I hope this isn't a repeat topic of something everyone else knows. I've scoured the forums and haven't found anything that is as direct as this advice -
I have a Billion 7401VGP, v5.73 firmware and may have stumbled across a solution for anyone else that has experienced repeated drop outs and low sync speeds.
DON'T USE AnnexM2+ auto-fallback!!!
Its not quite scientific proof but I've now been running for 3 days straight at the sync speeds I expect since changing just that one setting. To prove it, I really should change it back and see if my problems reoccur, but hey, you can understand my reluctance.
I now know that Exetel/Optus DSLAMs don't do AnnexM, but its auto-fallback right? So it shouldn't have hurt, but I'm pretty sure it did! In November I joined Exetel, getting ADSL2+ for the first time and had a perfect experience. Solid, fast enough (6-7Mbits) considering my distance to exchange, and everything just worked.
I don't quite recall what I was doing but I did play with my modem settings in early June, I also upgraded the firmware. The upshot was that AnnexM2+auto-fallback was either set without my knowing it or I set it without understanding exactly what I was doing.
Unfortunately, the problem that results is quite intermittent so it took some time to realise that things were getting flaky; by then I'd forgotten about my previous fiddling. So I fiddled some more, and some more, isolation test, etc etc. It took a while because the connection would look better and last 24-48 hours and then give up the ghost and either not sync at all, or after a power cycle, sync at very slow speeds (<2Mbits) so each 'fiddle' would take a day or so to test. But I'm pretty sure I've got the right culprit now, it took me a while to notice that the setting was different to the Exetel recommended setting and I didn't really understand what AnnexM was; just figured its newer so it had to be good, right?
Can anyone else confirm or disprove this theory?
If I'm right, this is important information for everyone else out there, especially with regard to training support staff, from whom I had a mixed experience:
The good - very quick response. And they did pretty much what I'd hoped they'd do by jiggling whatever it is they jiggle with the Exetel end of the connection. This didn't change anything and proved that it wasn't any funny stuff at the exchange or Exetel, the problem was in my house.
The bad - After the unsuccessful jiggle, just got the usual, "Do an isolation test", "Try another modem", "Try another filter"...response. I doubt the support guy even looked at the modem config screenshots I sent (only the 3 or 4 main ones, so no information overload). I know that you guys probably solve 99% of cases with the "do an isolation test" line, but a quick glance at the settings I provided, even without the knowledge that Billion7401 does have trouble "falling-back", may have prompted a suggestion of some other stuff to try.
I'm probably nit-picking. I could just imagine what would have happened and how long I'd have had to wait if I had the same problem at another ISP so maybe I should be happy. After all, I don't expect much from support anywhere, and usually I find that it meets my expectations.
Overall, still top marks for Exetel. You guys defecate all over the competition!
Connection issues, drop outs or speed related faults for ADSL and ADSL2+ services
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