A very nice man

Some of you may have read my previous post about the state of my ADSL service. Judging from the number of comments, quite a lot people read it. 🙂 Some of the suggestions revolved around using the engineer’s socket on my master socket to test the connection. The master socket was too old to have such a socket, but when I took the faceplate off I noticed that it didn’t have a ring capacitor. That’s bad. Weirdly the slave socket did have one. So there was at least one somewhere in the circuit, just the wrong place. Could this be affecting the performance of my phone line? We’ve not had any work done on the phone line since moving in, so having double checked my wiring to make sure I wasn’t making an idiotic mistake, I logged a fault on BT’s website. Having worked my way through various “wizards” on their website I logged the job as a wiring fault. I was also able to select the half day in which I would like the engineer to call. (It would have been better to be able to select a smaller window, but that’s a relatively minor gripe.) Even better, there was an engineer available in a couple of days’ time.

Spin forward a couple of days and I got a phone call from a man called Stuart telling me he was on his way and would be there in ten minutes or so. When he arrived he recognised me as he’d been reading my website! Having explained the problem, he investigated the junction block on the front of the house (not likely to be a cause of resistance on the line, apparently) and the master socket. I was right, there was no ring capacitor, so he replaced it with a new NTE5 socket. He also checked the slave socket, cut out the ring capacitor and ensured the terminations were sound. Although the problem was logged as a phone fault, Stuart usually dealth with broadband faults and as part of his checks to ensure the line was working properly tested that the ADSL synchronisation speed with the exchange was good. The software on his laptop reported 1.4Mbps, which Stuart seemed to think was reasonable being so far from the exchange. I would be pretty happy with that speed if it was stable.

My own kit, once reconnected, was getting 1Mbps, so there’s still something causing a drop in speed. This is despite replacing the microfilters and even buying a new ADSL modem. I’ve ordered an interstitial plate (a.k.a. iplate) for the master socket to see if that improves things.

So thanks for your efforts, Stuart!

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