Nepal Telecom has a lot of services, users and naturally, there are some problems. These days NTC FTTH is the leading broadband service from Nepal Telecom but their ADSL is still running. Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is an old technology that provides broadband internet service to PSTN or landline users on the same cable. It has limitations of speed, disturbance, and line attenuation due to the major factor which is copper wire. Customers of Nepal Telecom do suffer from NTC ADSL problems from time to time and this is my own experience of 10 years of using it. Here in this article, we discuss NTC ADSL connection problems, their reasons, and solutions.
Nepal Telecom is replacing the ADSL and PSTN copper wire systems with FTTH. It is a big project and it will take time to fully replace all connections across Nepal. Therefore many households and offices are still dependent upon the ADSL service. The service is very easy to take and use, this is why many customers preferred it. Most of the older customers have a landline telephone and NTC provided a new ADSL connection on the same wire for just a small fee. So a lot of customers preferred the service but now there are new companies and more options.
Also Read: NTC ADSL Internet Packages, Price, Offers
We shall discuss the background of the problems and reasons down below but let’s first go through some troubleshooting and solutions. Here are some solutions to the NTC ADSL problem with troubleshooting tips.
- Common ADSL Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions
- Common NTC ADSL Problem
- Background and Experience of ADSL Downtime Problem
- How does the NTC ADSL service work?
- Other Problems with NTC ADSL and Solutions
Common ADSL Troubleshooting Tips and Solutions
The copper line is an older technology that uses an analog signal transmission system. Therefore there can be many issues. So here are some points to check and solve before registering a formal complaint.
1) Check for validity
It might seem like a small issue but many of us are very busy with work and we might have forgotten to pay the bill on time. The service may have expired because after all, it is a prepaid service. Just send a message to ‘1415’ by typing ‘VL*NTADSLxxxxxxxxx’. Here ‘xxxxxxxxx’ means phone number with area code and 0. For example, if your phone number is 4210106 with code 01 at first, then you need to type ‘VL*NTADSL014210106’.
2) Restart the router
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” is a popular phrase from a famous British sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’. However, it is actually useful in troubleshooting electronic devices. Sometimes the router may hang or freeze. The device may get very hot due to regular usage. So in such cases, the internet connection may go out. Therefore the first step always should be turning off the router/modem and letting it cool down for around 5 minutes and then turning on the device again.
3) Resetting the router and settings
Sometimes the settings of the router may get corrupted and erased. This can happen in old routers or due to some electronic mishaps. If a simple restart isn’t working, then press the ‘Reset’ button on the router using a pin or just press the button if it is outside for some time. This causes the router or modem to reset and clear everything.
Resetting causes all settings to go blank or go back to the default. Therefore you need to put the settings again. Just go to your browser and type the router’s IP address which is mostly “192.168.1.1”. Actually, the default IP address, username, and password are all written in the router/modem’s back. Use the credentials to log in and access the settings page. Then make corrections to settings as required.
|Username||As provided by the office (Eg: adsl4455661)|
|Password||As provided by the office (Eg: adsl4455661 or 9841111111)|
4) Check splitter to modem/router connection
Sometimes, the connection from the splitter to your router may be disturbed. Check if the line is coming or not. Just disconnect the jack or RJ connector going to your router and connect your telephone set there to see if the line is working or not. It is also better to have a shorter cable from the splitter to the modem. Longer wires can cause signal loss.
Sometimes when people install routers by themselves for the first time, I have also seen that they connect the router to the wrong port of the splitter. ADSL splitter takes in the wire coming from the pole and gives two output ports. The first is for the telephone and the second is for the modem/router. If the telephone is connected to any one of them, it works. However, the modem or router only works if it is connected to the modem output port of the splitter.
5) Check for joints and worn out wires
The black untwisted copper wire provided by Nepal Telecom is very strong but joints, connections, and cuts can cause issues. If the joints are open, rainwater can fill inside taped connection which causes corrosion and even short circuits. These things should also be checked and fixed as soon as possible. By the way, if there is an optical terminal box near your house, replace the copper wire with NTC FTTH service. Optical fiber doesn’t have such issues.
