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On Tue, 20 Sep 2011, tom wrote:
When BT 'checks' yur line thay have a machine that tries to work out where the line is faulty (if at all) - it can be wrong by a few % and thats many metres on long lines. They will ALWAYS blame you as intermittent faults can be a bugger to find and fix - I've had crocodile clips dangling overmy dining room window for over 2- hours this year alone. One major problem is water in joints - it only takes a little bit to generate a voltage and push your equipment over. As a test I always call BT when my line is faulty - this often clears the fault. This is due to increased current during the call drying the line out. Another trick is to get your phone to ring - the 70v ringing pulse dries it out even better. I cant get a mobile signal here so I phone a friend to give me a ring but it may not cost you anything to call yourself if you can. Eventually it will degrade to the stage where even the operator can hear the noise (with nothing but a passive phone connected to the junction box) - an unless water is pouring over your junction box they will have to fix it free of charge.
Standard BT test number is 17070. Dial this, then there are 2 tests you can do. The first is the quiet line test - option 2 - does what it says, but digital dot will interject ever 30 seconds or so... The other is ring-back. Option 1, then wait for the conformation message then hangup - your phone will then ring until you pick it up (or for 30 seconds IIRC)
Despite being only a 2-wire circuit, there are numerous faults that you can have - some will cause complete loss if voice, but still allow broadband (and vice versa)
Remember to do all tests from the master test socket - ie. remove the faceplate of your NTE5 BT Termination box and plug directly into the socket inside that box. Removing the faceplate should completely disconnect all internal wiring - if it doesn't then you have more issues as there should be nothing at all wired in parallel or upstream of your single BT NTE5 box.
Remember that the filters are to filter the voice side of thing, not the broadband side - you can plug a router directly into the master socket (or any socket) without a filter. I often leave client sites like this when the line is provisioned for ADSL only.
The best way (IMO) is to use a filtered faceplate on the NTE5 - that way all in-house extension wiring is filtered by the one faceplate so you never need to bother with plug-in filters and the modem is plugged into the faceplate as close to the BT side of things as possible.
So if you do get a fault, try to work out yourself if it's a broadband fault (ie. fault of the ISP or BT), or a line fault - use the quiet line test. If you can hear crackles, hiss, pops and/or clicks, then it's a line fault - do not call BT and tell them you have a broadband fault, but do call them and tell them you have an audio fault with the line (call 151 or 0800 800 151) - if possible call them at a point when you know there is noise on the line so they will hear the noise too. (and if you can hear it, then they can too) Get them to confirm that they can hear the noise too - then BT ought to come out and fix the line. (for free as long as the fault is outside your premises) Do not mention it's a broadband fault until you're sure the line is good and passes quiet line tests. (and then don't mention it to BT, but to your ISP).
My experiences are that if you have a crackly line and you tell BT that it's a broadband fault they'll simply ignore you and tell you to report it to the ISP - who'll tell you to call BT. So identify the fault type first, if you can, and always deal with phone (voice) faults before you deal with broadband faults.
As for £100 modem/routers - like everything, you get what you pay for. (Except when being blatantly ripped-off) I've gone off Drayteks now as they have too many NAT issues with recent firmware and am now installing Billion Bipak 7800's - which are still over £100 but seem pretty solid so-far, and support IPv6 natively with a firmware upgrade. The one thing they don't have is native VPN though - something the Drayteks were good for, however different routers have different chipssets in them and some will work better than others - and this will also vary on exchange equipment too - a local site I setup recently was syncing at 15Mb/sec on a Billion router, but syncs at 18Mb/sec with a Draytek Vigor 120 modem...
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