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Jocky10
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 3

Continuously dropping connection logged as speed fault

I have a Halo 1 FTTC connection using a BT Smart Hub which is normally pretty reliable. On Wednesday about 4pm I started having issues with the connection continuously dropping, reconnecting briefly and then dropping again (orange light solid/flashing, going blue briefly and then going orange again. Very occasionally I will see also flashing purple). In the WAN section of the event log I see messages like:

 

:VLAN VLAN_DATA disconnected

 

dsl:VDSL Link Down: duration was 64 seconds

 

:WAN: SENSING AUTO VDSL

 

ptm0.101:VLAN VLAN_DATA connected

 

:connection ATM_TV disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

:connection ATM_DATA disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

dsl:VDSL link Up: Down Rate=34094Kbps

 Up Rate=7267Kbps

:VLAN VLAN_DATA disconnected

 

dsl:VDSL Link Down: duration was 103 seconds

 

:WAN: SENSING AUTO VDSL

 

ptm0.101:VLAN VLAN_DATA connected

 

:connection ATM_TV disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

:connection ATM_DATA disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

dsl:VDSL link Up: Down Rate=33206Kbps

 Up Rate=7162Kbps

:VLAN VLAN_DATA disconnected

 

dsl:VDSL Link Down: duration was 54 seconds

 

:WAN: SENSING AUTO VDSL

 

ptm0.101:VLAN VLAN_DATA connected

 

:connection ATM_TV disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

:connection ATM_DATA disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

dsl:VDSL link Up: Down Rate=34308Kbps

 Up Rate=7185Kbps

:VLAN VLAN_DATA disconnected

 

dsl:VDSL Link Down: duration was 17 seconds

 

ptm0.101:VLAN VLAN_DATA connected

 

:connection ATM_TV disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

:connection ATM_DATA disconnected.[ERROR_USER_DISCONNECT]

 

dsl:VDSL link Up: Down Rate=33137Kbps

 Up Rate=7151Kbps

:VLAN VLAN_DATA disconnected

 

dsl:VDSL Link Down: duration was 34967 seconds

 

 

When this started happening I went into the troubleshooting section of My BT and tried doing the various diagnostic tests - broadband down, connection dropping. At one point the broadband came back up for about 10 minutes but I noticed the connection speed in the router stats was less than half of normal, so I think also started a speed test.

 

Normally the Home Hub is connected to an extension socket instead of the master (as there is no power socket near enough to the master to make it practical to locate there permanently). I tried moving it to the master instead temporarily and the same disconnections occurred. I also tried swopping the filter and replacing the Smart Hub with my old Home Hub 5. The same disconnections and reconnections occurred. My phone sockets and wiring are very old and the master socket has no line across it, so I assume there is no test socket. The landline seems to be behaving normally.

 

At about 7.30 I texted the automated 61998 service with my phone number using the syntax "CHECK 01xxxxxxxxx" and received a reply:

"Hi, it's the BT Diagnostics bot here. Our diagnostic testing has found a problem with our network. We will arrange an Openreach engineer to investigate. The tests indicate that Openreach will be able to resolve this problem without visiting your property. You will not be charged . Text back just the word "FIX" to confirm you want to go ahead"

I texted FIX and received a reply

"Hi, it's the BT Diagnostics bot here. We have been unable to auto match this mobile with a BT Account. Please provide a full phone number including area code to enable us to check your services. If the problem's with your broadband reply FAULT [NUMBER]"

I was slightly bemused by this as I had already included my landline in the initial message but did as requested. I then received the same response about there being a problem detected and an Openreach engineer being required and was asked to text back FIX again. I did this, and this time received another message saying they would be back shortly. I then received a voice SMS to the landline saying a Home Tech Expert had been booked for Tuesday 09/11.  This was followed by a text to my mobile:

"Your engineer has been booked. We will aim to fix your fault on Tuesday 9 Nov. The engineer will start outside the home to resolve the issue however please make sure someone is at home during this time just in case they need to have access. Keep track of progress using the My BT app (fault ref: VOLxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxx)"

 

