Hi Community -
My Dad has standard BT Broadband (there’s no Infinity in his area) and has had it for several years. It’s never been fast, but to begin with, it was useable.
We noticed over time that his connection became more erratic (dropping out) and his bandwidth was getting slower. A BT engineer visited the property 18 months ago and concluded that my Dad had no master socket and that the problem was being caused by bad internal wiring within the house. My Dad is old and his memory not so good, so this is about all the information I can gleam from that engineer visit.I don;t know what, if anything was tested and how much investifgation took place.
So, since then, my Dad has persisted with a very slow connection – fine for reading emails, but forget anything else.
I noticed on a recent visit that his connection was pretty much non existent – terrible. After several attempts of running speedtest.net, I got a result of 0.11Mbs download speed! BT's own speed tested couldn't even complete.
My Dad has bought a new BT Smart Hub router in the (slightly misguided) hope that replacing his old Home Hub would improve the situation – of course, it hasn’t made any difference.
So now I’m faced with trying to work out what is best to do next.
I’ve read countless threads on these forums about master sockets and it would really appreciate some advice on what to do. I’m predicting that the answers will involve the need to get a master socket fitted.
To give a bit more detail of the BT setup at my Dad’s house:
The BT wire comes from a telegraph pole at the front of his house and enters via a brown plastic box on the edge of the roof (image attached). From there, it goes inside the roof/loft. I haven’t investigated this bit any further. Once inside the house, my dad has 4 old style phone sockets (images attached) – none of which appear to be masters. I have tried his router in all 4 of these sockets – 3 of them worked, but the connection was still terrible. And on the 4th, the router could get a connection at all. Incidently, my Dad’s landline reception is also awful/crackly/distant.
Based on this information, what would you advise? Any help gratefully received.
The problem you face without a master socket is determining where the cause of any wiring fault lies. The removable faceplate of a master socket disconnects the internal wiring and provides a test socket in order to verfiy which side of the demarcation point any fault lies. I also suspect your father's current internal wiring is 'star wired' which will not help the situation.
Ok. So my Dad has tried the quiet line test from the 3 telephones he has in the house - no noise to be heard on any of them. Just to be certain, I'm asking my brother to go round with a more modern landline phone and repeat the test in each socket.
I suspect 'no noise' is actually bad news as it suggests that there is no fault on the line - is that correct?
Assuming that the BT line is fine and my Dad's house is indeed star-wired, would getting a master socket installed solve my Dad's problems - non-existent broadband and very distant-sounding telephone connection? And if so, based on the photo's of where the BT wire meets the house, what would installation entail? Is it something that can be wired from the box on the outside of the house or would an engineer need to follow the wires to their location inside the house (loft) to install a socket?
Many thanks for all the info - it's really appreciated.
You really need to trace where the cables go. The box on the outside is just a junction box connecting the external cable coming from the pole to the internal cable going up into the loft. The master socket would need to be fitted where that cable finally terminates. The lack of noise doesn't necessarily mean there is no fault on the line.
Thanks Licquorice - looks like the next thing I need to do is get up into his loft and investigate what's happening with the wires once they're inside the house. I dare say I'll be back here with some more photos before long.
Hopefully there will just be one cable running to the first socket rather than another junction box in the loft star wiring to all the sockets. Will await pictures