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Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

[CenturyTel] Poor Line Attenuation

We have had Centurylink DSL (no phone service, just Internet) for several years now and about a year or so ago they raised their minimum DSL package to 1.5Mbps... where it was previously 765Kb (or something close). When we were on 765Kb we were actually only getting about 4-500Kb. Once they started offering higher speeds and we increased to 1.5Mb we started getting 1.5Mb, but we also started getting a lot of timeouts.

When they first contacted us they told us we could upgrade to a 3Mb and we jumped on it. We could not stay connected for more than a few minutes and it timed out. They told us then that because we were on the edge (about 3.6 miles out) that our line attenuation was high and we would not be able to keep the 3Mb plan and would have to drop to 1.5Mb. While this did make the timeouts less frequent they are still consistent, about 2-3 per hour and requires either a 5-10 minute wait or a restart of the modem

I wish we could find where the limit is to prevent any timeouts and set it there, but I am told there are only two choices, 1.5Mb or 3Mb.

As stated, we have DSL only, no phone service. From the box outside I have a Cat5 line run to a terminal block inside. From there I have one end of a phone line connected to the terminal and the other end plugged into the Westell modem. I have tried running another line, using a jack, etc, etc, to no avail.

Is there anything I may be missing or anything else I might could try to improve the timeouts?

Is there any hope that one day CenturyLink can improve line attenuation or is there anything we can purchase at a reasonable price to improve it?

It hurts to pay 50 something dollars every month for sub par service. Maybe they should charge based on line attenuation... giving those with higher attenuation a little bit of a break because we are not getting the same service as others.

I am looking for anything... hope... or perhaps it is all just wishful thinking.

Thanks,
Sonnie


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

I meant to include our stats:




billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:3

Connect the modem to the test jack at the NID using a short (6ft or less) cord, and check the line stats again. The distance from the CO is your main problem, but you also need to check for any possible issues with your inside wiring.

There is not really anything you can do to improve your connection, other than moving closer to town. If there is a Best Buy within a reasonable distance, you could try a newer modem. They have an Actiontec C1000A in CenturyLink packaging for $99. If it doesn't help the connection, return the modem for a refund.


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

Thanks Bill... I will check the stats at the box and make sure we are good there... and will also try out that modem. Anything is worth a try.



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
reply to Sonnie

You are ~3.6 wire miles from the DSLAM? That is ~19,000 ft! Attenuation is roughly a measure of the wire distance: Higher means a longer loop. Under those conditions, AT&T would only provision at 768k/384k.

The only hope for improving your attenuation is that CenturyLink deploys a remote terminal closer to you, which will shorten the wire distance.
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

Yep... somewhere between 3.5 and 3.7, depending on how the line runs from there to here. A technician was suppose to come out Friday and double check things outside, but I never heard from them. I stayed home from the office until noon, which was the end of the time frame they were suppose to be here. I am guessing they may have shown up because from yesterday evening when we got home until now the margin has been running from 8.8 to 9.4, which is about as high as I have ever seen it. It could merely be a coincidence. I asked that they call me when they were on their way or at the house, but never heard from them, so just not sure if they showed or now. I haven't heard from CenturyLink either.



How much does a remote terminal cost (installed)... any idea?



NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC

said by Sonnie:

How much does a remote terminal cost (installed)... any idea?

No clue. The ones I have seen are powered cabinets on concrete pads. I am sure they require permits from whichever agency handles building permits for a given locality. Plus coordination with the electric utility to run wires to the cabinet; and, eventually, to light it up.

Even more if they have to go underground with a Controlled Environment Vault (CEV).
--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


codyyy

@embarqhsd.net
reply to Sonnie

get rid of that westell modem sonnie i used to have the same one and it gave me bad line stats. with the westell modem i was getting about 8db noise margin i switched to a zyxel and my noise margin went up to 15 along with a lower attenuation i also live pretty far away from the telco and ive noticed that the best modem to give me good line stats is the zyxel 660 but if your gunna use that you would need your own router


CenturyLink
VIP
join:2009-03-09
Boise, ID
kudos:7
reply to Sonnie

Hi Sonnie. Joey with CenturyLink here. Sorry that you're having ongoing issues. Our team is happy to look into the trouble you're having with your DSL. Send us your information and reference this post to TalkToUs@CenturyLink.com. Thank you.

Joey H
@CenturyLinkHelp Team
TalkToUs@CenturyLink.com


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to codyyy

I ordered the Actiontec C1000A and got it in today. I will try that and see what happens. If it does not improve things, I may try that Zyxel 660. I have a Linksys E4200 router already.


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to CenturyLink

Hi Joey...

I will shoot you an email. Thanks!


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

1 edit
reply to Sonnie

Well I swapped out the modem and gave the Actiontec a try. Does not look too favorable to me... nothing improved and the speeds got a lot worse.

Westell results prior to disconnecting it are show first.




[Personal/Private info removed from attachment - sashwa]


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:3

Have you checked the line stats with the modem connected directly to the test jack at the NID?


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

I have not, but will shortly.

What I have found is that while the speeds are much slower and pages load a good bit slower most of the time, there have been no timeouts... and it's been 2.5 hours (solid Internet use since I installed it - about to take a break). Usually I would have already been so aggravated with timeouts that I would have switched over to our satellite connection.


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to Sonnie

I fixed up a testing session outside... power, laptop, new phone line from the Actiontec C1000A kit, Ethernet cable, and both the Westell and Actiontec modems.

Here is what I got from each modem by connecting them with the new phone line directly into the NID outlet.




No improvement from inside... and if anything the C1000A is slightly worse.

My parents are right next door... the distance from the Centurylink box at the road to their house is about the same as it is to our house. I had her check her DSL stats and they are getting 61 dB line attenuation with an 8.5 dB Margin... yet their speeds are only 608Kbps. I know I have checked their speeds before and got 1.5Mbps, so I am not sure what is going on right now. Anyway... I can go down there and not ever get a timeout using their DSL.

It seems the timeouts might be better with a slower speed. Does CenturyLink have some way to cap the speed limit to say 1.0Mbps and let me test the timeouts?


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:3

Checking outside helps to eliminate your inside wiring as an issue. Your problem is distance. If you can get then to provision your line for a little slower download speed, it should help a lot.

Send a message to Joey at CenturyLink. He has been very helpful when I have had issues in the past with my line. Reference this thread (he posted in it), and provide the DSL number and other details.


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

Yes... I have been in contact with Joey and in hopes they can help in some way.

He said I was showing 14,000 feet in distance, which is only 2.65 miles.



billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:3

You are quite a ways out, but should be able to pull 1.5 down. The condition of the copper wire, and the number and quality of splice points, can greatly affect the ability of the DSL signal to pass over the wire.

Hopefully, they can get you a steady, stable connection. I know Joey will do whatever he can to help.



codyyy

@embarqhsd.net
reply to Sonnie

said by Sonnie:

Yes... I have been in contact with Joey and in hopes they can help in some way.

He said I was showing 14,000 feet in distance, which is only 2.65 miles.

you might have a wiring problem between you and the telco i live about 2.50miles away from the telco and i get a pretty steady connection at 4megs but it differs from different places

System
reply to Sonnie

This topic has been un-stickied by skj See Profile


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to Sonnie

Re: [CenturyTel] Poor Line Attenuation

Hello everyone... reviving an old thread in hopes of a solution.

We worked with CenturyLink on our problem of getting timeouts on our laptop for a while but never could figure out a solution.

I just finished building a simple computer for a music server to place in my home theater room. I have a 100' Ethernet cable run from the same E4200 router I have had since I started this thread, to the music server computer. I have been using it for a couple of days now and have not experienced the first timeout. I was working on the laptop today and it timed out... went to the music server and it was connecting fine... no timeouts.

Keep in mind that I have another E4200 router that is setup with the same settings, except connected to our Excede satellite modem. We DO NOT experience timeouts on it, so I do not think it will have anything to do with the laptop network adapter or its settings, although I supposer there could be some sort of incompatibility issue between the Intel Centrino adapter and the Westell modem.

Anyway... just hoping someone might know why the wired connection seems to be working fine, but the wireless laptop times out.

I want to say that Excede uses the same IP address all the time (static IP?). While CenturyLink changes frequently? I wonder if the timeouts are coming when the IP address renews. Would that not effect a wired connection too?

Any ideas?

Thanks!


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to Sonnie

By the way... our Margins have been consistently higher for a while now, although it has not improved the timeouts.



Midniteoyl

join:2013-11-22
Knox, IN
kudos:1

You need to keep that Westell status page open and watch what the SNR's are when it drops.. At one time I had below 12dB and could watch as it slowly went below 9 and started dropping. CL techs said 9 was still 'good' but apparently not. When I called in to escalate, I was told that in reality, they wanted to see 12dB or more. After having a good tech out and him going connection by connection down the road to the DSLAM, he got it up to over 16dB and its been good ever since. Of course, with your distance, that high of SNR wont happen, but worth a looksee..


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to Sonnie

I have had the 192.168.1.1 URL of the Westell modem open while using the laptop so I can look at the CenturyLink DSL stats during a hang. As I understand it, this communicates directly with the modem, through the router of course. Each time I try to access a page that starts hanging and eventually times out, I also cannot talk to the modem. Trying to refresh the modem page 192.168.1.1 during the hanging of a web page (having both browser windows open), hangs as well... although it will just hang, it never times out. I can go to our other wireless desktop with the TP-Link adapter and open up the page that is hanging on my laptop, which in turn triggers that page on my laptop to stop hanging and load, as long as I do it before it times out. Why would that cause the laptop to stop hanging?

Of course I can't check the stats of the modem from the laptop during the hang, but I can refresh them on the desktop while the laptop is hanging and there are no changes. So it does not appear to be anything on the other side of the Westell modem going on that is causing this. The margins stay the same, the attenuation stays the same when refreshing during a hang.

All of this points back to being something to do with the laptop communicating with the Westell modem. I guess my next step is to maybe take the router out of the loop and connect the laptop directly to the modem and see if it hangs/times out. Perhaps the E4200 router does not like the laptop communicating with the Westell modem for some reason. Maybe the E4200 (and the previous WRT54G) don't like the Westell.


Midniteoyl

join:2013-11-22
Knox, IN
kudos:1

You definitely have a problem on your end.. Remind me again what Westell you have? It looks like the 6100 (G90-610060-20) from the GUI page you posted. Also, do you happen to know what your wireless card in the laptop is? Lastly, what OS are it and the new Tower running?


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL

It is indeed the 6100... and we tried the Actiontec C1000A and got timeouts too. One of the CL techs did bring in a different modem too, but we did not test it for timeouts, just saw that it actually made the lines worse so thought it better not to keep it hooked up.

The wireless card in my laptop is the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 and I use Windows 7 Pro 64-bit on every computer... and keep them updated as recommended.

Worth noting is the TP-Link TL-WN722N used in the wireless desktop we have does not experience the timeouts on the desktop... move it to the laptop and bingo... I get timeouts.

Maybe there is wireless setting in laptop somewhere that I am missing.

A true mystery at the moment.


Midniteoyl

join:2013-11-22
Knox, IN
kudos:1

Try going into your Wireless Properties and Uninstall the TCP/IP stack (v4 and v6), reboot, and reinstall.

I assume you have the latest drivers for the 6300? And firmware for the E4200? Is the router a E4200v1 or v2? The v1 has a Broadcom chip, the v2 a Marvell - »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_routers#E4200. Maybe some incompatibility. i know I had to change from a TP-Link Wireless N to a RALink based card when I upgraded to Win8 as the TP-link would hang the whole computer and had laggy internet speeds.


Midniteoyl

join:2013-11-22
Knox, IN
kudos:1
reply to Sonnie

Here you go.. seems Intel is having problems with the 6200 series and need to disable N mode.. maybe similar problem? Worth a try to test.

»www.neowin.net/news/intels-wi-fi···continue

One of the comments:

"Thanks for posting about this (the previous article as well). I had an Intel 6300 adapter and I had these issues no matter which driver I tried. Ended up switching to an Atheros card, which is noticeably slower (even though it says its connected at the same rate), but at least it works all day without connectivity issues.

I've had a few machines at work come in with an Intel 6xxx adapter and they always show this issue after an hour or two, out of the box. I just disable 802.11n and that clears it up. (Slow is better than broken.)"


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to Midniteoyl

I have uninstalled, rebooted and reinstalled the TCP/IP stack. I have checked to insure the latest drivers.

I have E4200 v1 connected to the CenturyLink Westell modem and v2 connected to the Excede satellite modem, which might explain why I have no issues with timeouts using Excede satellite. I will swap them and see what happens.


Sonnie

join:2010-12-11
Luverne, AL
reply to Midniteoyl

I have disabled N mode and will see what happens. Could be my imagination, but it does already seem snappier. However, I am suspecting this would not be it since when I had the Centrino disabled and was wired with an Ethernet cable directly to the E4200 I was still getting timeouts.