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There are several common reasons for not qualifying for Extreme 3.0 or Extreme 6.0. Obviously there could be other reasons, but they are an incredibly small percentage. Another harsh reality is that BellSouth publicly announced that only about 25% of its base would initially qualify for Extreme 6.0. That means the majority of customers will have to wait until changes are made to equipment and network before being eligible.

Q: Why can't I get Extreme 6.0?
A: There are several general reasons that make up the majority of cases:
•You are more than 5,000 feet (approximately) from the CO or Remote DSLAM.
•The IFITL broadband hardware (a.k.a PCData) that serves you is only capable of 1.5 at this time. Check here for more information.
•The broadband hardware (DFITL) that serves you is not capable of providing 6.0 at this time. Check here for more information.
•The DSLAM does not have the back haul bandwidth capacity available. This is a hardware issue not simply a bandwidth allocation issue.

Q: Why can't the help desk/customer service tell me the specific reason why I don't qualify?
A: They do not have access to the specific reason. BellSouth Internet Services (BSIS) is an ISP and BellSouth Telecommunications (BST) is a regulated telecommunications company. FCC regulations forbid the release of certain line information to any ISP (including BSIS). All ISPs have access to the same BST qualifying database, which usually only provides a "qualified" or "not qualified" answer.

Q: Why can't the help desk/customer service tell me when I will qualify?
A: Again, due to regulations they limited access to this type of information. In some instances there may be a projected qualifying date, but if there is no projected qualifying date shown then the help desk has absolutely no additional information available.

Q: The distance estimator on BBR says I am less than 5,000 feet from the Central Office or RDSLAM. Why don't I qualify for Extreme 6.0?
A: The distance estimator on BBR simply uses a mapping application and provides driving miles to the CO. Your actual wiring may take a much longer path to the CO. ISPs do not have access to the BST loop length records so the help desk can not tell you how far away you are. Again, they only have the "qualified" or "not qualified" answer.

Q: There is a Remote DSLAM right down the block from my house. Why don't I qualify for Extreme 6.0?
A: Usually one of two reasons:
•Even though you are close to that Remote DSLAM your physical wiring may be served by a completely different Remote.
•The RDSLAM does not have the network bandwidth capacity back to the CO due to hardware limitations. Some RDSLAM are fed via T1s not DS3s. You may have the world's greatest line stats and synch at the highest rate possible, but you still will not be able to get 6.0.

Q: My modem shows the attainable line rate is higher than 6Mbps. Why can't I get 6.0?
A: Attainable line rates are only relevant between the DSLAM and your modem and is completely independent from the network that feds the DSLAM.
• You may be served by DFITL hardware.
• The RDSLAM does not have the network bandwidth capacity back to the CO due to hardware limitations. Some RDSLAM are fed via T1s not DS3s.

Q: I was told that if you can get 3.0 you will be eligible for 6.0. Is that true?
A: No, that is not correct by any stretch of imagination.
• The maximum distance for 6.0 is roughly 5,000 feet. The maximum distance for 3.0 is roughly 12,000 feet.
• The RDSLAM may not have the network bandwidth capacity back to the CO to support 6.0

Q: I was told that repairs from the hurricanes are delaying deployment in South Florida. Is that true?
A: Possibly. Obviously, BellSouth is focusing on repairing critical POTS service which has a higher priority than DSL. Even though your area may not have been hit hard some areas are completely devastated as shown here. Additionally, many parts of South Florida are also served by IFITL and DFITL (which don't support 6.0 at this time) so it is delayed due to hardware issues, not hurricane repairs.

Q: I have IFITL (PCData) service. Can I qualify for FastAccess Extreme?
A: No. IFITL is not currently capable of Extreme 3.0 or 6.0. IFITL is restricted in speed because it is a shared 10Mb half-duplex ethernet LAN between 4-8 customers. Completely different ONU cards would be required on every single pedestal as well as some of the switches farther back in the network to allow any increases. Additionally, since the initial topology and equipment was abandoned by the vendor it would be a niche market with a finite expansion and no new growth potential for the vendor or the Telco. BST is working with a third party equipment vendor to provide higher speeds via IFITL, but no deployed equipment is currently capable and no official plans have been announced.

Q: I have DFITL Service. Can I qualify for FastAccess Extreme 6.0?
A: No. DFITL does not currently support Extreme 6.0. Instead of a Remote DSLAM located at a centralized RT, DFITL uses a small DSLAM that can serve up to 4 customers integrated into a pedestal that is placed close to the homes it serves. Chances are if you have small green pedestal near your home you probably have DFITL, however this is not conclusive proof. The ISP does not have access to records about your local loop and will not be able to tell you whether you are DFITL or not. BST is working with vendors on solutions to try and provide 6.0 via DFITL, but nothing is currently available and no official date has been set. Very Important Service Note: AT&T is now limiting DFITL customers to the 1.5Mbps service tier. Older customers that currently have 3.0 service are being grandfathered, but all new (or returning) customers are limited to 1.5Mbps.

Helpful Advice: Local Service and Install Techs are usually well informed about the local loops and service. They know what type of topology/service your the neighborhood has and what may or may not be available. If you see a Service Install Tech in the neighborhood, politely ask them if they have any information or insight. Please remember, they are a great source of information about the current loop makeup but may not be aware of future changes driven by the Engineering/Planning Group.

Andy Houtz DSL

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last modified: 2009-03-20 09:28:00