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Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

I've a fault on my broadband. It's been there since I joined PlusNet in Nov last year. I've had 5 visits from so-called BT engineers. They've changed the line completely, fitted an RF3 filter and changed the LTE and reduced the line speed to 1Mbps fixed speed from ADSL Max. It's still faulty with exactly the same fault. I've had 22 loss of syncs in the last 24 hrs.
But every time it's do this, do that, or BT will charge you, if we escalate BT'll just drop the line speed to 512 fixed. Hell on ADSL Max the circuit wasn't even stable at 160kbps.
I think, and can produce documentary evidence, that the fault lies in the exchange but will anyone even listen. NO. On the tickets you can supply extra info, screen captures graphs etc are these actually ever looked at.
PlusNet continues to pussyfoot around BT accepting whatever carp BT cares to give them. Who's paying here. Who's being paid to provide a service. BT seem to be able to get away with providing an absolutely carp service and PlusNet just rolls over and says please sir hit me again.
I feel better after that  Angry
John
30 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi John,
Please could you elaborate a little on your problems, with any technical details that you might have lying around.  I'm guessing that you're on a long line but you should still be able to have a fairly solid experience - especially on a fixed rate product.
I'd be interested to know what router you have - some of them are more easily used for complex diagnostics using external programs.  There are a few geniuses on the forums that could certainly help you to diagnose the issue, and present a compelling case for Plusnet to be able to use to get BT to actually *fix* the problem.
Cheers
B.
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi Barry
Only too glad to  Wink
I've been using two Netgear DG834v1 (my 'backup' routers) and a Linksys AG241v2 swapping when asked by PlusNet as well as ADSLNation filtered faceplates (I've tried two as well as various other makes of filter). The router reports my line loss as 51dB downstream and 31dB upstream so yes it's long but not as long as some.
I've been monitoring it with RouterStats for a loooooong time now and yes, like every line, there is some line noise, but the interesting thing is that everytime BT plays around with the line the fault disappears for a couple of days. One particular noise that shows up must be from a workplace somewhere, it starts around 09:00 and goes around 15:30 to 17:00. If you take a gander at the attached graphs it shows up clearly on the first 3 but had NO EFFECT on the broadband. This, of course, is in the 6 days immediately following BT testing the line and fitting an RF3 filter on Tuesday last week. Midday yesterday the broadband went completely to hell 4 loss of syncs in 45 minutes and I thought that this morning  around 09:00 would be interesting. Graph 4 shows the fault in all it's glory. Now that it has started it continue like that for, all or any, slight changes in line noise until BT fiddles with again, then it will work properly for a while and then, within a few days, go again.
My theory is that the DSLAM has an intermittent fault, which clears when it's fiddled with, that stops it from adapting to changing line conditions properly.
Where the graph shows an SNRM of 0 that isn't where the router is not synced and RouterStats isn't getting the info, the AG241 just about manages to sync at that level but gives lots and lots of CRC errors.
When on ADSL Max I was getting sync speeds of around 3Mbps for long periods when it wasn't at 160Kbps (which knocked the profile down to 135) of course.
The second attachment show what happened yesterday when it fell over for the first time following BT's work last week. Bet everyone wishes they could get a graph like that  Cry
Hope my ramblings make sense.
John
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi Again Barry
One thing I should have said is that I'm , at present, on a 1152Kbps fixed speed line, not ADSL Max
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

