Why does my broadband work, but my telephone line is dead?

This is a scenario I have come across many times in my career and it always confuses people! The telephone line feeding your property is known as a pair (2 separate wires). This carries a 50 volt signal which is needed to make phone calls. Sometimes a fault occurs on just one of these wires meaning that the telephone line goes dead, but the broadband still works. This is because it is only a data signal, which does not need voltage on the line to operate, just a metallic path back to the exchange so will sometimes work over the one good wire. Generally however, the speed of the broadband will be lower and less reliable.

Do you guarantee to improve my broadband speed?

No, sadly there is no guarantee that your broadband speed can be improved, especially if you are located a long way from an exchange/fibre cabinet. If you have only one socket connected directly off the BT network with no other internal wiring, then chances are you are likely to be on the fastest speed achievable. However, if you have a complex wiring setup with many other telephones connected onto your line, then there is a good chance that I can make alterations or remove unused wiring to improve your overall broadband speed.
Every property is different so it is always worth contacting me for friendly advice.

Do I always need to connect my broadband router to the master socket?

No, you don’t always need to connect your router to the master socket. However, if it is located in a convenient place within your premises, it is always advisable to have it connected there. Internal wiring quality does vary substantially, so can have a huge effect on broadband speed and quality.

Why does my broadband signal drop when I use the telephone?

There are a number of reasons why you will lose signal when using the telephone. The most common is a missing broadband filter from an extension socket with a telephone connected. Check that all devices connected onto the telephone line have filters, including alarm systems and Sky boxes which are often overlooked. If you have checked this and found all filters in place, there is a chance the fault is external to your property and the responsibility of BT. Please contact me to discuss the issue, as I can prove and repair the fault if not in the BT network.

I don’t even use the telephone, but my broadband is still slow or unstable

It is an increasingly common case that customers use their fixed telephone line purely for the broadband and don’t even have a telephone plugged into it, preferring to use a mobile phone for voice calls. If the broadband is becoming slow or unstable, it is definitely advisable to plug a telephone into the socket to check the line is working (see question further above about broadband working but phone line not) or crackly. Both of these telephone line faults will certainly cause a huge drop in broadband performance.

I switch my broadband router off every night to conserve energy, but have noticed the broadband speed getting slower, is this normal?

A very common problem I have encountered over the years. Routers are designed to be left on at all times. The line is monitored at the exchange end by what’s called a DLM or Dynamic Line Manager, which is trying to keep and maintain the fastest stable broadband speed possible to your router. If this is switched off on a regular basis, the system assumes this as an unstable line, and will gradually drop your connection speed to try and stabilise the losses in connection (this also happens when you have a crackly or dead telephone line).
Always try to keep your router switched on as much as possible, although the system will ignore the odd loss of connection eg during power cuts, holidays etc., as normal.