Re: DSL installation explained from start to finish Heck of a report zorch! That clears up a few more holes that I had even though you are not with Bell Atlantic. Thanks again!!!!
Good overview Zorch!
Seems like another target audience for this write up might be the Sales and Marketing groups at many of the DSL providers. Heck, they could even share this information with prospective customers before charging their credit cards!
Whoops! That might affect subscriber counts, IPO prospects, executive stock options.... Scratch that suggestion!
Thanks for taking the time for this great amount of input. I'm sure many appreciate this article!
Keep it up!
reply to Anon
Wow, reading this article really scared me...
But I am happy that I found out why it will take me about a month to get my IDSL installed, and I know that there can be a problem coming up anytime. I hope nothing will happen and I will get my DSL installed and running!! Please!
Very nice article.
There are to many ways DSL with a CLEC + ISP can go wrong. I do not see this possibilty happening near as much with cable internet service, or with ILEC + ISP/Telco.
It makes me wonder about the viability of wholesale DSL providers.
I don't want to spook anyone considering DSL as these experiences and delays are not typical. Many people are able to undergo the entire process in a two week period of time, and sometimes you read their reviews here. The people that call me however are the ones having problems so naturally those are the calls that I focus on, and the article is to educate the consumer as to what is happening when you encounter a delay. I try to educate the people I talk to on a daily basis and this is an extension of that.
Overall DSL is a great product and it is well worth the frustrations. Once you have DSL you will never consider going back to a modem.
Now where cable is concerned, if you have the equipment and you know how to install it then a cable company could/should have you up and running in 15 minutes since they own everything involved in the process and only a software change is really necessary on their end.
Falls Church, VA
I'm sure many readers will appreciate the explanation. The fact that many people actually get thru the whole process and get up and running in less than a month with minimal issues (me included)is amazing. Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge of the process with us consumers.
DrTCPYours trulyPremium,ExMod 1999-04
Round Rock, TX
My $0.02 regarding DMT upstream/downstream frequency usage mentioned in the article:
DMT uses echo cancellation. As a result upstream/downstream frequencies may overlap. That's the modem can use the same frequency to transmit and recive at the same time. The difference, is that downstream frequencies extend much higher than upstream frequencies.
Some implementations of DMT choose to do away with echo cancellation and separate upstream/downstream frequencies. But, again this is just an implementation issue. To satisfy full rate (8Mbps) downstream, upstream and downstream freqencies must overlap and echo cancellation must be used by DSLAM and modem.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to explain all that. My DSL installation finally happened after 4 install dates and about 3 months of waiting, but I can now appreciate the "horror stories" of other users who could wait even longer and never even get it done.
I only wish that ISPs wouldn't push sales on areas which they know as repeasted trouble spots that are bound to cause nothing but frustration. But that's the way the business world works.
Thanks a lot Zorch!
While I can apreciate the detailed explanation, I feel one thing is very wrong here. In several instances you make mention that "Thats the way it is" and "Cant do anything about it". This unfortunatly is unwillingness from a company to get itself involved. If you have a service agreement with a telco for reselling DSL lines and such, I cannot beleive that in all that there is a clause that says "The Telco will do what it wants, and the ISP has no say over it". I would never involve myself in a business like that, and my experince with DSL so far (2 years, 1 month and 23 days TRYING to get it so far) has shown me that people just dont care anymore. I decided to see what the alternatives mkight be, and in less than 15 days I had a T1 setup, installed and configured from a company that does indeed care about getting things done.
nice tech details though.
reply to Anon
Hmmmm. I can summarize this article in a few lines:
1. It's not our fault;
2. There's nothing we can do;
3. You're own your own;
4. We don't work well with others.
Now here is an industry where some mergers might be a good thing. Oh wait, that's Pac Bell....
reply to Anon
You have to understand that the telco is an unwilling third party here. Sure they are mandated to provide access to their lines but that doesn't mean they have to do it well. They would rather sell you their own internet service so selling you a line instead can be viewed as being against their best interests.
