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navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Should I drop POTS/DSL and move to U-Verse?

Enquiry here from Madison, Wis:

I've had regular phone service and DSL (promised 3.0 Mbps, having some issues with that right now, but that's another story.) for the last 5 years -- had DSL in Illinois for a number of years before that with AT&T/Ameritech as well. I avoided the U-Verse "hard sell" (door-to-door? Really?) a couple of years ago because it seemed like they were trying "too hard".

Now, however, between some periodic DSL connection issues and a desire to get greater bandwidth (interested in online streaming video, etc), I've been considering U-Verse. Additionally, with the advent of more cell phone service (using that for long distance), our use of a home phone is dropping steadily. I'm not yet at the point to drop home phone service entirely, but it's just not as useful as it once was.

I pay about $95/month for home phone and the aforementioned DSL service. For U-Verse Phone 250 and Internet Max looks like it would cost me about $75/mo for a year, then rising a bit more after that -- need to see how much, but it looks like I'd pay the same I do now, for theoretically four times the (promised) speed.

TV is a non-issue. We use rabbit ears. (Want the Internet bandwidth to buy some online streaming soccer packages, but that's about all.)

My questions:

1) Any significant disadvantages to moving to U-Verse?

2) If there are any issues with my current DSL line, will that somehow translate into problems with U-Verse?

3) If I make the leap to U-Verse, is there anything in particular I should be looking out for? A particular modem to try to get? Problems that are common?

If it makes any difference, the DSL modem attaches to an Apple Time Capsule which acts as a WiFi router.

I'd appreciate any opinions...thanks!



Forosnai

join:2011-09-30
kudos:2

1. Any switch has growing pains. You'll be without internet for a few days and will have to learn new equipment.
2. Yes if you do a self install. If your current DSL line has problems, and it's problems with home wiring, then getting a new home run from the NID to the modem would be a smart move.
3. It's not a leap really, mostly the same copper, different type of DSL signal and equipment at both ends. Wouldn't hurt to find out if your 'Uverse' is going to be VDSL2 or ADSL2+.
If you use a time capsule then the equipment really wouldn't matter, you would just using it for authentication. Posts on this forum or at forums.att.com would help you set it up.


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Thanks! Is there a simple way to find out if it'll be VDSL2 or ADSL2+?

Agree on the home wiring. I keep thinking it may be the wiring, but it's often turned out to be an issue on the AT&T side of the NID or with the DSL modem itself.



ianonmus

@sbcglobal.net

If you go to at&t's website and create an order for U-verse check to see if Uverse TV service is available. If TV is available it is VDSL2. If there is no TV service then you are on ADSL2+ which is limited to the 18/1.5 speed. If no "Uverse" is available at your location and only regular DSL is available, at&t doesn't care about you and they can't wait to get rid of you cause they hate you and want you to feel bad about it.


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

I guess I should feel loved, because TV service appears to be available.

Sounds like people think that this move would most likely make sense. Any comments on whether I should be angling for a particular type of modem? My current DSL has burned through a couple of Motorola 2210s, but my ancient Speedstream 5260 (replaced because of "occasional flakiness") is still pressed into service as a backup when the 2210s fail...would prefer something reliable.



ILpt4U
Premium
join:2006-11-12
Lisle, IL
kudos:9
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

If you are getting Internet + VoIP your modem options are fairly limited.

On single pair VDSL2, you'll get a 2Wire/Pace 3600, which you buy up front for $100

On pair bonded VDSL2, you'll get a 2Wire/Pace i3812 iNID mounted to your house, which is rented from AT&T


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Thanks! Is there an easy way to tell single-pair vs pair-bonded?

Also, if I want to retain the option of adding TV at some later point (unlikely, but you never know), does that make a difference?


marvinfinnle

join:2004-12-02
Torrance, CA

Just thought I'd chime in here with my own experience coming from a similar DSL environment:
I switched to UVerse about 1.5 months ago, and had a fairly good experience. Due to a mis-communication, my self install modem (2wire HGV3600) was returned prior to delivery by UPS. So UVerse care scheduled an on-site install due to the time involved for another shipment. I signed up for the internet only "MAX" service (12/1.5) since I have DISH. When the technician arrived, he installed a splitter and mentioned that it's a good idea NOT to have the modem and a phone on the same pair. He proceeded to install a 2-jack surface mount box on my interior wall in my office (the room with the modem), plugging my office phone into one of the jacks, and the modem into the other. Since I have the splitter in the outside box, I wouldn't need any of the DSL filters that I had previously installed on all my interior phone jacks. Even though the online instructions mention using the DSL filters and plugging in the modem to the data port of the filter, the tech told me that that configuration can cause problems, so that's why he recommended using the second pair that was available in the office to connect the modem with the outside splitter directing the UVerse signal only to that pair.

The speed is great, giving me an effective download rate of 11.5mbs and upload of 1.42mbs.

