No you cannot has dsl
April 23, 2011 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Please help me get my DSL to work. I have to keep power cycling my modem and tech support is useless.

My DSL is with CenturyLink, and I just traded my 660 modem for a new one, and I am still having this problem.

The problem: my internet craps out several times an hour, and the only fix I have found is power cycling the modem. The internet light is out every time the trouble happens.

Other information:

- it happens whether I am connecting to the modem via ethernet cable or via my Dlink wireless router.

- the router is always showing a strong signal.

- it happens on PCs, Macs, and iOS devices.

- I have reset the modem at tech support's request.

- I have moved the modem to other rooms, and it happens on all my phone jacks.

- Tech support was going to send someone to my house, but then changed their mind.

- it seems to have all started when they upgraded me to 10mbs

- Tech support has offered helpful suggestions like "switching the phone line cord so that the modem end is plugged into the wall and vice versa," and "you may have bad data clogging your line."


(Thanks so much).
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have line filters on all your phone lines?
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:06 PM on April 23, 2011

Response by poster: on all the ones that have a phone plugged into them.
posted by 4ster at 6:09 PM on April 23, 2011

have them check for line static?
posted by deezil at 6:13 PM on April 23, 2011

if you unplug the wireless router does the problem go away?
posted by askmehow at 7:55 PM on April 23, 2011

Best answer: "- it seems to have all started when they upgraded me to 10mbs"

The fastest way to sort out whether your house wiring (which might have old, noisy carbon or crystal lightning arrestors on the phone line at or near your demarc), the DSLAM, or the phone circuit wiring is at issue is to have a technician out at your house, who can successively run BERT tests, first at your modem end point, next at your house demarc, next at the DSLAM immediately upstream of your house, and then at any further multiplex/connection points, up to any colocated equipment at the nearest Central Office servicing your neighborhood DSLAM. Some CLEC techs will stop their investigation at the DSLAM (sometimes by their company policy), thinking that once your signal is in digital form, with low BER, it's the local exchange phone company's responsibility (often a legacy Bell System offshoot) to get your bits to them, entirely, and timely. But as Sportin' Life says in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, It Ain't Necessarily So.

Your ISP CenturyLink may be relying, too much, on first line tech reports from your DSL modem for line error rates, resets, and carrier drops (they can log in to your modem from their end and read its statistics for line quality reports). In my experience with DSL, a lot depends on the state and density of the actual copper wires which serve your neighborhood telephone service, and particularly, your physical distance from the DSLAM, and the small time window of a DSL modem's event memory isn't always enough to show the reasons for problems end users experience. If you're more than a 1/2 mile from the DSLAM, or you live in an area which has a lot of high density housing/business, indicating lots and lots of 22 gauge and similar wire circuits in big bundles, high rate DSL is unlikely to work reliably.

Keep complaining to CenturyLink tech support, to build your case file, and ask for BERT analysis of your circuit.
posted by paulsc at 8:56 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

seconding paulsc.

also, do you ever get static on voice phone calls? One thing I've heard is that (genuine) complaints of voice line static are usually handled by a different department in the phone company than DSL issues and may improve both voice and DSL performance.
posted by Mad_Carew at 9:14 PM on April 23, 2011

seconding paulsc. This is going to require Centurytel's intervention. I had a the same problem a few years ago. In my case, they sold me a higher speed than they could deliver at my address, which caused my service to continually to drop as it tried to sync at a faster rate than could be supported due to distance and line noise. Keep pushing to talk to a higher tier of tech support and explain the problem to them. They will be able to fix this or tell you whether you can get higher speeds.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:17 PM on April 23, 2011

A few years ATT swore to me that my line was OK after running remote diagnostics. Luckily, mostly due to the service ethic of one of their experienced technicians I got a tech out to look at the line. The line was indeed bad.
posted by rdr at 9:33 PM on April 23, 2011

Also, there are a number of "flavors" of DSL, not all of which are suitable to a particular physical wire run/DSLAM setup. Probably 95%+ of consumer "DSL" lines are provisioned as ADSL, but you can sometimes get higher data rates, by far, over old voice wiring, with SDSL, or more likely to be currently provisionable, SHDSL. The kicker with these "symmetric" forms of DSL is that you can't multiplex them on the same physical circuit that supplies voice service to a premises.

Normally, this is No Big Deal, as the ISP/CLEC providing SDSL/SHDSL services simply provisions them on the second (sometimes called the "spare" or "dry") wire pair serving a particular service address. This is only a problem for subscriber addresses where alarm companies or other services have already pressed the "spare/dry" wire pair into service for alarm monitoring, or where the subscriber has previously ordered separate "phone/fax" service over dedicated lines (wire pairs). But because of the smaller market, and subscriber/ISP equipment costs involved, not all ISP/CLECs offer SDSL/SHDSL services. Worth asking about, however, as a last resort, if you can't get your desired service speeds via the more common consumer grade ADSL...
posted by paulsc at 10:13 PM on April 23, 2011

Are you running bittorrent on anything connected to the modem? My cable modem needed continual resetting because a bittorrent client running on one of the computers in my home was trying to open too many connections or something. Basically a problem with the modem's software. I changed a setting on bittorrent and the problem went away. It's been a while so the recollection is fuzzy.
posted by Long Way To Go at 2:49 PM on April 24, 2011

I went through several months of this troubleshooting my fathers DSL here in Hawaii. The tech gave him/me the run around for a looong time before we got them to string a new line from the street to the house, problem cleared up immediately. Too bad we found a better deal with cable a few weeks later (faster and cheaper)
posted by edman at 1:44 PM on April 25, 2011

Response by poster: We had a CenturyLink technician come to the house and he checked the line from both inside and outside the house and found no problems, but he did replace our modem with a Westel dual modem/router and the problem went away.

Thanks to everyone for your help.
posted by 4ster at 4:30 AM on April 28, 2011

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