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kathykate
Aspiring Contributor
2,619 Views
Message 21 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

UPDATE: Have had brand new router connected for 4 days, and ISP has told me connection is still dropping all the time. So, it wasn't my old routers fault.Cancelled yesterday's engineer as had to go out unexpectedly.

Today have had an email from mods, they are going to try to sort it out for me! Their initial line test has shown it is a potential high resistance fault (which they say is great news) but I have to have remote testing done which means having all phones and router disconnected for 24 hours. I will let you know the outcome. I am praying this may finally sort this problem...

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fredfred2
Aspiring Contributor
2,612 Views
Message 22 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

Well here's hoping that it finally gets sorted for you.

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kathykate
Aspiring Contributor
2,527 Views
Message 23 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

Well, finally, 2 months later, I think it's finally sorted! I had an engineer out a while ago (via the mods) who was great, he was here for about 2 1/2 hours, he did a lot of remedial work and I really hoped that it was going to sort it but it didn't... He did warn me that it might not, but had to do some work to rule out those problems first. So, I had to have another engineer out and luckily when he came the line was bad. He had to go up the road and switch over the 'pair' I was on. He said it was probably caused by a tree rub, and as there were spare pairs in the cable so he was able to do that, but once cable is full the rub will start going through others and more people will experience the fault and eventually they will have to replace the cable. So I have that to look forward to in the future. LOL!

 

Since his visit on Tuesday I've had no crackles on line and the internet connection has not dropped once so speeds are gradually returning. HURRAY!

 

It has fair worn me out getting this sorted though. I don't know what I'd have done without this forum but especially getting the mods involved put the level of service I received onto a much higher level. Only fly in the ointment is that a few days ago I received our bill and I've been charged for one of the call outs (£130). They guy who came on Tuesday said I should be able to claim that back as obviously there was a fault and it wasn't my fault it was intermittent and didn't happen when one of the engineers was here, so that is one more battle to fight.

 

Hopefully I won't need to post again, thanks for everyone' s input.

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Keith_Beddoe
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
2,524 Views
Message 24 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

The mods should help you to recover the accidental charge of £130, its usually as a result of the technician closing the fault with the wrong clear code.

Its a very easy mistake to make, as the work allocation system is very complex.

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fredfred2
Aspiring Contributor
2,518 Views
Message 25 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

Just an update about our little problemski... Well we're back up and running. Phone is working very well. Broadband is also working, but still not back to the high speeds we were getting prior to the fault. Our name and installation address details have been corrected too- thanks to one of the moderators on this forum who emailed me privately. Thanks again mr moderator if you read this! Obviously a person with all the right connections........... Had two more visits. This is what happened. Apparently there is a difference between a satisfactory and 'adequate' phone line and a good phone line. If the the technician (I don't like using the word 'engineer', as I am an engineer- I design stuff, not fix stuff!) tests the line with his standard telephone line testing kit, it reports that the line passes and is just fine. But once I was told that I needed to specifically request a Broadband Specialist to come and check the line, the result was quite different. Once the broadband chap plugged his test box into the line, it was very quickly apparent that there was still a major fault. The phone worked, but was crackly and hissy caused by a 'HRdis' (High Resistance Disconnect= dodgy connection in the wiring). The best speed we could get was about 200kbps down, and rather oddly 300kbps up. So after much toing and froing along the line, it was decided that there was a fault up a pole, which was out of date. What's the relevance of out of date? Well it seems that if a pole hasn't been checked for a while, it is considered a health and safety risk to attempt to 'climb' it. It might fall over or something. So we said our good byes again, leaving the repair to be undertaken by a cherry picker team. A week later, I get a meesage saying it's been fixed. I check. Nope. Still slow. Same as before. Then it turns out that the cherry picker team did check the line, but only using the standard phone testing kit, not the broadband testing kit. So obviously it passed, just as it had passed on the phone line test before. So to our final visit. Hello, problem with your broadband? Yes. I just let him get on with it again. But after some calls to base, some more fiddling with wiring and a new fangled socket (with integrated filter- two holes in the face plate), we had broadband again. Only about 1Mbps, but at least that was better than really slow. Now at about 3Mbit but still not up to the old speed of 6. Apparently if there is a fault on the line, the BT exchange automatically limits the max speed that you can get to about 130kbps download speed. This restriction is only cleared if they are satisfied that the fault is gone, even if the line is perfect again. Also the system is smart enough to keep trying different speeds until it automatically 'learns' the best speed that the line can support. So after a few days it gradually got faster and faster. One dumb comment from me, that I think would save BT loads of money- why not give every technician the same broadband test box, which they could use to simultaneously do a phone and broadband test. It'd save doubling all the visits! Hopefully I won't have to post again, and this message may have helped someone else! Over and out.
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Keith_Beddoe
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
2,515 Views
Message 26 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

