Who is responsible for the loss of my DSL signal?

Jack Waddington February 5, 2012
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I have so-called High Speed DSL with Qwest and my longtime ISP is Earthlink.net. I often see the speed of a legitimate download dropping until the the lights for DSL and Internet go off. Sometimes the signal is lost for many minutes. They both claim the other must be at fault. Is there some way I can determine the truth?

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  1. Jackew
    February 8, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Thanks a lot, Everybody. You have given me several avenues to check. Ironically, Qwest has added a test site and my up- and down-load speeds on their own test came in miserably. BBC News, whose videos came in fine until recently, struggles to about the halfway point, and then quits with the message that my bandwidth is insufficient. I should add that I do not live near any major city.

    • Peter Pottinger
      February 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      "i should add that I do not live near any major city" .. yea that is your problem, your copper line sucks and no isp is going to take on the cost of replacing the copper to your house.

      there are multiple problems, the first i mentioned above, the second is isps oversell their capacity, and at peak times you will get disconnected. 

      so in short, you will have to live with "slow" line speeds, which are orders of magnitude above dial-up anyways.

      the only solution is to keep lowering your line speed until it is stable.

  2. Oron Joffe
    February 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Essentially, it's a problem of poor signal to noise ratio, which is caused by the speed being set too high for your line. Contact the ISP and complain. They should be able to reduce the speed slightly and improve reliability.

  3. Mike
    February 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

    From your description it sounds like your DSL connection always drops (loses sync) when it's on high load. This is usually an indication that your DSL is set to speeds which are on the upper limit the line can support.

    The technical reason behind this is that at high load the attenuation and noise within the line may cause your modem to lose sync with the DSLAM.

    On the other hand the multiplexer you are connected to could be faulty or overloaded with too many customers at too high speeds which could cause the card to "crash" or "get stuck" making a reboot necessary. This would explain the line being down for several minutes.

    If I understand your situation correctly one of the ISPs provides the hardware (line, multiplexer, ...) and the other the DSL service (access at certain speed). Either of them could be at fault and because of the costs involved in analyzing and solving the problem it's only natural none of them wants to take the blame.

    Unfortunately you, the customer, are the one who suffers under those circumstances.

    I would suggest to simply call the ISP providing the internet access whenever you are experiencing issues. I admit it's troublesome calling them 2-3 times a week but those calls are usually on record. I believe after 4 weeks or so with several calls they will take actions.

  4. Anonymous
    February 5, 2012 at 7:52 am

    perhaps you need a techy to come check the line.

  5. Anonymous
    February 5, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Well, The general answer is going to be the DSL, especially if you are seeing the light on the DSL modem go off. The ISP is not usually going to be the problem as they are going to be high percent of the time. When it goes down call Qwest and see if they will check the DSL line, specific ask what they see on your DSL line, and see if it is up on their end. 
    Is there a pattern to when you lose internet? Is there a  Aprox. time it happens? Is your regular phone affected any? Also DSL modems after a long period of time will start to go bad. How long have you had the modem? Have you try resetting/unpluging the modem when to internet goes out? 

  6. Karkala Nayak
    February 5, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Hello, If this disconnecting DSL happens often and no Company is ready to answer WHY?, then You should move on and First change your DSL if that still doesn't solve the problem then you will be confirmed its the ISP but i beleive its the DSL... I too have a DSL connection and This case of yours has happened to me long time before...And this main problem in most cases occurs Due to the DSL problem...(Later they found that one of the wires connecting had got disconnected from their system)

    When you say "Who is responsible?"
    I would like to say, its the DSL operator as you said DSL light goes OFF then surely its the DSL issue..

    Also to remain on the safe side check your Phone Line and other Phone Ports to make sure they are not loose..Also use it website to Find your problem It has a Flowchart that will help::
    http://www.ifitjams.com/modem.htm#modem failure 9

  7. Karkala Nayak
    February 5, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Hello, If this disconnecting DSL happens often and no Company is ready to answer WHY?, then You should move on and First change your DSL if that still doesn't solve the problem then you will be confirmed its the ISP but i beleive its the DSL... I too have a DSL connection and This case of yours has happened to me long time before...And this main problem in most cases occurs Due to the DSL problem...(Later they found that one of the wires connecting had got disconnected from their system)

    When you say "Who is responsible?"
    I would like to say, its the DSL operator as you said DSL light goes OFF then surely its the DSL issue..

    Also to remain on the safe side check your Phone Line and other Phone Ports to make sure they are not loose..Also use it website to Find your problem It has a Flowchart that will help::
    http://www.ifitjams.com/modem.htm#modem failure 9

  8. Karkala Nayak
    February 5, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Hello, If this disconnecting DSL happens often and no Company is ready to answer WHY?, then You should move on and change your ISP and go for other ISP as I too have a DSL connection and This case of yours has happened to me long time before...And this main problem in most cases occurs Due to the ISP problem...

    When you say "Who is responsible?"
    I would like to say, its the ISP in most cases and DSL operator also plays a small role sometimes(If their systems have stopped working and etc), but in your case its the ISP I believe...

    Also to remain on the safe side check your Phone Line and other Phone Ports to make sure they are not loose..Also use it website to Find your problem It has a Flowchart that will help::
    http://www.ifitjams.com/modem.htm#modem failure 9

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