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CenturyLink page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 666 reviews (213 good) (287 bad)
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Review by TechMike See Profile

  • Location: Denver,Jefferson,CO
  • Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 6 days
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "Static IPs for residential (optional). Tech Support is decent"
Bad "Customer service only available 8-6 M-F, unless ordering new service or tech support. Poor connection with 40/5 service"
Overall "Decent service for VDSL2. Higher speeds can be problematic."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I live in former Qwest territory with VDSL2. According to CenturyLink, we can get speeds up to 40/5. I signed up for the 40/5 service on a 29.99/mo promotion for 12 months with a 12 month contract.

I formerly had the 12/5 service and had absolutely no problems. This time around, however, I've had some poor connection reliability with the 40/5 service.

After a couple months of service, our modem retrained at 25/3. Tech support said this was due to excessive errors on our line. A technician came out, and performed maintenance on the 'F2'. After that, the modem reconnected at 40/5. There's been quite a few errors on the line and at least one retrain in the last 48 hours. After a couple weeks, I'll see how bad the service is and potentially call a technician out again.

*UPDATE: It is now a week later and we've had continuous errors, excessive line noise, and repeated retrains for 24 hours. CenturyLink scheduled a tech to come out in a week. I'm a little perturbed at this point.

*UPDATE2: Our line has been tremendously solid for the past day or so. I suspect work was done, possibly not related to my connection, but happened to resolve the issue.

member for 6.1 years, 160 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 3 days ago

Comments:

TheTruth

@97.116.26.x

Tell me about it 40/5 sucks

We're lucky get 20mbps with their 40mbps service. We had nearly a billion calls to these guys and five modems. Tech support cares about you but sucks at their jobs. Qwest spent 2 days installing our internet. CL didn't give a crap. We ended up buying a 200 dollar router which helped a lot, then swiched to Comcast. Only thing we're gonna miss is not having robot staff as support.
sparky007

join:2011-08-25
Avondale, AZ

Re: Tell me about it 40/5 sucks

Had Centurynolink for less than 30 days.. 7 meg download was lucky to hit 1 meg..

Geekster

@97.116.44.x

40/5 Sucky

Try getting a good router. We went through several modems, however a high grade router did a good job.

Review by dharper100 See Profile

  • Location: Boardman,Morrow,OR
  • Cost: $75 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Tech that came out (Kyle) was amazing. Great communication, fast install, friendly."
Bad "None so far"
Overall "Speeds as advertised, low latency, install tech was awesome."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Ordered bonded DSL (25/2). Took an extra few days as the tech needed to be dispatched. Tech was a day late, but texted me to let me know the status. Showed up early the next day and did the install. Got a Technicolor CT2000A modem, which is one of the better ones. I ran a shielded cat5e cable from NID to jack. Tech wired at the NID, I wired the jack and installed modem.

So far, things are working as advertised. ~50ms ping, 24.5Mb/s download, 1.8Mb/s upload. Consistent speeds, and service doesn't choke with multiple downloads, gaming, browsing and streaming simultaneously.

Eastern Oregon, small town. 5500 feet from CO (per DSL modem status).

Fair warning: reviewer joined this month
lodged 12 days ago

Comments:

chamb267

@67.235.81.x

Pricing

Dharper,
Can you elaborate on your pricing.
I have 10 meg down with CL along with standard phone service.
My price for the DSL is 50 dollars on my bill. About 38 dollars for the phone.
I recently asked about the speeds you have and I was told it will be $75 just for the increased DSL speed.
So far, I declined. Seemed high to me.

Are you on a special package that will eventually expire and go much higher in price?
dharper100

join:2014-07-16
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Pricing

It is $71.95 (plus taxes) for the 25/2. Price locked for 2 years. After that, I'm hoping that either A. price stays the same or B. faster speeds are available for the same price or less.

The 10/1 was $29.95 a month (plus taxes), but the 25/2 was a better choice for me.

I was paying $60 a month for 6/1 (Wireless ISP), and it rarely worked at those speeds. For speeds, I am doing excellent. The tech has been amazing with communication, and is extremely helpful. This alone has made me love the service already. He's dedicated to making it perfect, which I rarely see (I work in IT, so I work with several companies for internet service at work).

This is for a dry DSL line, no phone service included. They do have bundles, which make it a little higher. I just have no need for a land line anymore.

I was finally able to play online gaming for the first time in a long time without any lag. I had a great time, and I think it's worth it. I do use the network connection for work, as well, so I chalk some of it up to a required expense.

Review by Mr Matt See Profile

  • Location: Eustis,Lake,FL
  • Cost: $85 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Reasonable price, easy installation, very competent technicial support, no contract, Speed issues corrected.."
Overall "Good value if you can schedule large downloads during off peak periods."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

This review combines CenturyLink Voice and Broadband service.

I finally received a solicitation from CenturyLink that I was actually interested in. The reason for my interest is that I just received notice from Comcast that as of January 1, 2012 internet access was increasing by $4.00 per month from $43.95 to $47.95 plus taxes and fees. That is in addition to a $1.00 increase last year from $42.95 to $43.95. An increase of about 12% over two years.

