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DSL trouble

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I've had DSL for the past couple of months and when it works, it's great. Trouble is that in my case, I've been buffeted with one problem after another. At the time I had SBC install my DSL it was summer time and the kids were mostly away from home visiting relatives. I was at work all day and when I returned home at night, I was able to get online and do my work relatively problem-free.

Once the house was full again, I would lose connection every time someone picked up or hung up the phone. In other words when the phone went off-hook or on-hook, the DSL light on the modem began flashing red, indicating an interrupted connection. I also noticed that during humid days (we have a lot of those in the northeast) the connection was spotty. From time to time it would just drop out and then come back only to cease functioning again after a while. The voice quality has been another problem. On humid and rainy days there is a deafening static on the line, making phone conversations unbearable.

I've made several trouble calls to SBC and we've been visited by their technicians a number of times. In one occasion they swapped out some module in a box that they had installed outside the house. I don't know what this box is. I have asked a few people at work who have DSL at home and they are unaware of such boxes installed for them. Perhaps it's a repeater for my wooded location to compensate for the distance to central office. But that's just my speculation. Another time they came inside and disconnected our phone and fax downstairs, blaming the adverse conditions on them. Finally they have resorted to blaming the inside wiring for the trouble. Whatever the case, the problems have persisted.

Today we had another visit and my wife who happened to be home for lunch let him run more tests inside and outside the house. But then she had to return to work and the technician left his work unfinished and we ended up with no phone or DSL signal in the house.

Thankfully I know a thing or two about phone wiring and I was able to tap the disconnected wires outside and run a wire through the house to get a make-shift connection going, which is how I can post this blog now. I am beginning to think that perhaps DSL is not worth all this hassle and cable might be a better option. I couldn’t possibly be the only person around with DSL trouble. Coincidentally I ran into another person tonight who was lamenting the same issues with his DSL service and was considering switching to cable.

DSL might be a great broadband choice, but apparently the technology is finicky and requires impeccable conditions, making it unsuitable for some locations, namely my house. Caveat emptor.

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