IC Knowledge Base

Intermittent Broadband Connection

If you're having intermittent connection faults with your broadband, read our guide for handy hints on troubleshooting.

About intermittent connection faults

If your broadband connection comes and goes, seemingly at random intervals, you may have an intermittent connection fault. These faults are not to be confused with slow speed faults where you might experience a drop in your connection speed.

Dealing with intermittent connection faults

Check your microfilters
The most common cause of intermittent connection faults is a problem with the microfilter. Try replacing your microfilter.

Check your cables and remove extensions
Faulty cables are another common cause of connection problems, please ensure all cables to and from your router are secure.

To eliminate local wiring issues, you really need to test your connection using only your master socket, some master sockets have a test socket located behind the master socket that you can plug into and test with.

Check your modem/router
Sometimes a glitch in your modem or router can cause your connection to drop. Check to see if your connection comes back after restarting your hardware. If it always comes back after restarting, try re-installing your hardware or consider replacing your hardware. Modems will need their drivers removed, then re-installed. Routers should be reset to their factory settings and reconfigured. Your hardware's user manual should show you how to do this.

Check your telephone line (if applicable)
Check for a dial tone on your phone. Telephone line faults are often overlooked when broadband is running on its own line with no telephone attached, however a fault on the telephone portion of the line can impact your broadband service. If you don't hear a dial tone you need to report the problem as a telephone fault to BT by ringing 151.

Check for background noise on your telephone line
If you can hear crackling, pops or whistles, this may mean:

  • A device on your line is causing interference (not properly filtered, or maybe incompatible with broadband service)
  • A faulty microfilter
  • A telephone line fault (again, report this directly to your landline provider)

Check for possible interference
Broadband can be affected by different types of electrical or radio interference.

Devices that can interfere with broadband connections include:

Broadband equipment (e.g. wireless hardware or a spare modem left connected on an extension)
Computer equipment (e.g. scanners, external drives etc)
Electrical appliances (e.g. microwave ovens, halogen lamps and Christmas tree lights)
RF equipment (e.g. remote control garage doors, AM radios and central heating thermostats)

If you notice a pattern to the times you are getting disconnected, keep an eye on what other electrical equipment might be in use at the same time.

If you get intermittently disconnected but the sync light on your broadband hardware is solid green, you are advised to check for idle settings on your hardware that might be automatically disconnecting you.

Check signal quality
After making all the above checks, it's possible that the connection problem may be the result of a fault on the telephone line, or network.

Try keeping a log of when your disconnections occur. If you can spot a pattern, it will help us to monitor the problem as it occurs.

Check to see if your modem or router provides connection statistics. Reporting these can help identify if your connection problems are the result of a poor quality connection.

Note: Heavy rain and other extreme weather conditions may cause connection problems, as well as affecting the speed of your broadband connection. You should bear this in mind before reporting a broadband fault.

Ask about our new iPlate filters - these can dramatically improve the speed of your broadband and eliminate electrical interference. 
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