[OT] .::The Official Mega PTCL Thread::. -- New lines, same old BS

murtaza12

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Oct 27, 2011
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The old thread has become quite cluttered now, and with most people shifting to VDSL and GPON, it was about time to make a new thread.



For ADSL/VDSL troubleshooting - Post #2

For FTTH GPON troubleshooting - Post #3

Outage log:

Spoiler: show


1) PIE outage - Fiber cable cut in Karachi affecting PTCL customers and other dependent ISPs nationwide

Date:
24th June 2019
Severity: High
Time taken for resolution: 7 hours
Primary issues faced: Slow browsing / Slow downloads / Packet loss / High latency

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2) PIE issue - High latency / packet loss affecting customers in Islamabad and dependent ISPs

Date:
29th June 2019
Severity: Medium
Time taken for resolution: 8 hours
Primary issues faced: Slow browsing / Slow downloads / Packet loss / High latency

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3) PIE issue - Fiber cut causing poor / degraded quality of service affecting some PTCL customers and dependent ISPs

Date:
29th July 2019
Severity: Medium
Time taken for resolution: 6 hours
Primary issues faced: Slow browsing / Slow downloads / Packet loss / High latency

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Common abbreviations used in this thread:

Spoiler: show


ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line

VDSL - Very high speed Digital Subscriber Line

FTTH - Fiber to the Home

FTTC - Fiber to the Curb

FTTN - Fiber to the Node

GPON - Gigabit Passive Optical Network

PON - Passive Optical Network

ONT - Optical Network Terminal

OLT - Optical Line Terminal

ODN - Optical Distribution Network

FDH - Fiber Distribution Hub

MSAG - Multi-service Access Gateway

PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network

PIE - Pakistan Internet Exchange

TW - Transworld

DNS - Domain Name System / Domain Name Server

IP Address - Internet Protocol Address

SNR - Signal to noise Ratio

Tx - Transmit

Rx - Receive

WAN - Wide Area Network

WLAN - Wireless Local Area Network

LAN - Local Area Network

STB - Set Top Box

 

murtaza12

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Oct 27, 2011
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Troubleshooting / Tips for DSL (ADSL2+ / VDSL2)

1) Log in to your modems web portal using its local IP address. If you don't know the address, follow the instructions below.
-Open Command Prompt, type ipconfig and look for Default Gateway.
Username / password are usually admin/admin, but in case that doesn't work, check on the back / bottom of your modem, the login credentials should be printed on a sticker.

2) Go to the xDSL statistics page, take a screenshot and make sure the following parameters are clearly visible in the screenshot:
-SNR Margin
-Attenuation
-Output power
-Attainable rate
-Downstream rate
-Upstream rate


SNR Margin and Attenuation are shown as SNR Margin (0.1 dB) and Attenuation (0.1 dB) on new modems, so if the number for SNR Margin is 200, it means your SNR Margin is 20. Same logic applies to attenuation.

Frequent Disconnections / Noisy phone line:
Spoiler: show

Check your SNR Margin and attenuation.

If you are facing frequent disconnections and your SNR is below 15 dB and attenuation is higher than 18 dB, check if your phone line is noisy. If it is, check your wiring. Change the splitter and try connecting the line directly to the modem without the splitter, if the issue does not improve, register a complaint.
To try and speed things up, contact the lineman for your area if you know him, or visit the exchange, find the lineman, and ask him to check your line.

Joints in any wiring, whether inside your house, or from the DP to your house are almost always the cause of frequent disconnections / noisy phone lines. If possible, get this wire replaced and make sure there are no joints in it. Get a new splitter from your exchange as well.


Low download speed:
Spoiler: show

Check the following parameters on your line stats page:
-SNR Margin
-Attenuation
-Attainable rate
-Downstream rate
-Upstream rate

Attainable rate is the highest line rate your line is capable of in its current condition.

