Intermittent speed on BT Broadband

  goodlord 19:20 24 Sep 2007

Moved house 3 months ago and had poor broadband connection ever since despite using exactly the same equipment in exactly the same configuration as before - both BT Broadband, Home Hub etc, even same exchange as have kept the same phone number. The connection doesnt drop but data does not transmit so we get frequent time outs, freezing etc. It's not a continual slow speed but intermittent although it will happen on and off ten times in five minutes and so feels like it's constant. It makes no difference what time of day or night it is and it's not high internet traffic levels. Ran speed tests on the line today and got results varying from 2.3 meg down to less than 56kb over the space of 5 minutes. I think our line has been capped at 2.5meg as a result of previous fault reports. I'm paying for up to 8 meg and our line should be capable of between 4 and 5 meg.

BT engineers have been out to test the external and internal wiring 3 times. Each time they say there is nothing wrong internally but there is a fault externally. They then go away to the exchange and nothing improves. I am now being told there is nothing wrong with the line externally. I have spent endless hours on the phone to the Indian call centre and have spoken to some lovely people who have been no help whatsoever. I have connected the router directly into the main socket with no improvement. I have done every standard test the helpdesk can suggest, most more than once, and a few extra besides. I have run ping tests and packet loss tests - they either work fine or show substantial packet loss depending on whether the fault was occurring at the time.

Stats from the router today say bandwith is 448/3392 kbps up/down, output power 12/19 dB up/down, Line attenuation 17.5/40 dB up/down, SN margin 22/15.5 dB up/down. My money is an equipment fault in the exchange but I'm open to all ideas.


  kimjhon 19:50 25 Sep 2007

try this
click here
and this
click here

I persuaded a tech in the shop to sell me some BT wire. Ran it from point of entry to telephone socket. A child could do it. Along with above got my speed back up from 2.6 to 5.2.
Old wiring can be faulty although tests show otherwise.

BTW your rate will drop every time the connection is cut a couple of times close together. And then return to the rate it was before - if there are no further cut offs in the next 3 or 4 days.

  Dipso 22:01 25 Sep 2007

Your connection problems have earned you a high target noise margin (15db) the default is 6, this is why your connection speed is a slow as it is, this doesn't necessarily explain the timeouts, drops though.

When you say you have tried the main socket, did you try the test socket underneath the removeable faceplate. The speeds won't be noticeably quicker but are your stats any better, in particular your connection speed.

You say BT have checked your internal wiring but have you checked if the ring wire is still connected. Only wires 2 and 5 need to be connected on any socket using a filter, the ring wire can be a cause of interference.

  goodlord 21:37 27 Sep 2007

Sadly have already tried all the above. Plugged directly into test socket in master, stats are virtually the same. Only wires 2 & 5 connected. The extension that we usually use is a new one we wired ourselves because the speeds were so bad and we thought it might be that (but obviously wasnt). DB test shows either quite good ping times or crap depending on whether the intermittent fault was showing at the time (so in a single test some will be great and some will be disasterous). Interestingly all the US stuff was really bad today. Download speeds were 1835 UK, 1329 EU and 428 US (should be 8000). When it's working the download speed (tho not 8 meg) is not so bad, liveable with, but 3 clicks out of ten go thru straight away and the other 7 hang or go thru very slowly. The fault is neither constant nor occasional - it literally comes and goes every few clicks and is more often there than not, then suddenly it's okay and everything goes through and then 30 seconds later, it doesnt. Then maybe a click goes through, then a few dont, then a few do, no pattern, no regular time interval, apparently completely random. We have 2 computers that connect wirelessly and one via ethernet - no difference between them so I dont think it's wireless interference. Our connection speed is not slow per se (other than it's now been capped at 2 and a bit by BT) - it's the interruptions that cause the problem. When it's not working, if you click on something, all the lights on the hub stay green ie nothing flashes like it does when you click on something and it's working (data and wirless lights flash).
Further suggestions?

  davidh50 21:46 27 Sep 2007

Try this One it's the most accurate for the UK.

click here

  Dipso 06:43 28 Sep 2007

Try tweaking the connection using TCP Optimizer click here Install the program, set the slider to your current connection speed and select your ethernet or wireless adapters from the drop down list, then hit Optimal settings and Apply.

This can sometimes cure bottlenecks...definitely worth a try.

  goodlord 12:51 28 Sep 2007

Thanks. Speedtest was entertaining as I was able to watch my download speed drop all the way down to 2kbps before stopping altogether. Used TCP Optimizer, no change.
Any more?

  JanetO 13:13 28 Sep 2007

This seems to only give up/download speeds. What about connection speed? Or maybe I missed something.

  Dipso 13:17 28 Sep 2007

Your modem or router displays your connection speed.

  goodlord 20:46 01 Oct 2007

Any further suggestions was to what the problem might be? Is there anyone out there with some knowledge of how the BT hardware works in the exchange/up the line and could advise on whether there is a technical hardware fault (as that is where I think the problem lies)? At one point one of the BT line engineers said something about us having no capacity on our line - like a pipe with no water in, was what he said - then he buggered off up the exchange and slowed things down even more. BT are now sending a new router but if that solves the problem I'll fall off my chair.

  Dipso 21:14 01 Oct 2007

If the engineer mentioned capacity then it sounds like he thinks either the exchange is contended, too many connections to cope with, or the ISP hasn't enough bandwidth avavilable, which seems unbelievable as this is BT but it is the most likely reason for your slow speeds.

Check the status of your exchange click here Green is OK Red is contended.

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