The ongoing saga of BT faults and ADSL noise issues: May 2017
(Updated September 2017)


BT Overhead cables 2017 (pictures at end)

account BT  VP66790370  number 01245 227##9

We have had as many as 6 lines into the home office here since 2003 when we moved in. But we are now down to this one and one with TalkTalk on 01245 69###4 that includes VDSL.

So the unused overhead lines can now go.

When we moved in, the previous owner had two lines and an underground cable. This was replaced by a cluster of overhead cables as we added circuits. The result is a cluster of overhead cables that are now wrapped with trees.

As we only need 2 VDSL circuits now, we could potentially lose the lot and revert to the underground cable – which would solve another problem insofar as there seems to be a lot of radio frequency interference noise radiated from these cables that completely blots out SW radio below about 12MHz – I happen to be an amateur radio operator and working on commercial projects in radio that are suffering from what appears to be ADSL noise interference - see those ADSL noise issues described here.  Also the RSGB advice page here - and also G8JNJ's experiences here. And G4AMT's report.

The latest report from the RSGB EMC Committee carries yet more worrying evidence of a BT/Ofcom cover up.

There are a number of overhead cables through trees both on our property and in the lane outside - and our neighbour suffers random resets on his DSL2 service (01245223082) all the time - which is not attributable to his internal setup (we have changed his router 3 times). The basic line tests are all “in range” but the fact remains his DSL resets randomly up to 15 times day.

The provider for that service is Entanet, who also provide the DSL service on our (BT provided)  01245 227889 - and the process we have been through of buck passing is not edifying. We have been through a lot of pain to get this investigated and no one wants to address the fact that the cables in the trees are plainly stress points.

I have posted a photo gallery of lines disappearing into trees FYI  below. So having brought this matter to your attention, I hold BT/Openreach responsible for any and all consequential costs and losses arising from failures on any of these lines. I shall also be pleased to receive your payment for £298 being the standard fee that BT/OR charge their customers for surveying and reports in the circumstances.


This was the response from Openreach...

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
Sent: Wed, 2 Aug 2017 13:12:40 +0100
To: <w####et>
Subject: SI: Case Reference : C2595115 for Customer
Dear Customer

Thanks for contacting us.

We have given a reference number to your issue and it’s C2595115. This number is unique to your issue so if you do contact us about it again, please quote this reference to us.

We need to look into the detail of your issue in order to advise you appropriately so we’ll be back in touch with you within 7 working days.

Thank you

Openreach Complaints Team


From: Stephen Henson []
Sent: 26 August 2017 15:50
To:; wp####et
Subject: Re: SI: Case Reference : C2595115 for Customer

Dear Mr P###

Thanks for contacting the complaints team. I'm really sorry that you are having issues with interference. You say we have ADSL cables running overhead. I'm really sorry but we do not have ADSL cables

only copper telephone lines . I'm not sure what an ADSL line is in the context you have described. ADSL is just a form or broad band which runs through the telephone line and will only be on
working telephone lines. I don't want to patronize you but are you sure they are not electric cables as they can cause issue with B/b.

please come back to us if you can give more specific information maybe a photograph of the cables. Please can you come back to us by the 1st Sept or unfortunately
we'll be closing the case.

Please do not respond directly back to myself as I'll not be dealing with the case moving forward. Please reply to only as any mails sent directly to myself will not be actioned
best wishes

So I replied:

From: W####t
Sent: 30 August 2017 14:06
To: ''
Cc: 'Stephen Henson'; ''
Subject: RE: SI: Case Reference : C2595115 for Customer


Do you want to run your reply past your manager for an opinion before I take this matter further?

This is a rather feeble and very late response that was sent on a bank holiday weekend with a response deadline of 7 days after it took you weeks to reply (months actually, this all kicked off in May)

Did you ever take a look at: Apparently not…


Then Sep 8th Magda Bou Lirola replied...

From: Magda Bou-Lirola []
Sent: 08 September 2017 12:14
To:; wp######et
Subject: C2595115


All issues regarding your telephone service, orders, faults or visits by Openreach requested by your Service Provider must be addressed to your Provider and not Openreach.

 For all these things, and anything else to do with your service, you must contact your communications provider (the company you pay your bills to) and not Openreach.

 To find out more about our relationship with your CP visit the website.

 As I can not help you any further in this matter this case will be closed in the next 5 working days. 

 Thanks and Regards

 Magda Bou Lirola

Volume Complaints Customer Resolutions Web:


September 13th 2017 - as feared, the roof fascia has been pulled off as a result of the strain eventually becoming too much - and now exposed, the size of the anchor fixings doesn't seem adequate for the task.

