DSL reliability

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
User avatar
kh_design
Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:57 pm
Location: ..
Contact:

DSL reliability

Postby kh_design » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:13 am

The reliability of the DSL service in our building is flaky, it cuts out quite often and then within a few seconds sometimes minutes will be working again. It has been mentioned to me this is a common problem from a provider who's company name ends in 'st' and begins with 'Q'. This also happens with the two other Wards in the building. One time the DSL service was down for four days, we reset the modem and firewall many times and that has not resolved the problem.

We will attempt to open lds.org, ldscatalog.com, mls.lds.org and many times it will state connection is not available and then within a short bit we are able to open the web page. We will been updating our Ward's web page or in the middle of an order on ldscatalog.com and the DSL internet connection will cut off and we are un-able to finish, and then within a few minutes we can log back in and again start over with the updates or the order. Sometimes MLS will not connect to Church HQ and we have to try over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, until the DSL service allows a connection.

Yes, we have checked the cables from the computers to the wall for a shorting connection. Also keep in mind this happens with all three Wards in the building.

We have requested a couple of times the DSL service looked at, and we have been told both times that everything is working fine, however we (the end users) are still have the DSL cut-off during use.

The church building is in an urban area and we are told it is very close to the telephone exchange so it is not a line distance issue.

Has anybody seen similar un-reliable DSL service and resolved the flaky DSL service?

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:46 am

kh_design wrote:The reliability of the DSL service in our building is flaky, it cuts out quite often and then within a few seconds sometimes minutes will be working again. It has been mentioned to me this is a common problem from a provider who's company name ends in 'st' and begins with 'Q'. This also happens with the two other Wards in the building. One time the DSL service was down for four days, we reset the modem and firewall many times and that has not resolved the problem.

We will attempt to open lds.org, ldscatalog.com, mls.lds.org and many times it will state connection is not available and then within a short bit we are able to open the web page. We will been updating our Ward's web page or in the middle of an order on ldscatalog.com and the DSL internet connection will cut off and we are un-able to finish, and then within a few minutes we can log back in and again start over with the updates or the order. Sometimes MLS will not connect to Church HQ and we have to try over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, until the DSL service allows a connection.

Yes, we have checked the cables from the computers to the wall for a shorting connection. Also keep in mind this happens with all three Wards in the building.

We have requested a couple of times the DSL service looked at, and we have been told both times that everything is working fine, however we (the end users) are still have the DSL cut-off during use.

The church building is in an urban area and we are told it is very close to the telephone exchange so it is not a line distance issue.

Has anybody seen similar un-reliable DSL service and resolved the flaky DSL service?


Yes, to the first question; unfortunately no to the second.

What you describe is all too painfully familiar to me. I could have written the exact same message (including the specific provider). I have spent many hours with technicians both on the phone, and on three occasions at the building. When I'm on the phone with technicians, they basically tell me that they can't do anything but send someone out; when someone comes to the location, it is almost always working fine.

On one occasion when someone was on site, they did detect a problem and said they narrowed it down to the modem. They replaced the modem (an ActionTec M1000) with an older model (another ActionTec, but I don't recall the model #) that they said was more reliable. But then on a visit from another technician a month later, I was told essentially that the first technician was crazy and the M1000 was much more reliable.

The connection works about 90-95% of the time, and I haven't been fortunate enough to have it fail at the right times. It does work most of the time. but at times it is so bad that it connects for only about 30 seconds before it goes down for 5 minutes, repeating this cycle for hours. Obviously such a connection is useless for accomplishing anything. It is frustrating, but I'm running out of ideas. I can't take 4 hours off work all the time to meet technicians (they'll only give you a 4 hour window, of course, for the appointment). At this point, we just live with it and hope it's working when we need it.

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 3131
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:13 pm

I've heard similar stories regarding this provider and just so people don't get the idea their service is completely shoddy, we use them in two of our buildings and were just commenting last night on how trouble free they've been for us since the day their service started. Best wishes to both of you in getting your problems resolved.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20729
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:03 pm

I wish I could help but my experience with DSL is in ordering, doing the self-install and using it. It's just worked for me.

All I can say is that it does use the phone lines. If the phone lines are in poor condition (cross-talk, static, etc) or if there's some unfiltered devices on the line, that could be the problem.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:11 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I wish I could help but my experience with DSL is in ordering, doing the self-install and using it. It's just worked for me.

