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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 61 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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your connection time is only 3hrs was that manual reset or hub dropping connection?



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NAROBS
Contributor
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Message 62 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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Sorry for the delay in replying. That hub switch-off was manual.

All appears Ok today after engineer attended yesterday.

He advised that he switched connections for my line in one of the roadside boxes and, because the signal at my end was still a little feint, he swapped my FTTC master socket for a NTE5C Mk4.

Now I'm getting the download and upload rates I'm actually paying for i.e. 49.5Mbps down and 20Mbps up - all courtesy of a reduction in noise margin on the download 14.4 down to 6db ? 

When he lifted the lid on the  public footpath  BT inspection chamber immediately outside my place, it was awash  with water. I asked, but he declined to pump it out.

A bit surprised at that reaction as the inspection chamber , which was only small, housed the joint between my  telephone cable and the shallow buried cable spur that feeds the other 3 houses next to me. I was thinking . . . "Battery effect" and cables under water, despite the use of modern covering materials deteroirate faster under water than in air. I also noticed that this cable pavement cable spur was run in plastic conduit which was open at the ends and at the same level as the water i.e. because the pavement/road is in a 1 in 25 decline at this point, water would have been trickling down inside the conduit down to the lowest point i.e. house no 1 in the run of 4 and there's not inspection chamber outside No 1.

Trouble is, I'm too long-in-the-tooth, I remember the days in the 1960s when GPO engineers would pitch-up in their green comma vans, and the first thing they used to do after parking the van and setting-up the canvas work screen, was to get the portable petrol pump out, lift the inspection chamber cover  and start pumping  the water out of it.  Of course,  I was forgetting, nowadays, they'd only do that if they had the appropriate shiny dress on and were going to win prizes.

I suppose BT don't really give a flying flamingo about the copper infrastructure as it will be gone within 10 years. In the meantime, ordinary line engineers will be spending all their time fixing broadband signalling  faults , as the guy who attended my place was, because broadband signals are far more sensitive to deteriorating  copper line infrastructure on the last 250 meters - funny old investment policy, isn't it, when you spend all that money on national backbone, datacenters, aggregators and disaggreagtors only for the signal to be fu-bar'd in the final leg of the journey. Suggests to me that BT are more interested in shareholders than customers.

Good ol' third world Britain.

Utilities -BT -Broadband -Smart_Hub_2 - Technical_log_5112019  -Redacted -5 112019_Page_1.jpeg

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N.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 63 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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now the hope is the line remains stable - time will tell



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NAROBS
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Message 64 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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Engineer's got his xmas box, so all should be well.

Anyways, 25-30Mbps is good enough for everything I need out of broadband, and the DLM, on this occasion, took the faulty line down to . . . 20-25 Mbps. Only thing was I'm paying for 50Mbps. 

So, if it faults again down to the same level and it can't be rectified, then its proportionate reduction in Broadband charge , . . please . . .and, if that proves all too difficult, then its bye-bye BT Broadband hello 3 & 4G internet access - cheaper when 5G really gets going next year.

With the lines of this age (My street dates from the late 1920s/early 1930s), faulting is bound to be higher. A lot of the other local infrastucture,  e.g. electricity, water of similar vintage has been going pop recently.

For all I know, this may be BT undeclared policy to get customers "Voluntarily"  migrating away from the problematic last 250metres of copper - saves BT a massive headache.

 

N

 

 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 65 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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LOL back with the conspiracy theories again

the package speed is up so there would be no reduction but if you cannot get expected speed and openreach can't improve speed then normally you get to leave without cancellation penalties.  obviously as it is same openreach connection then speeds will be the same regardless of ISP apart from virgin.

now engineer fixed problem you should be ok with speed



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g0fvt
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 66 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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I had a problem with my broadband speed, initially caused by a fault in the house, like the OPs situation my broadband ran slowly despite a highish noise margin. People on this forum (not all of them were BT staff) were most helpful. Since the engineer visit the line has been stable and  probably running as fast as it reasonably can with a noise margin hovering at very close to 6dB on both up and downlink. In fairness to BT there was probably a remaining connection noisy in my house which may have contributed to the line being "flagged" with a fault. Conspiracy theories and reference to 1960s GPO engineers are just a distraction from the core issue. I have left the HH5A alone for the last week or so with the exception of fitting a common mode choke to the line. Today I bit the bullet and fitted the notorious HH6, we will see how that goes. I remain grateful to those that offered advice to my now resolved issue, and don't feel the need to include sarcasm in every post.

