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Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - RESOLVED: after 8 mths

Catweazle
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Posts: 140
Registered: ‎12-01-2009

Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - RESOLVED: after 8 mths

I raised a support ticket at the end of June 2008 as my broadband download speed had dropped from around 3000kbps to less than 1000kbps. After more than six months and five BT engineer visits, we're still no nearer a resolution for the problem.
I've tried changing routers, microfilters, cables and have even asked BT to move my master socket - all to no avail. I have no phone extension sockets, so the connection is as clean as it can be, and the phone line has no audible noise. As I'm only about 1km from the BT exchange and the line attenuation figure is 22Db, I would expect a download rate of at least 6000kbps. My neighbour (upstream from the exchange) is getting around 7500kbps download speed, but I'm lucky if I can get a tenth of that download speed.
When BT engineers visit, they manage to synch their laptops at about 6000kbps but this degrades several hours after they have left so they never get to see the problem. As BT limits the visits to a maximum of 2 hours, I see no point in any more engineers visiting as they will just repeat the same tests as before and find nothing wrong with the line. Needless to say, I'm not at all happy in having wasted 5 days of my own time in waiting for BT to tell me there's nothing wrong with the line when there is obviously a problem. Presumably, PlusNet must think it's worth paying BT around £200 a visit, so why can't they ask BT to try something different (such as sending an engineer who is capable of diagnosing the problem)?
So, come on PlusNet, there must be someone who can rise to the challenge and sort this problem out and make me a happy customer again! Support ticket 25488897  has all the gory details...
336 REPLIES
Community Gaffer
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Try a reboot, your line profile's been at 5000kbps since Sunday morning but our systems hadn't updated to reflect this.
Without reading the entire ticket history, can I ask if you've noticed any correlation with the timing of the low sync events? Does it always happen in the evening for example? On the last three occasions the line profile has dropped to 750kbps it's been between 5:00pm and 7:00pm. Is there anything that happens in your house around this time that could be generating noise on the line? Does you heating kicking then, or is that the time an electrical device like a TV or radio is commonly switched on? Given the fact that your line keeps on resynchronising at such a low level I find it difficult to believe that we're not dealing with a certain degree of noise interference.
Do you have an old AM/MW radio? If so try tuning it to 612Khz and walk around the house to see if you can identify any large areas of interference. Take a look here for a little more info.
Sorry to hear this has been going on for so long. It can be equally as frustrating for us trying to get to the bottom of issues like this and I'd like to see this one resolved.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

I saw a post recently about another cause you don't see often: faulty PSU in a PC.
Is your router one that is supported by RouterStats or can you get hold of one (it's primarily for Netgear DG834 series routers). That graphs the sync speed and noise margin which may help you pinpoint when the problems occur.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Catweazle
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Thanks, guys - that sounds useful and I'll investigate further tonight.
I've rebooted the router (a Draytek 2600G that's wired in, rather than wireless) at 06:17 this morning and the synch rate improved to 6752kbps but the actual download speed is only about 760kbps. SNR margin is 5.5 and line attenuation is 22.0
My central heating is on from 04:30 to 6:30 in the morning and then 16:30 to 22:30 in the evening. The problem may be connected to the heating and I will investigate the Routerstats software, but I wouldn't say the problem always happens in the evening - I have had disconnections at all times of the day and night. I like the tip about the AM radio and will try that as well.
The only other electrical appliances I have on in the house whilst I'm away at work are fridge and freezer plus a digital radio, but none of these are on timers - I've just switched off the radio as that's easy to eliminate from the equation.
Thanks for taking the time to respond - I'll report back when I have more info.
Steve
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

From the RouterStats help file:
Quote
Draytek 2600 Routers
Thanks to "Mike" for the following information...
General
If you have a Draytek Vigor 2600plus you can save yourself the trouble of making almost all of the 2600-specific configuration changes noted in the help file by using the Draytek2600.ini file in place of the RouterStats.ini file.
To do this make sure that Routerstats is not running, then copy the Draytek2600.ini file into the same directory as Routerstats.exe, delete or rename any existing Routerstats.ini file [there may not be one], and rename Draytek2600.ini to Routerstats.ini. The configuration changes will come into force next time you open Routerstats.
You'll find Draytek2600.ini in the OtherRouters folder included in RouterStats.zip

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Finding the URL section:
The login URL for 2600plus is: http://192.168.1.1/doc/online.sht
The username admin can be used together with any password you have set.
Using a blank or space for the username can cause problems with Routerstats. (I think the current help file needs correcting in this respect, as I'm pretty sure this would apply to the 2600G as well).
The 2600plus does not seem to have a logout function.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Configuring Routerstats
If your router has a password, you will need to type in a password as described in the help text under 'Configuring RouterStats'.
The 'use source' tick box seem to give most stable results with the 2600plus.
Configuring and using the graphs
The 2600plus does not display an Rx Noise figure on the web interface, but you must map this graph to some router statistic or problems occur in the other graphs. The RouterStats2600.ini file maps this graph to Loop Attenuation.
Graphs and hence alarms and max and min statistics can go wild when the router is rebooting, or re-synching. The facilities Routerstats provides to control this do not seem to work for the 2600plus.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alarms section
The reboot URL for the 2600plus is:
http://192.168.1.1/cgi-bin/reboot.cgi?sReboot=Current&submit=++OK++
Graphs take 3-5 minutes to settle down after a reboot. If they take longer, the router may be having trouble establishing a full connection.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional features:
The 'string= entry' to display the external* IP address for the 2600plus is (counterintutively*):

