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jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA

1 edit

[DSL] DSL extreme no working well anymore

When I first started with DSL Extreme (6-11-12) the speed was amazing - 1.5 M and way better than AT&T ever was and I could view Youtube videos all the way without waiting for buffering but for some time now things have been really slow which I blamed on the browsers at first. I finally began to suspect the DSL speed so I called a DSL Extreme tech who told me to check the line speed with www.speedtest.net. The test showed .57 M download and .32 M upload (and has tested even slower since!). The DSL Extreme tech said it's WAY TOO SLOW! Today I went through my system with another DSL Extreme tech who concluded that the AT&T wires are the problem. Then I called an AT&T tech who ran a test and said my wiring is PERFECT! We live in a apartment so the wiring is not easy to check out but we have never had any problems with our phone - just the DSL speed thing.
As I write this, I feel like I am stuck because I don't have the means to discover who is messing with us - AT&T or DSL Extreme. Any of them could be messing with our Internet speed but how would we know who and/or how.
So please offer us some suggestions for checking out our set up or discovering which company is messing with us. The thing is, if they are "messing" with us, there isn't much we can do other than bail out of DSL Extreme and try another company or sweat it out til our contract runs out. This really sucks!
Thanks for your feedback on this matter,
Jim & Irene

Since starting this thread, I've been reading UGLY reviews and reports about DSLX on line and it's creepy how many ppl are having a bad time with DSLX. Looks like I'm stuck for a year or give them $250 for early cancellation - I should have known better! Any legit company would not hold clients to such a ridiculous FINE if they truly have faith in their own product. Sure sorry I got sucked in to DSLX!!!!


dslx_nick
Premium,VIP
join:2011-12-24
Chatsworth, CA
kudos:30
As mentioned in another recent thread (»[DSL] From Verizon to DSL Extreme - Questions), we don't charge the ETF because we want to; we have to because AT&T charges us for it if a customer breaks contract, and we just pass it on. Still, I find discussion of such rather distasteful; rather than waste time and energy worrying about worst-case scenarios, I'd much rather focus on more constructive pursuits, such as getting you back online at full speed.

Of course, if you're having trouble trusting what two 'authorities' say, it can make it hard to figure out what's what. So! Let me give you some info, so you can have a bit more personal certainty and understanding about what's going on, and can make up your own mind about it.

If you're running into speed problems, there are different possible causes... but generally, there should be only one affecting you at any given time. Typically, you'll either encounter a physical issue, or a data issue.

Physical issues are caused by things like bad wiring. When we run line readings, we measure the physical characteristics of the line up to the point of your modem. We don't see anything past that, so if your computer's leaking smoke, it doesn't show up on the tests. It also tends to be a bit of a 'catch-all', in that it doesn't automatically tell us if it's the outside lines, the inside lines, or the modem itself causing the problem. A trained and experienced tech can often put together subtle clues and symptoms and give a reasonable prediction as to what the problem is, especially if you go through certain troubleshooting steps with him; but generally the easiest way to figure out EXACTLY where a physical problem is relies upon a field technician on-site testing each component (similarly, a good doctor can often diagnose problems over the phone if you accurately describe the symptoms, but it's still a lot better if he can see you in person!).

Data issues are caused by things like bad settings or software on a server or computer. They can also be caused by things like congestion (the internet equivalent of a traffic jam). Each server can really only handle so much traffic at once, and if you've got too many simultaneous connections all clamoring for content at the same time, the server can get overloaded and bog down - which results in slow speeds for everyone caught up in the jam. Similarly, your router and DSL connection are capped at a certain total bandwidth - so if you have other computers trying to share your connection simultaneously, each user's only going to get a slice of the pie, with resulting slower speeds when you try to test.

Troubleshooting for each type of problem is different. Physical issues involve things like unplugging all the phones at your location and trying different phone cords and different jacks between the modem and the wall. Data issues involve things like turning off all your other computers or bypassing your router (connecting the modem straight to just one computer). It's generally hard to confuse the two, if your tech is doing a good job of troubleshooting.