NAROBS
Contributor
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Message 67 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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As the Engineer didn't really find a problem with the line, the cabinet or my connections to the hub and my internal network isn't according to BT's own diagnostics a problem, I'm interested to learn what other factors could stimulate the DLM to actuate, other than manually.

By way of elimination . . . the household electrical supply could be one source of disruption.

Would the Smart Hub record data for out-of- limits variations in its electrical supply ? 

How likely would  an out-of-limits mains power  supply likely to effect the BT Hub and  be  a  cause of this fault i.e. a stimulus to DLM activation ?  I say that because the voltage supply to my house has been slightly on the high side recently it should be 230V - 6% +10% and recently its been coming in at 254v.

Also, I'm thinking that a spikey central heating and water pump or dodgy refrigerator compressor might be the guilty party, but that would take some doing as all my computer kit is protected by surge and spike limiting trailing sockets. 

Obviously, if one of these factors is the cause, then I will expect that the current  OpenReach "Fix" won't last. Only time will tell.

I think the GPO point is well made. The telephonic cables which in the 1960s  were carrying only voice are now carrying Voice + Broadband +TV. The cables are now 60 years older than then,   but they are expected to carry more now and the signals they carry are clearly less  tolerant to interference and water penetration than the old analogue voice signals, so, how can it be logical for the maintenance standard to be less now than it was then, especially if you are intending to maintain the same level of  service to the customer ?

If it was your car you'd expect the maintenance requirements to increase with age and if you converted your Austin  Allegro to run like a Ferrari, you would  also expect the maintenance requirement to shoot-up. 

But clearly, BT are not maintaining even the old standards.  I've been advised this evening  by the Mod that pumping out water from inspection chambers isn't done unless its definitely linked to a fault.  Euh ?  That's a policy of calculated neglect in the face of a rising maintenance requirement caused by the introduction of more and newer technology.  Surely, pumping water  out of the system is a preventative measure, which can at best avoid faults or at least prolong the intervals between faults occuring. In my niave way I would have thought it would have paid BT to do it and would have reduced the fault load. Otherwise, I'd be taking the 3- bar electric fire in with me on the occasion of my weekly bath !

That's sarcasm !

No "Conspiracy theory" (Your words), just a publicly undeclared BT corporate decision not to fully maintain a  form of comms system, which is likely to be pulled within 10 years. All companies do this, reducing capital spend on old redundant systems in anticipation of their demise - although the reverse can occur in the Public Sector. In City of London terms it falls under the heading of "Sweating your assets". And lets face it the  copper cabling capital assets, now nearing 100 years old, have been well and truly sweated - even Her Majesty replaces her RN ships at 30 year intervals.

Following your logic, you may find  BT's recent  offer  on TV to high-end BT broadband users of  the provision of a 4G back-up service in the event of a FTTC outage equally incomprehensible ! - more leg pulling.

N

 

 

 

 

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g0fvt
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 68 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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Hi, taking one point at a time, the Homehub is driven by an external switchmode power supply, not only are these particularly tolerant to quite wide variations in supply voltage but they also have no way to communicate their incoming voltage to the Homehub. 230v running 10% high is 253v so your measured 254v is far from conclusive as being high, I would not like to trust my own STILL in calibration Fluke multimeter to be less than 0.5% in error particularly measuring an AC waveform and applying an RMS correction.

As for RFI related issues, twisted pairs are pretty good at ignoring radiated interference, this and crosstalk issues are why they remain popular in telecommunications circuits, certainly transient effects from thermostats and boiler igniters etc are not confined to generating mains borne interference. 

In my case of slow broadband I believe that DLM was triggered as a side effect of corrosion damage to a phone extension connector due to one of our damn cats marking it's territory. DLM is never ever going to have a perfect algorithm for every situation, our very impaired line at least managed a connection at low speed which gave me the chance to report the issue online. I don't know what exactly triggered DLM in your case, however frequent reboots of the routers seems to be a factor. 

As for the age of the infrastructure, I am sure it varies a great deal, I very much doubt that much of the cabling between your home and the exchange is original. The exchange was almost certainly Strowger equipment which has been replaced over the years too.  

