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Re: [svmug] Help us Google-Wan Connectbi. You’re our only hope.

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  • Roger Smith
    Actually I had exactly the reverse situation. Here in Sunnyvale, AT&T DSL was unreliable and Comcast (Business mind you, not Residential) has for the most
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 29, 2013
      Actually I had exactly the reverse situation. Here in Sunnyvale, AT&T
      DSL was unreliable and Comcast (Business mind you, not Residential) has
      for the most part proven reliable. They occasionally have latency
      problems, and their DNS servers seem slow some days, but general
      reliability has been good.

      When there was a problem, it has proven to be bushy tailed rats (aka
      squirrels) chewing on the coax drop to my home. Also, as their service
      has increased in speed, they've needed to upgrade some components beyond
      the drop, like splitters and one piece of coax. When their employees
      did the work, all went well. They were thorough and tested everything
      at the site, not just the piece they worked on. When a contractor
      showed up to do it, they always screwed it up.

      Based on my clients' experiences, the secret seems to be getting
      Business service as opposed to the Residential. I have a home office
      and they are just fine with that. I get TV service as residential. It
      is on the same cable, but on a different bill. The business TV channel
      selection is very limited. I also have my business phone with them,
      but they don't seem to know how to run a voice mail system. It is
      always having trouble. The telephone support/helpdesk for business is
      different than that for residential users and is much better. It was
      actually local until recently. I haven't used it since it was moved.

      Roger Smith, Artegenix, 408-736-7200
      Complete System & Network Administration
      Windows, Mac, Cisco
      Apple Consultants Network
      Microsoft Registered Partner, Small Business Specialist

      On 6/27/13 9:51 PM, Robert Brown wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hello SVMUG members,
      >
      > Okay, so this is a bit of a rant, but also a request to hear about
      > your experiences with Internet connectivity providers.
      >
      > Having a fast and reliable Internet connection at home is important to
      > both my job and some of my personal work. I have both AT&T DSL and
      > Comcast Digital. Problem: AT&T is reliable but painfully slow. Comcast
      > has decent speed, but is hideously unreliable -- I have daily
      > dropouts, durations of hours. (I think it may correlate with outdoor
      > temperatures.)
      >
      > I have had techs come out twice -- each time they concluded the
      > problem was with the "network". They promised to kick it up to the
      > network level, and in fact I supposably have a open ticket on it, that
      > is now months old. But there has been no improvement, no follow up, no
      > information from Comcast.
      >
      > So I feel trap by bad service from the only vendors available. Both
      > swear that direct optical fiber is coming Real Soon Now. I see no
      > progress.
      >
      > The only glimmer of hope of exiting a third World level of
      > connectivity is via Google. But again how soon -- where I am doesn't
      > look Kansas.
      >
      > What are your experiences? Is Comcast unreliable in your neighborhood?
      > What are you hoping to have in the future?
      >
      > -- Robert Brown
      >
      >
    • cappy2112
      ... Has it always been slow since you had DSL installed? This can be caused by many things. 1. Bad phone wires between the pole and your house, and/or the
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 30, 2013
        >>Problem: AT&T is reliable but painfully slow.
        Has it always been slow since you had DSL installed?
        This can be caused by many things.

        1. Bad phone wires between the pole and your house, and/or the phone line inside of your house. It's very easy to have these check by ATT. Chances are they have already done this.
        Does your connection get worse in bad weather?

        I had a DSL connection speed problem that was caused by a loose phone wire inside of the house. It was fixed with a screwdriver.

        2. Your distance from the central office. DSL lines are limited to a specific distance from the central office (or some other dispatch location). 15,500 feet comes to mind, but it may have changed over the years. There is nothing ATT can do about that. However, a fiber optic connection would likely remedy that issue.
        Find out from ATT how far your location is form the CO.

        3. Bad/flaky modem and/or router. This is likely to be the most difficult to resolve.
        Find a friend who has good service with ATT, and ask for the modem/router models & FW revision. Try replacing one at a time, see if anything changes. Check DSLReports.com
        for reviews & advice on modems & routers.

        >>Comcast has decent speed, but is hideously unreliable -- I have daily dropouts,
        You are in the minority. I rarely hear problems like this with Comcast.

