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Standard User fitzy89
(newbie) Wed 21-Nov-12 01:04:43
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Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[link to this post]
 
I'm an IT tech, today I Was called out to a customer with "broadband issues", that wasn't the half of it...

She lives in a listed building which was probably built in the 50s if not before, it's old to put it that way. All the wiring of every type in the house is old, degraded and in a pretty dangerous condition, bits have been patched up or added to over the years, but in general most wiring in the house needs to be replaced.

She has recently signed up for BT Total Broadband, around a month ago, and has been unable to get it going. So I went out and had a look, connections were all fine (even the filters in the correct places on extensions, I don't see that often!). She advised me that the main socket (or so she thought) was in her kitchen. So I took the faceplate off and had a look at the wiring, it was very old, the type where the wires are individual colours like red/yellow/black etc, not the more modern striped ones. As I had never looked at phone wiring this old before, I gave it my best shot looking at pictures from google images to try and get it right. I managed to solve the crackling on the phone line so there's one positive thing to come out of it all.

The router seems to not pick up any ADSL signal on the line, at all. I believe the socket is wired incorrectly as there is 50 volts from the phone line coming into the RJ11 cable into the router which I assume should not be happening (it doesn't put line voltage through the router at my house anyway), and I also believe that the socket she thinks is the main one, is not the actual main socket. The one in the kitchen has (had) 4 cables coming out of it, one was the feed coming in, one goes to an extension in the living room, one to an outbuilding (which was cut and hanging in the rain) and I am unsure of where the 4th one went, I couldn't trace it anyway. The socket in her bedroom had 5 cables coming out of it, I assume, that one is the main feed into the house, one to another outbuilding, one to the kitchen socket, and again there were two that I had no idea where they went to.

These phone wires I assume are as they were when they were installed all those years ago. The sockets are the very old type, similar to this. Are BT obliged to sort out this mess as she pays the line rental to them? What exactly does the line rental cover? She has tried numerous times to contact their helpdesk but all she gets are the usual canned responses and "we've done a line test, there are no problems with your line" but there obviously are. At the moment she is paying for a broadband service that she is unable to use, at all. I've read that BT are responsible for the line coming into the house but not the extensions, if her broadband service is not able to be used at all, would she be entitled to a free repair to get it up and running or would they still expect her to pay for them to come out and sort out the line when they say there's "nothing wrong with it"?
Standard User camieabz
(sensei) Wed 21-Nov-12 01:22:18
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
Basically if the fault is on the owner's side of the wiring, the owner will pay for an engineer. If it's behind the master plate, BT will pay...if there's a fault.

Have you tried plugging in to the inner plug of the master socket with the router for a signal? Double checked the cable / router are fine etc?

~ Camieabz ~

All Connection Data ~ Some plusnet links

mod'er·a'tion n.
Synonyms: temperance, restraint, modesty.
Standard User ukhardy07
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 21-Nov-12 04:24:20
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
BT are quite bad when it comes to charging customers. They generally charge whenever they can.

Hmm... It's a kind of grey area. BT have a duty to upgrade old wiring and to install a NTE5 master socket. This is to enable the user to fit their own extensions etc. BT should do this for free.

Whether this will resolve things who knows. I would certainly call them out. I would first try the homehub in absolutely every phone socket though.

You mention an extension which went to an outbuilding but the cable has now been cut. This could cause all sorts of issues. If water is in the line it would cause loads of interference, perhaps enough to stop broadband working.
If this was the cause you would get a bill. Is it possible to disconnect this line fully?

I wouldn't admit to tampering with any cabling. You possibly made things worse & any tampering on your end = instantly chargeable. Especially on the master socket.

Do you know for sure that the socket suggested is the master? If so you could attempt some DIY.
Do you see the cable physically run down the wall outside into this socket?

Is it possible that in the loft there is some star wiring. E.g cable goes into the loft, is split into say 6 cables and then one of these goes to the master & 5 others go to the extensions?

Can you take photo's of behind each socket?

It's very strange that there's a dial tone but absolutely no broadband.
Go here http://www.samknows.com/broadband/broadband_checker
Type in their postcode and click locality. How far does it say you are?

Also visit
http://www.productsandservices.bt.com/consumerProduc...
Click check your speed - what's it reporting back?

Edited by ukhardy07 (Wed 21-Nov-12 04:25:40)


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Standard User Bob_s2
(committed) Wed 21-Nov-12 08:42:31
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
BT are only really responsible for the voice line unless BT actually came out to set up the Broadband

The line rental just cover the rental of the line for voice and nothing else any internal wiring unless installed by BT is the customers responsibility

The post is unclear as to who she contacted. She needs to contact BT Broadband who should be able to carry out some remote testing. If that does not find it then BT will probably have to come out and will probably charge as it seems to be a fault at the premesis.. THe extention cable mess may be causing the problem.. The best bet is to isolate all the extension woiring from the master socket. Does it have a modern plug in socket? If not BT should change it. You then need to plug the router into the master socket and see if it works from there.
Standard User chris6273
(committed) Wed 21-Nov-12 09:08:00
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: camieabz] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by camieabz:
Basically if the fault is on the owner's side of the wiring, the owner will pay for an engineer. If it's behind the master plate, BT will pay...if there's a fault.

Have you tried plugging in to the inner plug of the master socket with the router for a signal? Double checked the cable / router are fine etc?