I'll say one word to you:  REIN  (which reminds me, someone should put up a wikipedia article on it!)
Your monitoring is excellent, it it clearly shows that the timings coincide with a normal working day - this could be useful later on.  My guess would be a nearby industrial-type unit generating out-of-spec RF interference.  The cause is most likely between the 'green box' and your premises, although it's certainly far too early to rule out either faulty exchange equipment, or interference further up the line.
Are there any premises 'nearby' that would spring to mind - is there an industrial unit, or estate close - particularly one that may have heavy inductive equipment running during 'office hours'?  Mechanics are a good example (especially if they also do welding regularly!), but it could be any type of heavy industrial activity.
Do you know where your local 'green box' is?  It will look something like this.  I'd be interested if you could figure out which was your closest (although it's not necessarily the one you're connected to, statistically it's quite likely) and see if there is any form of industrial-type activity between your premises and the box itself.
I appreciate that you've probably been asked to do quite a substantial amount of testing of various bits on your line - considering the amount of equipment that you've managed to collect!  However,  I think it would be useful from the forum's point of view to just check through a few things.  One thing that you'll find is that if we ask you to check something, we'll generally explain why, which could also jog your memory as to some potentially coincidental occurrences which might help identify the root cause of the problem.
So, with that in mind I would appreciate it if you could check the following and in each case, report the Sync speed, attenuation, output power (if available) and SNR Margin - both upstream and downstream from your router:
1.  1 router connected directly (via a filter) to the test socket with no telephone plugged in.
2.  As above, with a telephone plugged into the filter.
3.  Just the router plugged in, via a filter, to the Master socket (or filtered faceplate, whichever is easiest - but let us know if it is a faceplate)
4.  As above, with a telephone also connected via a filter.
5.  Crosscheck with an alternate router any of the above steps as a "control group"
6.  Monitor your phone line quality.  Ideally, when you see interference causing sync drops then pick up the phone (preferably a corded, not a wireless) and dial 17070 and choose Option 2, the Quiet Line test.  Listen carefully for any noise on the line - particularly any clicking, popping or an obvious hissing on the line. 
We're looking for any variation of sync and attenuation here - this will (hopefully!) confirm that your extension wiring is in order, and that the bell wire isn't causing undue interference from inside.  It may also provide clues as to any other steps we could take to locate the 'fault' per se.
If we can confirm that your wiring is fine, we need to look at requesting that BT do some modifications to your line (if they haven't already).  Have they visually inspected the line that runs from your house back to the green box, and replaced if appropriate?  Have they run a high-voltage surge from your premises? (this will indicate if there is an insulation break on the line, and will even tell them how many metres back it is!).  Have they swapped you over to a different 'tie-pair' which essentially means a complete new line back to the exchange?  Have they done a 'lift and shift' which means they have swapped your ADSL onto a different line-card in the DSLAM?  All these are options that should be methodically changed, and then monitored for any change in performance.
If the fault does exist outside of your premises, then it is 'almost' within BT's remit to fix in one way or another.  There is a slight gotcha in that REIN is sometimes very difficult to track down and BT will try to wash their hands of it. Luckily, OFCOM are also required to assist in locating sources of interference that cause problems with communications so we could look at getting them involved if you really cannot get any joy out of BT.
Hope that's a good starter for 10, and I'm sure there will be other forum goers jumping in with suggestions Smiley
Cheers
B.
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi Barry
Been there, done that, didn't even get a lousy tee-shirt. Cry
Sorry, when I see that list of things to try the red mist starts to descend. I'm even starting to dream about swapping out routers and filters. Smiley
But seriously, there's been an open ticket on this problem since November 19 last year and points 1 to 6 have been done many, many times
What I've done:-
Changed router (choose any 1 from 3 different routers, they've all been on and off the circuit multiple times)
Changed router cord (three times)
Changed filters (four or more times I've lost count, certainly tried 2 ADSLNation filtered faceplates using no. 2 now)
Removed all phone wiring from master socket
Tested phone for noise etc using 17070 test number (also used this to see if i/c rings either cleared or caused the fault)
Checked house for elecrical appliances switching on and off
Changed Sky TV box "just in case" (it's not connected to the phone line anyway)
Ran router to completely different computer (including monitor etc)
Nothing I did affected either the frequency or severity of the problem
What BT have done:-
Tested line five times (I apparently don't have a problem).
Checked drop wire from master socket to DP (literally a road's width from the house).
Changed out pair from DP to cabinet for another in same cable.
Changed out pair from cabinet to exchange for another in different cable.
Changed LTE.
Changed circuit from ADSL Max to 1152Mbps fixed
Fitted RF3 filter.
Broke plug on my low loss screened router connecting cord.
Shown a very marked reluctance to even consider putting me on a different DSLAM outlet.
I mentioned the 9-5 noise precisely because, for a few days after BT do anything, I CAN see it and ONLY it, and it does nothing it doesn't cause loss of sync it doesn't even cause errors (CRC, HEC, FEC nearend or farend) when on ADSL Max it didn't cause a drop in sync speed (and I got sync speeds up to nearly 3.5Mbps at times) and the SNRM graph is so flat it's boring.
But sooner or later the cct falls over I start getting loss of syncs and massive swings (34dB)(+26dB to -8dB) in SNRM.Now instead of the completely harmless 3-4dB drop in SNRM the 9-5 noise used to give me I get a loss of sync (although it is difficult to be sure because of all the other LOSes (22 in the last 24 hrs) and the general mess that passes for the SNRM graph)
The longest the circuit has been in a "non-faulty" condition was 10 days after the change to fixed speed took place. The last spell ended yesterday, 6 days after the RF filter was fitted. After the LTE was changed it stayed up long enough to get a 2.5Mbps profile.
The only way I can see induced rf noise being the primary problem is if there's a little man watching the house who phones up his mate and says, "John's just had another visit from BT. Don't use the arc welder for a couple of days and we'll drive him completely nuts!" But I'm not paranoid enough for that... or at least I don't think I am... no, definitely not... I think. Crazy
Thanks for listening
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

