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[CenturyTel] incredibly slow every night [Western NC]

Off and on for the past several weeks my speed, which is supposed to be a 6Mbps DSL connection, has been about .3 to .5 Mbps, usually from the hours of 5 or 6 pm until midnight. This week it has been several nights in a row, and I called about the issue last week, they sent a tech out the next morning who left me a note saying it checked out fine outside, it must be in the house wiring.

Of course it checked out fine, this morning I checked my speed and got about 6.2 Mbps, actually slightly above. However, this evening I am back down to about .3 or .4, my ping to the closest server is 140ms on speedtest.net and centurylink's own test cant get me above 1.5Mbps. If you look at a graph of the speed or watch the indicator, the speed is very very random.

if it were my interior wiring, why would it only have problems when internet usage peaks?

Should I just buy a cable modem and switch to Charter?, its the only other service available here.

Hazy Arc

Greenwood, SC
·Embarq Now Centu..
I'd set up a Smokeping (»/smokeping), which monitors your latency 24x7. If you're having evening congestion issues, it will be pretty evident in the Smokeping.

That being said, it is fairly obvious that the problem is beyond your control since you state that you get slow speeds during peak usage but everything clears up during the morning, which would lead one to believe it's a bandwidth exhaust issue.


reply to NC1979
I had the same issue and it came down to the ethernet port on the DSL modem going bad. The solution ended up being a new DSL Modem. After rebooting the modem and my router, speed looked fine, but after a few hours it would degrade down to 1.2MB from 6MB. Speedtest.net would work once and then go down to nothing.

The DSL modem was maybe 8 years old, so perhaps it was time to get a new one.


Holly Springs, NC
I'm in southern Wake County and having the same problem the last week and a half. Having massive packet loss, particularly between 8-11 p.m. Ping also increases somewhat as well. Been a customer for 6 1/2 years since they were Embarq. But, since they became CenturyLink, their service has gone from bad to worse, especially during the last two years.


update: 5th day in a row here with service so slow @ night its almost unusable.

Called tech support, they ran me through the usual BS about powering down my router, yada yada. Finally, tech gets back to me and say they are showing errors on my line. I informed him this is the same thing they said last week and the tech found nothing wrong outside because he came at 10 AM, which of course shows that it was working fine.

They sent a tech out first thing the next morning, and he also found nothing ( of course not! it was 9:00 AM) and said he would be glad to check inside ( im working alot lately, I dont have time for this BS)

Thanks for the smoke ping tip, I will check that out, but it looks like I will be moving on to charter for internet ( had cable through them before, hated thier customer service)


Same here, Ping times and speed tests very poor during primetime. I've had the techs out several times and like you said, the service sucks at night but OK when they show up to test about noon. If Charter or anyone else was an option I'd dump CenturyLink in an instant. They apparently don't care that their service is so bad.


Hickory, NC
reply to NC1979
Didnt realize that I wasnt logged in, I am the OP.

here is a smokeping for CA and also one for KS.
»/r3/smokeping. ··· b091.CA1

»/r3/smokeping. ··· 2b091.KS

I dont know a great deal about any of this, but common sense tells me that this is AWFUL and it should not be spiking that much. My ping is doubling nightly

This is my last speed test @ 10:10 pm

Hazy Arc

Greenwood, SC
You are correct - not only are your RTTs spiking during your slowdowns, but you are experiencing packet loss as well.

No Booing Allowed

Dublin, OH
·Embarq Now Centu..
I have similar issues...several weeks ago I sent a message to the Centurylink TalkToUs folks and asked that they at least respond that someone was looking into it.

Never heard anything from them and even followed up in another thread they had posted in here...asked whether I should make a second request to them, but they ignored that inquiry too.

Call Centurylink tech support- They go through scripts and tell customers made up stories that are useless.

Contact Centurylink TalkToUs - they ignore you.


Sounds like the same issues we have in our area. End answer was the often heard excuse of bandwidth exhaustion in your area. We are still waiting for the promised fiber here but they have at least stopped selling upgrades to speed.


I'm in Wake Forest, with 10MB down, and I can't even play competitive games online at night. It's impossible. The packet loss and pings are awful. I can't watch a Netflix or Amazon movie on anything more than the worst quality (and it still buffers repeatedly). To top it off, the last few days I can't get a lot of web pages to load, or get pictures to load from various web sites. It's ridiculous. I got less lag when I gamed on my 56K.


I called today... now my account is flagged and they will not even look for anything they can do. Pay for 1.5 download and less than 1.0 is even coming into my modem. This is something that changed in the last 48 hours. Tell me to contact my local centurylink office because they will have the latest info on the status of the work. Funny... you can't find a number other than the same voice mail hell main number. Local tech gave me his cell number... which was nice until I went to use it and he'd not given me the correct number.

Connection is so bad, I can't even get a Centurylink speedtest. Thats at 7am... not during peak usage time.

CenturyLink, we should get what we pay for, and what you committed to providing. When other providers get in here, the exodus will be profound. Because of this crappy attention to a year long issue, I'd bet people will even pay more to whatever competition comes in just so as not to deal with you.