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    Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

    This is a discussion on Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues) within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; Hello, I've used this forum once before in the past, many moons ago, when I had similar issues to what ...

    1. #1
      Lenaldo's Avatar
      Lenaldo is offline Sky User Member
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      Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      Hello,

      I've used this forum once before in the past, many moons ago, when I had similar issues to what I have now and I found the feedback both helpful and informative, however it seems that thread has been deleted so I'll just start fresh with what my problems are and see if anyone has any feedback as to what I should do.

      Commence Essay...

      We've have been with Sky for many years now, we have the full package of TV, Broadband and telephone. What seems like every couple of months I have to make the same calls to Sky to complain about the standard of our broadband connection. I phone up and get the generic "have you tried changing the wireless channel etc" suggestions from numerous advisors as I'm passed around and after a week or 2 of follow up calls the issues are finally, to a degree, sorted until the same old issues crop up again months down the line.

      The main issues we have are these;

      1) Drop outs:

      Either random or when the phone is used to make or receive calls. Now I know people will claim microfilters need changing but the last time I was told this I changed all the microfilters and the problem still continued. The connection this time was acceptable (wait for the next point) until a few weeks or so ago when a BT engineer visited the street (wasn't called out by us) and started messing about in the hole outside then later on that same day the intermittent disconnections and phone issues began cropping up once more.

      2) Dreadful speeds:

      The last time I phoned Sky I was informed that my area would only allow me to receive at most around a 3MB download connection via ADSL which isn't the greatest but we don't even get anywhere near that. Once we rang the last time the advisor/support person set our connection to around 3.5MB and claimed to have made the line stable as it was seemingly showing some problems. Within weeks that connection dropped to 2MB then lower still. It currently changes between 1.5MB and 1MB, once a few weeks ago it was even 0.3MB making even opening web pages a straining task.

      Our Setup:

      The router itself is connected to the master socket and all the devices in the house are connected to the router wirelessly as there is no way to cable everything up (unless wall plugs are invested in). The devices in the house are PC, Laptop, TV, Xbox, however these devices are never all on at the same time. One time we had the router upstairs years ago to test it in the extension to use Ethernet cables on the devices but this didn't solve the issue as we still got random drop outs, plus we were told it wasn't a good idea to have it there. We have been sent various replacement routers and power supplies and the problems still recur meaning it's not a power supply problem. The microfilters are all new as they came with the replacement routers. The wireless channel is set to a channel away from the channels the other houses in the street use and we have tried various channels before. The mode is set to performance, we have had it on auto and the other ones this doesn't solve the problem. We had previously been asked to try the router in the test socket of the master socket (where the router is always plugged in) which we did for around a week one of the previous times we had these issues and we still had drops in connection when it was plugged in there.

      What I've done so far:

      I first got in contact on 07/11/12 for this latest episode of broadband trouble, I used the live chat to get in touch with an advisor who managed to set my download speed to 2Mb, however the connection seemed to have died during the night according to the router stats page and it showed I was now on a lovely connection of 0.6Mb. The only way to get the speed back up was to physically turn off the router then turn it back on. I then posted on the Sky Help forum to which I was promptly asked to give as much information as I could via PM to a member of the help team. Over the next few days I was in discussion with various members of the help team, they came back with feedback that there were no issues with the line and that the next step was to begin line profilization which would last 10 days and that I must keep my router on at all times. I followed these instructions but alas I kept seeing random drop outs during the process and days after this had completed. There was even one occasion when a drop out lasted for a few minutes shy of an hour before finally allowing me to access the internet again.

      I got back into contact with the help team and informed them that I was still struggling to which they claimed to have began the next level of tests and that I would receive a call within 72 hours by a member of the customer solutions team and take it from there. Sure enough I got a text message with a reference number and that they would contact me shortly. That however is where the help ends...I never did get a call. After a week and a half of patiently waiting I went back onto the help forum and checked my PMs to see one from Sky asking if my problem was solved as I hadn't posted any more. I naturally replied that the reason I hadn't posted was that I was waiting for the phone call I was told would be coming my way. I asked if anyone was going to get in touch with me and after a day of waiting I finally received a reply late this evening...that I would have to wait another 10 days while they performed Dynamic Line Management (which, I may be wrong, sounds a tad like what I had to wait 10 days for the last time which didn't work) and if this failed I was told to make another post on the forum or use the Sky Help Twitter account. I have since sent an unread reply asking why I would need to post or tweet the same places I had at the start of this process with the exact same problems when they know the issues I have, also why I haven't had a call that I was waiting for.

