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Author Topic: G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.  (Read 273 times)

Oakserver

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G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.
« on: January 23, 2021, 11:03:25 PM »

Hi,

For years now I have a very slightly unstable DSL connection and I cant quite put my finger on what exactly the problem is, and BT dont want to know as its very infrequent in their opinion.

I've had various technologies over the years, from an ISDN line, then ADSL, VDSL and now I'm lucky enough to have G.fast.

Now, I've seen people say that a G.fast connection synchronises with the cabinet in a matter of seconds. I have yet to see this myself though - seems to take as long as VDSL ever did, maybe 30 seconds to 1 minute for a resync so I certainly do notice when the line goes down. My two son's are gamers and certainly notice when the line goes down. The unreliability does seem to depend on the modem I use and I have to say, the Draytek Vigor 166 is holding on to my connection longer than my previous MT992 has managed to.

Over the years I have contacted BT, spoken to many different call centres all to say that they cant find any fault or reason for the disconnections, which happen now nearly every day apart from since I got the 166 which has prolonged it to around 3 days now. DLM doesn't seem to have intervened luckily, I still can ping bbc.co.uk with around 6-7ms roundtrip so latency is still excellent.

Now dont get me wrong, 1 connection drop a day isn't bad at all - but it is more noticeably during lockdown when the kids are at home, and I'm trying to homework as is my wife. Any disruption to the internet causes MS Teams calls to drop, my son comes down to complain that his google classroom is cut off and my younger son cant attend his assembly! Arrrgghh!

So, this is what I know about the problem so far:

1) It is intermittent. Broadband and Landline can be crystal clear. My broadband Sync can be as high as 8db SNR with attainable speed of 220mbps down and 30mbps up. Just before a drop I start to see SNR drop to about 2db and I've even seen the Draytek 166 report -2db - how could it still be connected I dont know, but it does seem to cling on.
2) Now here's the strange one - if I listen to a quiet line test on the landline whilst we have lost sync, or whilst we have very low sync I hear some crackle on the line. If I wiggle the telephone cable at the socket end, the crackle disappears and the modem can resync. The problem seems resolved - at east for the short term.
3) I have replaced the cables, the router and even got a new BT telephone in case it was my Gigaset N300A IP going faulty, but doesn't seem to make any difference. My BT faceplate was changed multiple times by BT, once when going from ADSL to VDSL and again very recently since going from VDSL to G.fast. I have a new G.fast faceplate installed by BT. If I remove the phone from the socket, and plug it staight back in, the crackle is gone and nothing I do makes the crackle come back other than leaving it for another 24 hours or so. Strange.

I recently read that this might be a 'high resistance' fault where a poor joint or connection may be present in the line. Keith Beddow of the BT forums has talked about this, and the fact that it may be temporary cured by passing high current though the cable by letting the line ring for 20 seconds or so. This is all well and good but isn't a cure to the problem.

If I report a fault, if the engineer isn't here at the time this is occurring the there is no fault to be found. I was even thinking should about disconnecting the phone from the socket and just use a mobile all the time but as its the same copper pair I dont think that would make any difference.

I feel like there is no solution to this and just something I have to put up with. I was even thinking about the latest option of an additional broadband line. Presumably that would be provided over a new pair and not liable to the same fault in which case I could use it as a failover - bit expensive at 29.99 though when I know my own line is capable of good speeds.

Also, I realise that many people would die for. a G.fast connection that dropped only once or twice a day - but I would much prefer to loose a bit of speed to stop the disconnections and line crackles - but the same used to happen on VDSL too. Lockdown has just made it more 'noticeable' as more people in the house are affected.

Thanks for any guidance.







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re0

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Re: G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2021, 12:04:16 AM »

I read through your post and I can feel your annoyance because I am in a somewhat similar situation. The only difference is mine is not every day, but seems to occur mostly when its wet outside. I can get multiple drops in a day under these conditions, with the DLM eventually kicking in and increasing SNRM if the errors are high enough. And noise on the line was picked up on the phone at least once (though, I only tried with one wired handset). Just in your case, my ISP cannot detect a fault.

It seems like you've ruled out it being your hardware. I haven't seen you mention trying to plug the phone directly into the test socket (bypassing the filter on the faceplate) to test for noise. Nor have you mentioned using a different microfilter plugged directly into the test socket. I'd advise trying those things before progressing further.

Even if, after you've tried the above, problems still occur, you could try to raise a fault. You need to be insistent, as there may be some resistance from support. Just bear in mind that one resync a day is not enough for typical fault conditions. And you always run the risk of having the engineer show up to report no fault, which could lead to a charge.

I want to respond directly to your points, but I think it would lead to more questions than answers at this moment.

By the way, I have noticed that resyncing for me is currently taking as long as VDSL. I do not know if this got longer after the bandplan for G.fast changed.
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bkehoe

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Re: G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2021, 10:15:11 AM »


By the way, I have noticed that resyncing for me is currently taking as long as VDSL. I do not know if this got longer after the bandplan for G.fast changed.

My G.fast line with 400mbit attainable takes several minutes to sync up, longer than VDSL did. I've so far presumed it's to do with the fact g.fast has vectoring as vdsl with vectoring takes longer to sync as well.

Out of curiosity, how is the sync speed on the Draytek vs your MT992?
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Oakserver

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Re: G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 02:36:42 PM »

My G.fast line with 400mbit attainable takes several minutes to sync up, longer than VDSL did. I've so far presumed it's to do with the fact g.fast has vectoring as vdsl with vectoring takes longer to sync as well.

Out of curiosity, how is the sync speed on the Draytek vs your MT992?

I only have fibre 100 which maxes out at 160mbps so I cant  make use of the full attainable rate. You cant get any stats from the MT992 so I could never view the maximum attainable from that, although the BT DSL checker website showed an attainable rate now of around 202 down / 33.94 up.

I'm sure that BT Broadband checker showed around 180 down / 28 up with the MT992, although it did fluctuate a bit.

The Draytek seems reduced the number of line drops - its not daily any more touch wood - it seems to hold on a little longer but it is early days. Wish I could stop the audible line crackle though once and for all as I'm certain that is the cause of the broadband issue.
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burakkucat

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Re: G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 05:29:53 PM »

The symptoms you have described are, indeed, those of a joint (or a point of connection, i.e. plug and socket pair) showing either high resistance or semi-conductive tendencies.
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Ronski

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Re: G.fast Broadband drops and slight landline crackles.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 05:31:51 PM »

If you have audible noise on the line then you should report this as a voice fault, not a broadband fault, and ideally when its making the noise and hopefully the support agent will hear it. Whatever is causing the crackle will be causing the broadband to drop, so hopefully if they can find the cause it will cure that.

As you say the other option is to order another line - how much contract do you have left on the existing line?

Third option is a complaint to the CEO's office Clive dot Selley at openreach dot com. I'd actually make this the second option, you really shouldn't have to pay for a second line because of poor service, although I do appreciate some faults can be hard to find.
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