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Fixed! DSL Debugged

1:00 PM -- I've been chronicling my week-long quest to solve a DSL problem at my home office. It's been an effective demonstration of the complexity -- and difficulty -- that RBOCs have in managing and supporting broadband services.

For background, see DSL Doldrums and DSL Doldrums Redux.

The saga took a bizarre twist of events yesterday when it was suddenly and unexpectedly solved -- with a heroic effort by Mr. Friendly Service Technician (MFST). For reference, MFST is a gregarious individual, who should be welcomed into the home and offered coffee. Having him visit is much preferable to speaking on the phone to Surly Level 3 Technican Man (SL3TM), whom we met in "DSL Doldrums Redux."

Here's how it all ended: At approximately 2PM, a week after my initial contact with (NYSE: VZ), my DSL provider, I called to find out where the service technician was (after fighting for a week to get a service technician, they'd promised one by 1PM on Monday). I was finally connected with a stern woman who told me, "I'm sorry sir, but due to problems caused by flooding in the Northeast, all dispatches have been suspended for the week."

Yes, I thought, there's been some flooding. Some folks are probably trying to get back in their homes. I'm just some poor schmuck who needs his DSL fixed. But it seemed strange -- would the world's second largest phone company really suspend all house calls?

And then, suddenly, as she was breaking the news that a truck wouldn't show up, up strolls Verizon's MFST, literally knocking on the door while I'm on the phone.

Weird. If Verizon had indeed cancelled service calls, was this guy an imposter? Was he related to Valerie Plame? Did he work for the CIA?

At any rate, MFST was a real hero. He even looked the part, with a goatee and a cool glowing blue wireless Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) headset-thingy attached to his ear. He checked my wiring, inside and out, and identified the problem within 30 minutes. The bottom line? It was none of the things that Verizon support or myself had guessed.

Nope -- it wasn't the rain. It wasn't Adware.

Anybody care to guess what the problem was? There's a free T-shirt it in if you can guess correctly. Answer tomorrow.

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading

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Duh! 12/5/2012 | 2:57:05 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Either a filter, a flaky phone, flaky house wiring or cross-talk.
Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 2:57:03 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Duh!

I give you a B+ for being on target, but C- for wide generalities -- and having four answers.

Pick one answer!

As an aside I found it interesting that Verizon focused on the filters so much. It was NOT the filters. They must have asked me 100 times whether all the phones were filtered.

-Scott

skinbop 12/5/2012 | 2:57:03 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Sorry that would be Duh! and I didn't mean to pre-suppose you are a 'he'.

Doh! Duh!
skinbop 12/5/2012 | 2:57:03 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged I was going to say filter but looks like Doh! beat me to it. Besides he has given four answers - is Doh! disqualified?
optical_man 12/5/2012 | 2:57:02 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Been buying old phones off eBay again?
Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 2:57:02 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged
>If the modem is good, outside plant is good and>DSLAM is good, the next thing I'd look at is >the filters. Since you say they're good, my >next thing I'd check would be phones.

----------------------------

Duh! You are correct. It was a bad phone. Even though the phone was working and had a dial tone, it was shorting out the line.

Send me your info at [email protected] and we'll get you a T-shirt.
Duh! 12/5/2012 | 2:57:02 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Hey, I'm an engineer, not a clairvoyant.

If the modem is good, outside plant is good and DSLAM is good, the next thing I'd look at is the filters. Since you say they're good, my next thing I'd check would be phones.

Then all the other stuff, probably in that order.
Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 2:57:02 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Optical_Man:

you are correct too. identify yourself in some way via an e-mail to [email protected]

I'd be interested in the tecnicals of how one somewhat screwy phone in the household (even though it's working and you are using it), can bring the DSL connection to its knees.
Scott Raynovich 12/5/2012 | 2:57:01 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged skinbop,

if you write me, and say something interesting, the T-shirt is yours.
skinbop 12/5/2012 | 2:57:01 AM
re: Fixed! DSL Debugged Congratulations to the lucky winners - do I get a prize for participating?

no, didnt think so...
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