Onsite FTTC broadband and phone testing

If an FTTC broadband or phone issue is reported, then first check the onsite hardware connectivity. See knowledge article, KB0011454, End user hardware set up for FTTC.

If the hardware connectivity seems to be OK, then this article explains how to carry out further tests.

Important:
The content of this article is quite technical, and intended for use by onsite IT Support or other technically qualified personnel. If in doubt, and the service you are investigating has been provided by Cloud Direct, then please contact Cloud Direct Technical Services on 0800 0789438, or techservices@clouddirect.net, for assistance.

The article contains the following tests,

And actions to be taken with the following FTTC fault indications,

Tools Required

Before starting this task, you should have the following tools and equipment.

  • Corded analogue telephone with standard BT plug
  • Working router 
  • Working micro-filter
  • Working RJ11 lead 
  • Small electrical screwdriver

 

Line testing

To check the broadband/phone line, proceed as follows.

  1. At the BT Master socket, plug the corded analogue telephone into the micro-filter and confirm dial tone. (Note, if the BT Master socket has two ports, one for phone, and one for broadband, then there is no need for a micro-filter, simply plug your phone into the phone socket).
  2. Dial 17070 and wait for the circuit number/CLI to be confirmed. You will then be offered further options. Select Option 2 - Quiet Line Test.
  3. After about 20 seconds you will hear the message "Quiet line test". This is repeated every 20 seconds until you hang up. There should be no audible noise between messages as this would indicate an issue with the line.

If the message is clear then the line from the Master socket to the Exchange is fine, and the problem must lie with the internal onsite wiring. Recheck internal wiring and connections. If the message is distorted or non-existent, then proceed as follows.

  1. Remove the micro-filter and unscrew the two small screws to remove the lower half of the faceplate, exposing the Master Test socket.

Caution:
The faceplate may have wires attached that could be running extensions, alarms, faxes etc.

  1. Connect the micro-filter to the Test socket.

Note:
The Test socket is the last point you can check before the line leaves the site. If you don't plug directly into the Test socket, then you still aren't ensuring you have the best possible connection, thereby eliminating other possible issues that could cause phone or broadband problems.

  1. Repeat Step 1 to Step 3, but instead of connecting to the Master socket on the faceplate, this time connect to the Test socket.

If the message is clear from the Test socket but not from the socket on the faceplate, then the Master socket is faulty and must be repaired or replaced by a qualified engineer. If the message is distorted or non-existent, from the Test socket then proceed as follows.

  1. Change the micro-filter for a known working one and repeat Step 1 to Step 3.

If you still have noise on the line, then this should be reported to the voice/line service provider as a PSTN issue. If Cloud Direct is the service provider, please contact the Technical Services team on 0800 0789438.

 

Sync testing

Note:
FTTC sync testing should be carried out only by onsite IT Support or other technically qualified personnel. If in doubt, and the service you are investigating has been provided by Cloud Direct, then please contact Cloud Direct Technical Services on 0800 0789438 for assistance.

Carry out FTTC sync testing as follows.

  1. Access the Master Test socket by following Step 4 and Step 5 of Line testing, as described earlier.
  2. Connect the RJ11 (or RJ45) cable from the VDSL modem or modem/router, into the micro-filter and so into the Test socket.
  3. Confirm that the modem/router is powered on.
  4. Check the lights on the modem/router.
    1. Sync light flashing indicates that the modem/router is trying to establish sync.
    2. A steady sync light (usually green on most modem/routers) would indicate sync is established.
  5. If sync is not established, change the micro-filter for a known working micro-filter. Wait a couple of minutes for the modem/router to resync.
  6. If sync is not established, change the RJ11 (or RJ45) lead for a known working one. Again wait a couple of minutes to resync.
  7. If sync is not established, change the modem/router for a known working modem/router. The new modem/router will need the username and password configured and the correct details for that particular connection 
  8. When this has completed, if sync still cannot be established, this will be a 'no sync' fault condition. Refer to No synchronisation.

 

No synchronisation

If the DSL light on your VDSL modem/router is flashing, or remains off, then a 'no synchronisation' or 'no sync' fault must be assumed. This means that your VDSL modem/router cannot synchronise with the destination device. If the light is flashing then the modem/router is attempting to sync, if the light is off then the modem/router is not attempting to sync. Faulty CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) is the most likely cause.

Note:
In most cases the terminating CPE is a BT-provided VDSL modem.

To diagnose the fault, proceed as follows.

  1. Check for a dial tone present on the line.
  2. Confirm the power light and DSL light on the VDSL modem is either off or flashing.

If these two checks have been completed, then the fault lies with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Raise the issue with Cloud Direct Technical Services and include results of your two checks. Cloud Direct will work with your ISP to resolve the issue. A Field Engineer visit may be required to resolve this issue. 

