unreliable DSL in Washinton DC
slownet
Enthusiast - Level 3

I live in a neighborhood that is not served by FiOS because it is in Washinton DC - one mile from the vice Presidents House.  Go figure.  So I have a DSL link and it crashes occasionally - sometimes it runs for a month but some periods it crashes frequently.  The most recent period of crashes began about a month ago.  I do have a fix - reboot the router - but that gets tedious.  The router is always up and available when the link is down so I feel quite comfortable that the problem is the link and not the router. I called support - telephone works OK even when DSL is down - and they gave me the usual spiel about checking my line.  It was working fine b/c I rebooted the router so they saw no problems.  Since 2 Aug I have been keeping track of the problem and one no day have I not had to reboot.  That is, 9 days I had to reboot at least once and on six of those days I had to reboot twice in one day.  I reboot whe I see it is down, mornings and evenings generally, but that probably is an artifact of my work schedule.  I considered writing a script to ping somewhere every 10 minutes to track when the link goes down to see if there is a pattern to when the local switch reboots their DSL interfaces and leaves me hanging.  I've also considered using the neighborhood chatlist to see if any other people are having problems with their Verizon DSL service.

Anyone else have any ideas for getting reliable Verizon DSL service in the nation's captal? 

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slownet
Enthusiast - Level 3

You are right - thanks.  The line went down again this morning and I checked the transceiver stats before rebooting.  The downlink noise margin was 0.-3 (sic) when it usually is around 6.  After rebooting it was back to 6.

Thankyou for the help. 

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FieldT
Enthusiast - Level 3

Try demanding a tech come out to your house, bad numbers almost can never be fixed without someone coming out and fixing the problem.

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slownet
Enthusiast - Level 3

Thanks to all contributors for the help.  You were right that the answer lay in a new pair.  Sometime about a week ago I call Verizon for the umpteenth time, spoke to numerous supervisors, rejected their argument that my problem was the modem, and got them to promise that a tech appointment would be scheduled (although they did have to see the link crash one more time).  Last Thursday I got a modem in the mail, which worried me somewhat, but I had reconfigured the wireless part of my network both to improve throughput and to take those duties off the Westell unit, so replacing the modem was relatively trivial and accomplished in 30 mins.  Then on Sunday I got a call saying that the tech would be at my house no later than 1700 on Monday.

He did contact me a little after 1700 and came a little later.  Once I explained the problem he agree that the problem was not in my house and began investigating the wiring from my house to the street.  After some mucking about he confirmed that the measurements on my pair were very erratic and that he would switch them.  He promised that the work at the co would be done no later than 1000 the following morning.  A quick, efficient and courteous visit although it took months to get it.

He left, the line went down and was not up when I went to work the following morning.  That evening, when I got home, it still wasn't up and I called the tech who promised to fix it directly.  In the end, the DSL link and my phone were dead for 72 hours and I got to talk to a lot more Verizon employees.

This evening I came home, spotted a ladder truck and found that I had actually managed to get Verizon to fix the problem without waiting for me.  The problem seems to have been that my pair is not on the pole it is listed at and that my pair spans two poles.  I suspect that the tech and the co switched two different pairs.

I now have good values on the transceiver stats and I hope that it won't crash tomorrow morning.  The people I have spoken with at Verizon have been uniformly nice but as far as I can tell the corporate values of Verizon are to avoid doing anything that costs money as long as possible.  My very first trouble call identified the problem as being between the co and my home and it still took over a month of very energetic calls to get it fixed.

Telco deregulation seems to have done more for the telcos than for the consumers.