Slow DSL Speed

Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,362
Location
Southern Cal
Lately I been noticing that my AT&T DSL seemed to be performing much slower than it used to. The plan that I have is for 3-6 mb/s. When I did a speed test it would say I was getting about 5 mb/s. I noticed though that the ping rates that they listed were around 30-40 ms. Seemed to me that this number used to be much lower. I don't know how much this affects the performance but I feel as if it is affecting something. My connection times seemed much slower, very often I would have to click on a site twice because the first time it would hang and time out. It got to the point that whenever I would switch sites it would take two tries. Very annoying. I also noticed that when I would pick up my land line phone I could hear a significant amount of static in the background. When I unplugged the DSL modem the static would stop. So I decided to pick up a new modem and replace all the filters on the outlets. That did nothing to stop the static. So I was now convinced there is something wrong with AT&T's system. I reported it to AT&T. They set me up for a technician to investigate and the next day they had available was a Sunday. On Sunday's they cannot provide a 4 hour window of when they will arrive. It needed to be 8 hours. So I agreed and waited the entire day without seeing a technician or receiving a phone call that my problem was fixed.

That following week I received my new monthly phone bill in which I noticed that they were announcing that my DSL rates were being increased by $2 per month beginning in March. Well this just added insult to injury.

I decided to contact Time Warner cable and sign up for cable internet service. Their fastest service would end up being $1 per month less than what my new AT&T bill would have been and they offered 15 mb/s service. Thats 3 times faster than my AT&T speeds. I was only interested in their internet service as I have DirectV for television.

The installer set it up yesterday and so far I am quite impressed with its performance. When I do a speed test it is getting 25 - 30 mb/s with a 10 ms ping time. What a difference compared to my DSL. My hang times have stopped and I now wish I had done this a long time ago.

I am still a little technologically challenged as I do not fully understand how my old service could have good speed rates yet poor quality but I am convinced there was something definitely wrong with my AT&T service which AT&T still refuses to admit.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
5,614
Location
Texas
I don't have AT&T, but I've heard the same often about AT&T DSL, esp the faster speeds.

Perhaps not of interest to you now, but it might have been before...

The US FCC is trying to take control of internet too (my take on it). Since they will anyway, it seems good that they have concern about similar problems... including about ISP not providing promised service.

Here is a FCC page that discusses it:
http://blog.broadband.gov/?entryId=359987

The FCC is funding (your tax dollars, participate or not) an involved study of actual results. A London company named SamKnows is implementing the study, funded by the FCC. This program has actually been running over 3 months, but the signup form on the above link still appears active. They are seeking 10,000 participants (from all random ISP and bandwidths), and my guess is that signup is still active. I am one in this test.

If accepted, they mail you a free Netgear router with special firmware. Nice router, it "routes", and it also does great 802.11n wireless. You put that router between your PCs and your original ISP router, and leave it on (they provide detailed instructions). That is all you do. Then every hour, it runs about a dozen speed and other tests (download speed, upload speed, latency, failed requests, lost packets, DNS response times, Failed DNS queries, RTP jitter, etc, etc, etc).

They say it will add 2GB/month of data to your tally, if anyone is counting. It never interferes with me any any way, I am never aware of more than some LEDs blinking sometimes. Everyone promises no tampering or monitoring of anything more than your ISP results. I believe it, and have nothing to hide anyway. There is a FAQ link on the signup page.

Seems to me, in this way they will absolutely KNOW what the various ISP are implementing. I have no idea when the final reports will come out, but I think it is long term. You are given access to a web page that shows your own results at any time. The FCC words it as "participate in shaping the future of broadband".

My own results are pretty dull. My ISP is Verizon FiOS. Reports show I get continuous 43MB/second download and 35MB/sec upload, without hiccups. I am promised 35. I think not all are that blessed however, and the purpose of this effort is to do the report, and maybe change the rules. If anyone is interested...
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
6,117
Location
Upstate SC
OT - thanks for the link, Wayne. I just signed up. I've been continually frustrated by the fact that our "max" download is 1.5mb/s and 256kb/s up. Our speediest actual numbers are consistently around 1.1mb/s and 120kb/s and we live about 150 feet from the "ped". I recently spoke to an ATT service tech in our neighborhood who gave me some ominous news that may be of interest to others...

Neighborhoods and even towns that got fiber optic infrastructure a few years ago are "capped" by the technology at a rate of around 6mb/s with many more capped at 3mb/s and early adopting areas possibly at 1.5mb/s (our apparent case). Since ATT is now heavily invested in a newer "engineered copper" infrastructure that can offer MUCH higher speeds and reduced maintenance costs means they have essentially abandoned serious further investment in improving fiber performance.

Looks like we're stuck with relatively slow speed and even slower than stated. I just signed up for the program...
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
5,614
Location
Texas
I've never known of any DSL that actually did advertised speed. Some get closer than others.

My only question about the test (not a concern, just an unknown) is the duration of the test, when it is over, and if this router firmware is upgradable at that time. :) Doesn't really matter, it is working fine as is.

It is a Netgear WNR3500 gigabyte router, and 802.11n wireless, neither of which I had. The internet still goes out the original 100Mb router, but it is slower anyway. The other PCs in the house could all be gigabit. The N wireless makes a TREMENDOUS difference... Dell laptop and iPhone 4 easily usable anywhere in the house now, instead of in same room (with g). Through it, FCC speedtest ( http://www.broadband.gov/qualitytest/about/#qualitytest ) on the iPhone 4 is 24.6Mb/13.4Mb.
 
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Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
1,535
Location
UK
Your lucky to get that speed here where I live in the UK all I get is 1.2 to 1.47 mb/s due to the distance from the exchange.

Bazza
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
5,614
Location
Texas
I do pay for faster service from Verizon (bundled with a TV deal). It is apparently easy for them, and they offer 15Mb to 50Mb service.

But the 802.11N wireless router is also key for wireless. The iPhone 4 does N, and the Dell laptop does N, and now the router does N, which is much faster than G. Much more range too.
 

Growltiger

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
13,379
Location
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
Reading this thread makes me cry. I get 0.75Mb/s ADSL and there is no alternative service available where I am.

I even paid £1700 to our monopoly provider for a new box by the road, and I personally buried 170 metres of high quality armoured phone cable from the box to the house. This gave me a reliable service of 0.75Mb instead of the previous unreliable daytime-only service of 0.25Mb.

The UK broadband service is one of the most backward of the "developed" countries in the world, although the stats published are always fudged to show how great we are.

(Bazza - have you optimised your broadband setup fully? PM me if you need any advice.
You are only fully optimised if you either have an ADSL splitter faceplate, or have no extension wiring at all.
Good but not fully optimised is an NTE5A master socket or NTE5 plus "Broadband accelerator".
Not optimised at all is an NTE5 or older master socket with extension wiring.)
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
5,614
Location
Texas
Is that a remote or rural area? Far from the central office? It seems much slower than anything shown on this list?
http://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk/speed_ratings.aspx

But on web sites, there seems really not a great difference in slow and fast service. Web sites must have a lot of overhead, most are not very fast.

It is on files where the speed really shows off.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,362
Location
Southern Cal
Richard,

I am truly shocked at the speeds you are getting in the UK. As you said they seem to fudge the numbers. Almost everything I have read seems to say that the US is lagging behind other countries. I am really humbled here as I was disappointed in getting 5 mb/s. I really believe it was not a true reading though as I cannot explain why so many sites were hanging.
 

Growltiger

Administrator
Administrator
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
13,379
Location
Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
Richard,

I am truly shocked at the speeds you are getting in the UK. As you said they seem to fudge the numbers. Almost everything I have read seems to say that the US is lagging behind other countries. I am really humbled here as I was disappointed in getting 5 mb/s. I really believe it was not a true reading though as I cannot explain why so many sites were hanging.

When I complain I'm told it is my choice for living in the country and not in a city. Well that's true, but all the emphasis is on ramping up speeds in the cities where the money is. If you are on cable you can get 50Mb for example, but cable will never come to where I am. I'm over 7 Km from the exchange (nearly 5 miles), hence the slow ADSL. I've become expert in optimising it and have sorted out the problems of many of my neighbour's houses (neighbour meaning within a mile).

I would love a "Universal Service Obligation" to force provision of 2Mb for every house in the country. 2Mb is enough for most things including watching small video windows. Higher speeds are needed for watching TV, especially HD TV, and for large scale piracy of music and movies. Since I don't want to do that, 2Mb would be a great upgrade.

You should have no problem at all with 5Mb, something must be wrong. What you need to do first is look at your Router status page and report the up and down speeds and the up and down Noise Margin in dB. If you can, try a different router, they do vary a lot in their performance at slow speeds.
 
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