back to article Allow us to sum this up: UK ISP Plusnet minus net for nine-plus hours

For the past nine hours or so today, bungling Brit broadband ISP Plusnet's internet service has been rather wobbly – with network packet loss wrecking some connections. This lack of stable connectivity for unlucky punters will hit things like online video and voice calls, gaming and streaming the most. Uptime-adverse Plusnet …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working fine for me

    Just outside Guildford. No disruption during the day either.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Working fine for me

      Not in London, very wobbly indeed,,

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Meh

        Was a bit wobbly yesterday, this morning fairly good. Giving me 11Mbps down and 1Mbps up, which is marginally better throughput (I know - not the same as intermittent lag) than usual, probably 'cos half my neighbours have given up.

      2. Tom Melly

        Re: Working fine for me

        South London - same here. My son first noticed it when gaming, and it just got worse and worse.

    2. Planty Bronze badge
      Stop

      Re: Working fine for me

      Yep, fine here. Had very reliable connection from plusnet, and their support is easily the best in the industry. You talk to knowledge people, not script reading numpties.

      Seems this news has a hidden agenda

      1. wurdsmiff

        Re: Working fine for me

        I've also had really good customer service and very few connectivity issues.

        I'm always a bit surprised by all of the negative stories on El Reg about Plusnet. That said, none of the ISPs get an easy ride...

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Working fine for me

          My ex-wife (who kept my PlusNet account from the days when it wasn't owned by BT and was actually one of the best) in Cornwall had no end of problems.

          She's considering cancelling the contract, it's been that bad for her.

          And she lives right in the middle of one of the largest towns, so it's hardly out in the sticks.

  2. david bates

    Fine in Stoke. Was OK first thing, and then after 4:00pm and has been all evening.

  3. David Pollard

    Week of wobbly e-mail

    For a few days now their e-mail in this part of the world has been plagued with delays and occasional 'Service Unavailable' please try later notices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Week of wobbly e-mail

      Stop using supplier email accounts people, it just ties you in!

  4. BongoJoe

    About 900Kb/s outside of aptly named Analog. So as good as ever.

  5. Trumpet Winsock

    Been tickety-boo all day down here in Poole

    I've been streaming "The Bureau" from Amazon Prime without any hiccups at all.

    1. Richard Kitch

      All fine here in SE London...so far...

  6. CrashM

    Interesting... I'm on PlusNet and getting the best speeds i have every gotten (Lancaster).

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Happy

      'cos you are the only one still connected :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "There can be only one!"

  7. Stuart Grout

    OK in Manchester

    Been surfing and streaming for the past four hours without any problems here in Manchester.

    You might want to take report from people like Down Detector with a pinch of salt as they don't check whether the number of complaints they get have any statistical significance.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, on BT Infinitesimal

    for most of Sunday, and for much of Monday evening, where I am:

    bulk download speeds OK but DNS resolution very hit or miss, thereby rendering web access near useless.

    It's BT. Believe it could be better.

    Anybody recommend any VDSL2 modem/routers with decent line-level stats, esp error counts, errored seconds, etc, preferably accessible via SNMP. Or is that kind of thing (which my faithful old D-Link DSL604+ used to do) too 20th century for modern consumer electronics?

    1. astarisit

      Re: Meanwhile, on BT Infinitesimal

      VDSL routers:

      Draytek 2760 for home

      Draytek 2860 small business

      Cisco 887 VA for "won't ever let go of the VDSL"

      All give decent stats, all do SNMP.

      We get the ones without wireless functionality - but that's to do with wanting multiple wireless access points in appropriate locations - so non-wireless ones might not be suitable for you.

      Draytek's are "SIN 498 MCT" compliant. i.e. will actually work with Openreach FTTC. Bit like the "green circle" stickers on phones that used to indicate BABT approval for connecting a device to a phone line.

      See here for devices (assume accurate - but can't confirm):

      https://www.pack-net.co.uk/blog/update-changes-to-fttc

      Least interesting pdf ever about what is needed for this compliance:

      https://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/products/super-fastfibreaccess/downloads/ProcessGuideforCPEeModemConformanceTestingIssue1.4.pdf

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile, on BT Infinitesimal

        +1 for Draytek. My three-year-old 2860VN+ is still getting firmware updates with major feature upgrades (they just added DNSSEC checking for the ISP DNS servers, for instance).

        And if you buy the Vigor AP900 range of wireless points, it can be centrally managed from the Draytek router.

        Never had a problem, upgrade it regularly with new stuff, handles all kind of stuff and has features that I've never seen on other routers in its price-class.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile, on BT Infinitesimal

      Don't use BT's DNS (same for many other providers).

      1. djvrs

        Re: Meanwhile, on BT Infinitesimal

        BT won't allow me to use another DNS provider....can't remember their exact web error message.....Bypasses their web nanny service which I have supposedly disabled!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little slow in Berkshire

    Download speed seem a little slower than normal for the last day or so, but no interruptions.

