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CenturyLink page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 677 reviews (215 good) (291 bad)
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Review by BCCANFIELD See Profile

  • Location: Colorado Springs,El Paso,CO
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "VDSL Technology and bonded pairs is a neat new development"
Bad "Cant get a straight story"
Overall "CenturyLink corporate culture needs a massive dose of Integrity"
Pre Sales information:
Tech Support:
(ratings below consensus)

I was considering moving my comm services (Internet, Voice, TV) from COMCAST to CenturyLink. After reading the reviews here, consumeraffiars.com, and customerservicescoreboard.com, I have decided to stay with ComCast.

My limited exposure to CenturyLink sales staff has been that it is hard to get a straight, consistent story. I went to their web site and configured it for a quote with all three services. I got a price of $149/mth. I contacted their call center in Utah and got another quote that was about $15 higher. I was still interested, so I went to their retail store here in Colorado Springs and tried a test on speedtest.net. Their internet speed was about 15 to 20 MBPS down, 5MBPS up. Data latency (100ms or more) seemed to also be an issue. My Comcast service at home (about 5 miles away) was consistently getting 30MBPS down, 6MBPS up (data latency is typically 50ms or less). I mentioned this to the sales rep and he said it was because he was running 4 TVs and his 3 computers in the store.

So... I gave him my address and he said that I am close to the Fiber optic node and I should be able to get a dedicated 40MBPS connection (VDSL) to their network. We talked a little more about the VDSL technology and how they use "bonded cable pairs" to provision the last mile from the node to the house. He explained that the 40MBPS service is split into two 20 MBPS channels-- one for the TV service, the other for the Internet. I asked if we shut off the TVs, would my internet service get full access to all 40MPS of bandwidth-- he said no. HMMM! That was inconsistent with his earlier statement that the store internet was running slow because he was running 4 TVs and three PCs. I also wanted to know how the Prism TV service was networked in the house -- I was interested to find out where new cat 5 wire or coax would have to be run. I could not get any good answers. Well -- its obvious the CenturyLink sales staff is not well versed in the technology they sell -- its too bad that CenturyLink does not adequately train their staff. My other big concern is the thousands of complaints registered about poor customer service, non-responsive techs, and massive billing errors. This is NOT a bucket of worms I want to dive into.

I am a EE and have been in the IT business since 1978. It has been a while since I read up in the latest developments in DSL technology. VDSL (Very High bit rate DSL) uses bonded pairs (multiple twisted pair copper wire) to get the signal from the fiber node to the residence. They split up the data packets into multiple smaller packets and then send them over the multiple bonded pairs to the house. Essentially the technology does a serial to parallel then back to serial conversion. That is how they get around the speed limitations of twisted pair copper wire. I think this technology has great potential, however it has only been in wide commercial use for just a few years. It needs more time to mature. One other point. Since there is a fair amount of media conversion (fiber to copper to ethernet to coax etc) to get data from the ISP to your PC or TV, there are more boxes in that string of equipment that can go wrong (OCn fiber nodes, DSLAM, DSL modem/Router, etc etc) . High reliability of each box is important.

Well-- maybe I will look at CenturyLink again next year...

member for 12.2 years, 52 visits, last login: 45 days ago
lodged 1.4 years ago

Comments:

twoaces79

@comcast.net

just enough tech to help decide about Centurylink

A Century link sale team is going through our neighborhood.

Just enough tech here to help me understand what's really going on with Century link and VDSL. Thanks, your explanation is really helpful. I'm going to wait a bit on Century link. I wish there was more competition nationwide so we could have really fast internet like Europe.

investigate

@xirvik.com

Re: just enough tech to help decide about Centurylink

Been debating on switching too, and got hit by one of the teams roving el paso county (despite a no soliciting sign placed clearly on my door). I entertained the spiel, and it was appealing....until I dug deeper.

I am sys admin, and worked for a startup in the late 90's that tried to break cable's hold on the fledgling east coast broadband market by selling...tada...DSL (to soon!).

Things have changed over the years, and I never kept up with it having moved on, and while there have been advances with the tech something did not jive with the sales rep, and they struck me as either under informed or intentionally dodging questions (well hey, they're sales, not IT...still...know your product and you will sell it)

Did some digging, and the one thing they never mentioned, even when asked directly "is this DSL?", was that hey...it is in fact bonded DSL. Was told "it's like DSL, but it's not, it just uses your phone line to get a full 40mb access from the fiber" Um...riiiight.

Ignoring my no soliciting sign, strike one. Misinformation, strike two. Trying to BS me....yer outta here.