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    Intermittently noisy line?

    This is a discussion on Intermittently noisy line? within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; Hi, I've had Sky ADSL Max package for about 18 months now. After initial teething problems, it's been fairly rock ...

    1. #1
      UKCougar's Avatar
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      Intermittently noisy line?

      Hi,

      I've had Sky ADSL Max package for about 18 months now. After initial teething problems, it's been fairly rock solid for over a year.

      Internal configuration is as clean as can be; XTE-2005 faceplate onto the master socket, DG935 directly into the ADSL socket using the supplied cable, one phone in the phone side, no extensions or any nonsense.

      A few weeks ago, I started getting random dropouts, maybe a couple of times a day. When the problem occurs, Internet activity grinds to a halt (either no traffic at all or acoustic-coupler slow) but the connection doesn't actually drop completely.

      Checking the router when it happens, the WAN interface is up, all lights are green, but usually the SNR is showing the 2147483647 figure and at least once it's started showing shedloads of collisions. Sometimes it clears itself, sometimes I need to power-cycle the router to clear it.

      Typical stats when it was crashing:

      System Up Time: 09:19:15
      Port Status TxPkts RxPkts Collisions Tx B/s Rx B/s Up Time
      WAN PPPoA 153775 199212 0 690 4602 09:17:38
      LAN 100M/Full 23759 0 0 68 0 09:19:10
      WLAN 11M/54M 203351 180578 0 4696 751 09:18:58
      ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 12253 kbps 766 kbps
      Line Attenuation 34 db 18 db
      Noise Margin 2147483647 db 16 db

      (apologies for formatting, tabs don't translate well!)

      I've spoken to CST three times now. All were very helpful and seemed knowledgable, but I'm no nearer.

      First guy I spoke to after going through the "are you dense?" screening process from First Line Support was "Kevin," who said he'd run a line test and call me back. Unfortunately I was on the phone when he called back, so he helpfully closed the call instead.

      Second guy (after going through the First Line scripts again) was "Justin." Justin decided to increase the target SNR on the line, and keep the call open for 72 hours. This had the net effect of slowing my connection from ~12Mb to ~5Mb, but didn't actually solve the problem.

      I rang back, found the call had been closed, and would've happily swallowed my own spleen going through the "which socket are you plugged into / are you using an extension / have you smeared it in strawberry jam" spiel but for the fact that the First Line tech I spoke to was absolutely insane. I didn't catch her name but she was a mad Scottish woman and must be a legend in her centre. Anyway. Got through to "Imran" this time. Imran discussed it with me and noticed that I was on G.DMT rather than ADSL2+. "Bingo" we both agreed, he swapped it over and then at my request he also removed all the artificial crippling that had been imposed on the line.

      It seemed to be ok for a day and a half, but now it's just done it again tonight, twice.

      I'd ring them again, but the prospect of having to listen to their damned hold music for half an hour before being asked the same guff again because the ticket has inevitably been closed, before finally talking to someone else with no history of the problem, well, I'd rather stick pins in my eyes. I totally understand why they have to go through these checks, it probably traps 90% of the calls or more, but is it really necessary every time I call? Argh. So yeah, if I have to call them again then I'd rather have a better handle on what could possibly be going on.

      I should perhaps emphasise; it's been fine for over a year, and nothing's changed as far as I'm aware. Sky's reaction to my calls seems to be to want to slow down the line until it settles down, but surely that's a workaround rather than a fix? If it's fine for a year and then suddenly plays up, that's a fault, not a line quality issue?

      Stats now for comparison (fault not present currently)
      System Up Time: 01:29:30
      Port Status TxPkts RxPkts Collisions Tx B/s Rx B/s Up Time
      WAN PPPoA 75978 109613 0 1540 13280 01:28:33
      LAN 100M/Full 2080 0 0 42 0 01:29:25
      WLAN 11M/54M 113272 83562 0 13683 1681 01:29:13
      ADSL Link Downstream Upstream
      Connection Speed 12092 kbps 764 kbps
      Line Attenuation 34 db 18 db
      Noise Margin 10 db 17 db

      Any suggestions / thoughts would be appreciated.

      Cheers,
      --

      Cougar / Alan.