Downstream rate and upstream rate are the current speeds that your line is syncing at. If you are on a 15 Mbps connection for example, your downstream rate should be between 14000 and 16000 kbps.

If you are getting a downstream rate lower than the package that you are subscribed to, it could be because of an unstable line. In this case your SNR Margin and attenuation will be abnormal. Check the 'frequent disconnections' section above for more info on this.

If your line stats are stable, but downstream rate is still lower than what your selected package is, your line profile is not configured correctly. For this you will have to register a complaint.
You can call the DSL ServiceDesk at 1212 for assistance, they may be able to configure your line profile correctly.

Cases like these usually happen when a user has requested for a package upgrade, and the support agent has updated the customers billing profile for the new package, but the exchange staff have not updated your line profile accordingly.


Switch to FAST path for lower latency:
Spoiler: show

FAST path involves reducing / disabling error correction at the DSLAM for your line, therefore reducing latency to the first hop after your modem, which is usually the ISP gateway. Latency can be reduced by as much as 20 ms, although it is normally reduced by between 10 and 15 ms. This helps with online gaming and any other applications that require low latency for better performance.

However, FAST path is only recommended on stable / healthy lines. If you have frequent disconnections, or you have very old infrastructure in your area, then DO NOT get FAST path since it will worsen the performance on your line.

You can subscribe to FAST path by logging into your PTCL account and requesting it. If you do not have a PTCL account yet, you can create one HERE and link your PTCL landline number.

The portal will look like THIS, you have to select 'Change latency type', then select Fast and submit the request. In some cases the request is automated and processed almost immediately. Your line will disconnect for a few seconds, and then re-sync with interleaving disabled, therefore reducing latency on your connection.

Many exchanges do not support automation yet, in which case the line will have to be manually reconfigured for FAST path, which will take 24 - 48 working hours.

To verify if it is enabled or not, ping any IP address and compare the latency with what you were getting before you were on FAST path. Furthermore, you can ping your gateway and the latency should be well below 20 ms.



Process for registering complaints:


Call 1218 and register a complaint for the issue you are facing.

Alternatively you can register a complaint online:
PTCL Complaint Registration
https://ptcl.com.pk/ComplaintRegister
 
Last edited:

murtaza12

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Oct 27, 2011
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Troubleshooting / Tips for FTTH GPON

1) Log in to your ONTs web portal using its local IP address. If you don't know the address, follow the instructions below.
-Open Command Prompt, type ipconfig and look for Default Gateway.
Username / password are usually admin/admin, but in case that doesn't work, check on the back / bottom of your modem, the login credentials should be printed on a sticker.

-On Alcatel-Lucent / Nokia G-240W-A ONTs, the default username is userAdmin and the password is printed on the back of the ONT and on the box as well. It is also the same as the default WiFi password.

-On Huawei HG8245H ONTs the default username is telecomadmin and password is admintelecom.

2) Go to the 'Optical Module Statistics' page in your ONTs web portal. The name of the field varies depending on the manufacturer of the device. Make sure the following parameters are visible in the screenshot.
-TX Optical Power
-RX Optical Power
-Laser Bias Current
-Optics Module Voltage / Working Voltage
-Optics Module Temperate / Working Temperature

-----------------------------------------------------

Optical statistics screenshot look like this on Huawei ONTs (HG8245H):

Spoiler: show




ONTs are installed like this by PTCL. The white enclosure on the left is the fiber splice enclosure, the yellow patch cord with green connectors can be seen rolled up like a coil under the ONT. This type of installation is normal, but some poorly trained technicians / installers can bend these patch cords beyond a certain limit causing signal distortion and packet loss.
The PON and LOS lights being referred to below can also be seen on the ONT in this picture.

Spoiler: show




Credits go to [MENTION=63376]shaheerk[/MENTION] for sharing the username/pass for the Huawei equipment, along with sharing pictures of the optical stats page and ONT / fiber splice enclosure.

