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    Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

    This is a discussion on Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help. within the Sky Broadband help forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; About two months ago my absolutely rock solid stable SKY ADSL 2+ connection started to experience continuous cycles of connection ...

    1. #1
      kuplion's Avatar
      kuplion is offline Sky User Member
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      Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      About two months ago my absolutely rock solid stable SKY ADSL 2+ connection started to experience continuous cycles of connection drops. The link would go down and up and down and up for anything from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours. I jumped through all the hoops with SKY, swapped cables, changed micro filters, used the test socket, tried a second SR102 (and a whole host of 3rd party modems).. and nothing changed, the connection was still cycling over and over with no obvious reason as to why.

      Sky sent out a SKY engineer, he replaced the faceplate and removed an old extension that was attached (prior to me living here) but it made zero difference. Cue the second engineer, this time from Openreach. He replaced the entire master socket and fitted an Mk3 VDSL filtered faceplate, again, no difference. The sync speed was a tad better but the drop-outs continued. The 3rd engineer, also from Openreach checked the connections for a couple of hours in the house, to the cabinet and then from the exchange end. All came back perfect (he actually said it's one of the best lines he's seen, no noise, good stats, fast sync speed). At this point SKY closed the case and attributed the issues to my heavy usage (Steam downloads, Netflix streaming and torrent serving for a few game clients (War Thunder, very fun, give it a try!!)). The line fed to me by SKY was that I was using it too much and that if I backed off it would stop happening. Yeah..

      Skip forward just over a month and the drop-outs are still happening, and getting worse. Normally when they start I won't get a connection back for at least 3-4 hours. I've called SKY twice who have now said they've "sent the wrong engineers out each time" (yes, really!) and that to fix the issue I need to go back to using the test socket with all of the original SKY parts. I've reluctantly done this (for the 4th time now) as SKY refused to move forward until I had (even though it's been done before 3 times). I've now been fobbed off with another week of waiting for tests to come back (which always come back as perfect with no issues).

      Here are my stats and normal connection speeds. It doesn't make any difference whether I'm on a 3dB or 6dB noise margin (but until this started I was on a 3dB margin with hundreds and hundreds of hours of uptime without issue). It might worth nothing that when the issues occur, the noise margin can be seen flucatuating wildy, from the minus figured right up to 20-30dB and back again. This happens on both the up and down stream.



      And here are my logs. They're not very exciting, and may be slightly duplicated but show how frequent the drops-outs are.

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...Sky%20Logs.rar

      Can anyone please advise what I can do as I'm pulling my hair out here (aside from leisure use, I'm a student and I rely on the internet to connect to my university to study)


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    3. #2
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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      First thought is that is a very fast connection for ADSL2+ and it is operating right at the limit of what is possible for your line - and at 24Mbs at the top limit of what Sky advertise for their ADSL packages. A much higher SNR, even as high as 10dB, would give a more stable connection at a slightly lower, but still perfectly adequate, speed.

      However I suspect your problems are local electrical noise (as against phone line noise), otherwise known as REIN. Google it - I suspect very few Openreach engineers, and certainly no Sky ones, know much about this and how to tackle it. Maybe some new electrical equipment has been recently installed nearby, or maybe new street lights or whatever.

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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      If REIN then you may be stuffed, the MK3 filter has a very aggressive REIN filter built in. OR do say an 80B RF3 can be fitted along side the Mk3 but you sync speed may suffer.
      run-IT-direct, For all your networking, ADSL & telecom requirements.

    5. #4
      kuplion's Avatar
      kuplion is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      I completely agree about being right at the high end of the ADSL2+ speed but I'm not even 300m from the exchange and until this issue started, the connection was absolutely rock solid (not a single drop out) for months. I would usually end up rebooting the SR102 to stop it being buggy sooner than the connection would drop.

      I had looked into REIN and I spoke about it with the last Openreach tech, he explained that's it's possible to identify it but at the same time it's incredibly difficult because of how random the disconnection is.