The solicitation I received from CenturyLink offered to add 10Mbps down and 768Kbps up, to my existing voice service for $15.00 per month plus modem rental fee of $3.90 per month and taxes and other fees. I was paying $63.04 per month for local service, unlimited long distance and unlimited features. I estimate that my monthly cost will be about $85.00 per month with the addition of Broadband service. The deal also includes a 5 Year price lock and no contract. I will update the cost information when I receive my next bill. Speed varies depending on time of day from 10Mbps+ download speed during off peak hours to as low as 2Mbps during peak hours. When I first signed up with Comcast service in December of 2006 the maximum download speed was 6Mbps and regularly fell to below 2Mbps during peak traffic periods.

Pre-sales information: I was not advised of all costs to install the HSI service. The customer service representative indicated that he was waiving all installation costs. My bill includes a $14.95 Shipping/Handling fee to deliver the modem plus a $15.95 HSI activation fee. There is also a modem rental fee of $3.90 per month which we did discuss. I expect to purchase a modem so the modem rental fee will be eliminated.

Order/Installation: When I confirmed the price I placed the order immediately, for the 10Mbps service. I received the modem in about two days. I had already installed a DSL splitter so all I had to do was plug in the modem and it automatically configured itself. The next step was to fill out some forms on the CenturyLink website to activate service, create passwords and set up a primary email account.

Equipment: CenturyLink sent a ZyXEL EQ-660R-F1 combination modem router. A generic version of this modem router is available at retail under the ZyXEL product code P-660R-D1.

I really did not have any bad experience save the sales CSR not fulfilling his promise to wave the HSI installation fee. On the other hand I was very satisfied with CenturyLinks technical support when I contacted them to learn how to bridge the modem. As soon as the first level technician realized that my request was above their level of knowledge I was immediately transferred to the second level technical support. The technician advised me of how to bridge the modem and warned me to be sure I released the IP address to avoid being locked out of the DSLAM until the lease period of the IP address timed out.

I strongly recommend that anyone not familiar with DSL service read the installation manual for the ZyXEL P-660R-DI to familiarize themselves with the modem router to improve the installation experience.

Compatible Modems: I have already purchased three modems and returned one. The ZyXEL P-660-D1 provides some of the same features and functions that the CenturyLink supplied modem provides. One feature that the retail version lacks is a release and renew radio button that should be used when placing the modem in the bridged mode. The Actiontec GT710D provides similar features and does include a release and renew button. Both modems provided the same performance as the CenturyLink provided modem. Specifically 10Mbps+ down and 760Kbps up. Both modems are on the list of CenturyLink supported modems. I returned a TP-Link TD-8816 because while it was able to provide 10Mbps+ down it was unable to provide higher than 550Kbps up.

It is now July 2014 and CenturyLink broadband service has improved significantly since my last review. CenturyLink has improved their network for broadband customers in order to be able to provide Prism IPTV Service. CenturyLink is offering higher speed service in some locations at higher prices, for those customers that need same. I still have 10 Meg down and 768K up. Upload and download speeds are now more consistent. I have not experienced any price increases since CenturyLink Broadband was installed. CenturyLink Telephone service is always reliable and transmission is always clear.

member for 6.4 years, 1725 visits, last login: 2 days ago
updated 16 days ago

Comments:
CenturyLink
VIP
join:2009-03-09
Boise, ID
kudos:7

Billing/Service issue

Hello Mr Matt,
If there is anything you need assistance resolving regarding your CenturyLink billing or services, we can help. Please email us the account and address info at TalkToUs@CenturyLink.com, we can get you taken care of.
Regards,
Steve

Review by mrphil See Profile

  • Location: Tucson,Pima,AZ
  • Cost: $20 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Faster speed, less cost, more phone features, little effort on my part to save money and get faster speeds"
Bad "None"
Overall "Good solid service, good price"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I've been with CenturyLink since took over Qwest. See my previous review of Qwest here: »/comment/53907

On March 28th I was at an event where CenturyLink had one of their stores set up. I think they got me when they said "Free Modem". After looking at my current account with them, they indicated they could reduce my monthly charges and upgrade me from 1.5M/896 ADSL to 12M/896 VDSL. After a few minutes discussion I told them to go ahead and left with C1000A modem.

Installation/upgrade was set for April 4th.

Took the model home and configured it for my current service and swapped it in. The evening of the 3rd of April the DSL change was done and the modem switched without any issues from ADSL to VDSL

Speed is as advertised and no problems with the line or modem. The only time DSL has been down is when I've rebooted the modem. Currently it's been up for 63 days straight.

Price before the change was $71.84 and after it's $ 55.54. This includes a single landline which I need for work (cell phones don't let you talk for 20+ hours straight). The phone now has more features than I know what to do with, but I'm figuring them out. And yes, there have been no charges for the modem.

