0313, 0318, 0327, 0600, 0627
The above is a list of recent unexplained losses of synch (and 1 PPP drop) - from the timings (including the fact they don't happen at weekends) I'm assuming this is due to planned maintenance affecting my exchange.
Should PlusNet's customers really have to just assume this is what's going on though? As it happens, I'm not a night owl, but if I were (or had scheduled overnight downloads) this would be a serious inconvenience and cause for concern.
I have found nothing on PlusNet's site about these works, and have to rely on Zen's Maintenance page for any information at all, although if you look at the attached screenshot it does not provide an explanation for all the synch losses I have experienced (and there are more to come apparently!)
Surely if Zen can do it, PlusNet can - they can't possibly have more difficulty accessing BTw's maintenance data than Zen do can they?
I can actually understand why BTw and PlusNet have nothing to gain and much to lose by publishing data about congestion and contention issues, but surely providing details about planned activities which could adversely impact their customers can only have an upside?
29 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

We've had this conversation several times tbh, and unfortunately we simply don't have the development time needed at the moment to do this. We do manually check for larger scale works and post them up on Service Status
It's actually not overly common for BTW maintenance to impact your sync, it's generally the PPP that disconnects.
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 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Chris: The drops described in my first post show in the TG582n log as 'xDSL linestate down' as distinct from the single 'PPP Link Down.'
I accept that your hands are tied and you can do no more than re-state the situation 'as is', but surely the fact that this has been previously discussed several times suggests it should actually be given higher priority - dealing with actual faults is clearly important, but is it so much more important than letting customers know about works which will affect their service, possibly intermittently and for weeks on end as in my case?
Perhaps if someone from PlusNet were to politely email Zen they might offer you a copy of their scripts to save on 'development time'.  Roll eyes  Wink
Community Veteran
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

I think Zen is v much more expensive  Roll eyes
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Plusnet could reproduce something similar, but there's a lot of info on there that doesn't really benefit anyone. Do you really care if there's a software update at 2am on a edge router that results in a 10 sec outage? Also it's not so easy to attribute area codes to actual affected circuits.
I think the main gripe I have is over the lack of information over:
1) Faults
2) Degraded service
It would be useful if someone was to manually maintain a Service Status page for this. I don't think it's particularly labour intensive and it would probably reduce the call/ticket volumes if people were aware of an issue, rather than phoning in or raising a ticket to notify Plusnet of an issue.
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Quote from: AndyH
Plusnet could reproduce something similar, but there's a lot of info on there that doesn't really benefit anyone. Do you really care if there's a software update at 2am on a edge router that results in a 10 sec outage? Also it's not so easy to attribute area codes to actual affected circuits.

No, of course not, but the more there are (up to 9 per night so far) and the longer they continue (over a fortnight and still counting) the more likely it is that affected users will notice, and then start wasting PlusNet's resources on unnecessary fault calls/tickets.
Community Gaffer
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

I honestly don't think you're affected by all of these JayG, I think something else is causing your disconnections.
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 Chris Parr
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JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Chris: The whole point of reopening this debate is that I simply have no way of knowing whether I do have a fault or it is something I can safely ignore - there are no losses of sync at other times of day or evening (other than a couple I have done manually to try to resync when the SNR is higher.)
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

As Chris said, it's very rare to see a loss of sync vs PPP drop  (I've had one sync drop in 16 months).
How is your line performing? Is it a new connection?
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Far from new - it's this one:
http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,133845.0.html
Apart from the disconnections listed here it's OK - as long as they only occur overnight and there is at least some evidence (even if it's from another ISP  Roll eyes) that they could all have been caused by maintenance activities, and of course eventually stop, I don't see on what grounds I could raise a fault ticket.
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

No further losses of sync over the weekend, so the pattern continues, as does my belief that all the recent overnight drops have been caused by maintenance work at (or affecting) my exchange. One loss of sync this morning at 0703, with the following detail from the maintenance reference:
Quote
As part of BT?s ongoing broadband platform evolution the following exchange area will be impacted by change (SHARROW). The work is (MSE migration work, programme number 51, software upgrades and customer migrations) and will result in your customers being hosted on BTs strategic platform solution. There will be one service outage to end users of approximately 60 minutes within the period 01:00 - 06:00.

Thanks to Zen for the info - I shan't labour the point any longer about this type of information being made available by PlusNet to their own customers, but if anyone can decipher what the above actually means (particularly 'MSE migration work' and 'strategic platform solution') I would be interested to hear the explanation.
Plusnet Staff
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

The MSE migration is the migration of customer from the old bRAS's over to the new one's, it's pretty much to expand the 21CN (ADSL2 / FTTx) broadband platform.
It's newer and better quality equipment that's been rolled out throughout the country. Further details can be found here: https://www.btwholesale.com/pages/static/Library/Network_Information/21C_Broadband_MSE_BRAS_Migratio...
Hope this helps.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Thanks Chris - if you're going to experience drops due to maintenance it's good to have some idea what they're for.  Smiley
(Not that much more info on the BTW website - their downloadable MSE schedule is two years out of date!  Roll eyes)
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

Update on the 'unexplained' losses of sync on my connection. I've included the day of the week as well as the date, and whether the drops could have been anticipated according to the scheduled maintenance which could affect my phone number on the Zen website (YES / NO)

Mon 2/2 - 6 loss of sync 0252, 0426, 0444, 0519, 0553 and 0738 NO

Tues 3/2 - 1 loss of sync 0704 NO

Thurs 5/2 - 1 loss of PPP 0245, 2 loss of sync 0501 and 0638 YES
Mon 9/2 - 1 loss of sync 0827 NO

Wed 11/2 - 2 loss of sync 0442, 0603. NO
Thurs 12/2 - 9 loss of sync 0150, 0220, 0229, 0303, 0313, 0318, 0327, 0600, 0627  NO

Fri 13/2 – 2 loss of sync 0303, 0522 YES
Tues 17/2 – 1 loss of sync 0701 YES

Wed 18/2 – 3 loss of sync 0307 0313 0445 YES

Thurs 19/2 – 7 loss of sync 0027, 0035, 0149, 0251, 0253, 0527, 0532 NO

Fri 20/2 – 4 loss of sync 0120, 0123, 0127, 0633 NO
As long as the drops continue to occur in the early hours on weekdays and not at other times or at weekends, I will have to continue to assume they are caused by maintenance activities, whether I can get accurate information about them or not, which is not a fantastic state of affairs in this day and age.  Roll eyes
JayG
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Re: Planned maintenance info - if Zen can do it why can't Plusnet?

So much for the theory about these losses of sync only happening on weekdays - another 5 in the early hours of this morning (Sat) to add to the collection:
21/2 - 5 losses of sync 0019, 0331, 0342, 0357, 0700
All these reported by the telnet 'history' event log on the TG582n, still none (other than a couple of my own doing) during the day/evening.
To me this still suggests that exchange maintenance is the cause, but I have to say that given I can monitor the live flight stats of an aeroplane on the other side of the world it's a bit frustrating that I can't get to know what tinkering is going on inside my local exchange just a couple of miles away.  Tongue
They've got to stop soon (haven't they?  Undecided)