No problems John - it's good to see a rundown of what has and hasn't been done.
It looks like the final step is to insist upon a 'lift and shift' at the exchange.  I'm going to see if I can flag this to one of the comms team - they should be able to escalate this to either the complex faults team at BTW, or to a level of management that can actually look at the entire case and actually 'do' something.
B.
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Yes it helps to actually set it out in writing like that, gives a clearer perspective.
I completely agree about the lift and shift.
Unfortunately the latest entry by the support team on my ticket seems mainly to consist of a rather unsubtly veiled threat that if I insist on the fault being escalated back to BT then my line will be further capped down to 512Kbps  Angry
I'm not feeling a very happy bunny at the moment.
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi John,
It sounds from your comments about the fault ticket in your initial post that a different person has responded to the ticket each time, would that be right? Frustration!
Couple of queries - DP to Cab, also Cab to Exchange, is it underground, or any of it overhead?
Don't suppose you did/were able to listen to your phone line anytime between ~ 1135 - 1152 on the 23rd. If you happen to spot similar and are able to have a listen, see what you can hear as that looks to me like an intermittent line problem, although I wouldn't rule out the linecard or severe REIN.
I agree with you & Barry, it would appear that something certainly seems to be switching at a regular time slot in the day, but as you have explained that this has never caused a resync, it probably isn't the underlying problem, and is probably exaggerated by the underlying problem.
If I've understood your summary correctly, apart from the 'Lift & Shift', the other thing that has not been done is actually CHANGE the drop wire!
I think Barry's suggested course of action is undoubtedly the best route. After 5 "Engineers" we can only hope that someone with a few brain cells at OpenReach actually looks at the overall situation.
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi Chris
That's right never the same person twice in a row. I usually attach a capture of RouterStats SNRM graphs when I report yet another failure but there's never been any acknowledgement that they're of any use or even looked at. I have asked if i'm wasting my time by including them... but I didn't get answer to that either. Indeed Frustration in 6 foot high fluorescent pink letters.
No I wasn't near my computer when it went down on that occasion. But at least once in the last 4 months (sorry I can't remember when) I've caught it in the "faulty" state and was able to use the 17070 test number. There was no audible noise on the option 2 quiet line test and the option 1 ringback didn't blow the fault clear.
Re the cables - about a half (500metres) of the DP to cabinet  is aerial cable. All the rest back to the exchange is underground. Annoyingly my neighbour, 3 doors away, fed off the same DP seems to connect continuously and effortlessly, or so they say, at 2.5Mbps.
John
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

John,
I'm speaking with the Team Leader of the Faults Team to see if we can push BT to perform a lift and shift.
I'll let you know should I hear back, but hopefully you'll get an update from one of them shortly.
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Hi James
Thanks for getting involved.
I wasn't able to reply sooner because the broadband collapsed completely yesterday afternoon, as dead as the proverbial dodo, and has only just been restored.
I'm just hoping that the intermittent fault decided to stop playing about and to go full time. It would be just my luck for it be a completely separate fault altogether  Cry
At the moment I don't have full details of what was done to restore sevice.
Many, many thanks to all who have helped.
John
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Well, what ever was done didn't fix it.
Worked faultlessly for 30 odd hours after service was restored. But started falling over in exactly the same way as before, last night and this morning  Cry
Why can't one person be given this problem and be told go away and don't come back until it's fixed?
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,102
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

Was your phone line dead as a dodo at the same time, or have any noise on it?
Unfortunately it's the w/e, so probably not going to get any further PN/BT action until Monday!
Jonken
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎08-03-2009

Re: Why Is BT Treated Like The God Emperor

No, the phone worked fine. Did a 17070 opt 2 for quiet line test. That just showed a very quiet, as in noise free not low volume Smiley , line.
Then used it to phone PlusNet support to report broadband fault.
But once again the broadband works perfectly OK for a time after it's been tested/worked on and then starts to fail.
This is what was done on Thursday to restore service according to support:-
"It seem there was an underlying issue with the pair you were connected to in the exchange, we have got BT to reseat you on a different pair and this seems to have resolved the issues. This is simply the port you are connected to within the exchange."
John