From: WSP
Sent: 13 September 2017 17:35
To: 'Magda Bou-Lirola'; ''
Subject: RE: C2595115


This seems like a lot of buck passing.

This was the situation in May 2017 – when I first contacted BT/OR to advise the overhead line situation was unsatisfactory… as reported at

One of the lines here will be our  BT provided)  01245 227889 – so this is your problem as CP.

Just now I spotted that as I had predicted, the excess strain on the cable anchorage has pulled the fascia off the building following a bit of windy weather….

I tried to report this just now, but was told that there is no facility for BT to receive email – so I could not send the pictures that spell out the urgency of the problem rather obviously. So I went through the “computer says” process with BT and have a Fault reference  1-103108625 and hopefully an engineer will show up tomorrow to assess the situation.

I have been warned of the potential for a number of alarming charges to be made if I am wasting BT time. So I tried to make it plain that I will have to charge at least £500 if there is an interruption to service.

Now can we PLEASE sort this out and deal with the fact that whereas we once had some 6 connections to the house – the arrival of VDSL means that we only need two lines.  The rest can go and the strain will be relieved - better still, can we reconnect the original underground cable?



September 14th 20177

The Openreach engineer turned up at 08:10 - and I explained the history to him.  And also demonstrated that the overhead lines were radiating radio frequency interference - especially at 4MHz.

** Remember, despite the precarious sight of the fascia hanging off, all the services were working just fine. BT Openreach line and Entanet broadband -  and TalkTalk provided phone (using Openreach line) and VDSL.L.

I asked if he could try and use the original underground cable that was in use in 2003 when we moved here, and after a fair amount of fiddling with the terminations at each end, he managed to get two pairs connected and was then able to remove the overhead lines that had pulled the fascia off. (Which is what I had already asked BT/Openreach to do in May 2017)

But there were/are problem with the exchange services and test systems, as there is other work in the vicinity - and the whole process became more complex than it should have been.

I have been advised to give it time to settle but I am starting to panic just a little as every one of our communication services is presently off the air,

The DSL service delivered on the BT exchange line with Enta IP is presently OK - but there is no dial tone on the TalkTalk

Recap of the Overall Story  (As at  16:00 September 14th)

In 2003 we moved into this location where the -previous owner had an underground cable from the pole in the lane providing a telephone service and an ISDN service.

We swapped the ISDN for an ADSL service provided by Entanet, which delivered about 3-4 Mbit in those days.

However, we needed more bandwidth for things like VOIP phone services, and added 4 more Entanet ADSL services on BT exchange lines over the next 3-4 years. These were delivered by multiple overhead drop cables from a telegraph pole about 230 feet away - and fixed the fascia of the house as illustrated below.

In 2012 - for as much resilience as possible when BT/Openreach are the monopoly provider of circuits -  we got a TalkTalk VDSL service  (80Mbit down/20 up) that included the phone line (provided and serviced by BT - now Openreach)  - and we then upgraded one of the Entanet ADSL2 services to VDSL.

We then ceased all but one BT Business line (carrying the Entanet service)  as the bandwidth of one VDSL circuit was more than enough to replace 5 regular ADLS2 services.

I thought it would be a good idea to remove the no-longer required lines - which also appeared to be radiating the Radio interference typically associated with VDSL services, as well as straining the cable anchorage on the fascia board.

When the inevitable happened and the fascia was pulled off, the focus was on trying to reuse the original underground cable. Which worked for a while, but since the Openreach Engineer charged with sorting out the physical line problems is not allowed to deal with Entanet and/or TalkTalk broadband issues. So  I have had to call both TalkTalk and Enta to try and organise further Openreach engineer visits to address these problems - which did not exist before the work on the fascia-pulling cables was done.

Not forgetting that all the time, there appears to have been local exchange and cabinet work going on that might have added to the number of variables involved. Nobody knows, all I know it the broadband service has been crippled since the start of the work today.

Bottom line - I have lost at least two full days (and counting) to dealing with this problem. I am weary of BT/OR threatening me with costs for wasting their time!


Here is the 56 minute call to BT support on 0843 5047163 that cost £6.17 (11p/minute)  - and just hear how much time is wasted on hold, and how bad the volume levels are at times. For a telephone company this is unacceptable:

Prior to this chargeable call,  a 30 minute call was made to 150 - the free BT fault reporting service. Who told me to call OpenReach and gave me the premium rate number but did not warn it would cost 11p a minute...


