[Wolves] Does your internet connection slow down during peak?

Adam Sweet adam at adamsweet.org
Mon Jun 14 10:30:02 UTC 2010

On 09/06/10 10:23, Andy Jewell wrote:
On Behalf Of Claire [lug at sitesearcher.co.uk]
> Also ask them for a fault reference and make sure it gets reported under
> the same reference each time or they just create it as another fault and
> it won't be as high up the todo list for them as it would if its
> something they have already been to. You can whinge on their message
> board too and, if you are blatent enough, find others on the same UBR
> and have them claiming £20 too :)

> My worry is tha if our exchange is as crappy as they say it is, we might have a hard time getting a reliable connection, whatever I do, whomever I go with.

I've been on this support merry-go-round with an ADSL ISP myself.

I'm with Freedom2Surf and have been more or less for 7 or 8 years. They
did report a few have wobbles in mid 2006 during the change to ADSL Max
but they weren't lengthy. I've not noticed any slowdown in the evening
for the record, not in the last few years at least.

The problem with ADSL is that everybody is using the PSTN, no matter
what provider you're on. Even if you're on LLU you're using BT's copper
wire to the master socket (correct me if I'm wrong...). At the Exchange
LLUs use their own equipment, every other company is using the rest of
BT network and that's where your problems start.

The PSTN as we can all imagine is old, crusty, full of barnacles and
absolutely was not built for carrying binary data. If you get a good
connection, then you're golden. If you get a bad one, then may your
deity help you. Ultimately, your ISP can only run line tests and ask BT
to investigate. I went backwards and forwards between my ISP and BT on
and off for 2 years. Since ADSL Max is rate adaptive (the signal syncs
at the highest stable speed), my connection would drop down to 160Kb/s,
which is the slowest ADSL sync profile and obviously indicates a problem.

I did all the 'phone us when there's a problem', 'try a different
router/microfilter/modem cable', 'remove all extension cables' and 'send
us a loads of BT Speedtest reports from different times of the day'.
They filed fault reports, BT cleared the faults, nothing really
improved. The primary issue appeared to be the line quality, even for
voice calls, there were intermittent buzzes and crackles on the line and
at times, they were so bad you couldn't hear people at the other end,
but of course, I tried to call BT when the line was really bad but I'd
sit in a call queue and the line would gradually clear by the time I got
to speak to somebody.

My previous employer paid for the installation of a BT business line and
that worked perfectly (I even had the guy replace the wiring for the
residential line to the pole since the new cable for the business line
carried 2 sets of wires), when I left I had to revert to my old
residential line and of course the problems returned, which quite
specifically point to problems between the pole and the exchange.

I went back to BT and their question was "Can you make telephone calls",
  when I said yes, that was more or less the end of the conversation.

Ultimately, I got really pissed off, my ISP couldn't do anything but
refer my problems to BT, I went to BT directly and they sent an engineer
(at the risk of paying £170 if it turned out to be my fault) who
couldn't see any problems, but switched the 2 lines over at the exchange
and my connection worked perfectly again, though of course it wasn't
recorded in any official way.

Unfortunately, at some point they did maintenance at the exchange and
noticed my line in the wrong port and put it back, so it stopped working

At this point I asked BT to formally move my telephone line from the
residential line to what was the business line's wiring. Unfortunately
for me, it seems that when a business contract is ended, they remove the
equipment from the exchange so it would cost £125 to do the line move
even though the wiring existed at my end, while it would cost £99 to
open a new business line on a 2 year contract. I plumped for a new
business line on the given that it meant that BT offer better SLAs on
business lines.

What I'm saying is that if you have a line quality problems that affect
your ADSL signal, BT probably won't do anything about it beyond do line
tests and fix any problems they find, but if the problem lies in the
wiring between the outside of your house and outside of the exchange,
they're probably not going to tear up the street to fix your problem if
you can make phone calls.

I solved my problem by paying for a whole new telephone line as I'm not
in a cable area. If you replace all of your equipment (borrow a DSL
modem if you don't have a spare) and remove all internal wiring, just
leave your phone and DSL modem connected by short cables to a
microfilter in the master socket, leave it for about 2 weeks (to allow
for line stabilisation, especially if you're on 'interleaved mode'), if
things don't improve, ask your ISP to run line tests and then try to get
an engineer to your house if things don't improve.

Failing all of that, you might have to consider an entirely separate new
telephone line. Fortunately for me, somebody else paid the first time
round, so I knew it worked.

Oh and check whether your phone line has a bell wire connected, they're
redundant these days and basically act as a line noise amplifier.

How far from the exchange are you and what's your expected line speed?

(Sorry, I originally sent this from my work address which isn't 
subscribed by mistake, so I had to 'edit the sent mail as new'. 
Apologies if I bollocks up the threading).


Adam Sweet



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