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Review by AlphaOne See Profile

  • Location: Rancho Cordova,Sacramento,CA
  • Cost: $34 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 8 days
  • Telco party AT&T
Good "Good and reliable connection ... when done right. BBR/DSLR SBC techs did a wonderful job."
Bad "Unreliable voice support (overseas that is)"
Overall "Marvelous experience, after splitter installation"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

(Feb 29, 2004)
Week 1:
Checked if line is qualified for DSL.
Ordered DSL online with "self-install" kit, specifically the Expert Plus package (1.5-6.0mbps/608kbps) with dynamic IP for $44.99/month plus FUSF for 12 months.
Being cognizant to the fact that the alarm system is somewhat connected to the phoneline, called the alarm company and asked if it's ok to have DSL. They said it's ok as long as it's connected to a filter. Sounds ok to me.

Week 2:
Modem arrived early, including micro filters for telephone devices.
Checked if modem will sync .... not!

Week 3:
D-day. DSL line is now active. Time to install filters.
Modem can only sync up to around 1mbps downstream, but upstream is great with at least 500+kbps. Registered and created account anyway.
Immediately called support. Got informed to call again the next day, as the "broadband tool" is down.
Another call to tech support turns moot, they said everything looks ok. Got transferred to a Tier 2 tech. He checked everything and can't understand why I'm getting a slow downstream speed. He then arranged for somebody to call me after "testing" my line. Never got that call.
I made another call to follow up the so-called test. Damn voice support (overseas rep. ???), she can't explain clearly what's going on. Obviously she's relying on what she's reading without fully understanding what it meant.
Eventually, I got somebody booked me for a technician visit.
Sent an IM toToasterk2 over here at BBR/DSLR to seek some help. Toaster2k is great and was able to answer all my queries. Hats off for being so patient answering my questions. He told me that I'm just 2500 away from an RT, my profiles are correct at the router, and configurations at the redback are all correct. He also verified all my questions regarding my options for the upcoming technician visit.
I mentioned to him that we have an "alarm system", and he speculated that it might be the only thing that's keeping me from getting the max sync rate. Hhhhhmmm, nobody from voice support mentioned that it's a possible problem.
I went ahead and researched DSL on phonelines with alarm. I found out that it requires a different and a special type of filter. Went ahead and ordered it so it'll be ready when the technician comes.
Found out that there's another option ... the use of splitter (to separate voice and data) right at the NID. Toaster2k again confirmed this, and even recommended this route.

End of Week 3.
Appointment for technician visit, scheduled for saturday (8-12pm). Usually on weekends, I don't get up until noon ... I jumped out of bed before 8am in anticipation of the tech. After an hour, I thought it would be wise to call the 1-800 "dispatch" number to verify my appointment. And Lo and Behold!!! Got informed that my trouble ticket got cancelled !!!! wooohooo. Since the appointment was made on tuesday, they won't hold a trouble ticket that long to last the saturday appointment. I got mad .... really mad. I almost turned green, fortunately I wasn't transformed into a hulk.
The rep. (Myrna) was so nice, and she immediately created a trouble ticket for a 1-5pm appointment on that day.
The technician eventually arrived late ... after 6pm. So much for a nice saturday, I just stayed home. Hmp.
The tech tested the quality of our line from the wall jack, and found out that I'm getting a low signal. And again, I volunteered the information that we do have an alarm system. And he immediately said that it could be the problem. So we discussed our options, and we decided to go with a splitter, and run the data/dsl line thru the house wiring's line 2 bypassing the alarm/voice which is in line 1.
It worked great! We don't have to run a dedicated wire to the modem's location, which is ugly. And this is so flexible as I can move the modem to any room.
The tech. didn't initially get what I wanted, but eventually understood when we went to the NID. I'm happy, as I got what I need. Tech. did a good job.
Now my modem is sync. at almost 6mbps down and 608kbps up. But speedtest results are just 4+mbps/500+kbps. I'm sure I can tweak this.
If this speed goes on ... I can ditch my Comcast HSI with 3.3mbps/256kbps.

Overall, I'm happy with my DSL. I'll update this review as time goes by ... we'll see if I'll get a steady connection.

*** Update (May 14, 2005) ***
What else can I say ... I' m still happy. For 44.95+FUSF a month, it can't be beat by anyone. My DSL still synchs at 6016/608 , I'm so glad I was able to jump on this plan. I probably won't know this if I haven't read it from the SBC forum here at BBR.
Very reliable, I seldom got any problem. Being close to an RT probably is a plus.

*** Update (Jan. 9, 2007) ***
Since May 2006, my monthly is down to 27.99, for the 6016/768 package.

*** Update (Aug. 14, 2007) ***
After the 1 yr term was over, the rate went up to 34.99. Even though at&t no longer require a 1 yr term, I went for another year, to get the latest Speedstream 4100b modem, free after the rebate.
I'm still a happy camper, DSL is still reliable, and a lot cheaper than Comcast HSI. For 6016 kbps up / 768 kbps down, it can't be beat.
Now I'm just waiting for U-verse to come, I hope it will be available soon. We'll see.

*** Update (July 2009) ***
Cancelled account. Elite is too slow, and Uverse still not available.
Signed up to Comcast HSI, with a promo 19.95/month for 1 year!

*** Update (2012) ***
I no longer subscribe to AT&T. Uverse or whatever is still not available. Alas, even 6mbps is no longer an option, just 3mbps. AT&T dropped the ball by not going fiber all the way.
I'm not in CHSI promo anymore, and Xfinity is charging an arm and a leg ... I'm still staying though.

member for 11.1 years, 2408 visits, last login: 15 days ago
updated 2.3 years ago