Information on all our phone and broadband tariffs
Here you can find the answers to commonly asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the answer to your question cannot be found here please use the contact form to enable us to help you. We can then add your question and answer to this FAQ to help others who may have the same question in the future.
- 1. How do I connect a USB Broadband modem??
- Disconnect your phone cable from the wall socket.
- Connect one of the supplied DSL filters into your telephone wall socket.
- Reconnect your phone to the DSL filter using the socket on the filter marked Phone.
- Connect one end of the supplied line cable into the DSL filter using the socket marked DSL (sometimes marked MODEM).
- Connect the other end of the line cable into the broadband modem using the black socket marked DSL (sometimes marked LINE) .
- Connect one end of the supplied USB cable into the broadband modem using the socket marked USB. A blue sticker may cover this socket if your modem is new. Important: Do NOT at this stage connect the USB cable to your computer.
- Put broadband modem installation CD into CD drive. A window should open, displaying the contents of the CD. If this doesn't happen, go to My Computer and double click on the CD drive icon.
- In the window displaying the contents of the CD, double click on Setup or Setup.exe. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the broadband modem software. When prompted, AND NOT BEFORE, plug the other end of the USB cable into a USB socket on your computer.
- Both lights on the broadband modem should be green to indicate that your connection to broadband has been established and is working correctly.
- NOTE: Once your broadband service has been activated you will need to connect a DSL filter to each telephone socket that is in use for telephones, dial-up modems and fax machines, etc.
- If an installation CD came with the device, insert the CD and run it BEFORE plugging the device into a USB socket on your computer.
- 2. How do I request my MAC code??
Service F1rst follow the Migration Code of Practice.
Which means that we will provide a MAC key at no charge to any customer within 5 days of request. To obtain a MAC code simply call 0845 402 3685 state that you wish to migrate away and also including your account details (account number, phone number, name and address).
There is no charge for provision of a MAC code. All MAC keys, whether they start with BBIP, BBDS, FTIP or with an L are all equally valid. Service f1rst can accept all MAC codes in and all are dealt with and charged the same (at present). There will be a short period of downtime on the day of migration which is outside of our control. Once a MAC key has been distributed, it is valid for 30 days from the issue date.
If a MAC code is not used it simply expires and all services will continue and continue to be billed. Issuing a MAC code is not a request to cease service. All outstanding balances must be paid in full, as per the terms and conditions.
- 3. How do I troubleshoot my Broadband installation??
Is the username and password you're using to connect correct?
Is your broadband modem/router plugged into your master phone socket? If not, please move it to the master socket to test the broadband connection.
Are you getting an ADSL sync with the exchange? On a BT Voyager modem or router, check the green "DSL" light. If it is lit constantly, you have an ADSL sync.
If you are getting an ADSL sync, try logging in using this test ADSL account: Username: bt_test_user@startup_domain <mailto:bt_test_user@startup_domain>Password: blank Visit <http://www.bt.net/digitaldemo> in your web browser.
Note: you won't be able to view any other websites using this test account.
Is there any other equipment on the phone line? For example: alarm system, Sky TV, dial-up modem.
Have you tried an alternative broadband modem or router?
Are microfilters fitted to every phone socket and every non-broadband device connected to the line?
Use only ONE microfilter per socket.
Have you tried alternative micro-filters?
Have you ever successfully used broadband on this line?
Please unplug everything from the phone line, including all micro-filters and all phones. Now plug a micro-filter into the master socket and try your broadband modem/router in that socket.
Does the modem/router get an ADSL sync?
Do you connect your broadband modem using a USB cable?
If so, shut down your PC, then disconnect your modem. Turn your computer back on and, once Windows is ready to use, plug your modem back in.
If your PC didn't recognise the modem when you plugged it back in, follow the manufacturer's instructions to re-install the modem drivers.
If you're using a router that you plug into the network port on your PC, remove the router's power cable. After three to five minutes, plug the router back in.>
If you're using a router, and you still can't get a connection after switching it on and off, check that the configuration is as follows:
VPI: 0 VCI: 38 Encapsulation
Mode: PPP over ATM (PPPoA - RFC2364) VC-MUX
Your router's manual will show you how to check your configuration.
Are you using ANTI VIRUS, FIREWALL, INTERNET SECURITY, SPAM GUARD etc programmes. If so does your connection work WITHOUT these applications enabled. (REMEMBER you should not leave your computer exposed to the web AT ANY TIME without these type of programmes running and up to date.
Do you have a virus, Trojan or SpyWare infecting your computer network?
Are you running a lot of applications which update themselves automatically while you are on-line?
If so this can cause a slow connection.
Are you using wireless? Is the transmitter and receiver doing what they are supposed to do and connecting to each other (check using the software supplied with the wireless adapters and routers - usually under SIGNAL STRENGTH)
Are the aerials pointing in their usual direction / configuration?
