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UPD BT Infinity UK Working Hard to Resolve Super Slow FTTC Broadband Bug

Posted Friday, June 22nd, 2012 (9:45 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 11,543)
bt infinity uk homehub3 broadband router

BT Retail has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that the super slow broadband bug, which resulted in some of their up to 38-78Mbps capable BTInfinity superfast broadband (FTTC) customers experiencing sub-1Mbps speeds, is caused by a fault on the ISPs HomeHub3 (HH3) router and a fix will be released “as soon as possible“.

ISPreview.co.uk raised the problem earlier this week after several customers contacted us to highlight the situation (here). The sporadic issue appears to have been affecting an unspecified number of BT’s subscribers for the past few months. So far BT has been resolving the problem by dispatching engineers to replace the HH3, VDSL modem and reset the customer’s line profile.

Customers hit by the fault found that their connection speeds would frequently drop below 1Mbps (Megabits per second), in some cases collapsing to just 120Kbps, although this only occurred when the end-user was using a wired network (wifi wireless links seem to be unaffected).

A BT Spokeswoman told ISPreview.co.uk:

We have identified an issue that occasionally affects a very small segment of our fibre base, and it is only affecting customers who try to connect their BT Home Hub 3 via a wired connection. Customers using wireless connections, are not affected by this problem – nor are non-fibre broadband customers. The issue is not connected to anything encountered previously.

We are working hard to resolve this; a proposed fix is currently in test and will be rolled out as soon as possible (it will be implemented remotely, Hub replacement will not be necessary). Should a customer experience this problem, they are able to fix it simply by pressing the restart button on the hub. The issue does not occur when connecting wirelessly.”

It’s worth pointing out that, according to BT’s customers, restarting the HH3 only provides for a temporary solution as the problem can quickly return (some users have been forced to restart their hubs 2-4 times per day). Unfortunately BT is still unable to say precisely when their proposed firmware fix will be rolled out.

In the meantime those being affected by the problems should consider switching to a wireless connection, though these often result in higher latency and a loss of speed (depending upon your environment).

UPDATE 25th July 2012

A firmware fix is now being deployed HERE.

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41 Responses
  1. Rob Fletcher

    Thanks. I have been waiting for official confirmation of this problem since November 2011.

    It would be nice to have some idea of the timescale as this has been going on for a long time. It has been affecting many hundreds of people all over the country and restarting the hub 2 or three times a day is not very convenient, and can be a right pain when using an i-player of any ilk.

    Moving to a wireless connection is often not a good solution due to poor thoughput and higher latency, and more especially because many people still have older wireless g cards, restricting their connection.

    Sending out engineers over and over again was a pointless exercise becausem, as reported, most people did not have any fault at all, and of course, the engineers would have power cycled the hubs, and lo and behold, no problem (or problem fixed) — NOT.

    Worse still, the official BT speed test site says you MUST restart the hub before doing a test – ho ho ho, so many people who were seeing a problem were inadvertantly fixing it, albeit temporarily – but of course, the slow down issue was not being reported fully to the speedtest database. The call centre was seemingly unaware, and at least one person was told that restarting the hub many times a day was “Normal Sir” …

    Fingers crossed all will be well again in Infinity Land.

    Rob

  2. SlowSomerset

    Only get sub-1Mbps speeds here anyway welcome to the broadband divide slow lane.

  3. kds

    I haven’t seen a worse router than HH3, It’s designed to help BT

    • DTMark

      I think BT might have had some ideas about moving up the speeds achieved rankings, not moving down them ;-)

  4. Deduction

    Can only assume its a firmware bug relating to how it interacts with the fibre modem if its not affecting ADSL2+ users.

    Why is it still in this day and age most (NOT just BT) insist on supplying cheap, buggy, slow are poorly configurable hardware? Im sure while cheaper for them initially when issues like this happen it surely ends up costing them more money in the long run.

    I suspect the next major issue we are going to hear about relating to equipment ISPs supply is going to be that new IPv6 Thomson box which if its anything like their prior devices is another cheap POS.

    Utter maddness. Even more insane when a provider like BT have so called “TRIALS” of things like FTTC before it is released in mass to the public, isnt the point of trials and testing to identify bugs like this before thousands suffer????

    Pure stupidity is the only way to sum it up….

    Anyone know if they use the HH3 for the lucky few that can get FTTH services and if so does this issue affect them also??

