10-22-2012 09:19:56 AM - edited 10-22-2012 09:22:24 AM
I had U-verse installed 2 weeks ago with 25/2 profile, and my stats look good for 32/5 (screenshots below).
I'm slightly concerned about the upload speeds and black hole in the bitloading graph in the upload region, but for the moment I'm assuming that it's because the modem doesn't actually upload more data than it HAS to, and that the stats are all based upon how much data it's uploading under the current profile.
So... what number do I actually call, whom do I ask to speak to, and what specifically should I ask for to avoid confusing them (and just as importantly, figure out if the person I'm talking to is clueless and that I should just hang up and call back hoping the roulette wheel stops on someone better)?
For what it's worth, the stats below are for a line that currently has landline service, but no actual phones are conected to it (I'm switching the phone to U-verse too as soon as they get the profile upgraded), and the RG has a direct, branch and filter-free cat5e path straight to the demarc (where, unfortunately, it's running about 200 feet to AT&T's cross-connect over 30 year old cable that's not even cat3... but could technically be replaced by me if it meant the difference between qualifying and not qualifying for 32/5 (I *have* to get 32/5 working before the 30 days is up, because I can't live with just 1.5 up).
10-22-2012 09:46:48 AM
Call Technical Support at the number shown in my signature. Request that your line profile be updated to the 32 meg profile.
10-22-2012 09:48:59 AM
Do I have them upgrade my internet to 24/3 at the same time, or do I have them upgrade my profile to 32/5, then call back and do the 24/3 max turbo upgrade as a separate action?
10-22-2012 09:59:18 AM
You can request both at that same time, but in order to have Max Turbo internet, you must first be on the 32/5 line profile.
10-22-2012 10:51:19 AM
Hmmm, I'm not sure whether I didn't persist far enough into the bureaucracy, or whether I just got someone who didn't know how to do it, but here's what happened:
1. Called, got somebody who sounded like she knew what I was talking about. She tried to do the upgrade, then said she didn't have the necessary permissions and had to transfer me to someone in level 2. OK, fair enough... I expected that.
2. I was transferred to somebody in level 2 who said they can't upgrade my profile without sending out a line tech to do a site survey and rewrite the profile. I asked why, pointed out that it's a software config change, and reminded him that I already had the stats in front of me (with UVRealtime). He said they can't be sure it'll work. I pointed out that if I'm standing there in front of the modem with UVRealtime running, I'll be able to tell them within a minute or two whether or not it worked... and that if it doesn't, it can be changed back. I even promised that if they were unable to undo the change to the modem, I'd happily drive over to the nearest AT&T site and exchange the 3801 for another one without complaint. He said they aren't authorized to do the change without involving engineering and a site visit, then said I'd have to speak to someone in sales. I was put on hold, then it became obvious I was just blindly dumped into the sales queue (it asked for my number, then launched into a menu asking why I was calling).
Oh, I forgot the best part. The level 2 guy said I couldn't get the 32 meg profile "because I have TV, and that they share the line". Um... right. I was going to spend 5 minutes explaining the concept of IPv4 multicast to him, but decided it would have just been a waste of everyone's time because I was getting nowhere at that point.
Should I just call back, or are there specific questions I should ask the level 2 guy if he says he can't do it without involving engineering and a site visit to figure out whether there's some deeper reason that goes beyond technical problems that can be overcome?
10-22-2012 11:14:01 AM
2. I was transferred to somebody in level 2 who said they can't upgrade my profile without sending out a line tech to do a site survey and rewrite the profile.
I believe that this is now correct. Did he offer to schedule a line tech for you?
10-22-2012 11:52:59 AM
He said he was going to transfer me to sales, put me on hold, and a few moments later the autoattendant asked me to enter my phone number, then dumped me onto a menu asking why I was calling.
10-22-2012 01:07:01 PM
10-22-2012 01:28:26 PM
I'm also slightly concerned with the zero bitload in the upload band. There may be a bridge tap there that might not interfere with 25/2, but could become very evident with 32/5. The line tech visit might not be a bad idea.
10-22-2012 01:29:24 PM
Update: doing a bit more research, I saw SomeJoe mention that the "other" name for the 32/5 profile is "Class 11". Is that still accurate, and might I have better luck if I ask to be upgraded to the "Class 11 profile" when I call instead of asking for the "32 meg" profile?
Despite what is it's called, I do believe that they now require that a line tech be dispatched to your home in order to upgrade your line profile.
10-24-2012 09:30:46 PM - edited 10-24-2012 09:33:06 PM
Argh. I keep forgetting to call them during the day, and the sals department apparently goes home at 5. Sigh. Trying again tomorrow...
As far as bridge taps go, the copper pair they used to install it was the same one that was (and technically still is) hosting my original POTS line. Is it safe to assume that could be what's acting like a bridge tap?
