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Author Topic: ISP Bridge Tap Claims  (Read 2572 times)

steenamaroo

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ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« on: February 13, 2018, 02:12:56 PM »

Hi all,
New member here in UK, hoping someone might be able to offer some friendly advice.

I'm being given the runaround, I believe, by my ISP.
For two years straight (literally all day every day) I had 19,999+79,999 up and down respectively from one UK provider.
Since joining the other I've had max down link of around 70 but, every few months or so, my connection will repeatedly drop and link rate will get chipped away until it's at 40-50 down.

Each time the ISP has me run around unplugging faceplates, trying the master, trying filters, switching routers etc which, of course, tells their DLM to clamp down harder.
I appreciate there are troubleshooting procedures that need to be carried out but both times these actions only served to decrease sync and then the ISP shrugs and says "your line rate is within our predicted range".
The past two times I gave up out of frustration and speeds were magically restored after 4-6 weeks.

This time they've concluded, despite initially claiming no line faults, that I have a bridge tap somewhere.

Now, I have no household wiring at all - It was all ripped out during renovations years ago, so there's an A+B from the road going to a mk3 openreach faceplate fitted by an engineer, and on my side I have a phone and a router. That's literally it.

I suspect the ISP is just reading the next line of the 'please go away' handbook and, as having an engineer out to find no fault will cost me good money, I've refused to accept their diagnosis without some evidence. Of course none has been offered.

Anyway, to get to the question - Is it possible to speculate from my line stats whether there is a bridge tap somewhere on the network side?
There's been no noticeable change in these figures for months, or years even, (apart from downlink rate) and my fibre is to the cabinet approximately 200m away.
The 200m stretch is copper which, as I say, supported 79,999 for two years straight without so much as a hiccup. That changed the day I switched ISP.

I did recently have the router replaced as part of their troubleshooting and had a stable connection for 10 days immediately after - Dropouts had been daily/every two days prior to that.
Personally I think the router was giving up and this is just the DLM downward spiral again, but they clam up and either roadblock you with "we can't" or refuse to answer if you mention that. ;)

Many thanks in advance.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 02:23:56 PM by steenamaroo »
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j0hn

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 02:23:28 PM »

What ISP are you with?

The downstream looks banded to me. The downstream snrm is 12.3dB when it should be 6dB.

What are the lines estimates? If it's below the estimates it should be fairly easy to get the ISP to send and engineer to perform a DLM reset.

What modem do you have? Some modems have access to much more detailed stats, though yours looks like an ISP modem with little chance of that.

Regarding the bridge tap, it doesn't need to be in your property. A bridge tap can be anywhere between you and the DSLAM. It's just prudent to rule out internal wiring 1st.
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steenamaroo

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 02:32:34 PM »

Hi j0hn,
Thank you for the very quick reply.

My ISP is TalkTalk.

I've been told that initially my profile was allowing for maximum link rate, so any diminished speeds were not the result of DLM.
I was later told that my profile got changed on 21st to a maximum link rate of 55,000, and interleaving was set to low.
This coincides with the troubleshooting that was carried out.
I think my profile was reduced at least one more time since then, as my rate is now 41270.

I think my original line estimate with the previous provider was 60-80 and, as I say, I saw 79,999 for the duration of my two year contract with them.
I didn't pay much attention when changing providers as there's no reason for anything to change, right? <sigh>.
The bought service is the same - Up to 76, IIRC?

The modem/router is D-Link 3782 - TalkTalk firmware.

I understand that a tap could be outside the property, in fact it has to be in my case, but wondered if there was some way to support or rule out their claim from my stats?

I've asked for a DLM reset - They say an engineer has to come out to do that and that a fault has to be registered for an engineer to come out.
Looking through their support forum, my concern is that they'll send an engineer who will find no fault and charge me for the pleasure. It seems to happen a lot.

I believe my downstream SNR-M has always been around 12. Perhaps I'm wrong?
Would that support their claim?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 02:42:41 PM by steenamaroo »
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tubaman

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 02:56:02 PM »

Definitely something odd going on there as those line stats, in terms of errors, look really good for nearly 4 days of uptime.

As @j0hn has said the DS SNRM should be near 6dB, which does suggest banding.

I'm pretty sure that D-link router uses a Mediatek chipset, which most on this forum would stay well away from due to poor performance  :yuck:
But even given that it should perform better on what, from simple stats, looks like a decent line.

I suspect that the only way to get a more definitive answer on the bridge tap question will be to get a modem that supports DSLstats.
Zyxel units are popular on here (for good reason), but there are other Broadcom based units out there too.
 :)
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steenamaroo

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 03:00:59 PM »

Hi Tubaman,

I did notice that since the last reduction in speed to 41k, CRC errors have been very low.
It drew my eye because they were actually 0/0 for a few days.

They were never worryingly high before that but the difference caught my eye.

Does this all suggest merit to the ISP's actions and claims?
I'm only hesitant because their information is lacking and often contradictory, and the last two issues with them were drawn out and had no conclusion.
To be blunt, they appear to just guess.
I have had >70 sustained for 2-3 months at a time with them when things are good which also makes me wonder about the sudden realisation that there's a bridge tap.