The normal field technicians do not have the equipment and skills to deal with broadband faults.

Some have been trained and equipped to do this additional work, and these are the broadband specialists.

 

Most faults, like high resistance connections, are quite easily sorted by the first team, but backup is usually available if they cannot resolve the fault.

 

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brazenscroll
Contributor
2,510 Views
Message 27 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

So it would appear that once again, the crackly phone line / dropping broadband was down to some good old fashioned physical damage to the cable (in this case a "tree rub") leading to exposed wires / damp / short circuits.

 

This is such a common thing, would it not make sense to ask investigating teams sent to look at these faults to carry out a physical check of the cable first? In my case this would have saved 1 visit, 1 hour and lots of frustration with poor connectivity? Most of the exchange equipment and BT hardware is good quality and reliable. It appears time and again that the problem is the cables to our properties. So if you have intermittent broadband and a crackly phone here are my suggestions.

 

1) Go and physically look at your incoming cable yourself. VERY CAREFULLY. Damage may be hard to spot, but even a small cut in the cable can have massive effects. If you do find damage TELL BT THE FAULT IS WITH THE INCOMING LINE as they are the ones who need to repair this.

 

2) If the cable is an "overhead", look for trees or branches. "Tree Rubs" are common. If you see foliage fouling the cable this is a very good bet the problem is here. Wire may be tough but the cable insulation is soft and can be worn away over time.

 

3) Keep a log of faults. Does the fault get worse when it rains? Water and electricity do NOT mix.

 

4) Disconnect everything in your house and use the test socket. A lot of problems are due to internal wiring where extensions are pooly fitted, extension cables get shut in doors (a favourite) sockets get bashed by vacuums and damaged.

 

5) Check your incoming box at your property. Lots of older houses still have old terminal boxes and spare "pairs" of wires left floating in the box. These can touch and cause short circuits.

 

6) Be patient and persistent. Finding an intermittent electrical fault can be one of the most difficult and frustrating tasks there is, and the BT engineers generally do try their best. Often it is just trial and error eliminating one thing at a time, and as a business of course BT are loth to spend money on major things unless it is absolutely definite.

 

So. If you have a crackly phone line or intermittent broadband, check all you can first. Lots of problems are caused by things mentioned above, and if you as customers can help to pinpoint the fault first, it will get sorted a lot quicker.

 

Happy Hunting

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bfg
Aspiring Expert
2,474 Views
Message 28 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

Hi Guys,

 

Sounds like you have all had a bit of a nighmare getting this fixed!

