Broadband problems persist

  DIYgirl 09:50 24 Dec 2004

We subscribed to Wanadoo broadband earlier in the month, but I can't get it to work. I thought I would ask you all if there is anything I can do before I send the modem back.

We live out in the sticks, at the end of a really long phone line which comes to us underground. The black phone cable appears in our cellar, then is connected to the master socket (thanks for putting it there, BT), from which white cables snake through the house to the phone sockets we have phones connected to. In the cellar, none of this is screwed to the wall--just the strength of the connections holds it all together, but we were told by a BT engineer that he would not advise screwing it to the wall as the walls were so damp it would make things worse.

When I first subscribed to broadband I did a line-check, and was told that our phone line would only support the slowest form of broadband as the line was so long.

Now we can't use it at all. When I connect everything up the USB light on the BB modem glows solidly, so that's OK: the ASDL light glows solidly when I first plug in the USB connection, but as soon as I try to use it it flashes. If I boot up with it plugged in it flashes from the start, but if I unplug and replug it glows until I try to connect, or sometiems glows for a minute or two then starts flashing.

Wanadoo has told me to move my computer to the master socket as this could improve things. But there are a couple of inches of water on the ground in the cellar at present and I'm not messing with my computer down there.

They then told me that I would have to install an RG11 (or was that an RJ11?). What is one of those? Where can I get one? Would it definitely sort this out?

Finally, even with the mysterious RG11 I wonder if broadband would work. When it rains our phone line is always crackly and despite me being told that this would not be a problem when I signed up to broadband, I am now told that it IS an issue. BT won't do anything to sort that out, as it would mean them digging up the phone line to our house and replacing it--all five miles of it, which would cost them tens of thousands of pounds. I have suggested that they could improve the installation here (that socket hanging from its own connections can't help things, and is on their "side" of the installation) but their engineers never seem to be told when an appointment is made for them to do that.

ARRGGHH! I suspect I am stuffed on this one. If there is anything that anyone can suggest to get me onto broadband I would be grateful, but I think for now, dial-up is my destiny.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:12 24 Dec 2004

RJ11 is just the little flat plug on the end of the cable that plugs into your modem click here.

They seem to be suggesting that you make up a long cable direct from the master socket to your modem, instead of going via the extension sockets. Don't really think this will make much difference to be honest, as an extension is just the same cable with a socket on the end, although you will be cutting out 1 connection.

If the ADSL light will not remain steady then the issue is with the line (BT) or ISP. Unfortunately BT will not look into line issues unless pressed by ISP (wannado). You were told before signing up that your line was suitable (even at the lowest speed) and therefore the ISP should be responsible for sorting it out or you can claim your money back.

Have a search in the left search box there have been several other threads on the same issue I'm sure one of them describe how to 'push' the ISP and BT.

  961 10:17 24 Dec 2004

It would be interesting to know what sort of speeds you get with dial up and perhaps if you still have a dial up modem and account you could try a speed test

Although your line is long the problems you seem to describe seem to be due to its quality

Is there a local broadband initiative sponsored by the local council that could take up the case with BT for improving your line

In the meanwhile it certainly would not cost them thousands of pounds to get the house installation out of the cellar and into the house at ground level where a new connection might prove much more successful

Have you asked Wanado for help with BT? If they aren't interested to do this I would suggest cancelling with them and seeking someone more willing to help

  JIM 10:41 24 Dec 2004

You have quite a situation by the sounds of it and for the moment i can-not offer much than has been said,or will be.

I would though personaly like to rule out your pc system.Could you post your "system speck" with regards "the make/type of m/b and particularly the type of chipset it is running.

If your system is new or less than 3years old it may not matter,so apologies in advance if that be the case.

  bruno 10:45 24 Dec 2004

When I had a problem with dropped and unreliable connections I got onto my ISP(metronet) and they arranged for a visit by a BT broadband engineer.He changed the outside connection box as it was 25 years old and also pointed out that I did not have a filter on my Sky box.All went well for a couple of months and then I had to go the same route as before to get a BT broadband engineer.I think these are different to your normal BT man.He plugged a laptap into my phone input box inside the box and told me thesignal/ noise reading(I think) in decibels and said what it should be,and mine was within the limits.He at first tried to tell me it was all my extensions which were draining my signal,but I pointed out my computer had been plugged directly into the box and still did not work.He said as it appeared to be my fault I could be charged £60 an hour plus vat for his time.However,I did not receive a bill,and it has worked perfectly(touch wood)ever since.The big coincidence with my problem was that it was out for a week and at 7am on the morning of his visit I got a great big signal,also the last test he made(which I thought should have been his first)was the connections inside the box his colleague had fitted.He remade these and muttered about it being a bit damp in here.
As a final point,I tried to buy the extension lead you mention at the time but 3 metres was the longest available then.Yesterday,I saw low loss extensions with that number in 5 and 10 metre reels at either Curries or Comet(Iwas in both and am not sure which it was had them).They were quite dear,the 5 metre one was £12.99.Hope this is a help.

  ACOLYTE 10:51 24 Dec 2004

Do you have a program called gsicon.exe running
and 2 little arrows in the task bar,this should tell you your line strengh,green color is good red no signal/modem not respondoing, yellow training (looking for signal).Most ADSL modems have this signal icons.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:56 24 Dec 2004

"we were told by a BT engineer that he would not advise screwing it to the wall as the walls were so damp"

How about a nice piece of plastic board (DIY SHOP) screwed to the wall and the socket screwed to the board.

Use a battery drill if your going to be stood in "a couple of inches of water on the ground in the cellar at present"

  mrdsgs 11:37 24 Dec 2004

presumably you have fitted microfilters to each telephone extension socket that has a phone,fax\etc connected to it


  hssutton 13:20 24 Dec 2004

Fruit Bat, a few weeks ago I have agreed with you regarding a long cable direct from modem to master socket, being no different to the extension sockets.

My sister-in-law was advised to do the same thing as she could not get broadband working, but low and behold the direct link worked.

  Graham ® 15:21 24 Dec 2004

Are you anywhere near Sheffield?

  Mikè 16:01 24 Dec 2004

Since Sept this year and the removal of distance/noise limits for 512k broadband, BT are supposed to come out and try to get your broadband working.

They are supposed to try fitting a dual outlet line socket click here to try to sort things, also to try
and use another pair of cables to exchange (if available) all the above is supposed to be free of charge.

With reference to your "5 mile cable" I doubt there is only one twisted pair in this, so maybe they could try swapping connections.

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