-----------------------------------------------------

Frequent Disconnections / Low Download Speed:
Spoiler: show

Check your RX Optical Power and TX Optical Power. Refresh the page a few times to see if they vary a lot. If they are varying by less than 0.7 dBm then that is normal, but if the power is fluctuating either lower or higher by more than 1 dBm, then there is cause for concern.

Take a look at your patch cord. This is the yellow wire with the green connector at the end that plugs in to your ONT. If it is bent, or twisted in any way, power off your ONT, remove the cable from the ONT, straighten out the bends / twists and connect it to your ONT and then power it back on again.

If the power is still fluctuating, there is either a backend problem with the OLT you're connected to, or there is an issue with your fiber cable. In which case, visit the exchange ASAP and meet with the GPON team for resolution of the issue.

-----------------------------------------------------

If you are facing frequent disconnections, but the optical power is completely stable. Then the issue lies at the backend with PTCL, and you'll just have to register a complaint through normal channels, or visit the exchange and meet with the GPON team.


No PON power/connectivity or Red LOS light:
Spoiler: show

For Alcatel-Lucent / Nokia G-240W-A ONTs, there is no dedicated LOS light. If PON link is down, the LINK and AUTH LEDs will turn off.

For Huawei ONTs, there is a PON light, and an LOS light. If PON link is down, the PON light which is normally green will turn off, and the LOS light which is normally off, will either blink red or just stay red until PON connectivity is restored.

In cases like this, check your patch cord. This is the yellow wire with the green connector at the end that plugs in to your ONT. If it is unplugged, or loose, or even broken, you will lose PON power. If the cable is broken / damaged, get a new one from the exchange. If the cable is undamaged and is plugged in securely, then there is an issue with the OLT that you're connected to, or the fiber cable coming to your house has been damaged / cut.

Register a complaint through 1218 or online, and visit the exchange as well so that they are aware of the issue.


Process for registering complaints:


Call 1218, select your language, and make sure to wait for the IVR to give you an option for 'GPON'. As it is a different department to the normal Broadband complaint helpline.

Alternatively you can register a complaint online:
PTCL Complaint Registration
https://ptcl.com.pk/ComplaintRegister
 
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murtaza12

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Oct 27, 2011
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Recommended DNS servers


Google DNS:

Spoiler: show

Primary DNS: 8.8.8.8
Secondary DNS: 8.8.4.4

Average latency: 20 - 50 ms (depending on city)

Google DNS performs very well on PTCL. Has a great track record and no major complaints in terms of performance.
However, users with concerns about privacy, logging and targeted ads may not want to use Google DNS.

Link: https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/


------------------------------------------------------------
CloudFlare DNS:

Spoiler: show


Primary DNS: 1.1.1.1
Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.1

Average latency: 2 - 25 ms (depending on city and route)

CloudFlare is an internet company offering many services such as CDNs, DDoS protection, security services and most importantly, DNS servers as well. Their 1.1.1.1 DNS is very popular, for numerous reasons. Read the link below for more information.

They peer directly with PTCL in 3 major cities, namely Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. This allows PTCL users all over Pakistan to get the lowest latency to their 1.1.1.1 DNS service. CloudFlare also supports many security features such as DNSSEC, TLS1.3, DoT and DoH.

Smartphone users can use their 1.1.1.1 app as well to enable their devices to use CloudFlare DNS through both mobile data and WiFi.

Link: https://1.1.1.1/dns/

Status: https://www.cloudflarestatus.com/



------------------------------------------------------------
NextDNS:

Spoiler: show


Primary DNS: N/A
Secondary DNS: N/A

Average latency: 150+ ms

NextDNS is a fairly new company, and it's basically a combination of CloudFlare's DNS service and the popular Raspberry Pi package 'PiHole' which is used for ad-blocking and privacy.

You can sign up for your own custom DNS server on their website, and choose specifically which websites / services you want to block and many other customisable features you wouldn't normally find on services like Google and CloudFlare.