        I wonder if you have noise on your AC power line. There may be a common element between your DSL problems and your Comcast problems.

        You may want to try a power line conditioner on the peripherals used for your DSL & cable connections. These are not very expensive. I bought one from Amazon for less than $100.

        Do other people in your neighborhood have similar issues.
        It may be worth 30 minutes of your time to knock on 10 doors in your neighborhood and take a quick, informal poll.

        Another option is to have an independent phone line contractor come and assess the quality of the wires coming into your house, as well as inside. This probably won't be free, and you may end up with someone who just wants to rewire the phone lines in your house.
      • Robert Brown
        Hello everyone, Per cappy2112 suggestions, These are all good things to check. In my particular case, these have been done, with no improvement. Comcast
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 1, 2013
          Hello everyone,

          Per cappy2112 suggestions,

          These are all good things to check. In my particular case, these have been done, with no improvement. Comcast technicians have waved their hands over the problem. I do have UPS/conditioners on all AC lines for all of my computer equipment, including the modems.

          Per the AT&T, I am getting the advertised bandwidth and latency. Problem is, by modern connectivity standards, any DSL is painfully slow. AT&T has told me that they are able to improve the bandwidth in my neighbor. U-verse needs to get fiber to the wall. Relying on twisted copper POTS lines for the last mile is just not handling modern requirements. They are however very reliable, as I mentioned in my early message.

          Per Comcast, I have had technicians visit on two separate occasions, with two opened trouble tickets on the issue. The last, which I assume is still open, clearly stated that the problem had been diagnosed as being with the network lines in the neighborhood, not with the coaxial cable within my apartment complex, nor with the installed equipment. 

          The Comcast representative told me that sending a trouble ticket to the network level would require them (the network techs, I assume) to provide a response with 48 hours. No response was ever made. I called a phone I was given to report the signal condition. I did this on successive nights for four days, each time getting just the answering machine, and each time I recorded a message reporting that no improvement has been seen. That was two months ago now. No word back, no changes. The bills seem to arrive right on schedule, no problem with communication there.

          The online Comcast support is in my opinion, not good. They follow a basic script and apparently can not look up trouble tickets for work in progress. They always want to start from square one. The transcripts I have kept are absolutely comic. I suspect chat bots. Good chat bots, but still chat bots. 

          The online support includes a web widget, where based on your account number, they can supposably ping your equipment and determine the connection quality. These tally lights are supposed to indicate if my equipment is connected and functioning. The lights always show green, even when there is no signal at all according to the modem and to the TV digital receiver. (You can use the built server of the modem to get a signal report. As this is a function built into the modem, it is available even when there is no incoming signal. It can be illuminating to see how the signal varies.)

          I have not taken the step of checking with my neighbors about their signal. I have talked to the complex manager, but the manager does not use Comcast, and does not know first hand how the service is working for neighbors who do use Comcast. Though it is interesting to think about organizing the villagers, given that 5% of Palo Alto households are lawyers, and 14% are engineers.

          At this point, I am thinking that I will just drop Comcast, use the AT&T slow as it is, and just wait patiently for some-one-who-knows-whom-that-might-be to install true fiber optical lines in Palo Alto. I suggest that this vendor to-be-named-later will likely eat Comcast's lunch.

          Or maybe I will just tap my ruby slippers together, and move to Kansas. (Auntie Em, Auntie Em!)

          -- Robert

          On Jun 30, 2013, at 10:39 AM, cappy2112 <cappy2112@...> wrote:

          >>Problem: AT&T is reliable but painfully slow. 
          Has it always been slow since you had DSL installed?
          This can be caused by many things.

          1. Bad phone wires between the pole and your house, and/or the phone line inside of your house. It's very easy to have these check by ATT. Chances are they have already done this.
          Does your connection get worse in bad weather?

          I had a DSL connection speed problem that was caused by a loose phone wire inside of the house. It was fixed with a screwdriver.

          2. Your distance from the central office. DSL lines are limited to a specific distance from the central office (or some other dispatch location). 15,500 feet comes to mind, but it may have changed over the years. There is nothing ATT can do about that. However, a fiber optic connection would likely remedy that issue.
          Find out from ATT how far your location is form the CO.

