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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My mother is getting screwed over badly by paying $70/month for garbage Bell DSL which I speedtested at 0.84 mbps yesterday. She says on a good day she can get 1 mbps. :poop:

I was shocked... She complained and they said "We have issues and slowed down the speed to keep you having connectivity". They told her 3 years ago that they were bringing in Fibe, every 6 months since they told her - "6 more months" they'll be installing it.

Still few options in rural Ontario. I can't believe what they are charging for a GARBAGE service.
 

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Xplorenet has pretty awful service combined with high prices. It's really a very obsolete technology that wasn't even well implemented when it was new.

Why not look into Starlink or 4G Cellular?
How much bandwidth does your Mom need/use per month and what's her budget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Xplorenet has pretty awful service combined with high prices. It's really a very obsolete technology that wasn't even well implemented when it was new.

Why not look into Starlink or 4G Cellular?
How much bandwidth does your Mom need/use per month and what's her budget?
She considered Xplorenet, then I read the reviews... absolutely horrendous. She got talked into a Cellular setup... she didn't know it was capped and she did her usual, streaming Netflix/Prime and such. She got a $300 bill so that lasted one month.

I told her about Starlink and she balked at the startup costs.

She needs Fiber internet. Guess she'll suffer until then. Even if it's $100/month, she'll save a fortune when she gets rid of her Landline (for DSL) and Satellite dish. She's probably paying $300 for a Cellphone/Satellite/Home Phone/DSL through Bell.
 

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Wait, it just occurred to me...if she's already got DSL, what troubleshooting has been done to improve connecitivity with that?

There's a whole lot of things that Internet providers never bother with that could increase her signal strength, and consequently her speed. Unless she's miles away from the CO, she could probably find at least some improvement.

VDSL and VDSL2 can provide faster service compared to ADSL/2+ at distances of up to about 1.5km from the CO. At distances further than 1.5 km, VDSL2 performs at rates similar to ADSL2+ . VDSL2's maximum range is approximately 1,200 meters (3960 feet). After approximately 1600 meters, VDSL2’s performance quickly deteriorates yielding speeds comparable to ADSL2+ .

So, is she that far away from the CO or farther?

  • Has someone really knowledgeable/experienced checked her inside wiring?
  • What signal levels is she getting on her modem?
  • Has she got splices outside on the phone line?
  • I assume it's VDSL? Does she have a properly isolated jack into which to plug the modem?
  • Does she have a solid, reliable modem? Has anyone checked her network settings?

Having been an IT tech, and having had really aweful DSL speeds at my old house, I learned a whole lot about troubleshooting DSL. Heck, there are even some modems that can make an educated guess as to whether there's a bridge tap on the line. Bridge taps can cause interference, drastically reducing signal strength/speed.

I'd be focussing on that first. It probably won't cost you anythign to troubleshoot at all.

One other thought: I'd check to see which brand/model of DSLAM her modem is connecting to at the ISP/telco company office. If it's a Lucent Stinger, that could be the cause of a lot of her problems, though there are often still options to work around that and get much better speeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She had mice eat the wires in the outside box... was without service as Bell couldn't figure it out until they found the box. They jerry rigged an above ground wire to her House from the Pole (not kidding)... which is where it stands now. Was getting 10-12 mbps until recently when she called up they told her that they purposely reduced the speed so she wouldn't get any outages.

She's paying good money for garbage and equally garbage customer service.

All the technical stuff up there goes over my head. I haven't dealt with DSL for years, I'm in a city and had Cable, then Fiber. She's about a KM from Cogeco Cable which services the small town she's close to.
 

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Understood, not everyone has an IT background. If you're serious aobut it, I'd suggest hiring a decent technician for a couple of hours to carefully examine her inside and outside wiring.

I would call Bell and insist loudly that a jerry rigged line is not adequate. What speed is she paying for? The law dictates that she must be getting at least the minimum speed she's paying for or Bell is breaching their end of the contract.

I don't know why people put up with this crap for so long. I say it's time for you to stand up and make some noise!

You really don't even need to have a tech. background to examine basic wiring. I'll see if I can find one of the better articles I used to have for checking telecom wiring.

It would help if we knew what geographical area your Mom was in. You could always send me an IM with that info. if you don't want to share it with all readers.

When you consider the costs, you should consider what the alternatives are and their associated costs.

I'd focus on DSL first and foremost, unless she's a really really long distance from the Bell Company Office.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They went over everything inside then found the problem at the box.

