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Standard User timpent
(regular) Mon 28-Apr-14 18:58:25
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Ongoing disconnection problems


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Hi all

We've been experiencing disconnection problems with our EE broadband on and off for a couple of years now, and have had three of four visits by openreach engineers, most recently today, but previously in January. On that occasion he found a fault in the line somewhere and things improved, but I'm convinced more than ever that the problem is related to heavy rainfall (we've had some very heavy showers in the last week or so). ie. if we get a very heavy shower you pretty much know we'll get disconnected. On a couple of occasions our phone handsets have actually said "check phone line"!

Anyway, the engineer came round this morning and checked the line and typically he couldn't find any errors, however he did request EE change the noise margin from 3db to 6db. He didn't have an answer for the actual phone line going down - I guess if the test kit says the line's ok then it's ok as far as he's concerned!

But he did say that the connection would drop once after he left, which it duly did, then another time, and another time.

When we had the EE callback after the visit the agent explained (yet again) that we are in the stabilisation period and that we would experience occasion dropouts as the DLM does its stuff.

Any at 1611 this afternoon during a particularly heavy shower we were disconnected for 18 minutes, and during this time I phoned EE to ask whether this was normal. Of course they said "yes it is", but I really struggle to understand how an 18 minute disconnect is normal. One minute yes, two minutes maybe, but 18 mins? Can anyone who knows about this confirm this?

In the end I got so angry with the agent who repeatedly talked over me and raised her voice at me that I asked to speak to her supervisor He actually listened to me but basically said the same thing - it's normal to have disconnects of any duration during the stabilisation phase.

I have to say this "stabilisation phase" is a great excuse for them - any problems over the next 10 days can just be answered by "it's in the stabilisation phase, please be patient"...

Thoughts on a postcard please smile

Thanks

Tim

Edit - I should add that since the long disconnect this afternoon it's been fine. But it's also been dry.

Status
Configured Current
Line Status --- SHOWTIME
Link Type --- Fast Path
Operation Mode Automatic G992.5(ADSL2+)
Data Rate Information
Stream Type Actual Data Rate
Upstream 1275 (Kbps.)
Downstream 18935 (Kbps.)
Defect/Failure Indication
Operation Data Upstream Downstream
Noise Margin 5.6 dB 5.9 dB
Line Attenuation 10.8 dB 18.5 dB

Edited by timpent (Mon 28-Apr-14 19:03:12)

Standard User AndrewW
(member) Mon 28-Apr-14 20:47:25
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
Are the issues only after rain?

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Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 28-Apr-14 21:44:41
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
Those router stats - need the full page incl. the error counts further down AND the Time Connected from the Status page taken at same time.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC


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Standard User timpent
(regular) Mon 28-Apr-14 21:52:18
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: XRaySpeX] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by XRaySpeX:
Those router stats - need the full page incl. the error counts further down AND the Time Connected from the Status page taken at same time.

Time connected: 05:18:58
Indicator Name Near End Indicator Far End Indicator
Output Power 12.6 dBm 0.0 dBm
Fast Path FEC Correction 0 0
Interleaved Path FEC Correction NA NA
Fast Path CRC Error 72759 38
Interleaved Path CRC Error NA NA
Loss of Signal Defect 20 0
Fast Path HEC Error STR 312906 20
Interleaved Path HEC Error NA NA
Error Seconds 2314 115

I'm not sure how useful the error seconds figures are going to be because I'm pretty sure they only get reset when the BrightBox is restarted, which was probably a 2-3 days ago...

Would it be normal for a stabilisation disconnect to last 18 minutes?

Thanks

Tim
Standard User timpent
(regular) Mon 28-Apr-14 21:59:00
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: AndrewW] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by AndrewW:
Are the issues only after rain?

It's difficult to be 100% sure, but in the week running up to Easter when we had some lovely weather i don't recall any particular issues, but since the middle of last week we've had lots of problems and they do seem to coincide with heavy rainfall. Yesterday was a pretty dismal day in Bath and it must have disconnected half a dozen times, and today it disconnected about 4-5 times culminating in the 18 minute disconnect during a very heavy shower. Since then it hasn't rained and it's been fine. But is in the dreaded stabilisation phase!

