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DoomUK

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  1. I'm going to throw this out there in the vague hope that someone has a suggestion based on my admittedly vague description of the problem I'm having.

    For the past year or so my (DSL) internet connection has been crapping out sporadically. Everything can be working fine for several days, weeks, perhaps months, but then it starts randomly disconnecting every ~10 minutes and my download and upload speeds are badly affected. It's a 10Mb line (1Mb upload) but the speeds are reduced to dial-up levels of slowness (this is noticeable while looking at web pages, playing games, downloading torrents, watching YT videos, everything). Currently it's in one of these bad moods and hitting the Preview Post button means waiting a painful amount of time to preview my post.

    Of course I've contacted my ISP (British Telecom) about this, who are, conveniently, also the owners of the physical land line and responsible for maintaining it, and thus far I've had three engineers visit my property and inspect the line and my equipment. All of them reported no problems at all. I don't know whether they were doing their job thoroughly (they're the engineers, not me), but I have to take their word for it I guess. As the problem is sporadic they weren't here at a time when the problems were occurring, and I can't make an appointment with my ISP at arrange a visit when it's going to happen next, because I don't know when it will happen next. Sod's Law states that if I arrange a visit right now, the problem will go away when the engineer gets here.

    I've gone through all the obvious/common sense stuff, with and without the advice of a professional. Swapped the line filters, swapped all necessary cables, tried several different routers. There's also two PCs in the house, both connected to my router via Ethernet, both experience the same crap. I also got a friend to bring his notebook here to test it, same story.

    Maybe it will resolve itself tonight and be fine for the next few months. Maybe it will stay like this for days or weeks on end. I can't tell. But if anyone has any suggestions or ideas about what the fuck might be causing this I would be most grateful.

    1. Show previous comments  14 more
    2. DoomUK

      DoomUK

      fraggle said:

      Yeah, you're doing that wrong. That's if you download 50GB during the daytime (ie. peak). I think I have mine set to 3GB daytime, 50GB offpeak, which comes to £23.90 if you have BT 21CN.

      Oh, duh. That's actually less than what I'm paying BT. And a 50GB cap would be sufficient for me.

      So what level of technical proficiency is required with this ISP?

    3. fraggle

      fraggle

      DoomUK said:

      Oh, duh. That's actually less than what I'm paying BT. And a 50GB cap would be sufficient for me.

      So what level of technical proficiency is required with this ISP?

      Well, I said in my previous comment that you need to know what you're doing. They're a small company and the expectation is that you can figure things out and do things for yourself. Don't expect any hand-holding. I think most of their customers are probably engineers or system administrators.

      If that isn't for you, it's probably still worth shopping around for a different ISP. There used to be a really good webpage for reviewing UK ISPs but I forget what it was called now.

      EDIT: I may be overstating the difficulty - I just don't want to sell you on something that will end up causing you problems. For me my experience was that I went to the website, ordered DSL, they sent me a preconfigured router that I plugged in and everything worked fine. YMMV.

    4. SYS

      SYS

      Does your ISP assign you a public address static or is it via DHCP?

      If you're being throttled you can try getting a different address in the subnet. With some ISPs it's as easy as /release & /renew. Others you can get a new address if you leave the modem unplugged for a couple days. (impractical)

      Only say this as I doubt the ACLs or whatever they use to throttle will affect the entire subnet.

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