Obviously depends if there is a Master Socket (NTE). With no Master Socket, the only side of the wiring is BT's all the way.

BT are obliged to update the wiring to include an NTE Master Socket I believe, to enable customers to debug their side of the wiring.

At the moment if there isn't an NTE Master Socket then the customer doesn't have any legal right to debug any of the wiring behind any of the sockets as it all belongs to BT, so practically they can't plug their router directly into the "Test Socket" for their current ISP.

E.g. It's like using a rented fountain pen and being unable to check whether there is any ink in it if it's not working as you are not allowed to take it apart to find out. In this scenario Openreach will install a transparent casing so you can check yourself.

If you speak to her ISP they should get Openreach to come out, they should fault the circuit and install a Master Socket. Best to make sure there certainly isn't one installed at the moment though.

I had a similar scenario with there not being an NTE Master Socket but had one Installed by an Engineer due to them faulting my circuit.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
My Broadband Speed Test

Downstream Upstream
Connection Speed: 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
Line Attenuation: 16.0 db 6.4 db
Noise Margin: 1.1 db 6.2 db

Telewest (2004-2006): 256Kbps -> 512Kbps
BT (2006 - Present): 8128/448Kbps on 20CN Alcatel DSLAM -> 24276/1211Kbps on 21CN Huawei MSAN
Standard User fitzy89
(newbie) Wed 21-Nov-12 09:17:52
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: Bob_s2] [link to this post]
 
Hi all, thanks for your replies.

The socket is not an NTE5, it's a much older type with just the faceplate and that's it, no test socket on it at all so I am unable to try plugging the router in this way. I have tried the router in every phone socket in the house but it doesn't get a connection (homehub getting a steadily flashing orange 'broadband' LED). I am unsure which socket is the master, if I knew I would disconnect all the extensions from it but at this stage I think there may be more sockets around the house that the owner is not aware of, I couldn't see any more myself but all those cables must go somewhere...

I have disconnected the cable that was cut off outside so this one should not be a problem any more.

She has tried calling BT Broadband for help but they just do a line test their end and say everything is fine and she is unable to get past the call center idiots at first line support. Does anyone have a contact inside BT that she could speak to that is more helpful?

I will have another look in a couple of days when I see her again and see if I can at least determine which socket is the master, it's not immediately obvious as all the sockets are roughly in the middle of the house and the cabling is built into the walls which makes it a nightmare to trace which one goes where. I'll see what I can pick up from individual wires on my meter next time.

Broadband is known to be extremely slow in the area (Bordon, Hampshire), speeds of 512k are fairly common in the area, I think her problem is definitely a cabling issue rather than distance from the exchange, her neighbours both sides of her house can get theirs working fine without problems.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 21-Nov-12 09:25:55
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
The line entering the modem is a raw phone line over two pairs so will have any DC and AC components on it. Should be no need for a meter, as you know you have the correct two wires when a telephone works.

Multiple sockets if wiring in a star config and one line dangling cut could create all manner of problems.

The solution if BT attend would involve fitting a NTE5 to the incoming line, and then charge for reconnecting the various extensions. What you can do is disconnect the extensions and leave just one socket the one hanging off the incoming wiring.

Old copper carries ADSL just as well as brand new, copper is a very stable metal hence its use for wiring.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User chris6273
(committed) Wed 21-Nov-12 09:59:57
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by fitzy89:
Does anyone have a contact inside BT that she could speak to that is more helpful?


I don't but you could try posting on the BT Community Forums for help with the socket issue - There are a dedicated team of Mods on there who I've had the pleasure of dealing with on several occasions and they have helped me on each and every one of them. Also the community should be able to help you or your customer with what you need to do to get the connection going.

What I suspect is happening is because the lines in the area must be long, the slightest bad joint may be causing the line to be too unstable for the connection/handshake to take place (Hense the flashing Orange LED) so the sync isn't being successful.

Out of interest is the line noisy at all now?

-------------------------------------------------------------------
My Broadband Speed Test

Downstream Upstream
Connection Speed: 24276 kbps 1211 kbps
Line Attenuation: 16.0 db 6.4 db
Noise Margin: 1.1 db 6.2 db

Telewest (2004-2006): 256Kbps -> 512Kbps
BT (2006 - Present): 8128/448Kbps on 20CN Alcatel DSLAM -> 24276/1211Kbps on 21CN Huawei MSAN
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Wed 21-Nov-12 11:05:43
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
How were the 4 cables in one socket and 5 in another connected? If they were into the IDC then that is one massive problem.

The master should only have one set terminated in the IDC of an LJ2/1A and any extensions plugged into the socket through an adapter - with a plug, socket and trailing wire for the next extension.

Any other IDC should have no more than 2 terminations - connections will become intermittent.

Take ALL extension wires out of the master and then try plugging in at that point.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User ccxo
(experienced) Wed 21-Nov-12 17:20:33
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Re: Are BT obliged to repair/replace outdated phone lines?


[re: fitzy89] [link to this post]
 
Hi Fitzy89 is your client on the Bordon exchange?

As that exchange has been enabled for FTTC- if you use the below checker

https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html

If you client can get FTTC, it could be worth upgrading the BT package to a infinity option (BT retail name for their FTTC packages), a engineer is required to come out to install the modem etc- would sort out the wiring at the same time.

My Broadband Speed Test
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