How often do you lose your connection?
When do you lose your connection?
Does your modem/router's "DSL" light flash or turn off when you lose the connection - i.e. do you lose ADSL sync?
Have you noticed any pattern to the times and duration of the occassions when you lose your connection?
Do you usually lose the connection when visiting a particular website or doing anything else in particular?
Can you reconnect straight away?
Do you have to reboot your computer or router?
Do you get an error code when you log on again?
Do you lose your connection when someone calls you on the same line?
Have you changed the micro filters to check if they are causing the problem?
If you have a slow connection
Please disconnect any other computers that are using the same modem/router and try your connection again.
Run a full virus and spyware scan and deal with any problems found. Viruses and spyware can overload your connection.
Run a trace route to www.google.com This shows if the routing is overly complicated and the times to hit each server (go to START then Run ... then in the box type CMD then in the black box type trace route www.google.com - you should then see the trace.
To exit the black box type in exit once the trace is complete.
Visit Speedtest and note down the reported speed and how long the file takes to download.
Visit ADSL guide and note down the results of the speed test. Results on your 0.5mb connection show as follows:
Results 512Kbps - 460 Kbps - 200-240 Kbps
If all the above does not help - there could well be a fault at the BTW telehouse. They will NOT initiate an investigation unless you first provide them with answers to the above as the majority of issues are solved using this information.
- 4. Speed and Data Issues?
Speed is determined by different factors, including distance to the exchange, condition of the line, internal wiring or equipment. Also your speed will be affected if your exchange is highly contended. If you are having problems with the speed then the first thing you need to do is to power cycling the modem/router (Switch the power off for around 30 seconds and switch the power back on). If that did not solve the issue then you have to look at your internal wiring and the equipment that you own.
Do you have the most up to date drivers/firmware on your ADSL equipment?
Ensure that you are not running an unsecured wireless connection as people will be able to log on and use your network. If you are using a wireless connection make sure it is not the signal is weak between the router and your computer. Going on from here, if this is not the issue, then it is best to start examining the internal wiring.
Depending where your ADSL equipment is situated you will need to test the connection for improvement from the BT test socket found behind the faceplate of the BT master socket to rule out interference from any other telephony equipment. Ensure that you have filters present at your end and that all the connectors are of a good condition.
For assistance please check the following link http://www.dslzoneuk.net/socket.php which instructs you how to access the BT test socket. Use another filter to rule out that this is the issue and test with another router/modem.
The following speed test will have to be completed at 4 different times of the day to check for consistency and to rule out contention. When running the speed test make sure that the PC doing so is the only PC connected to the router, via a direct cable connection. Other PC's connected to the router may be using some of the bandwidth and this will have an effect on the speed test result. When running the speed test do so in 'Safe Mode with Networking' This way the other software on the PC will not start when Windows does, this other software may be using the internet connection and this will have an effect on the speed test result. Make sure that you have no P2P programmes running using all the bandwidth. Go to http://speedtester.bt.com or http://188.8.131.52Enter your telephone number in the relevant field.Once test is complete, the results will be saved to the BT servers. If you are unable to run the speed test from the BT web site please run the test from http://www.speedtest.net and to http://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest.html
You will need to complete this test 4 periods of the day to check for consistency. Please supply us with at least 4 readings;
As you are on a contended service you may notice a speed decrease in the evenings as the bandwidth from the network is being stretched by other users. Please note that if the above are not checked and an engineer is sent out to your premises then you could be charged for the visit. If you are still experiencing a slow connection once these checks have been done, please contact technical support for further advice.
- one from the morning (before 8am)
- one from the afternoon (after 12pm)
- one in the early evening (after 6pm)
- one in the late evening (before 11pm)
- 5. The ADSL light is flashing on my router??
If the modem or router has not synchronised, the ADSL/line/link LED light will flash intermittently and will not remain on.
Step 1: Check for dial-tone on your line: Go to the telephone nearest to (or connected to the same micro-filter as) your ADSL modem/router, lift the receiver, and then check for normal dial-tone. If there is no dial-tone, unplug all your ADSL equipment (filters and modem/router) and check for a dial tone again, if there is still no dial tone, please contact Service F1rst technical support on 0845 402 3685
Step 2: Check that all connections to your ADSL device are properly secure:
- A. Check that the cable connection from the ADSL modem/router is connected to the correct port on your PC located at the rear of the PC.
- B. Check that your modem/router is receiving power (shown by LED activity).
- C. Ensure that the telephone cord connects from the ADSL modem/router to the ADSL port on the ADSL micro-filter.
- D. Check the connection of the micro-filter into the wall socket. Ensure that the line to your ADSL modem/router is not connected through the telephone side of the micro-filter.