    • Rob Fletcher

      Thw bug is strange. When the wired speed drops to sub 1 meg, wireless connections seem to be unaffected, so this sort of rules out a Hubmodem issue. What is very odd is that you get very slow speed, not “no speed”!!! So, it’s the throughput which is affected. My observation is that it appears to happen when there’s a modem re-sync and a new IP address is dealt out. SO, those with lots of DLM activity may see this more often. I also had a remote access to my system logged in the event log of the hub which coincided with a speed drop (BT poking at it?). When you manually power-cycle you would do it hub then modem down, and then modem up, follwed by hub restart. If you get a modem re-sync/restart by itself, with a new IP address, perhaps this is what is upsetting the LAN ports on the hub.

      Another thing too, the modems are locked so you can’t get at the logs and syncs etc without unlocking(hacking) them (not recommended). In this instance, maybe access to the line stats and logs would have helped track this problem down earlier.

      I do wonder how long this will take to fix and also, as mentioned above, why it was not picked up during the FTTC trials. Maybe all the trials were with wireless boxes???

      Anyways, nice to see a reply from a BT person – we were not afforded that luxury on the BTCare forum – a few words would have help, it was requested many times by many different members with this exact problem.

      One does wonder how many people have slow downs and don’t know it.

      Cheers all,

      Rob

  5. Curious

    ‘Can only assume its a firmware bug relating to how it interacts with the fibre modem if its not affecting ADSL2+ users.’

    I don’t really think this could be the issue, as it’s only affecting Ethernet based connections, not wireless – if the issue was with the connection to the VDSL modem then both wireless and wired connections would be affected.

    It looks like it’s a software configuration issue with Ethernet ports on the router.

    • John Haynes

      I think that you are correct. If it were an issue with the link between the HH3 and the modem then everything would slow down. Logically it has to do with the eathernet side of the HH3 and the way that it handles traffic that is sent to the port that the modem is connected too. Hopefully it’s not the chipset in the HH3. If it is then its going to be a while before they fix it. Has anybody out there looked at the traffic that is going between the HH3 and the modem to see whether there are errors or retransmissions going on?

    • Tony Hall

      I am an ADSL user and its effecting me! Connection stream of about 0.7mbps and download stream of 0.01mbps .. working perfectly till 19/6 and bang crash wallop …slow speed ever since … BT were vague on issue but stated that this was to do with firmware fault they investigating!!!

  6. Deduction

    Er yes it could be the issue and its very logical why it may well be….

    The BT infinity Modem (the huawei) connects into the the homehub via the red port on the back. When using ADSL2+ that port under normal circumstances is not used. Thus that would explain where the issue is and why it affects hardwired speeds but not wireless. Also would explain why its and only FTTC connections also.

    Either the homehub has sometype of issue with that port and/or items like the modem connected to it, or it has an issue/bug in the firmware routing traffic from that port to the other LAN ports.

    Or its a issue in the firmware to do with the connection protocol FTTC uses which and the router not handling that properly. I assume its different to what they use for ADSL/ADSL2+. IF its that it may be even trickier to fix and even maybe need different firmwares for if you are an ADSl or FTTC user. Could/Would also explain why some other all in one devices require massaging or very specific settings before they connect with no issues when using BT FTTC.

    The worst possible thing it could be is hardware failure and a hardware design/manufacturer fault, but i doubt its that as otherwise (again unless its relating to just that red port and the circuit to it) others would had seen issues before FTTC came out.

    • Rob Fletcher

      But … surely the wireless activity goes to and from the modem via the RED modem LAN connection??? The other 4 ports which handle the local ethernet connections are where the problem lies – methinks. The link between the 4 ethernet ports and the red modem port?

      I would think it’s firmware too because simply disconnecting and reconnecting (to the internet) via the hub manager fixes it – i.e. no need to cold start the hardware.

      It does seem to affect all the 4 ports too …

      If BT are testing a fix, one would suspect that some new firmware can be rolled out … but that’s going to be quite a big job and there will be failures leaving people with hubs in a bad state. Good luck India then.

      Rob

    • Deduction

      NO wireless in EVERY ROUTER is controlled by a separate chipset.

  7. John Haynes

    I think that the port on the HH3 (the red one) that is connected to the modem is using a seperate chip to the other ethernet ports (actually they all use Lantiq PEF7071 also know as PHY11G on the type A) and logically it might be the way that the firmware has been written to interact between the ethernet ports. They are all gigabit but when you think about it this is the first time then have been “pushing” the code that handles the ethernet to modem path.

    • Deduction

      NO they are not all gigabit ports. The HH3 more than likely has 3 possibly 4 distinct chipsets in it.