Yes, the price will go up after one year, but we will see what they can offer at that point.

member for 13 years, 2103 visits, last login: a few hours ago
lodged 17 days ago

Comments:

Review by Sportsfan See Profile

  • Location: Tucson,Pima,AZ
  • Cost: $22 per month (48 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "Speeds are as advertised. Service has been reliable so far."
Bad "Internet Basics pricing is for a limited time."
Overall "Very good value for the price for Lifeline-qualified customers."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I was still using 56k dial-up when I found out about Internet Basics, a program for low-income/disabled customers, through a well-hidden link on the Qwest website. I applied and was approved the same week (March 2012). Service was initiated in three days. I was pleasantly surprised to get consistent speeds of 1280/720 with the company-provided ZyXEL PK5000Z modem (advertised speed "up to" 1.5 Mb down). Setup was easy, even for me as a first-time DSL user. Total price will go up to $21.90 in month 13, and special pricing will end after month 60.

Edit: Soon after I posted this review, I began having frequent modem reboots and connection drops after four months of excellent service. I will report back if anything changes.

Second Edit (Oct. 2012): The modem drops stopped around the end of August, causing me to think it was the lightning issue others had reported, but another modem drop occurred today (a clear evening w/ cool temperatures), so the modem itself appears to be the issue, as noted by a commenter.

Updated (July 2014): Price is now $21.90 per month as agreed in contract. Previous modem was replaced by CL, solving disconnection problems. Download speed was increased to 1.8 Mb a few months ago at no additional charge to customer.

member for 2.3 years, 61 visits, last login: 10 days ago
updated 19 days ago

Comments:

pcopsey

@qwest.net

PK5000

The pk5000 series routers are trash... just do a search on them and you will find that the actiontec and the zyxel both have the same consistent problems of resetting constantly.

Sadly thats all the centurylink offers right now. You can purchase your own but lose any real tech support and if it dies your on your own again.

Review by jojosuburban See Profile

  • Location: Prairie City,Jasper,IA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Telco party CenturyTel
Good "Very Reliable Speeds and Connection"
Bad "Wish there were faster speed options avaialable in my area"
Overall "This is a very reliable service, with a decent price."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

I moved to a new home and Mediacom Cable, who I had used for many years was not servicing the area the home was in. My only choice was Centurylink. To my surprise the installation went smoothly. The connection has been reliable and consistent. I am very pleased with my expereince to far. Even the price I am paying seems to be very competitive with the market area.

I currently have 7 down and 800 up service. I am averaging asbout 6.12 down and 700 up. I have been able to stream HD movies and everything I normally do seems to flow smoothly without a hitch.

If all these results continue I will be very pleased.

So far this expereince has been much smoother than I had with Mediacom over many years.

UPDATE: About 4 months after I first wrote this review Centurylink began offering higher speeds in my area. So I upgraded to the highest speed now available for residential of 12 down and 890 up. I actually got about 10 down and 890 up. This service was just as dependable as the previous speed and I was just as happy for the value of it based on the price.

UPDATE,UPDATE: About a month ago I called customer service to inquire if they had any plans to update my area to any faster speeds. (I am in a ADSL2+ area) They said that my current 12 down and 890 up was the top residential speed.

After a little more conversation they suggested I contact the Centurylink small business department and ask about pair bonding. I called the number suggested and they told me my area could provide a bonded pair DSL service and the price seemed very reasonable. I moved my phone and DSL service to a small business service package. I now get 20 down and 2 up (actually getting about 17 down and 1.70 up.

The service has been very dependable so far and the increased speed is welcome I would highly suggest you look into this if you desire more speed.

My understanding is that they offer this bonded pair service to residential accounts in some areas but in my area so far only small business account can have it. Its no big deal to move to the Business service and you really don't have to be a business at all. No extra papers to sign etc.

In fact I get special phone numbers for tech support and customer service that seems to receive a little more special service that normal.

The best part of the Business service besides the speed increase is NO USAGE CAPS!!!! Thats right you can use as much data as you want as there are no limitations on data usage.

member for 11.2 years, 999 visits, last login: a few minutes ago
updated 36 days ago

Comments:
jester805

join:2008-12-25
Manito, IL

Same here

I had almost the exact same situation happen with me. I was in a Comcast area and moved. Comcast didn't service my new area so I went with CenturyLink. I am getting approx 8 Mb down and 7 Kb up. I have been incredibly happy!

Review by brucelgrubb See Profile

  • Location: Las Cruces,Dona Ana,NM
  • Cost: $75 per month (24 month contract)
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Reasonable priced 1.5 DSL connection"
Bad "Periodically downgrades to a lower speed"
Overall "Good but could be a lot better"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

I upgraded to DSL some 5 years ago here in Las Cruces, NM and went for the maximum speed in my area 1.5/0.8 but over the last three years there has been this very annoying problem.

For no reason I can determine I get down graded to 1024/640. I should mention this is the speed listed when I look into the modem itself (ie »192.168.0.1/ ) NOT any speed testing software. To get my speed up to the 1.5/0.8 I am paying for I have to call CenturyLink and have them reset it at their end.

Most of the time this is only annoying but there have been occasions when it is hair pulling aggravating. One time the CenturyLink employee tried to claim it was my ISP (which it wasn't) and another time the CenturyLink employee said to wait a week for the speed to improve. I had to yell and threaten to contact the FTC for them to do what I knew would solve the problem--reset the DSL speed on their end. Everybody else has reset the line but not been able find why this keeps happening. One employee even tested the line for nearly 10 minutes to see if he could see why the speed downgrade was happening and he couldn't find anything.