It's Bell. Taking advantage of Seniors and not fixing the actual problems. Bandaid fixes aren't acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, she's using Bell DSL.

Cogeco's service ends about a KM from her house, no cable possible. Same as town water, ends about 300M from her house. It just means she has no other option besides DSL or Satellite at her house.
 

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Here's one of the resources I was thinking of. He rambles a bit, and I hope you don't mind swearing, but this alone is about 50 to 60% of outside line troubleshooting.

TheN3tw0rq: How to improve your DSL line quality

NOTE: I do NOT recommend you start removing wires unless you have some confidence in what you're doing. But the principles in that video are good. One other caveat, don't necessarily believe that a modem is "crap" without talking with someone knowledgeable. Often, people assume a modem is poor because they have a bad connection. They don't understand how important the wiring and interference are.

TL;DR wiring quality, distance (and distance perceived by modem due to poor wiring etc) and interference are huge factors in improving DSL signal and performance.

Keep us posted.
 

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She's probably paying $300 for a Cellphone/Satellite/Home Phone/DSL through Bell.
The high price problem seems to be Bell.

Cellphone - There are lost of alternative cellphone providers with cheaper and probably better suited plans. (Avoid the Rogers network due to weak coverage in rural areas and possible price gouging.) Make sure the option chosen has a good 911 service.

Satellite - Shaw Direct is an option but not much different from Bell. I would keep this.

Home Phone - Bell is way overpriced. It may be possible to obtain a third party POTS line from another company but it's not easy. Cellular and internet based home phone are available for a fraction of the price. I would go with the internet VoIP option to provide a separate connection in case the cellular service goes down. Make sure the option chosen has a good 911 service.

DSL through Bell - DSL through Teksavvy may be a better option and cheaper. I had Teksavvy DSL for years and they were always knowledgeable and ready to fix DSL issues caused by Bell. Note that there may be a dry loop charge if no home phone is present so that will need to be factored in for cost. They may be able to provide a POTS phone line but there are restrictions on availability.
 

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I agree that inside wiring could be an issue. With DSL, it's usually distance to the CO. That can sometimes be rectified by switching outside lines as they don't always take the best route. That must be done by the telephone company.

The best way to rectify inside wiring issues is to put the DSL filter at the incoming panel or first phone jack. Connect the modem directly to the line at that point and put the rest of the house on a DSL filter. That way, there is no excess inside wiring on the line. Also, make sure the cord to the modem is a short, solid copper cable as is usually provided with the modem. Some phone cords are unsuitable for DSL modem use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If you check my previous posts, they sent numerous techs and everything indoors was gone over, tested/replaced/tested again and were good. Don't know why people are advocating rechecking everything that's been checked by techs already.

They are surveying to bury her new line from the box outside. She might get her blazing :poop: 10-12mbps back, soon.
 

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Not burying the line should not make that much difference. Their are still lots of overhead lines that work fine with DSL. Either they used a piece of garbage cable or somebody messed something else up. I've had Bell make changes at the CO that messed up the DSL, the POTS line or both on numerous occasions. My guess is that whoever changed the line speed messed it up and nobody else has looked at it since. It's possible the line was tested with the corrupted wiring or it damaged the DSL equipment at the CO. I'm surprised Bell checked the inside wiring, they don't usually do that. Their support usually ends at the demarcation point.

They told her 3 years ago that they were bringing in Fibe, every 6 months since they told her - "6 more months" they'll be installing it.
It's been about 10 years here. They've rebuilt the wiring in Toronto twice since then.
 

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us techs and everything indoors was gone over, tested/replaced/tested again and were good. Don't know why people are advocating rechecking everything that's been checked by techs already.
If you check my previous posts, they sent numerous techs and everything indoors was gone over, tested/replaced/tested again and were good. Don't know why people are advocating rechecking everything that's been checked by techs already.

They are surveying to bury her new line from the box outside. She might get her blazing :poop: 10-12mbps back, soon.
Because the on site techs lie. A lot. I know enough about DSL wiring to catch them, and in the past, I caught them lying about just about everything.
  • "It doesn't need grounding".
  • "There are no splices" (There were four, yes four on the outside line)
  • "Bridge taps don't matter" (yeah, they bloody well do)
  • Your signal is too strong (also complete nonsense)
and so on.

If you speak with Bell, ask how far your Mom is from the CO/Remote DSLAM. That, and wiring quality are just about everything. Of course, you could always try a better modem as well. It would help to know what kind of gear is at the other end of the modem.
 
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