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Author Topic: SIN498 and BT Broadband  (Read 533 times)

homeplay

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SIN498 and BT Broadband
« on: September 11, 2017, 08:49:57 PM »

Hi

Can anyone explain what the actual purpose of SIN498 is? Here's the reason for my question:

We install and manage home technology systems and have a many, many clients with Draytek 2860 routers - it's our standard and it's a cracking piece of kit.

We've always been able to have BT run a line test on problematic lines without any problem, but today we asked for one and were told that without a HomeHub connected to the line, they were unable to run a line test. I explained that we had a Draytek 2860 running the latest BT compatible firmware, thus making it SIN498 compliant and that I could see that we only had a s/n margin of around 1-3dB on the downstream, but I may as well have been talking Swahili. I spoke to 3 different support engineers and the last one read aloud to me what it said on his screen out of sheer frustration (I was also getting frustrated at this point!) - basically the BT call centre system could see that we didn't have a home hub connected and as such he was unable to move to the next screen to start a line test.

So we're going to the clients house tomorrow to connect a HomeHub so that they can run the test and raise a fault.

But surely the point of having the SIN498 standard is so that this kind of carry-on doesn't need to happen? Or have I misunderstood the purpose.

I also spoke to Draytek support, they just said that BT shouldn't be asking me to disconnect their router... which I already knew. T

This 'no home hub - no test' stance is new for BT as far as I'm aware - can anyone who knows more about this than I do shed any light in it?

Thanks in anticipation,

James
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gt94sss2

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 10:22:16 PM »

The purpose of SIN498 is for Openreach and its customers (ISPs) to ensure that said ISPs use compatible equipment with Openreach's network. Also, so Openreach know what equipment has passed MCT and regression test network updates against them.

Many large retail ISPs who provide their own modems have a policy of asking customers to use those modems if a line has a problem as a) it eliminates any settings issues with 3rd party equipment and b) its front line staff are only trained in their own models.

I expect there will be plenty of front line technical support staff in the big ISPs who are not familiar with SIN498 or have not even heard of it - it's not designed for them. Instead, they will have a script to follow.

You may have had better luck if you were dealing with 2nd line support..
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j0hn

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 10:51:33 PM »

Running a modem that has passed the MCT should be more than satisfactory. The most recent list I can find is here
https://uno.help/knowledge-base/article/openreach-approved-vdsl-modems

The Draytek is indeed on the list.
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WWWombat

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 01:16:07 AM »

James @homeplay

You might want to be clear when you say "BT" just which bit of BT you mean...

In this context, SIN 498 is about BT Openreach requirements, to be followed by their customers.

However, there is nothing to stop those ISPs (of which BT Retail is one) from having tighter requirements. The router/modems can be manufactured with ISP-specific firmware in them, capable of communicating with the ISP's own management systems.

If an end-user swaps his ISP-provided modem for a different one that meets SIN498, then the service should work. But the ISP's support department might not be forgiving when it comes to dealing with a fault. And this seems to be the problem you are describing: that BT Retail is placing additional demands on you, beyond those that Openreach are placing on BT retail.
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kitz

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 09:32:49 AM »

I am not aware that you must use a HH.  Even their own website states that you can use another modem, but they will not give you technical support for that equipment.  ie they wont help you configure it.

Not having a HH installed does not stop them running any fault tests needed prior to reporting to Openreach.  They will still be able to perform a GEA Service Test.  The only difference is they will know its not their own equipment as it will return:- "GEA service test completed and [no/fault] found but unable to check for customer equipment connected to the modem".

The main site page Openreach [MCT] Modem Conformance answers a lot of the common questions and list of approved modem/routers which I last updated July 25th 2017.


>> I could see that we only had a s/n margin of around 1-3dB on the downstream,

If the SNRm is at time running at 1dB, then its not surprising that the line may be experiencing some problems.
It may be useful to reboot the modem and note what the SNRm is immediately after a resync.
It's not unusual for SNR on some lines to vary over the course of the day, but if it does currently have a Target SNRm of 3dB, then I would expect DLM to be taking action and start reversing.  Need to know really how much SNRm varies over the course of the day and if its a standard daily spread... or something more attributable to EMI or a HR type fault. 
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homeplay

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 10:03:06 AM »

Thanks for the replies guys. It was indeed BT Retail broadband support I was talking to - this is a residential line running plain old 'Infinity 2'. I've never had this problem before, so I think this is a new policy.

