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Author Topic: Strange broadband issue/s  (Read 570 times)

BobC

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Strange broadband issue/s
« on: November 04, 2021, 01:29:20 PM »

Hello, I was here earlier this year complaining about gradual broadband speed declines over the years. After 5 years the issue was finally resolved at the telepole fixing the corroded wire. I then proceeded to switch from BT to Zen due to the 24 month contract requirements and costs.

The switchover was fine but I'm experiencing a few irritating issues. The first one is randomly losing connection to Zen's ISP. So we randomly lose connection to Zen the ISP provider but the dsl connection remains connected. So what happens when we lose connection to Zen? Well... a few things. Sometimes the connection re-establishes itself after 10-50 minutes. Another option is to clear the account information and resubmit the username and password and test a manual check through the router. The third option is restarting the router and doing approach 2 and hope it reconnects or phone Zen who have us doing the same thing time and time again. Restore to factory settings etc, use our test username+password etc. The connection finally re-establishes at some point. This can then be working from anywhere between 3 and 60 days then the same issue happens again... It's annoying because sometimes it doesn't automatically reset and requires some messing about, and there's no guarantee it resolves itself without a call.

The second issue is the line can randomly get flooded with errors. When this happens the corrected DTU's goes as high as 150,000+ with a build up of CRC, ES and SES errors before dlm intervenes and restarts the connection or I spot it and restart the router. If either are done the line miraculously fixes itself. No more packet loss, no more errors or anything... Normally the corrected DTU's is between 10 and 1k with a few ES errors here and there per month. This issue is just as weird as the first one because it happens totally out of the blue as in it isn't happening frequently. The only time I generally get an error build up otherwise is if there's thunder outside, but that never seems to spark 1000's of errors in the space of 30 minutes,

Post corrosion fix the random surge of errors wasn't happening with BT. Post or pre corrosion fix the connection being lost to BT never happened. The HUB went down for random reboots every 14 days but that took the dsl connection down with it.

Honestly why do I keep getting the most bizarre issues that are rarely reported.

My Mum's partner was given a fault reference code a few months ago after reporting the issue twice. It's happened quite a few times since then. I restarted the router 10 days ago to try and fix a loss of connection between me and Zen. 3 days ago the dlm intervened due to a high error build up overnight and then in the early hours of this morning the connection was lost for 20-30 minutes. This can happen at any time of the day but I have noticed the error build up does tend to occur mostly between 3 and 7am.

Any ideas what this could be? I don't think it's necessary but I will post a screenshot of my stats anyway.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2021, 01:35:36 PM by BobC »
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tiffy

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2021, 02:50:21 PM »

Migrated my 40/10 VDSL service from Plusnet to Zen last December.
Have noted on very rare occasions my PPP session will drop while still maintaining line synch, has occured at most 4 times in the close to year BB provision with Zen, always occurs overnight.

As I prefer a separate modem/router setup I just unplug the modem/router WAN connection on the modem for a few seconds and the PPP session will re-establish very quickly on re-connecting the cable, never had to re-boot the router, modem remains in synch.
I run DSLStats 24/7 on a RPi, the modem stat's never indicate any major upsets which could be attributable to the PPP drop out.

With the infrequency of the events and the very easy fix have never reported anything to Zen, doesn't really bother me and remain happy with Zen's overall service after escaping from Plusnet.
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BobC

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2021, 08:03:54 PM »

Migrated my 40/10 VDSL service from Plusnet to Zen last December.
Have noted on very rare occasions my PPP session will drop while still maintaining line synch, has occured at most 4 times in the close to year BB provision with Zen, always occurs overnight.

As I prefer a separate modem/router setup I just unplug the modem/router WAN connection on the modem for a few seconds and the PPP session will re-establish very quickly on re-connecting the cable, never had to re-boot the router, modem remains in synch.
I run DSLStats 24/7 on a RPi, the modem stat's never indicate any major upsets which could be attributable to the PPP drop out.

With the infrequency of the events and the very easy fix have never reported anything to Zen, doesn't really bother me and remain happy with Zen's overall service after escaping from Plusnet.

It's happening a bit more frequently on my end and it doesn't always re-establish a connection with the ISP. It's happening enough times to warrant a problem. I'm using the router as an all in one so I can't do what you do. I don't want to use a combo of modem + router though due to inadequate spacing.

The only times the dsl connection as dropped since switching to Zen so far is when the router as been rebooted by myself, power cuts (A few occured in July back to back) or the dlm restarting the connection twice due to those random error builds up that are inconsistent then knock the connection out... I don't understand why this is happening either. It can be fine for a month then a random spike causes hundreds or thousands of errors in such a short space of time. This too as happened a few times but I caught some of them early on and restarted the router and everything was fixed. This is why I still have the 3db SNR because when the dlm kicks in it changes to 4 then finds it stable enough to go back to 3 after a couple of days.
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j0hn

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2021, 01:17:43 PM »

I've migrated a couple lines away from Zen in the past 18 months.

The Zen and IDNet (a Zen reseller) sections on the ThinkBroadband forums have quite a few recent complaints about PPP sessions dropping/general downtime.

Email support is non existent. Backhaul choice flexibility is completely gone. Their control panel doesn't even tell your what backhaul you are on now.
Their Manchester/London peering/routing is broken for many. If the system picks the wrong 1 for your location, tough.

The final straw for me was an upstream fault on an FTTC line that reduced sync from 7Mb to 0.8Mb.
3 emails unanswered and 2 phone calls where the rep kept repeating that the downstream was within estimates so they wouldn't help.