 

I was going to suiggest it sounds like a High restistance Dissconnection, but after reading the full posts it sounds like you have all had a similar fault (proved by engineers/technicians which ever you prefer 😉

 

the problem with this particualr fault condition is the nature of the fault means its extremely hard to find,  it is a very small break in the cable (talking mircospcopic) something not visable to the eye. if water gets into the line it causes a craklly sound on calls and drops bb speeds (can be masivley decreased if the quality of the line isnt great to start with). the problem is if the line is used for long enough (15 mins plus) the charge being sent through the line is enough to clear the water and make the fault impossible to find, another irritating part of this fault is the way the line is tested by the helpdesks and the engineers/technicians, again a current is sent down the line which can clear the water, meaning impossible to find.  the guys fixing the line tend to carry out a test before they speak to you, which clears the fault and this could be the cause of any charges raised (if no fault on the line you get billed £130!).

 

I'm not trying to excuse the delays in getting these fixed as BT are supoosed to be offering you a first class service and not causing you a  nightmare in getting your fault fixed, just trying to offer an explanation as to why this sort of fault can be a nighbmare to find (along side a nightmare to report).

 

Glad you guys have got it sorted, for any one else experiencing a similar fault I would speak to fault helpdesks and ask them to add a note for the engineers/technicians requesting they check for HR Diss. It might help the engineers/technicians locate the fault (or atleast make them complete more than a standard test).

 

 

 

 

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kathykate
Aspiring Contributor
2,419 Views
Message 29 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

OK Just one more update! It may help someone in the future...

 

As I said before, the line IS fixed. But getting my internet back up to speed has taken quite a while.

 

After the line was fixed, my speeds increased to 1000kbps download speed. Previously they had been 2500kbps - and in the interim period I'd been switched to ADSL2 so they should have increased, so I was still not happy. I left it a few days, then rang Plusnet and requested a retraining period. This takes 10 days. During the training period I mainly experienced the same speed, but with a brief, heady day of speeds of 7/8000kbps!! Also connection had been dropping again. At end of training speeds were exactly what they were when training started - 1000kbps.

 

Left it a few days, rang Plusnet again. He explained that training pushes the line to maximum so drops are caused, and now that training had ended connection should stabilise, but he said he was going to remove something (think it was a cap on speed?) which could take up to 4 hours to take effect.

 

Well, it took less than an hour for my speeds to increase to nearly 4000kbps download. There they have stayed and connection seems stable. VERY VERY HAPPY! I can now watch iPlayer if I want. I spent a few minutes watching rubbish Youtube videos JUST BECAUSE I CAN! (reminder: at the beginning of all this, due to the faulty line my download speeds were 230kbps).

 

It has taken nearly 3 months to get to this point, and a lot of my time. I even started dreaming about it!!

 

My advice to anyone is: Keep a log of who you phoned and when, and what any engineer did and on what date. Get the engineer's names. Also write down when line is particularly bad, was it raining? Windy? Write on this forum, advice is usually excellent. Get the mods involved if you aren't getting anywhere (link is somewhere back at beginning of this message given to me by a poster). And don't give up, be persistent. Although sometimes I had to leave it a while because I found it quite mentally frustrating...

 

Also: know what your internet speed usually is. Check it once a week (it takes seconds). If speeds start dropping phone your provider and keep going until you get the speed back. If I hadn't known what my usual speed was I might have quite happily chugged on with the 1000kbps I first got after line was fixed.

 

PS - hopefully I will be getting the £130 BT charge back. BT have to contact Openreach, show them the evidence, it takes about 6 weeks!

 

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fredfred2
Aspiring Contributor
2,408 Views
Message 30 of 41

Re: Recurring/intermittent "crackly line and disconnecting broadband" problem - at wits en

Well my problems have gone- well the tech ones anyway... Now it's a case of attempting to get my £130 back. The trouble is that even though we had about 5 or 6 visits in all, including new cable laid, cherry pickers and technicians up poles there is only one record of a fault, which apparently was 'phone works ok'- thus we got charged. Not sure what to do if the £130 isn't refunded. I've also requested some money back as we were without broadband for a month and phone for about a week (and rubbish phone call quality for about a month!). Sitting patiently and waiting, as I was also told it takes about 6 weeks to confirm everything. Can't see why it should take 6 weeks?!?!?
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