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UPDATE2 Super Slow Broadband Bug Hits UK BT Infinity FTTC ISP Subscribers

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 (1:59 pm) - Score 7,876

Some of BT’s superfast broadband (BTInfinity) customers are reporting that an intermittent bug with either their HomeHub 3 (HH3) router or VDSL modem device is causing service speeds to crash, in many cases falling from upwards of 70Mbps (Megabits per second) to sub-1Mbps levels.

The situation, which appears to be affecting both new and old customers alike, only seems to show itself when the end-user is using a wired network and does not affect Wireless (wifi) setups. A quick reset of the HH3 or port switch usually resolves the problem, but only for a few hours before it returns. The situation is being covered by this topic on the ISPs support forum, though several other threads may also be related.

A BT Customer, Saece, said:

Had exactly the same problem, wireless worked fine, wired speed drops. Clearly it’s the HH3 and not the connection or both would be affected.

Have a new HH3 on the way hopefully it’s better, my speeds been decreased by 16mb on my ip profile, india call centers not understanding the problem too strong!”

Another BT Customer, mavelica2109, added:

Mine is doing this too, anyone have a solution yet? We only recently got infinity in our area and i was one fo the first, no problems at first but now its terrible. I am having to reset the hub 2 or 3 times a day to get the right speed and sometimes then its not as it was when first put in.”

Curiously BT has so far been resolving the problem by dispatching a BTOpenreach engineer to replace the HH3, VDSL modem and reset the customer’s line profile. It’s unclear why both the router and modem would need to be switched, although a BTOpenreach spokesperson unofficially suggested to ISPreview.co.uk that the problem might be “the residual effects of the previous over-heating issue“.

Regular readers might recall that BT was forced to replace some of its older VDSL modems (Huawei EchoLife HG612) in January 2012 (here) after discovering a serious overheating fault that could cause “total loss of service“, yet so far the above issue appears to be centred on BT’s HH3 and not Openreach’s modem (supplied for all FTTC subscriptions).

Similarly many of those affected also have the latest (v3 or later) modems, which are supposed to have resolved the overheating issue. It’s worth remembering that all hardware can suffer faults and an ISP with hundreds of thousands of FTTC subscribers is bound to have a few of those. We will report back once BT has finished looking into the matter.

UPDATE 22nd June 2012

BT has told ISPreview.co.uk that a firmware fix for affected HomeHub3 routers is on the way (here).

UPDATE 25th July 2012

A firmware fix is now being deployed HERE.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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