View Full Version : Morning techy bods, broadband again...

19-Nov-09, 11:31
OK, after spending a large amount of my time last night and again this morning being audibly assaulted by ignorant, lazy, bone idle, ignorant, did I say ignorant? Cretins passing themselves off as BT's Broadband Tech' help I am about to book the necessary flights to go find 'em and torture them in a way that would make Dubya's rendition policy look like 1st class hotel and spa treatment.
But before I do I would like to try and get my broadband working in a way that broadband should instead of using carrier pigeons as my preferred wireless option.


OK, last night despite all the usual guff we could get any decent connection. Emails took forever to download or they timed out. Ditto for websites.
4Mb supposedly hitting the router, BT got 3Mb. They naturally (as always) blamed router as not a BT router.
This is a frequent problem and I'm sure not the router as have swapped it out.
Anyway speed today lower (3Mb) but getting connection. BT say they have cleared a fault at exchange but cant tell me what fault was. I explain that I have connection but still problems, must be my router they say!

Anyway, latency, HUUUUUUUUGGGEEE latency problems. to the point of no return.
Pings in 170 - 300 ms range when getting return.
Different mchines.
Different OS.

Problem always bad in evening (I know the contention ratio thing) but to the point of no connection is just beyond joke.

Anyone know the likely problems for latency faults?


19-Nov-09, 11:53
Possible causes:

They have turned on interleaving (give a more stable connection but gives higher latency)

Microfilter gone bad
Too many phones on the line (satellite, bedroom phone, sitting room phone, kitchen phone etc etc)
Not all equipment on filters
bad wiring to your router

Try changing filter, removing all other devices from phone line and plug router into master socket.
If you are using wireless, try using an ethernet cable and hard wiring into the router.

19-Nov-09, 12:04
where are you pinging to?

I have what I consider to be a very fast very stable connection. If I ping in the UK - say bbc.co.uk I get a 43ms response

Ping an address in the US google.com 135ms

so if you are pinging a distant location, and it's got high traffic and interleaving is on then 135-300 ms doesn't sound that bad

It would be good if you can check on your router to see what attenuation you have on the line, also noise margin. Any CRC / HEC / FEC errors? Any error seconds? Most of that should be available from your router.

19-Nov-09, 12:17
Thanks for the replies so far.

Been through this so many times with BT I get bored waiting for them to go through it.

We only have a BT Master socket with router and phone connected via (now new again) filter.
All wiring is BT to the socket. Phone currently disconnected.

On 2nd router today.
Ping / latency, getting errors trying to ping UK servers via speedtest.net.
Curiously this is what BT directed me to after their tester showed an error.

Very hit and miss, been pinging servers all over the world. Sometimes getting 60ms in UK but then try it again and get an error.

I'm convinced there is something corrupting the data, cable fault, exchange server fault.
The speed tests always come back good providing the latency does throw an error.

But even now I get connection errors.
Just tested Milton Keynes via speedtest.net and got latency error on first try and download error on second try.

Using different machines, with xp & vista BTW. With and without firewall etc.

19-Nov-09, 12:26
for ping test do it the old fashioned way.

Open a command prompt (start menu, run, command.com)

then simply type e.g.
ping bbc.co.uk

or ping bbc.co.uk -t

or ping

(The -t keeps the test running until you choose to end it which you can do with control C)

also try some traceroutes from command propmt

e.g. tracert bbc.co.uk

result looks something like :

Tracing route to bbc.co.uk []
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms <1 ms 1 ms api.home []
2 34 ms 34 ms 34 ms
3 34 ms 34 ms 34 ms
4 34 ms 33 ms 33 ms
5 34 ms 33 ms 35 ms
6 33 ms 33 ms 33 ms
7 34 ms 33 ms 33 ms
8 34 ms 33 ms 33 ms
9 33 ms 33 ms 33 ms core1-pos14-3.edinburgh.ukcore.bt.net []
10 42 ms 41 ms 41 ms core3-pos0-8-0-5.ealing.ukcore.bt.net []
11 45 ms 46 ms 45 ms core1-pos0-1-4-0.ilford.ukcore.bt.net []
12 51 ms 46 ms 45 ms core1-pos9-0.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net []
13 46 ms 46 ms 45 ms
14 45 ms 47 ms 47 ms
15 44 ms 43 ms 44 ms virtual-vip.thdo.bbc.co.uk []

Trace complete.

