OldGeek
Level 2: Rookie

What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

Answered

My ADSL Internet connection keeps dropping out and the best I can get is about 1.4 to 1.6 Mbps of bandwidth. The Telstra technician who came to look at it says it is because of the poor quality of the old phone lines in my area. What can I do about it? Telstra sold me a "Broadband" service and this is garbage.

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OldGeek
Level 2: Rookie
Accepted Solution

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

I just thought I would close this out.
A tech cut off the line to the second socket and replaced the original socket with a new RJ11 version. This made a significant difference to the errors on the line but the bandwidth still kept falling each time there was a Link Retrain, getting as low as 0.91Mbps.

Then, probably due to rain, the static returned with a vengeance. I logged a call with Home Phone faults instead of ADSL and got a different tech. Luckily the static was still there when he arrived. He verified that it was outside the house and chased the fault down the street. I'm not sure how many segments he checked but he found a noisy one and, again luckily, he switched the line over to a spare pair.
So I have had 6.14Mbps for a couple of days now. Cross fingers that it won't go down, although there have been a couple of Link Retrain events which are still a concern.

In summary, the main problem was probably the faulty line in the pits somewhere. I hope the pair is tagged as faulty now so it doesn't get reused!

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11 REPLIES 11
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

@OldGeek The speed achieved over ADSL 2+ (or even ADSL) is dependent upon a number of factors, which can include...

  • Type of network equipment and cabling.
  • Length of network cabling between your premises and the exchange, and condition.
  • Internal cabling and filtering.

Due to these factors, there is no guaranteed minimum speed, however speeds below 1 Mbps will be investigated if you report this via the Tech Support Team on 133 933 (Which you are slightly above that)

 

Telstra will generally not know what your situation is until you are actually connected. So probably the best you can do is be relived of your contractional obligations.

 

In the mean time if you would like to post your full modem stats so we can have a look?

Mmmmm... hot pineapple donut and a coffee!
OldGeek
Level 2: Rookie

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

Hi Ozmoz. Thanks for the feedback.
A Telstra technician has looked at the line. He tested it from the entry point to the house and said it was OK. Then we went inside and ran a speed test and it came up with a speed of 4.7Mbps so we both thought it was fixed. However, within 15 minutes it was down to about 1.2Mbps. Also, we are still getting a bunch of dropouts.

He is going to come back and test the line from inside the house but I am dubious that it will make any difference. He already told me that my street has poor line quality. Also, it seems like the Line Rate goes down progressively over time, probably each time that there is a Loss of Sync. So I feel like it is Dynamic Line Management or something similar that is kicking in.

Anyway, here are the stats. I don't think the Line Attenuation or Noise Margins are very good.

DSL Status
Up
DSL Uptime
28 minutes 7 seconds
DSL Type
ADSL_2plus
DSL Mode
Interleaved
Maximum Line rate
0.29 Mbps 1.41 Mbps
Line Rate
0.41 Mbps 1.94 Mbps
Data Transferred
4.95 MBytes 90 MBytes
Output Power
12.4 dBm 18.1 dBm
Line Attenuation
32.1 dB 43.5 dB
Noise Margin
3 dB 1.6 dB

Also, here are the DSL Diagnostics. They didn't copy and paste very well so I hope you can read them. I'm not sure how to post a screenshot.

Parameters Last 15 Min Current Day Prior Day Showtime
Link Retrain Count 4 3 4 0
Sync Bandwitdh(Down/Up) - - - 1.94M/0.41M
Loss of Sync,LOS(Local/Remote) 0/0 1/26 7/35 0/0
Loss of Framming,LOF(Local/Remote) 0/0 1/26 7/35 0/0
Loss of Margin,LOM(Local/Remote) 0/0 0/25 0/70 0/0
Forward Error Correction,FEC 34184/1774775 408/6464 34184/1774775 2785/222915
Cyclic Redundancy Correction,CRC 1/693 215/5716 332/2131 165/1719
Errored Seconds,ES 1/205 62/1586 112/872 47/472
Severely Errored Seconds,SES 0/21 7/129 21/81 5/33
Unavailable Seconds,UAS 0/0 258/301 294/337 0/0
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

With attenuation of 42 would expect speed of about 4.5 Mbps down.

