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"Support experience..."

Mon 27/11/17 at 17:28
Regular
Posts: 14
I need to put down in writing my experience regarding my current (and ongoing) support re. internet problems at my telephone number.
The background, which I think is relevant, is as follows:
I lost my telephone line capability on October 17th, which was the day the UK was hit by the tail-end of ex-hurricane “Ophelia”. My external telephone line runs from a bracket 7 or 8 metres up at the rear of the property, and runs over the roof of a building about 20 metres behind my property and across a narrow street to the BT telegraph pole. I had this line replaced about 7 or 8 years ago as it had been damaged by rubbing against the roof of that property, and it seems this was the cause of this recent problem, exacerbated by the high winds. While the phone line was down, I still had internet functionality – apparently this can happen if only one of the pair of wires supplying the signal is broken – although I had slower speeds and frequent dropouts, which I took to be due to the line being faulty.
Eventually, BT replaced the line (a month later, on November 17th, after a lot of back-and-forth regarding access to the line, the pole etc).
Since that point, I have contacted Freeola several (many) times as my internet connection has been absolutely atrocious, sometimes dropping out several times in an hour, sometimes going half a day without dropping out, and the speed has been terrible. I have done Freeola line speed checks and had speeds of around 8MBPS download and 700kBPS upload but sometimes down to less than 1MBPS download/5kBPS upload.
I have spoken, in this time, to I think two operatives at Freeola. One, (Op1), has been extremely helpful and accommodating and helped me through some scenarios to try to pin down where the issue lies. This included disconnecting everything from the main BT socket and connecting to the test socket and even led to me getting a brand-new modem to see if that could be the problem. In each case he has understood my frustration that this is still ongoing. The other operative (Op2), whose name I did not catch, has been almost the complete opposite in that I have been made to feel that I am either stupid, ignorant or even lying- for example, when I said I’d disconnected all the equipment on the test socket, he asked how I knew that the phone line was working in that case (obviously I’d reconnected the phone to confirm it was working, did a BT “quiet line” test and so on but disconnected it immediately afterwards).
All I can say is that I am prepared to concede that it is entirely coincidental that from the time the phone line went down and was replaced, my internet has been appalling, and that even the brand-new modem is coincidentally at fault, but I think that on balance the probability of a fault external to the property is the more likely scenario.
It may be that there is some internal cause but I have to reiterate that I am at the end of my tether on this. There is a fault – somewhere – and I need to work out where it is, but I do not have the knowledge, experience or training to pin it down, and would appreciate not being spoken to like an idiot in my ever-more frustrated efforts in working out what it is. How can I do this?
Thu 30/11/17 at 20:55
Staff Moderator
"Aargh! Broken..."
Posts: 1,395
Yes, 01376556060. I will try and let the manager know to expect your call although you may not get straight through to him if he's on another call.
An Ethernet cable that is only 25m long should not affect throughput at all unless it's faulty, so try a different one if you have a spare. CAT5 is good for up to 100m runs at 100Mbps but a dodgy cable can cause packet loss so you might want to try pinging your router's private (192.168.x.x) address to see if any packets are being dropped. Packet loss would cause the symptoms you describe and it's occurrence after a line fault could just be coincidental.
Thu 30/11/17 at 20:30
Regular
Posts: 14

Eccles wrote:
Thanks for getting back to us malc_p. Correct me if I'm wrong but you have a NTE5c master socket but a MK4 faceplate? That seems a little strange. It should be a clip on faceplate.

Yes, it's a brand-new (fitted by the BT engineer who did the line replacement) "BT Openreach" "Master Socket 5C" and a clip-on Mk4 faceplate.

And when connected to the master socket you are doing so via a new filter, to an rj11 cable, to a new router with up to date firmware and then connecting your laptop to that via a cat5 Ethernet cable?

Yes, yes and yes.
And in this setup the connection performs ok apart from with streaming services?

Down at the back of the flat, next to the socket, yes, with the 6-8Mbps rate. I also get poor youtube performance (plenty of buffering) here. At the far end of the flat, at the end of the 25m cable, I get the 1.5-6Mbps throughput, worse video buffering and awful streaming. I haven't tried the Roku at the back of the flat where the entry point is.
[quot]
I've had a word with our support manager and he is prepared to book an SFI engineer if you agree to the possibility of being charged. Although he does think that will be unlikely from what you've described. The best thing would be to call us so we can arrange this.
[/quote]
Will do so, tomorrow. Same support number as usual? Yes I understand I may be charged but I feel I do need to sort this out, it is far worse than it was before the line fault.
Thanks
Thu 30/11/17 at 19:15
Staff Moderator
"Aargh! Broken..."
Posts: 1,395
Thanks for getting back to us malc_p. Correct me if I'm wrong but you have a NTE5c master socket but a MK4 faceplate? That seems a little strange. It should be a clip on faceplate. And when connected to the master socket you are doing so via a new filter, to an rj11 cable, to a new router with up to date firmware and then connecting your laptop to that via a cat5 Ethernet cable? And in this setup the connection performs ok apart from with streaming services?
I've had a word with our support manager and he is prepared to book an SFI engineer if you agree to the possibility of being charged. Although he does think that will be unlikely from what you've described. The best thing would be to call us so we can arrange this.
Thu 30/11/17 at 16:40
Regular
"Feather edged ..."
Posts: 8,507

