Internet Alternatives

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:44 pm

frogging, flogging, flugging
Maybe what you're talking about is "optimizing." I learned about this from Olympus.net. That orwellian word is how CenturyLink describes an automatic system that detects instability in a DSL line and switches it to a lower speed--without notifying the customer. For example, twice earlier this year, we got switched to 1024/512. That speed, the maximum reported by the DSL router, didn't change until I did an online chat with tech support and they removed the "optimization." We could easily notice the degradation in overall usability. Commonly, users get set to 640/256.

The point is that service calls--even online chats, I suspect--because of the modem dropping DSL and needing to be power cycled costs CenturyLink money. Many customers don't even notice that their top speed is less than they're paying for.

You can log into your DSL modem by using this URL: 192.168.0.1. (That usually works.) Click on Modem Status, then WAN status. You can then read your current speed and look down the list for retrains. That means the modem lost the DSL signal and had to reacquire it. Any more than 3 or 4 will show in red. Sometimes a modem will retrain on its own. Other times, you'll see no DSL light. Or you'll see a DSL light and no Internet light. Power cycling the modem may bring service back. If you can log into the modem with 192.168.0.1, you can use Utilities to restart the modem. If not, unplug its power cable, wait 30 seconds and then plug it back in.

Now, we're "optimized" at 640/256. While the retrains have dropped to around 4 per day, down from the worst days at 2 per hour, our overall usability is terrible. Supposedly, our bill has been adjusted, but we haven't seen that in reality.

If you're having the problems I describe above, I urge you to start an internet technical/repair chat and complain. You'll probably have to convince them that your DSL modem isn't connected wrong, etc. but if you don't get satisfaction, here's how to escalate: http://qc.centurylink.com/residential/c ... quest.html

BTW, while it's possible for a DSL modem to go bad, it's rare. It's also possible for telephone wiring--which DSL uses--to develop problems. But it's also possible that CenturyLink is cutting corners to add more customers without investing in the needed infrastructure.

This kind of thing is happening in our neighborhood.
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Jim Martin
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Jim Martin » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:49 pm

Stephen, thanks for the e-mail contact with Century Link. Since July 4th my evening connection for download is
0.4 to 0.6, no netflix etc. During the day I do have 1.3 to 1.2 mbps,

I sent the e-mail to them this evening. Diamond Point is due to have fiber optic connections in August??

Thanks again. I enjoy yours and others comments here. Thanks to SMUG, a great group.

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Richard Serkes
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Richard Serkes » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:53 pm

Bob Wiswell wrote:Richard, do you know why you are being upgraded? I use CenturyLink DSL (1.5/.86) and I have not received such a notice. I have been having a speed problem of late; downloads were down in the .5-.6 range. I am now using a loaner router from Olypen to toubleshoot the problem, and I am now back to the normal 1.2-1.3 for download, but at .5 for upload which is below the 80% level expected, per Olypen. Olypen said they were going to talk to CenturyLink to see if they were doing something called "frogging, flogging, flugging,?, etc. I'm not sure of the name but it is where CenturyLink randomly selects folks to slow down, occasionally, when there is heavy traffic. I haven't heard back from Olypen yet. I still may be in the market for a new router since the download speed improved with the loaner router.
Why the upgrade on the infrastructure? Darned if I know. All I can tell you is I got notification via snail mail telling me that on the 5th of August my entire phone system including 911 would be down for about 30 minutes. They couldn't tell me when during the day it would happen. This is when the new equipment will go hot. After that my service will be "vastly improved" and I don't have to do anything nor will my monthly fee change.

However, after calling CenturyLink I was told that if I wanted to upgrade to a faster speed I would have to pay more. That's not unreasonable. Right now, 1.5 is the fastest they will sell me (not that I ever get 1.5) but I'm willing to pay more for a faster connection when it's available after 8/05.
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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Bob Wiswell » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:22 pm

I found out today that the word is "throttling". I also found out the the fastest speeds I can get on Bell Hill, at the present time, are 1.536/.640. Which is interesting because two years ago I was getting upload speeds of .8. I thought that I was buying speeds of 1.536/.896. These higher speeds were when I signed up with Quest, back in 2008, and whether they changed somewhere along the way, I don't know. I haven't been tracking this until now when things started acting up. Supposedly everything is operating within the 75% range of 1.536/.640 now and that is acceptable in CenturyLinks eyes.

Other people in the Bell Hill area have been complaining about speeds to Olypen and Olypen suspects that CenturyLink has been doing some throttling in this area as we are heavy users up here.

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Jay Cline
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Jay Cline » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:34 pm

Sticking with Wave, download 15.07, upload 2.07.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:01 pm

Jay Cline wrote:Sticking with Wave, download 15.07, upload 2.07.
I've asked before, and I'll ask again: When you gonna get Wave to pull cable up here?

ONP just pulled fiber around 11 miles from Heart 'o' the Hills to the Ridge visitor's center. It's only 5 miles from here to town.

Or if Wave fails to step up, I'd settle for Verizon FIOS.

I'll volunteer to be a beta tester.

Seriously, folks, I think Verizon LTE is the only realistic savior for us. They're close. We've gotten LTE in our house in the past. Then a Verizon Home Fusion setup would be the way to go. I'd be happy to pay for bandwidth, if I had any to pay for.

My current DSL speed: 106/256, with 107 modem retrains in last 24 hours. But CenturyLink claims it's on the case, sending yet another tech out tomorrow.
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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Bob Wiswell » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:38 pm

Likewise, Wave ignores Bell Hill; not dense enough.

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Jay Cline
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Jay Cline » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:12 am

Nikola Broadband is your best bet in Sequim and Bell Hill.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:17 pm

Just to follow up and give credit where due, a CenturyLink line tech spent the whole morning working on our line, and we're back to 1531/636. He found several things to fix, including "conditioning" our line, fixing splices and removing extra length. He's still working, and is going to keep the repair ticket open for a few days and check occasionally.
At no time did he say anything other than this is more or less what we should expect. The lines at Lake Dawn are long, but nominal DSL is doable. He said having to power cycle a DSL modem once a month because it loses the signal is reasonable for our location. Much more than that means something's wrong.
Techs can remotely monitor your DSL modem, and can remotely tell if there's an issue inside the house.
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Bob Wiswell
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Re: Internet Alternatives

Post by Bob Wiswell » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:17 pm

Stephen, I can attest to the something is wrong if you have to power cycle more than once a month: I was cycling each session after a few acceptable downloads then it would slow down. I would do a power cycle and it would go back up. That is why Olypen has me trying a loaner modem. It seems to be holding the correct speeds. I am going to hook up my old modem and see if it will now perform correctly or whether it truly is bad. I am thinking that my complaining and Olypen's complaining/checking with CenturyLink on my behalf may have solved the problem and it is not really a hardware problem. I will give an update later.

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