Question: I briefly spoke to my service provider after suffering from constant slow broadband, and they said it had to do with my telephone line? Can a faulty line really impact connectivity or am I being had – and is it something they correct?
Answer: The first thing you need to question is whether you have either ADSL2+ or Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). Both of these share the telephone line. That means any fault with the telephone line is likely to impact your broadband performance, so it’s more than likely that your service provider was correct.
Here’s the real issue though. It all comes down to whether or not they actually took a look at the problem, because without seeing your connection data from the modem it is hard to be sure.
All too often though, service provider support staff don’t look at the data. Instead they choose to read from their crib sheet. In this case, it’s best for you to take note of key data relating to the health of an ADSL2+ or FTTC connection. This is the connection speed, line attenuation and noise margin figures.
While its possible to obsess over small changes it is definitely worthwhile learning how to access those figures on your broadband modem. If you take a note of the normal range of figures, then you have something to compare with when things are playing up.
One rare fault to do with your telephone line is that one of the wires may be broken. Although your broadband will still work – even if the phone doesn’t – it will just be running very slowly. On the other hand, a more common problem is a bad joint, and generally this starts to make your broadband connection unstable well before you notice any impact on the quality of telephone calls.
This article is part of our Real Business Broadband campaign, which seeks to provide a mouthpiece for business leaders to vocalise the broadband issues preventing their businesses from reaching full potential. We’d love to hear your take on the debate and where you think the UK needs to make drastic changes – and feel to ask us your broadband queries. Get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or join in on the action using #rbBroadband.
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