Wanadoo / BT broadand problem - no ADSL carrier?

Discussion in 'Home Networking' started by Martin Underwood, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. I've got a problem with broadband from Wanadoo: there appears to be no ADSL
    carrier. It's probably partly a political demarcation problem as to how much
    is Wanadoo's and how much is BT's responsibility.

    A customer ordered broadband from Wanadoo over a BT line. He opted for
    wires-only because I was getting him a router.

    Using this router (Dlink G604) or my own Netgear DG834GT, the ADSL light
    flashes continuously, the line speed in the config screen says 0 kbps (ie
    it's not picking up the ADSL carrier) and the Netgear's log shows perpetual
    LCP is down / LCP is coming up cycles. Because no carrier is detected, there
    is no attenutation or noise margin information listed.

    To the best of the customer's knowledge, there is only one BT socket on this
    line. It has a fax machine and the router connected to it via microfilter.
    I've tried with the fax machine disconnected: just router -> microfilter ->
    BT master socket.

    Wanadoo are being a little less helpful than I suspect they would be if it
    was their own equipment (modem or router). However they've got BT to do line
    checks which come back with no fault found. BT have also checked the line
    from an analogue point of view.

    I've swapped out:

    - ADSL lead
    - microfilter
    - router

    Wanadoo tried to escalate the problem to BT but I've just heard that BT
    responded by saying that since their tests came back with no fault found,
    they'd probably charge if the customer wanted an on-site visit by one of
    their (BT's) broadband experts.

    I'm bit at a loss as to how to proceed. I understand that any request for
    assistance for a broadband BT engineer to call has to be initiated by the
    ISP rather than the customer. Is this the case?

    What makes the problem worse is that I did all the setup and investigation
    work back in June and left it that Wanadoo would initiate a BT visit, then I
    heard no more from the customer till today, so I thought that everything
    must have been sorted by BT a long time ago. The customer's apparently been
    away on holiday a lot this summer and is only now revisiting the problem. If
    it was me, I'd be champing at the bit every few days, but he seems to be
    more laid-back!
    Martin Underwood, Oct 5, 2005
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  2. Martin Underwood

    Flying Rat Guest

    first things first

    have you tried it with a different filter?

    Flying Rat, Oct 5, 2005
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  3. Martin Underwood

    Big Brian Guest

    Have you tried just a standard adsl modem on thsi line.
    Big Brian, Oct 5, 2005
  4. Big Brian wrote in
    No. I don't have a standard ADSL modem to try. I might get myself one for
    just this sort of testing.
    Martin Underwood, Oct 5, 2005
  5. Flying Rat wrote in
    Yes: that's one of the things that I said I'd swapped out. I tried with I
    think three different filters: the one that came with the Dlink, the one
    that came with my Netgear and another one that I had used for connecting one
    of my phones. All to no avail.

    I might try with no filter at all - just a BT-to-RJ11 adaptor and the
    RJ11-RJ11 ADSL cable that came with the router. That way there should be no
    losses in a filter.

    I wonder if the signal attenuation is so great that its insufficient to be
    detected by the router - but the initial line test should have picked this
    up. BT's line checker is saying "Our initial test on your line indicates
    that you may be able to have Broadband from BT with speeds up to 512Kb,
    which is up to 10 times faster than dial-up. At the moment, your telephone
    line is unable to support our 2Mb speed broadband package. Also, due to the
    length of your line, an engineer visit may be required to set up your
    broadband service." I think (but I may be wrong) it used to say that the
    line was OK up to 1 Mb, with no caveat about an engineed visit being

    When BT check the line remotely can they actually check wiring right from
    the exchange to the connected device (router or modem) or are they really
    just checking that the exchange equipment is wokring OK?
    Martin Underwood, Oct 5, 2005
  6. Martin Underwood

    Kraftee Guest

    Yes, the only way a line can be tested for ADSL is by getting a BT
    engineer to site & testing with their equipment (it is also possible to
    do this remorely BUT it is not so accurate)..

    It's becoming more & more regular for an ISP to drag it's feet in
    regards to getting BT to visit, but it is the only way to get it sorted
    if you've checked everything at your friends. One thing they don't have
    a dial up alarm modem (will need to get the feed filtered) or an
    external hardwired bell (which will need to be disconnected) do they??
    Kraftee, Oct 5, 2005
  7. Martin Underwood

    John P Guest

    If the master socket has the removable section of faceplate have you
    tried pluging in to the test socket behind it and checked if there are
    any extensions wired off the face plate.