All I can say is that it does use the phone lines. If the phone lines are in poor condition (cross-talk, static, etc) or if there's some unfiltered devices on the line, that could be the problem.


The DSL line we are using is dry-loop (standalone DSL), so there is no issue of unfiltered devices. The internal wiring was run just for this purpose. No other phone lines in the building exhibit any problems with static or cross-talk. The service provider has checked the phone line at least three times and has claimed that there is no problem with the line.

I must also say that in another building, we use the same provider, and we have absolutely no problems. In that case, it just works.

techgy
Community Moderators
Posts: 3174
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:48 pm
Location: California

Postby techgy » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:28 am

kh_design wrote:The reliability of the DSL service in our building is flaky, it cuts out quite often and then within a few seconds sometimes minutes will be working again. It has been mentioned to me this is a common problem from a provider who's company name ends in 'st' and begins with 'Q'. This also happens with the two other Wards in the building. One time the DSL service was down for four days, we reset the modem and firewall many times and that has not resolved the problem. ..............

Has anybody seen similar un-reliable DSL service and resolved the flaky DSL service?


First question: Do you have anything else sharing the DSL line? Fax Machine, Phone? If so, try and disconnect everything else temporarily so the only thing connected to the DSL line is the computer. While these extra items are disconnected also remove the DSL filters and connect the computer directly to the DSL line. This will at least eliminate any possible problems with other equipment. Try and pin the problem down to a piece of extra equipment that also uses the line. It's not impossible that you may have a bad/intermittent DSL filter.

We currently use DSL in four buildings in our stake and in two of those buildings I had problems. One facility was giving me intermittent DSL. It would go down daily. I'd checked all the cables and found nothing. I finally called in a technician from the phone company and he traced the problem down to a loose wire at the demarkation point. Problem solved.

In the second building we were made to jump through hoops. The DSL service was VERY slow. As we are at the extreme limits of getting the service we just expected things to be slow. The best speed we could get was around 740 down and 128 up, but we were getting upload speeds that would vary wildly from 17 to 90. I'd contacted the provider on several occasions and since they had a policy that they wouldn't send out a tech if they couldn't determine a problem, we were stuck. They'd run checks on the line remotely and find nothing.

Finally I had a member who works for the same company send in a report from me to an upper-level manager outlining our problems. After two unsuccessful attempts we finally had a technician come out. Within 10 minutes he nailed the problem down and was on the phone getting it resolved. It turned out to be a bad configuration setting on their end. Someone changed a jumper somewhere and now we have stable upload speeds of around 100. I admit that it's not the greatest but at nearly 13,000 feet from the Central Office, it's the best we can expect but at least it's stable.

Edited: Another thought is the modem. If the installation is new, then your modem is most likely OK. If, on the other hand, your installation has been around a while, then the modem could be causing you problems. If all else fails, check the modem software and see if an update is available from the manufacturer. Since the problem is occuring throughout the building it's most likely something that's common to all areas of the building, such as the modem, a DSL filter (if you have them) or a loose connection at the demarkation point (the connection point where all your phone connections are made).
Have you read the Code of Conduct?

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 3131
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:13 am

Techgy wrote:First question: Do you have anything else sharing the DSL line? Fax Machine, Phone? If so, try and disconnect everything else temporarily so the only thing connected to the DSL line is the computer. While these extra items are disconnected also remove the DSL filters and connect the computer directly to the DSL line. This will at least eliminate any possible problems with other equipment. Try and pin the problem down to a piece of extra equipment that also uses the line. It's not impossible that you may have a bad/intermittent DSL filter.

Most of the Qwest DSL installations for the Church are dry-loop, so you won't have anything else on the line. Some of your other comments sound all too familiar. :(
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

User avatar
kh_design
Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:57 pm
Location: ..
Contact:

Yes, dry-loop DSL

Postby kh_design » Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:45 pm

A couple of settings that seem to have corrected the DSL reliability issue on all three computers in this building.

At the NIC Adapter Properties + Power Management - I disabled 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power'. Also, Internet Properties + Connections - I set 'Never dial a connection'.