[IPAddress]
String=<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 color="#009900"> PPPoA</font> URL=doc/online.sht
IPOffset=71
*The IP address 'seen' by users on the web or WAN side of the router.
(*the above is the first unique string before the data. Setting a seemingly more relevant string causes RouterStats to pick up the wrong data)
(?Presumably the 'email when IP changes' function will operate if you set the IP string up as above. The user interface suggests this is limited to the Netgear router? I cannot set this as I have a static IP).
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Gaffer
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Quote from: Catweazle
I've rebooted the router (a Draytek 2600G that's wired in, rather than wireless) at 06:17 this morning and the synch rate improved to 6752kbps but the actual download speed is only about 760kbps. SNR margin is 5.5 and line attenuation is 22.0

Should definitely be closer to 5000kbps from what I can see here. Does a BT Speedtest say you IP profile is 760kbps too?

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Catweazle
Grafter
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎12-01-2009

Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Thanks, jelv, for the Routerstats info - will try this later.
Bob - my router reports that it was disconnected about 09:07 this morning and the current synch rate is 1056kbps, SNR margin=0.0 and line attenuation=22.0. I ran a BT speed test at 18:43 this evening and the results are shown below:-
Test1 comprises of Best Effort Test:  -provides background information.
    Your DSL connection rate: 1056 kbps(DOWN-STREAM),  448 kbps(UP-STREAM)
    IP profile for your line is - 750 kbps
    Actual IP throughput achieved during the test was - 688 kbps
I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try the AM/MW radio trick for tracking down interference as I need to borrow a radio from someone.
PN support also found the SNR margin dropped to -11Db today (not sure what time), so they asked me to request a line test from BT. Unfortunately, BT can't find anything wrong with the analogue service so have suggested passing this back to the broadband engineers.
Will keep you posted.
Community Veteran
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Ouch. No wonder your throughput is low with these low sync events and a lot of noise on the line when resync occurred if those figures are to be believed! in fact you're lucky to have sync with a 0dB margin.
A couple of thoughts - as has already been suggested, something electrical periodically causing a lot of interference on your line, it needn't be in your house, it could be in a neighbours, or down the road a bit if severe. Did you read about REIN?.
Is any part of either your phone line or mains supply overhead cable? Is there perhaps any correlation between the sync drops and the weather, ie very windy, very wet etc? Is your electric supply subject to dropouts (rural locations often worst), do you notice lights flickering or dimming?
Otherwise, if not electrical interference, an intermittent bad connection somewhere on your line perhaps?
Line tests can be notoriously unreliable at locating these until they become more of a problem, sometimes just using the phone, or an incoming call (the ringing current) cleans the connection for a while. Have you ever heard any crackling or other intermittent noises on your phone? Even if you haven't noticed any, worth keeping a check if all else is still failing to locate a problem. If you do hear anything, if you've got a DECT phone, unplug and switch it off and check for noise with a corded phone.
Don't know if any of that will help.
Regards.
Catweazle
Grafter
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Thanks for that. I have read about REIN but not yet tried to check for intereference - hopefully will do this tonight.
You're spot on regarding overhead cables - I do live in a semi-rural area where both power and phone cables are carried on poles rather than running underground. I haven't noticed any power fluctuations, though - it's all been pretty stable since I moved into my current property about 18 months ago. I did wonder whether any of my neighbours might have equipment that affects the broadband signal, but can't see anything obvious. My immediate neighbour has no problems at all with his broadband and he regularly gets 7000kbps download speed (synch is close to 8000kbps) - our phone lines meet at the same telegraph pole, so I assume his line would be affected in a similar way if electrical interference outside my property was causing the problem.
Weather doesn't appear to make any discernible difference to broadband performance. But soon after I moved into the property (July 2007) I did report a line problem to BT (noise on the line) and they eventually traced this to a faulty connection in a roadside junction box (this is a small "pillar" construction about two feet tall and six inches wide - the phone lines are then connected underground to the standard BT roadside cabinet about half a mile away). The noise problem was cured and broadband performance did rise to about 3000kbps, but it's all been downhill since the end of June last year - I've sometimes managed (for a few hours) to get high speeds of up to 4000kbps, but the vast majority of the time the actual download speed is around 600-700kbps.
Disconnections and speed drops sometimes occur when I'm away at work i.e. with few electrical appliances switched on in my house. Whilst I'm away from the house (usually 06:30 to about 17:15), the only electrical appliances I have switched on are phone, fridge, freezer and the central heating (which is timed to come on between 04:30-06:30 and 16:30 to 22:30). My pc is always powered down (and switched off at the mains) when I'm out of the house i.e. only the phone and router are left on. The router had a disconnection just after 9am yesterday and the only appliances on at that time would have been DECT phone, fridge, freezer and router. So that probably means I can discount the pc's PSU and the central heating as possible interference sources - I will double-check tonight, though i.e. following the REIN guidance.
I also tried replacing my DECT phone with a standard corded phone and tried the BT Quiet Line test - no intereference at all, as far as my ears can tell.
Superuser
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Have you tried another router ?
Quote
As I'm only about 1km from the BT exchange and the line attenuation figure is 22Db, I would expect a download rate of at least 6000kbps

TBH with that attenuation figure I would expect a half decent line to sync at 8128k!! ( and that is somewhat confirmed by your neighbours line )
You either have a BIG noise problem as others have already suggested or maybe your router is a bit iffy.
Its got to be worth trying another router if you havent already...
Community Gaffer
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Quote from: Catweazle
PN support also found the SNR margin dropped to -11Db today (not sure what time)

I noticed that when I tested your line (to check the IP profile). I put it down to a test error but if another support agent advised you the same then perhaps there's something more sinister going on here. FWIW I've just tried again and your SNR margin is now being reported as +7db.
Quote from: BT
Test1 comprises of Best Effort Test:  -provides background information.
    Your DSL connection rate: 1056 kbps(DOWN-STREAM),  448 kbps(UP-STREAM)
    IP profile for your line is - 750 kbps
    Actual IP throughput achieved during the test was - 688 kbps

That's a little odd although not entirely inconsistent with what I'm seeing here. I can see your sync rate is 1056kbps but your IP profile in two of BT's systems is coming back at 5000kbps (which isn't much use anyway TBH if you're only synchronising at 1Mbps)
Quote
Will keep you posted.

Please do...

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

grimme
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

I had similar issues with my old Draytek 2600g at home, it worked perfectly fine on my line (which is over 2 miles line of sight from the telephone exchange) when I had 512k fixed speed with Metronet,  but when I switched to ADSL Max with another provider speeds were all over the place (but never over 2mb) and  http downloads just timed out or got corrupted.
It also had download problems on a fixed 1mb LLU line, so I changed it for a Speedtouch 585v6 and that's been fine ever since (about 18 months ago).
I do miss the Draytek UI though and have been looking enviously at the 2820 range, but I would re-iterate the suggestion of trying another router such as a Speedtouch or Netgear - these seem to crop up again and again on the forums as better ones to try.
Catweazle
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

OK, I've just followed the REIN advice on the Kitz website and managed to tune in to the French radio station (I'm just a few miles from Gatwick Aiport, by the way) plus the signal from the monitor and the modem, so I recognise the differences between the signals. But, apart from white noise, there's nothing else unless I move the radio very close (an inch or two away) to a mains power source (light bulb, power socket etc) and then I get a loud buzzing, so I assume that's just the AC switching back and forth. I carried the radio around inside the house and outside and can't pick up anything else - certainly no clicks, buzzes or whistles. I also held the radio close to the telephone line outside and could hear the same noise made when I held the radio close to the modem, so all well and good it seems.
As the phone line also runs inside the roof space, and the central heating boiler is installed up there (but several metres away from the line), I took the radio into the roof as well. Again, no unusual noises to report so there appears to be no obvious culprit for noise interference in my house.
A couple of people have suggested the router may be at fault but I have tried replacing this with a Netgear DG834 and this has had similar problems, although I would say it seems to be better at hanging on to connections when the SNR margin drops close to zero. I did leave the Netgear router connected from mid-September through to the end of November, but reconnected the Draytek as the problem plainly wasn't due to the router and I prefer the Draytek interface. I'd also say that the Draytek was used in my previous house (I moved in July 2007) and this had a rock-solid MaxDSL connection running at close to 8000kbps (which is extremely galling as my old house is just half a mile away from where I am now!).
I've also just managed to get the Routerstats software up and running, so I'll report back if anything unusual is highlighted.
Latest BT speed test results are posted below (taken at 18:52 this evening) :-
Test1 comprises of Best Effort Test:  -provides background information.
    Your DSL connection rate: 1056 kbps(DOWN-STREAM),  448 kbps(UP-STREAM)
    IP profile for your line is - 750 kbps
    Actual IP throughput achieved during the test was - 699 kbps
This is pretty much the same as the result I had this morning (at 05:41) and the SNR margin (5.5) and line attenuation (22.0) are unchanged as well. The line has now been connected for almost 34 hours.
Superuser
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

Quote
I have tried replacing this with a Netgear DG834 and this has had similar problems,

Well that would seem to eliminate the router. I see from earlier posts you've tried changing filters etc
Bottom line is there is something basically wrong if a line with only 22db attenuation is only synching at 1056k with a SNR of 5.5db!!!
It should really be achieving 8128k or something very close it...
Community Gaffer
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Re: Unresolved support ticket open for more than six months - is this a record?

I'd be inclined to agree at this stage, @catweazle, have you updated your support ticket with the information above? Presumably a reboot still sees you synchronising at around the 1Mbps mark?

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