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Saturday, July 4

BT Broadband Support

I don't think BT will ever read this post. Other of their customers might, especially if they are having trouble with their BT Home Hub 3.0 and a DNS or Name Server problem. The issue is sporadic and goes away if you reset the hub, but comes back regularly. Devices can't access the Internet even though the Internet appears to be working, and may even be successfully streaming on one device while the others get errors about names or DNS probes.

Here is a call I didn't have.

Me: it's broken
Them: have you tried turning it off and back on
Me: yes
Them: have you tried REALLY turning it off and on, by doing a factory reset
Me: will that fix it?
Them: like a motherfucker
Me: oh yeah, so it does

So, the answer folks, unless I'm mistaken, is to do a factory reset either by using the web UI, or by sticking a paperclip in the right hole.

As I said, the above didn't happen. Nor did this, which should have.

Me: hi. Broken broadband, DNS fault. IP connectivity appears to be working. I'm an IT professional, so talk tech.
Them: ah yes, this sounds like a common problem, is the web UI quite slow on 192.168.1.254
Me: as slow as getting a builder in for a quote
Them: test nslookup via the router and then via the direct DNS server
Me: yeah, I should have thought of that... Testing... Yeah, the box times out but the DNS servers are reachable and work.
Them: common fault, fixable by factory reset.
Me: safe!

Again. This didn't happen.

I'll summarise what did. I rang up, had a bunch of spurious line checks and reconfiguring of wireless channels performed. The person I spoke to didn't ask any remotely sensible questions and was trying to make me out as someone with a dropping wireless. He didn't seem to know what DNS was, didn't get the issue resolved and then told me to wait 24 hours to see if it got better. He promised to ring back, the idea being to escalate it if his low level fixes didn't work. Pointless.

I did the DNS tests myself and worked out that my instincts were right. The box's DNS server is intermittent, possibly a result of the last firmware update in that the firmware update date matched the start of the issues.

Then I tried ringing back the following day to get them to do something more and was told their systems were down, so they couldn't do anything. So I googled the problem some more. I found it being complained about, but no solution... I rang back, systems still down, so I asked the operator to tell me, from memory, whether he'd heard of the problem and knew a possible fix. He suggested the factory reset.

I asked what it did and he didn't know... So I tried it and it may well be working. I'll update if it doesn't.

The web UI on the management interface is faster, suggesting to me that something has unblocked o the box's OS... I have theories, but who cares if it works.

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