When you visit the NextDNS website and sign up, it will automatically assign an IP address as your own personal DNS server, and you can use the online portal to customize the service how you like. Once you apply all the changes, then set the IP they assigned as your DNS server.

However, there is a drawback to using NextDNS in Pakistan, but it is only temporary. Since they are still fairly new and expanding, they don't yet have any peering agreements with local ISPs, so it automatically routes you to the nearest data-center which is in Europe.
NextDNS plans to become available in the Middle East soon, which means latency will drop to as low as 35 ms.

Website: https://www.nextdns.io/

 
Last edited:

ahmedbinamir

Newbie
Jul 12, 2017
10
0
1
Cheers to another 5 years of BS customer service.
Damn, they're so slow at upgrading the infrastructure.

Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
 

maazsk97

Active member
Jun 23, 2017
347
8
13
Pakistan, Lahore
For me personally PTCL has shown a lot of improvement since I moved here around 2 years ago but still lacks behind in gaming and streaming department. Hopefully they can do something about this in the next 5 years :)
 

Thekool1s

Intermediate
Oct 1, 2013
111
0
21
Anybody experiencing high pings lately? Also i am not getting consistent 160 ping in EU, Sometimes it messes up the route and i get like 330 ping in EU. :/

P.S: I have tried different ip pools 39.XX 182.XXX i am facing this same issue.


 

murtaza12

Global Moderator
Global Mod
Oct 27, 2011
10,596
46
54
Anyone else facing slow browsing?

Seems like a major issue with PIE backend. Within PTCL network it's showing latency of up to 200 ms.
 

murtaza12

Global Moderator
Global Mod
Oct 27, 2011
10,596
46
54
New thread, new day, new issues.

All lights are stable, no internet, no 1218. Is PTCL down?

- - - Updated - - -



Slow? No.
No? Yes.
Yes it is down. StormFiber, Zong and anyone using PIE right now is screwed.

Jazz works fine since it's on Transworld.
 

maazsk97

Active member
Jun 23, 2017
347
8
13
Pakistan, Lahore
For me personally PTCL has shown a lot of improvement since I moved here around 2 years ago but still lacks behind in gaming and streaming department. Hopefully they can do something about this in the next 5 years :)
I take that back. As soon as I type something good about PTCL, I start facing issues with their service. Yeh log tareef kay laik hi nhi hain LoL.
 

Aciel

Proficient
Sep 15, 2011
583
3
24
34
Islamabad
Anyone else facing slow browsing?

Seems like a major issue with PIE backend. Within PTCL network it's showing latency of up to 200 ms.
I am, everything died for 30 mins and now snail speed.


I take that back. As soon as I type something good about PTCL, I start facing issues with their service. Yeh log tareef kay laik hi nhi hain LoL.
Hahahah, it's so true.

Sent from my OnePlus 5 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Engr Zain Raza

Talented
Nov 26, 2018
59
0
1
28
Rawalpindi
Speed is back to normal but idk if it is normal to get 4-6 mbps download and 1-2mbps upload when doing speed test to a European server (France) on a "25 mbps package".
 
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    Returnal lets you skip to the biome you want to go to 🤷‍♂️
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    I'm looking forward to hearing @Chandoo's thoughts on Hades. How it fares compared to TLOU2 in his opinion :p
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    I'd still get it on Steam for the input API alone 🤷‍♂️
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    Something poetic about first game on EGS being to support a former PS4 exclusive game and Tim Sweeney giving me $10 to do it :ROFLMAO:
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    Ohh, that reminds me. I had to buy Days Gone on EGS :ROFLMAO:
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    Then people wonder whats wrong with a $60 2D game. Yiikes.
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    I'm looking forward to hearing @Chandoo's thoughts on Hades. How it fares compared to TLOU2 in his opinion :p
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    Sad state of affairs of Nintendo and PSN online stores. Got it for $8.2 on Steam at launch :ROFLMAO:
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