I can get rock solid connections for weeks or even months at a time but then things to south and it is contact CenturyLink to reset the DSL speed time again.

What I don't understand is what the automated testing software that greats you when you call repair doesn't note the speed issue and blows it off to the ISP when this is clearly a CenturyLink issue.

member for 43 days, 3 visits, last login: 21 days ago
updated 43 days ago

Comments:

outdoor750

@216.160.137.x

Century Link internet

Absolutely the worst. Hit and miss as to when I can get on. Sometimes I have to just walk away.....

Review by davdri See Profile

  • Location: Seattle,King,WA
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "works as advertised"
Bad "none.. yet"
Overall "good experience from ordering to startup. great price for three years and no contract."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)

The last time I had dsl it was with Qwest and it was 1.5 down and spotty so I dumped them for Comcast. I kept shoveling money at Comcast for about ten years because they were the only game in town with the speeds I needed. About ten days ago I got a letter from CenturyLink telling me that high speed had arrived in my neighborhood so I called. I expected maybe 12 to 20 mb down so was surprised when they told me 40.Wow, ok, how much? $19 and change, three year lock, no contract, $69 and change bundled with the phone service I already had. Sign me up I cried but I have a PK 5000 modem/router, nope, no good for VDSL2 they says. That's ok we will send you one for 6 bucks a month, an Actiontec C1000a. I signed up and got the package in two days, service two days after that, hooked up and online in about thirty minutes. I have had uninterrupted close to advertised speed since day one, so today after a week of service I dumped Comcast.

The only down side in all this is there are very few VDSL modems available out there to purchase yourself and some are way too expensive. I took a chance and bought a used C1000a for $30 on Ebay and it is working fine. A new one can be had from Best Buy for around $100, I have 30 days trial period on the dsl service so will be sending their modem back soon. So far so good on the whole deal, we will see what the future brings.

member for 8.2 years, 34 visits, last login: 3 days ago
updated 55 days ago

Comments:

Review by p2ranger7 See Profile

  • Location: Sandy,Salt Lake,UT
  • Cost: $30 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Faster and better value than Xfinity"
Bad "Slower speed than advertised"
Overall "Need more competition to get ISPs to offer something good"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

A person knocked on our door to see if we wanted to get CL internet service. I had ignored the CL flyers in the mail as they were only pushing speeds that were slower than what I have now. He informed me that I lived in an area where they offer 40 down /20 up service. I'm a cord cutter, so I only had Xfinity for the Internet. I was paying about $68/mo for 25/5 service. CL was offering $30/mo for 40/5 service. I decided to take them up on it. After the 1 year introductory offer, it will be about $70/mo which would be a better deal than what I'm paying for Xfinity. My experience with Xfinity was OK, so I wasn't looking for a reason to change, but a higher tier of speed for less was what got my attention.

The installer and modem came within about a week of my placing the order. I wasn't using the telephone wiring in the house, so I could only guess that it was going to be working when they hooked up my service. I did want to test the service before I got committed to it. My chromebook does not have an ethernet port, so I could only use the wireless service on the CL provided modem to test the service as my desktop and router were not near a phone jack.

The speeds I got on the Chromebook were about half of what was advertised. A technician came out and assured that everything was good. He even tried hooking up his company laptop via ethernet cable to the modem, and at best got about 38 download speed. I decided that was good enough as I really don't need 40 at this point, but was looking down the road for future needs.

Since then, I installed a new phone line into the room where my router is. My desktop is connected by ethernet to the router. From here, I am still consistently not getting the advertised 40/5 speeds. I'm usually getting somewhere in the low 30's download and mid 4's up on speedtest.net. CL's website has a link to their own speedtest service where I get a little better speed (I should as its within their network) but it is still not the 40/5 service I'm paying for.

I haven't bothered to call CL again as I don't know what else they are going to do as they have already sent a tech out to inspect the line. The Dmark is in my backyard. The DSLAM is within .5 mile by road (not sure of distance by wiring). All services are buried under ground.

CL is leasing me the ZyXel C1000Z modem/router. It is in bridge mode connected to my Linksys WRT54GL router with Tomato firmware installed.

If CL were willing to charge me a pro rated amount for the speed I'm actually getting, I'd be happier, but I doubt they would do that. Although the introductory price is cheaper than what I've been paying Xfinity for a lower tier of internet speed. Come the end of the one year price, I will have to see what kind of a deal I can work out with them as I'm not getting what I'm paying for.

In the mean time, Google Fiber is south of me in Provo, UT and north of me Salt Lake City is being considered. I can only hope that they will bust in here and create some decent competition.

Why can't America get good ISPs. Sigh....

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/3502423117

member for 4 years, 8 visits, last login: 61 days ago
updated 74 days ago

Comments:
political_i

join:2013-11-12

Good ISPs?