Now, the DSL tech did testing with you, and hypothesized it's a problem with the lines. That would suggest a physical issue. You then called 'an AT&T tech who ran a test' and proclaimed there was no problem with the lines? That raises a few questions:
1) Was this an AT&T VOICE tech, or DSL tech? The testing involved varies. Voice techs typically cannot see the data bitrate (which is the main thing you're concerned about); their equipment isn't set to check such.
2) Was this test run on-site with testing equipment, or remotely from a desktop computer?
3) Did the AT&T tech say that it was your BUILDING (apartment) wiring, or OUTSIDE wiring (leading back to the Central Office), or ALL of the wiring (both inside and outside), which was fine?

I know it's a lot of data to take all at once, but I do hope it helps clarify the situation. You're definitely running into a problem SOMEWHERE, and our testing at least was suggesting it's a physical issue. If the AT&T tech that claimed your line was 'perfect' was a DSL tech, he should have been able to give you precise line readings (exact downstream and upstream bitrate, noise margin, etc.). If he wasn't able to do that... I'd suggest contacting us and troubleshooting further, perhaps having us send out a field tech dispatch (DSL tech, not voice tech) on-site to check the lines and find & fix the problem.

jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA
Thank you for responding to my post.

Re:
1) Was this an AT&T VOICE tech, or DSL tech?
>>> Not sure what she was but I told her it's about a DSL connection problem and asked if her test could check that. She said it just checks the condition of the wiring. My phone works good so I figured that is the best standard for the wiring.

2) Was this test run on-site with testing equipment, or remotely from a desktop computer?
>>> Not on site here so probably from a computer. I had to hang up the phone and wait for her to call me back.
3) Did the AT&T tech say that it was your BUILDING (apartment) wiring, or OUTSIDE wiring (leading back to the Central Office), or ALL of the wiring (both inside and outside), which was fine?
>>>She wasn't real specific and I didn't have enough knowledge to ask significant questions at that point. Maybe I'll call them back to see what else they can do.

re: I know it's a lot of data to take all at once, but I do hope it helps clarify the situation.
>> Yes this helps a lot so thank you.

You're definitely running into a problem SOMEWHERE, and our testing at least was suggesting it's a physical issue. If the AT&T tech that claimed your line was 'perfect' was a DSL tech, he should have been able to give you precise line readings (exact downstream and upstream bitrate, noise margin, etc.). If he wasn't able to do that...
>>> No, none of that stuff came up in the discussion with her.

I'd suggest contacting us and troubleshooting further, perhaps having us send out a field tech dispatch (DSL tech, not voice tech) on-site to check the lines and find & fix the problem.
>>> Your tech, Mike, recommended a field tech dispatch (from AT&T) but I declined when I heard about the "possible" fees. I feel like everyone is after my $$$ and this is just another scam to get it even if the tech tells me "all's well"!
Maybe I'll just wait it out and put up with what I've got even if it's not what I am paying for and find a better ISP when my contract is up with DSLX. But it seems like all the ISPs get lots of complaints from pissed off customers so wish me luck.........
Thanks for your post

emsvitil

join:2008-06-12
Inglewood, CA
Does your voice line have static on it?

If so, read this:

»AT&T Midwest/Ameritech FAQ »DSL works only with phone off-hook, known as High Open

jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA
P.S. No static on the voice line. It's always been good.

jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA

1 edit
reply to dslx_nick
said by dslx_nick:

As mentioned in another recent thread (»[DSL] From Verizon to DSL Extreme - Questions), we don't charge the ETF because we want to; we have to because AT&T charges us for it if a customer breaks contract, and we just pass it on. Still, I find discussion of such rather distasteful; rather than waste time and energy worrying about worst-case scenarios, I'd much rather focus on more constructive pursuits, such as getting you back online at full speed.

Of course, if you're having trouble trusting what two 'authorities' say, it can make it hard to figure out what's what. So! Let me give you some info, so you can have a bit more personal certainty and understanding about what's going on, and can make up your own mind about it.

If you're running into speed problems, there are different possible causes... but generally, there should be only one affecting you at any given time. Typically, you'll either encounter a physical issue, or a data issue.