6) Check the wire and phone connections
Usually, people have two telephone sets in their homes. One is in the kitchen and one is in another room or just like that in different rooms. People usually split the wires and lack of maintenance can cause issues in this situation. A broken wire section, open-wire causing short circuits in telephone lines can cause downtime as well. So maintain the connections carefully with tapes and good cables.
7) Check for LED blinks
Almost all ADSL routers have two main LED lights. The first one is “ADSL” and the second one is “Internet”. If the”ADSL” light is not stable and is blinking continuously then it is a problem that requires support from the office. In such a situation definitely contact the Nepal Telecom office and register a complaint by calling on “198” but only after checking and confirming to all above given probable causes.
If your “ADSL” light is stable and the “Internet” light is off, then it can be a problem from NTC’s server, system, DSALM, router, and many other things. You should also contact and ask for help in this situation from the office.
Common NTC ADSL Problem
Here are some of the most common problems with ADSL connection in Nepal Telecom.
1) Physical Damage (Wire or Joint damage)
At first, the main issue of the internet connection not working in NTC ADSL is physical damage to your telephone wire, joints, and splitter. Make sure the line is coming from the pole to your home. Sometimes external factors like rain, storm, thunder, and impact may have caused problems in the pole or copper wire coming from the pole. Then check for any leaks or joints for loose and broken connections. Next check the splitter and connection from the splitter to the router.
2) No Synchronisation
When you connect your telephone line that comes from the splitter to the router, the LED of ADSL should remain steady. It should not keep blinking. If the ADSL LED is blinking on and off or not stable then it means there is no synchronization. This means either your line is not connected to DSLAM or there is an issue in the system. Incorrect installation of filters can also cause this problem.
3) Telephone Line Noise
If you hear a cracking sound or disturb while picking up the receiver of the telephone set then it is an indicator of a physical problem. I have found that if the joint is loose or oxidation has occurred or water has found its way in between electrical tapes at the joint, these things happen. So check for those and fix them too.
4) Lower SNR
There may be some factors that can cause the SNR of your connection to reduce. Check the status of the router. Lower SNR can cause problems in internet connection because it should be 12dB or higher according to some experts.
Background and Experience of ADSL Downtime Problem
I have been using the ADSL service since 2011 and I just did FTTH migration from ADSL by requesting in 2021. So I have about 10 years of experience with home internet service. The ADSL starting service was 192 Kbps in 2011 and in 2021 it was 5 Mbps. Actually, this article was first published on 2015/09/18 and it has been updated by assessing current conditions. So we need to explain the history of what used to happen and what has happened till now.
ADSL downtime problem has been one of the biggest problems for many NTC customers. “Hello Sarkar (1111)” also recorded a large number of complaints on this subject. In 2015, NTC was ordered to improve the service and increase its capacity by Byabasthapika Sansad’s Development committee. Senior journalist Brabim Karki also wrote about his experience on this topic in Annapurna Post daily.
Many people used to complain online, offline, and also used to ask us the reasons for downtime or connection problems. I also used to suffer ADSL connection problems a lot and always had high downtime. From 2012 to 2016, my internet used to go out frequently and I had to lodge complaints then wait. The contact numbers of the office were always busy and I was mostly told to bring the router to the office. Eventually, it would turn out to be a problem on the company’s end.
The problems were strong up until the start of 2017 but after that, the connection became stable. After the last quarter of 2017, the service has been very good till 2021 or until I migrated. The connection only went down for a very small time and that also rarely. The uptime has been solid since 2018.
Followup of the NTC ADSL Connection Problem with experts
Older users of the NTC ADSL service also share similar problems. Different areas have different issues and customers suffer. One thing we have to admit is that NTC is a government organization so things move stepwise in a process and it is slow. This is why it takes time to solve bigger problems.