Regulations and money. Salt Lake City had the chance to get UTOPIA but turned it down. That would have provided a network that had multiple local providers via an open-access network.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

You may have a problem

I don't know your system. CL modem/routers are not always fully compatible with other routers. I had this problem a few weeks ago and had to disconnect my ASUS router. I wasn't very happy about it, but I was glad to find the CL router was properly secured.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ

Re: You may have a problem

They're compatible, but the WRT54GL is very old. Properly bridging a C1000z and using it with a third party router is actually the most frequently suggested option on the CL forum.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

I'm not familiar with that router or where you live. We are still being delivered DSL over copper. When I first got the landline and web from CL I went through 5-6 routers before I bought the ASUS which was 2-3 years before modem/routers came to my area. I have one of the worst XyTel routers in the PK series. The phone connection was so bad CL finally yanked out the filters in the house and installed a whole house filter outside which effectively separated the phone side from the internet. My phone now acts more like POTS and much less than VoIP plus my connections improved 98.9 percent.

I live very rural and I am sure we have fiber. It would not surprise me to find FTTN to the hospital, college, courthouse, post office, library, city fire police, pharmacy, and city offices, plus to the county fire and police as these services are all centrally located within a 4 block area. But we will never see FTTH because the town is too small.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

I actually have a ZyXEL PK5001z. This may just be because I'm in a Qwest area, but other than the fact that port forwards work improperly (a non-issue for most), it works really well at what it does. I've heard the PK5000z is genuinely terrible though, but in that situation too, you'd be able to bridge it to a wireless router.

If you were to properly set it up using RFC1483 bridging mode, the instructions for which have been linked a dozen or so times in the past few weeks on the CL forum, I'm sure it would serve you well.

Before that, I had an ActionTec M1000, but my housemate sent that off to another friend.

I've never used a ZyXEL 660 series, but I hear that they're by and large reliable. You could probably go back to that, unless you've switched away from ADSL onto VDSL.

If you are still on ADSL, ADSL2 or ADSL2+ and you want a "bridge" (so you can use your Asus router) without bothering with configuring one of CL's devices, you could pick up a Zoom 5715 »www.zoomtel.com/products/5715.html -- unfortunately such a device that's widely compatible isn't known to exist for VDSL2, where your best bet really is to pick up one of CL's devices and either use it (they're pretty good, to be honest) or configure them for bridge mdoe, so you can use your preferred Asus router.

Relatedly: All DSL is served over copper. The difference is how far the "DSL" portion of your service runs and over what technology. In an "FTTN" arrangement, fiber runs to a cabinet in your town or neighborhood and VDSL2 or ADSL2+ is the technology running over the copper from the cabinet to your house.

You can also have copper to the neighborhood. In my case, one or more T1s feeds the remote DSLAM in that cabinet. A more modern version of that is to use e.shdsl to feed remote DSLAMs. Instead of 12 megabits in T1s, you can get 90-120 megabits out of 8-16 pairs of copper. (I forget the exact details, I think that it does involve dedicating a bit more copper to the backhaul, but this could be a good way to serve very low density customers, because e.shdsl is faster than T1s and you can use repeaters with them.)

Anyway, those public buildings in your town are likely already served by some sort of Ethernet connection, be it e.shdsl, which is often referred to as Ethernet over Copper, or a fiber arrangement. In a "metro Ethernet" (which is what the product would be called even if it's a small town) situation, CL is going to be a lot more flexible because the public institutions and large businesses are going to be able to pay to rent copper and install both sides of an SHDSL link, or rip up the ground to lay fiber or hang it on existing utility poles.

I can basically guarantee you that like, the hospital and the university don't have CenturyLink VDSL2 modems sitting in a rack in their data center.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

Our town is remote. The 25-bed hospital and medical offices, plus the satellite campus of the small college aren't worth a nickel to CL - and neither are the residents. I like to think that since CL roots reach back 100 years it should know what its doing and be able do it well but it never seems that way. It purely amazes me that a company that can provide a 100T to Paris, and to London, cannot provide a wireline to the home and to the hospital that is only marginally better than mediocre. This is the only difference between rural Flagstaff, rural DFW, and the rest of rural Atlanta. The don't wanna, ain't gonna...and they won't.

We're saddled with no competition, and third-rate phone, cable and web services because we have a weak-knee mayor, and a state legislature with deep pockets that telco needs to fill more frequently. It is more common than not in rural America.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

Hm. That sounds significantly more rural than what I have experience with. The emergency department of our hospital alone has 20 or 25 beds, and the whole thing is a medical hub for Northern Arizona at large. The university here has 25,000 or so active students at any given time.

Anyway, I think you should stop making the "100T to London and Paris!" comparison. They're not actually serving a customer with that link, that link is a backbone and they're using it to transmit their own customers' traffic to and from Europe. It probably goes to a Point of Presence and links up with other ISPs there.

It's probably a totally different part of the company that owns that link anyway (They did acquire Savvis, a large European cloud provider, a few years ago, for example, and that's completely different from their Embarq, Century Telephone, and Qwest/USWEST operations here in the United States.

Anyway, you have a 10 megabit link already and per CenturyLink, that's well above what their average customer has.