          3. Bad/flaky modem and/or router. This is likely to be the most difficult to resolve.
          Find a friend who has good service with ATT, and ask for the modem/router models & FW revision. Try replacing one at a time, see if anything changes. Check DSLReports.com
          for reviews & advice on modems & routers.

          >>Comcast has decent speed, but is hideously unreliable -- I have daily dropouts, 
          You are in the minority. I rarely hear problems like this with Comcast.

          I wonder if you have noise on your AC power line. There may be a common element between your DSL problems and your Comcast problems.

          You may want to try a power line conditioner on the peripherals used for your DSL & cable connections. These are not very expensive. I bought one from Amazon for less than $100.

          Do other people in your neighborhood have similar issues.
          It may be worth 30 minutes of your time to knock on 10 doors in your neighborhood and take a quick, informal poll.

          Another option is to have an independent phone line contractor come and assess the quality of the wires coming into your house, as well as inside. This probably won't be free, and you may end up with someone who just wants to rewire the phone lines in your house.

        • Patricia Juarez
          When I have on occasion had a problem getting a response from Comcast, I call and ask for the RENTENTION DEPARTMENT - I explain my issue and if I don t get a
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 1, 2013
            When I have on occasion had a problem getting a response from Comcast, I call and ask for the RENTENTION DEPARTMENT - I explain my issue and if I don't get a reasonable response (USUALLY some action gets taken seriously and my problem is handled rapidly); if not, I ask to speak to a supervisor or a manager and repeat the process--ALWAYS works, but rarely had to use it.  I do let them know how long I've been with Comcast--35+ years since BEFORE they when they were Gill Cable (and they know this too because it's on my record and commented on it often).  

            The RETENTION DEPT. has power to get some action that the first line operators know nothing about.

            Patricia :)


            On Jul 1, 2013, at 2:04 PM, Robert Brown <rlbrown@...> wrote:

             

            Hello everyone,


            Per cappy2112 suggestions,

            These are all good things to check. In my particular case, these have been done, with no improvement. Comcast technicians have waved their hands over the problem. I do have UPS/conditioners on all AC lines for all of my computer equipment, including the modems.

            Per the AT&T, I am getting the advertised bandwidth and latency. Problem is, by modern connectivity standards, any DSL is painfully slow. AT&T has told me that they are able to improve the bandwidth in my neighbor. U-verse needs to get fiber to the wall. Relying on twisted copper POTS lines for the last mile is just not handling modern requirements. They are however very reliable, as I mentioned in my early message.

            Per Comcast, I have had technicians visit on two separate occasions, with two opened trouble tickets on the issue. The last, which I assume is still open, clearly stated that the problem had been diagnosed as being with the network lines in the neighborhood, not with the coaxial cable within my apartment complex, nor with the installed equipment. 

            The Comcast representative told me that sending a trouble ticket to the network level would require them (the network techs, I assume) to provide a response with 48 hours. No response was ever made. I called a phone I was given to report the signal condition. I did this on successive nights for four days, each time getting just the answering machine, and each time I recorded a message reporting that no improvement has been seen. That was two months ago now. No word back, no changes. The bills seem to arrive right on schedule, no problem with communication there.

            The online Comcast support is in my opinion, not good. They follow a basic script and apparently can not look up trouble tickets for work in progress. They always want to start from square one. The transcripts I have kept are absolutely comic. I suspect chat bots. Good chat bots, but still chat bots. 

            The online support includes a web widget, where based on your account number, they can supposably ping your equipment and determine the connection quality. These tally lights are supposed to indicate if my equipment is connected and functioning. The lights always show green, even when there is no signal at all according to the modem and to the TV digital receiver. (You can use the built server of the modem to get a signal report. As this is a function built into the modem, it is available even when there is no incoming signal. It can be illuminating to see how the signal varies.)

            I have not taken the step of checking with my neighbors about their signal. I have talked to the complex manager, but the manager does not use Comcast, and does not know first hand how the service is working for neighbors who do use Comcast. Though it is interesting to think about organizing the villagers, given that 5% of Palo Alto households are lawyers, and 14% are engineers.

            At this point, I am thinking that I will just drop Comcast, use the AT&T slow as it is, and just wait patiently for some-one-who-knows-whom-that-might-be to install true fiber optical lines in Palo Alto. I suggest that this vendor to-be-named-later will likely eat Comcast's lunch.

