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August 18, 2003

DSL Hell?

Twice in the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to use a residential DSL service (one from Covad, one from PacBell). In both cases, it was pretty much consistent that the DSL connection would drop whenever the phone rang.

Now, if all you do is surf the web (HTTP being a stateless protocol), you might not care too much that your connection is perennially dropping and quickly being reestablished. But if you are trying to use any stateful protocol (ftp, ssh, …), that behaviour leaves you hosed.

It’s possible that I just hit upon two lousy installations (bad house wiring, improperly installed filters or whatever). What I’d like to know from the DSL users reading this blog (my logs say you’re out there!) is:

  • Is this common behaviour with DSL?
  • If it is, why would anyone put up with such lousy service? (Aside from the obvious, “I can’t get Cable Modem service in my neighbourhood.”)
Posted by distler at August 18, 2003 12:13 AM

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7 Comments & 0 Trackbacks

Re: DSL Hell?

I am using SBC Yahoo! DSL. I never met the situation described in your post. So I guess you need switch your DSL provider.

Posted by: Di Xiao on August 18, 2003 1:27 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: DSL Hell?

I too have SW Bell’s DSL, and have never had that problem–that I’ve noticed. I’ve got static IP service, though, which might (?) make drops less noticeable.

Posted by: Adam Rice on August 18, 2003 7:30 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: DSL Hell?

I don’t think that’s the issue (since the dynamically-assigned IP address typically didn’t change when this happened). But the orange light on the DSL Modem did come on every time the phone rang.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on August 18, 2003 8:20 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: DSL Hell?

This sounds like a problem one of my coworkers had two years ago. It turned out to be caused by an MTU (Maintenance Test Unit). Basically it’s a box the phone company attaches to your phone line that allows them to remotely disconnect your wiring for maintenance and testing. Since they’ve been found to cause problems with data traffic, they’re being phased out.

Apparently you can call 611 (or whatever your phone company’s repair hotline is) and ask if you have an MTU on your line.

Posted by: Kelson on September 10, 2003 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: DSL Hell?

It may not be the Static IP specifically, but most Dynamic IP DSL packages use PPOE. Meaning you are not using an always logged on technology. It may be a combination of the incoming call and using a PPOE type connection that causes the issue. Just a thought. More likely the incoming beep is bleeding over into the DSL frequency and causing a communication error resulting in the drop.

Posted by: Mark on November 28, 2006 6:22 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: DSL Hell?

What I don’t like about both cable and dls is that you can’t get your choice everywhere,in my case i have access to cable internet if i wanted it but not dsl.

Posted by: cable vs dsl on October 18, 2007 5:56 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: DSL Hell?

the url provided in the comment above is wrong, ther is a ‘T’ at the end of it that should be removed.

Posted by: nathan on October 18, 2007 5:58 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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