I did attempt to get through to 2nd line support but it was impossible. I just couldn't get past the script. Even when I told them the problem (1dB to 3dB s/n margin - making it highly uniquely that my problem was bring caused by a modem/router misconfiguration) they still couldn't run a test to confirm the problem I'd diagnosed without a Homehub being connected.

SNRm is still 3dB on average but it is fluctuating rapidly between 1dB -5dB. So our engineer has just reconnected the HH and is about to call BT, who will hopefully raise a fault. Then we'll have to charge the client another 200 to go back and reconnect the Draytek when the fault has been cleared. Ridiculous...

I guess this is just how things will be now...

What's even more annoying is that BT don't (to the best of my knowledge) provide a proper modem/bridge mode for the Homehub (like Virgin do), so I can't even provide a workaround... so my only option is to hack together something together using a DMZ and such.

Whatever we do we're going to end up with a less than ideal situation... time to start strongly recommending Andrews and Arnold I think...
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lee111s

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 10:55:12 AM »

Thanks for the replies guys. It was indeed BT Retail broadband support I was talking to - this is a residential line running plain old 'Infinity 2'. I've never had this problem before, so I think this is a new policy.

I did attempt to get through to 2nd line support but it was impossible. I just couldn't get past the script. Even when I told them the problem (1dB to 3dB s/n margin - making it highly uniquely that my problem was bring caused by a modem/router misconfiguration) they still couldn't run a test to confirm the problem I'd diagnosed without a Homehub being connected.

SNRm is still 3dB on average but it is fluctuating rapidly between 1dB -5dB. So our engineer has just reconnected the HH and is about to call BT, who will hopefully raise a fault. Then we'll have to charge the client another 200 to go back and reconnect the Draytek when the fault has been cleared. Ridiculous...

I guess this is just how things will be now...

What's even more annoying is that BT don't (to the best of my knowledge) provide a proper modem/bridge mode for the Homehub (like Virgin do), so I can't even provide a workaround... so my only option is to hack together something together using a DMZ and such.

Whatever we do we're going to end up with a less than ideal situation... time to start strongly recommending Andrews and Arnold I think...

Two hundred quid swap a router? I'm in the wrong business.
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broadstairs

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 11:47:17 AM »

I must admit I thought perhaps there was a nought too many, was I being too charitable?

Stuart
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Dray

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 12:05:16 PM »

Bit of a cheek posting here to avail themselves of free support then charging the client 200.

I wonder if they've noticed the "Paypal donate" button in the top RH corner?
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Black Sheep

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 03:31:15 PM »

Concur ..... 200 to reconnect a router seems more than excessive ............. unless the OP is talking about the whole experience costing 200 ?? As in the time spent of phone, visits to site, etc etc .....

SIN498 documentation that I can see is pretty much all classed as confidential, so unable to share. But from what I can glean in layman's terms, is that the router has to have a certain four parameters accessible as part of the T&C's. If an EU preferred router is being used and a fault is to be reported, then this router should be unplugged and the relevant ISP provided router plugged in for a t least 90-120mins .......... this gives the systems (DLM, Yukon etc) a little time to collate relevant data in which to analyse. Plugging (for example) a BT HH in and instantly ringing BTr fault reception,  sees a high-percentage chance of being turned away.

 
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c6em

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 03:59:32 PM »

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Black Sheep

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 04:15:16 PM »

Cheers for that c6em ...... just to clarify, as I'm sure you will be more than aware, there's public documentation and then there's the business sensitive info ..... all the stuff on our intranet is 'confidential', although I'm also more than aware a heck of a lot of it will already be in the public domain.  :)
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gt94sss2

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 04:20:37 PM »

Thanks for the replies guys. It was indeed BT Retail broadband support I was talking to - this is a residential line running plain old 'Infinity 2'. I've never had this problem before, so I think this is a new policy.

Whatever we do we're going to end up with a less than ideal situation... time to start strongly recommending Andrews and Arnold I think...

Its not a new policy - its existed for years - though how zealously its been enforced over time has varied. Its possible that BT Retail's 1st line support have received a circular reminding them of the policy recently or that you were just unlucky. Nevertheless, you can expect other large residential  ISP's like Vodafone, Sky and TalkTalk to have similar policies and indeed several of them have been much stricter than BT in the past insisting you use their own modems.

At least BT Retail give customers a choice and provide usernames/passwords for their customers. The same can't be said of all ISPs.

However, good A&A is, this in itself is not really a reason to recommend them to a standard residential customer without any other requirements.
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Chrysalis

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Re: SIN498 and BT Broadband
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2017, 04:46:55 PM »

Probably tr069 needs to be active for one thing.
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