Your Noise margin is very low. If Dynamic Management had kicked in it would be high 12 db compared to normal 6 db. The low Noise margin indicates a problem with link.The link retrain counts indicate the link is unstable and having to drop out and retrain because the signal can't accurately be decoded. Some of the retrain counts today might have been caused by Technician working on the line. The large number of other errors indicates the link is poor.

Do you hear any noise on the Telephone?

Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?


@OldGeek wrote:

Anyway, here are the stats. I don't think the Line Attenuation or Noise Margins are very good.


@OldGeek I'm with @cf4 here. I would expect, but not always apparent, that you should be noticing some 'clicking' or 'crackling' on the phone line.

There is an issue for sure, just where may take some testing to find unfortunately.

Mmmmm... hot pineapple donut and a coffee!
OldGeek
Level 2: Rookie

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

Thanks @cf4 and @Ozmoz.
Yes, there is static on the line. It has been like that for quite a while. Sometimes it is so bad that I can't understand the person on the other end and I have to use my mobile instead of the landline.
There is a second socket in the house but the second one is no better (maybe worse) than the original one. I am going to try to disconnect the second socket so it can't contribute to the noise. However, I strongly suspect that the fault is in the cabling to the exchange. I am in an old established suburb. The house was built in 1946 and the lines in the pits probably date to back then.
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

My house was built in the early 1950s and street cabling was probably installed in the 1950s. When on ADSL I seldom had drop outs. There was one occasion when there was noise on the line but that was soon fixed, one of the wires had a high resistance fault to earth. Another occasion I lost the internet connection and that  was due to a tech on another fault not closing the lid on the pit correctly and pinching the wire. That took a long time to locate and fix but it was eventually fixed.

Most of the faults are due to bad connections in the pits and sometimes take a long time to find especially if they are intermittent faults. Hopefully the tech will find what is causing your fault.

OldGeek
Level 2: Rookie
Accepted Solution

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

I just thought I would close this out.
A tech cut off the line to the second socket and replaced the original socket with a new RJ11 version. This made a significant difference to the errors on the line but the bandwidth still kept falling each time there was a Link Retrain, getting as low as 0.91Mbps.

Then, probably due to rain, the static returned with a vengeance. I logged a call with Home Phone faults instead of ADSL and got a different tech. Luckily the static was still there when he arrived. He verified that it was outside the house and chased the fault down the street. I'm not sure how many segments he checked but he found a noisy one and, again luckily, he switched the line over to a spare pair.
So I have had 6.14Mbps for a couple of days now. Cross fingers that it won't go down, although there have been a couple of Link Retrain events which are still a concern.

In summary, the main problem was probably the faulty line in the pits somewhere. I hope the pair is tagged as faulty now so it doesn't get reused!
Level 21: Augmented
Level 21: Augmented

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

@OldGeek That's why when I was on ADSL whenever I had a broadband issue I hoped I had a phone line issue at the same time. Majority of cases fixing that fix the broadband.

 

You did the right thing just calling it in as a phone fault.

 

I am happy that it has finally worked out for you, let's hope it stays that way for a long time :-)

Mmmmm... hot pineapple donut and a coffee!
Shazz1962
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

I have recently had ADSL connected and am having the same problem as you and my internet keeps dropping out. Hopefully it is easily fixed soon!
S Everett
DattoSSS
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

1MBPS threshold for ADSL is a disgrace. This is 2019 Telstra
Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: What can I do about slow ADSL2+ on bad phone lines?

The copper phone lines were designed back in the 19th century for voice only. The speed of an ADSL connection is dependent on distance from exchange. You can't expect Telstra to be spending money building closer exchanges when the whole network will soon be replaced by NBN.

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