malc_p wrote:
A bit more: I've run the BT Wholesale speed tests with modem->test socket (faceplate off) and I'm getting download speeds in the range 5Mbps to 8.3Mbps, upload 0.1Mbps to 0.65Mbps with tests done several times in a row, and pings from 10ms (once) to 150-170ms (mostly). Is this range of variation normal in tests run within a few seconds of each other?


I'm no expert but have just tried my connection speed with BT Wholesale and it's way off from what I'm getting! I use Speedtest which gives a far better indication in my view ...
Thu 30/11/17 at 16:19
Regular
Posts: 14
A bit more: I've run the BT Wholesale speed tests with modem->test socket (faceplate off) and I'm getting download speeds in the range 5Mbps to 8.3Mbps, upload 0.1Mbps to 0.65Mbps with tests done several times in a row, and pings from 10ms (once) to 150-170ms (mostly). Is this range of variation normal in tests run within a few seconds of each other?
Thu 30/11/17 at 16:02
Regular
Posts: 14
As expected, PO homephone bounced me back - sorry guys but they weedled out of me that I was having broadband problems, but apparently I should be asking you to request the copper test from BTOpenreach?
Thu 30/11/17 at 15:38
Regular
Posts: 14
Thanks for the replies.
I've done some scenarios over the last couple of days:
New modem connected directly (via a brand-new microfilter) to the BT test socket (faceplate off), wireless turned off on the modem and no equipment connected to the modem via network cable. After 18 hours or so I then hooked a laptop up to it and checked the modem debug logs: there had been no dropouts. I then ran some Freeola speed tests over the course of 30 minutes or so and got the range 6.5Mbps to 8Mbps download. However, when I tried running youtube for music videos the buffering was very evident - sometimes I'd get a minutes' video but then I'd start getting 5 seconds of video, 10 seconds spinning circle, 5 more seconds video and so on.
I then refitted the faceplate (It's a BT Openreach 5C with Mk4 faceplate, modem and phone sockets) and connected the modem to that, again disconnecting all equipment, and after 12 hours or so I redid the checks and got more or less the same results.
I then disconnected the laptop and switched on the wireless on the modem and after 12 hours or so once again got the same results when I redid the tests.
I then (today) connected the modem via the faceplate front socket to the other end of my indoor cable, a 25m cat 5e which has been in place for about two years. No modem dropouts, but speed range has worsened, getting 1.5Mbps up to 6.5Mbps, and youtube videos are markedly worse; and my Roku streamer is unusable.
The point I need to remake and remake and remake again again is that BEFORE the phone line problem, I had none of these issues, I'd had rock-solid internet for years.
In answer to moderator Eccles, I'll request a copper line test and see what they come up with. I'm with Postoffice homephone by the way, have been for 4 years.
Ta!
Wed 29/11/17 at 22:00
Regular
"Feather edged ..."
Posts: 8,507
Nice one Eccles :¬)

@malc_p have you seen the reply from Eccles?

Has your 'problem' been sorted?

We'd all appreciate an update on your situation :¬)
Mon 27/11/17 at 22:24
Staff Moderator
"Aargh! Broken..."
Posts: 1,395
Ok, I've rerun diagnostics I think you've already been informed about, here's the results: "KBD test indicates a potential intermittent connection or performance related issue. KBD test indicates no BTW network fault. Please review your End User checks", which in English means the automatic testing thinks the issue is in the premises, most likely a router or filter issue. Is your router using the latest firmware?
I'd still ask your like provider to do a copper line test, without mentioning the broadband issue (they will likely just point you back to us if you do mention it). They should be able to do automated testing over a 24 hour period to try and catch intermittent issues. Sometimes a test of the voice side of the line can identify issues that you can't detect when making and receiving calls or when doings quiet line test.
If they don't pick up a problem with the line and you are certain your equipment and any extensions are not the issue then an engineer visit can be arranged but Openreach may charge for this if the fault is found to be your side of the master socket. We try to help you eliminate any equipment you have control over when it comes to boarderline engineer call outs but the final decision to book an engineer will be yours, so we both have to be as certain as possible with any diagnosis before proceeding.
Mon 27/11/17 at 22:08
Regular
"Feather edged ..."
Posts: 8,507
Nice one Eccles :¬) *thumbs up*

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