Explanation please

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tearinghair | 09:23 Tue 19th Jul 2011 | Technology
16 Answers
Please could someone settle an argument for me?
I've been having problems with an internet connection that keeps dropping (BT Broadband, via a home hub, new last December). I googled the BT FAQs and found two possible solutions: check phone line, and move hub further away from other electrical equipment.
Tried the first one: had a call back from engineer saying that phone line is OK, contact Broadband service. Tried the second: moving it a little helped a bit, moving it further solved the problem for two weeks, but now it's getting bad again.
We have a large tree in the front garden whose branches are now touching the overhead phone line into the house. Could this be affecting the broadband access? Or has it got nothing to do with it?


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First question is, is it your broadband that is dropping out, or are you on wireless and is it the wireless that is dropping out...

i.e. is the hub losing connection to the exchange, or is your computer losing connection to the hub?
Question Author
the latter, I think. I don't know whether there is any connection (sorry, no pun intended), but the problem re-started when I bought a kindle and activated the wireless facility.
If it's the hub losing connection then the broadband light (or ADSL, or internet, whatever it's labelled as) light on the hub will go out (or start flashing)

If it's your computer losing connection to the hub then the lights will stay the same on the hub and your computer will report a lost connection.

If it's the first one then it's probably an issue with either your phone cabling or filters in the house, or possibly a fault on the line

If it's the latter then you probably have something nearby causing interference to your wireless signal and changing the channel the hub operates on will probably solve it...

I'm assuming it's a home hub3 ???


If it's not then the instructions are broadly similar anyhow..
Question Author
It's a Home Hub 2, Chuck.

It's actually both indicators; the broadband light flashes orange for a few seconds, then goes out, then comes back steady orange, then I get the 'couldn't connect' message. The free BT line reports no problems in the area. Think it must be a phone line problem - I'll keep trying various possibilities. It never lasts long anyway, but it's annoying in the middle of a browsing session.
Many thanks for your help.
Does the hub allow for a fixed connection oo the PC ?

If so, what is you use that rather than the woreless connection to the PC. (Unless that is what you already have.) Does the PC stop falling off the Net ?

Never hurts to have a back-up router/modem to swop in, in these circumstances, to try to isolate the problem location. And is necessary if your usual one fails.
If the broadband light is going out it is the hub losing connection to the internet.

The first thing to do is try a different filter and disconnect all other phones in your house..... if that makes no difference then try the hub connected directly to your BT master socket with all other extension cables disconnected you do this by removing the two screws on the front of the master socket and pulling the front straight towards you so it pulls off and then plugging a filter into the socket behind the front panel. try it like that for a little while and if it works then it's a problem with your internal phone cabling.

If there are still drops after you are plugged into the master socket with all else disconnected then it sounds like a line problem.
had this problem for over six months, just sorted a fortnight ago for us. check your broadband speed. Just google broadband speed checker and choose one. If your speed is below 1 MB, then you've been 'capped' and need a broadband engineer to phone a number for you (you can't do this yourself) The engineer told me this is happening more and more. How old is the phone line outside do you know? Older phone wires are copper and verdigris builds up and makes the system run slow, which is one of the reasons why you'd be 'capped'
Question Author
Many thanks both of you. I'll try the phone filter thing again.
I'm assuming, since neither of you mentioned the tree branch option, that this couldn't be the cause of it. So I lost the argument.....
-- answer removed --
It could be the tree branch causing the problem, but you need to be sure it is a problem outside of your house before calling a BT engineer in about a line fault, because if you call them in and they discover it's a problem with your phone wiring inside the house they will charge you something like about £180 (from memory) for the call out!.

Mercia, there has been no mention of a slow connection or capping, and with a line that is dropping the connection a cap on the line speed is likely to help the problem as opposed to solve it (lower line speed gives a higher signal to noise ratio)
"Well thanks for ignoring my explanation - somebody who has had the problem and just got it fixed "

Capping does not cause the broadband light to go out, and will rarely cause an "unable to connect" message. It just gives you a slow connection.
Sorry Chuck, slow typing by me again...
In fairness Mercia, assuming it was you who didn't get a reply, the OP's response could easily have been being typed while you added your suggestion, and the thread not revisited since.
I've had this problem recently and it's the computer losing connection to the hub, the only thing that solved it was to reboot both the hub and my PC. BT have told me that if the problem carries on if I ring them they will send me a new hub.
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Thanks for your support OldGeezer. Yes, I had to go out just after I'd typed the last answer and have only just got back; logged on straightaway to see if i'd missed anything. For the record I try never to ignore answers, helpful or otherwise (very rarely the latter), and I think I have always thanked everyone who replies.
In case I've missed anyone today or in the past - thank you all for your advice, which I shall try my best to follow.
Question Author
Just a post-script to explain the apparent 4-minute delay which may have led one respondent to believe I'd ignored his/her answer: I think I may have typed my comment timed at 10.19 on the 'answer was added' screen instead of refreshing the whole thing.
I don't think I've ever had an 'answer removed' in a thread I now a true AB poster after 3 years?

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