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Standard User agriffiths73
(newbie) Tue 22-Jul-14 23:33:08
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Cabinet 4, Southam


[link to this post]
 
A while ago I posted my issues on here about the mess PlusNet made of my connection when I moved house, but was still connected to the same cabinet, only a bit closer.

Well, since then we had a reasonably steady connection of over 12/13Mbp/s. From May it started to drop throughout the month, getting to just under 1.9Mbp/s, and following a visit from OR, it went back to 13.4Mbp/s, only to repeat the same in June, and again this month.

We have a SamKnows box so get the monthly reports and charts, so see exactly how it drops, and can therefore prove it's wrong.

I've had OR back twice, the guy said the last time that he just knew he would be back, a lot, as this was an intermittent line fault, the only way to remedy would be to replace it.

This is exactly what he did at our old neighbours house. And here's the thing.

I can check the BTW site with my phone number to be told that FTTC is only available at 1 - 1.2Mbp/s, at my current address. Check with my postcode, not available at all, check with my address, not available at all.

Check my old address by postcode, FTTC 11Mbp/s, same with checking the address. Can't check the number as we ported it to this house.

How is it then, that a service that was sold to me at approx 12Mbp/s and was stable around that for 5 months or so, is now struggling to maintain a connection above 3Mbp/s, and deteriorates across a month, and doesn't seem to show up on the BTW checker, but is connected to the same cabinet that my old house is, Cab 4, Southam, which comes up at 11Mbp/s?

I need this connection to be stable and working properly, as advertised and sold to me 6 months ago, yet PlusNet aren't interested in getting any resolution, certainly not asking OR to replace the line, despite the guy from OR standing in my house a couple of weeks ago telling me there is a line fault, that e line is the older type and should be replaced anyway, yet I'm still paying for a service that had I not moved, I would still be getting over 11Mbp/s, not averaging 2Mbp/s.

I really need to understand why there is such a discrepancy in the data, and why OR seem to be happy with the cost of sending engineers out, but not replacing the line.

I am on the verge of discussing this with my solicitor as the service isn't as sold, and the providers appear to be acting negligently when it comes to resolving this ongoing issue.

Are there people on this forum that could investigate this absurd situation and give me an idea of what the root cause is, and how I go about getting it sorted out please?

Thanks, utter frustrated of Southam.

Better off on dialup
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 22-Jul-14 23:41:01
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
The checkers generally have a feed back loop where some data from active lines are fed into it to improve accuracy.

Sounds like the error rates are such that the Openreach DLM is dropping the speed to reduce the number of errors.

BTW don't push Openreach over the replacing of the line, since they are within their rights to say sorry line will not support FTTC and give you choice of continuing or no service.

As for the root cause, without spending some hours with diagnostic kit to check the line at the various points from the cabinet to the home its hard to say much beyond

a) there may be poor joints causing the issue
b) maybe an aluminium rather than copper line
c) replacing a single line is very rare, since lines are run in larger bundles
d) Issue might be noise from some source outside the openreach network
e) the solicitor should tell you that the contract has no guarantee of service speed and usually says 'reasonable efforts will be made to provide service', which means so long as engineers have been sent out and spent time trying to fix it, then they can have been said to keep their side of the argument. Of course a solicitor might see a case if they think there is some money in it for them.
f) don't recall previous thread, but was a reasonable line length estimate established for the line?

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User agriffiths73
(newbie) Wed 23-Jul-14 00:40:37
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for the reply. The line length to the cabinet is approx 1.09 miles, and a fair amount is on our property. The guy from OR stated that there were most likely jointing faults, and the line was aluminium, in his opinion, two reasons for it to be replaced.

It's likely that if the recalc on this side of the road to the cab is based on errors, surely it would be sensible to run a new bundle down to all 8 properties on the road, rather than just leave it with a poor service.

I get the no SLA point too, but not why the house I used to live in that to connects to the same cab, but is further away gets 6-8 times the line speed. I guess out of town means out of mind.

Better off on dialup


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Standard User R0NSKI
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 23-Jul-14 01:20:53
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
Not only are there ally or copper lines, but lines of varying thickness, I believe the standard copper thickness is 0.5mm, and I'm sure I've seen people mention thicker lines, which will give better performance, it's possible the other houses are on copper lines, and you're on ally, or the other lines are thicker.