            Or maybe I will just tap my ruby slippers together, and move to Kansas. (Auntie Em, Auntie Em!)

            -- Robert

            On Jun 30, 2013, at 10:39 AM, cappy2112 <cappy2112@...> wrote:

            >>Problem: AT&T is reliable but painfully slow. 
            Has it always been slow since you had DSL installed?
            This can be caused by many things.

            1. Bad phone wires between the pole and your house, and/or the phone line inside of your house. It's very easy to have these check by ATT. Chances are they have already done this.
            Does your connection get worse in bad weather?

            I had a DSL connection speed problem that was caused by a loose phone wire inside of the house. It was fixed with a screwdriver.

            2. Your distance from the central office. DSL lines are limited to a specific distance from the central office (or some other dispatch location). 15,500 feet comes to mind, but it may have changed over the years. There is nothing ATT can do about that. However, a fiber optic connection would likely remedy that issue.
            Find out from ATT how far your location is form the CO.

            3. Bad/flaky modem and/or router. This is likely to be the most difficult to resolve.
            Find a friend who has good service with ATT, and ask for the modem/router models & FW revision. Try replacing one at a time, see if anything changes. Check DSLReports.com
            for reviews & advice on modems & routers.

            >>Comcast has decent speed, but is hideously unreliable -- I have daily dropouts, 
            You are in the minority. I rarely hear problems like this with Comcast.

            I wonder if you have noise on your AC power line. There may be a common element between your DSL problems and your Comcast problems.

            You may want to try a power line conditioner on the peripherals used for your DSL & cable connections. These are not very expensive. I bought one from Amazon for less than $100.

            Do other people in your neighborhood have similar issues.
            It may be worth 30 minutes of your time to knock on 10 doors in your neighborhood and take a quick, informal poll.

            Another option is to have an independent phone line contractor come and assess the quality of the wires coming into your house, as well as inside. This probably won't be free, and you may end up with someone who just wants to rewire the phone lines in your house.



          • irish.masms
            On 6/27/13 9:51 PM, Robert Brown wrote: [snipped] ... I would never use comcrap or the death star; thankfully Sonic serves the South Bay as well. Sadly, I am a
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 3, 2013
              On 6/27/13 9:51 PM, Robert Brown wrote:
              [snipped]
              >
              > What are your experiences? Is Comcast unreliable in your neighborhood? What are you hoping to have in the future?

              I would never use comcrap or the death star; thankfully Sonic serves the
              South Bay as well. Sadly, I am a bit far from the DMARC so the speed is
              slow, but I can accept that with a bit of my privacy taken care of.


              Sonic.net privacy policies recognized by the EFF
              http://corp.sonic.net/ceo/2012/05/31/sonic-net-privacy-policies-recognized-by-the-eff/

              CEO Of Internet Provider Sonic.net: We Delete User Logs After Two Weeks.
              Your Internet Provider Should, Too.
              http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/06/22/ceo-of-internet-provider-sonic-net-we-delete-user-logs-after-two-weeks-your-internet-provider-should-too/


              The Little ISP That Stood Up to the Government
              http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/10/09/the-little-isp-that-stood-up-to-the-government/
            • jack_truher
              The comically miserable service problem with Comcast has been so appalling of late that I was beginning symptoms of Comcast Customer PTSD after over 20 phone
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 6, 2013
                The comically miserable service problem with Comcast has been so appalling of late that I was beginning symptoms of "Comcast Customer PTSD" after over 20 phone calls that even the paid techs were unqualified to deal with, not that the problem was complicated. Comcast had pushed a Gateway that was supposed to replace the modem+ router, but did not. It essentially blocked customer IP access, so that ethernet printers could not be identified. Nobody in the customer understood this after the equipment was in service for 2-3 years! I finally bridged their gateway bought my own router after finding a one paragraph explanation in a customer Help discussion group.

                I came to understand that comcast techs (nearly) all operate on negative motivation. Any problem they don't immediately understand in detail is dropped and customer phone lines go dead. One tech arrived by appointment without previously agreed replacement equipment, uninformed, refusing to identify himself, quickly fled the scene in horror that he would be burdened with another complaint, apparently deadly to their survival or pay. Complexity is not a challenge; it is a radioactive felony. Service complaints are not tagged with a trouble number to be tracked. Any followup is purely accidental.