I'm sure CL wants to make more money by selling faster service tiers to its customers, but I imagine it's challenging, especially when the capex on such a project can be so immense, and whether or not they intend to, they're bleeding customers (or, due to limitations of the technology, such as with Qwest's old T1-fed DSLAMs, weren't able to get many customers on DSL to start with.

In terms of "caring about wireline infrastructure" -- CL at least has the appearance of doing a little bit better than AT&T and Verizon, although AT&T and Verizon are each trying to pick up wireless customers, and have differentiated fiber products. (Compare to CL's two test markets, and some neighborhoods where DSL speed tiers are available delivered by fiber.)

It'll be interesting to see where it all ends up in the next few years. Despite the whole "nationwide symmetric 45 megabit fiber to the home" thing that the Bell Descendants were supposed to deploy by the end of the 1990s not having shown up, I still think DSL is a good in-between technology. As the telcos move fiber closer and closer to homes, DSL becomes better, and when the time finally comes to rip up that last mile, it'll be the most expensive but most worthwhile upgrade.

Unfortunately, I know of no tricks to actually encourage them to do that, nor do I know the path that they're taking in CenturyTel/Embarq areas that have 10 megabit at the moment.

I know Qwest is still working on adding DSL service to new customers (as recently as 2013, new areas in Flagstaff that did not have DSL service previously got VDSL2 equipment added) and upgrading the oldest and slowest ADSL service. (That's the part I'm waiting for.)

Of course, the telcos sort of have this problem in large cities, too. There are lots of big cities on the Eastern seaboard that are waiting on promised FiOS deployments, from when Verizon was awarded with cable franchises in those areas. It seems Verizon's pattern has been to wire up suburbs almost exclusively. We'll see what happens, I suppose, when the only things left to wire up are "rural" (or smaller cities/towns, even if they're not really at "rural" densities) and high density city customers.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

Well lets see. My county is 14000 population vs millions of bushels of corn and beans. There are 15 silos where I live.
Other than one small 25 bed hospital, and one small satellite college that is open part time -- every thing else, is 50 or more miles from where I live.

My comparison will continue. A LOCAL phone company that can deliver 100T of X to Paris and to London ought to be able to deliver a quality phone service to homes five blocks from the plant.

Phone companies do not want wireline because they do not want to be regulated. They should not advertise 'crystal clear voice" when they do not want to provide it.

What works perfectly in Flagstaff may never work well in rural mid-America.

--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

Either you're not telling us something (such as you aren't actually a CenturyLink subscriber, because while they are a "local exchange carrier" -- they are an international telecommunications company now) or you're not telling us something else.

Anyway, if you have stable 10 megabit DSL and most of your town does, then CL is already doing better there than in Flagstaff anyway. It's exceedingly common to find addresses in town that don't have DSL service, and fairly large swaths of town are still can only get 1.5 megs, or in certain lucky circumstances, 3, 5 or 7 megabits.

It's also worth noting that it's not like the "100T" starts from the CO in your hometown and runs to Paris. It's probably a single link from New York or another location on the eastern seaboard to Paris, and they probably sell access to it to other ISPs in the United States.

I'm not going to talk too much to the regulation issue here, because I personally think that the federal government needs to acquire and coalesce all the local exchange phone carriers and start that '90s nationwide build-out of fiber to the home.

Of course, because the United States is so large and because ideally, all of the telecom infrastructure needs to be replaced, it'll take a while to make it happen for everyone, even if the plan gets announced on Monday, with work to commence on Tuesday.

Anyway, is your line not delivering clear results? Even though Internet isn't regulated basically at all, wireline phone service is still regulated in most of the country and CL is required to give you service that's up to a particular level of quality. You should probably call them if you're having problems with voice access on your line.

In regards to "what works well" -- the beauty of fiber is that it's almost completely unlimited in terms of distance, depending on what technology you use. GPON, and WDM-PON have really really good distance properties, and of course there are repeaters and amplifiers available that (to my knowledge) don't affect performance.

You and your buddy who lives 30 miles out of town, with a GPON setup, be able to get the same data speeds and voice quality, served out of the same CO. Active Ethernet over fiber is the same in terms of being able to cover long distances with little or no signal degradation, but will likely require the use of "remote terminals," and possibly be a lot more expensive to deploy than GPON.

Until then, you'll have 10 meg DSL. I bet there are other areas in whichever arm of CL to which you subscribe that do not have any DSL yet, or are still on old ADSL(1) equipment.

You're not doing that badly.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

You're allegations are silly. I don't care how international CL is. It is moot re the poor quality phone service where I live.

You do not understand the Midwest. We are in the grain and livestock belt. We harvest millions of bushels of crop annually.
I've had a home in the area for over 70 years - most of which is - and has always been Bell territory.

CL delivers 10/1 over wirelines. This company is not going to p*** in the wind to upgrade. It makes no financial sense as there is no practical or compelling reason to do it differently. We are, like other CL rural areas, the runt pup. We take what we get. There is no competition; there can be no competition, there never will be competition. There is nothing wrong with the area except the good 'ol boys aversion to change and growth.