Step 3: Attempt to synchronise your ADSL modem/router:
- A. Shut down your compute
- B. Disconnect the cable connecting the ADSL modem/router to the port on the PC.
- C. Re-power the ADSL modem/router: Switch on PC and allow to boot With PC still powered up, reconnect the cable connecting the ADSL modem/router to the correct port on the PC.
- D. Check the ADSL LED on the ADSL modem/router. If the power LED is lit permanently and the ADSL light is on and not blinking at regular intervals, then the ADSL modem/router is synchronised and operating.
Step 4: Change ADSL Location:
- A. If the ADSL modem/router still does not synchronize, temporarily move the PC, ADSL modem/router, and all necessary connections to another room or telephony socket (served with a micro-filter). Do not swap the micro-filter at the first location with that of the second location.
- B. Connect the equipment the same way as it was done before: Connect the ADSL modem/router to the ADSL port of the ADSL micro-filter off of the new socket. Connect the ADSL modem/router to the PC.
- C. Try again for ADSL modem/router synchronisation: Reboot the PC and check the ADSL modem/router lights for synchronisation.
If you are still experiencing no sync once these checks have been done, please contact Service F1rst technical support for further advice.
- 6. Unable to send or receive email? Connection timed out errors??
If you receive a timeout error message when attempting to retrieve email, please try temporarily disabling your firewall and retry getting your email. If this works, then you may need to reinstall your firewall.
If you get the same error message, you will need to temporarily disable any email scanning options within your anti-virus program. If this resolves the issue, you may need to reinstall and update your anti-virus program.</div>
If you continue to experience issues, contact support on 0845 402 3685 and we will investigate further.
- 7. Why does my Broadband seem to be used while I'm away??
I checked my broadband usage as I noticed my wireless connection light on the router was on. I found that it had been used yesterday morning but not by me as I was on holiday.
What could this have been?
Unfortunately, our tests/monitoring systems will only go as far as your router and we are unable to tell who is connected to your router. Please ensure that you have the security setup on your router, if it is already setup we advise changing the password. You can also try turning the router off when you are not using it. Do be aware that your PC might have a virus or a program in the background downloading content while you are away (assuming the PC is left on) which could be causing this issue.
- 8. Why is my broadband connection intermittent??
If you are having issues then the first thing you need to be looking at is your internal wiring and equipment that you own.
- Test with all other telephony equipment (telephones, fax, sky digital, house alarm system, etc.) disconnected around the house so that no other equipment is sharing the phone line with the ADSL modem/router.
- If that is still dropping or not connecting try the same configuration but swap the microfilter.
- If still dropping then try the above configuration but with your ADSL modem/router connected directly to the master telephone socket in the house (no extension cables or secondary phone sockets). With some newer master socket installations you can remove the faceplate and connect via a test port found behind. This will bypass all internal wiring.
- If it is still intermittent then try testing the modem/router on another line or testing an alternate modem/router on your line and also making sure you have the latest firmware to eliminate any faults with your modem/router. If you are still getting an intermittent connection, please contact Service First technical support on 0845 402 3685.
- 9. Why is my broadband running slow??
If you are finding that you are having slow speeds, then first thing you need to be looking at is your internal wiring and equipment that you own.
- Have you the most up to date drivers/firmware on your ADSL equipment?
- If you are using a wireless connection make sure it is not the signal which is weak between the router and your computer. Where possible try connecting using an ethernet cable to eliminate your wireless connection. Going on from here if this is not the issue then it is best to start examining the internal wiring.
- Depending where your ADSL equipment is situated you will need to test the connection for improvement from the BT test socket found behind the faceplate of the BT master socket to rule out interference from any other telephony equipment. Ensure that you have filters present at your end and that all the connectors are of a good condition. Use another filter to rule out that this is the issue and test with another router/modem. For 8mb DSL MAX Users: You will need to test from this point for approximately 4-72 hours if you are a DSL Max user. The way Dynamic Line management works is it collates how your line performs over this period. If the line shows to be steady then it will then rate adapt you back up. This will be gradual if there has been a dramatic drop in your line speed. Also if your line shows to be interleaved it will require a longer period of 10 days. This does not mean that you have a stuck profile but a line that may be problematic and fluctuate from time to time.
- Two reliable speed tests we recommend to use are http://speedtester.bt.com and http://www.kbps.co.uk. If you find that speeds are still not satisfactory after completing the above diagnostics, please send your results to us to investigate further. Please bare in mind it is a requirement before escalating to our supplier to ensure wiring/equipment has been checked. If this is not checked and an engineer is sent out to your premises then you could be charged for the visit. If you are still experiencing a slow connection once these checks have been done, please contact Service F1rst technical support for further advice.