                ATT is offering two year discounts with much better TV receiver-recorders. While I fear ATTs DSL wire pair delivery, and know there can be sloppy service anywhere, nothing can be as bad as comcast lately. I should be free of Comcast before this week is out.

                One thing a comcast tech did was properly identify lately is the flakey wire delivery line, for which replacement was already installed and readily available. Even that took about 5 years until a competent technician made the call.


                --- In svmug@yahoogroups.com, Robert Brown <rlbrown@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hello everyone,
                >
                > Per cappy2112 suggestions,
                >
                > These are all good things to check. In my particular case, these have been done, with no improvement. Comcast technicians have waved their hands over the problem. I do have UPS/conditioners on all AC lines for all of my computer equipment, including the modems.
                >
                > Per the AT&T, I am getting the advertised bandwidth and latency. Problem is, by modern connectivity standards, any DSL is painfully slow. AT&T has told me that they are able to improve the bandwidth in my neighbor. U-verse needs to get fiber to the wall. Relying on twisted copper POTS lines for the last mile is just not handling modern requirements. They are however very reliable, as I mentioned in my early message.
                >
                > Per Comcast, I have had technicians visit on two separate occasions, with two opened trouble tickets on the issue. The last, which I assume is still open, clearly stated that the problem had been diagnosed as being with the network lines in the neighborhood, not with the coaxial cable within my apartment complex, nor with the installed equipment.
                >
                > The Comcast representative told me that sending a trouble ticket to the network level would require them (the network techs, I assume) to provide a response with 48 hours. No response was ever made. I called a phone I was given to report the signal condition. I did this on successive nights for four days, each time getting just the answering machine, and each time I recorded a message reporting that no improvement has been seen. That was two months ago now. No word back, no changes. The bills seem to arrive right on schedule, no problem with communication there.
                >
                > The online Comcast support is in my opinion, not good. They follow a basic script and apparently can not look up trouble tickets for work in progress. They always want to start from square one. The transcripts I have kept are absolutely comic. I suspect chat bots. Good chat bots, but still chat bots.
                >
                > The online support includes a web widget, where based on your account number, they can supposably ping your equipment and determine the connection quality. These tally lights are supposed to indicate if my equipment is connected and functioning. The lights always show green, even when there is no signal at all according to the modem and to the TV digital receiver. (You can use the built server of the modem to get a signal report. As this is a function built into the modem, it is available even when there is no incoming signal. It can be illuminating to see how the signal varies.)
                >
                > I have not taken the step of checking with my neighbors about their signal. I have talked to the complex manager, but the manager does not use Comcast, and does not know first hand how the service is working for neighbors who do use Comcast. Though it is interesting to think about organizing the villagers, given that 5% of Palo Alto households are lawyers, and 14% are engineers.
                >
                > At this point, I am thinking that I will just drop Comcast, use the AT&T slow as it is, and just wait patiently for some-one-who-knows-whom-that-might-be to install true fiber optical lines in Palo Alto. I suggest that this vendor to-be-named-later will likely eat Comcast's lunch.
                >
                > Or maybe I will just tap my ruby slippers together, and move to Kansas. (Auntie Em, Auntie Em!)
                >
                > -- Robert
                >
                > On Jun 30, 2013, at 10:39 AM, cappy2112 <cappy2112@...> wrote:
                >
                > > >>Problem: AT&T is reliable but painfully slow.
                > > Has it always been slow since you had DSL installed?
                > > This can be caused by many things.
                > >
                > > 1. Bad phone wires between the pole and your house, and/or the phone line inside of your house. It's very easy to have these check by ATT. Chances are they have already done this.
                > > Does your connection get worse in bad weather?
                > >
                > > I had a DSL connection speed problem that was caused by a loose phone wire inside of the house. It was fixed with a screwdriver.
                > >
                > > 2. Your distance from the central office. DSL lines are limited to a specific distance from the central office (or some other dispatch location). 15,500 feet comes to mind, but it may have changed over the years. There is nothing ATT can do about that. However, a fiber optic connection would likely remedy that issue.
                > > Find out from ATT how far your location is form the CO.
                > >
                > > 3. Bad/flaky modem and/or router. This is likely to be the most difficult to resolve.
                > > Find a friend who has good service with ATT, and ask for the modem/router models & FW revision. Try replacing one at a time, see if anything changes. Check DSLReports.com
                > > for reviews & advice on modems & routers.
                > >
                > > >>Comcast has decent speed, but is hideously unreliable -- I have daily dropouts,
                > > You are in the minority. I rarely hear problems like this with Comcast.
                > >
                > > I wonder if you have noise on your AC power line. There may be a common element between your DSL problems and your Comcast problems.
                > >
                > > You may want to try a power line conditioner on the peripherals used for your DSL & cable connections. These are not very expensive. I bought one from Amazon for less than $100.
                > >
                > > Do other people in your neighborhood have similar issues.
                > > It may be worth 30 minutes of your time to knock on 10 doors in your neighborhood and take a quick, informal poll.
                > >
                > > Another option is to have an independent phone line contractor come and assess the quality of the wires coming into your house, as well as inside. This probably won't be free, and you may end up with someone who just wants to rewire the phone lines in your house.
                >
              • dtuerk@sbcglobal.net
                It was only after I actually switched from Comcast to ATT U-verse TV that I found out that my TIVO was not compatible. Yes, ATT lets you record shows to a hard
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 9, 2013
                  It was only after I actually switched from Comcast to ATT U-verse TV that I found out that my TIVO was not compatible. Yes, ATT lets you record shows to a hard disc and play them later, but TIVO Transfer and Toast, from what was Roxio and is now Corel, allows you to burn them to disc (most of the time, but Corel customer Non-Service could be the subject of another post). If you don't schedule the Tivo to record every 12 hours with ATT, it automatically goes into "hibernation" mode and needs to be re-booted. Not good! Don't even think of going on vacation. So it was reluctantly back to Comcast.
                  Dan Tuerk