I complained enough to my state utility commission that I have a number to CL's executive level. The backstory is medical and the need for a working phone that is usable 24/7 in fair weather and foul. I still do not have it.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

I guess I don't understand what the issue is, or how the fact that you live in the midwest affects any of this. These issues affect everybody who wants to get service from any telco in the US, both in and out of Bell territories.

Does CL provide you a voice line, can you use that voice line to make calls? It's literally physically impossible to promise 100% uptime on a service (especially physical infrastructure), and for what you're probably paying, asking for any availability promises outside of what's defined by the PUC is kind of unreasonable.

Anyway, as far as Internet speed goes, 10/1 is pretty good. Like I said, I'm in Flagstaff in the middle of a row of 200 houses in a neighborhood filled with physicians and university professors.

You're doing better than a lot of CL customers, and their company-wide priority, (even the priority within the territory where you live) is likely to get customers that can only get 1.5 megs upgraded, and to get DSL to customers who have nothing.

linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

Re: You may have a problem

I understand what you are saying. As I said many time before I think I am very lucky. And PUC agrees with me. I used phones for more than 60 years. My first was an 8 party operator assisted number. I live in a 'hood with 11 businesses, one tri-plex, 8 houses, county health department, and two schools. I am probably not the only one with a wireline phone. I am here 24/7 as is one other neighbor.
.
I expect a phone that is advertised as POTS by employees to work normally in sun, rain, heat, snow, wind, etc. So does PUC as this is perfectly normal weather where I live. .

There are times when Mother Nature and circumstances intervene; it happens. But it should not happen every day, every week, or before and after every rain. Sometimes it is a really big problem, and sometimes not. I think when I cannot call 911 it is a problem. I think when I get the new phone that is sponsored by telco, and the state, if it does not work, it IS a problem that CenturyLink will correct. We shall see in the next 10 days.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
As an addendum to not doing too badly: keep in mind that CL is essentially under no obligation whatsoever to provide Internet services on their own, and if they don't, nobody else is obligated to provide you with such services. Not to harp on the regulation thing, but it's legally considered a luxury in the United States.

If everything at your location is fed out of the CO, CL is (probably) still obligated to let third party ISPs sell you services over a rented copper line, but that doesn't often happen in locations (such as mine) fed primarily out of remote terminals, mainly since there's no good way for the ISPs to install their own DSLAMs at every RT location. (And, there are probably a good 20-40 RTs in Flagstaff.)

I don't actually have wireline voice service with CL (just the DSL line, and I can only get 1.5 megabit), but it seems like it should be good. If your line is of poor quality, bother them about it. They are required by law to fix it, because dial-tone is a regulated service (as I mentioned in my previous post, in most states at least.)

CL likely isn't too interested in gutting its wireline business, given that that's still a core thing for them, and they don't have the competing wireless and wireline divisions that AT&T and Verizon do. I somehow doubt that Savvis is really profitable enough that they'd consider that their new core business.

Their annual report also makes it look like they still consider wireline access in the United States to be their core business.

Though, it could be that they have this aspiration internally, and maybe CL will buy Sprint or T-Mobile, re-brand that to CenturyLink Wireless, and then start selling off their worst-off areas to FairPoint/Windstream/Frontier.
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

I would be zero surprised whatsoever if the wireless problems were from that Linksys router. You should be able to get a lot better if you use a router that's newer and supports Wireless N.

Basically the only time you're going to get 40 megabits out of 802.11G is if you are in the same room as the device, or in an outdoor space with no interference whatsoever (like, hundreds of yards from anything else) a few feet from the router/AP and there is only one client connected.

In terms of pro-rating for different speeds, I imagine that that would be an even bigger challenge. I commonly see on the forum people whose lines could achieve more than their tier who would love to pay CL extra to get that extra two megabits of throughput, or even pay the full price of 40/20 to get 40/12, or the price for 40/5 to get 36/3. Unfortunately, CL likes their tiers a lot and if they discover your line can't actually train at 40, then they may bump you down to 20/5.

Though, I recommend removing the WRT54GL from the situation and seeing what it's like. You may find that you are trained at 45/5 or 50/5 and can do downloads at that speed if you aren't putting a router from 2004 between your Internet and your PC. (CenturyLink over-provisions when the lines can handle it, and 40 megabit plans are known to over-provision all the way to 50 megabits. 20M plans often over-provision to about 25 or 26 megabits.)
p2ranger7

join:2010-07-21
Sandy, UT
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

No, that's not the problem.

When I first did my wireless test, it was with the CL modem/router that they provided me. And when I was doing those test, I was in the same room, just a few feet away from their modem/router. I still do not get the advertised speeds on my iMac desktop computer that is hooked up by ethernet.
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

Hmm. If you go to the C1000z's modem status page, what speed does it show you syncing at, and what do your stats look like?

If your iMac is wired into the C1000z, go to »192.168.0.1/, log in using the administrative credentials (you may have set them, but if not they are printed on the bottom of the device) and then go to Modem Status on the top, and click on WAN status on the left.

Of interest here are the speed, which will be printed on the left, and then clear at the bottom of the page, I would look at the Levels section.

SNR should be really high and attenuation should be really low.

