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4.0 Troubleshooting

Bell has implemented a system for it's dial-up and high speed customers in Ontario and Quebec, where DNS servers are automatically assigned when you login. Sometimes, the DNS servers assigned in this way do not work properly for some sites. This can happen randomly and can be very frustrating. Fortunately, you are able to specify your own DNS servers if the Bell assigned ones don't function properly for you.

Here are some alternative DNS server addresses you can try:
Bell Canada (not Bell Residential): / /
Level3 Communications: /

You are free to use only one address, or a combination of different DNS addresses. Using mulitple DNS addresses will provide redundancy if one provider's DNS servers are not functioning or are out of date.

How do I change the DNS server address(es) in Windows 95, 98, or ME?
    •Click the Start button > Settings > Control Panel.
    •Double click on the Network icon.
    •Under the Configuration tab, there will be a list of items. Select the TCP/IP item that corresponds to your Ethernet adapter, then click Properties.
    •Click on the DNS Configuration tab, and remove all entries under DNS Server Search Order.
    •Under DNS Server Search Order, enter the DNS Server Address(es) you wish to use, clicking on the Add button after each one.
    •Keep clicking OK until all the dialog boxes are cleared.
    •You must reboot for this change to take effect.

How do I change the DNS server address(es) in Windows 2000?
    •Click the Start button > Settings > Network and Dial-up Connections.
    •Right click on Local Area Connection then choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
    •Click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click the Properties button.
    •Click Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the DNS server address(es) you wish to use.
    •Keep clicking OK until all the dialog boxes are cleared.
You do not need to reboot for this change to take effect.

How do I change the DNS server address(es) in Windows XP?
    •Click the Start Button > Control Panel > Network Connections.
    •Right click on Local Area Connection and select Properties on the pop-up menu.
    •Click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click the Properties button.
    •Click Use the following DNS server addresses and enter the DNS server address(es) you wish to use.
    •Keep clicking OK until all the dialog boxes are cleared.
You do not need to reboot for this change to take effect.

If none of the above helps, then read this:

•You should try flushing your local DNS cache to remove any stale entries. Here's how to clear the local DNS cache:
If you are running Windows XP or Windows 2000, enter the following at the command prompt: ipconfig /flushdns
If you are using Windows 98, 98SE or ME, enter the following at a DOS Prompt: ipconfig /release_all

•Run a virus scan. Some viruses and trojans can cause page not found errors and other problems.

•Scan for spyware, as some spyware (especially can interfere with the way site addresses are resolved. You can find more information on Spyware and how to remove it in the Spyware FAQ.

Some Bell customers may have DNS problems no matter what DNS server they use. This is an intermittent problem that affects a small group of customers for a short time, Bell has not acknowledged this problem exists, and no solution has been found.

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2010-07-24 07:19:55

Click here for more information

by MacGyver See Profile

Before starting this process, note that patience is an extremely important factor. You may not be able to get this done with one phone call, but be patient and you will get what you want.

First, Read this and do everything that it says. Call 310-SURF and go to technical support (not the billing office). Explain to the tech that your sync rate is not set properly and you wish to speak to a level two tech. The level one tech will have all sorts of silly questions and ask you to do dumb things like reset your modem or reboot your computer. Do them all. If the level one tech says to you that the change will be made in five business days or some other delay tactic, you can at this point request the tech's name and employee number and demand to speak to their supervisor because they are JERKING YOU AROUND. This does not take five business days to do, it can be done over the phone in one phone call.

If the level one does not give you the five day nonsense, eventually the level one tech will run out of stuff for you to try, and transfer you to a level two tech. The level two tech will ask you some more silly questions, and hopefully verify the sync rate is indeed set incorrectly.

Then the level two tech will transfer you to somebody at the High Speed Service Centre. This last person will be able to change the sync rate and/or turn interleaving on or off in a matter of seconds. The modem will briefly drop sync each time this happens. Insist that you want to be on fast path and NOT interleave if at all possible.

WARNING: If, in the opinion of the tech, your line does not qualify for an upgrade, you can insist that they try it anyway. If you choose to do this, the tech will ask you to agree that you waive your right to any future tech support on speed related issues. Once you do this, your account will be flagged and you will not be able to get any support for speed related issues on subsequent support calls.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • bell wont actually raise your speed most of the time they say ok we did it but nothing happens

    2011-06-27 09:03:20 (dcgm19 See Profile)

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-02-01 08:14:05

Refer to this thread

Thanks to

julez_atf See Profile and quanta See Profile

for compiling all the information contained within this FAQ.

by BliZZardX See Profile
last modified: 2005-07-01 21:18:21

There are only a select few modems that can display line stats to the end user. They are:

Alcatel SpeedTouch Home, Pro, or 510v3

Alcatel SpeedTouch 510v4

GNet BB0050

Some revisions of the Efficient Networks Speedstream 5200

Efficient Networks Speedstream 6300

Speedstream Stats Utility Software 403,420 bytes

Speedstream 6250
You can access the lines stats by going to and entering your admin name and password (set up when you first configure the modem). Click on "advanced" and you can get your line stats.