      1) for handling wireless (most routers have as separate chipset that controls wireless functions and that explains why wireless still works fine)
      2) Actual main chipset (IE the routers so called CPU etc the bits that do most of the physical work probably also links in some manner via software to the RED WAN port <<< that extra work it is doing could POSSIBLY be part of the issue in the software/firmware of the router as with FTTC its the only time that part of the code/software would be used)
      3) Chipset for LAN ports (The 4 yellow ones)
      4) POSSIBLE entire separate modem chipset (which would control the ADSL2+ side of things, like other modem/router combined devices)
      The HH3 is a weird device its kinda dual WAN but strictly speaking for a couple of reasons isnt.

      Either way much as i loath BT i hope a firmware fix is all thats needed as it doesnt affect BT just innocent users.

  8. Anon

    I hope this isn’t a hoax I’ve been plagued by this problem twice a day since I upgraded from BT Total Broadband to BT Infinity. BT haven’t even responded to my customer support request :(

    Only just this morning I was seriously considering plugging my Home Hub into a mechanical timer switch to cold power cycle it twice daily to save me getting frustrated at low speeds and having to remember to reset the thing by hand.

    I will be testing wifi next time it happens and try my hardest to report back here.

    • Rob Fletcher

      Not a hoax. Hundreds of folk on the BTCare forum have been reporting this for ages!

      Rob

    • Anon

      @Rob Fletcher
      I think you’ve misunderstood my first sentence. What I meant was, “I hope BT’s personal message to ISPreview.co.uk is not a hoax because I’ve been suffering for a long time with no official word from BT”.

      Ans yes, I have been monitoring the BT Care forum too, in the hope that someone would post a solution. I haven’t seen any yet and I haven’t received a reply from BT about my support ticket, and I haven’t received an “in good faith” mail shot from BT explaining the situation.

      The whole experience has been disappointingly covert. It’s like those car manufacturers that don’t publicly declare life endangering faults in their cars because it’s cheaper to quietly pay off the victims than do a recall and get bad press.

      I can also confirm wifi is unaffected and I’ve now plugged my Home Hub into a timer switch to make it restart twice daily.

  9. Mark Harding

    Been banging my head against BT over Infinity problems since day 1. Solution for me was to replace the “unfit for purpose” HH3 with a third party router. No problems since…

    • Rob Fletcher

      All very well, but we should not have to be shelling out for a new router – BT should either supply one which is fit for puropse or fix it.

      The fact that those who have replaced the HH3 have had as near as zero issues just adds more evidence that it’s the cruddy HH3 that’s at fault.

    • Deduction

      Its BT you dont actually expect Value for money and reliability do you???

  10. Tony Hall

    My hh3 is today up and running per norm again now. Bt report to me that bug fixed on router… though i must say were very guarded on actual issue, other than it was a home hub problem!!!!! ….if this ties in with wired connection and ethernet port hopefully the fix as been applied to all!!!!!

    • Rob Fletcher

      So, how did they tell you it’s been fixed? I see no update has been done on mine and I have had the problem.

      Cheers,

      Rob

  11. Bob

    BT are going just as slow with their FTTC Rolout. They have announced another 98 exchanges for 2013 whilst at the same time slipping the schedule of those already announced. Most of the Jun 12 exchanges have been put back again to Sep 12.

    • Deduction

      They are also from that story still basing their rollout figures and coverage figures on the total amount connected to those exchanges rather than the pot luck of who gets a cabinet.

  12. Bob

    Bt’s rollout schedule and the number of people who can actually get FTTC are both close to fiction. If these schedules were real BT would be able to update them weekly with the real progress and amend the estimated dates. Currently all that the dates mean is that BT may at some time enable those exchanges

  13. nredwood

    Yes, it affects FTTP also using the HH3

    • Deduction

      How does that work then? The LAN ports on the HH3 are only 100Mb capable, seems a bit stupid supplying that item when the connection speed may be faster.
      Wonder what cak equiment they are gonna supply with their new “ON DEMAND” SO CALLED 330Mbps product?

  14. nredwood

    There is a gigabit port, so all is needed would be a gigabit switch

    Most of my devices are only 100Mb/s capable anyhow

    The HH3 is horrible and I can’t stand it – I’d rather have a Thompson / Technicolor over a HH3 any day

    • Deduction

      Its still daft of them to supply equipment when most homes nowadays have multiple items connected to the net to supply a device with only 1 port on it capable of dealing with the speeds FTTP and possibly future FTTC speeds operate at. Id personally scrap the lot rather than have a Christmas tree like array of blinking likes from 3 or more power sipping devices plugged in.

