Sudden deterioration in Internet reception DORDOGNE......Phonexpat to blame?

Anyone else n the Dordogne having problems like me over the last 2 days getting 'Sorry, insufficient band width' messages and only able to watch progs /news in 4 min bursts before it freezes....

I am with PHONEXPAT (piggy-backs off French telecom) and they will be getting alot more adverse publicity via myself, if this situation isn't rectified pronto !

Not so sure Peter. We have anti-surge and a fairly recent replacement Livebox. I tried our neighbour's line and his meter readings are much like ours. Down at the next hamlet where their branch of the phone line is separate from ours, it is much the same. Testing is conditional though. Ideally more than one place in a single area and conditional on the age and quality of equipment. One neighbour is out of the question given his router appears to have been made by Flintstone Quarries Co. and how it is still running (well, if snails run then that would be a fair comparison) defeats all reason. It serves the purpose you reco of checking more than one router, ideal if it can be borrowed for trying on your own line to test against your own as well. However, a lot of rural copper lines are done for and a couple of new houses adding to what they have already connected is clearly slowing them down. This commune is stamping its feet because it has been given lowest priority for line replacement, the maire has had a vague promise from FT that they will act very soon. But then define 'soon'. Orange and other companies really don't give a monkey's though so half (or more) of the problem rests with them.

I'd suggest that there's little point in trying speed tests on the existing, questionable, router or on someone else's line. What needs to be done is to beg, borrow or steal (or buy) a decent ADSL router and try that. Preferably try a speed test to a known source on both routers, for comparison purposes.

It may be that the PhoneExpat router was rented from them, in which case they should send you a replacement, but if it was purchased outright you're on your own. To choose a suitable router, one site to look at is Their Best Buy for under £50 is the TP-Link TD-W8968, which is available from for €39.90, which seems a good deal to me. Personally, I'd avoid Linksys ADSL routers, but I've had three early failures with them, so I might be biased.

Installing the router should be fairly straightforward, but you often need to set up the technical parameters in line with your existing account. These should be available inside the old router but you'll need to note them down. If you have a local computer technician service, you might prefer to get them to do it for you. It should be possible to take both routers to them & they can configure the new one. You might also consider buying a router from them & ask them to set it up as part of the deal.

Why did this happen? Several possibilities come to mind:

Linksys routers seem to have a short life anyway; Other routers may be similar. Liveboxes & SFR Boxes last a bit longer, but often fail after, say, 5 - 6 years.

My best guess would be that you had some thunderstorms recently & a surge on the phone line damaged the router. In essence, your router is the device at the end of a long copper wire running from your local 'phone exchange. Lightning can induce strong currents on the wire which find their way to earth through your router, Hence I'd strongly recommend putting a telephone surge protector in the line before it goes into the router. (This surge protector must be earthed, or it can't do its job. Easy if you have modern wiring; much less so if you have only two-pin sockets.)

Bon courage with it

For the past couple of days in the Lot & Garonne my ADSL keeps tripping out - rebooting the modem/router restores it for a half-hour or so. This is just after having been alerted to the fact that the répartiteur has been upgraded to ADSL 2 and I can get up to 20 Mbps. Unfortunately at the end of 4.5 km of corroded copper cable it still struggles to be 2 Mbps…

Do you trust them entirely? Run a meter test online. If possible find a neighbour and test their line and see if it is possibly your router. The problem is that their first loyalty is to Orange who will naturally want you to pay out for...


Not sure now what is going on....Just had a telephone call & almost immediate visit from two young technicians for France Telecom/Orange....who tested the supply and told me the fault is with my phone expat router....which is only a couple of years old and until 2 days ago was working fine.....

Yes, on and off. Line speeds went down to a snail's pace several times. Occasionally it has taken several minutes to open emails, downgrading big files has been excruciatingly slow and streaming not worth the bother. I have had a look at the meter before replying and have 7.21 Mbps basic internet speed right now, ping is 35ms, download speed 8.09 Mbps and upload 0.86 Mbps. That is fine but not what we are told it should be. Other days we have had download speed of around 3 Mbps.

Ironically, we had a call from Orange some weeks ago saying that our line speeds were being worked on and would improve, no sales talk or anything other than the information. Since then it has slowed down if anything.