We have been a DSL customer for many years. Due to distance we were capped at 3000/768 (3369/864 kbps sync speed). To FairPoints credit they upgraded us from the 1500/384 kbps Verizon cap. Service has been stable, except for occasional problems with PPPoE. However: 3 Mbps is not as fast as it used to be
so Ive been looking to upgrade for years. But due to distance was not able.
G4 Communication is a CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier). They rent copper circuits (UNE) from FairPoint and collocate equipment in FairPoints local central offices. They are primarily focused on business customers but now offer a very attractive residential phone and DSL bundle. Given they are a small local company though Id give them a try.
Since I already had phone and DSL from FairPoint the switchover was easy. I signed up with G4; they in turn contacted FairPoint to move our circuit to G4 equipment. I ordered G4 service Nov 31; go live date was scheduled for Dec 5, FairPoint did cutover on Dec 10.DSL
G4 uses DHCP rather than PPPoE, which should result in more stable service and a slight reduction in overhead. G4 provides customers a choice of a Zyxel P660R-D1 or Comtrend CT-5071T ADSL2/ADSL2+ modem. I picked the Zyxel. Unit was delivered Dec 4 preconfigured in bridge mode with the expectation customer will use their own router.
G4 treats speed differently than Verizon and FairPoint, there are no tiers. ADSL2/ADSL2+ is capable of 24 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up depending on line conditions. If you are close to the CO get 24 Mbps, far away like me, slower. Our line had very good margin at 3 Mbps so I was comfortable we could get somewhat higher speed.
I prefer using an all-in-one modem/router so with G4s permission defaulted the router and reconfigured it once line was working correctly. The Zyxel user manual is pretty much useless but GUI configuration screens are pretty straight forward with surprising good built in help. G4 gave me all the magic incantations I needed for the WAN side.
Line was syncing at 7.5 Mbps in the morning but by the afternoon had become unstable. Margin was very poor 6 dB or less. One of the advantages of ADSL2/2+ is that modem/DSLAM constantly try to adjust sync speed up and down based on varying line conditions. So regardless of condition should have been able to find a stable sync speed.
I called support; they did some line tests and scheduled a tech for the next day. In the interim circuit was capped at 6 Mbps so I had Interent access. Tech arrived on time and did several tests. Said line looked good and it was not clear why it had become unstable, perhaps due to noise from other circuits. To stabilize automatic sync speed G4 increased upshift and downshift threshold margin.
Line is now syncing at 6936/996 with 10 dB of margin. Speedtest.net reports 5.96 Mbps down .84 up, about double the download speed we had before. According to speedtest.net my broadband is still only rated as D+ but Im a happy camper with the higher speed.POTS
This is a bundled plan, plain old telephone service (POTS) and ADSL. It includes unlimited calling in the US and Canada and Caller ID. There were a couple of other features we did not want so I asked them to be disabled, Voicemail and Call-waiting. We have our own answering machine. It is easier to look at a physical machine then log into a remote server, plus it provides a way to know if we lose power. Im not a fan of call-waiting so had that disabled.Cost
G4 requires automatic credit card billing, no paper statements. Residential DSL/POTS bundle is $44.44 a month, with taxes and other fees comes to $55.91. Because we already had phone service there was a one-time activation charge of $60. If they need to have FairPoint install a new service one-time cost is a little higher.Summary
Too soon to tell for sure how stable this will be but double the speed and more phone features all for about $20 a month less than before. Tech support and sales have been great. Nice being able to talk to someone not working off a script and willing to work with the customer to resolve problems and answer questions.