I've also noticed that line estimates reduce with real world performance, so if your line is performing badly, the etimates will reflect this.

You say a fair amount of the line is on your property, depending on how much a fair amount is it may be worth installing equipment at the edge of your property, Cat5e can run up to 100 meters, or you might be able to use directional Wi-fi link.

Standard User MCM
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 23-Jul-14 10:00:55
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
Remember that you had to fight to get an FTTC connection at your new address because BTW said that it wasn't available. I suspect that this is because they knew from the line length and line material that the connection would be low speed. You mention having had 13Mbps initially and that this then dropped. Again I suspect that this was due to the number of errors and that DLM kicked in to try and improve the stability. Hence why BTW said FTTC was not available at your new address.

All guess work of course and based on your earlier post.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 23-Jul-14 10:39:28
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
1.09 miles so around 1.7km and into the area where things get grey and VDSL2 becomes a may be available service.

Replacing the copper (or putting in Cu to replace Al) will improve things possibly, but not massively. Engineering wise the sentiment may be to replace line, but financially the opposite may be the case, Cold accountants win often.

As things stand no obligation to provide any broadband speeds so Openreach can so sorry and give you choice. As MCM seems to have looked at old posts, it is very possible the original checker was right and they thought you were not going to get anything decent anyway.

What was the line length at the old place? At 1.7km I'd be surprised if anything over 12 Mbps was possible with VDSL2 on a good line.

Reality is if you want better speeds move, or wave a wad of cash at Openreach to replace line, but only if they use thicker copper is it going to be worth it and even then might not break speeds of 15 Mbps.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User agriffiths73
(newbie) Wed 23-Jul-14 11:24:26
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I'm sorry, but in 2014 I don't accept that the option for a decent line speed is to move. The old house is the opposite side of the village to the cabinet, Where we are now, we have three poles on our property - the line comes from our house to a pole, then down the pole and runs underground (in a ditch, that needs to be cleared out this summer, so the line will need to be moved anyway) then up another pole, along our field then along the roadside approx. 0.9 miles to the cabinet.

The speed we were quoted was 13.6Mbp/s, we got 9.5Mbp/s at the old house, the neighbour is still (on their recently upgraded line) getting 14Mbp/s - this is a longer distance to the cab, with more junctions.

OR have access to our property and have paid wayleaves to the previous owner when the posts were installed some time ago.

The checkers show the FTTP is available at approx. 330Mbp/s, so I may investigate the cost of this, but surely installing the correct plant to deliver the service is an acceptable assumption to make.

The checker initially turned out to be an issue with the database, once fixed the line speed showed to be very close to the speed we originally got. It's since continued to deteriorate month on month, and as I said in the initial post, the ISP and OR have both described intermittent faults on the line, old line material and jointing faults, yet there is no impetus for either party to resolve this by replacing the line, which is clearly the only way to clear these faults.

The 'truck roll' cost of sending out engineers to try to find an intermittent problem is mounting, so in terms of Accountants (they're not all cold, I'm married to one) there will be a tipping point when it comes to evaluating the ongoing cost of testing, against the cost of replacing.

We are planning to build along the side of the field the line currently runs (in the ditch), so once we have cleared the ditch out, we will need to install the footings for the barn, and I suspect OR won't want several hundred tonnes of concrete pouring over their plant?

We have to have this running at a decent speed to allow our VF SureSignal to work, as there is little or no mobile signal where we live - and, before I get the usual tirade of comments about having to compromise, it's hard running a farm in the city centre, so we are somewhat restricted geographically as to where we live, so no, I don't buy the theory that I'm really lucky to live in the countryside, but sadly because I've made that choice I am not allowed to benefit from such luxuries as mobile phone signal and broadband over 1Mbp/s.

15Mbp/s would be all we would need, 10Mbp/s would be fine, anything above 5Mbp/s is OK, but it has to be over 3Mbp/s for us to be able to use the SureSignal and still be able to have our CCTV connected too.

Better off on dialup
Standard User MCM
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 23-Jul-14 11:45:19
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
Better off on dialup
In which case switch or perhaps move to ADSL/ADSL2+. Remember that it is yourself that persuaded BT to install and FTTC connecting to your current property despite their saying that it wasn't available. It seems to me that they were correct in saying that no worthwhile FTTC connection is available so start looking for an acceptable alternative rather than wasting your time in trying to tell BT that they're wrong and you're right since the evidence indicates that they are correct.

