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Standard User brezy321
(newbie) Fri 05-Feb-21 15:37:12
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New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[link to this post]
 
Hi All

Hope everyone is safe and well during these difficult times.

First up, I think I may have messed about with my connection when I wasn't supposed to, so please, if I have, please don't hold back!

I recently moved from Virgin to FTTC (price reasons) and after Openreach came to reconnect my line - I noticed my speeds were really, really slow.

I started to do some research and I discovered that I should check the test socket in my master BT socket to see if this improves the speed - I did this, and to my surprise it did. My line (when I bought the broadband) was capable of max 63MB. However, I am now getting 68MB as the sync speed. I would say it took about 3 days to go from a slow speed to the faster speed. At the height of my speed, I was getting 69.4MB as the sync!

I left the line alone for a few days but decided that the master socket exposed with the dangly filter wasn't all that nice to look at - so I bought online a filter faceplate. This unfortunately brought the speed down a bit, not much but a bit, so I left it for 4 days as it was and the speed didn't increase.

I have then removed this new faceplate and gone back to the original set up with the router connected into the master socket and I am getting the 68MB sync speed. I have no telephone extensions and this is my only socket.

Interestingly, if I was to switch ISP - I have seen that others now report the max is 68MB. When I bought the broadband I was told max 63MB. Although, a BT Wholesale broadband checker says I could get 73MB. I live right by the cabinet and I'm less than 1 mile from the exchange.

I read afterwards that I wasn't supposed to unplug the router and plug it in again during the first ten days. Although I only unplugged the phone line cable, I didn't switch off the router when I first fiddled with it the first two times. The 3rd time when I removed the filtered faceplate and went back to the master socket I switched off the router and it was off a few minutes.

Is there anything I can do to increase the speed to about 73MB? I believe there is something BT use called DLM which manages the speed - I can't see any reason why the speed couldn't go up to 73MB. But please let me know.

This is the stats from my router:

Uptime: 1 day, 3 hours, 22 minutes

Downstream Upstream
Current Rate 68938 kbps 20000 kbps
Maximum Rate 69371 kbps 24849 kbps
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 6.3 dB 9.2 dB
CRC Errors in last 1642 minute(s) 109 71
K (number of bytes in DMT frame) 0 0
R (number of bytes in RS code word) 0 16
S (RS code word size in DMT frame) 0.1108 0.3771
D (interleaver depth) 1 1
Delay 0 ms 0 ms

Downstream Upstream
Super Frames 53681044 16085784
Super Frame Errors 109 71
RS Words 0 1045059257
RS Correctable Errors 0 118
RS Uncorrectable Errors 0 0

Downstream Upstream
HEC Errors 132 0
OCD Errors 0 0
LCD Errors 0 0
Total Cells 176934849 0
Data Cells 338587315 0
Bit Errors 0 0

Downstream Upstream
Total ES 92 52
Total SES 0 0
Total UAS 30 248419

I would really appreciate any help and guidance if I have got it totally wrong here.

Thank you everyone.
Standard User MHC
(sensei) Fri 05-Feb-21 16:13:13
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
There is one thing you can do: WAIT

There is obviously noise or crosstalk in the downstream bands as the upstream max achievable suggests you are probably under 200m from the cabinet. The 25 Up Max would often have a Down Max of 80-90.

Assuming the line is stable you will after a week or two see the SNR drop from 6, to 5 to 4 to 3 and the Max Achievable and Sync both increase with each step. You could get an additional 8 -10Mbps when that happens. Just leave it alone and WAIT


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

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 05-Feb-21 16:13:37
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
The first 10 days is not as relevant as ISPs make out. There is nothing special that happens in the first 10 days that doesn't happen all the time after the 10 days. ISPs generally give the 10 days as lines tend to stabilise during that time and so they don't want faults logged when it might just increase speed or stability anyway as the systems get to work.

But, after the 10 days the same things still happen. The line will continue to adjust according to changes in conditions. So, by doing it you haven't broken anything. The main rule is don't keep unplugging or rebooting the router loads of times close together as the systems will think it is a fault and slow the line down to stabilise it.

As far as getting the extra speed - you say you are right next to the cabinet but if you were you should be getting much closer to the 80Mbps download than you are. Your connection speed suggests your line to the cabinet may be going in a roundabout route or possibly if you really are close then it may be there is some sort of issue with the line which may or may not be fixable (chances are an ISP wouldn't look at it because you are within the predicted speed range).

You've already use the test socket and that gets it about as good as it can be within your control - the only other possibility is a different router might get better connection but we would have to know what router you have and even then it may not make a difference.


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Standard User brezy321
(newbie) Fri 05-Feb-21 16:21:41
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Thanks both for your replies. Thats good to know the 10 day period is not set-in-stone. I was concerned this was a fixed 10 day period and I had blown it in my stupidity. I will certainly leave the line alone and not touch it anymore! Will leave it plugged in the test socket.

I have checked and the cabinet is no more than 20m away from me. It is literally on the next pavement right outside my front room.

BUT the line goes all the way around my apartment and into a round black box (BT junction box?) - and from there I am not sure where it goes. I presume underground as I can't see the line and there are no poles etc running to the cabinet. The distance is not that far, if you laid out the line straight it wouldn't be that far away. Perhaps this is the problem?

I wouldn't be surprised though if there is a problem with the line as I don't think it was used for years. Certainly I've been with Virgin for years and I suspect the previous occupants were on NTL for many years!

