Connectivity woes

ADSL SummaryFor the past few weeks I’ve been having problems with the DSL connection in my home. When it works, it generally works great, but the connection’s been dropping rather consistently and when I was connected I was getting, at best 3MBPS versus the 6MPBS I’m paying for. The past five days were long and involved no less than fiver different technicians (three coming to my house) and still the problem is not solved.

The good news is that everyone (now) agrees that the problem is not related to my equipment. I’ll spare you the full story but I do want to share the story of the tech that came to my house on Friday. (16 hours early for the appointment… How’s that for service?)

When I’d finally arrived home (having left work at the last minute due to his unanticipated arrival at my home,) he had “figured it out” and wanted to “walk me through everything step by step”. (The four computers in my office and the CAT-6 running through the walls did not give him a clue that I could generally speak the lingo.

He proceeded to hook up my wife’s laptop to my router, via WiFi, and run a speed test. See, he says, 1.5MBPS-ish (I’m a little fuzzy recalling actual numbers.) Then he plugs the same laptop directly into my two-week-old DSL modem (the first “solution” to my problems) with an Ethernet cable and re-runs the speed test giving me something like 3MBPS. His conclusion: it must be my router causing the problem since when we connect to it, we get lower speeds.

Do you see the problem with this logic? He’s just told me that my WiFi speed is slower than Ethernet speed. When I tried to point this out to him, he got all confused and didn’t want to believe me. It took me plugging another computer into my router with an Ethernet cable to show him that using my router would get me the same speed with the same type of connection.

Luckily, all of the techs since have been a lot more helpful and willing to work with me on the problem. Now the ISP is telling me that it’s a “known latency problem” effecting “multiple accounts”. My working theory is that this has been the problem all along, I just noticed it sooner than most usual customers due to my heavy use. We’ll see.

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