If it's syncing at exactly the right speed, you will also want to be aware that there is a small performance impact from PTM transfers. (It's better than ATM, but you're never going to pull a full 40 megabits through a line that's synced at exactly 40.)

If your line is stable and you have generous SNR etc, you should start over-provisioning fairly soon. I believe they do it in two steps for 40M lines, first to about 45 megabits and then to about 50 megabits.

If you're comfortable with it, you could open up Terminal on your Mac and do ssh admin@192.168.0.1 and then enter your administrative password.

Then type in "xdslctl info" and it'll tell you what your current rate and maximum rate are. If your maximum is a lot higher than your current, you should see an overprovision before too long.

If you are already at your maximum rate, then your SNR may be low and it could be a few things...
1) You are very marginal for 40M. CL may reprovision you for 40/1 or there may be a physical wiring problem somewhere. Your service may retrain frequently
2) CL may reprovision you all the way down to 20/5, 20/2 or 20m/896k service. (You could and should ask for them to do pair bonding if this happens.)

You can test for this by connecting your modem at the demarcation point outside your house and either connecting to it wirelessly or with a long ethernet cable.

If your Max rate is a lot higher, you'll ultimately get over-provisioned, but it's possible you will still see no performance increase. If this happens, it could be congestion at the node that serves your neighborhood or the central office that serves your overall area. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is really prevalent on home ISPs and the only fix will be to report it to CL so that they can add it to their long to-do list. Typically the fix is to upgrade the fiber from the CO to a node.
p2ranger7

join:2010-07-21
Sandy, UT
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

Ever since I put the modem into bridge mode, I have not been able to access it. Even when I tried hooking up to it with an an ethernet cable from my computer, its not accessable.

It might be because I have my computer set to static IP addressing.

Before I put it in bridge mode, I remember seeing the speeds it was connected on the administrative page of the modem. It was usually showing 38 or somewhere close to there for download speed.

I'm not quite as interested as what my speeds are to CL's servers as much as I am interested in what my speeds are outside of their servers since that is where most of my traffic is to.
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

Hm. If you set your computer to a static IP of something like 192.168.0.30, you may be able to get to the access page. It would be really interesting to see those stats, because they'll tell you if the problem is physical (something wrong with your line) or with congestion further on up the line.

If the problem is congestion, then CL will be able to fix it. If the problem is physical and on your line, then I'd proceed really carefully because if you can sync at 38 megs and it's stable, but your SNR is low, CL may tell you that it was an error that they let you have 40 meg service, and re-provision you for 20/5 or 20m/896k.

If they do that, you could ask for them to do pair bonding in order to give you 40/5. The good news is that if the physical line is marginal and they do pair bonding, you'll have a lot more room to over-provision to 50 megabits.
p2ranger7

join:2010-07-21
Sandy, UT
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

  
Thanks for the tips. I was able to get back into the modem

So my current speed shows 35/5

My downstream SNR looks low, borderline acceptable. Attenuation for down is higher than SNR.

My upstream connections seem to be better than down.

I was unable to ssh in to the modem. It prompted me for a password which I entered and it just would never get past that point.

Attached are some screenshots
coryw

join:2013-12-22
Flagstaff, AZ
Reviews:
·CenturyLink

Re: Remove the decade-old WRT54GL to get better speeds

The screenshots say it all. Unfortunately, the downstream SNR is too low to sustain that connection. It looks like your line is retraining several times a day as a result of it. If everything in the whole environment was completely stable, it should work (even if only syncing at 35/5) but something is likely happening on the lines.

If you have the opportunity, I would also test by connecting your modem to the demarcation point on the side/back of your house. If it connects faster there (and the SNRs aren't so low), then there's an internal wiring issue that can be fixed.

You could call CL and have them fix the physical problems causing your retrains, but if you're just too far out to support 40M, then they may ask you to move to a 20/5 profile.

If you can get your SNR up above 9, then your line will be much more stable and you'll probably sync at 40M.

Good luck!

Review by john2830 See Profile

  • Location: Phoenix,Maricopa,AZ
  • Cost: $25 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
  • Telco party Qwest
Good "This connection has generally been reliable."
Bad "When something goes awry, customer service is less than stellar."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Overall my experience with this DSL provider has been positive. I subscribe to 12Meg and my combo modem/router says I am set to 15Meg. I am only capable of 20Meg tops but they have recently re-habbed the underground facilities in the area and I would not doubt if I will soon be capable of 40Meg+. The connection is usually very reliable. I have subscribed to CenturyLink DSL for 5 years now.

When something does go wrong, customer service is generally sub-par. Seem that Tier 0 folks have to put you thorough all the hoops including the most basic questions. I happen to have a "home run" line from my Network Interface to the modem/router (uses the 2nd pair of wiring in my old house to provide a direct connection to the modem/router). There are not many Tier 0 support folks who even know what that is and they sound puzzled or ignore my statement when conversing with them and they always want to blame interference from my phones. (the exact purpose of the "home run" line is to avoid this).

So my bottom line assessment is that the service itself is very good. The technical support is lacking.

member for 4.6 years, 84 visits, last login: 14 days ago
updated 84 days ago

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