If you can tolerate the ramblings of a short term reader/first time poster, I'd like to relate my initial DSL install experience.
SBC/SBIS did a good job of switching my TELCO service, getting the line activated and sending equipment (5260 modem and Kingston111 NIC). I did some web-checking and was a little troubled to find that Kingston had gotten out of the NIC business several months ago, but figured its hard to screw up an ethernet card. Anyway, driver and Enternet300 install went fine with only one Automatic Skip Driver do-over and I was surfing in style. Only one problem--any file download would start up and then freeze, and all but the plainest web pages would always stop just short of completely loading. So I started calling tech support.
And calling, and calling. Bless their hearts, SBIS was always sympathetic and sounded like they were really trying, but their talents were no match. After the first call, I felt like I knew as much as they did because they always suggested doing the same things. Often, they couldn't find a record of any previous calls I had made--I ended up with 3 or 4 trouble tickets and 4 or 5 case ID's. They sent me out a new NIC card (the same kind) at no charge in case that was the problem. After 2 hrs on the phone, they would surrender and tell me they were bumping me up to "second tier" support (this happened a couple of times). Another two-hour session consisted of the help desk tech repeatedly putting me on hold while she consulted second tier who put her on hold repeatedly. I was promised more than once that second tier would call me back, but they never did. ASI called me back though.
ASI was a completely different story. Without fail, every time I was fortunate enough to stumble through the phone option maze to find them, I found a technically competent and professionally courteous person who could perform the task at hand themselves. One also was the one to turn me on to dslreports. They confirmed the lines looked good and offered to send a tech to the house whenever I said the word. I of course didn't immediately accept that offer because (a) I trusted in my soul that I was just one checkbox on some obscure setup screen away from DSL nirvana, (b) I was too technically macho to admit that I couldn't get it working myself, and (c) I was too cheap to pay for the service call if it did turn out to be me or my home wiring or my computer's fault.
Then I got to studying DSLR. I found references to people with my same exact problem in SBC DSL FAQ Sec 8 "Installation and Troubleshooting"(#1568) I can browse but can't download www.dslreports.com/faq/sbc/8.0+Installation+and+Troubleshooting#1568
and others. I followed the suggestions on reseating the NIC, removing all extraneous cards, swapping PCI slots, avoiding IRQ sharing conflicts. I re-hooked my dial-up modem and downloaded RASPPPOE and DrTCP and tried to see if that made a difference. Finally, during one session with an ASI guy, when he confided that he had gotten back in touch with second tier SBIS who had said I had made "too many phone calls to count", he didn't want to conference in with me and that his best suggestion was for me to "ugrade my browser", I knew I was done with them and I scheduled the ASI tech visit.
The guy came out when he said he would, and called me at work, all the while extremely professional. He confirmed (again) that the lines looked good, then hooked up his laptop to my modem and it checked good. The last thing he did was tell me that he always had troubles with Kingston111's and left behind a 110 for me to replace it with. Of course then came the happy ending. I got home, replaced the board and I was downloading and web surfing at 1.1M with a Ping score of 62.
When I called ASI (not SBIS) the next day to thank them and report success, I talked to Corey, a manager in maintenance dept. I apologized because I didn't catch the tech's name who had come out to the house, but I did tell him I'd put in a good word for them here. He also ensured that their data reflected the replacement of the NIC.
The lessons I learned from this:
--don't waste any time with SBIS. If it's not on their list of basic problems and troubleshooting, they'll never figure it out.
--do go directly to ASI. They're the pros.
--don't hesitate to call them to the house, particularly on a new install with problems. I felt especially justified in doing so after doing my homework here.
--do not waste any time with a Kingston111. Go buy your own if you have to. I'd like to see the CPE folks wise up and purge their inventory of these cards.
Thanks for listening. Thanks DSLR for good understandable poop. And most of all, thanks ASI for doing the job right. I'm a happy camper now.