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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      Is it really as random as you state or does the frequency of dropouts vary with time of day or weekdays compared to weekend?

      Just to make sure any interference isn't being caused by equipment or appliances under your control, can you switch off everything in the property except for your router and monitor the status using a tablet or smartphone for a couple of hours?

    7. #6
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      kuplion is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      It's incredibly random, yes. The first time round it was localised to about 12am to 2am and then 7am to 11am, but would also occur entirely randomly too. It did seem to settle for a few weeks but again there was zero changes that could be attributed to this. This time round however, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it, it can drop at any moment, day or night, and be out for as little as 30 seconds or as long as 4-5 hours. I've moved the router, changed plugs, extensions leads, swapped out all the light bulbs in the house (as I did read of the energy efficient bulbs causing REIN like issues for one user). I've tested with flicking lights on and off, checking when then boiler kicks in, when the oven is used. Even when things like a stereo is on (with quite big speakers); none of these things have any effect on the connection, either on or off.

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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      Quote Originally Posted by Kuplion
      ...there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it, it can drop at any moment, day or night, and be out for as little as 30 seconds or as long as 4-5 hours.
      Hi Kuplion.

      During you dealings with sky, have you at any point been in contact with tier 2 support - aka CST (Customer Solutions Team)?
      It's probably a stupid question because i'd assume that you have done by now, only in my experience some CST staff do have access to historical line data.
      Personally i've had conversations with them where i'm saying "Erm no that one was me rebooting the router" etc.

      Openreach do employ REIN engineers, so even if that extremely rare phenomenon is the culprit there's always scope to have it diagnosed at least.

      Keep on at sky & good luck.

    9. #8
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      kuplion is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      Hi Kuplion.

      During you dealings with sky, have you at any point been in contact with tier 2 support - aka CST (Customer Solutions Team)?
      It's probably a stupid question because i'd assume that you have done by now, only in my experience some CST staff do have access to historical line data.
      Personally i've had conversations with them where i'm saying "Erm no that one was me rebooting the router" etc.

      Openreach do employ REIN engineers, so even if that extremely rare phenomenon is the culprit there's always scope to have it diagnosed at least.

      Keep on at sky & good luck.
      The most recent contact I've had was supposedly referred to Tier 2 Support but was rejected as it was a separate case (as SKY closed the previous one without fixing the issue) and as such I've been forced to jump through their hoops before they will let me move on to Tier 2 (the guy I spoke to was willing to let me hangup rather than use common sense and see via the account notes that I've done ALL of the troubleshooting steps multiple times). I'm due a call back tomorrow at 10am to discuss elevation of the case to Tier 2 now that I've been running on all of their stock hardware (test socket, no vDSL faceplace, SKY filter and cables..) since Monday.

    10. #9
      kuplion's Avatar
      kuplion is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      UPDATE: I finally got through to someone at SKY (oddly enough only Tier 1) who looked the the exchange hardware and realised that every time my connection died, so did everyone else's connected to the same card at the exchange. He requested a "lift and shift" and since that was completed I've only had the line (re)training at 2am each day, no other drops or crashing cycles. My line is connecting waaaaay below what it used to (around 16000Kbps) but for now I'll take that. I will request that SKY reset my IP Profile and let it retrain correctly) but I'll give it a few weeks first.
      gymno likes this.

    11. #10
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      Re: Continuous drop-outs, 3 engineers and a whole load of excuses from SKY. Please help.

      Hi kuplion.

      How long has DLM been training the line for?
      In my experience, if coming up from a low (<4Mbps) it can take around a week to reach it's potential if over 20Mbps, at which point it then starts fine-tuning fiddling with noise margins & interleaving etc.

      If your downstream attenuation is still around 11.5dB then DLM should put you somewhere close to the 23858Kbps you had before @ 3dB noise, or if not around 22500Kbps @ 6dB.

      Generally, DLM does do a better job than a lot of the sky agents often do manually.

     

     
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