    If you are using a known good router/cable/microfilter combination and
    there is nothing else internally wired to the line and no signal at
    the test socket then I would think it unlikely a BT visit will incur a

    John P, Oct 5, 2005
  8. John P wrote in
    I'll take the faceplate off and confirm that there's no other wiring
    connected. If the socket has no half-height faceplate, it's not a master
    socket, is it, so that will be a good way to confirm that it's the one and
    only socket on the line - which is what the customer believes.
    Hope not - for the customer's sake.

    BTW, what's the legal position about removing the faceplate on a master
    socket? Is that strictly speaking something that only BT are allowed to do?
    Martin Underwood, Oct 5, 2005
  9. Martin Underwood

    John P Guest

    Not true - older master sockets can have a one piece faceplate.
    Removing the half plate type is OK - thats the reason they are like
    that to give the customer a place to do their own wiring from.

    John P, Oct 6, 2005
  10. Martin Underwood

    Lurch Guest

    A router has a standard modem built in. You mean a USB modem?
    Lurch, Oct 6, 2005
  11. not at all, the contract is with Wanadoo, their suppliers are their
    yes, I refer the Hon. Gentleman to my previous answer.
    worth asking what speed Wanadoo provided and looking at what
    www.bt.com/broadband says for the number.

    Phil Thompson, Oct 6, 2005
  12. Martin Underwood

    Dave Guest

    To be honest, it's very hard for the ISPs to convince BT to get an
    engineer out. I work for one and I know how difficult it is.

    Unless BT decide to send out an engineer, the only other way is to
    force an engineer appointment and this potentially involves hefty
    bills from BT that the ISP is not willing to risk

    A lot of the time a fault is booked it is cleared within minutes,
    obviously a computer runs an automated test on the line and finds no

    Then it gets sent back to BT who again say "no fault found, please
    retest". This usually goes on for a couple of weeks before they
    reluctantly make an engineer appt, meanwhile the ISP is getting it in
    the neck from the end user for something that is out of their control.

    And calling BT Wholesale doesn't really achieve much either, most of
    the time you get fobbed off by a call centre agent who says that the
    best they can do is send the case back to diagnostics.
    Dave, Oct 6, 2005
  13. Martin Underwood

    Kraftee Guest

    Funny that, a lot of the ADSL faults I visit (yes actually drive out &
    knock on the door, not remote test) are less than a week old.

    What hasn't helped the situation is the block up-grading which appears
    to have been done willy nilly to every one and anyone, whether their
    lines can support the new speeds or not, with little or no regard to any
    line tests which could have been done before (you can't test them after
    as they don't work!). Not to sure where this one goes to bed (BT
    Wholesale or the ISP's pushing them thru, take your choice). I have
    even had repeat faults where I have got customers up & working at 512K,
    told the customers that they couldn't have anything higher & the next
    week I've had to visit again because the dreaded upgrade has happened.
    Now we've been told not to visit but refer them back, but the jobs
    still clog up the system.
    Kraftee, Oct 6, 2005
  14. Martin Underwood

    Dave Guest

    It's true, there are a lot of faults that are dealt with fairly
    quickly, but there also do seem to be a lot that drag on for a while
    (or perhaps it is because this is the only ones that i hear about

    And there are definately a lot of cases that when an intermittent
    connection is booked. 2 minutes later it is clear as the user has been
    detected as being logged in at some point recently.
    what also doesn't help is that a lot of the faults turn out to be
    problems with the end users equipment, end user stupidity, etc but
    every case does have to be taken seriously and investigated which also
    clog up the system and take up engineer resources.
    Dave, Oct 6, 2005
  15. Martin Underwood

    davek Guest

    This sounds woefully familiar.

    When I signed up to a new ISP after moving house, BT's initial tests
    showed my line was fit for 2meg.

    I waited the prescribed ten days for the line to be activated, and when
    the day finally came and went with still no internet connection, I got
    back to my ISP.

    Eventually, after another couple of weeks of to-ing and fro-ing, we got
    a BT engineer to come round to our house.

    The first thing he said when he got here was "you're too far from the
    exchange for a 2meg connection; best you can hope for is 512k."

    So the engineer reports back to BT; they report back to the ISP; ISP
    requests a downgraded connection from BT. (Why on earth the engineer
    couldn't just go to the exchange and fix he connection himself straight

    Another two weeks pass...

    Just as I'm beginning to wonder what is happening next, I get an email
    from my ISP saying "BT has carried out further tests and finds your
    line is capable of 1meg; it will be connected tomorrow". I didn't ask
    for 1meg, I just want a connection that works, but if I can actually
    get 1meg, so much the better.