      Where I am now:

      Every time the connection drops the connection comes back and is significantly lower, it drops from 1.5Mb to between 0.4mb and 0.8mb and doesn't improve unless I go downstairs and turn the router off and on again to get it back to 1.5Mb. As someone that uses the internet a lot I'm becoming increasingly frustrated at not only the awful speed (A look on speedtest showed that our connection is around 90% worse than the rest of the UK iirc) and the constant backwards and forwards to get the speed back up. I use Skype a lot to talk to friends and the annoyance of dropping from calls (and the dreaded dropped sound of doom), dropping from Xbox live, completing documents/forms online or when shopping online is becoming too regular an occurrence. I also tend to watch a lot of streams and catch up with shows on iPlayer etc which buffer like hell these days.

      Along with potential advice about the connection problems I would appreciate opinions on the Sky Fibre Unlimited package. The value of paying 10 a month for Sky Broadband Unlimited with a speed of 1.5 mb (at most) seems to be ridiculous and a waste of money as it stands. When 2 people are using the Internet at the same time I might as well be using a potato as a router. According to BT and EE's websites my postcode has estimated speeds of 56.3mb download and 20mb upload so with Sky Fibre Unlimited I should achieve a top end speed, in theory, shouldn't I? If I did upgrade I'm guessing the new faceplate the engineer fits would eliminate the need for micro filters and once and for all rule them out as potential problems? He could also check the internal wiring if I had a word and make sure there's no issues there? And finally I hear there's charges for the new Sky Hub and Installation, is there anyway I can blag a discount or refund for these costs due to the problems we've had over the years?

      My current beautiful stats...





      If you've managed to read all that cheers for sticking with me I look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

      If you haven't managed to read all that I understand


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    3. #2
      mattan's Avatar
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      Hi, I think the first thing to tackle is the dropouts (I'm assuming the router is showing as disconnected during this time and it's not the wireless connection to your router), especially if BT have been doing some work in the area recently. It's likely interference is causing the drop out especially if your phone is causing this also. Try a couple of things first, just to rule out any internal issues:

      1. Plug your router directly in to the test socket, behind the master socket's faceplate. Try calling your own home phone and see if the drop outs continue. you should see the DSL light go orange/red and flash whilst it's trying to reconnect
      2. Check for noise on your line. With only a phone pluged in (you'll need a corded phone for this), dial a single digit and listen. There should be no crackling, buzzing etc. You can also dial 17070 and follow the instructions for a quiet line test.

      If you are still getting drop outs with your router plugged in to the test socket, then it's something external to your property. Give Sky a call and mention that this has gotten worse since BT were working in the area.

      If the issue lies outside of your property, then Sky should get OR out to investigate this. The regular drop outs can lead to a lowering of your speed as DLM sees these errors and decreases the speed to stabilise the line.

      Moving to fibre might not help. If there's an issue between your property and the cabinet, it's still the same piece of copper wire involved and you'll continue to get drop outs.

    4. The Following User Says Thank You to mattan For This Useful Post:

      Lenaldo (29-11-12)

    5. #3
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      Your previous thread is still there: Intermittent dropouts for months, Sky support no help

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

    6. The Following User Says Thank You to Scubbie For This Useful Post:

      Lenaldo (29-11-12)

    7. #4
      Lenaldo's Avatar
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      Quote Originally Posted by mattan View Post
      Hi, I think the first thing to tackle is the dropouts (I'm assuming the router is showing as disconnected during this time and it's not the wireless connection to your router), especially if BT have been doing some work in the area recently. It's likely interference is causing the drop out especially if your phone is causing this also. Try a couple of things first, just to rule out any internal issues:

      1. Plug your router directly in to the test socket, behind the master socket's faceplate. Try calling your own home phone and see if the drop outs continue. you should see the DSL light go orange/red and flash whilst it's trying to reconnect
      2. Check for noise on your line. With only a phone pluged in (you'll need a corded phone for this), dial a single digit and listen. There should be no crackling, buzzing etc. You can also dial 17070 and follow the instructions for a quiet line test.

      If you are still getting drop outs with your router plugged in to the test socket, then it's something external to your property. Give Sky a call and mention that this has gotten worse since BT were working in the area.

      If the issue lies outside of your property, then Sky should get OR out to investigate this. The regular drop outs can lead to a lowering of your speed as DLM sees these errors and decreases the speed to stabilise the line.

