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chuck88

join:2012-07-27
Berkeley, CA

[Line Problem] Earthlink DSL connection issues

I been trying to resolve some frequent lost connection issues with my Earthlink/Covad DSL line over the last few days. I have a 6 meg. DSL line which was at first not connecting to the DSL line at all then later frequently dropping the connection and running well below the speed I should be getting even when it did have a connection. I've talked to tech support and they first has me remove the one year old Actiontec GT701D which they don't support and reconnected the ancient Speedstream modem I had been given when I first signed up for DSL like a decade ago. They told me, after doing a line test, that the Speedstream modem was frequently disconnecting and recontacting and suggested the modem might be the issue (it being too old) and that they would send me a new one and then go from there. While I wait for the new modem, I have since plugged in the Actiontec modem directly into the NID in order to look at the stats of the DSL line and I'm pretty sure it's not my inside wiring that issues as I get the same problem at the NID. I am also pretty sure it's not modem as the newer Actiontec modem works just fine on another known good DSL line. Based on the modem's status screen stats I suspect it's a problem in the wring to my house or with the DSL switch/splitter at the phone company exchange.

The following is the stats I get from connecting the modem directly to the NID:
VPI: 0
VCI: 35
DSL Mode Setting: MMODE
DSL Negotiated Mode: G.DMT
Connection Status: Showtime
Speed (down/up): 1792/288 kbps
ATM QoS class: UBR
Near End CRC Errors : 2093/0
Far End CRC Errors : 2081/0
Near End CRC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Far End CRC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Near End RS FEC : 55964/0
Far End RS FEC : 148/0
Near End FEC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Far End FEC(Within last 30 mins) : 0/0
Discarded Packets(Within last 30 mins): 0
SNR Margin (Downstream/Upstream): 1/6
Attenuation (Downstream/Upstream): 19/31

Now from what I've read the attenuation is acceptable for a 6 meg. DSL line but the SNR is well below the minimum of 6 downstream I should have in order to maintain a stable connection with few disconnects. Is that right? What might be causing my SNR margin stat to be bad but not my attenuation? Also, does that fact that my line speed is showing 1792/288 kbps suggest they have put me in "Safe mode" since I should getting 6 megs?

I plan to wait for the new modem from Earthlink and then go from there though I doubt I will get any different results given what I have tried so far. I'm thinking this probably means I will have to call Earthlink tech support back and they will have to issue trouble ticket with Covad to address the problem.

svgtom

join:2012-08-04
New York, NY
Chuck, I read your post with great interest. I'm also having the same problem. I have the 6.0 plan and usually averaged about 4.9. I now get variable download speeds, anywhere from 1.8 to 2.6. It changes constantly. I have been trying to resolve this with Earthlink for the past week and a half.

They claim there is no problem with the line and it had to be my modem which was 7 years old. I already tried swapping it with a different modem and had the same results. I reluctantly gave in and had them send me another modem. The replacement is a refurbished ZyXel modem and is a cheap piece of junk. You can find one on Ebay for 3.99.

Anyway, the new modem didn't resolve my issue which I knew it wouldn't. I called them back and after being put on hold for 30 minutes, was told it must be a line problem on my end. They want to send a technician to my home to check the line. I still don't think there is a line problem.

The thing is, on July 18th I my DSL service went out for about 2 hours. I'm fairly certain that the reduce speed started when service was restored. While speaking with Earthlink support (4 different phone calls) I repeatedly mentioned this but nothing was said about it. I very hesitant to make an appointment for a technician since I still think the issue is on their end. My gut feeling is that they have reduced my speed to the 3.0 plan even though they still claim I should be getting up to 6.0. Let me know how you make out.

I'm very suspicious now especially since this has also happened to someone else.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to chuck88
said by chuck88:

DSL Mode Setting: MMODE
DSL Negotiated Mode: G.DMT
Connection Status: Showtime
Speed (down/up): 1792/288 kbps

On a 6 Meg service connection your stats should show these values:

Speed (down/up): 6016/768 kbps

Your stats look like the 1.5 service plan sync rates. You should ask them to verify your line is properly configured for the 6.0 Speed Plan.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
Forgive me if I'm having an early senior moment, but the line stats don't look right to me. Maybe I'm just not used to looking at stats for RT-fed service, but they look fishy to me.

It might be a 6.0 line misconfigured as 1.5 [assuming the partner is the local telco and uses a RT]. Sync rates are about right for Verizon 1.5/256 service, attenuation is very low, per the stats, which suggests a RT-fed line.

It might also be a 6.0 line with major RF/noise issues. S/N is low and there are lots of errors on the line, per the stats. I can get my 6.0 line's stats to look like that by talking for a while on 160m.

My theory could be proven or debunked by using a portable AM radio.
»AT&T Midwest/Ameritech FAQ »My DSL loses sync regularly. How can I detect interference with an AM Radio?

chuck88

join:2012-07-27
Berkeley, CA
Ok, I installed the new Zyxel DSL modem Earthlink sent me and at first it seemed liked the line was more stable but after a short while it was clear the line was still unstable and I get frequent disconnects/loss of sync. Here is the DSL line status I get with the new Zyzel P-660R-D1 DSL modem/router from Earthlink.

DSL speed: 1888 kbps / 768 kbps

DSL line status:
noise margin upstream: 6 db
output power downstream: 19 db
attenuation upstream: 31 db
tone 0- 31: 00 00 00 07 8a aa bb bb bb bb bb a9 99 88 65 50
tone 32- 63: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 64- 95: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 96-127: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 2d 2d
tone 128-159: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 160-191: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 192-223: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 224-255: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 256-287: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 288-319: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 320-351: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 352-383: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 384-415: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 416-447: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 448-479: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 480-511: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
noise margin downstream: 8 db
output power upstream: 12 db
attenuation downstream: 50 db
tone 0- 31: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 32- 63: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 02
tone 64- 95: 02 00 00 02 20 00 00 00 00 00 00 20 00 20 00 00
tone 96-127: 20 00 00 33 22 22 23 33 44 33 44 44 55 44 45 55
tone 128-159: 64 45 55 55 44 54 53 35 55 45 44 45 55 55 44 24
tone 160-191: 44 45 53 55 44 30 03 44 53 44 54 54 43 43 24 34
tone 192-223: 44 43 45 44 44 43 34 43 44 30 24 44 54 53 54 43
tone 224-255: 44 33 53 44 44 23 44 44 44 54 34 54 54 54 54 42
tone 256-287: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 288-319: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 320-351: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 352-383: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 384-415: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 416-447: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 448-479: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
tone 480-511: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

Actual DSL speed from speed test: 1.6 Mbps down & .6 Mbps up.

Now it seems my SNR is more within normal levels but my attenuation is too high downstream-wise. I tried the modem at both the NID and the jack where the modem usually sits and got the same results at both locations. One thing I didn't mention before but with every modem I've tried I've noticed that the modem looses sync whenever someone use the phone and that it constant disconnects while the phone is in use.

Now I don't believe the line is simply misconfigured since I was getting 4-5 Mbps before the line completely went dead last week. Since the tech support person fixed tested my line for their end, I now around 1.5 Mbps when it stays up which says to me they artificial limited the line speed such as by putting in safe mode.

I tried the AM radio interference test and could not pick up any obvious interference on the line.

I'm pretty sure now that the issue must be a line issue/switch issue outside my home between me and the phone co. exchange, which is what i suspect all along anyways. I'll guise I have to try and deal with tech support again though since already dealt with last week, I can skip the basic troubleshooting and hopefully get them send a Covad tech to test my line.


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1

3 edits
The downstream attenuation figure of 50dB is too high to support 6.0 Mbps. It needs to be under 35dB. If it was working before, they definitely screwed up something. S/N margin doesn't mean anything, since the modem trained down to 1888Kbps [and S/N at 1888 is still only 8dB].

svgtom

join:2012-08-04
New York, NY
To give you an update on my situation, at this point I'm not sure what to do or who to believe. On 8/11 I called again to make an appointment for a technician to come out and check the line. Apparently my ticket had been closed for some reason. The customer support person was totally useless and couldn't give me a straight answer. At one point he told me a technician had already come out on Sunday, 8/5, but couldn't find the phone box (I live in a condo but there are several boxes behind the building). I questioned this because I never scheduled an appointment plus I was told they don't come on Sundays. The support person then brushed over it and I'm not sure if someone did come.

He then told me they would have to re-check the line at the central office and someone would call me on Monday, 8/13, to schedule an appointment for a technician to come. No one did call but I received a message today from EL which included a different number to call.

After doing some checking, the support person tells me that a technician came two days ago, again a Sunday. Again I mentioned that I never scheduled an appointment and no one notified me. I was actually home all day and would have liked to have spoken to this person if in fact they did come.

The support person then told me that when the line was checked on Sunday, it showed I was getting a 5.1 mbps signal so that the problem must be my inside wiring and I would need to call a technician to have it checked out. And that was pretty much it. he said "thank you" and that was the end of the call.

I'm not saying it can't be my inside wiring, but I'm dubious because I had all new phone wiring installed 6 years ago. I also don't like the fact that I didn't get to talk to the technician that supposedly came. And as I had already mentioned, I'm pretty sure the problem started after I briefly lost DSL service on 7/18.

I'm really fed up at this point and I think I'm going to switch my ISP from EL to my cable provider. One of the main reasons I never did to begin with is because I've had the same primary email address for about 20 years (started with netcom). At this point though I don't care anymore. FWIW, here are the stats from my modem. I don't know if there is anything here that would indicate I have a problem with my inside wiring.

ADSL Status ADSL Connection Up
Resync Count 0
ADSL Mode G.DMT
Downstream Bit Rate 6016 Kbps
Upstream Bit Rate 768 Kbps
Downstream Capacity Occupation 78 %
Downstream Noise Margin 20.84 dB
Downstream Attenuation 29.00 dB
Downstream Output Power 19.75 dBm
Upstream Capacity Occupation 82 %
Upstream Noise Margin 13.00 dB
Upstream Attenuation 16.00 dB
Upstream Output Power 12.33 dBm



DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
I think you have a different issue from the OP. The OPs stats show a line that won't support 6Mbps [not even close]. Your stats look good. They show the line at the full rates for 6Mbps down/768up and the S/N ratios look OK.

Unless you're getting wiped out by some kind of interference that wasn't present when you recorded those stats, your line is good.

Mods might want to split this into two threads.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to svgtom
said by svgtom:

To give you an update on my situation, at this point I'm not sure what to do or who to believe.

I don't know if there is anything here that would indicate I have a problem with my inside wiring.

ADSL Status ADSL Connection Up
Resync Count 0
ADSL Mode G.DMT
Downstream Bit Rate 6016 Kbps
Upstream Bit Rate 768 Kbps

Downstream Capacity Occupation 78 %

Your line is showing the correct sync rate for 6 Mbps service at 6016 Kbps/768 Kbps. Your speed tests should be in the 4 Mbps to 5 Mbps range. What are you seeing?
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

svgtom

join:2012-08-04
New York, NY
said by Doctor Olds:

Your speed tests should be in the 4 Mbps to 5 Mbps range. What are you seeing?

I just ran a test and got 2.61 mbps which is about the highest I've been getting. The strange thing is that I usually get lower speeds during the day, around 2.0 but sometimes lower. Before this started I was getting about 4.9.

Note that 2.6 is about the average I used to get before I had requested 6 mbps service which is why I suspect EL (or Covad) is only pushing out 3 mbps to me. Would my sync rate still show 6016Kbps/768 Kbps if the max only being delivered to me was 3 mbps?

Thanks for your input.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
Try the speed test here:

»www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/

My results on a 6 Mbps Covad Line.

Download Speed: 5367 kbps (670.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 636 kbps (79.5 KB/sec transfer rate)

If you are not getting above 3 Mbps then you may have a Port Rate mis-match. The Port Rate must match the Sync Rate or you won't get your full speeds.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

svgtom

join:2012-08-04
New York, NY
Is there a way to determine if it is a port rate mismatch, and if so, is there a way to resolve it?

One thing I hadn't tried before which I just did today was to check another phone jack. The sync rate showing was considerably lower than the rate I get on my primary jack. Should all jacks show the same sync rate? Could this be an indication that it is in fact a problem with my inside wiring?


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
Only Covad can check their settings for your DSL line and verify that the Port Rate matches the Sync Rate. You have to contact Earthlink to request that.

You should have all other lines/jacks filtered with DSL filters and only one jack can be used for the DSL Modem. It should be the shortest line to the Demarcation Point. If you move the modem further away on another jack, the filter must be moved to the prior jack that the modem was on.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
reply to Doctor Olds
EDIT: Never mind. Should have read all the way down before replying. You have the same hunch I do.

If that's the problem, Earthlink TRON aka 'Tier 3' [or whatever it's called in Hindi or Tagalog] is supposed to fix this or ask Covad/Megapath to do so.

chuck88

join:2012-07-27
Berkeley, CA

1 edit
reply to chuck88
Just a belated update on my situation: Over a week ago I called EL back and they had Covad/the phone company test the outside line between my NID and the phone exchange and they reported it was working just fine and suggested it must be my inside wiring. So I did a careful analysis of my internal wiring and I found some issues that I had missed before that I addressed. I also installed a DSL splitter at the NID which may have helpedhave helped things to. I now get at least 4 Mb's+ on average and I'm not seeing frequent disconnections/loss of sync in the way I was before. So I'm going to conside this issue solved.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
That's good to hear. Are you getting the full correct sync rate of 6016/768 kbps on the Speed (down/up) value in the Modem now?