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Message 1 of 9

Very slow and unreliable connection

I'm a volunteer helping older people with IT problems.

I currently have a client with a terrible BT broadband connection. Unfortunately, she doesn't have much paperwork and is not IT savvy - which is why I'm trying to help.

She's on a social tariff and has a BT Hub 4. She thinks she should be getting 11 Mbps down and I suspect she is on a basic ADSL connection. At one point, I did manage to connect my phone by wifi to the Hub 4 and measured 0.83 Mbps down …! Wifi connections speed between my phone and Hub was 65 Mbps so that wasn't limiting.

I've moved the Hub next to the master socket and connected my laptop by ethernet to the Hub 4.

1. Have done a factory reset on the Hub 4. Seems to start up OK but then sits there trying to connect to the internet (orange flashing light). Very occassionally, it manages to connect.

2. I've tried to access the web interface for the Hub 4 to check the settings and see if there is a problem there. 5-10 minutes to bring up the home page and then I've never managed to access the setting (I have the password) - unbelievably slow. Is this normal with a Hub 4 because at home my router web interface comes up in 2 or 3 seconds?

3. Overhead copper wires all over the place outside, even though the client is only about 200 metres from the cabinet.

Client has complained to BT multiple times. They say there is no problem as far as they are concerned but they never actually entered the house and tested at the master socket.

My current thinking is:

a) There is a problem with the wiring to the house which BT need to fix - the connection is highly unreliable. Client says connectivity changes with weather.

b) BT need to visit the house and test at the master socket.

c) Would a social tariff broadband actually be limited by BT to 0.83 Mbps down? Because that's useless even for email. I believe the client is paying around £10/month for broadband and phone line plus calls on top of that.

I plan to return with a more modern router of my own and see if I can manage to get any more data about the connection from that.

Thoughts please.

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Message 2 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection

Have you located the master socket , removed the consumer panel and connected the router ( via a filter ) to the test port ?, have you checked for dialtone , and taken the quiet line test to check for noise ( dial 17070 )

Neither BT or Openreach are responsible for internal cabling and extension sockets , so , unless the router is already in the master socket are there are no extension sockets ( even ones with nothing plugged into them ) that’s the place to start .
What speed is predicted for the location ?, enter the phone number at this checker , to see the speeds the location should provide ( you could use the address but the phone number may actually show the observed speed ) , post the results .
https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL

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Message 3 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection

Thanks

No extensions.

Have plugged router directly into Master socket with a short, pre-tested cable and this doesn't help although haven't removed consumer panel to access test socket.

Haven't tried quiet line test but there's a dial tone and the land line works just fine.

Have run the BT Broadband Availability checker which shows 0.29 Mbps down ad 0.89 Mbps up which is terrible. Even if the customer is on a slow ADSL service, they should be getting better than that.

BT Availability Checker.jpg

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Message 4 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection

There is obviously something wrong , although your estimate of 11Mb is way off for exchange based ADSL , something like  4-6.5Mb may be possible but TBH , VDSL / FTTC is available with much better speeds of 44-70 Mb , obviously connecting in the test port is preferable as that should eliminate any internal wiring issue , but if there is no extension sockets/wiring , then presumably the issue is either external to the property or possibly the router itself …. you should be reporting this , BT testing the line may detect a line problem and a report to Openreach raised to fix it , or an offer to replace the router if the line appears to be testing OK, but an upgrade to FTTC may be much more beneficial than getting this ADSL connection ‘fixed’.

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Message 5 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection

@GwentLarry 

does the person you are helping qualify here   https://www.bt.com/exp/broadband/home-essentials?s_cid=con_bt_dg-home_awin_aff_vidAJM_110483-Editori...

 

phone number shown and as @iniltous posted should upgrade to a better vdsl package and cost should be similar to existing cost



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Message 6 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection


@imjollywrote:

phone number shown and as @iniltous posted should upgrade to a better vdsl package and cost should be similar to existing cost


Going of the info posted by the OP, the customer is on BT Basic which is no longer sold.
Any change will see their eligibility for Home Essentials checked and will increase the monthly fee by around 50% per month if they qualify,

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Message 7 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection

I'm very wary of pushing BT too hard because the customer is paying so little (~£10/mnth plus calls) and it's quite likely that having a go at BT will, as pointed out, result in BT doing a reassessment of the account and pushing up the price.

I plan to visit again with a much newer router just to check but  I reckon the issue is a fault in the external overhead wired connection, mainly because the BT Hub 4 doesn't connect most of the time.

Will have to discuss with customer.

Anybody know what the cheapest social tariff from any provider might be?

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Message 8 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection

you cannot discuss other ISP packages on this BT forum but I would just use google to search

I would check the phone line from the test socket and try dialling 17070 option 2 and line should be silent and best with corded phone.  I would also try connecting HH4 to test socket with filter and see if that helps connection speed



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Message 9 of 9

Re: Very slow and unreliable connection


@GwentLarrywrote:

I'm very wary of pushing BT too hard because the customer is paying so little (~£10/mnth plus calls) and it's quite likely that having a go at BT will, as pointed out, result in BT doing a reassessment of the account and pushing up the price.


BT won't do a reassement, the cost would only change if an order was raised to change the service, raising a fault doesn't count as a change either

What might benefit the customer is BT's social tariff Home Essentials and eligibility is checked before anything else is done, so if the customer does qualify then look at upgrading to FTTC, just be mindful it's an extra £5 per month.