 And then Talk Talk did their bit...
Sept 14th

The rerouting of the BT/Openreach lines following the takedown of the overhead lines meant the inevitable disruption of the circuit for the TalkTalk VDSL service. As the connections were tested, the service went up and down about 10 times - but at the point at which the Openreach engineer left, it was working "after a fashion" with 5Mbit down (should be 70MBit) and 18MBit up.  A few hours later it has settled at 5MBit up and down. Meantime the service delivered on the BT line had been through a number of further ups and downs (bearing out the suggestion that the local box and exchange was being "configured".

This is where the full absurdity of the present Ofcom directed process becomes more apparent.

The Open Reach engineer sent to resolve the matter of the lines pulling the fascia off the house was commissioned by BT - the provider the basic telephone line - which coincidentally is used by Entanet to deliver their VDSL internet service that is presently delivering...

The engineer is not allowed by the "rules" that determine the separation of Openreach (whose vans bear the slogan ("A BT Group Company") from BT to do anything else but deal with the BT plain phone service. Had he fixed the BT phone line so that it worked as a phone line, but the Entanet DSL had not performed, he was powerless to do anything about it.

So the fact that the TalkTalk service was not working - but the BT plain old telephone service (POTS) was OK - meant it was outside his remit to get involved. And apart from suggesting it might return to normal once the local exchange work had settled down, there was nothing he could do but go to his next job.

I called the BT Business fault line (0800  800154 ) and quoted the job number I had been given (1-103108625) and explained the situation.

Incidentally, the volume levels when talking to BT and Openreach call centres is always very low - so I have tediously processed this recording to try and normalize. You will hear that the BT/OR phone service also has a loud hum. For telecoms companies, this is not a great example of how to do it .

Here is the 21 minute call to BT support which confirms the asinine process that customers are expected to go through to resolve any telecom issues in which any part of BT and or Openreach is involved.  Congratulations politicians and Ofcom for making an already bad situation, much worse.


Anyway, I called TalkTalk.

Could things get much worse..? Off course they could!

The first call I made to TT was cut short when BT called me back on another line.

When I called back, the first thing the callbot in the call centre wanted to do was run the standard  test on my broadband - it takes around 15 minutes, and will disconnect all the  services. No thanks, as it was not relevant or needed, since we know that the problem is the physical line setup. And changing the microfilter really won't help.

Of course this was not appropriate or relevant  .... so I tried to explain the situation, but the "computer says" syndrome blocked any attempt at common sense. I had yet another surreal conversation - but sadly on my mobile, which was called back because the original call I made was randomly disconnected . This meant I have not been able to record most of it. But suffice it to say,  no one was listening and the TalkTalk system has no capacity to deal with anyone that knows what they are talking about, but can only robotically follow the scripted procedures.

Despite my effort to tell the TalkTalk support person that her script did not apply in any way to our problem, and not mess with our router, she went ahead and performed a remote factory reset without telling me or asking my permission - which means our complex port forwarding configuration was lost, the LAN IP and gateway address was changed, DHCP was switched back on began interfering with the real LAN DHCP - and all the passwords were reset.

Apparently there is no option to save the configuration to a local back up file.

They eventually did what I asked for in the first place, and arranged for an Openreach engineer to call round and check it out. Thank God that the engineer was the one that had spent the previous day familiarising himself with this complex situation. So we assessed all the evidence and clues - which pointed to crosstalk, and decided that a separate cable would be required. One was duly installed at a low level to avoid broadcasting RFI, and is presently performing with both our VDSL circuits providing the theoretical maximum speeds.

Adding insult to injury...

During today, I received a text message from BT asking how impressed I was with their service.... 


01245 227889 ... fine, back to normal...

But then about an hour later...

And a couple of hours later - it has gone back to 70MBit down/18 up - ie good enough. So what on earth is going on? Is it local exchange and cabinet work? Who knows, that's what happens with a totally unpredictable analogue service like DSL.

The Talk Talk service meantime had no dial tone, and 01245 690854.... oops...

But eventually normal service was resumed..


Subsequently... October 4th footnote...

With the unwanted drop cables from the phone pole removed and replacement cables close to or below ground level, I have been able to operate on shortwave frequencies that had been rendered unworkable as the spread of VDSL using what amounts to "antenna cables"  introduced interference that BT and Openreach - and even Ofcom - seem to try to pretend does not exist. But the neighbour's overhead phone cable is still spraying out interference that I want to try and sort out soon. Watch this space.


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