                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: jack_truher <jbt@...>
                  To: svmug <svmug@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tue, Aug 6, 2013 1:15 pm
                  Subject: [svmug] Re: Help us Google-Wan Connectbi. You’re our only hope.

                   
                  The comically miserable service problem with Comcast has been so appalling of late that I was beginning symptoms of "Comcast Customer PTSD" after over 20 phone calls that even the paid techs were unqualified to deal with, not that the problem was complicated. Comcast had pushed a Gateway that was supposed to replace the modem+ router, but did not. It essentially blocked customer IP access, so that ethernet printers could not be identified. Nobody in the customer understood this after the equipment was in service for 2-3 years! I finally bridged their gateway bought my own router after finding a one paragraph explanation in a customer Help discussion group.

                  I came to understand that comcast techs (nearly) all operate on negative motivation. Any problem they don't immediately understand in detail is dropped and customer phone lines go dead. One tech arrived by appointment without previously agreed replacement equipment, uninformed, refusing to identify himself, quickly fled the scene in horror that he would be burdened with another complaint, apparently deadly to their survival or pay. Complexity is not a challenge; it is a radioactive felony. Service complaints are not tagged with a trouble number to be tracked. Any followup is purely accidental.

                  ATT is offering two year discounts with much better TV receiver-recorders. While I fear ATTs DSL wire pair delivery, and know there can be sloppy service anywhere, nothing can be as bad as comcast lately. I should be free of Comcast before this week is out.

                  One thing a comcast tech did was properly identify lately is the flakey wire delivery line, for which replacement was already installed and readily available. Even that took about 5 years until a competent technician made the call.

