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How to Deal With Broadband Connection Faults

LAN ports for direct network access

Are you experiencing problems, with some sort of broadband connect fault?

Well lets see if Peter can help you get back online without having to go through the distress of literally spending hours on the phone speaking to a call centre.

When you experience this type of service failure it generally falls into one the five categories listed below

  • Customer side computer
  • Customer side router
  • Customer side line wiring
  • Provider side line wiring
  • Provider side exchange equipment

Before you consider some of the problems below, its a good idea to quickly check your line for dial tone & audio quality. A good simple test would be to confirm that you have dial tone when you pick up your handset. Some service providers also have a quite line test service available, this is generally accessed by dialing 17070 & following the instructions for a line quality test or quite line test.

Customer side computer

Once you have accessed a command prompt window on your computer you will be able to use a number of basic commands to help you evaluate your connectivity problems. One way to access command prompt would be to type the command “cmd” in the Run dialog box, often found at the windows start menu.

ipconfig - this command will give you some basic information about the current connectivity and IP addresses status of your computer.

network settingsping - using this command you will be able to find out how far you computer can establish a communications link. One approach could be to start with testing your computer connection & configuration. Most devices including computers connect to the network with a type of identification number called an IP address. The IP Address 127.0.0.1 always refers to the local computer. If the local computer does not respond to the ping command, the first thing to do would be to check the configuration setting for IP connectivity, before continuing with further checks.

Establishing if a connection can be made to your local router can be very useful, a typical local router address would be 192.168.1.1. Check your network configuration or router documentation for your router address, this address is also often referred to as the default gateway.

To check if your routers can access the internet you could ping a well know service such as Google's DNS server 8.8.8.8, the results at each stage of the above testing will help you work out how to re-establish your connectivity.

Check your anti virus / firewall, the setting here can often be critical to your internet access. Some basic checks will should include the valid state of the software licence as well as the update status of the virus database. You may need to obtain alternative access to the internet to check on the support pages of your software manufactures website. You should also ensure that your operating system is valid & has all updates implemented.

Customer side router

The router is a good place to evaluate your connectivity problems, most modern telephone line based broadband routers have indicator lights on them. The indicator lights will generally be able to tell you about the status of :-

  • Power being supplied to your equipment.
  • A good physical line connection to the broadband service.
  • A good logical / software based line connection.
  • Correct authentication details.
  • Availability of a wireless service.

Subject to the router itself not being the point of failure this is a great way to try and establish that broadband is actually getting to your property, without using specialists ADSL test equipment.

First things first, if the power indicator light is not showing this will need to be resolved, you will have to check your power switch is on & that both ends of the plug are securely located.

A good physical line is often indicated with an illuminated light labeled sync, broadband or DSL. The actual appearance of the light could be presented in a number of shapes or symbols such as a circle, rectangle or the i swoosh or maybe even globe symbol. With many UK service providers, for this light to be on the only prerequisites are that physical condition of the wires between your router & the exchange equipment meet some basic conditions :-

  • Good quality conductors.
  • Have good quality connections at all joints.
  • Within 5000 meters of the exchange equipment.

When the conditions of the line meet the required minimum standard the exchange equipment & your router are able to synchronize your physical layer of connectivity.

Many modern routers are able to show the live status of your line characteristics when you are logged into the administration panel, for further technical reading view the terms Signal to Noise Ratio & line attenuation.

router connection status information

Correct authentication is often indicated with an illuminated light labeled internet, again the actual appearance of the light could be presented in any one of a number of shapes or symbols such as a circle, and the @ symbol.

The availability of a wireless connection to your router is illuminated when the router has its wireless connection switched on. This is one of the many features that are controlled by the settings available when you are logged into the router. If this light is not illuminated you will have to connect to your router via an Ethernet cable.

Note its a good idea to ensure that your micro filter is not faulty, spear micro filters can now be purchased at your local supermarket 24 hours a day for less than £5. In addition to any micro filter issues its a very good idea to have a grasp of how the network terminates at your premise. As it is good practice if you are able to connect your equipment in the test port of a master socket if available.

Customer side line wiring

Bad customer side line wiring will often cause sub standard performance & slow speed service issues. It is important that all devices connected to a broadband enabled line are fitted with a filter, this includes Fax machines, PDQ's, Telephones, Sky boxes, Factory call sirens, Alarms & Early alert warning systems. The minimum standard for any internal telephone wiring should be CW1308, this should be routed in such a way that it will not suffer from psychical trauma or local electromagnetic interference. In the event that customer owned wiring needs to run on the exterior of a property it should have a minimum standard of CW1128.

Provider side line wiring

The supply side wiring network will most likely be maintained by BT Openreach, they will do there up most to ensure that all defined standards are implemented to ensure your service & performance are not interrupted or sub standard. This is a very difficult & expensive network to maintain, as such there will be instances were it is not viable to repair or improve parts it. As such BT Openreach have embarked on a major nationwide project to provide fibre optic links from exchanges to your local green cabinet. This will significantly improve service options & quality even where poor copper cable conditions exist between your local green cabinet & your property.

Provider side exchange equipment

The equipment located at the telephone exchange by your internet service provider will have some bearing on the overall speed & performance you can achieve from your service. This is why not all providers will be able to offer you the highest speed or best performance that your physical line can support.

Summary

In the text above we have looked at some of the different aspects of areas that may be the route cause of your internet connection service failure. Whilst it has been logical from an end to end connectivity perspective, it is perhaps not the most effective order to approach your problem. It is often best to look at it from a keep it simple perspective, as such first check your telephone line then look at the status of the router lights, followed by all wiring connections including checking your filters, you could then progress on to the computer based checks with the command prompt as well as logging into your router for actual line status information.

Once all the local checks have been carried  out by yourself, Burytec or your preferred local technical help service provider and you are sure that the problem is not with any of your equipment or wiring. You should contact your internet service provider to register a broadband service fault, providing details of the checks you have carried out will help reduce the time it takes to resume your broadband connection. Taking this approach will minimise the risk of you having to pay any call out fees to your service provider.

Comments

Submitted byAndrew Smith -… (not verified) on Sat, 06/05/2017 - 12:31

Thanks for sharing the information it has been useful in helping me get to the route cause of my broadband problems.

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