19-Nov-09, 13:28
Similar results:

1 3 ms 100 ms 4 ms BelkinModem.Belkin []
2 77 ms 55 ms 54 ms
3 60 ms 54 ms 52 ms
4 57 ms 52 ms 54 ms
5 60 ms 51 ms 53 ms
6 58 ms 52 ms 54 ms
7 57 ms 52 ms 54 ms
8 58 ms 53 ms 53 ms
9 53 ms 52 ms 52 ms core1-pos8-1.edinburgh.ukcore.bt.net [217.32.169
10 59 ms 60 ms 62 ms core3-pos0-8-0-5.ealing.ukcore.bt.net [62.6.201.
11 66 ms 70 ms 71 ms core1-pos0-1-4-0.ilford.ukcore.bt.net [62.6.204.
12 71 ms 72 ms 70 ms core1-pos14-1.telehouse.ukcore.bt.net [195.99.12
13 68 ms 70 ms 71 ms
14 66 ms 70 ms 61 ms
15 62 ms 63 ms 70 ms virtual-vip.thdo.bbc.co.uk []

Trace complete.

But the pinging is still as erratic. Lots of packet loss, BBC varied between 56 - 176ms and 8% loss.
caithness.org 100% packet loss so far LOL

Just tried pinging a few sites, now getting 100% loss on bbc.

Summits not right.

Hang on, a post posting edit:

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 99, Received = 80, Lost = 19 (19% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 59ms, Maximum = 132ms, Average = 66ms

Not a fantastic response.

19-Nov-09, 14:05
how are you connecting to the router?

If an ethernet cable I would be tempted to change that, your ping to the router should really be less than 1ms

Are you using USB? Don't - either go wireless or ethernet cable, then try pinging again. (Cable is best :D ) says me on my wireless connected laptop

And is it a router or a modem you are using - your trace says modem?

Run a ping from your pc to and see if there's any packet loss there

19-Nov-09, 14:46
Yeah, been through all that with both routers. (Router is described as modem with router which is technically what most domestic jobbies tend to be, hence modem in the trace route)

Currently getting 5ms on wireless lappy (machine I'm currently using & use most).
1ms on wired PC direct to hub.
1ms on machine in garage which is patched through 3 or 4 cable connections over 40 - 50mts.

Only use USB for vodafone broadband dongle which I had to resort to last night.

I've been ing about with 5 or 6 different machines, 2 routers, new filters, swapping cables about and patching just one pc direct to router direct to bt master socket (second plug behind the plate & through new filter) with nothing else on the line or router.
And no improvements or significant change with any of it, I'm quite confident the fault lies on BT's side of the socket.


19-Nov-09, 16:33
From the way you are speaking I suspect you are an online gamer and having problems playing online games due to slow pings. correct me if I am wrong and I will apologise.

Just wondering what Broadband ISP you are with and how much do you pay? Normally if you are paying roughly 6-15 pounds per month for Broadband then you get what you pay for. If you call BT and they see you are paying peanuts then you get what you pay for, which is

1 - a crap service and

2 - even crapper tech support to go with it

If you keep getting no joy even though you have done more than most people would do (changing routers and filters and all the extensive tests) then move to another ISP that can give you a decent connection for a decent amount of money.

At my work, we used to sign up our remote users to BT Business Broadband premium service which was 30 quid a month with all the bells and whistles attached to it. Recently we have moved a lot of our users to a cheaper BT service costing 15 quid a month...............hey presto.........more reports of slow connections, dropped connections.

At the end of the day, lots of factors affect the Broadband connection you get which I am sure you are well aware of e.g. length of line from the BT exchange, faulty filters, ancient wiring, old copper lines etc etc. but if you pay a low amount of money for Broadband services then you get what you pay for.

Lets hope you can get it sorted because every household relies on Broadband more than ever nowadays.

19-Nov-09, 19:37
ADSL is basically crap, LLU can make it slightly better but even then its all relative, having been on a decent cable network I hate ADSL now.

I'm going to disagree with Brian, I worked phone support for BT Business (BTConnect) during Uni and even high profile customers (no idea why they didn't go through Global Services) on special custom packages with ridiculous SLAs had the same problems as the others and the less said about the ITSM idiots the better.

Its probably not going to help but anyway in addition to whats been said here already, change everything, attach only one PC and try a LiveCD or boot into safe mode with networking and issue these commands:

ipconfig /flushdns [enter]
nbtstat -R [enter]
nbtstat -RR [enter]
netsh winsock reset [enter]
netsh winsock reset catalog [enter]
netsh int reset all [enter]
netsh int ip reset log.txt [enter]

Then reboot into safe mode with networking again, start your browser into safe mode and test at all of these links:


You could then try to ping your ISPs gateway, but if none of that helps and your ISP refuses to do anything then try putting the line out of sync every so often for a few days and get it booked out as that.

