Hi, Please excuse the length of this post but I hope its worth a read.....
I am at my wits end on an issue I am having with my broadband provider and its knock on effect with my VOIP service that I rely on for my home business.
I have a broadband contract with EE and they have supplied me a BrightBox router. I have been told by voipfone that the BrightBox router does not work properly with Voip due to its poor implementation of SIPALG and no option to disable it. I was advised to use another router. I currently use a netgear DG834GT with a DG934 as a backup device. All is well with both the broadband (and the VOIP) when it gets a connection to the exchange. A major problem problem arises that if I turn off the router (I have tried all 3 including the brightbox) and turn it back on. It refuses to connect back up to the exchange equipment. Both of these netgear routers have been faultless for many years (at other properties and at this property when I was with Sky BB and I am not convinced it is a router issue at all but then comes the difficult part.
Each time I have the problem, EE make me use the BrightBox for testing and then sometimes they can get it working by doing a remote reset of the exchange equipment and sometimes they have to send an openreach engineer out. I have now had two openreach engineers on two separate occasions and 3 remote resets. The Openreach engineers have each time “made some changes at the exchange” and all appears well once when they have made their tests and “resets” and changes in the exchange. One of them also said that he had to replace a cable between the line and the BRAS/DSLAM?? Problem is that I then leave the router plugged in for 10 days (told I have to let the line re-train by EE) and then the cycle begins again as soon as the router loses power (or I switch it off for any reason. Each time the BT engineer is here I explain that I am using the DG834GT and he says “no problem” and “that is fine” so each time I get a working scenario with the router I need for the VOIP – I am careful to make sure it gets working with my own router on each visit. Each time, 10 days later, the router gets a power cycle (to make sure it can reconnect as any normal broadband connection should) and it fails. The cycle and merry dance of charades about routers begins again with EE. They have now got to the point where they are telling me I must use their router.
I am left with 2 choices:
1. Ditch VOIP - not what I want to do at all.
2. Move to another BB provider – problem here is that they mostly all use the BT equipment in my exchange so I am not sure this will help. The only exception to this is Sky. I believe they have their own equipment in our exchange and this was the provider I used prior to switching to EE. I don’t want to really go back to Sky though.
I’m a bit desperate. I need to remove the using of my own router/modem as a possible cause but if I do then I lose my VOIP as I can only use the BrightBox. Like I said I have tried to use two different routers, both of which were rock solid for years so I am certain that it is not the equipment at my end but my God, you try talking to an EE level 1 and level 2 support person each time it happens – it takes many days to get to the point of them booking an openreach engineer as well as hours of mind numbing “put your router in the test socket, reset your password, reset the router” and all the usual level 1 stuff. This is not to mention the 3-6 working days lead time each time for an openreach engineer visit.
Yesterday EE reset the line remotely and the BB came back (with the netgear router plugged in). I left it for an hour and then turned off the router for 1 minute and back on again. The router would then not connect. On the routers I get repeated “LCP is allowed to come up” on the netgears and “LCP send confreq” or something similar on the BrightBox. This is telling me that the other end (exchange) is not replying at all to anything my router sends out and the exchange equipment is not trying to communicate with my equipment (i.e. the act of turning my router off and back on has killed the remote equipment again)
EE don’t understand the concept of VOIP at all so I am taking in vein with them about why I must use my own router. I suspect the next stage will be that they will send me a replacement BrightBox which will not help my VOIP incompatibility issue.
I have the option of forwarding my VOIP to my landline for incoming calls and then using my landline for outgoing calls but this is not really the point of having the VOIP in the first place. It also means that I will have to pay for each incoming call as well as EE’s extortionate rates for each outgoing calls.
Can anyone help? Is there something specific I should be discussing with the openreach engineer on his next visit? It's a different engineer each time so far and each time they fix it and shut down the fault.
It's all so depressing