Edit: I now note that you say the initial none availability of FTTC was due to a DB error. Incidentally I'd also love a 15Mbps connection and I live in central London but don't having the luxury of either cable or FTTC/P available to me, I'm also quite a distance from the exchange.

Edited by MCM (Wed 23-Jul-14 11:49:26)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 23-Jul-14 13:00:21
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
Alas given no legal obligations to provider anything better than dial-up you are battling with Openreach who can and may turn around and say we have done all we can.

Al if the line is that will be a large part of the problem, but if working fine for the legally obligation purposes i.e. voice line then they can ignore you.

If Fibre on Demand (FTTP) is available then as a business that may be an option though an expensive one (probably £2,500 to £3,000 install and then £150+ per month.

Yes ideally Openreach would fix the faults on the line, but experience suggests it is a lottery if the line is long and thus they think little to be gained even once fixed.

If the line runs a long way across the property why not get a new line installed that terminates on the edge of the property in a small shed and then install your own Ethernet or other method to get the data from the VDSL modem/router to the main buildings.

What ADSL2+ speeds do you get?

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User R0NSKI
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 24-Jul-14 02:09:14
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
If the line runs a long way across the property why not get a new line installed that terminates on the edge of the property in a small shed and then install your own Ethernet or other method to get the data from the VDSL modem/router to the main buildings.


As I suggested further up the thread, and going by the figures above this could knock about 260 meters off the line length, bringing it down to around 1450 meters. He states 0.9 miles once the line leaves his property, surely thats got to make a good improvement.

Or he could get 330/30 FTTPod and sell connections some how (wireless??) to other locals to recoup the cost.

Standard User agriffiths73
(newbie) Fri 25-Jul-14 09:57:32
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: R0NSKI] [link to this post]
 
Just as a point of clarification - the BT database issue was something I was informed of, in that the DB hadn't been updated. PlusNet continually told me the FTTC service was not available, then once the DB was up to date, the service was then provisioned.

This wasn't me applying pressure to BT, as I have worked with (not for) BT for over 15 years, using their services for my customers, and working on accounts spending in excess of £15M a year with BT, and even at that level, there is no pressure that can be applied to them, so me as a residential subscriber has no hope.

I just checked the availability on my road using the address checker. My neighbour, who connects to a different cabinet shows a line speed in excess of 13Mbp/s - they are less than 100 yards from our house. On the other side, approx. 200 yards closer to the cab, 26Mbp/s.

Put our postcode in on it's own, and the DB shows no one can get FTTC - yet every house on our road shares the same postcode.

So - I could switch, but BT tell me I can't get infinity, PlusNet tell me I can get fibre, yet can't deliver it (it's now down below 2Mbp/s), and OR have told me that our line isn't that long, but it's got a jointing fault and it's Aluminium, and should be copper - this from the provider.

But - since the fault that shows is intermittent, and it's never there when OR show up, they can't see it to report on it and do anything, and BT don't care about their residential customers, and we live in the country, so even less interest.

We have to have a decent connection for the SureSignal, and we have CCTV that records to the Cloud and has to have remote access so I can check from anywhere as I work away a lot, and with the constant errors and degradation in the line speed, despite the report on what our neighbours expect to get, we can't maintain a decent connection, so I think I will have to escalate this in BT to get someone who can make a decision to order the line replacement job, and stop wasting time and money sending engineers out on visits resulting in nothing being done.

Putting a shed at the end of the field isn't a viable option, as I'd need to connect power to it too - and that would not be an easy thing to do because of the usage of the field, and the cable may get ploughed up.

The cable leaving our house will need to be moved within the next three months anyway when we get the footings dug for the new building, so it will need to be done anyway, so there will be a cost to it regardless, but not one to be borne by us.

Better off on dialup
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Fri 25-Jul-14 10:53:51
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
NOTE: Using just postcodes in the checkers is known to give odd results and is NOT recommended. People suggest

1. Use phone number if you have a WLR based line
OR
2. The full address i.e. house number, street and postcode.

NOTE: The fact that the other house was on a different cabinet was not conveyed previously, and it may simply be that the cabinet is closer. Also while the checker shows 26 Mbps, what range does it give, it is possible the checker may being optimistic and the range is 12 to 26 Mbps

BT Retail don't sell Infinity to people who are likely to get below 15 Mbps, the retailers choice, they will connect but sell you a differently named product with the proviso you are aware that it will not be superfast. PlusNet have no mechanism like this.