      Moving to fibre might not help. If there's an issue between your property and the cabinet, it's still the same piece of copper wire involved and you'll continue to get drop outs.
      Thanks for the reply. Should I do these steps now seeing as Sky have told me to wait 10 days without unplugging the router due to DLM or should I wait until this time period has finished before putting the router in the test socket and then testing the line?

      When the dropouts happen it comes up with this message



      And the router stats pages look like this



      and



      After ringing my home number via my mobile and ringing my mobile via my home phones I dropped a few times, not every time, but often until this happened.



      Now every time i use the phone the downstream noise margin cuts in half or even less but doesn't drop below 4dB, as soon as the call has ended the downstream noise margin returns to this new figure of 20ish dB compared to the previous 9.3dB I had when the download speed was at 1.5Mb. I'm guessing this is because of the dropouts I've caused by using the phone to get these screenshots.

      I've also connected a laptop downstairs to the router (not yet in test socket) via an ethernet connection in order to see if the LAN network goes down at the same time as the wireless. I rebooted the router via the router page in order to get the 1.5mb connection and original noise margin back and used the house phone to call my mobile. Sure enough the noise margin dropped to a negative level and this appeared.



      I quickly tried to use the laptop that was plugged into the router via etnernet to see if I could open a webpage and I couldn't




      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Your previous thread is still there: Intermittent dropouts for months, Sky support no help
      Thanks for finding it, I tried clicking on my previous posts via my profile but it said the thread did not exist. It's interesting to see from back then that my speed has halved since 06/04/11.
      Last edited by Lenaldo; 28-11-12 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Further updates

    8. #5
      mattan's Avatar
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      You should only affect DLM if you keep rebooting the router several times an hour, so just plugging it in to the test socket won't have a detrimental effect (you're getting drop out anyway!).

      Those drop outs are where the router loses connection to DSL, so if your phone is causing too much noise on the line, the connection becomes too unstable and drops. You get a very high noise margin to try and compensate for the noise on the line.

      Follow the steps I put above and post what happens.

    9. The Following User Says Thank You to mattan For This Useful Post:

      Lenaldo (29-11-12)

    10. #6
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      Quote Originally Posted by mattan View Post
      You should only affect DLM if you keep rebooting the router several times an hour, so just plugging it in to the test socket won't have a detrimental effect (you're getting drop out anyway!).

      Those drop outs are where the router loses connection to DSL, so if your phone is causing too much noise on the line, the connection becomes too unstable and drops. You get a very high noise margin to try and compensate for the noise on the line.

      Follow the steps I put above and post what happens.
      Thanks again

      I've unscrewed the faceplate on the master socket and plugged just the usual phone we have there (corded) into the test socket. I picked the phone up and dialled 1 and listened for a bit and there was no crackling/hissing etc. I then put the phone down and dialled 17070 and went through the prompts for testing noise on the line. The feedback was that there was no echo and very little noise on the line "your line is working properly"

      I then plugged the router in and got the following stats:



      I've tried calling my mobile numerous times from my house phone and vice versa and the connection hasn't dropped.

      I've noticed when a call is answered the downstream noise margin only drops by 0.1dB compared to around 10dB yesterday when it wasn't in the test socket.

      These are the stats as they are now showing no dropout since doing these tests.



      I'll leave the router in the test socket and monitor it's progress during the day and see if anything changes. I take it unlike last time when I had connection issues (Sky admitted there was a fault on the line that they hadn't noticed originally after weeks of messing about with filters etc) that this means this is an internal issue and either filters or something else in the house are causing these problems.

    11. #7
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      If you continue to get no drop outs, then it does look like there is an issue with your internal wiring. If you can, keep the router plugged in to the test socket for a day or two and see what DLM does to your connection. It should start to raise your connection speed if it sees the line is stable.

      I don't have much knowledge on how to identify/fix issues with internal wiring - but I'm sure several people on this forum will! It may be that getting a VDSL faceplate to fit between the text socket and main faceplate could sort out the issue, but worth checking.

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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      With the attenuation you have, you should be seeing approx 7meg

      Can you take a picture of the faceplate removed and the cabling running from that to any extensions?




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    13. #9
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      Quote Originally Posted by NewsreadeR View Post
      With the attenuation you have, you should be seeing approx 7meg

      Can you take a picture of the faceplate removed and the cabling running from that to any extensions?


      That floor is lovely and clean

    14. #10
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      Re: Stuck in the loop (slow speeds, poor connection, support issues)

      If by using the Test socket things do improve, I personally would encourage you to give the VDSL faceplate some serious consideration.

      See how thing go first.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

     

     
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