Important:
If any of the items listed above have not been completed, and an engineer attends site to find that there is an issue with end user equipment, then there will be a charge for the full price of the visit.

 

No PPP session

In computer networking, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is a data link (layer 2) protocol used to establish a direct connection between two nodes so that IP packets can be transmitted and received.

If your VDSL modem/router is in sync (DSL light on), but still unable to connect, then a "No PPP (Point to Point Protocol)" session fault is assumed. "No PPP" session faults can be caused by; wrong configuration details, a fault on the line, RADIUS not set up correctly, or an MSO (Major Service Outage).  The majority of faults are either a RADIUS or failed configuration setup.

Note:
Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) is a distributed client/server that protects networks against unauthorised access. The RADIUS client running on your router sends authentication requests to a central RADIUS server to authenticate username, password and IP details

To diagnose the fault, proceed as follows.

  1. Confirm there's a dial tone present on the line.
  2. Check the power light and DSL light on the VDSL modem/router. Are they on or off?
  3. Replace the RJ11 (or possibly RJ45) cable connection to the SSFP.
  4. Check your router configuration and ensure it is using 'PPPoE  Encapsulation'.
  5. Swap out the modem/router for an alternative, known working, modem/router.

If these checks have been completed, and the fault is still present, then raise the issue with Cloud Direct Technical Services and include results of your checks.

Test logins

In order to remotely investigate "No PPP" faults Cloud Direct will require the test logins listed in the table below. This means that your router will need to be configured with the test login details.  If you are unsure of how to configure the router with test login details, then please contact Cloud Direct Technical Services for assistance. Please bear in mind that the test logins are only to be used for testing purposes as they will only allow you to browse specific sites (supplier test pages), and usually at low speeds.

Provider

Test

Username

Password

BT

Test 1

bt_test@startup_domain

Test (usually not required)

Test 2

bt_test_user@<customer domain>

Test (usually not required)

Vodafone

Test 1

cw_test@startup_domain

Test (usually not required)

Test 2

cw_test_user@<customer domain>

Test (usually not required)

Tiscali

Test 1

testing@dslconnect.co.uk

testing

TalkTalk Business 

Test 1

coretest@opaltelecom.co.uk

coretest

 

Intermittent connection

Typically, an intermittent connection fault is caused by either LAN equipment, or the profile assigned to the circuit.  BT define an intermittent connection fault as a service that has had at least 12 drops in a 24-hour period.  As your supplier, Cloud Direct will work with you and our supplier to stabilise an intermittent service based on historical sessions and information.

To diagnose the fault, proceed as follows, rechecking for the fault indication after each step. 

  1. Confirm there's a dial tone present on the line.
  2. Confirm the power light and DSL light on the VDSL modem/router are on.
  3. Replace the RJ11 (or possibly RJ45) cable connection to the SSFP.

Intermittent "No PPP" fault

If the intermittency is a "No PPP" intermittency, rather than a "No sync" intermittency, include the following additional tests:

  1. Check your router configuration and ensure it is using 'PPPoE  Encapsulation'.
  2. Swap out the modem/router for an alternative, known working, modem/router.

 

Slow speed

For slow speed issues it is important to run speed tests which will help demonstrate the issue. There are a number of speed test sites available; some are more reliable than others. The following are recommended, depending on your line provider. Please follow the instruction set out on the speed test sites.

Provider

Speedtest link

BT

http://www.speedtest.btwholesale.com/

Vodafone

http://www.speedtest.net/

TalkTalk Business

https://myaccount.talktalk.co.uk/speed-checker/

Record the results of your speed test.

Note:
Further investigation of slow speed issues should be carried out only by onsite IT Support or other technically qualified personnel. If in doubt, and the service you are investigating has been provided by Cloud Direct, then contact Cloud Direct Technical Services on 0800 0789438, or techservices@clouddirect.net, for assistance. Please include details of your speed test results.

Slow speed faults may be classified as low throughput, or low sync rate. Low throughput faults are usually caused by faulty LAN equipment, noise on the line, or a profile issue. Low sync rate faults are usually caused by faulty copper wiring, or LAN equipment. Sometimes router/modem synchronisation rates may drop below the optimum performance.

Regardless of the slow speed fault condition, to diagnose the fault, proceed as follows, rechecking for the fault indication after each step. 

  1. Confirm there's a dial tone present on the line.
  2. Replace the RJ11 (or possibly RJ45) cable connection to the SSFP.

If the fault is a low throughput fault condition, then include the following additional checks.

  1. Check your router configuration and ensure it is using 'PPPoE  Encapsulation'.
  2. Swap out the modem/router for an alternative, known working, modem/router.

Speed tests, pings, and trace routes are required to further identify the fault. See knowledge article, KB0011455, Using Traceroute, Ping, MTR, and PathPing, for further information.