Mon 20th Aug 2012 at 08:58

Should I be suspicious about my broadband?

So this morning I got up and attempted to fire up my mail client and it just hung while downloading. Next a browser got fired up and an attempt to do a simple Google search failed. On looking at the BT HomeHub's status, it was reporting it was connected but at a shocking 4,224 Kbps, although clearly it wasn't. So I did what every good techie does in this situation. I switched it off and back on again. This seems to have done the trick, but has left me with a worrying paranoia.

Why am I shocked at a downstream of 4,224 Kbps? I think I should explain for those that don't know me.


The Background

Several years ago I was with the ISP Daisy, although I was far happier with Griffin Internet before Daisy bought out the home customer accounts. I had been for years (since a week after my exchange was enabled - 23/07/2003) and had been very please with my 512Kb, then the 1Mb connection. I saw little point in upgrading to the max service as realistically could only get 2.5Mb and such a low speed increase did not justify the price increase. However, I was swayed when I was told that I could move onto the Max service at a marginal price increase. For a couple of months I was happy, I was even getting 4Mb downloads. This all ended with a crackle on my phone line during a storm and me a couple years of hell. To cut a long story short, I would get a phone call and the router would stop sync'ing and when it came back, the downstream would be 3Mb+ but my IP Profile will have dropped to 256Kbps or lower and I would be stuck like that for 3days. I ended up moving my broadband over to BT to deal with 1 company, rather than playing the ISP blame game aka ISP ping-pong. This happened pretty much once a week on average. I gave up with ringing BT's customer support lines as they were a waste of space and turned to the BTCare Community Forums. The moderators are fantastic and dealt we me via email (so no wasting time on hold), and over a series of multiple threads (listed below), we may not have got my line problems solved, we did source a solution. I returned to a fixed rate broadband of 2Mb. This meant when the line crackled, I lost connection, but it would come straight back at 2Mb as IP Profiles don't apply to fixed rate connections.


The Present

You may now understand why being back on, what would appear to be, the Max service worries me. I guess I should just enjoy the doubled internet speed, but if I see a return to the old issues I'm going to be straight back on to the forums and start shouting. After all, can they really change you account without asking you?

No doubt I will be posting updates. I may even start publishing the scripts I wrote through out this period. I've not published them so far, as just as I was getting to the point of doing so, we resolved the issue.


BTCare Community Threads

    1. At a loss with phone line
    2. At a loss with phone line and broadband
    3. Has my old issue come back or am I paranoid


Current Router Status - 20/08/2012

Line state Connected
Connection time 0 days, 01:03:16
Downstream 4,224 Kbps
Upstream 448 Kbps

Update - 21/08/2012 (18:20)

So it lasted less than 48hours. I've been on and off the phone all day and not a crackle to be heard. However, at 18:20 this evening, I was nattering to my mother and it was very similar to a certain breakfast cereal. Paranoia kicking in, I checked the router stus:

Line state Connected
Connection time 0 days, 00:10:26
Downstream 2,464 Kbps
Upstream 448 Kbps

So, not so paranoid. I'm not going to complain just yet as it's only dropped to 2Mb, but I will be keeping a close eye on it and certainly re-instigating my monitoring scripts.

I also know that the Whaley Bridge Exchange (MRWHA) was upgraded over the weekend to ADSL2, which wis why I find myself not on a fixed rate service anymore. As long as I don't return to the inconsistent connections of below the 1Mb/2Mb mark, then I may stick with this rather than insisting on going back to the 2Mb fixed rate.

So I guess it's now a case of watch this space...


Update - 31/08/2012 (09:30)

My Internet returned to a "Downsteam of above 4Mb a day or so after the last update. However, thismorning the Internet dropped again and the Phone light on my hub got stuck flashing orange. I dutifly restarted it and lo and behold:

Line state Connected
Connection time 0 days, 00:16:50
Downstream 1,984 Kbps
Upstream 448 Kbps

A speed test has returned a result of 1.72Mbps, so while not too bad, it's still not the 4Mb I have had for the past 8days. I guess I will leave it again and see what happens, but so far we seem to be suffering the attack of the killer IP Profile. I would love to post about something else, but far too irritated.


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