Just realize that the main reason that people go elsewhere for DSL is that they don't want to deal with a telco as an ISP.
You also neglect to mention how much the T1 costs, the additional hourly fees, the line conditioning charges, the contract duration and the ISP fees. Even if these are rolled into one monthly fee they will add up to some pretty huge numbers that makes the service out of reach for the standard consumer and very profitable for the telco.
A full T1 is essentially 24 phone lines, only good for 12K feet, and requires extensive line conditioning. The telcos, in servicing a T1, not only return your calls, but they probably say thank you and hold the door open for you. DSL is much simpler, easier and cheaper to implement. A dry copper line is probably the cheapest service you can buy from a telco and probably has the lowest priority of all whereas a T1 will use the same line, conditioned, to a phone switch where it counts as 24 lines (+1 for signaling data). Even if it goes to a different service provider for internet services only the telco will still be collecting fees in installing and maintaining the line.
In a free market economy things would be different, you could punish a poorly performing company by not buying their services, but how are you supposed to punish a telco? You have to use their lines and there is no way around it.
Allow me also to restate that these are not typical cases. They happen to many people, but many telcos and technicians are reliable and responsible about their work and they do their work as well as possible.
Brooklyn BA Horror Story Murphy's got me by the short hairs for sure. It's been 75 days since the splitter was installed, line tested good to 7 Mbps, and solid sync established; and I have not ONCE been able to logon to the account setup server. I've had my "profile" rebuilt again and again, and FIVE trouble tickets closed without finishing the job or even checking if I had connectivity. My "best friend" at Broadband has been very good about getting back to me -- he even sent my case to some kind of Internal Affairs-type team that investigates when the CO repeated closed trouble tickets without fixing the problem. Can you imagine that is such a common problem at BA that they have a team that does nothing else? It's a damn good thing I don't NEED DSL. I'm starting to have wild Rambo-like fantasies about invading the Bridge Street CO and knocking heads or whatever it takes to just fix it.
Re: DSL installation explained from start to finish sum it up in three words: anger, denial and acceptance!
I experienced confusion at the time of order, delivery, expediting why I didn't get my moded/self install kit when I was supposed to, bad line filters, instaling an external filter, re-running cable throughout the house and then finially...fixing a bridge-tap 2000' away and a new card in the C.O.
luckily I had a very committed tech who was like a pit-bull with an attitude. I'm 768/128 and reliable. I can really appreciate the indepth inside story on dsl, having experienced it firsthand. I'm told the good news is that 95% of the time, the self install kits actually work without all the headaches.
reply to Anon
you are full of it, and I dought you are even associated with anyone, that article IS the biggest bunch of crap I ever seen in my life, as one person already said, you are just trying to make excuses for the delays and make people feel like there is nothing they can do, get a grip zorch and quit making up bull***t, this forum has had way better intelligent articles than this one and better written. WE DO have choices and there ARE things we can do to change the methods, so get off your little bitty soapbox and acting you are an authority on the subject, you are really spitting it out your ass fruit. usukok
Many businesses reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Whether the telcos reserve that right or even have it is a mystery to me.
In true honesty, what can you possibly do? The telco can simply tell you that after careful testing, you don't qualify and terminate your order. What can you do now?
I'm sorry, but the telco owns the lines. If you want to use it, then you'll have to go by their rules, settle for what they gave you, or be stuck with nothing at all.
I found the DSL installation explanation to be very useful and informative. I now understand the possiblities of why my DSL may be delayed. I'd rather have it later than never at all. Thanks for the info.
reply to Anon
The negative/bad issues mentioned in your article are all too common with DSL installation in my area that is serviced by Southwestern Bell. I discovered that I was about 200 feet or so outside the 17,500 foot limit, and now see how much grief I was spared. Ironically, Road Runner chose me as one the beta testers for the Houston area a year ago. You're right: 15 minute installation. It cost 100.00 and the first month service was free. At first I was limited to 500Kbps. As of late, I've hit 2-3000Kbps. All for 40.00 a month over my regular cable bill.
And I'm the guy that's pissed off at your employer.
I understand that the reseller (ISP) is the small guy in the tandem of three, but as I said many times, I have a DSL account with a reseller not with a provider or a Telco. Let's do this: when my speed is crappy and tech support is blaming it on total different issues just to distract the customer from the real problem -CORPORATE INCOMPETENCE (they asked me if I have fluorescent lights in the house, give me a break!! they have a full list of them by now) or when they disconnect my copper pair from the CO, "We thought nobody was using it, oops!"I will tell them that they can't not charge my credit card monthly because my employer didn't make a profit therefore he didn't pay me this month so I can not pay my DSL bill.
Get a freaking conscience and start assuming responsibilities as an ISP, I don't care what Telco or DSL provider do or says, it's crunch time, you are responsible for my line and service. Bottom line I pay you and I want service, real service for $50 bucks not the crap you give me now 95kbps-down/14kpps-up when it's supposed to be 1.5M/386(best effort).
What I know for sure it's that the customer has it's own fault, like me, I went to Earthlink/Mindsping at the time 'cause they had the best value for the money and now I will not go anywhere else after so much hassle that I went thru. I'm not sure there is any decent ISP and if there is I apologize and can I please have a link to them
Why the customer has his own fault? You might ask, well as we all know everything revolves around the mighty buck, we don't subscribe they don't make any dough; stockholders jump at their neck.
I know it sounds extreme and it's hard to achieve but I don't think as customers we have other choices (unless your uncle is the CTO of an ISP,he,he,he).
It's bad PR to have a bunch of customers drooping service on you. Forget it! that will never happen .At least flooding their mail servers with complaints. But that just me, I've been wrong in the past also.
At least I did my part:
"Do you think I'm funny? Do you?How about you?Yeah?
So what am I now a f*****g clown?"
reply to Anon
Re: DSL installation explained from start to finis A couple things to note about the ISP in this situation:
-they make the least money of the three
-they spend the most money on support/CS
-they handle the billing
-they reimburse for outages out of pocket
It's not really the best position to be in, but it's the only direction to go in for now. In some regions, partnering with a reseller is your only choice unless you have enough VC to go and colo at the COs. And if you do that, you also need a VERY good legal team to sue your ILEC occasionally for not giving you what you pay for.
It's all pretty glum, but that's how it is at this point. Line sharing should help things somewhat, in that if the ILEC tries to yank your DSL line for other purposes, they kill their own dialtone as well
It will be interesting when cable plants are opened to competing ISPs...
Re: DSL installation explained from start to finish I appreciate the effort you expended to review the subject from your point of view. I agree that the problem here is that the Telcos have no competition. As providers of the line, they are forced to cooperate with the competition (outside DSL and ISP providers). As such they have little incentive to provide excellent service to you or to the customer (unless of course they are the ISP &/or DSL provider). I also appreciate the frustration you must feel at not being able to control the inner workings of the telco, who we all rely upon to do their part, while having to interface with the customer who thinks you do have that control.
This technology is in its infancy, and in 5 - 10 years, I predict that infrastructural problems like the ones faced today will appear archaic and passe. We, as relatively early adopters of this new technology, are going to pay the most in terms of time, hassle, frustration, and dollars, in order to experience the best technology has to offer. It really is true that you get what you pay for, and some of what you "pay" to get DSL is the struggle.
There is probably a silent majority of consumers who get up and running without too much hassle (myself included), and for who, all of the behind the scenes activities are completely transparent (as they should be). The efforts of persons like yourself go unrecognized in that regard. Your article was very helpful to me to understand all of that. Thanks.