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    Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

    This is a discussion on Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :( within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; Hi all, Firstly I'd like to say that the Sky team AND the BT engineers have always been more than ...

    1. #1
      orbiter's Avatar
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      Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      Hi all,

      Firstly I'd like to say that the Sky team AND the BT engineers have always been more than accommodating with us so there's no issue here at all.

      The Issue... We have an ongoing 4+ year connection problem, noisy phone/unstable dropping broadband.

      We live in an ordinary road in an ordinary town (Formby) and we're about 400meters (as the crow flies) from the exchange. We have our DAX box in the hall-way which connects via a 2 meter extension (tested) to the router (with line filter.) We also have one Panasonic DECT phone system in the house which also runs from the DAX box to a wireless DECT transmitter upstairs feeding three Panasonic DECT phones. That's it.

      OK... So up to last week our phone/BB has been sort of OK and usable, only affected when there is wind/rain etc, which I must say is NOT uncommon in the UK

      We've had loads of line tests etc and ALL previous phone/BB engineers have said that our line is fine, we've got new line filters again (ADSL Nation this time.) I've tried another working router & cabling (into the TEST socket etc, all giving same unstable results.) One BB guy who was into bikes like myself was also kind enough to test our internal wiring to the exchange with his exfo tester, all showed ok on that day (however the weather was dry, we had 10.8Mb Downstream with a noise margin of 7.0db.)

      "Working normally" our router stats shows a downstream noise margin of about 7.0db with a download speed of around 11Mbps. Upload seems less affected but DOES fluctuate a lot during wet weather.

      As the title indicates for at least the last four years we've had this problem, normally after or during wet and windy weather conditions coming from a South Westerly direction. It starts with phone line noise (hissing/crackling etc) which instantly hits the broadband due to the lines noise margin plummeting.

      In this 4 year period I reckon I've called Sky well over 30+ times and had phone and BB engineers out to our home many, many times, however over the last few weeks things have got a lot worse...

      Again as the windy/wet weather comes along I'll either notice the phone line crackling, router rebooting itself or pages loading much slower than usual. As usual this leads me to look at the router stats page. After 4 years experience I can now sense what I'm going to see before even looking... Which is the noise margin drifting all over the place! Not just the odd db swing either but a whopping 15db or more in some cases from 0db to 21+db. Sometimes even the line attenuation shows from 38db to 55db. Now this REALLY confuses me as I was lead to believe that this was the lines length? And I'm assuming that this could only change if there was a crossed line/wire somewhere

      Anyway.. I've said all along that I feel that either our line to the pole, OR the box at the top of the pole (which faces the South West) is at fault here! However nobody will get up there to check it out, they just say..."ahh there's nothing in there really". But there MUST BE as the wire goes through there!

      IMHO as an ex motor engineer I have common sense and a nose for faults, and if somebody was telling me that a problem only really occurred at a particular time and under certain conditions (e.g when there was windy/wet from the South West) the FIRST place I'd look is the top of that bloody pole

      Now on Thursday last week (27/10/13) another friendly BT phone engineer arrived, he ran through the same procedures etc however this time he found a fault! Woohoo, I was soooo excited, maybe my BB would be fixed after all? Anyway he went down to the cabinet (and so did I) because as I was passing in the car he was still there, and he actually called me over to show me what he'd found. The twisted pair that runs from our house to the 'E' side had old bare wires with cracked insulation (both wires) and those bare wires were touching each other. He stripped them back cutting off the dodgy bits and refitted. We said our good-buys and I was happily assuming that our problems were over........... Not so

      I got home and the line was worse than ever, I automatically knew that the BB would be no good too (even if DLM was running) I called Sky again who kindly arranged another BB engineer for the day after (Friday.) Another friendly Openreach guy arrived, tested everything and said he couldn't really find anything, he showed me the Exfo tester with all tests passed and even plugged it into our short BB extension cable to test that, all was well as I saw the 11.3Mbps too. He even rang Sky tech himself and they confirmed the results. Things were ok for about two hours, then the router re-booted itself again and synced at 5.2Mbps with Downstream noise margin of 1.2db

      I called Sky again and this is were we're at now.. Another BB engineer is coming Monday morning. I really DO hope the weather stays bad like today (which is forecast) as our BB today is rubbish with the router rebooting itself a few times every hour

      This MUST BE 100% water/weather related don't you reckon?