The building is new, built in 2007. Yes, the DSL is dry-loop, there are no other phone or fax devices on the DSL line, the wire pair from the D-Mark goes straight to a patch panel and then to the DSL modem. I have suggested to the FM group the separate and dedicated patch panel installed just for the DSL line was a waste of resources (the patch panel only has one pair from the D-Mark going to the panel and one pair from the panel going to the DSL modem), the line being only used and directly connected to the DSL modem. As I see it is just one more connection that can short, rather the pair from the D-Mark could just go directly to the DSL modem no patch pannel needed for such a simple single pair.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:51 pm

kh_design wrote:A couple of settings that seem to have corrected the DSL reliability issue on all three computers in this building.

At the NIC Adapter Properties + Power Management - I disabled 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power'. Also, Internet Properties + Connections - I set 'Never dial a connection'.

The building is new, built in 2007. Yes, the DSL is dry-loop, there are no other phone or fax devices on the DSL line, the wire pair from the D-Mark goes straight to a patch panel and then to the DSL modem. I have suggested to the FM group the separate and dedicated patch panel installed just for the DSL line was a waste of resources (the patch panel only has one pair from the D-Mark going to the panel and one pair from the panel going to the DSL modem), the line being only used and directly connected to the DSL modem. As I see it is just one more connection that can short, rather the pair from the D-Mark could just go directly to the DSL modem no patch pannel needed for such a simple single pair.


Thank you for taking the time to post an update -- this is very helpful.

The settings you changed would only affect the computers' connection to the network and thus to the Internet -- it would have nothing to do with the actual DSL connection. In your earlier post, you mentioned that the Internet connection was going down, but you never mentioned if you had actually checked out the DSL modem.

In my problems with DSL in one of our buildings, I have physically checked the DSL modem and found that the DSL LED, which should be solidly lit, is sometimes off, and frequently flashing, when the Internet connection is down. That is what you would expect with a flaky DSL connection.

I have also connected to the DSL modem itself by using a browser and opening up the modem's IP address. DSL modems provide a web page that will show the status and allow various operations. When I review the status, I see that the web page reports that the connection is down when the modem's LEDs report that it is down. Even when it is up, the upstream speed is often something horrible like 256 kbps or even 96 kbps (it should be 896 kbps). I'm meeting with a technician (for the 4th time:() on Wednesday to take a look at it.

So I apologize for the digression, but I am curious -- did you ever identify any actual DSL problems, or is your conclusion that the problems were always with those three computers' NIC settings, and not actually anything to do with the DSL?

User avatar
kh_design
Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:57 pm
Location: ..
Contact:

Just after DSL install, months ago

Postby kh_design » Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:40 pm

From the very start of the DSL line install, months ago, we had reliability problems and then within the first week the DSL line went down for four days, no LED on the DSL modem. That first time the technician traced the wire pair going to the telephone exchange and found it was not routed direct, even at one part between two telephone poles it was routed on one pair only to come back on a second pair in the same bundle. Even though the building is new, it was built on property in a subdivision with surrounding houses built in the 1970s, the routed wire pairs have gone through an interesting evolution as the surrounding houses have had service changes in the past 30 years. Anyhow the technician said routing was cleaned up and the routed DSL pair now has a more direct route to the exchange and said the problem has been fixed. This was also when I asked the FM group to bypass the punch panel between the D-Mark and DSL modem, however because time and money resources had been spent on the single line DSL use of the punch panel, the feeling is it would be a waste of resources to bypass the punch panel, stating the punch panel is setup as per the industry standard and it stays.

Although the DSL LED stayed on, the DSL service was still very poor. The technician was called out twice again, both times saying that everything is working fine, no problems detected on their end. Still though, the internet was dropping out while on ldscatalog.com or while trying to connect MLS to Church HQ and having to try over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, until MLS connects. After months of dealing with this, and resolving ourselves that it might just work itself out sometime, or perhaps it will work better when we get our new anticipated computers this fall in October of 2009 (still another 10 months away). Just this past weekend I was looking through the internet connection and NIC setting when I did the aforementioned settings in my previous post, and I think they worked. I went to the other clerks offices and did the same settings (all three wards have the same workstation setups from Oct 2004 and moved with us to the new building). So far, this weekend no problems as we have had before connecting or transmitting.


Return to “Meetinghouse Internet”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest