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ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
reply to dave006

Re: AT&T U-verse FTTP speeds, why do they limit fibre to 18/1.5?

Thanks, dave006, this is probably one of the most informative replies I got from AT&T so far. How come noone knows that AT&T (and whatever it used to call itself prior to the last rebranding) was installing FTTP since 1998? Are all, or almost all, new residential housing prewired with fibre since 1998?

Anyhow, this still doesn't solve my problem or answer my question: why am I denied purchasing something that will surely improve my experience, and that is still technologically possible?

Let me tell you a story:
I used to have 512Kbps ADSL with Sprint in NC, which was the fastest they offered. After a while and some price changes, they started offering 1.5Mbps for a price cheaper than what I was paying for 512; I was upgraded to 1.5 through sales, but they have a habit of leaving people not fully capable of 1.5 on the old 512 profile at DSLAM/whatever.
Well, long story short, but I researched the question with multiple sources (including all the line statistics offered by the modem), contacted ZyXEL support for my Prestige modem to discuss the issue, etc etc. I came to the conclusion that the line was absolutely capable of higher speeds (just not full 1.5 with 1.7 sync), it was all technologically possible (unlike they insisted that it was not — either 512 or 1.5, with nothing in between), and I insisted to be put on a higher profile that I was already paying for.
Well, guess what? After a dozen of attempts, and talking with a number of support folks through all means possible, I finally got in contact with someone who could make the change. He told me if he does the change, my line will become very unstable etc etc. I took full responsibility. Guess what happened? My ZyXEL modem started syncing with 1.2Mbps (the maximum possible on the line, my/modems prior estimate about line potential ("relative capacity occupation") was even lower than that), the line got much faster, upstream totally faster, and I was consistently getting more than twice the speed than what I was getting prior. Was it stable? Heck yeah! Why would it not be, that's why all those seamless downgrade retrain and error correction protocols are there for! It was a brand new stable line in a new apartment complex, merely being very far away from the CO. Working at the lowest noise margin and above 100% relative capacity occupation. Yes, what's wrong with that? Yes, it was absolutely stable; I had many days between connection resets / complete retrains (it was long time ago, don't recall any more details or technical terms).
Funny thing: even after it all worked for weeks before I moved out, and I occasionally shared my success on here at dslreports, Sprint's / Embarq's unofficial employees in this forum in my threads continued to insist that they know their network better, that people paying for 1.5 can (and should always under circumstances such as mine) be artificially limited to 512 without their knowledge that they could as well be reliably receiving higher speeds. I.e., according to Sprint, everyone should be below 80% relative capacity occupation for the 1.5 line, and due to Sprint not supporting anything between 512 and 1.5 (what?), everyone is strongly advised against any line provisioning with more than 80% relative capacity occupation! Yeah, right! I had 102%, and going strong for days!

What am I trying to say? I believe in technology, and I don't believe in artificial limitations. Even if your equipment is absolutely setup at 30/3.6 software limit that cannot be changed for unspecified reasons (still no word on what the limit exactly is all about or where exactly is it at), I'm absolutely certain that I can get "free" speed improvements should I be put on the 24/3 HSI profile, away from 18/1.5. I will not give up until the commercials are honoured. I demand getting my promised upgrade gift card, demand being charged more monthly, and demand being provisioned up to what I'd be charged. There is no technical limitations that I can't get at least somewhat higher speeds with my line.

dave006

join:1999-12-26
Boca Raton, FL
OK, good luck with that attitude.

It is not techniically possible given your current configuration, you will have to wait for the upgrade or better yet consider moving to a better served location.

Dave

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
Away from the largest city in the prosperous northern California, to the province like Brigham City, UT with UTOPIA and symmetrical 50Mbps/50Mbps fibre for 77 dollars monthly? I'm not that extreme, but Sebastopol, CA with 1Gbps/100Mbps Sonic Fusion for 69 dollars sounds interesting, I'll see how it ends up being.

Well, I meant "kindly demand" above. Dave006, I'm grateful for your help, I doubt you represent the higher management that makes these questionable decisions, and I agree that people might not like my attitude as above, but how would you feel in my situation, with having fibre in your closet in a major metropolis and being offered broadband speeds below those you'd find in second world countries?

When will the upgrade happen for fibre customers? Will AT&T offer competitive 1Gbps speeds anytime before 10Gbps comes in into our home networks and takes over? (Read, "anywhere within the next 5 or even 10 years?") I'm being serious here, I don't understand why I can't have cheap symmetric 1Gbps here in San Jose today, without spending a fortune.