BTW 50ms is pretty high for an internal network segment, but thats not really a big

19-Nov-09, 22:06
I agree with what RecQuery said about ADSL.............it is really crap besides Cable Broadband from Virgin media. I am seriously considering moving to that here in Edinburgh as there are some areas that currently have 50 meg and trials coming for 100 meg connections. My workmate is on 50 meg and downloads full DVD's in lightening fast time.

BT really are dragging their feet big time when it comes to Broadband speeds. The big problem is antiquated equipment and a huge cost it would cost to upgrade to fibre from the old copper networks. The amount of disruption any such work would cost would cause them no end of grief with the complaints from loss of services from home and business users.

With regards to BT's tech support. I was a bit harsh when I slagged it off earlier. I do know guys at BT who do know their stuff and give good support but they are more in the minority and due to outsourcing to non-English speaking countries the support people get is not good enough and people get so angry when the person they are speaking to cant communicate effectively and are clearly reading from a script.

19-Nov-09, 23:47
Hi all, thanks for the replies again so far.

I know and understand ADSL isn't going to be whizz bang magic but for my uses it generally does.
I can even live with the contention ration thingy in the evenings as it slows a little.
We are on the basic option 1 so I know it's bottom of the barrel for CS, Speeds etc. But for a long time we had 6Mb and no problems and far more than enough for what I want & need.

It changed a few months back when they altered the T&C's re the contention ratio.
Generally it dropped to 3 - 4Mb and we started to notice it slow in the evenings.
But this is still way and above the 512Kbps that is pretty much what we pay for.

However, I do kind of expect to be able to download email!
We don't game, we don't download DVD's / Videos etc. a few youtube clips here and there but that is small downloads really.
Mainly it's general surfing and email, OK there will be attachments on the email but rarely large.

We've never even got near the 10Gb download limit as far as I know.

The issue I have with the tech' support is the non UK based outfits, to a certain degree I kind of feel for them as they are earning pennies in comparison and we can only guess what targets they have to hit.
Even after they told me there was a server problem and it had bee rectified the clown today still said the fault lay with my non BT router.

Brizer, no not a gamer (no apologies needed :Razz) but I get what your saying about cost & service.

RecQuery, I shall try what you suggest but I don't think it's going to show me anything substantive. (I may not have made it clear, the internal segment is 50 metres with 5 connections but gets 1Ms on pings)

I work form home so looking at the options to swap to business BB but I know that it will still be BT. I know enough that it isn't worth going to another ISP as it is going through BGT wholesale anyhow.

My money is on the cable from the exchange, being a significant contributory factor, a neighbour cut through it (at two points) a while back whilst doing an access driveway, so the splices will have an affect. Also it is still exposed by the roadside and has been driven over by tractors n' trucks.
I've reported this to BT but nothing has happened.

What DID we do before the internet?

20-Nov-09, 16:34
Hi Phill - you have PM :D

There appears to be a problem with your line ;)

20-Nov-09, 16:56
There appears to be a problem with your line ;)

Apparently so!


22-Dec-09, 21:29
I work from home as well and need a reasonable fast line that is stable and with minimum latency to handle Voip and video calls. My house is several miles from my exchange so the connection speed I first got was not anything to be exited over.

Several cable repairs later, my connection speed has more than doubled. They keep finding faulty junction boxes full of water and bits of old cable. They have also helped me sort out a few things in my own house that also improved my speed.

Keep nagging your ISP and don't let the "you have to pay for the call out if it the fault is on your side" put you off. If your job depends on this connection, it is worth it. Some of the local BT Open Reach guys are great, they are switched on and really do their best to get the most out of the old and flimsy copper infrastructure they have.

22-Dec-09, 22:47
it was a BT fault at Lybster exchange, we had no internet for 5 days now, a network card needed replaced (from 3 yrs since apparently)

23-Dec-09, 00:10
it was a BT fault at Lybster exchange, we had no internet for 5 days now, a network card needed replaced (from 3 yrs since apparently)


I have actually gotten seriously bored of my own voice ranting at BT about this fault.
I called this one in Friday lunchtime. They sent an engineer out Monday morning (spoke to engineer, top bloke, he knew what the fault was and knew what was needed to rectify it.....but he could only report it back as a fault to the helpdesk) and it took another day & a half to clear.


I've been having problems for months, and even yesterday when they told me (again) that 53 other people were also affected due to a "Major Service Outage" it was still due to me not having the latest equipment from BT!!!
They tried to sell me a new router to solve the problem! WHAAAT!
After I've just bought yet another to prove them wrong!!

After a large portion of beerage and I've calmed down a little I think I may be able to hold myself together to post a rant about the whole escapade.........