If your modem is not listed here, then it simply not capable of displaying any line stats. If you know of another modem that does, please use the feedback link below to let us know about it.

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2007-09-14 20:19:57

Check out the /faq/wiring/

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-01-21 09:02:31

So you have to call tech support because you're having problems. Here are some tips to help smooth the troubleshooting process.

1. Get a piece of paper and write down all the facts. What is the problem? What symptoms are you experiencing? When did this start happening?

2. What is your Sympatico user ID (b1xxxxxx) and your Sympatico Customer PIN? Tech support will need this information when you call. You can find this information written on the inside back cover of your software setup guide.

3. Check your setup over before you call. Reboot your computer to start off fresh. Is everything plugged in? Unplug everything and plug it back in again to make sure there aren't any bad connections. If you have spare cables, try switching cables to see if that makes a difference. Have you tried power-cycling (turn it off for 30 seconds and then on again) your modem? Have you tried resetting your modem (if it is equipped with a reset hole on the back)?

4. Before you call tech support, make sure you are sitting in front of your computer. It is difficult enough to troubleshoot a problem when you're not at the computer, let alone the tech on the other end of the line!

5. If you are upset, don't bother calling. Tech support will be less willing to assist if you are angry, and the call will be less pleasant for both you and the person at the other end of the phone. Be polite and you'll get the same treatment in return.

6. When you call tech support at 310-SURF, please listen to all the available options before making a selection. This will help direct your call in the appropriate manner. If you end up in the wrong place, (billing instead of tech support for example) you may be placed in the hold queue again and you'll have to start all over.

7. The first person you'll speak to will be a Level 1 Support Technician. The first thing to do is ask the tech for their first name (if they do not introduce themselves when they answer your call, ask for their name). Tell the technician what problem(s) you're having. Refer to your "fact sheet" for the information. If you can't understand the person you're talking to because of a heavy accent, then POLITELY ask to speak to another technician.

8. Level 1 is responsible for running all customers through a basic troubleshooting process. The maximum call length they are to have is 15 minutes. In most cases, the Level 1 Tech is not experienced in computer troubleshooting, and will be running you through a pre-defined script of troubleshooting steps. Level 1 is not allowed to suggest measures that are not in the script, so don't demand anything from them! If you followed the steps above, you'll be able to tell the tech that you've already done some of these, instead of wasting time on the phone to perform each step. This troubleshooting process, considered to be bothersome by some, is necessary to eliminate simple problems. The Level 1 Techs ensure the more experienced Level 2 techs are only working on more complex issues.

9. If the level 1 tech cannot solve your problem, you can ask that your issue be escalated to level 2. At this time, ensure that you obtain a trouble ticket number. This number will allow you to resume the troubleshooting process or inquire further if the problem persists and you have to call tech support again.

10. Make sure you are given a timeframe as to when the problem will be rectified. If the problem is not resolved by that time, call tech support back and use your trouble ticket number.

11. Do not agree to reinstall Windows or perform other drastic measures if asked. Speak to a supervisor and demand proper solutions.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • We are having a nightmare right now. Bell was suppose to make changes on Tues to our business connections (phone and internet), never showed, got a message from a machine they would come on Wed. (a tech. was not necessary to come in the store???). Never heard from our phone line is dead, our internet is dead and we cann't get through to someone who can help,. We called tech support twice, they put us on hold and never came back. How are we to feel about this support when this happens. Our problem is: we were with Rogers and they were changing from analog to digital (or reverse) and because we have a roll over line, they claim they cann't do it, so we went to Bell and they told us no problem, they would be out Tues. to make the changes.) Because we don't understand the tech. part of it, we are in a dilemma and are loosing business (we are a retail, giftware/art gallery store). Worst thing is we are having an artist coming to our store for an event on this Sat. and now cann't get calls or emails as well from our customers. This is a mess, any suggestions. If someone could call my husbands (Craig Archibald) cell phone at 1-905-432-4047, maybe we could get some answers

    2010-11-11 06:33:58

  • I am a Bell level 1 tech and I thank you for this info, but...we are not mindless script reading robots. Every issue is unique and we treat it that way. Sure we have steps we need to follow but if they are followed correctly the issue is usually resolved.

    2010-03-16 06:34:04

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-10-02 14:35:38

If you notice that there is a problem inside Bell's network (packet loss at a router within Bell's network ONLY) then have copies of your line quality tests handy and call this number:

Bell's High-Speed Service Centre

Do not use this number for Technical Support. This is for Bell network problems ONLY.