    By coincidence I received and email from Plusnet today heralding their new mobile service:

    "We (like any proud parent) are thrilled to announce the arrival of Plusnet Mobile. Our bundle of joy arrives on 29th November and we want to share the love with a special deal."

    It appears to be hosted on EE who I am already with. I wonder if I dare risk it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A little slow in Berkshire

      It appears to be hosted on EE who I am already with. I wonder if I dare risk it?

      Don't be daft. Any deal offered to existing customers is always rubbish (in your case that's any offer from EE, BT or Plusnet).

      Good deals (in commodity service contracts like telecoms, insurance, energy etc) are only ever offered as "acquisition only", because if they're a good deal chances are the provider is losing money at bottom line level. At the end of the fixed period/renewal point they try and punt you on to much more expensive deal hoping you won't notice, and if a small number of sticky customers stay on the poor renewal deal for a couple of years the maths works out commercially.

      Never forget rule one of commercial services: Customer loyalty is there to be abused.

      1. chas49

        Re: A little slow in Berkshire

        "Don't be daft"

        Is the PNET offer cheaper than your currrent EE deal for the service? Since it's a 30 day rolling contract (I think),where's the downside?

        Yes, the special rate for exisitng broadband customers may be undercut in future but you can easily move again. Check the T&Cs to make sure you're not tied in to BB.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A little slow in Berkshire

          "Is the PNET offer cheaper than your currrent EE deal for the service? Since it's a 30 day rolling contract (I think),where's the downside?"

          Yes, the 30 day rolling contract is attractive, but there is no information about costs or service levels in the email, just a link labelled "Register now". I would like to know the details before "registering".

          1. johnfbw

            Re: A little slow in Berkshire

            Prices: £10 (rising to £15 at some point) for 4Gb or 8Gb for broadband customers with unlimited text and calls

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A little slow in Berkshire

        Checked last night and my deal as a long term customer of plusnet is better than a new customer can get.

    2. I_am_Chris

      Re: A little slow in Berkshire

      I note that prices are conspicuously absent on that email. Anyone know how competitive they are?

      It would take quite a deal to get me to move from iD mobile.

  10. William 3 Bronze badge

    Welcome to Post Truth journalism.

    Noticed the emotionally loaded words used in the article such as "bungling".

    Sensationally making molehills into mountains for the sake of the advertising pound it brings in.

    Whilst piously writing articles about how bad Donald Trump talks shit.

    And how Facebook is the epitome of Fake News.

    Brass Necks at the Register.

    I give them that.

    1. streaky
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Welcome to Post Truth journalism.

      Oohh 'reg upset somebody.

      I like how the thing in 2016 is for people to label anything they don't like (and I fail to see how this would make anybody not connected with PN this angry) post truth. Maybe it's just the rediscovery of truth?

    2. whimsicalkid
      IT Angle

      Re: Welcome to Post Truth journalism.

      Yes, welcome to the all new 100% fully merkinised register (intentional lower case). The icon sums up the register now.

      Not only do we now have click bait non news, we also have twatter style comments, "All OK here in (insert location)"

      1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Welcome to Post Truth journalism.

        Aw shucks, whimsical, we're blushing! We are totally down on Facebook, aren't we? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/18/fake_news_facebook_moral_panic_overblown/

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Not noticed any outages here in West Yorks. Dunno about Plusnet email. It's far easier to have a email separate from the ISP just in case the ISP gets taken over by TalkTalk or whoever.

  12. Len Goddard

    Seems OK here

    Midway between Winchester and Southampton

  13. Dave Bell

    I'm not sure how useful that map is.

    The highest number of reports are where a lot of people live.

    It does look as though London, for example, it getting hit worse than Birmingham, but none of use know enough about the Plusnet network to know what's different. In the past, I've often been told I am somewhere close to Milton Keynes, presumably because of the IP address, but the helpdesk staff seem to be based in Sheffield.

    In the past, with other companies, I've known that a particular cluster of equipment had failed, but I wouldn't like to guess where my connection goes physically. The connection is working for me, but if it wasn't I doubt the red spot would show on that map.

    Milton Keynes, incidentally, is legendary for having something falling down on it. There's a song.

    1. Seajay#

      The same thing struck me about that map. Probably just a population map.

      https://xkcd.com/1138/

  14. Mark Stronge

    Another issue that has appeared today is a firmware update to the Chromecast audio has been causing bt home hub 5 and plusnet onhubs to reboot continuously.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not on plusnet though I did have some trouble earlier with an update as I had to reboot my machine so no internet for a short while, once logged back in everything was fine.

  16. Np_smith

    Not the only issue today

    Woke up this morning to my Plusnet hub rebooting continuously and hence no internet. Reported it as a fault then discovered it was a Chromecast Audio update in the early hours causing the problem.