Physical issues are caused by things like bad wiring. When we run line readings, we measure the physical characteristics of the line up to the point of your modem. We don't see anything past that, so if your computer's leaking smoke, it doesn't show up on the tests. It also tends to be a bit of a 'catch-all', in that it doesn't automatically tell us if it's the outside lines, the inside lines, or the modem itself causing the problem. A trained and experienced tech can often put together subtle clues and symptoms and give a reasonable prediction as to what the problem is, especially if you go through certain troubleshooting steps with him; but generally the easiest way to figure out EXACTLY where a physical problem is relies upon a field technician on-site testing each component (similarly, a good doctor can often diagnose problems over the phone if you accurately describe the symptoms, but it's still a lot better if he can see you in person!).

Data issues are caused by things like bad settings or software on a server or computer. They can also be caused by things like congestion (the internet equivalent of a traffic jam). Each server can really only handle so much traffic at once, and if you've got too many simultaneous connections all clamoring for content at the same time, the server can get overloaded and bog down - which results in slow speeds for everyone caught up in the jam. Similarly, your router and DSL connection are capped at a certain total bandwidth - so if you have other computers trying to share your connection simultaneously, each user's only going to get a slice of the pie, with resulting slower speeds when you try to test.

Troubleshooting for each type of problem is different. Physical issues involve things like unplugging all the phones at your location and trying different phone cords and different jacks between the modem and the wall. Data issues involve things like turning off all your other computers or bypassing your router (connecting the modem straight to just one computer). It's generally hard to confuse the two, if your tech is doing a good job of troubleshooting.

Now, the DSL tech did testing with you, and hypothesized it's a problem with the lines. That would suggest a physical issue. You then called 'an AT&T tech who ran a test' and proclaimed there was no problem with the lines? That raises a few questions:
1) Was this an AT&T VOICE tech, or DSL tech?
>>> I don't know what kind of "tech" she was. I asked if the test can spot DSL issue and she said the test just checks the lines, so I might get back to AT&T about a "voice or DSL" tech and test things again.

re: The testing involved varies. Voice techs typically cannot see the data bitrate (which is the main thing you're concerned about); their equipment isn't set to check such.
2) Was this test run on-site with testing equipment, or remotely from a desktop computer?
>>> Remotely probably with a computer. I had to hang up and wait for her to call back.
3) Did the AT&T tech say that it was your BUILDING (apartment) wiring, or OUTSIDE wiring (leading back to the Central Office), or ALL of the wiring (both inside and outside), which was fine?
>>> She didn't specify exactly what was tested and I assumed she knew what she was doing. I had explained that this was about a DSL problem. Seems the more I learn, the better I can tell others what I need or expect re: this issue.

I know it's a lot of data to take all at once, but I do hope it helps clarify the situation.
>>> Yes this does help.

re: You're definitely running into a problem SOMEWHERE, and our testing at least was suggesting it's a physical issue. If the AT&T tech that claimed your line was 'perfect' was a DSL tech, he should have been able to give you precise line readings (exact downstream and upstream bitrate, noise margin, etc.). If he wasn't able to do that... I'd suggest contacting us and troubleshooting further, perhaps having us send out a field tech dispatch (DSL tech, not voice tech) on-site to check the lines and find & fix the problem.

>>> Sending a tech here to check things out seems reasonable IF it's affordable! I declined to have AT&T field techs come here because of their (possible) fees just to tell me "all's well".
After the exhaustive and thorough checks with your DSLX tech (Mike) by cell phone during which I connected the modem directly to the entry or source connection for my phone line in the bedroom of this apartment, it seemed there was no place to look other than the AT&T phone lines. Mike then suggested I order a "field tech dispatch" from AT&T but I declined when told of the "possible" fees! What is stopping me are all these "fees" for this and that while I am suspicious of the corporations involved and, worse, all the complaints and criticism on line from other "ripped-off" customers. In some ways, I am willing to put up with the bad/low speeds rather than endure the corporate run around and service fees for tech visits, etc. I'm not getting what I am paying for but I am able to look at my bank account on line and email so watching Youtube videos will just have to wait until I get a better ISP - assuming there is such a thing.
I appreciate that you wrote back and would love to follow whatever tech. processes there are short of giving away more and more $$$ chasing my own tail in the hopes of better internet service.
Thank you,
JimRich

P.S. LOL, it seems that all the ISPs get very bad reviews and complaints on line so from unhappy customers so ......... wish me luck!

jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA
reply to emsvitil
emsvitil
re: Does your voice line have static on it?
If so, read this:
»AT&T Midwest/Ameritech FAQ »DSL works only with phone off-hook, known as High Open

>>> I responded to you earlier but that post did not appear here so.......
There is no static on my phone line and I tried to use my DSL service with the phone on and off the craddle - there was no difference other than the annoyance of the phone off the hook!
Thanks for your concern


dslx_nick
Premium,VIP
join:2011-12-24
Chatsworth, CA
kudos:30
quote:
After the exhaustive and thorough checks with your DSLX tech (Mike) by cell phone during which I connected the modem directly to the entry or source connection for my phone line in the bedroom of this apartment, it seemed there was no place to look other than the AT&T phone lines. Mike then suggested I order a "field tech dispatch" from AT&T...
Ah. Well, there you go: physical issue, not data issue. I'm glad Mike was very thorough in testing everything inside; that's exactly what I want to hear about our techs. As I pointed out earlier, for absolute certainty nothing beats a tech on-site with equipment to test each component individually, but a good tech can usually figure out roughly where the problem is with proper remote troubleshooting. A bad tech wouldn't have tried troubleshooting with you, he would've just given up right away saying, "I don't know"; our tech, however, did a good job and checked everything with you, so that he was able to deduce that it must be the outside wiring via process of elimination.

quote:
... but I declined when told of the "possible" fees! What is stopping me are all these "fees" for this and that while I am suspicious of the corporations involved and, worse, all the complaints and criticism on line from other "ripped-off" customers. In some ways, I am willing to put up with the bad/low speeds rather than endure the corporate run around and service fees for tech visits, etc. I'm not getting what I am paying for but I am able to look at my bank account on line and email so watching Youtube videos will just have to wait until I get a better ISP - assuming there is such a thing.
No need to worry. The whole REASON we want our techs to test the IW (Inside Wiring) so thoroughly is to protect you from unnecessary charges. When we send out an AT&T dispatch, there is no charge for outside line repairs. That's why we don't recommend such until we've done thorough testing until we're confident to the best of our ability that that's where the problem lies.

Please note that we make no money on dispatches; if the AT&T dispatch finds the problem is the inside wiring, not the outside, then he will still fix the issue, but there's a repair charge for it since that's part of the building wiring and not part of AT&T's phone line network. The charges for such inside wire repair work originate from AT&T, not us (they charge us, we pass the charge onto you... no profit on our end). If our testing indicates a problem with the inside wiring, then we let you know immediately, so you can decide what you want to do (leave it alone, or have us call out AT&T to fix it, or if you want to call some other local repairman to fix it, etc.).

If there's a problem with your outside phone lines, then switching to another ISP wouldn't make those go away, any more than picking a different doctor would magically make an illness vanish. Changing ISP's can fix data issues, but doesn't fix physical issues unless your physical equipment actually changes (such as if you move to a different building with different phone lines).


CCarson

join:2001-07-22
Redlands, CA
Reviews:
·DSL EXTREME
reply to jimrich
I've always been wary of those possible fees as well. I'm not sure, but I *believe* those are fees that will be charged by AT&T if they need to fix the wiring that's inside the building (i.e. the stuff that's not contractually their responsibility).

I'm in Verizon territory. I know they let you pay a small "inside wiring maintenance" fee each month that will keep a customer from being billed for fixes that need to be made to inside wiring. Maybe AT&T has a similar option you can sign up for, to insure yourself against those fees while they troubleshoot?


dslx_nick
Premium,VIP
join:2011-12-24
Chatsworth, CA
kudos:30
You are correct, those fees get charged by AT&T (not us) for inside wiring repairs if necessary. Unfortunately, while AT&T does offer a 'wirepro' plan, it technically only covers voice (POTS) issues, not data (DSL) issues.

jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA
reply to CCarson
Carson:

I spoke with a DSL tech/rep at AT&T who had trouble talking about anything technical! He said AT&T can do Voice signal tests (which they did last week for us) BUT...can NOT do Data tests on our line BECAUSE we are no longer an AT&T DSL user!
He did mention that they can do various technical things (rebuild the circuit, make the line more "stable", etc. from the office) to "improve" our DSL service IF we are with them!
Get it?
Whoever has your DSL contract does have the ability to IMPROVE your service IF THEY WANT TO - or if you complain loud enough!
The AT&T rep. also said that when DSL Extreme orders on-site service, the AT&T technician can run this so-called Data test (for DSL Extreme)!!!! So a Data test can be performed by AT&T - just NOT for us!!!
I told the (rather ignorant) AT&T service guy that I believe it's just the corporate run-around by both organizations just to squeeze more fees our of us (much like auto repair scams) since they have the customer over a barrel. They hide behind each other to get your $$$ - and you're stuck with few if any alternatives.
It's sickening when I read the very same complaints about virtually all the ISPs out there - they're all running the very same game, like the auto industry BECAUSE THEY CAN. And their well trained reps. all speak the very same double-talk and techno-speak, like we see in here, to cover up the OBVIOUS SCAM they are all working. I'll sweat out my 1 yr contract with DSLX and then be off to greener pastures!
Good luck with Verizon - you'll need it!
jim


dslx_nick
Premium,VIP
join:2011-12-24
Chatsworth, CA
kudos:30

1 recommendation

Changing the connection from Fastpath to Interleave is indeed one of the steps we can take to improve stability, although doing so increases ping time. It generally only helps significantly in cases where your distance is borderline for your current speed tier.

Jim, your connection is already set to Interleave (and it doesn't seem to be helping). "Whoever has your DSL contract does have the ability to IMPROVE your service IF THEY WANT TO - or if you complain loud enough!" is NOT an accurate statement, any more than saying that your doctor can improve your health on a whim or if you complain loudly. If you want the doctor to improve your health, then you need to actually listen to his advice and take your medicine - just complaining doesn't make you healthy.

It's not a scam. There's a physical problem on your circuit - and based on the testing already performed, it's most likely the outside lines, with a slight chance of it being the modem itself. I've already given you your line readings, free of charge (not that we EVER charge for such, anyways... ). I've already recommended a dispatch from AT&T - and I reiterate, yet again, outside line repairs are FREE OF CHARGE, and even on the off chance that it's not an outside line issue, we make no money anyway. NADA. We get NO commission or kickback or whatever you want to call it when we send out a dispatch. When there are inside wire repairs, AT&T charges us, and we pass on that exact same charge, no padding or alteration, straight to you. If you go to a doctor and he gives you a free consultation and tells you to get more fiber in your diet - is the doctor running a scam with the local grocery store? NO! He's just trying to help you!

We're offering help. It's up to you to actually accept it or not.
Expand your moderator at work


guest

@verizon.net
reply to jimrich

Re: [DSL] DSL extreme no working well anymore

Jim Rich,

If the problem is with ATT, changing to a different DSL provider won't help it. All DSL goes through your local telco's lines, in your case ATT.

I would guess that ATT is pretty unhelpful, although they could not be aas bad as my local telco, Verizon, the worst company on the planet.

It sounds though, like DSLX is doing what it can to try to help you solve the problem, much more help than you got from ATT. So I doubt you would get any improvement by changing to a different DSL ISP.

If you have TV cable service in your area, of course, that is another choice. With cable internet you would almost certainly get faster speeds. The downsides would be--it would most likely cost you more in the long run, especially after their one year promotional prices. If you don;'t have TV cable service, you might have to get it, making the price still much higher. (I don't know that, only a guess, that they might only give cable internet to cable tv subscribers.) I have heawrd that some cable isps now hve monthly caps on how much data you can use, or you'll pay still more for going over. And also, one sees many complaints as well on the cable isp forums here. However, you most certainly would get faster speeds with cable, so if your DSL never gets working right, that change is something to consider. But changing to a different DSL ISP? I greatly doubt it, Sounds like DSLX is trying to help you.

jimrich

join:2012-08-09
Encino, CA
reply to jimrich
Problem solved!
Go here to read the results: »[DSL] Low stream speed

jim


dslx_nick
Premium,VIP
join:2011-12-24
Chatsworth, CA
kudos:30
As they say: "All's well that ends well."