DSL dismay

No DSL service Monday morning — a surprise because Citizens high-speed Internet service is normally rock-solid.

Tried the usual correction steps: Renew IPConfig via command prompt, disconnect — then reconnect — modem, disconnect — then reconnect — telephone line, replace telephone line, disconnect other phones, disconnect wireless router, etc.

Nothing worked.  Picked up the phone to call tech service, noticed high level of static on phone. While calling, Internet service returned.  Hung up phone, service went out. Picked up the phone, dialed the tech service number, DSL service returned.

Checked the phone line coming into the house. Static on-line. Called tech service. They promised to check. Thirty minutes later, static gone from phone line but DSL still not working. Called DSL support. They suggested changing the modem and installing new line filters.

Headed for town to use wi-fi service for Internet work, dropped modem off at Citizens office, fixed a problem with a client’s WordPress installation, went to visit mother at her assisted living facility, ran into drenching downpour on way home — discovering that I had failed to pack rain suit in motorcycle saddlebags, returned to Floyd to pick up modem — leaving trail of water on their floor — headed home and plugged in new modem.

It worked — for about 15 minutes.  DSL service came and went. Disconnected wireless router. No change. Shut down cordless phones. Still no go.

Remembered I had put in second phone line three years ago for short-lived home-based business. Went outside house to telephone network interface, switched incoming main line to second line, then tried DSL modem on phone jack for second line. It worked. Installed splitter and plugged in phone. Everything worked.

Bottom line: The problem was ours, not Citizens. The 34-year-old telephone wiring that was installed in the house when it was built in 1977 is probably worn out but the newer phone line installed in 2007 works fine so we will live with that line with one incoming connection until I can look into rewiring the rest of the house.

Back in business. Ah, technology.

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4 thoughts on “DSL dismay”

  1. Yes, I’m a skeptic. I have Citizens dial up service. It’s been mostly reliable but I don’t waste any time looking for problems with my equipment. I’ve had frequent disconnects recently and I don’t wonder why. A thunderstorm in the distance, far away from here, is fair warning that I could lose something like this post at any moment.

    Do you hear static on the line when you plug a phone directly into the interface line?

    Your house wiring didn’t wear out. I would be willing to bet you could put it back the way you had it and everything would be fine. It’s a good thing to keep a simple landline phone handy that you can plug directly into the interface. The next best thing is more patience. My experience since 1998 with this service is that it’s ALWAYS been their problem.

    • You would lose that bet. I put signal testers on the lines and found significant transmission loss. Copper wiring does deteriorate over time and the original phone wiring in our house is 34 years old. And a critter or two might have had some insulation for brunch. I’ve been planning to rewire it with fiber anyway so this will be a good chance.

      I make most of my living with the Internet (web hosting, web sites, etc.) so a clear, strong high-speed signal is essential. I don’t guess with these things. When the re-provisioned modem didn’t work I knew there were other problems.

  2. I have a cable modem service supplied by Comcast. DSL uses traditional copper used for POTS (plain old telephone service). It’s rather primitive compared to cable or fiber in more enlightened areas.

    They offer a linebacker service for $2.00 per month. They’ll come out and troubleshoot the problem. To me it’s a cheap investment;I.E., $24 per annum to let a repairman restore my service which includes household wiring too.

    If Citizens offers such, then I recommend enrolling. Granted you have the technical ability to t-shoot your problem, but what is your time and psychic energy worth. I’m too old and cranky to deal with such although as yourself I’m quite capable of isolating a problem.

    Comcast supplies superb service in my area. I call them and they have techs come to my home the same day. They are courteous, very knowledgeable and also put on elastic topped booties to prevent dirt being brought into my home. Great company, great workforce. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

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