    But I'll be mightily pissed off if they have given me a connection
    speed against their own engineer's recommendations and then find it
    doesn't work...

    That was Tuesday. The DSL light on my router is still in flicker mode.

    I have been on the phone to ISP today trying to ascertain why the f*ck
    those idiots tried to hook me up to a 1meg line when their own engineer
    said it wouldn't work.

    Another thing that bothers me is that beyond saying we were too far
    from the exchange, the engineer made no effort to physically
    investigate our line. As far as he was concerned, the line length was
    all there was to it. If there is a physical fault on the line, it
    remains undiagnosed.

    So far I have not given my ISP too much grief because, after all, it is
    not their fault, right? Well, the sods are still making the deductions
    from my bank account as if the line was up and running on the original
    scheduled date, so I've decided that they are going to get a stiff
    ear-bashing from me in the morning and start bloody well earning their

    It's this feeling of impotence in the face of BT's bureaucratic
    intransigence that is making me most frustrated. I've got to the stage
    where I really feel the need to take it out on someone, and the ISP are
    the only ones I am actually able to speak to....

    Please spare a thought for the poor fool that answers my call in the

    davek, Oct 7, 2005
  16. if he knows it isn't going to work because of the distance there isn't
    any evidence of a fault until is fails to work on a speed that should
    work. Your own line statistics would be illuminating

    Phil Thompson, Oct 7, 2005
  17. Martin Underwood

    davek Guest

    They initially said that 2meg was supposed to work, then they said 1meg
    was supposed to work, despite their own engineer's assertions to the

    How do they go about determining what connection speed is supposed to
    work? So far it seems to be a case of trial and error. It has taken
    nearly six weeks of this nonsense and I still don't have a connection.
    I am bloody fed up and want someone to take some decisive action
    I can't get that site to load for some reason, but in any case I don't
    see how it is supposed to help since (a) I am not using a speedtouch
    modem, and (b) I don't even have a broadband connection to provide any
    line statistics.

    davek, Oct 7, 2005
  18. Martin Underwood

    Kraftee Guest

    Local knowledge does count for something you (even though the powers
    that be don't believe in it)
    Because he can't, simple as that, it has to be agreed by your ISP first
    & then, possibly, you may need to put on a different DSLAM (no I don't
    know why but it sometimes happens). So it's not something which can be
    done on the spot. Your contract is with the ISP, BT is contracted by
    your ISP so if your ISP tells BT that they need a 2Mb service BT can't
    turn around & say we're going to give you a 1Mb one instead.
    BT didn't just supply you with 1Mb they were asked to by your ISP
    Doubt if it's a actual fault it's just that the BT post code checker is
    not an accurate measure & as for the engineer just telling you it to far
    & walking away, you could very well be on the 'best' routing possible so
    he would just be wasting your time & his. I've got areas in my patch
    where I KNOW what is & isn't possible.
    Well you are their customer so they should be bothered enough to chase
    their supplier, i.e BT Wholesale
    Don't put all the blame on BT a lot (& I do mean a lot) should & can be
    done by your ISP . I've even come across ISP's who are telling their
    customers to raise a fault on 151 if they want their ADSL fixed & that
    way leads to a visit charge being raised. I've evn had a case where the
    ISP had put off asking for an engineering visit for over a year & when
    the engineer did get there the line was so bad they couldn't even have a
    512k connection (& that's after doing everything he could to try & get
    something workable there)
    Well you are their customer, they should be doing something for all the
    money you are paying them.

    You have checked from the test socket on your NTE5 using a different
    filter haven't you. If you haven't you could end up with egg on your
    Kraftee, Oct 7, 2005
  19. Martin Underwood

    Kraftee Guest

    No your ISP decided to try a 1Mb service to see if that would work
    They look at line/loop attenuation & SNR & if that appears to be ok they
    should then check for errors

    One thing which I didn't follow up on, on your previous posting. Did
    the engineer just walk in & walk out again or did they do any type of
    test, normally this would mean getting their leptop out & using a
    Voyager 105 modem?
    Kraftee, Oct 7, 2005
  20. the checker is based on a combination of line records and electrical
    measurements made from the exchange end. Its optimistic in about 1% of
    cases, and pessimistic in about 20%.
    yes, that's "wires only" for you. BT provide, you test, if fails,
    revert to ISP to reduce speed. Repeat until speed found that works or
    line marked as no good for ADSL.

    It has taken
    a) it lists a wide range of devices and how to get stats, that's how
    "its supposed to help".
    b) I overlooked that one.



    Phil Thompson, Oct 7, 2005
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