On both occasions when we noticed the phone handsets saying "Check phone line" it was raining heavily.

Thanks

Tim
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 28-Apr-14 22:06:45
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by timpent:
I'm not sure how useful the error seconds figures are going to be because I'm pretty sure they only get reset when the BrightBox is restarted
No, they get reset whenever you have a resync, the last of which was 5h19m ago. That's why I ask for Time Connected.

You do have a high ES and you have had 20 resyncs in the last 2-3 days.

No, any disconnects normally take 1-2 mins.

I fear you are right; water is affecting your line. None of this is usual.

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC
Standard User eckiedoo
(committed) Tue 29-Apr-14 07:22:27
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
You should try the Quiet Line Test a few times whilst your line is working, so that you are prepared to re-test when you have the problem (seems almost appropriate for Bath).

It is likely you will not even get the Dialling Tone, during those interruptions.

Report it as a VOICE PHONE failure to your Voice PHONE Provider, avoiding mentioning Broadband, even if also from EE.

In turn, your Voice PHONE Provider should report it to probably Open Reach (BT), who are legally responsible for and own most phone lines in the country.

Interesting that your handsets gave the warning - "Check phone line".

As they are not directly involved in Broadband, they must have detected a basic VOICE PHONE line problem.

Take a good look around your house, garden etc, to see if you can spot anything untoward, eg a broken gutter letting water enter a phone junction box, phone wire coming through trees etc.

Edited by eckiedoo (Tue 29-Apr-14 07:29:09)

Standard User AndrewW
(member) Tue 29-Apr-14 13:25:10
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
There is known issue, where there is a problem with the cables either underground on on the posts where theye are not water tight, and water gets in causing issues.
Then when the connections dry out every thing is ok again.

when you say "On both occasions when we noticed the phone handsets saying "Check phone line" it was raining heavily" was this for voice?

Also do you ever hear crackling on the line when its raining?

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Standard User timpent
(regular) Tue 29-Apr-14 20:10:33
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions in particular about reporting a Voice line failure, and doing the quiet line test.

I've checked the line where it exits the front of the house and it looks like it's a continuous line from where it comes through the wall, up the wall to the bracket, then over the road to the pole.

We're not heavy phone users so I can't really say that we've noticed noise on the line, but I'll check more often, and particularly when it's raining.

The BB connection has now been connected for 1 day 3 hours and there has been no heavy rain.

Will continue to monitor.

Thanks again

Tim

Edited by timpent (Tue 29-Apr-14 20:12:36)

Standard User adp56_uk
(newbie) Tue 29-Apr-14 21:38:43
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Re: Ongoing disconnection problems


[re: timpent] [link to this post]
 
Hi Tim,

We have had very similar problems since moving-in last September.

Initially I was with PlusNet, but most of the time they weren't very helpful, asking me to repeat various tests multiple times and as their own line tests usually passed, they were very reluctant to engage with BTOR.

They couldn't seem to get to grips with the concept of an intermittent fault.

A couple of the guys there were very helpful and supportive and they did arrange a couple of BTOR visits - to no avail.

In the end I decided to switch provider and moved to Andrews & Arnold, who I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone considering a change.

In the last 5 months they've had BTOR out about 12 times. Generally the line is now much better and BTOR have officially admitted that there is a problem with water ingress somewhere on the line. They have also committed to testing the whole line when we can arrange a visit during persistent wet weather.

We live in a very rural area and our predicted line speed was around 1Mbps, though initially our line speed varied between around 0.9Mbps and down to 0.15Mbps during bad weather.

After Andrews & Arnold's persistent badgering of BTOR we now get line speeds close to 2Mbps most of the time. The line does still drop briefly during heavy rain, and the speed also drops significantly for a while, but then recovers itself when the weather improves.

The interesting thing in all this is that we live in a very rural area and our line length to the exchange is approximately 7.6km through dozens of trees and a couple of underground spans. During good weather we get a consistent (almost) 2Mbps which most BTOR engineers have said is impossible for our line length.

It just goes to show that if BT were made to spend some of their huge profits properly maintaining the infrastructure that they monopolise we would all get a much better broadband and phone experience.

Good luck with EE.

Andrew
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