TL;DR: is an upstream SNR/noise margin of 32dB causing my issues (used to be 6dB!)? How can I get this changed as BT support says they have reset my line but none of my issues have improved and its still showing an SNR margin of 32dB. Friends/colleagues I’ve spoken to say it might be an issue and the pattern of problems I am seeing could be related to error checking/upload.
Had a external line fault “fixed”. My sync rate is lower than before the fault (16Mbps down/440kbps up compared to 18Mbps/1.2Mbps before) and I'm not getting speeds to match that downstream sync rate (maximum achieved is around 11-12Mbps down when there isnt an issue). If there's moderate 'usage' of that 12Mbps down (eg someone using iplayer or downloading an update) my pings go crazy, were talking into the 1000s, and my download rate drops off drastically (if someone is streaming video it might start at 1080p then will drop to SD when problems start and leads to pauses/buffering). If someone is for example downloading a game update on Steam or PSN or doing something that could ‘max out’ the connections throughput even things like browsing web pages time out/loses connection. Stopping everything temporarily rectifies it and pings drop/speed rises but the cycle repeats. Didnt have this prior to the fault being fixed under identical usage.
Services I used to use prior like voice communication/video conferencing, remote desktop software and remote monitoring CCTV, Amazon Alexa and smart home hardware are now often are unusable as the connection speed/latency is terrible.
I just want to go back to the same connection I had before the fault!
When BT Openreach pulled fibre to a cabinet down the road (skipping mine ) they damaged my telephone line (no phone line/no internet), at first BTO thought the problem was that my pole was leaning over causing my external phone line to touch an overhead power line so the pole was replaced (important fact that leads to a second fault later) but there was no improvement and eventually found after multiple visits/tests that it was 200m down the road, underground, and replaced a long length of underground wire.
I used to be with Sky broadband and after the above issue was fixed/all work carried out my internet had a whole new lease of life. With Sky I could control my line profile via a web menu. Setting it to the fastest/least stable gave iirc an SNR of 3dB down/up (where I'd get the 21/1.4), middle ground was 6dB down/up (I'd get around 18/1.2) and “stable” was 12dB down/up (where I'd get 12/1). Pings were also fine, for services I use that rely on lower values I would typically get a range of around 10-30ms.
When I switched to BT broadband I did lose some connection speed with it connecting around 18Mbps down/1.2Mbps up. I put that down to different line profile settings, something similar to the Sky 'middle' option of 6dB down/up. The stats shown on my old router and the BT Smart hub I got with BT broadband confirmed this showing a down/up SNR of 6 dB/6 dB. Pings were also fine, pretty much identical or even better to the exact same servers/services I use.
This all went well for well over a month (after switching to BT) until I started getting disconnects more and more frequently till eventually my internet died. Contacted BT support, they run tests and see there is an issue and schedule an engineer visit. Engineer visits, sees its an external fault and says BT will be in touch to schedule an Openreach engineer. BTO engineer visits a few weeks later (BT never got back to me, I had to chase this up!) and finds a fault at the top of my newly replaced pole! The wire inside was either poorly terminated or about to snap! He renews the connection and uses his laptop to set my line profile at my exchange so I don’t have to go through the DLM relearning process. He gets my line to sync at 16.6 Mbps down/440kbps up (slower than before the fault ) and gets me to carry out some speed tests. We do multiple times to various different speed checkers (btwholesale, google speed test, netmeter, speedtest.net, thinkbroadband, fast.com etc) and we're only getting 8-12Mbps down/100kbps-400kbps up, ping latency fluctuates wildly - going from around 30ms up to 8000ms+. The engineer says if it doesn’t improve in a few days to contact BT as they might be limiting throughput at their end due to all the issues caused by line fault.
I wait a week and nothing improves. Contact BT, I explain the issues I’ve been having IE if there's moderate 'usage' of the downstream (eg someone streaming video or downloading an update/large file) or even touches the upstream (even doing speed tests caused problems!) pings go crazy (were talking into the 1000s) and my download rate drops off. Even using something simple like asking an Amazon echo what time it is results in a red ring and “Sorry I’m having difficulty connecting right now” (I wouldn't have been very impressed if I had gotten a free one with BTs current advertising reward!).
Support run multiple tests, see the stats I see on my router and say everything is fine. Get me to do some tests on btwholesale speedtest and some other link support rep emailed me producing varying results from 2-3Mbps down/0.1Mbps up/1000+ ms ping latency to 12Mbps down/0.4Mbps up/35ms ping latency. I ask if the 32dB stat on the upstream could be causing issues as it was 6dB before the fault and they don’t know. I ask if my line profile can be reset or set manually and they say it can't.
They says it is because I have too many devices using the internet that my ping is shooting up/slow speeds so I ask how come identical usage was perfectly fine before on an identical set up/equipment and I also connected at a better speed? No answer. Also because they are providing at least 3Mbps they are meeting the service they promised. Again how come on an identical set up prior to a fault caused by BT Openreach I didn't have any of these ping/slow speed issues?
After further tests and questions the support rep says they have restarted my line and asks what stats I see on the BT Smart Hub - I say it's the same 6dB down/32dB up and I’m still having issues. Says he can see something different and to factory reset my router. I try that and it's still the same so eventually the support rep says to monitor it for 48 hours and to call back.
It's been 48 hours with no improvement but I’ve not called back yet, going to give it a couple more hours of usage/testing. Just wondering if there is anything else I can try or do to help solve my issue.
445 Kbps / 16.64 Mbps
1168 / 16788
31.9 dB / 6.1 dB
16.6 dB / 29.5 dB
Solved! Go to Solution.
At present it appears your down speed is about max attainable with noise margin about normal 6db. With a stable connection I would expect the DLM to drop noise margin to 3db and give a bit more speed
however I think your up speed is in a banded profile and I have asked mods to see if they can get you out of banding
mods will post access to a link here possibly tomorrow now
I'll be able to take a look at your connection and help you get back up to speed.
Please can you send me in your details using the "Contact The Mods" link found in my profile?
Hi, thanks for getting in touch. I think I submitted my info correctly via the profile link.
Hi @MrDjP I've checked with Wholesale today and the order to change the snr margin should be completed within the next 24 hrs. Please check your connection and post back and let me know if this has completed ok.
Hi, appreciate your assitance with this issue. It does indeed look like some settings have been changed!
1.13 Mbps / 17.21 Mbps
Maximum data rate:
1132 / 18380
6.4 dB / 3 dB
Sync speeds are faster! Throughput is improved, managing to get 1.8MB/s download compared to the 1.2-1.4MB/s I had after the line fault fix (though not quite as good as before the fault (was hitting 2+MB/s for downloads via Steam) but a vast improvement so happy with that!). Upload doesnt cause everything to grind to a hault either. Pings are improved though they do seem a little higher (30s compared to 20s before) but at least they arent going into the 1000s any time anyone does anything that remotely resembled using the internet!
Thanks again for your help. I felt like I was getting nowhere/wouldn't get an improvement in connection via telephone support. Now I just have to pray to whomever to get fibre in my area. Been waiting 6+ years so far since they did the cabinet up the road from me (that I'm not on)! 🙂
Hi, thanks for getting in touch and sorry for my late response - I was away for the weekend for a wedding only getting back last night. I have left positive feedback as, although it isn't quite what it was before I had the fault caused by BT Openreach, it is at least a very useable broadband connection now.
Thank you for your assistance. I felt like I was talking to a brick wall with telephone support and was glad I could get something done via this option.
(I don't know if there is anything I have to do to close this thread/mark it as when I click the "Mark as Accepted Solution" button it takes me to a forum help page.)