I was a bit confused why it said a Home Tech Expert had been booked, but was pleased that an issue had been detected and an engineer booked. As I have Halo 1, I was also expecting to receive some notification that the Broadband backup (unlimited data on BT Mobile SIM and a 4g mini hub) would be activated, but I didn't. I therefore rang the 0800 800 150 number to enquire as to whether this had been activated. I spoke to agent who informed me that my fault did not qualify as the Halo backup is only for a complete loss of service. I politely argued that the number of disconnections I was getting made the broadband next to useless, but he refused to budge. Of course during the course of this conversation my broadband at last started to behave itself and remained connected during the whole conversation. It was also confirmed in this conversation that this engineer was indeed not an Openreach engineer but a Home Tech expert and that my issue was only logged as a "speed fault", not a disconnection issue. He was unable to explain why I had received text messages saying a fault had been detected in the network and why I had been messaged to say an Openreach engineer would be required. He also insisted that he was unable to see any network problems from his side or see any evidence of any disconnections (I don't know what he was looking at, but it was not the event log in the router). Most unsatisfied I finished the conversation and just hoped that since the broadband had at this stage been up for over an hour the issue was only temporary. Unfortunately within 20 minutes of finishing the call the constant disconnections and reconnections started again. These continued throughout the rest of the evening and overnight with barely any meaningful continuous uptime.

 

When I logged into My BT Account online I could see three messages with the circular "I" information icon:

  • Broadband Backup is unavailable - Sorry, we can't switch on your Broadband Backup because of network issues. We're working to fix the problem as soon as possible
  • We've finished monitoring your broadband speed. Fault reported 03 Nov 2021
  • Our keep connected promise - included with your BT Halo package

 

It seemed very strange as to why Broadband Backup and Our keep connected promise were listed if I was not entitled to them? And why could Broadband Backup not be activated because of "network issues?"

 

The next morning I looked up the Halo 1 T&Cs and found that it was completely incorrect to say that the Halo broadband backup can only be activated by a complete loss of service. That is one of the conditions, the other is "a continuously dropping connection (5 or more drops in the previous 24 hours)". Armed with this knowledge I rang up again the following day and spoke to an agent who was more helpful but also at first insisted that I was not eligible. When I pointed out the T&Cs he had a look at the number of disconnections I was getting and said he could see over 170 from the previous day. He then activated the unlimited data on my BT Mobile Sim and dispatched the 4g mini hub. He also said that the engineer I was getting was not a Home Tech expert but a "Qube" engineer who would come into the property and fix the problem. At the time I did not understand what "Qube" was, but having googled them and understanding they are a (not particularly well regarded) 3rd party engineer I don't really understand what the difference is.

 

Does anybody know if it is usual to receive messages saying a fault has been detected in our network and that an Openreach engineer is required, and then have the log fault logged as a speed fault and have a Qube engineer dispatched? I am concerned something has gone awry in their system and that the Openreach fault as got mixed up with the speed test I did in My BT earlier in the day and I am getting the wrong sort of engineer. When I look at the fault details it says the fault was reported at 16:25 (probably when I was running the tests through My BT), and I did not text the 61998 number that elicited the Openreach fault responses until almost 19:30.

 

There were spells where the broadband could be up for a few hours (the record was 8 between about 3pm on Thursday and 1am on Friday) but I am now getting no serious periods of uptime since 1pm yesterday e.g. between 3.06am and 15:33 today there are 402 VDSL link down messages recorded in the event log. I am almost pleased in a way as since this was an intermittent issue my big fear was that the engineer turns up, the broadband is working at that time without and he finds nothing wrong. The figures in the Technical Log information of the router can vary wildly depending upon when I am looking e.g. the maximum data rate changes a lot, and  I have seen the noise margin have minus numbers. 

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imjolly
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 3

Re: Continuously dropping connection logged as speed fault

Unfortunately as you do not have access to the test socket you cannot eliminate the master faceplate or internal wiring as being the cause of your connection problems. Just need to wait for engineer and hopefully will replace master with new style with test socket and filtered faceplate. That will cause you a problem as the extension socket will not provide internet unless connected to data terminals in new master



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Jocky10
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 3 of 3

Re: Continuously dropping connection logged as speed fault

Thanks for the reply. I understand that internal wiring certainly could be the cause but if that is the case it seems a bit odd as I said in the original post that I had text messages telling me a fault had been detected in their network and that an Openreach engineer would be sent (or is that normal and something that other forum users have experienced?)

Having to plug the router into the master socket long term will be a problem due to the power socket availability issues. I admit I'm not knowledgeable on the wiring side - is there a reason the engineer would not automatically connect the extension to the data terminals to allow the extensions to receive data (or would that stop the landline working on the extension - is it a case with a filtered faceplate of having voice only or data only on the extensions?). The master is in the hall and the 3 extensions are upstairs, in the lounge and the basement. Currently the hall and upstairs have nothing plugged in and the lounge has the landline and the basement the router. The only reason the router is in the basement is because the extension there seemed to provide a more stable and faster connection in the lounge. I guess ideally the master would be in the lounge with the landline and router plugged in and in the days of cordless extensions the other sockets would no longer be required.  Is it possible to move the master and would that be something the engineer could do or would that be a separate (chargeable I assume?) piece of work?

 

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