I did start having some problems a bit later in the day after he left, and I installed the UVerse Realtime program to visualize what was happening. This basically reads the connection information from the modem and provides some helpful insights about what is happening. I found that I would get episodes of uncorrectable errors and disconnections at many times throughout the day, but my profile was low enough that it really never bothered my use of the connection. However, I researched what was happening and found that it might be power-line related issues. Apparently, the modems are very sensitive to noise coming through the power line, so I purchased an ISOBAR from Tripplite, and I can say now that this one item completely eliminated ANY errors that I had. Previously, I had the modem plugged into a low cost surge suppressor, and this, it turned out, was the source of the problem. On plugging the modem into the wall directly, my errors decreased dramatically, but still there were occasional glitches. Once I plugged the modem into the ISOBAR, there were absolutely NO errors over many, many days. So I can certainly recommend the Isobar.

All in all, I'm glad I converted as my DSL, like yours, continued to have significant problems while all the techs who came out said my line was good. Go figure!



Forosnai

join:2011-09-30
kudos:2
reply to navsaria

If you think you 'might' want to add the tv later, and have a decent credit score, your better off just ordering TV from the get go, because you'll get a full tech install for free and a leased modem instead of having to pony up $100 for a purchased modem that won't support tv later.
You can just cancel the TV part before 30 days and keep the TV ready modem at $6.00 per month lease.
Don't worry about the bonded pair stuff just yet, that type of install would only be used as a backup measure if ATT calculated your address wrong.


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Thanks to everyone for their advice. Looks like I'll probably be making the jump at some point in the next few months. I appreciate it!



maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:1
reply to navsaria

said by navsaria:

1) Any significant disadvantages to moving to U-Verse?

The biggest difference is that because of the technology used, you have about 15ms higher ping time. This is not an issue for most users, unless you are a hardcore gamer playing FPS type games.

2) If there are any issues with my current DSL line, will that somehow translate into problems with U-Verse?

In theory, the installer should check the line, replace parts of the line as needed, and deliver a working product, so in theory it should all work as advertised. That being said, there could be line issues if the copper is old. If there is old copper inside the home walls from the point of entry (where it drops off the pole to your house) to the actual port in your house where the equipment is connected, that could add some problems. But again: The installer will replace any cabling as needed when they come do the install. They pulled all new cables inside my house.

3) If I make the leap to U-Verse, is there anything in particular I should be looking out for? A particular modem to try to get? Problems that are common?

If you are going to get U-Verse voice service as well, or TV service, you have no choice but renting your equipment. If you have DSLAM Internet only, you can buy a modem I believe. However, I do think it depends on the distance, and what type of VDSL2+ is installed.

If it makes any difference, the DSL modem attaches to an Apple Time Capsule which acts as a WiFi router.

You can still do that, even if you rent the equipment. You can put the 2Wire modem in DMZ+ mode and use your current Apple router.
--
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!"


billy

@sbcglobal.net
reply to navsaria

just a heads up, in case you don`t know, once you switch your
dsl to uverse, there is no going back if you are not happy, you
are stuck. my advice is be sure, real sure before you switch


Austinloop

join:2001-08-19
Austin, TX
kudos:1
reply to Forosnai

I would disagree with being without internet for a few days, more like a few hours. I had internet and TV installed, didn't install VoIP because my alarm system doesn't play well with VoIP, at least U-Verse phone.

The Internet was down from the time the cross connect was made at the VRAD and cross box until the installer finished doing his wiring to the modem/router location and connected the modem/router to the line back to the VRAD. I was probably down around 2 hours.



ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to navsaria

If you are slightly adventurous, as cheap as I am, and using home phone service less and less, consider porting voice to a provider such as Callcentric or voip.ms and using the OBi110 or a SIP DECT cordless.

Then you should check out buying the plain old Motorola/Netopia 2310 for $75 on eBay and skipping the AT&T modem. Although it's slightly cheaper, the main advantage is you don't have to work around all the add-ons of the 3600HGV. It's more like the Speedstream. I suspect if you do that you will have to place a phone order.

If I didn't already have the 3600, that is what I would do.

»www.ebay.com/itm/Motorola-Netopi···c49ab521
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Good evening. Wanted to share my experience...

Ended up deciding to jump to U-Verse after all the very helpful advise here. Decided not to mess around with the "possibility" of TV and just go phone/Internet.

U-Verse self-install kit/date arrived Monday (two days ago). Set it all up...flashing red "broadband" light. No go. Called around 9:30pm to support, who told me my service wasn't active yet. Pointed out it was after 8pm, which two robocalls and two e-mail messages (and the equipment boxes) had all told me to NOT INSTALL UNTIL 8PM. He said that they stagger them so as to not overwhelm the system. (Really? There's that many activations in a single day? Whatever.)

