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Message 1 of 8

Noisy phone and slow broadband

BT fault checker finds nothing wrong.  I've tried all the usual unplugging everything from the sockets but my line is noisy I can barely hear the person I'm talking to.

I pay for ASDL MAX..upto 8mpbs and apparently  "Estimated Best Speed (Kbps): 4500


I get half a meg if I'm lucky.  I'm only about 900 metres from the exchange.  So something must be up.  Thing is we can't afford an engineer, husband redundant and I'm in my early days of being self employed and the internet is vital to my business.  Considering paying for the line rental and internet is costing me nearly £40 a month it's not great at all!

Any advice or self help measures we can put in place?  If only we had a cable here!

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 2 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband

try the quiet line test  dial 17070 option 2  should hear nothing best done with a corded phone


if you hear hissing, crackle or any noise then report a phone fault NOT a broadband fault by dialing 151


fix your phone line and will greatly improve your broadband

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Message 3 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband


A few things for you to try first. This is a common (very) fault, and is usually down to one of a few basic faults.

1) Check the incoming cable VERY carefully. If you have an underground incoming line, start where it comes out of the ground and goes to the jucntion box on the front of your property. If an overhead line, start at the first junction box you can find. Remove the cover - just to look, you cant touch this legally as it is BT property, but if the joints are wet (rain / condensation) this leads to short circuiting which makes the phone noisy and broadband slow (imagine the broadband electricity"leaking out" by shorting through the dampness. We all know electricity and water dont mix)

2) If the incoming connection point is clean and dry, check the cable into the house very carefully, looking for cuts/chafing/cracks in the insulation, especially where the cable passes through walls. Again, any damage can let rain in, and electricity out causing shorts/crackle

3) If this is OK, remove the front lower cover of the master socket, and plug a standard corded phone into the test socket. If it is quiet (see the quiet test post) then you really will have to have an engineer visit.

The problem you experience is almost certainly caused by damp in the system somewhere, but it could be your cable or boxes, but it could equally be in the manhole in the pavement, the "green box" round the corner, or the DP (distribution point) at the top of a telegraph pole.

If the repair/damage is on your property (ie from where the cable comes out of the ground) BT will try to charge you even if it is outside before the master socket, only if it is on public property (road/pavement) should you NOT get a bill. You may have to fight hard to avoid the charge, I did.

Hope this helps

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Message 4 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband

Brilliant thank you!  I am inclined to think it's in the wiring in my house, there is damp here (we rent) and there's an odd situation with the phone.  There's a socket that looks rather old (even though this house isn't that old, late 70s at the oldest) and it has GPO written on it.  But it's bunged up and a wire goes half way round the room to a normal  NTE5 socket.  Could this be the trouble?

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Distinguished Guru
Message 5 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband

@Tracym wrote:

Brilliant thank you!  I am inclined to think it's in the wiring in my house, there is damp here (we rent)

Just be warned, if BT openreach find that the problem is due to damp you will be charged for the visit, it maybe  best to try and localise the problem before they attend.


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Message 6 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband

Tracy. I am almost certain that this old "bunged up" box is your problem. The bunged up box is almost certainly causing the shorts, it dosn't need to be wet, even a little dampness will lead to shorting. **bleep**, I had an example where the visiting engineer said I had "spiders" - a family of the little critters had taken up residence, and the egg sack had "gone off" and the mould was leading to shorting in the box. Your best solution would be to change the old box to a new NTE5 socket, and renew the cable running round the room to the spur socket. If you ask openreach (BT) to do this you will have to pay £127.99. No argument. However if you do it yourself, or know someone who could do it for you.........


Only thing I would say is that the old socket with GPO on it, is this the first connection point for your incoming line? BT usually bring their line into the property in a heavy black cable, and this connects into a junction box. From here they bring a lighter duty cable into your house to go to the NTE5 socket. This is because the network cables are usually laid as part of the housebuild and need to be bigger / heavier. The fit out of the house is done later, hence the lighter cables. If the bunged up box you have is the incoming junction box, I would recommend replacing with a modern type JB, and then running some standard cable to your NTE5, just to keep the installation "proper"


Let us know if this solves your problem

Message 7 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband

LOL - for those of you who spotted the "**bleep**" the word used was the opposite of heaven, not a real swear word!!!!

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Message 8 of 8

Re: Noisy phone and slow broadband

Thank you!  We believe this is where the phone comes into our house, we can't see any cables or boxes but we are on the end of a terrace.  We've looked all around the house and this seems to be the original only outlet from when the house was built (it's by the ariel and plug socket).

Tbh if it costs that much to fix I might as well get the radio internet they have in my town.  It's about the same to get the ariel installed and I'd get 50mbps  Get rid of the landline all together. 

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