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wingers57
Beginner
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Message 1 of 8

Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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I am looking for some help here to understand what is happening. This is my situation. I am a networking professional having spent over 25 yrs designing networking products. I do understand IP and networking. I have BT's 38Mbit Infinity package. Prior to this I had ADSL2+ at 4Mb/s download. I keep running into situations where you enter a URL into the browser and then wait for 20 seconds plus for something to happen. This is not a physical layer link speed problem, it is higher than that. When I do a link test with the BT Wholesale site it tells me that I have 37Mb/s download and around 8Mb/s upload. I can also go to a site and download a movie very quickly. So whatever the problem is, it is not related to the speed of a connection ONCE THE CONNECTION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED.

 

When I seek help from BT which I have done three times now, we get down to unplug the router, plug the router back in and then do the speed test and it all works. However what I am doing here is running a service within the BT access network. My problems occur when I am going out of the BT access network into the internet.

 

Now one can say it is the server at the far end which is causing the delays. However if I do an independent test from that server to a test location in London operated by Google then the results frequently show much faster performance of the the order of a second or two, and certainly not 20 or 30 seconds. Having established a connection on refreshing the browser it comes back quite quickly.

 

Prior to getting BT infinity I was with O2. Going from website to website was much quicker. Download speeds over established connections were slower. The latter you would expect. The former you would not.

 

I see these symptoms on at least 5 different access devices at home, so it is not down to one browser or PC setup. It is not browser related because I use all of them; Safari, Firefox, IE9, IE 10, Opera and Chrome.

 

When a browser is slow in establishing the connection with a website, often clicking on the stop and browser refresh speeds it up. This suggests to me that this is an issue with DNS which is a service provided by BT. I have also seen similar symptoms on other BT accounts I know of which also show slow website performance.

 

I would be grateful to anyone who can shine a light, or suggest a way of diagnosing this further. IMO BT is not delivering the service I signed up for. Claiming that it is not responsible for content accessed outside of the BT network (aka the Internet!) is not their problem is a convenient get out. However if you can prove that a proxy on a different network in London can achieve much better performance from a remote webserver, that should be enough to raise alarm bells.

 

My latest communication with BT tells me they have discovered noise on my line. Here is the quote unedited:

 

"Thanks for your email about your broadband speed. I’m sorry it’s running slowly.

Here’s what we found
You’ve got ‘noise’ on your line, and that’s affecting your speed. The noise margin on your line is currently sitting at 9Db – a healthy noise margin is between 6-12Db. If we can bring that down, we might be able to make your broadband faster." 

 

Unless I am missing something here 9dB is between 6dB and 12dB and therefore I have a "healthy line".  Unless they meant 6db - (-12dB).  Either way it is a physical layer level of diagnosis, and the problem  sits way above that, most likely at layer 3 or above.  

 

Any suggestions?

7 REPLIES 7
Distinguished Expert
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Message 2 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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Try changing your DNS servers to use Google DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
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theDreamer
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Message 3 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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Don't waste your time with 1st line support you need to get them to transfer you to 2nd line support team. I was experiencing the same problem as you and it didn't get resolved for about 5 weeks because we were going in circles. The problem is with switches at the exchange and Ip pool conflicts. This is a known problem, which BT like to keep queit about.

 

The best people to talk to are the Triage team based in Bristol and the other dept i think is in Sunderland but inorder to get to them the OpenReach engineer has to refer your problem to them { They give you a personal 4 digit pin to contact them direct by dialing a 0800 number, no indian call centres} Maybe contact one of the Mods on here who can speed the process up.

 

Read my blog --> http://community.bt.com/t5/BT-Infinity/Infinity-2-Installed-but-a-complete-headache/td-p/891214/page...

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wingers57
Beginner
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Message 4 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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I cannot tell you how relieved I am that someone else has had a similar problem, or even understands it. I used to test networks for a living, and spent a year a Martlesham (BT research HQ). It is so frustrating dealing with someone that is working from a script and has no concept of the problem. As for the response about noise levels, well, it does not fill you with a great deal of confidence. I will keep battling on with it.

 - Mark

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wingers57
Beginner
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Message 5 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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I did try this, and with Google, but not those IP addresses. It did not work at the time. I agree taking the BT DNS servers out of the equation should shed some light on the cause if it is related. I will try it again and come back if it makes a difference.

 

- Mark

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Distinguished Expert
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Message 6 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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These are the only addresses for Google I have

Google Public DNS IP addresses

The Google Public DNS IP addresses (IPv4) are as follows:

8.8.8.8
8.8.4.4

The Google Public DNS IPv6 addresses are as follows:

2001:4860:4860::8888
2001:4860:4860::8844
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wingers57
Beginner
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Message 7 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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I thought I would come back and revisit this to tell you what happened. I bought another better router than the BT one and lived with the problem. It was not as bad as the BT router, but it did not look as though there was any solution. Last year I upgraded to BT infinity 2. The speed went down not up. 

 

BT Infinity 2 uses different signalling and it must have been struggling on my connection to go down. It generally indicates a poor signal to noise ratio if you cannot reliably recover the signal. In my case and after several more phone calls and a complaint to BT an engineer arrived and immediately pointed out the BT Infinity 1 contractor had installed the master socket in the wrong place. In my installation the master socket was located at the end of one of the spurs, not at the point the cable entered the house. When BT infinity 1 was being rolled out contractors were used and compensated based on how many sites they could do, they were all fixed price. So nobody was going to spend too long at your location. 

 

Once spotted remedial action was taken, in my case I had a second line which went to the same location so the master socket was placed in the correct location. Once this was done the speed went up from 29Mb/s to over 60Mb/s. 

 

The reason everything was slow was because of the number of physical layer errors in the signaling. These are corrected (if error correction is turned on), however it means retries need to happen which consumes the available bandwidth. Once the signal to noise ratio was improved everything worked ok. I sought and got compensation for this as it was a situation created by BT. It was a tough ride with every conceivable obstacle being thrown in the way, but don't give up. 

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Distinguished Sage
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Message 8 of 8

Re: Website access times are often 20 seconds or more

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Just an fyi, infinity 2 doesn't use different signalling to infinity 1. They both use VDSL2. The only difference is that on Infinity 1 your line is hard capped to a mximum of 40meg at the cabinet. Infinity 2 that cap is raised to a manimum of 80meg.

That said, glad you got sorted.
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