      Just to add... A lot of the time when I ring the 17070 test number for Zoe then press 4 she reports that she can hear echo and that there maybe a problem with the line

      Here's a couple of screenies from Saturday...





      Last edited by orbiter; 27-10-13 at 01:15 PM.


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    3. #2
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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      I would suggest that the problems are specifically related to a broken cable.

      Unfortunately there appears to be a reluctance on the side of BTO to replace many underground cables. Typically they say that it is too expensive. This is likely to be where the water problems are coming from.

      Wind will be affecting any overhead cables. This is normally quite easy to resolve as the cable will be cheaper to replace.

      Can I suggest that you speak to your neighbours? It is possible that they too have problems. If this is the case, then you should all consider contacting your providers all at the same time.

      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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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      HI Scubbie,

      Thx for the reply.. Actually I look after my neighbours computers etc and have tested their BB to compare.. I've also asked them about line issues or noise etc but they don't seem to have any issues apart from perhaps slow speeds every so often or a normal outages problem every blue moon.

      We've had no rain really later on today and our BB has been not too bad, although it's still nowhere near normal

      BT are here again in the morning though so I'll see how we get on and report back.

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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      With your neighbours' consent, could I suggest that you all install and run Router Stats Lite?

      Internet Software

      This software will collate data over a given period and allow you to compare between each connection. From there you might be able to determine if there is indeed a common issue.

      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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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      Thanks for that link scubbie, I will ask my neighbours about installing that on their machines, I've already installed it on mine I doubt it will
      show any issues on their lines though as I have spent some time listing to their lines in the past & they are as quiet as a mouse, whilst on the other hand ours
      sounds like a cinema full of folk eating crisps when the weather's bad.

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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      If this is on a corded telephone then there is a serious issue with the line.

      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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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      Have you tried to raise a line fault with Sky Talk when your line is very noisy? They should be able to run a line test as it's happening. Also, have you rang 'Zoe' on 17070 and done a quiet line test?

      It sometimes seems better to raise a phone fault rather than a BB fault. Seems to be progressed quicker.

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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      I have to say after reading what you posted the first place i'd be looking would be the overhead cable & the junction box at the top of the pole!!
      run-IT-direct, For all your networking, ADSL & telecom requirements.

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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      Quote Originally Posted by orbiter View Post
      BT are here again in the morning though so I'll see how we get on and report back.
      Did BT turn up and if so did they find anything?

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      Re: Our 4 year+ Phone/BB issue has now taken a turn for the worse :(

      Exactly RUNITDIRECT... And guess what?

      After another three engineer visits inc BTO underground.... IT's FIXED.. Woohoooooo And guess what else? It's exactly what I said it was 4+ years ago :/ That bloody box at the top of the pole!!

      Nice BTO guy came around last night, kitted-out in all his yellow waterproof gear. He'd been up the pole for at least 3/4 hour, he told me that he'd had the box apart and found it necessary to replace ALL the connectors inside it, apparently they were all totally knackered, with 'damp' thick green oxidised & crumbling copper swarf! He told me it was that bad that putting freshly stripped wires into some of connectors wouldn't get him any connections at all. He also told me that nobody had been up that pole in a very, very long time (which I knew,) because if they had they WOULD have certainly noticed this and expected issues from it.

      I can't imagine how much money could have been saved here if someone had listened to me in the first place, & recommended that the block terminal
      up the pole be checked out!

      Anyway..... I'm made-up now that it's sorted, I talked with Sky again and thanked them very much indeed for their help in sticking with me on this. I also asked if they could retest the line and adjust the DLM for me as their software had capped the line down, and I was sure the it could now sustain a better connection rate. So.. now we have a faster DL rate than we did originally 15 years ago with BT (11.3Mbps) and now we're at 12.2Mbps DL with a nice steady noise margin too, even in the high winds and rain we've had today.

      So thanks again to Sky CST, and to you guys for your suggestions and support

      Thank you
      Meteosat, tenar, Scubbie and 1 others like this.

     

     
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