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    3. #2
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Try using a corded phone into the test socket and press one number, listen, you should only hear a faint humm, no pops or crackles.

      Also, try connected directly into the test socket, just incase the faceplate has developed a fault.

      If that doesn't cure it then chances are it is either a line fault or a fault at the exchange.

    4. #3
      UKCougar's Avatar
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Might be worth adding,

      My exchange was recently 21CN enabled. Far as I know, this shouldn't affect LLU connections, but figured it was worth mentioning for completeness.
      --

      Cougar / Alan.

    5. #4
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Hiya, thanks for the prompt reply.

      Quote Originally Posted by Smithy99
      Try using a corded phone into the test socket and press one number, listen, you should only hear a faint humm, no pops or crackles.
      The phone line sounds fine - already checked that. I'll double check next time the fault materialises though, I don't think I've actually done it at the time it's happening so that might be worth doing. If I can pin it down to a BT fault, that's a win.

      Quote Originally Posted by Smithy99
      Also, try connected directly into the test socket, just incase the faceplate has developed a fault.
      I wondered about that. I figured that a fault on the faceplate would manifest as it not working full stop rather than intermittent random weirdness, but going back to a regular uFilter can't hurt to try.

      Quote Originally Posted by Smithy99
      If that doesn't cure it then chances are it is either a line fault or a fault at the exchange.
      In which case, I'm buggered if I know how I'm going to prove that...!
      --

      Cougar / Alan.

    6. #5
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Oh Dear :S It sounds like your phone line goes through someone's microwave with those stats. A question to the other techies as im not 100% sure myself, but could this be a faulty router issue considering its worked for over a year and the router reports a very unreasonable value for the SNR.

      Also Id recommend using Sky's Online Support form to email the support team if you don't want to wait for forever to get through to someone useful. It took them 24 hours to reply to my ticket recently but at least you can easily list your problem in detail and everything that's been done so far. I don't think they close the ticket as eagerly either.

      https://mysky.sky.com/portal/site/skycom/kana

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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Hah (-:

      I'm reasonably sure that the silly number is a bug on the router, presumably because it drops nominally lower than zero and it can't deal with -ve numbers.

      That said, the last 20ft of copper to the house is almost certainly the weak link, but getting it swapped out is a whole other kettle of whelks.
      --

      Cougar / Alan.

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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Hi, I recently had a line fault which caused my internet to drop out and the noise margin creeped down to 0 then finally below 0 (2147483647). Do you notice your noise margin dropping slowly at all? Maybe worth monitoring it... In my case it was a line fault and Sky sent Openreach out (now fixed after two attempts), so even if it is a BT fault they still don't want to know, and you have to contact Sky to get Openreach out if that's the case.

      At the time the noise margin drops lower than 0 check the phone to listen for crackling.

    9. #8
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Yep, I will next time it happens.

      I had a play with Routerstats but can't get it to work - "Socket Error # 10054
      Connection reset by peer." I need to have a fiddle really.
      --

      Cougar / Alan.

    10. #9
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Quote Originally Posted by gareth86 View Post
      Hi, I recently had a line fault which caused my internet to drop out and the noise margin creeped down to 0 then finally below 0 (2147483647). Do you notice your noise margin dropping slowly at all? Maybe worth monitoring it... In my case it was a line fault and Sky sent Openreach out (now fixed after two attempts), so even if it is a BT fault they still don't want to know, and you have to contact Sky to get Openreach out if that's the case.

      At the time the noise margin drops lower than 0 check the phone to listen for crackling.
      Thats a little unfair Gareth: for BB faults you are Skys customer not BT so unless you have a phone problem they will not be interested, when it comes to getting Openreach out, it is up to your ISP because Openreach only deal with them as you are not Openreaches customer.

    11. #10
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      Re: Intermittently noisy line?

      Quote Originally Posted by Brian69 View Post
      Thats a little unfair Gareth: for BB faults you are Skys customer not BT so unless you have a phone problem they will not be interested, when it comes to getting Openreach out, it is up to your ISP because Openreach only deal with them as you are not Openreaches customer.
      Yeah I agree, sorry that came out wrong. I meant it's not their responsibility. Apologies.

      @UKCougar

      Have you tried using http:// with routerstats?

     

     
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