It is remarkable just how high the data rates are that can be carried on cabling intended for limited bandwidth telephony, many telephone companies around the world are also using RF carriers over copper for the same purpose. 

FWIW I used to live in Harrow myself, cellular services are pretty well provided for there, I now live in a rural area where my 4G phone with unlimited data has to fallback to making calls over WiFi, quite the opposite scenario!

A junction box full of water does not sound like an ideal scenario, however the joints are made to be watertight in their own right, I suspect that if it was pumped out it would refill quickly unless the weather changed. A lot of UK infrastructure is old now, we will be in big trouble when electric cars become popular....

I think we will see a gradual move away from copper but I would not like to think of the costs. Telephony is already beginning to become more VOIP based.

The Navy can afford to replace their ships because the taxpayer foots the bill, it also keeps thousands of people in employment.

Have fun, David 

 

 

 

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NAROBS
Contributor
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Message 69 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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Thanks for the comprehensive reply, that, if anything is what these fora (ums ?) should be about,  facts + opinions that assist in problem   resolution - Miles better than the two line grunts, "We've got the information, you haven't and we're b*ggered if we're going to let you in",  I've been getting to date.

For my sins, I am still and have been for the last 65 years a resident of Harrow and a resident of my current domicile for the last 34 years. So I know the area and what's occurred in terms of infrastructure changes and modernisation over this period. Only the gas mains were uprated in the late 1960s and early 1970s across Harrow -courtesy of North Sea Gas. The smaller diameter gas pipes in my road where replaced by plastic in the 1990s as were some of the water pipes and apart from Open Reach laying in fibre from the South Harrow exchange (About 1 Km from my location)   to the Distributed DSLAM boxes at each end of my road, I believe the original copper telephone wires are still in place. These, as far as I know, are the only upgrades that have occurred. The telephone cable is more or less original 1930s.

My road has a mixed bag of buildings  whose construction dates from the 1920s through to today, so, its likely that the original copper telephone cables were installed, at latest,  in the late 1930s, possibly with extension in the early 1950s. So they've been in there a goodly time. These cables are buried in the pavement, possible  not  as deep as would be done today. With the in-fill building development that has occurred down the street since then, the degradation of the street parking situation and the damaging action of heave and slump in the clay sub-soil as it gets wet and then drys out, its likely that quite a few of the cable pairs in these cables have developed cracks and, some may have broken. I'd  say that's almost a certainty for most underground cabling, of this age, through out the UK. 

 So when the telephone engineer arrives at the local roadside box in order to make a new connection, repair a fault with an existing one or do a disconnection he'll be faced with a number of decisions to make. If he's lucky, he may find some cable pairs (Of the type that go to individual properties) connected to a junction block are  marked "Unserviceable" or "Broken", and another are marked "Intermittently faulty" - that may help short-cut his job. On the other hand, there may be a whole lot of junction block connections,  other than the one which is the subject of his job, which are faulty but haven't been detected yet. And as we've seen, in my case, in these circumstances, even today's modern local and remote electronic diagnostics may not be able to identify to a given level of confidence whether a fault exists and where it is. So, the fall-back diagnostic tool is No 1 eye-ball and that methodology means you should be addressing the obvious problems e.g. water inundation, 'cause, on the average, addressing those systematically will reduce the spread the consequential faults along the fault train fractal. But, of course, that sort of maintenance is man-power intensive, and if your a City of London investor, you'd be witnessing the imminent reduction of your  "Return on capital" i.e. next powder-blue Bentley in jeopardy.

So against that background, I would have thought, BT should, deal on a hierarchial top-down methodology  basis with the things that are most obvious, like water inundation of inspection chambers, 'cause as sure as eggs come out of chicken bottoms, statistically, the things that are obvious, even to joe public, are going to be the things that cause the problems en masse - you don't find forest fire fighters dealing with the weed problem in between trees if there's a blazing inferno sweeping through a forest at 40 Mph.

N

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NAROBS
Contributor
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Message 70 of 98

Re: Superfast Fibre 1 Essential

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Interesting now, BT's marketing policy categorises London as two zones - inner London (Where the rich people are now) and outer London (Where all the poorer people are). So,  let's guess who gets the best maintenance service.

You may say that socio-economic divide and its effect on service levels provided by companies has ever been the case, but with aged, unrenewed infrastructure, the divide is widened.

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