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Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
l13
Member

I have had Verizon cell since 9/08 and Verizon broadband since about 12/08.  I had been told I live between 2 towers and should have "moderate" coverage, and "marginal to moderate coverage" with my broadband.  Which since I have received it has mean 2 out of 4 bars of signal strength.  With cell phones that meant that I had certain dead zones in my house, but otherwise OK.  Suddenly at the beginning of August, I am not receiving phone calls(doesn't even show they call), frequent dropped calls (that doesn't even say "call lost", they are just gone), and people can't hear me when I talk when I am in my house standing still.  My broadband has trouble connecting or when does, it connects to "national access or extended national access", rarely broadband.  When it is national and extended national access it is so slow it is unable to bring up Google and msn, let alone yahoo and email.  After filing a trouble ticket #3090505 and promised resolution with in 3-4 days with a follow-up phone call, I started calling after 5 days when I hadnt heard anything from Verizon.  Daily, for the next 10 days I have called Verizon technical support, re-explained my problem (Minimum 1-2 hours on the phone with them nightly).  My problem with service was acknowledged and recognized thru their computer  as a problem.  Finally, on August 20th, I got a message on my cell phone that I have poor to marginal signal in this area, partly due to folage. 

     They provided no resolution.  I called back and spoke to Heather 8/20/09 and explained that, yes, I do have trees in my area, but the folage has been out in full bloom since May and didn't have a problem till August.  I also reminded her that when I purchased my broadband, I was told by Verizon that I had "moderate to marginal" signal.  I asked her, "what happened to my signal?"  I was promised by her that she would look into it and get back to me the next day.  After not hearing from anyone from Verizon, I called back to technical support on 8/24/09.  I requested to speak to Heather to see if she had found any answers to my problem and was told they could not transfer to other service reps, but would email her for her to call me.  I called 8/27/09 after not hearing from anyone at Verizon and was told there was nothing they could do with my problem.  When asked if they turned the towers away from my area, they said, "that was a possibility, but could not confirm it"  when asked who I could speak to to discuss my problem and/or confirm that Verizon has dropped service to my area, I was directed to the "contact us" area online.  How convenient, when they take away my broadband service!! 

     I am not the only person in my community with this problem.  An elderly couple about 5 miles down the road has had the same problems.  They have called technical support, and were, according to them, treated very rudely and they were told that they didn't have any problems as far as they were concerned and no trouble ticket was issued.  I have since called in their problem for them and had a trouble ticket issued, but they have not received any resolution as well.  Why did it take me to get Verizon to acknowledge their problem?

     What happened to the promise of all the "Verizon people behind me......Can you hear me now?"

     Was my tower turned away from my community?    We have very few choices in high speed internet, Verizon was one of the few that provided us with broadband.  Although our community is small, don't we matter as well?  We pay our bills as well.

     Can someone confirm that Verizon has left my area, that they are not returning and that I (and others in my community) need to be let out of my 2 year contract with them without penalty, since they did not hold their end of the contract?  Shouldn't we have been notified that they were no longer going to provide us with the service, if it was a business decision?? 

     I have been really satisfied with the plans offered by Verizon, I really hate to leave, since now all my friends and family have joined as well, so we can speak to one another free.  I would really like to talk to someone higher up at Verizon and explain why my community doesn't matter to them.....The "Verizon people" overlook us.  We are not some out in the middle of nowhere community.  But between 2 large cities, 25 miles west to Peoria Illinois and 25 east to Bloomington, right off Interstate 74.  People commute 2 & from these larger cities from multiple small suburbs in this area. 

 

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
Greg4Wireless
Member

Have you drove up to in close proximity to each tower that you say is located to you?

 

If not, pick a tower, drive in close range to it (somewhere you can pull over).  What's your signal there?  Does it go lower?

 

Drive to the other tower?  Is the strength higher or lower there?

 

Here's what happened to me.

 

Two towers where I live. Both definately Verizon.  7 miles on each side (west-east).

 

The first one in town gives me a Pilot Number of 148 (similar to a channel)....Drive around it, I get 316, make a full circle around it, I'm on 484.  If you can make an entire circle around a tower, and the pilot numbers increase by 168, you've found a VERIZON tower.   Looking at a tower directly below it, the masts will look like a triangle. That's why you have three sets of channels if you circle the entire tower.  148 is the one I lock onto

 

The second tower gives pilot numbers of 32, 200, and 368 (200 is the one I'm locked on to).

 

Ok, knowing I am in the middle of TWO towers, I sometimes have the problem of both towers trying to combine the connections.  In the diagnostics screen of the Verizon Access Manager, these are called your ACTIVE PILOT NUMBER SET.

148 and 200 are both providing signals to the modem, and the modem is trying to use both.

 

This results in a degradation of the signal.  I have to turn/try the modem in different places to get the BEST signal from the the tower that I want. (the 200 p/n tower).  You can also drive to the tower closest, ACTIVATE your modem there, and it will usually lock onto that signal).    You can also LOCK you modem into HDR mode which will only pick up an EVDO signal, not national access.

 

BUT, FIRST, in your scenerio, you need to drive to each tower, and see what reception, if any, you get.......Then let us know.!

 

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
BradC
Member

Hi I13, Sorry to hear you are experiencing issues with your service. The proper Verizon Wireless point of contact has been made aware of the issue and will be in contact soon. Good luck! 😃

 

Brad

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
l13
Member

Greg4wireless,

 

I appreciate your response, but how do I check for pilot numbers?

I have a desktop, I cannot haul it around with my broadband device.    I am not that techno-savy.

Thanks again.

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
cbderrick
Member

I have noticed the sudden loss of signal strength.  I live in a rural east Texas area where my choices are dial-up or wireless.  I'm a former Alltel customer and my cell phone and broadband signal was much better before Verizon took over.  I can barely get a connection on the wireless card and I sure can't actually go to any websites.  I have called customer servicea and technical support and they suggested that I get a new wireless card, so I did, but it's worse than the Alltel card I had before.  I have a home-based business and a daughter in college and we have to be online, but I've having to go else where besides my home because my signal is soooo bad!  I'm paying $60.00 for nothing!

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
LukeTech
Novice

Some clarificationon Greg's comments. Various status data is available in the diagnostic screen of VZAccess Manager (Type ##debug to get into this hidden screen), I assume that is where you get the PN (Pseudo Random) info you posted. A unique PN is transmitted on each sector of a site, some sites have one sector, most have three and you may see up to six. You can have three sectors on a self-supported tower (three legs), guyed (single mast, guy wires) a monopole (like a giant flagpole) or even a building.

 

Just to clarify, the appearance of a tower doesn't tell you how many sectors it has and not all PNs increment by 168 or 200, it is up to the System Performance group in the local network to determine this. It's just a number and there isn't a better or worst way to assign these.

 

Being nearly the same distance in between both cell sites, at a certain distance where your signal is marginal, is the worst place to be. In the worst case, the phone/data device will bounce between the two PNs and cannot settle on one or the other. This can cause missed calls and intermittent connection issues.

 

As for the sudden decrease in signal strength, it can be a few things. Foliage is not out of the question, but you make a good point about the signal being reliable since May. My hunch is a "downtilt" was performed at one or both sites. The antennas transmit downward from the top of the tower. It is typicall better to limit the size of the cell site footprint than to let it shoot out for miles causing interference and noise issues as well as wasting power; downtilting is what controls this. Unfortunately, those on the edge of the cell radius are the ones who suffer a sudden loss of signal.

 

This can be done at any time for any reason and customer service/tech support usually has no knowledge of this type of work. The local store technicans/customer service MAY know about it depending on how well they communicate with their network team. There is a possibility that the downtilt is done just before a new cell site is turned up, so for all we know you may be getting a new site in your area (best case scenario).

 

In the worst case, I would suggest an external antenna. Most USB/PC card data devices have an external antenna port into which you can plug in an antenna at the end of an extension cable. The antenna can be a simple dipole, just a straight mast. A better alternative is a yagi antenna, which is similar to the old broadcast TV antennas. With a yagi, you point it toward the cell site and leave it... the "gain" or antenna's internal amplification for a yagi is far better than a dipole. Check out wilsonelectronics dot com for some options on yagi, cables and adapters. Though it may seem complicated, all you would need is an adapter that connects the data card to a cable, then extension cable itself, any adapter for the cable to antenna conenction, and the antenna itself. Do a search on this forum for "yagi" and you'll find some other posts that I have made.

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
rwturbo
Member

Well first off I am new to this forum. Second off I am also in the same situation as some or most of you. My coverage has dropped with my broadband connection also. Been through the whole trouble ticket thing, towers reset and supposedly someone came to my home and all tests fine. I was told that it must be a geographical issue. I have had this service for many years now since you could get the unlimited M.B plan in which I still own. I have a desk top and a new laptop and they both only get 215-240 down and 200 upload speeds. And I am paying for DSL, I use to get 3-400 here easily and its not like a mountain has been built locally or anything. Im just glad to know Im not the only one suffering.  I have been faithful for many years and am growing quit unhappy. I have been with Verizon, GTE, and older named contell or centell cellular since early 90"s. :smileymad:

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
blondy
Member

Hello All,

      We also had many of the same probs. and were advised to purchase a portable antenna(magnetic mount) for our broadband device. Did that and I don't have the low signal or sudden disconnection and device doesn't turn off of a sudden. We are also located between 2 towers but antenna works great.

Blessings,

Brandy

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Re: Sudden loss of broadband signal strength
ptownall
Member

I am experiencing a sudden loss in signal strength as well.  It may correspond to when ATT&T turned on 4G in our area.  Is it possible that the ATT&T 4G is interfering with the Verizon signal?  I am very rural and have low expectations.  I just want to be able to complete a voice call with no drops when standing in the sweet spot in our home.

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