      Not sure i agree with your thompson modem/router remarks either, they are horrid boxes also hehe…. Will agree though at least that does its job in a nice self contained single item :) A interface slow as treacle and a device that runs hot (which some at BE seem to think a portable, cat heater, fire hazard is a good thing) but i digress, other than that yeah at least the thompson does its job without having to add more to it hehe.

  15. Rob Fletcher

    Guess what, after my system being completely stable and fast since 17th May, I too find that it has been poked bt BT in the early hours

    02:21:48,29 Jun. WAN connection WAN4_TR069_INTERNET_R_ETH1 disconnected.[ERROR_ISP_TIME_OUT]

    and now my speed has dropped to around 1 meg … This drop is absolutle and definitely associated with that remote poke.

    My firmware is still V100R001C01B031SP09_L_B and has not been updated, so what was this poke all about???

    Also, my IP Profile which has been stable at 65 megs since 17th May has dropped to 49.92 … I guess I need an engineer visit to get on the phone to get it reset, as this is the only way to get a IP Profile reset, no-one else can do it? I feel a call to India is in order to persuade them to send an engineer, who then tests and says all is well, and then I have to persuade him to get the profile reset – a simple phone call, but from the customer premisis.

    Cheers,

    Rob

    • Deduction

      That error does by the looks of it perhaps seem to be related to its WAN port the modem connects to, which is one of the things i initially thought.

  16. Rob Fletcher

    Not sure it’s absolutely the Modem to hub link though as the wireless speeds are generally not affected.

    For the 4rd time this week (and probably as a consequence of the ongoing BT maintenance) I find I get 1.25 megs down and 4.3 megs upin a good IP Profile of 58.77. Restarting.reconnecting the HH3 Type B will bring it back to 57 megs down and 8 megs up. The slowish up speed is a little annoying a I got 9 up on the 40/10 Infinity 1 package.

  17. Neil McRae

    Problem is fixed and new code is rolling out to affected customers over the next few weeks.

  18. Rob Fletcher

    So, a fix will roll out to people with a Type B HH3 then?

    It will be very useful to have this absolutely confirmed by BT …and how are they going to decide who’s an “affected” customer?????

    I have just received a Type A to try and see if it fixes the problem.

    So, the question now is, should I stick the Type B back on and wait for the update? I believe the Type B generally performs better than the Type A.
    Interestingly, after putting the Tytpe A in place, my IP Profile dropped another 10 megs – which is odd given it’s just the router part of the chain. So, at present after getting a good 66 megs solid, I am now back to a smidge over 45 megs – and considering I was getting a solid 37 on Infinity 1, I wonder now why I went for the 80/20 service and another 18 month contract????

    I have rebooted the modem (just the once today), and will see if the DLM will kick in and raise me back up.

    Rob

  19. Rob Fletcher

    Any news from BT Mark?

    I’ve not seen anything official as yet!

    Rob

  20. Rob Fletcher

    Well, my HH3 Type B was updated on 21st July to the new firmware … remotely managed by BT.

    Hopefully this will sort the problems. I would still like to know why I have lost 17 megs though on my IP Profile, and it’s just not budging up at all.

    Rob

  21. paulfel

    My intermittent speed issue problem now seems to be fixed with this latest firmware update

  22. Malcolm

    I have been experiencing the 30 minute drop-out issue periodically since my BT Broadband connection was upgraded to Infinity.
    My Router is Current firmware: Version 4.7.5.1.83.8.77 (Type A)

    My NTP Even log Log is below.

    I’ve reported this to BT and also that my line crackles a lot. They tell me that the line test is OK, even though a BT operator said she could hear it!

    I have a Business Infinity connection so I don’t have to go to India for help but the UK operators are just about as useless. The only bebefit is that you can understand their uselessness!

    Am I being paranoid when I think that BT are trying to control large downloads at busy periods by forcing drop-outs?