                  --- In svmug@yahoogroups.com, Robert Brown <rlbrown@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello everyone,
                  >
                  > Per cappy2112 suggestions,
                  >
                  > These are all good things to check. In my particular case, these have been done, with no improvement. Comcast technicians have waved their hands over the problem. I do have UPS/conditioners on all AC lines for all of my computer equipment, including the modems.
                  >
                  > Per the AT&T, I am getting the advertised bandwidth and latency. Problem is, by modern connectivity standards, any DSL is painfully slow. AT&T has told me that they are able to improve the bandwidth in my neighbor. U-verse needs to get fiber to the wall. Relying on twisted copper POTS lines for the last mile is just not handling modern requirements. They are however very reliable, as I mentioned in my early message.
                  >
                  > Per Comcast, I have had technicians visit on two separate occasions, with two opened trouble tickets on the issue. The last, which I assume is still open, clearly stated that the problem had been diagnosed as being with the network lines in the neighborhood, not with the coaxial cable within my apartment complex, nor with the installed equipment.
                  >
                  > The Comcast representative told me that sending a trouble ticket to the network level would require them (the network techs, I assume) to provide a response with 48 hours. No response was ever made. I called a phone I was given to report the signal condition. I did this on successive nights for four days, each time getting just the answering machine, and each time I recorded a message reporting that no improvement has been seen. That was two months ago now. No word back, no changes. The bills seem to arrive right on schedule, no problem with communication there.
                  >
                  > The online Comcast support is in my opinion, not good. They follow a basic script and apparently can not look up trouble tickets for work in progress. They always want to start from square one. The transcripts I have kept are absolutely comic. I suspect chat bots. Good chat bots, but still chat bots.
                  >
                  > The online support includes a web widget, where based on your account number, they can supposably ping your equipment and determine the connection quality. These tally lights are supposed to indicate if my equipment is connected and functioning. The lights always show green, even when there is no signal at all according to the modem and to the TV digital receiver. (You can use the built server of the modem to get a signal report. As this is a function built into the modem, it is available even when there is no incoming signal. It can be illuminating to see how the signal varies.)
                  >
                  > I have not taken the step of checking with my neighbors about their signal. I have talked to the complex manager, but the manager does not use Comcast, and does not know first hand how the service is working for neighbors who do use Comcast. Though it is interesting to think about organizing the villagers, given that 5% of Palo Alto households are lawyers, and 14% are engineers.
                  >
                  > At this point, I am thinking that I will just drop Comcast, use the AT&T slow as it is, and just wait patiently for some-one-who-knows-whom-that-might-be to install true fiber optical lines in Palo Alto. I suggest that this vendor to-be-named-later will likely eat Comcast's lunch.
                  >
                  > Or maybe I will just tap my ruby slippers together, and move to Kansas. (Auntie Em, Auntie Em!)
                  >
                  > -- Robert
                  >
                  > On Jun 30, 2013, at 10:39 AM, cappy2112 <cappy2112@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > >>Problem: AT&T is reliable but painfully slow.
                  > > Has it always been slow since you had DSL installed?
                  > > This can be caused by many things.
                  > >
                  > > 1. Bad phone wires between the pole and your house, and/or the phone line inside of your house. It's very easy to have these check by ATT. Chances are they have already done this.
                  > > Does your connection get worse in bad weather?
                  > >
                  > > I had a DSL connection speed problem that was caused by a loose phone wire inside of the house. It was fixed with a screwdriver.
                  > >
                  > > 2. Your distance from the central office. DSL lines are limited to a specific distance from the central office (or some other dispatch location). 15,500 feet comes to mind, but it may have changed over the years. There is nothing ATT can do about that. However, a fiber optic connection would likely remedy that issue.
                  > > Find out from ATT how far your location is form the CO.
                  > >
                  > > 3. Bad/flaky modem and/or router. This is likely to be the most difficult to resolve.
                  > > Find a friend who has good service with ATT, and ask for the modem/router models & FW revision. Try replacing one at a time, see if anything changes. Check DSLReports.com
                  > > for reviews & advice on modems & routers.
                  > >
                  > > >>Comcast has decent speed, but is hideously unreliable -- I have daily dropouts,
                  > > You are in the minority. I rarely hear problems like this with Comcast.
                  > >
                  > > I wonder if you have noise on your AC power line. There may be a common element between your DSL problems and your Comcast problems.
                  > >
                  > > You may want to try a power line conditioner on the peripherals used for your DSL & cable connections. These are not very expensive. I bought one from Amazon for less than $100.
                  > >
                  > > Do other people in your neighborhood have similar issues.
                  > > It may be worth 30 minutes of your time to knock on 10 doors in your neighborhood and take a quick, informal poll.
                  > >
                  > > Another option is to have an independent phone line contractor come and assess the quality of the wires coming into your house, as well as inside. This probably won't be free, and you may end up with someone who just wants to rewire the phone lines in your house.
                  >

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