DSL problems

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
russellhltn
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DSL problems

Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:13 pm

Techgy wrote:We have problems with getting a reliable DSL in two of our building and are considering going to cable internet.


What sort of problems? Given that all other telephone users must be filtered, it's not hard to believe that somewhere an unfiltered user has come into play. If there's a significant monthly cost difference, I'd consider installing a "whole building" filter near the demark and giving the modem it's own CAT 5 run before giving up on DSL. That would also bypass some older building wiring that could be a source of problems.
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:36 pm

RussellHltn wrote:What sort of problems? Given that all other telephone users must be filtered, it's not hard to believe that somewhere an unfiltered user has come into play. If there's a significant monthly cost difference, I'd consider installing a "whole building" filter near the demark and giving the modem it's own CAT 5 run before giving up on DSL. That would also bypass some older building wiring that could be a source of problems.

I'm not following. If the DSL is on it's own separate line (per CHQ instructions), them no filtering is required.
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:01 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:I'm not following. If the DSL is on it's own separate line (per CHQ instructions), them no filtering is required.


I must be confusing my "problem" threads. You're right - If nothing else is on, then a filter isn't needed. But how does one make sure the DSL isn't getting to places it shouldn't? Perhaps as a "Line 2" on some jack somewhere? Unless you're absolutely sure what's between the modem and the demark, it may be worth running a new line. I've heard a number of stories that suggest DSL signals like CAT 5 cable better then the old stuff found in some buildings.
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Postby techgy » Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:56 pm

RussellHltn wrote:What sort of problems? Given that all other telephone users must be filtered, it's not hard to believe that somewhere an unfiltered user has come into play. If there's a significant monthly cost difference, I'd consider installing a "whole building" filter near the demark and giving the modem it's own CAT 5 run before giving up on DSL. That would also bypass some older building wiring that could be a source of problems.


Russell,

The problems vary between the two facilities. One is using Verizon as the ISP and the speed is so slow that it's hard to believe that it's DSL. The last time I checked a few days ago we were getting 550 down and around 52 up - which is very poor. According to the support line at Verizon we're around 12,000 feet from the central office. Obviously the condition of the wiring, distance to the CO, and whether the modem is malfunctioning all can cause problems. In this particular building there is only one phone on the line and it has a filter on it. I have just ordered a replacement modem since we're using something that cannot be configured and is around 4-5 years old. We'll see what that gives us. If things don't improve we can either move to a cable ISP (timewarner) or else call out Verizon support and have them check the wiring, etc.

The other building uses AT&T as the ISP and has an intermittent DSL problem. Sometimes we get great speed 1.2 down and 370 up which is normal for what we're paying for. Other times the DSL signal disappears completely or we lose the DSL but the DSL light remains on. It's so erratic that I've held off on doing any meetinghouse internet until we resolve this problem. I posted a trouble report today with AT&T and will probably contact them in person tomorrow and see if I can get this resolved. If not, then it's on to TimeWarner here also with cable.

We have two other buildings that both use AT&T and things are working just dandy.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:45 pm

On the first building I'd be tempted to take the modem to the demark point with a laptop and connect it directly. Disconnect the rest of the building from the line (obviously you need to do this when it's unlikely anyone will need to use the phone.) That will tell you real quick if the building wiring is creating a problem.

As for the second problem I have to wonder if maybe there isn't a phone that comes out of hiding at times. I can just picture someone locking up their phone to prevent abuse - and making it easy to over look.

In both cases the phone company should be able to change the wire pairs they use to go from the CO to the building. Worth a shot. Unless you want the higher speed of cable. ;)
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:50 pm

For both problems, I would suggest getting a DSL tech on site. He (or she) can easily test the signal level at the demark point without the building wiring hooked up, then test it again at the desired modem site and see how much the signal has degraded. (Exactly what Russel suggested, only with quantifiable results.) This can quickly spot old or widespread wiring on that pair. (Too much of a good thing.) 12K' is getting up there and it wouldn't take too much loss or reflections inside the building to push it over the edge.

[As a side note, I would press Verizon to tell you what the max speed is for your building. Considering your distance, I'll bet it's going to be close to 784K dn, or possibly less. This might help decide the tipping point for broadband cable.]

Russel's suggestion of moving to another pair can also be considered from the demark point to the modem site, if the building wiring on the current pair tests out to be too lossy or intermittent.
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Postby daddy-o-p40 » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:04 am

I agree that isolating to the point of entry (demark point) in the building is a good idea. After that is complete try the steps from this other post to isolate it further.
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:38 am

Mikerowaved wrote:For both problems, I would suggest getting a DSL tech on site. He (or she) can easily test the signal level at the demark point without the building wiring hooked up, then test it again at the desired modem site and see how much the signal has degraded.


Good idea. However, I'd check to see what charges might be.

While it would be good to know what the signal strength is, it may not spot intermittent changes such as the "hidden" phone that only comes out at certain times.
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Postby techgy » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:09 pm

We're 50% there. I had AT&T send out a DSL tech today and he identified a loose connection at the Demark. In fact the wire was broken and just barely touching. He's also installed a filter at the same point so we're in good shape at the Stake Center. Now it's on to the building that uses Verizon. We'll probably end up doing something similar there.


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