    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chromecast/3PiH_40qLBw

    Not saying it's a Plusnet/BT router issue but neither company appears to be acknowledging fault at the moment.

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Devil

    In other news...

    Comcast has announced that its acquisition of Plusnet closed today!

    (Oh come on, you knew that a dig at Comcast was coming, or at least warranted.)

  18. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    Plusnet?

    Minusnet!!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Guilty!

    I uploaded 5gb yesterday via my Plusnet connection...perhaps that's what did it.

  20. I_am_Chris

    Stupid map

    That map is next to useless. Oh look the most populous places in the UK are the ones with the most problems. No shit Sherlock!

    They should correct for population density, then it might tell you something. Or maybe not if this is a non-story...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stupid map

      Good point. When corrected for population density it looks like a really nasty problem in Cornwall.

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Stupid map

      Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1138/

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Does anyone use ISP supplied email?

    Don't trust them.

    Means I can't dump the ISP without a lot of hassle if they are s**t.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one of the most whinged about comms providers in the UK

    really? They were rather good when I was in bed with them for about 10 years. This must have something to do with being in bed with BT... no, this can't be right?! BT would NEVER sit its 1 bilion ton gorilla butt on a solid asset to squeeze a little extra profit, eh?

    well, this may be a schadenfreunde snigger, until I remember the butt of the Virgin overlords, squeezing her (and me) firmly, in all the right places :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: one of the most whinged about comms providers in the UK

      "BT would NEVER sit its 1 bilion ton gorilla butt on a solid asset to squeeze a little extra profit, eh?"

      Absolutely not, no.

      Same way as Ofcon wouldn't tolerate BT plc abusing BT plc trading as Plusnet to drive coach and horses through the regulatory regime. BT plc trading as BT Retail's prices are regulated, and BT plc trading as Plusnet's aren't. Which meant that in principle for a little while BT plc could have used Plusnet to undercut BT Retail's regulatory minimum prices (yes you read that right) thereby ensuring that potential competitors (smaller ISPs than BT/Sky/TT) wouldn't have a market niche to address - BT Retail as brainless bundler of overpriced and underperforming services for the naive and ill-informed, Plusnet as low cost ISP for the cost conscious and technically savvy, where's a mid-priced ISP supposed to go against those two?

      Allegeldy.

  23. johnfbw

    I guess I should cancel that engineers appointment

    My line was only running at 38MB (FTTP so should be 80)

  24. Undergrid

    A few months ago I moved from BT Infinity to Plusnet. Worst decision I've ever made. Granted, BT's tech support might not be great, but I've had more outages and issues with Plusnet in the few months I've been with them than in the years I was with BT.

  25. adam payne Silver badge

    Plusnet not doing customers proud.

  26. David Nash Silver badge

    Funny how different people have different experiences

    I've never had any problems with PlusNet. Less than a handful of noticeable outages in the few years that I've been with them.

    1. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

      Re: Funny how different people have different experiences

      Until last month, I'd been with Plusnet for about 14 years. In the early days, if you had a problem, you'd get through to someone knowledgeable, and able to do something that could resolve the problem. Since the BT takeover, proper techies doing support have gone, to be replaced by script readers. A couple of years back, email stopped flowing, and I found they had changed all my MX records for my domains to their own servers. It took hours to talk to someone who knew what an MX record was, and even then they refused to acknowledge that they had changed the records. I moved the domains from them as soon as I could.

      The last three occasions I have had trouble also meant 45 minute waits on the phone - they removed or made incredibly difficult to find the old way of reporting faults online.

      Moved to a new ISP last month.

      A few days later, I got an email from Plusnet to say that money would be taken from my account for the next month's service. I contacted them (45 minute call) to say they;d made a mistake and that I no longer had service from them, cancelling the old DD authorisation in the process. I got batted around to several different people, the last of whom said oh yes, and put the phone down. I took up the battle on the web site and on twitter. Demands for payment continued to be emailed to the point where it felt like a blackmail scam gone wrong - "Your service will be cancelled if you don't pay...." After two weeks, another twitter campaign and more online reporting, they finally emailed to say their automated system had made a mistake.

      Moving to another ISP was a hard decision to make; would the grass be greener on the other side? Actually the move itself was a doddle, the only hassles being the ones described above. Plusnet's race to the bottom may be fine, but I was expecting, and paying for, the service I used to get before that race started.

  27. Velv Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "bungling Brit broadband ISP Plusnet"

    Last time I looked El Reg wasn't owned by News International. Please stop with The Sun style journalism.

  28. ramjam

    Packet loss is probably gateway related

    I had bad packet loss for half a day a week or so ago. Reset the router and ended up connected to a different Plusnet gateway. No problems since, so I suspect the problem only affects certain gateway(s).

  29. disco_stu

    So today might not be the best day for me to go live with a new Fibre connection?

  30. theprimate

    Sucking like a big fat sucky thing in North Yorkshire for the last few days

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