EDIT: Router I have is the standard issue Vodafone THG3000

Edited by brezy321 (Fri 05-Feb-21 16:25:16)

Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 05-Feb-21 16:38:12
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
Have you got a phone plugged in to the line? Firstly I assume the phone if plugged in is filtered. Secondly if you pick up the phone and follow the instructions to do a quiet line test do you hear any noise on it? I suspect you won't but worth checking as audible noise on a line is never good.
Standard User brezy321
(newbie) Fri 05-Feb-21 16:40:35
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
I have no phone plugged into the phone part of the microfilter - I have a cordless phone I could try. I will do this and see if I hear any noise.
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 05-Feb-21 16:44:21
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
Cordless might possibly add it's own noise but at least if there is no noise you know that isn't an issue. If there is noise then it is working out if it is noise on the cordless connection or on the phone line.
Standard User hoopla
(committed) Fri 05-Feb-21 20:11:01
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by brezy321:
I have no phone plugged into the phone part of the microfilter - I have a cordless phone I could try. I will do this and see if I hear any noise.
Do you have any other phones plugged in elsewhere? If you want the best speeds, don't have any extension sockets connected.
Removing the master socket faceplate should disconnect then.
If it doesn't, there is a wiring issue.
If it does, see if the speeds improve without the extensions connected.
Standard User brezy321
(newbie) Fri 05-Feb-21 22:11:05
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Tried the quiet line test with my cordless phone - I can report that there was no noise on the line. It was quiet with no sounds playing.

Also to confirm I have no other sockets in my home. Just the one BT Openreach branded socket which is my master.
Standard User andynormancx
(committed) Sun 07-Feb-21 14:47:23
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
Another thing to know is that speeds can and do vary from day to day (though not for every FTTC line out there).

Your roughly 10% variation can easily happen on a FTTC line over a few days. It is entirely possible that the speed changes had nothing to do with the changes you made and are just down to general changes in line condition and external noise sources.
Standard User brezy321
(newbie) Sun 07-Feb-21 20:59:14
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: andynormancx] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for all your replies.

Just a thought, but would switching to a better ISP be at all a benefit to my speed? If Voda can't get beyond the current sync, would switching to say TalkTalk or another supplier be any different?

In fairness I didn't review this when I bought the Vodafone broadband, but they are the most complained about ISP on the market. Wondering if perhaps I should use the 14 day cooling off period which ends ASAP and ditch them. Would it be any better on another provider?

Thanks.
Standard User Vista2003
(newbie) Sun 07-Feb-21 21:15:21
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
Zen has a really good write up of how the DLM works and you can read up on it here:
https://support.zen.co.uk/kb/KnowledgebaseArticle.as...

For VDSL based connections, your target SNR margin is 6db for most providers, if it's close to 6db there isn't much you can do to increase speed without changing some equipment.

Regarding what you can change, I've found a minor speed bump by going with a twisted pair DSL cable instead of the thin/flat DSL cable that comes with your router. I'm currently using the Tandy (yes they're still in business) DSL cable and that has given me a minor 3mbps boost (though results may vary), remember that shorter is better with these cables.

If your ISP doesn't make a fuss over third party routers, consider swapping the ISP-provided router for either an old Openreach HG612 modem or an Openreach certified modem. The HG612 is quite cheap to obtain and in my experience is rock solid stable and also can be unlocked very easily which will also give you more in detail stats on your DSL connection.

The BT wholesale checker information is only meant to give an approximation of the line's performance and in many cases, you'll get speeds that are slower than what it says. The speed range quote that you get when signing up to broadband is fairly accurate.
Standard User Vista2003
(newbie) Sun 07-Feb-21 21:23:39
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: brezy321] [link to this post]
 
When I switched from BT and Zen a few weeks ago, the connection for me did get resynced with a higher speed that wasn't capped by BT (since I had previous issues on the line and the IP profile had become stuck) so in some cases, yes it can help though I wouldn't count on it.

In terms of recommendations for an ISP, Zen though a tad more expensive than their competition has been really good compared to BT in terms of their service and customer support.
Standard User brezy321
(newbie) Mon 08-Feb-21 16:40:22
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Re: New to FTTC - have I got it totally wrong?


[re: Vista2003] [link to this post]
 
Very interesting article from Zen about DLM! Learnt quite a bit with that.

So far no improvement with the speeds, they have remained the same as per my original post. I will order a better cable - twisted shielded variety to see if that makes a small improvement.

I have reached out to the ISP as well but I am not holding much hope as for them the line performs to the speed they offered. But it is a shame living so close to the cabinet and with the max upstream speed I can't get a better download speed.

I had a look at the other ISPs but they are all quite a bit more expensive so I think I will stay put for now. Hoping over this week perhaps the speed might improve if the line is stable.

Latest stats:

Line Quality
Downstream Upstream
Current Rate 68938 kbps 20000 kbps
Maximum Rate 69264 kbps 24894 kbps
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 6.2 dB 9.2 dB
Attenuation DS1 9.7 dB, DS2 23.9 dB, DS3 37.3 dB US0 6.0 dB, US1 21.3 dB, US2 32.0 dB
Power 13.3 dBm 6.6 dBm
CRC Errors in last 6028 minute(s) 395 76
K (number of bytes in DMT frame) 0 0
R (number of bytes in RS code word) 0 16
S (RS code word size in DMT frame) 0.1108 0.3771
D (interleaver depth) 1 1
Delay 0 ms 0 ms
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