They are not the company they used to be. Far from it.
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g3uiss

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2021, 02:40:08 PM »

I so agree.  Really bad experience with one of my Zen circuits reported on another thread on this forum. After getting all the fault issues wrong the billing suddenly doubled my bill. Getting it resolved was a nightmare as they ask you to email billing, but never replied.
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BobC

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2021, 04:41:38 PM »

I've migrated a couple lines away from Zen in the past 18 months.

The Zen and IDNet (a Zen reseller) sections on the ThinkBroadband forums have quite a few recent complaints about PPP sessions dropping/general downtime.

Email support is non existent. Backhaul choice flexibility is completely gone. Their control panel doesn't even tell your what backhaul you are on now.
Their Manchester/London peering/routing is broken for many. If the system picks the wrong 1 for your location, tough.

The final straw for me was an upstream fault on an FTTC line that reduced sync from 7Mb to 0.8Mb.
3 emails unanswered and 2 phone calls where the rep kept repeating that the downstream was within estimates so they wouldn't help.

They are not the company they used to be. Far from it.

So I take it this is an issue with Zen directly? It as nothing to do with Openreach / cabinet? The dsl connection looks solid overall. I thought it may have been a faulty router but the cpu / power usage never spikes and the uptime is only resetting when I manually restart the router. What's annoying is I do have to restart the router at times when the connection drops as it seems to fair better with a router restart + manually inputting the details in again. A few months ago I did exactly this and the connection with Zen resumed but my details had changed to 1970 so the connection was still out. Restarted the router again, manually input the username+password into the account information and it reconnected with the current time and date but none of the little workarounds are guaranteed temp fixes. If I attempt this when the connection is lost without a router restart all I get is a message about blocked packets. I don't have the full sentence to paste at hand but if it happens again, which it will, I'll paste the error information when trying to establish a connection directly with Zen. This same error can also display upon router restarts but I do find that it as an easier time re-establishing a connection after a router restart. I would like a fix to this but I guess it's down to Zen to sort it out on their end.

If you're allowed to send direct links to these threads you're referring to could you please?

As for these random sudden build up of errors on the line is that normal with 3db and no manual router restarts? I noticed a pinned thread on one of the Kitz forums talking about interleaving and uncapped, fullspeed and them having these random outbursts of errors on the line. In the past I always had routers that forcefully rebooted every 14 to 21 days. The Fritzbox never seems to reboot unless I manually restart it. So I'm now wondering if this is normal behaviour, as I'm not on the shortest of lines either, still weird though because it's really random and just happens out of nowhere, when the rest of the time it's perfectly fine.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 04:45:27 PM by BobC »
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Weaver

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 06:22:33 PM »

You need to talk to Zen about this. They used to be a good ISP and should in theory sort you out. The error counts that youíre seeing are the result of a fault in the line or interference (or increased vulnerability/susceptibility to interference due to a line fault). Thatís down to Openreach not Zen. My guess about Ďlosing the connection to Zení (not clear exactly what youíre seeing here) is tha the PPP session is dying for some reason. That is Zenís problem most likely. If Zen canít fix it, then I would have to do you-know-what (what does Weaver always say, like a cracked record?).

> As for these random sudden build up of errors on the line is that normal with 3db

Yes. Thatís a very very slim margin, conditions have to be very good, but G.INP is incredibly effective and makes 3dB instead of 6 dB feasible when things are normal. But when things arenít normal, a target SNRM needs to be 6dB or even 9dB.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 06:27:07 PM by Weaver »
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g3uiss

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2021, 06:27:44 PM »

@weaver has put that simply for you. The PPP drops, are perhaps routine Zen balancing their gateways. I do get these periodically on both circuits. I might have misread your post, but I donít think these are very frequent and in the early hours indicating a maintenance event.
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Weaver

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2021, 06:30:54 PM »

And thanks to J0hn for his revelation, something that I didnít know. PM me if I can help.
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tubaman

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2021, 06:38:19 PM »

The only time I've seen very high and seemingly random error counts on my line was when a modem/router was starting to die. It would be fine for days and then suddenly errored seconds would be racking up at a crazy rate. A reboot appeared to fix it but the time between incidents got shorter and shorter so I changed it out, at which point the issue stopped.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2021, 07:12:16 AM »

I wanted to chime in just to say I've never noticed PPP drop on Zen.  That's not to say it doesn't, but pfSense has always reconnected.

Of course I probably wouldn't notice when it happens as I have fallback onto Plusnet and Three which means routing only fails if a connection is not coming back up correctly (eg OpenVPN clients can be fun if they suffer packet loss so keep dropping/reconnecting, restarting the firewall each time)

Of course as you seem to be using the Zen provided router, if PPP is not reconnecting properly I'd consider it a Zen problem.

As for the Manchester/London routing, I think I stopped going via Manchester when they moved me onto TTB backhaul.
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jelv

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2021, 10:02:11 AM »

I rarely get PPP drops with Zen and only become aware of overnight drops because I have https://f8lure.mouselike.org/auth.asp monitoring my NAS box (via IPv6). Last drop was Thursday around 2:30 a.m and it came back automatically 10 minutes later (I suspect BT as load balancing would have come back quicker). I can't remember when the last drop was.
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BobC

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Re: Strange broadband issue/s
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2021, 06:37:53 PM »

Heaps of problems yet again today. Screenshot attached.

Only took about 1 hour to get the internet back on. Dsl connected. Connection to Zen lost. Waited about 25 minutes before restarting the router, router restarted and no connection as expected. Tried inputting the account details in like I always do then received as shown in the screenshot which is all too common when this happens. Restarted the router again same errors. Backed up my current settings and factory reset it, still the same errors. Then it just randomly comes back on 15 minutes later. This issue is really frustrating.

That was 3 router restarts and some messing around to get it back on. If it stays on and settles I will restore the settings prior to the factory reset, don't want dlm interfering with my line as it looks stable most of the time from a dsl connection perspective.
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