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Is this a case of an ISP not having a clue?

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by demonix, May 11, 2019.

  1. demonix

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 26, 2008

    Posts: 1,863

    Location: Cowley, Middx

    I'm going to be as through here since I think I've recently lost several braincells from what I see as the rank stupidity I've seen in the responses I've got from plusnet recently.

    This whole saga started 3 months ago, but it originated from when I went to the plusnet forums after my router (which was issued by plusnet) kept on rebooting itself without reason and they recommended just sending out the new hub one which I was initially hesitant about as I was planning on buying my own modem/router, but considering that it was only going to cost postage I decided to get it to act as a backup once I had my own kit.

    About two days after the new hub arrived and was set up I started getting infrequent connection drops where the connection would go down and come back up about a minute later (or slightly more depending on how long it took to establish authentication or whatever) which I reported and an engineer visit was requested who did the basic tests, but couldn't get the internet test to pass so he tried the test from the pole to the cabinet and ended up doing a D side divert and reset my profile which fixed my lower then usual download speeds, but the connection drops continued.

    Before the (or maybe after) second actual engineer was sent out, I decided to rule out the hub as the cause and since the reboot issues weren't as frequent as the connection drops I knew that I could use it for long enough without it diluting the results with reboots, but while the router didn't show any signs of drops (and there weren't any picked up by plusnet) the openreach modem kept on losing DSL sync (when these drops occurred with the hub, the logs showed that the DSL connection was lost at the same time as the ppp session ended) which I have mentioned on several occasions to plusnet but it appears to have fallen on "deaf ears" even now.

    Between then and now I've had another 5 (or maybe even more) engineers come out and while the second actually fitted a pre-filtered faceplate and the forth did a lift and shift even though openreach couldn't see any issues but did it just in case there was an issue that wasn't being detected by them, it wasn't until engineer 5 and my explaining what I see happen with the hub during these connection drops who then stated that it was an authentication issue and nothing to do with the line (which had passed muster each time it was tested), so I went back to plusnet who confirmed that it was indeed an authentication issue after looking at the router.

    They then decided to send out a replacement hub which I knew wouldn't fix the issue but I decided to humour them, and once I get the new hub and set it up it didn't even take a day for the connection to drop again and once I informed them they did another check and said there was an issue on the line and that another engineer had to be sent out who of course confirmed what engineer 5 had said that it was an authentication issue and wasn't an issue at my end which is where everything stands today, but there's a little bit more that happened afterwards that has taken this down the path of what I consider to be braindead stupidity.

    This engineer reported to plusnet that I had various specific IT equipment connected to the network and they requested that I disconnect these items from the network to see if the drops continue, and just for record the following is all that is connected to the network

    2 Computers (one is my general use system (which I also use for streaming) and the other is just used for watching streams on twitch, watching content that I can access quicker without having to go through the pain of having to dig through everything on my roku and general management of my own streams which includes (which isn't running all the time) the chat bot and weren't on during a large amount of the connection drops)
    1 iPod touch 4th generation (already eliminated well beforehand as I'd taken it off the network already)
    1 Netgear 5 port 10/100 switch (also eliminated it as a possible cause as I switched it off as the only thing connected to it at the time was another of the devices that wasn't being used at all at the time)
    1 Raspberry Pi model 3b+ (used as a retropie system and is hardly ever turned on with the last time being after all this started as connecting the hard drive to the hub was the only way to get it to use it without it freaking out plus it is now under my TV where it sits in a powered off state)
    1 Roku 1 streaming box (unlikely to be causing the issues, but is going to be taken out of service once I find a viable replacement)
    1 Huawei Ascend y300 (unlikely to be a cause since it switches off its wi-fi when in standby mode)
    1 Canon MG3650 wireless printer (only ever turned on once every two weeks so I can print out my evidence for the job centre and wasn't even connected to the new hub for about a week)

    Even though the drops have become more infrequent, they are still happening and this response from plusnet is the last straw that is now sending me towards the ombudsman service as I'm certain that they are clutching at straws as they have before during this as they tried to blame an alarm system or such that doesn't exist because some of the drops in a period of a week were happening around the same time and would rather have a second opinion (if there is someone here with relevant knowledge) if the recent responses are them pulling garbage out of their backsides before I take all the evidence I've collected and hand it over to the ombudsman service to let them deal with it.
     
  2. bremen1874

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 20, 2008

    Posts: 9,905

    Of course they're clutching at straws. You've got an obscure issue that two replacement routers and multiple BT visits haven't managed to fix.