Likewise, do not call 310-SURF with reports of bad routers. They will not be able to do anything.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • This number is no longer in service. When dialed it says, the number has been changed and that it'll cost $2.99 to get the new one. Seriously? That's fucked up.

    2014-02-07 12:19:09

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2003-07-26 22:10:06

Sometimes when you run a traceroute, the first or second line will list a router with a domain name that doesn't match the city you are in. E.g. You are in Toronto but the router's name mentions Quebec City (i.e.

This is not a problem! Sympatico regularily rearranges their IPs, but the English names for these IPs don't always change along with them. Therefore, ignore the router name. If you're in Toronto, you will always be routing to Toronto, period. If you are having latency issues, look elsewhere.

by quanta See Profile edited by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2003-07-26 22:09:55

Check your router's configuration page and ensure you have not put anything into the field that identifies your connection name or ISP. If you do not leave this field blank, your router may not login.

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2004-08-31 22:22:44

You may experience poor service during periods of rain (or even several hours after the rain has stopped), or in the spring when all the snow melts quickly. A common reason for this is that the wires carrying your telephone service are wet someplace. For example, a junction box on a pole or a manhole underground can fill with water or become damp. Or lines underground are slightly damaged with the sheathing (the covering) over the wire is broken, exposing the copper inside to moisture. When your lines get wet, service degrades greatly. Your modem is having trouble maintaining a certain level of sync, so it's dropping back to the best speed it can maintain. In some cases, your speeds might be slower than dial-up or you might lose sync completely! Over a period of time, sometimes hours or even days, the water drains away or dries out and service returns to normal.

This can be troubling to fix, since in dry conditions there is no problem. So you need to be prepared to call as soon as the problem starts. If you wait until it goes away, Bell will not be able to find the problem as easily, if at all. Use a payphone, cellphone, or neighbour's phone if you need to. If you can call using your own phone, the operator may notice your voice quality is indeed poor and (hopefully) get you help right away.

There are two ways to approach Bell about this:
•Call 310-SURF and have them dispatch a tech to investigate. They may or may not dispatch a technician, depending on workload and their opinion of your situation.
•Call 611 if your voice service is poor (static, poor signal or sound volume, etc) and have them dispatch a tech to investigate. Since the quality of voice service is regulated by the government through the CRTC, Bell has to fix these problems right away. And when they fix your voice service, often the solution will fix your internet service, too. The CRTC does not regulate the quality of service for internet.

Remember this problem will probably not get fixed with the first call. Be persistent and you'll have this problem fixed.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • I spent two summers where during every rain event the DSL connection would disconnect for 30-60 seconds and then reconnect. After getting through the level 1, 2 and 3 phone support the field techs were dispatched and they were great. They changed the pair my phone was on all the way back to the CO. This, however, didn't help. I was ready to give up but during another rain event called and got connected to someone in St Catherines or thereabouts who listened to my sad tale of woe and suggested the modem be replaced. She agreed the modem was likely not the issue but suggested everything else had been changed and "how could this hurt?". End result -- my problems went away. None of us know why, we also don't care.

    2011-12-30 14:14:56

  • This can be extremely irrating becuse it never seems to be an isue when the tech gets there. What you can do is fast track it. Bell provides bsw (burried service wire) to its cusomers for free when building a new home. You could call the burried wire wire departmnt directly, be polite this is not a well published number and generally deal with internal issues, I dont believe they have to take our call but do. You can order a span of wire place it to your pedestal and ask them if they can send a tech out to connect it (sometimes within a day or 2) The number is 1-877-752-7447

    2008-01-01 19:50:26

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-11-11 06:48:28

The bell 2wire 2701HG-G modem has a page with the modems dsl line statistics
It's a text only page but it has the line statistics and other info
Is the url for this page if the default ip address has not been changed
Save the page to your desktop as a text file posting the contents of the entire page is not needed
Scroll down the page looking for a section of text like this

The text above is only part of the line stats

There is other info at the bottom of the page
Below is a example of what to look for its the last 15 lines of text at the bottom of the page
Each of the numbers is a maximum attainable sync rate figure checked at 5 minute intervals
The modem will record up to about 5 days of samples if the modem is not rebooted.
You can find the current download sync rate using the twdsm.rate_net_ds = figure

Statistics for the upstream are near the top of the page
You'll need to multiply the figure displayed by 4000 for actual rates

For the upstream sync rate look for this text:

For the maximum attainable upstream sync rate look for this text:

The output power levels are also in the top area
Look for this text:

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Can you connect with on teksavvy ?

    2012-02-09 18:21:16

  • Today my 2701HG-G Gateway from Bell got a nice new (from what I can tell, is and always was BSD based) firmware update (Now at version, and this url is no longer available. Might need to update this FAQ. Cheers o/

    2012-01-14 06:18:23

by wayjac See Profile edited by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2010-03-10 21:07:07