P.S. No offense, but "it is not technically possible" were the words I kept being told by Sprint/Embarq back in the day. I just searched this forum, and found out in my 5-year-old thread someone even continued to insist that it was not technically possible to have an ADSL speed higher than 512K if the line didn't support full 1.5M provisioning (with 1.7M sync). Sprint's anonymous employee volunteer continued with such claims even after I successfully had a very stable 1.2M sync when against their regular practice I was finally placed onto the 1.5M provisioning profile, which was supposed to make my far-away line very unstable. 'just saying. ^_^

Don't get me wrong, Dave, I know from your posts above you have good intentions. Thing is, I get these emails from AT&T every now and then, offering me to upgrade my internet, yet when I arrive to the web-page, the 24/3 option is disabled, and no options, other than a downgrade from 18/1.5, are available. I call the sales department, and they keep on insisting that I live too far from the CO / VRAD / whatever. I tell them I have all fibre in a metropolis, and distance doesn't matter, yet many of them would still insist that I live too far, or some even claim that everyone has fibre (failing to realise that the majority of customers are on the copper). One former-tech/now-sales guy claimed that even though I have FTTH, some other parts of the network between me and AT&T are still through copper, thus the limit; yeah, right! Even the U-verse guy that came to connect the 2Wire RG to the ONT insisted that even with FTTH, distance matters (and he was like more than 200% certain of that). After all of this, how can you expect advanced customers to have any confidence in the company as a whole where so many of the employees are misinformed? I'm not suggesting that everyone is, and I know it's not likely their own fault, but I hope you get my point. I'd really just like to be offered at least the advertised service — 24/3 — and call it a day.

In summary, I'm very interested in learning more about the architecture and the technologies involved, and what makes the whole thing work (or not), and on why exactly is it deemed impossible to honour the ads in the current configuration.

Best regards,
Constantine.

dave006

join:1999-12-26
Boca Raton, FL
said by ConstantineM:

..... Even the U-verse guy that came to connect the 2Wire RG to the ONT insisted that even with FTTH, distance matters (and he was like more than 200% certain of that)....

Actually the U-verse guy is correct, even with FTTP distance matters.

It is true that fiber is not as distance sensitive as copper for HSIA, distance still matter even with fiber. Fiber distribution segments are only good to a total of 12.4 miles (20 km) from the Central Office (CO). This is the max distance between the OLT and the ONT. Just a simple FDF cross-connect in the CO or the VRAD is a loss of about 0.3dB. This equates to about 3000 feet of fiber. Now add a splitter and your ONT termination and the available distance drops quickly...

Dave

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
Yes, Dave, of course that guy's right! In the middle of San Jose, I must surely be too far away from the CO! Hey, that huge AT&T building / tower in downtown San Jose (next to The Blank Club and Greyhound), which apparently might be the one famous for an employee trying to clean up the fridge from rotten food (google it), is a whole 10 minute bike ride away from my place! Too far, man, too far! Wish I lived closer! Oh, wait, lemme guess, that building is probably too far away from the CO, too! Man!

I'm actually curious: how's your internet at work, guys? Do you have Gigabit Ethernet with full-speed Internet access, or are you stuck with 2Wire modems and 18Mbps fibre with 1.5Mbps upload speeds? What about the upper management? I recall them going on record that current AT&T offerings are more than enough for everyone. Do they also enjoy 1.5Mbps upload speeds in their office and at home?

dave006

join:1999-12-26
Boca Raton, FL
said by ConstantineM:

Yes, Dave, of course that guy's right! In the middle of San Jose, I must surely be too far away from the CO!....

I never indicated that you were "too far" away from the CO for 24/3 HSIA service. We covered that issue already above based on the only FTTP service profile currently available on U-verse, you are limited to a max of 18/1.5 HSIA.

I just explained that distance still matters even with fiber. Just a thought, since you mentioned a 10 minute bike ride, you do understand that we are not talking about physical distance?

In the case of fiber technology we are talking about the equivalent distance as a loss of db signal from the OLT to the ONT.

Dave

ConstantineM

join:2011-09-02
San Jose, CA
Yes, of course, it's not the straight line distance, and that AT&T tower downtown probably doesn't act as a CO, either.

Anyhow. Still no word on how come FTTP is limited to 30/3.6 link layer provisioning. What's holding it from the 32/5 that is available for FTTN?

WhyMe420
Premium
join:2009-04-06
kudos:1
said by ConstantineM:

Anyhow. Still no word on how come FTTP is limited to 30/3.6 link layer provisioning. What's holding it from the 32/5 that is available for FTTN?

AT&T has old/crappy fiber equipment and they are too cheap to replace it as FTTP customers only account for 10% or less of their consumer base. They don't think the ROI would be worth it and their shareholders still think dial-up is a viable option so in order to maximize profits and please shareholders they don't "waste" any money on FTTP customers as shareholders already think that 18/1.5 is "fast."