    It's not unreasonable for them to suggest that other local equipment could be to blame.
     
  3. Hades

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 21,744

    Location: Surrey and London

    Although this may not help you, I used to have a WiFi range extender plugged in upstairs. For reasons I can't explain it would cause a complete loss of internet connection (the actual DSL connection and not just a WiFi drop). I removed it and I no longer received disconnects.
     
  4. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,061

    I think you've used the loss of DSL sync and an authentication drop (PPPoE session ending abnormally) interchangeably, and they aren't the same thing. If your DSL light is going out on your Openreach modem then this is a sync loss, unrelated to any PPPoE issues. If you are losing connectivity, your router is saying the PPPoE session has dropped, and the DSL light is staying lit then yes, it's a strange authentication problem with Plusnet somewhere.
     
  5. demonix

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 26, 2008

    Posts: 1,863

    Location: Cowley, Middx

    This is pretty much a a bedsit with a small bathroom, so there isn't any need for range extenders and none are in use.

    It is the openreach engineer (along with plusnet) that classed it as an authentication issue (with the openreach engineer basing it on how I described what was happening on the hub when the drop starts as all that is seen there at the start is a orange power light along with an orange b below it which according to the list of errors in the booklet provided with the hub by plusnet states that there is a connection to the internet, but my account hasn't been switch in yet) where I when I decided to go back to the old setup, I noted a loss of DSL at the openreach modem which also correlates to the two entries in the router logs.

    This being the first where the PPPoE session ends most likely because it can't obtain a connection.

    And this being the second which is at exactly at the same time which would be the loss of DSL (that same that happened on the openreach modem) and would have been represented by the flashing orange power light that I got as it was trying to obtain a DSL connection.

    Also, wouldn't DSL require authentication as well since a line that hasn't been authorised for any form of DSL shouldn't allow any devices like modems or routers to establish a DSL connection without authentication from the specific provider (I'm only theory crafting here, but from what I experienced after I moved and had this line set up and it took longer then usual to get the internet set up it's the best theory I can come up with).
     
  6. zipp0r

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2010

    Posts: 1,240

    no it can stay synced but have no ppp session. you arent making it clear which one is dropping. look at the log file for each incident, is it ppp only that went down or wan and ppp WITH a resync and new speed showing "wan connected at 60000 20000" e.t.c
     
  7. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,061

    The orange 'b' on the hub is an authentication issue where the line is synced, but the DSL light going out on the Openreach modem is a sync loss. The modem doesn't know about any PPPoE sessions running through it, at least not in a way that is presented on the LEDs on the front.

    If you were only seeing the orange 'b' on your Plusnet hub as part of the connection re-establishing, then that could just mean that the line is in sync but a connection hasn't been made yet - e.g. the root cause is a sync loss, not a PPPoE problem. I think if you pulled the phone line from the Plusnet Hub and then plugged it back in again, you'd see the same behaviour.

    Your router that doesn't have a modem built in doesn't have a way to query the Openreach modem for the connection status - all it can see is the PPPoE session dropping. That could be a PPPoE problem with the ISP (e.g. authentication) or it could be a loss of sync. Where does the "PTM over DSL is down" message come from, as I wouldn't expect the router to be able to get that sort of information from a modem, and it also shouldn't care about the underlying transport.
     
  8. demonix

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 26, 2008

    Posts: 1,863

    Location: Cowley, Middx

    I want to make it clear that I'm NOT currently using the openreach modem as I did that to rule out the original hub one as the cause and at that time of that test while the 2407n (or plusnet hub zero) didn't notice any issues and didn't end the PPPoE session the modem was registering losses of DSL.

    All data in my previous post came from the logs of the hub being used stand alone with its built in VDSL modem since it doesn't require an external modem.
     
  9. Caged

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 23,061

    So if you're seeing the PPPoE session drop and then the DSL link go at the same time, it's not an authentication problem, it's a sync problem.
     
  10. neil_g

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 9, 2007

    Posts: 9,834

    Location: South Hampshire

    I've seen Openreach blame authentication when they simply don't know what the fault could be.
     
  11. niceguy235uk

    Associate

    Joined: Mar 24, 2019

    Posts: 4

    We had 13+ engineer visits to sort out our losses of sync, speed drops etc etc and not one of them sorted it.

    Line tests clear and that is all they are interested in.

    Wasters.