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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 9

Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

Hello folks - I have been a customer at a new build rural address for just over a year now and my download speeds have been steadily slumping over the past year. I would appreciate sugestions or opinions on what may have caused this.

I am on the BT Faster Broadband 40/2 package and I am around 3300m from the FTTC Cabinet in Coylton.

When the new line was installed the BT Broadband Availability Checker page for my line number initially suggested I would get between 8 and 17 Mpbs down. On day one it was around 4 Mbps which was below the handback threshold at the time so OR attended, requested a DLM reset and got 9.0 Mpbs on the test socket. I accepted the low speed obtained because the distance from the cabinet had been estimated rather than measured because it was a New Build property.

A few months later, the speed had settled at about 7.5Mbps down and 0.9Mbps up. Given the line length, this was still acceptable for light use. I did notice that the BT Broadband Availability Checker had corrected its estimate and also lowered the handback threshold.

The speed stayed around 7.0Mbps for a few more months then drooped a little to about 6.8Mpbs.

A couple of weeks ago it drooped again to under 6.0 Mbps and we began to notice the impact so I checked the BT Broadband Availability Checker. The estimated speeds had been adjusted again and the handback threshold had been lowered again.

Today I am receiving 5.6Mbps down 0.9Mbps up and it is getting to about the point where I am struggling to use the internet in the manner I would like. There are only the two of us and we have one Apple Music stream and one Youtube stream, no Netflix.

How low is it likely to go? How can I combat the constant limbo dance of lowered downloads but lowered handback estimates? To date, I am at under two thirds of what I was receiving when the line was installed.

I am using a Huawei HG612 direct to the Master Socket into an ASUS RT-AC86U into a Netgear switch. All speed tests are wired.

Here are the usual BT Checker, DSLStats and HG612 stats that folks ask for. Does anything stand out to you? The most recent power off was due to a loss of service when I could not receive any internet at all. That day I did see some engineers working on some poles in our local area (about half a mile away) so there may have been a fault.

 

Estimate.jpgDSLStats.jpgHuawei.jpg

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

have you tried going back to the test socket with a filter to see if that improves the connection

try dialling 17070 option 2  should be quiet and best with corded phone



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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 3 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

Is there any way of doing these checks without the risk of invoking DLM? If I disconnect to do the quiet line test, that will be one "fault". If I then plug into the test socket, check the speed then replace the face plate, that will be a second. I can afford to delay half an hour between these tests.

If, by getting banded, the speed goes any lower due to my own actions, it will become a serious inconvenience.

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Moderator
Moderator
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Message 4 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

Hi @DanielCoffey,

You should be able to do that with only 1 disconnection. I would disconnect your set up and try the quiet line test in the test socket first. If there is no noise I would connect your router back up directly into the test socket, using a micro filter.

If you post back you router stats once connected in the test socket. If there is any difference you should see this in the attainable rate.

Thanks

PaddyB

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 5 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

Quiet Line test was perfect - no issues.

I re-attached my original BT Home Hub 6 and it trained in at a higher speed (7.7Mbps). When I was using the HG612 / ASUS router, I could only get 5.6Mbps.

The BT Speed Check tool thought I should get more than 7.7 however, found no phone or broadband faults and asked what master socket I had. When I told it (Master Socket 5C with built in filter) it sent me over to chat.

I am currently chatting to BT Chat and they think I may need a chargeable OR visit to check my wiring.

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 6 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

I do have to admit that I am always impressed by the patience of the BT Call Centre staff - they have to put up with a lot (and of course have their scripts to follow).

With my HG612 / ASUS RT-AC86U I reliably get 5.6Mbps. If I simply switch to the BT HH6 I get around 7.2 to 7.7 but the Testing Tool suggests I should be getting more.

I have actually requested a chargeable Broadband Boost engineer visit to check my wiring inside the home to make sure there isn't anything obvious going on here. The wiring was originally fitted by an electrician rather than a network engineer and I noticed he had a great love of stripping back shielding and untwisting pairs. As long as the copper bits were connected, he was satisfied. I think it is time to actually get a network guy to redo the connections.

In the mean time, it looks like the venerable HG612 cannot compete with the HH6 for the speed it trains the line to. What is the current recommended "modem only" device (or modem/router that can be set to modem only) that I can replace the HG612 with?

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 7 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

I ended up getting a Zyxel VMG3925-B10B from eBay for £30 and running it in bridge mode.

After a firmware update, a wipe to get rid of the old KCom settings (the ISP it was historically used with) and setting up in bridge, it trains almost as well as the BT HH6 and allows me to use my ASUS router.

Note that the current firmware from Zyxel removes the busybox and other tools so you cannot currently monitor its stats through DSLstats - you have to log in and look each time.

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Sage
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Message 8 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

Let me get this right. You're paying £130 for an engineer to check your internal wiring when you could have done it yourself for free by connecting to the test socket as requested?

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Aspiring Contributor
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Message 9 of 9

Re: Rural Download Speed slowly getting worse. Any suggestions?

The speeds on the test socket were slightly higher, as you would expect but the purpose of the engineer visit was to investigate if there were any wiring faults on either the run to the properly or inside.

When he got here, he was able to inform me that the external wiring was compliant and in good condition which I expected since it was a new build but he did find defects inside the buiding. The initial wiring job was done by an electrician rather than a network specialist. This meant that, from the point of view of the regular electrician, it was OK to pull back shielding from network cables a good few inches and untwist pairs. As long as the "red wire and black wire" were in the right holes, he was satisfied. When I had the network cables terminated by a proper specialist, I was told about all this. I needed someone to check the internal side of the telephone wiring to see if this was the case.

The OR engineer reported that I had star wiring on the telephones and at my request reduced it to a single extension so the broadband was as clean as it could be. I will deal with the remedial work under my house warranty shortly.

Now I *know* my wiring is fine and there is no water damage. The speeds had dropped throughout the past year from about 9Mbps down to 5.4Mbps with no explanation and it was getting to the point where it wasn't good enough.

After the visit I know my wiring is good. I know that about 7.3Mbps is the best I am going to get until the USO forces a change.

Given that I don't have the tools or knowledge to do as good a job as a network specialist, I am glad I got the engineer out. I consider it money well spent for a professional job and the peace of mind.

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