    NTP Event Log

    Recorded events
    Time and date Message
    19:03:48, 27 Aug. ( 110.160000) NTP synchronization success!
    19:03:41, 27 Aug. ( 102.490000) NTP synchronization start
    18:35:23, 27 Aug. ( 329.710000) NTP synchronization success!
    18:33:33, 27 Aug. ( 219.670000) NTP synchronization failure!
    18:31:36, 27 Aug. ( 102.530000) NTP synchronization start
    18:01:35, 27 Aug. ( 107.300000) NTP synchronization success!
    18:01:28, 27 Aug. ( 101.200000) NTP synchronization star
    17:31:28, 27 Aug. ( 111.740000) NTP synchronization success!
    17:31:20, 27 Aug. ( 103.850000) NTP synchronization start
    00:09:05, 27 Aug. (874160.930000) NTP synchronization success!
    22:51:39, 25 Aug. (783110.240000) NTP synchronization success!
    00:27:26, 25 Aug. (702453.230000) NTP synchronization success!
    23:54:29, 23 Aug. (614072.970000) NTP synchronization success!
    00:08:52, 23 Aug. (528531.560000) NTP synchronization success!
    22:13:21, 21 Aug. (435196.640000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:47:29, 20 Aug. (347240.190000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:31:19, 19 Aug. (259866.940000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:27:00, 18 Aug. (173203.610000) NTP synchronization success!
    22:58:40, 17 Aug. (92300.110000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:22:03, 16 Aug. ( 102.230000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:21:56, 16 Aug. ( 96.130000) NTP synchronization start
    20:51:59, 16 Aug. ( 104.540000) NTP synchronization success!
    20:51:53, 16 Aug. ( 99.040000) NTP synchronization start
    20:22:10, 16 Aug. ( 111.760000) NTP synchronization success!
    20:22:02, 16 Aug. ( 103.920000) NTP synchronization start
    12:09:53, 16 Aug. ( 107.050000) NTP synchronization success!
    12:09:46, 16 Aug. ( 100.100000) NTP synchronization start
    11:39:56, 16 Aug. ( 106.170000) NTP synchronization success!
    11:39:50, 16 Aug. ( 100.760000) NTP synchronization start
    21:08:33, 15 Aug. ( 105.890000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:08:27, 15 Aug. ( 99.680000) NTP synchronization start
    20:02:12, 14 Aug. ( 103.260000) NTP synchronization success!
    20:02:06, 14 Aug. ( 97.510000) NTP synchronization start
    19:32:04, 14 Aug. ( 106.520000) NTP synchronization success!
    19:31:58, 14 Aug. ( 100.540000) NTP synchronization start
    19:01:53, 14 Aug. ( 99.870000) NTP synchronization success!
    19:01:49, 14 Aug. ( 95.820000) NTP synchronization start
    18:31:48, 14 Aug. ( 100.170000) NTP synchronization success!
    18:31:42, 14 Aug. ( 94.090000) NTP synchronization start
    18:01:48, 14 Aug. ( 100.580000) NTP synchronization success!
    18:01:42, 14 Aug. ( 94.780000) NTP synchronization start
    17:31:54, 14 Aug. ( 102.390000) NTP synchronization success!
    17:31:48, 14 Aug. ( 96.980000) NTP synchronization start
    07:39:47, 14 Aug. ( 105.170000) NTP synchronization success!
    07:39:39, 14 Aug. ( 97.550000) NTP synchronization start
    07:09:55, 14 Aug. ( 104.170000) NTP synchronization success!
    07:09:48, 14 Aug. ( 97.780000) NTP synchronization start
    21:41:37, 13 Aug. ( 351.990000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:41:33, 13 Aug. ( 348.390000) NTP synchronization start
    21:07:21, 13 Aug. ( 101.810000) NTP synchronization success!
    21:07:17, 13 Aug. ( 97.520000) NTP synchronization start
    20:07:10, 13 Aug. ( 101.970000) NTP synchronization success!
    20:07:04, 13 Aug. ( 95.880000) NTP synchronization start
    19:37:04, 13 Aug. ( 103.930000) NTP synchronization success!
    19:36:58, 13 Aug. ( 98.380000) NTP synchronization start
    04:24:09, 13 Aug. (339160.040000) NTP synchronization success!
    05:24:51, 12 Aug. (256398.280000) NTP synchronization success!
    05:08:43, 11 Aug. (169026.570000) NTP synchronization success!
    05:18:53, 10 Aug. (83232.000000) NTP synchronization success!
    06:13:21, 09 Aug. ( 98.820000) NTP synchronization success!
    06:13:17, 09 Aug. ( 95.120000) NTP synchronization start
    15:08:04, 08 Aug. ( 97.830000) NTP synchronization success!
    15:08:00, 08 Aug. ( 93.840000) NTP synchronization start
    08:05:35, 08 Aug. ( 103.250000) NTP synchronization success!
    08:05:31, 08 Aug. ( 99.530000) NTP synchronization start

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