Still nothing in the AM. Called in, they said it was active but something was clearly not working and I'd need a tech visit. Couldn't get the tech out until tonight. Took him two hours, but as he said: "everything that could go wrong felt like it went wrong"

o Very loose connection at the box on the pole, which would apparently kill U-Verse but would permit a tenuous DSL connection. This was probably what caused the previous DSL drops that I referenced in my original post. (Why this was never found by the previous tech is beyond me.)

o Bad connector on the new NID installed Monday (when I wasn't home) by the first U-Verse tech.

o Wiring up to my study was "six-pair" and wouldn't support U-Verse easily (although it still didn't work off a much newer wire because of the above reasons) -- we ended up relocating it (not a big deal).

Tech was also kind enough to do whatever that is to allow the phone jacks in the house to all have a dial tone. Hopefully I don't get hit with a large bill. (They never discussed a bill, and given I was paying for inside line maintenance on my previous wireline account for a number of years, I do feel like they "owe me".)

After two days of no home phone or Internet access, I'm loving the highest speeds I've ever had at home in my life! I'm paying for 12 down and getting about 10.5-11 Mbps. Not sure if I should have that looked into, but it's a heck of a lot better.

I do need to fiddle with my Airport / Time Capsule and the router to fix some Double NAT issues, but THAT I know how to deal with.

Thanks again for the advice, everyone -- hopefully this continues to have good performance and stability!



ILpt4U
Premium
join:2006-11-12
Lisle, IL
kudos:9
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

FYI is you want the Inside Wire Protection on your new U-Verse Account, you do have to call into Sales & have it added.

Since U-Verse is billed separately from DSL/POTS, Line Backer/Inside Wire Protection does not auto transfer over (if you do indeed want to have it going forward)


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Thanks. I think I had added it a few years ago anticipating that there might be some inside wiring issues, intending to drop it at some point. I will say that after talking to the tech today, I think we're actually in good shape.


navsaria

join:2005-03-05
Madison, WI

Wanted to provide one more followup on our migration to U-Verse. Soon after the above, we noted that we were getting frequent "drops" -- disconnections that were taking about 20-40 seconds to resolve. (Faster than the drops on DSL were previously, but still...) These disconnects were frequent, sometimes about every 2-3 minutes at certain times of the day. Not good.

One more tech visit -- this guy, unfortunately, was like almost all the others in that he didn't seem to know what was going on and was trying things almost randomly. He finally ended up switching us to another port on the VRAD ("Let's see if that helps.") I was somewhat skeptical, but whatever.

That was, however, what was needed. It took care of the issue, and we've had about 3 weeks of GREAT service:

DSL Link Errors

Collected for 20Days22:19:28

Since Current Current Time Since
Reset 24-hr int. 15-min int. Last Event
DSL
Link Retrains 0 0 0 0:00:00
DSL Training Errors 0 0 0 0:00:00
Training Timeouts 0 0 0 0:00:00
Loss of Framing Failures 0 0 0 0:00:00
Loss of Signal Failures 0 0 0 0:00:00
Loss of Power Failures 0 0 0 0:00:00
Loss of Margin Failures 0 0 0 0:00:00
Cum. Seconds w/Errors 5 0 0 11Days6:25:06
Cum. Sec. w/Severe Errors 0 0 0 0:00:00
Corrected Blocks 2656 126 0 18:08:48
Uncorrectable Blocks 13 0 0 11Days6:25:06
DSL Unavailable Seconds 46 0 0 20Days22:18:40

Having said all that, I'm unimpressed with AT&T's ability to figure out problems. Between the prior DSL issues plus this install, there were probably 3-4 separate problems, all on the AT&T side of the NID. The only tech that seemed to know what was going on was the guy who did the U-Verse install -- the others were very unimpressive. Shouldn't have taken 5-6 total tech visits (between the prior DSL and the U-Verse install) to figure these all out.

At any rate, we're finally happy with the service! Thanks to everyone here for their advice and help...


UverseTech

join:2012-08-04
Reviews:
·Charter

it will continue to get worse as the contract approaches in march of 2013. There are so many new or under trained techs quite frankly you were lucky to get a good install tech. That being said, the ports at each given crossbox are not equal, as each and every crossbox is not equal. I have went thru 3-4 swaps before finding a good port on a given box. I usually go to the last available port on the last card, if this does not work it is time for IR to fix the crossbox. It is usually a lack of twist in the back of the box causing all the problems because the tech that installed the box did not do his job correctly leaving everyone following to figure this out on their own. Happens all the time and the new techs dont have a chance of figuring this out.


DRNewcomb

join:2012-07-25
Long Beach, MS
reply to navsaria

It's a bit late now but I was going to mention that I kept my POTS service and added U-verse Internet in much the same way as DSL would be a bolt-on option to POTS service. The reason I did this is that my home alarm system is tied to the POTS.

One thing you might consider is dropping the ATT phone service and going with a 3rd party SIP service. You can save a lot of money doing that.

Also, avoid getting wed to ATT's e-mail (or any ISP's e-mail). It's a lot easier to jump ship when you don't have to change your e-mail address.