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jamesh1999
Beginner
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Message 1 of 18

Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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Hi all,

Over the past couple of years, my internet connection has grown a few issues:

- Connection drop out (2-5 times per day)

- Low speed spells (~6Mbps/4Mbps DL/UL)

- Large numbers of "late" packets as reported by https://packetlosstest.com

This has become increasingly noticeable with the COVID scenario which is why I'm only now doing something about it.

 

Technical details are below but, from my basic understanding, the line attenuation we have seems unusually high for a VDSL connection. I've heard this can be partially explained by internal house wiring if an NTE5 master socket is not used to isolate the DSL signal from the phone as soon as the cable enters the property. 

Does this seem like a reasonable explanation? If not, what else should I be looking into as the route cause?

Is it worth calling BT to install one? And, since this is (potentially) hampering the connection, should I expect it to be free or charged?

 

Here is the information I have from the hub (S/N & WiFi removed):

Product name: BT Hub 6A
...
Firmware version: SG4B1000E020
Firmware updated: 02-Apr-2020
Board version: 1.0
Gui version: 1.115.0
DSL uptime: 0 Days, 0 Hours 41 Minutes 14 Seconds
Data rate: 7.40 Mbps / 32.40 Mbps
Maximum data rate: 7397 / 42523
Noise margin: 6.5 dB / 10.3 dB
Line attenuation: 40.1 dB
Signal attenuation: 23.8 dB / 40.1 dB
...
Modulation: G_993_2_ANNEX_B
Latency type: Fast Path

...

Software variant: -
Boot loader: 9.2.0
 
The following is from BT Broadband Checker :
https://imgur.com/a/75ohmVj (the connection is frequently well below VDSL Range B speeds)
 
And for the house, I would like to add that we do not have the new NTE5 socket. The master is an older LJU3 and the modem is connected via a microfilter (which I have swapped to no avail) as are phones on extension sockets (these I haven't checked but don't think that could explain the issues).
 
I've plotted the route I believe our cable takes to reach the cabinet. The length is 0.47km. I'm not sure whether that's entirely relevant but I've seen it used to justify line attenuation readings.
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jamesh1999
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Message 2 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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https://imgur.com/a/mo31OIt

Just thought I'd grab a screenshot of the Line Stats during an outage (didn't have to wait too long for another!). I'm not sure whether the readings are valid when this is happening but that signal attenuation has spiked massively

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imjolly
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Message 3 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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unless the master socket is faulty then changing it to a new style master with filter built in will not help your connection.  have you tried using the test socket which is behind master faceplate with a new filter and see if that helps your stability.  while in test socket try quiet line test - dial 17070 option 2 should be silent ( no hiss/crackle) and best done with corded phone



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iniltous
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Message 4 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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If you have an older style master socket ( not a NTE5) but do have extension sockets wired from it, then it’s quite likely that they will affect your broadband performance, ( especially if the bell wire is still connected on terminal 3 ) your sync of 32Mb from a max attainable of 42Mb could possibly by improved a little by either getting rid of extension sockets completely, and using cordless phones if phone service needed in the rooms with extension sockets ) but if the distance is correct 0.45Km , speed is reasonable for the distance ….that would not cause drop outs though, so as suggested , you need to check for noise etc.
If there is a network problem and OR visit ,they may change out your LJU for NTE5 but it’s not ( AFAIK) a service they do for free at request, similarly if you call out when the issue isn’t ‘external’ but an issue with something OR are not responsible for ( internal wiring, sockets, the router ) they may perform an engineer home improvement, but it’s charged for.
licquorice
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Message 5 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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DLM has banded your line at 32.4M due to instability, until the cause of that is resolved and you have a stable line, nothing will improve.

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jamesh1999
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Message 6 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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Thanks for the reply. Based on that, I might try and get a different router/modem to test from Ebay. A software issue on that end sounds to me like the most plausible cause for the frequent drop outs. I've had similar issues in the past where I was able to trigger a drop out by starting a particular networked device so there are definitely some gremlins to be eliminated there.

 

I'll see how that works and maybe consider running an NTE5c with the isolating VSDL faceplate right next to the master LJU. The extensions can connect to that and it saves me doing a BT callout. That'll be if the router/modem doesn't resolve matters though

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imjolly
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Message 7 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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Did you try quiet line test?  That is the most basic test for line dropping connection.

You can purchase an NTE5C from eBay and fit is yourself - it is simple just bit DIY



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jamesh1999
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Message 8 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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Yeah, there was nothing beyond what I would attribute to the handset (corded one powered by the line)

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pippincp
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Message 9 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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If you used a corded handset the line should be silent. There is nothing to attribute to the handset.

jamesh1999
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Message 10 of 18

Re: Frequent Connection Failure (Line Stats + BT Wholesale check included)

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As in I was being very picky 😉 there was a tiny amount of background static: barely audible and nothing more than I would expect from the handsets amplifier.

 

Anyway, I ended up doing the thing and now have a NETGEAR R6260, Huawei HG612 & NTE5c socket! Both of the latter two provided improvements on the line stats (I watched & let them settle for a while after making the swap)

 

Now (through the Huawei interface), it's reading the following:

 DownUp
Attainable rate (kbit/s)5343210941
SNR margin (dB)22.30
Line attenuation (dB)12.96.4

 

I'll wait to see if the dropouts are eliminated but, either way, it looks like something positive came out of all of that

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