Before FTTC how did you do the SureSignal and CCTV?

Of course another option is a second line running FTTC and put CCTV onto that as a dedicated line.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User agriffiths73
(newbie) Fri 25-Jul-14 11:46:07
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
NOTE: Using just postcodes in the checkers is known to give odd results and is NOT recommended. People suggest - Understood and agreed.

1. Use phone number if you have a WLR based line - I have done this by looking up the phone numbers of the neighbouring properties to get a closer view of the speed.OR

2. The full address i.e. house number, street and postcode. - Yes, accepted and agreed, and this is what I did when looking up the details.

NOTE: The fact that the other house was on a different cabinet was not conveyed previously, and it may simply be that the cabinet is closer. Also while the checker shows 26 Mbps, what range does it give, it is possible the checker may being optimistic and the range is 12 to 26 Mbps

The point about the other house was a reference point in that on the postcode check , no house can get FTTC, on the address they can, but the speeds for my house an the one right next to me are very low, but the house on the other side, connected to another cab, which is further than the one I'm connected to, is 10 to 13Mbp/s - the range for the other houses connecting to the same cab as me is between 13.6 and 26.2Mbp/s - so, if I were connected to the pole on the other side of my house (same measured distance to the one I'm currently connected to, but shorter line distance to the cab - yes, I have measure this) I should be able to get a faster connection

BT Retail don't sell Infinity to people who are likely to get below 15 Mbps, the retailers choice, they will connect but sell you a differently named product with the proviso you are aware that it will not be superfast. PlusNet have no mechanism like this. - Understood and agreed, Faster Broadband as the product, as their 'SLA' for Infinity is 15Mbp/s + whereas PlusNet only have fibre or non fibre product names

Before FTTC how did you do the SureSignal and CCTV? - CCTV only went in after FTTC was installed, and we have always had the SS, but it's effectiveness has been impaired, and voice quality was poor, but better than no signal at all

Of course another option is a second line running FTTC and put CCTV onto that as a dedicated line.

How, if it's not showing as available smile


Better off on dialup
Standard User R0NSKI
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 25-Jul-14 23:45:16
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Re: Cabinet 4, Southam


[re: agriffiths73] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by agriffiths73:
Putting a shed at the end of the field isn't a viable option, as I'd need to connect power to it too - and that would not be an easy thing to do because of the usage of the field, and the cable may get ploughed up.

The cable leaving our house will need to be moved within the next three months anyway when we get the footings dug for the new building, so it will need to be done anyway, so there will be a cost to it regardless, but not one to be borne by us.


You don't need a shed and you don't need a power cable run in, and if you use a wireless system you wouldn't even need a data cable, all could be mounted on a pole out of the way.

You need a suitable size cabinet for whatever equipment you plan to use and to house a battery, either a large truck battery or a liesure battery (used on motorhomes) should be suitable. If the equipment is not 12v then you can use a 12v to 240v invertor, small ones are pretty cheap from Maplins (my drivers use them in the trucks), better quality is available elsewhere. Hook up a suitable solar charging array on a pole (again pretty cheap). Yes it will add up to a fair bit, but it could be done cheaply just to see if it works. You need to verify power draw, and the abilty of the solar charging, and capacity of the battery but it should be do-able.

The other option is to have the telephone point in the corner of your land and use much thicker suitable cable to make a long data extension.

If you're digging up the existing telephone line I'll be willing to bet that BT will want you to pay to move it/replace it.

It may also be worth talking to some local telephone engineers, ask if there are any spare lines, if you ordered a new line for your barn BT may need to run a new one in for instance, just a thought.

Whilst I sympathize with you entirly, having to battle with BT myself a few years ago I think you are facing a big battle to get them to replace the line. My brother had a problem with his broadband, due to a shortage of lines - the engineer said all the spare lines in his road were shot, but BT would not replace them, this was in the middle of a built up area, in the end they managed to find one that worked, but took 3 months with no broadband.

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