Unfortunately I don't have access to another modem/router except for a BT homehub 5 and an old Sky BB job that I use to repeat wifi outside.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 03:05:45 PM by steenamaroo »
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tubaman

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 03:19:42 PM »

Bridge taps don't just appear so it seems highly unlikely that one is the problem here.
If your previous router was faulty and causing lots of resyncs and/or errored seconds then you may have ended up with a banded line, and that can be very tricky to get removed.
Insist on a DLM reset as faulty hardware (especially as it was theirs!) should be a legitimate reason for requesting one?

IMHO Talk Talks current routers (D-Link 3782 and HG633) are pretty poor. The previous HG635 was quite decent but is only available second-hand now.
 :)
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steenamaroo

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 03:30:39 PM »

Thank you very much. You've both been very helpful indeed.
This conversation would have taken about 6 weeks elsewhere. ;)
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j0hn

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 03:52:09 PM »

There's a new system starting on 19th February where ISP's can request a DLM reset direct from OpenReach without the need for an engineer.
Most ISP's will request an engineer to be sent if the line is below the estimates. If it's below the downstream handback threshold shown on the BT Broadband Checker then you can leave the ISP without penalty.
A change of ISP would reset the DLM.
If I was below the downstream handback and the ISP refused to send an engineer, I'd be off elsewhere.

Between new customer offers and cashback from tcb/quidco you can save a small fortune switching, even from a budget ISP like Talktalk.

A Broadcom based modem with access to Hlog info would show if the line had a bridge tap. Do you have an old white OpenReach modem by any chance?

Can you post the VDSL estimates and downstream handback from here: https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/adsl.htm?s_cid=ws_furls_adslchecker
Use the full address checker.
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Westie

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 04:09:57 PM »


I suspect that the only way to get a more definitive answer on the bridge tap question will be to get a modem that supports DSLstats.


I second that. And there are some very knowledgeable and helpful people on this forum who would be able to advise you, should you decide to go down that route.  ;D

A good place to start might be here.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 04:12:08 PM by Westie »
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steenamaroo

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 04:25:51 PM »

Thank you all again.

I was not aware of the changes on 19th.
Now, wouldn't you think the ISP would mention that, especially when I've voiced my concerns to them them in the same way I did you?

I'm afraid I don't have an old OpenReach modem.
When I first had fibre installed it was just the mk3 faceplate and HH5.

I've attached my stats from the BT checker.

My original 'plan' was to wait it out and see if speeds return as before, then give the ISP hell over it.
Now I think I'll request a DLM reset on 19th and take it from there.
Thank you for that information!

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re0

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 09:20:02 AM »

Just out of interest, what type is the Home Hub 5 that you have there? If it is a type B then, as opposed to the type A which has a Lantiq SoC, it will have a Broadcom chipset which is known for it's stability. If it is indeed a type B and you used that on the BT connection you had before without issue, then it is quite likely to be the router hardware supplied by TalkTalk giving you a bad time.

I can see you've mentioned that you have a D-Link 3782 (which sports a MediaTek MT7511T SoC). I would be a bit cautious about putting a modem with a MediaTek SoC (or even Lantiq for that matter) on my own line just so I do not upset the DLM. Any time I have veered away from Broadcom I have had endless issues on both ADSL and VDSL for errors, disconnects and the DLM taking measures to stabilise the line. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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tubaman

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 11:38:16 AM »

Agree with @re0.
I would say even a Home Hub 5A (Lantiq) would be preferable to the D-Link, but I'm pretty sure you won't be able to use one on a TalkTalk circuit as it is locked to a BT username and password. :no:
If you don't mind used then there's loads of good kit available on Ebay, and if you a patient there are real bargains to be had.

My main concern is that the line is now banded. DLM may eventually lift this if you have a period of good stats (and the D-Link appears to be behaving in that respect), but if it's stubborn a DLM reset may be the only answer.
 :)
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steenamaroo

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 01:06:14 PM »

Hi re0 + tubaman,
It is, indeed, a type B but the Bt user+pass are coded into the firmware, as far as I know.
I'd be up for modding that but it doesn't seem like it's been done. If anyone knows better, please let me know. :)

It looks like TalkTalk offer HG635 with broadcom chipset, and DSLstats "with some fiddling". Do you think it would be worth requesting one from them?
I'm reluctant to spend money - If anything, I want to extract some back.

If the 635 is useless


I'll keep an eye on ebay. If the game is rigged there's no point playing with their ball.

Edited:incorrect information.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 02:00:51 PM by steenamaroo »
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steenamaroo

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 01:14:17 PM »

Oh, also.....Interesting development today!
Our electricity provider notified us of a temporary outage today which would have reset the router.
Downlink is up ever so slightly, but this is the first time I've ever seen uplink at anything other than 19,999...ever.

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tubaman

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Re: ISP Bridge Tap Claims
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2018, 03:03:17 PM »

Hmm, the fact that the DS has connected at a slightly different rate to before suggests that maybe our banding theory is wrong.
It's that 12dB SNRM together with a low line rate that's really rather strange. ???
I'd be very tempted to get hold of a Broadcom based modem that allows proper stats access so we can get a better idea about what's going on.
 :)
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