On top of that, the systems may be old. Also, many staffs are rude and not cooperative however some staffs are very helpful and gentle. We also have experience of staffs getting angry and not acknowledging the issue and rejecting problems. After we were fed up with all these issues and connection problems, we had to talk to senior officers and related personnel. So, people from our locality talked with the senior officers and found out about the technical problem.
Also Read: Top 5 ISP in Nepal
Reasons for the Connection Problem
In our area, one cluster of subscribers was suffering while another cluster of subscribers was still enjoying the internet. After rigorous inquiry with senior officers and technical staff, we found that it was DSLAM’s fault. The surprising thing was that they already knew the problem but were unable to fix it permanently. The new DSLAM 2 of our area was regularly going down. A cluster of 96 people suffered from this problem frequently but another group didn’t. It was found that the suffering cluster was subscribers from DSLAM-2 and the non-suffering cluster was from DSLAM-1.
The problem was bad ventilation, lack of cooling, and heating issues. The load caused the system to burn down too much. The control card would be useless and they needed time to fix it. This is why it takes about one or two days to fix this. The heating of your DSLAM can also cause slower speeds and occasional service loss. However, this problem was investigated in our locality and it may not be a problem in other areas. So don’t take it as a common culprit in your place. Just take this case and problem as a probable cause of the connection problem.
DSLAM issue is one of the issues because then there may also be a problem in feeding fiber line or mainline. Sometimes ports in the telephone poles can also go bad due to water and other factors. The copper line can get damaged and increase CRC and make the internet slow. The router can turn up badly and might delete settings. Sometimes there may be accidents, pole breakdowns, fiber breakage, cabinet issues, line replacement, global network issues, etc. Actually, there are many possibilities and reasons for the connection problem.
How does the NTC ADSL service work?
Nepal Telecom’s ADSL service is simply broadband internet served using PSTN or landline copper cable. To put it simply in front of you guys I will show by listing the phases of the service. It is a simple explanation for normal readers. However, the real mechanism is much more complex than this.
- Nepal Telecom sends data in big optical fiber cables to exchanges.
- The fiber from the exchange goes to specific areas via optical fiber.
- Each area has a limited number of DSLAMs.
- Usually, the NTC ADSL DSLAM has a limit of actually 96 users or telephone subscribers.
- The lines come from DSLAM to nearby cabinets and poles.
- Copper cables are connected from the box on the poles to the home.
- Splitter is used to separate lines for telephone set and router.
- A router/Modem helps to squeeze data from the phone line and we can use the internet.
- Now the systems repeat the process backward while doing upload or upstream.
- The computer or mobile sends data to Router/Modem, then it goes to DSLAM and back to exchange.
What is a DSLAM?
It stands for Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer and is used in DSL systems. DSLAM helps to serve both voice and data over the PSTN lines. Therefore it is a major part of the network. After a user requests an ADSL subscription, the subscriber’s phone line is disconnected from normal service and is connected with this new system. This allows the system to send both internet and voice service through the copper cable to the user. It is fed by the telecom operators with high bandwidth internet cables like optical fiber so that the data can be distributed at the required rate. These are like servers and they need good cooling with power.
Other Problems with NTC ADSL and Solutions
The common problem is downtime but another problem is no internet connection even while there is a working system. This means both “Internet” and “ADSL” light will be on but browsing is not possible. It is an old issue and I haven’t faced that for a long time. Then there is one DNS issue as well. Sometimes the problem can happen at home like when the router hangs, settings are deleted, automatic resetting of the router, and unbalanced power supply to the device.
First of all check your copper wire, router settings, splitter, connections, tapes, and validity. Then in the case of DNS, you can set alternative DNS from Google and Cloudflare in the router’s settings. For many other issues, definitely perform a simple restart and if problems persist, register your complaint.
Overall the technology is older and problems are inevitable. Therefore our first recommendation is to upgrade to an FTTH connection for faster speed and better service. Else maintain your wires, connection, and devices regularly to be problem-free.