I'm sure sales will say 'no', but I really wish I could get them to just leave the POTS line alone, and move the u-verse service to a different pair to clean it up. I never use the POTS line for actual voice calls anyway (I don't even have a phone or answering machine connected to it right now), and the only reason I still throw away $30/month for it is so I can have a marginally more reliable last-ditch way of getting online if a "slow & sloppy" tropical storm or hurricane knocks out commercial power, then lasts longer than AT&T's backup batteries at the VRAD do. For me, VoIP is basically just a way to get a throw-away phone number I never answer, to give people I don't want to give my cellular number to. ;-)
10-25-2012 08:03:22 AM
1) Your U-verse is sharing a pair with your voice, and
2) Your voice pair wraps around your house and is not terminated by any phone or answering machine, and
3) Your voice pair is not properly filtered, then
Yes, that may meet the electrical conditions that look like a bridge tap. You may wish to consider plugging a phone up on that line.
10-26-2012 11:28:55 AM
Actually, the voice pair DOESN'T wrap around the house. When the installer came, I disconnected the rest of the house wiring, and had him connect the 3801 DIRECTLY to the wires at the demarc leading directly to the VRAD.
The wires come up out of the ground at AT&T's pedestal, and are spliced at the pedestal onto a (1982-era non-cat3) cable with 6 wires that runs through a condiut directly to my kitchen. They're terminated at a typical 80s/90s indoor NID, run through the patch cable to the other side, and the blue/white pair is connected to the blue/blue-white pair in a brand new cat5e cable that runs 50 feet through a conduit to the living room and terminates at a new RJ25 phone jack. The 3801 is connected to that phone jack.
The wires that connect the NID to the rest of the house wiring were physically disconnected to avoid causing a bridge tap. Right now, the POTS line isn't terminating at any actual phone device (because, like I said, I almost never make outgoing calls, and the only calls I've gotten over the past 3 months on it have been annoying robocalls from candidates).
10-27-2012 02:29:34 PM - edited 10-27-2012 02:34:36 PM
Actually if your distance is 1100' as Realtime shows, your max rate should be in the upper 40s-50 Kbps. Being 41 K, that's probably why you didn't get the 32/5 profile, in addition to your low green upload band in the bitloading screen.
I'd contact David's tier 2 guys following his directions below:
TROUBLES w/UVerse or install problems
Please note- Please be sure you call the 1-800-ATT-2020 number first and engage them. If they have not resolved the issue to your satisfaction.
Via email send the following to this address:
In the subject line put the following: [Trouble-Uverse]
When you send the email, be sure to include as much of the following information:
Link to your uverse topic
Notes on the attempt to contact the 1-800-288-2020 please include case numbers!
posting ID or username
Address or location
Who the tech or support person would be contacting
Main contact number
Alternate contact number
A detailed description of the problem.
If you do not get a response send an email to email@example.com
Hopefully they will solve your possible bridge tap, low upload band problems, let us know what happens. Good luck.
Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
Need Help? 1-800-288-2020, After he gets acct info, press # a bunch of times, get a menu from Mr. Voice recognition
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more
10-30-2012 01:12:54 PM - edited 10-30-2012 02:10:00 PM
Thanks, I'll try that tonight (unless someone thinks I should try it earlier).
I had a prem tech here earlier today to switch my voice line over to U-verse.
After he finished, he called to put in an order to have an outside lineman come and move my line to a 32-meg port on the VRAD. Unfortunately, it looks like the ticket was picked up by someone in sales who was clueless, because I was called back a half hour later, and the guy said I couldn't get internet faster than 18/1.5 "because I have TV". He then said I'd have to talk to someone in support because he was in sales, and gave me the 800 number I've already called twice. He then closed the ticket (more on this in a moment).
So... I took a deep breath, and called support for the third time, spoke to someone who understood the problem and transferred me to tier 2, then the guy in tier 2 spent about 20 minutes trying to get the system to accept an order to dispatch a lineman. It wouldn't take it from him. He talked to HIS supervisor, and was told only a prem tech can dispatch a lineman. So he scheduled another visit from a prem tech, so the prem tech could try again to schedule the lineman. This time, the guy in tier 2 warned me to NOT allow the ticket to be closed if the person who calls back is clueless, and to instead insist RIGHT THEN on speaking to his supervisor. Apparently, if I allow him to hang up, the ticket will get closed, and I'll be back at square 1 again.
CELEBRATE! CELEBRATE! The lineman is scheduled! After I told prem tech #2 what happened, he got everything straightened out. The lineman just called, and it sounds like he knows exactly what needs to be done :-) (does "happy dance" and hopes it's not premature...)
10-30-2012 05:16:47 PM - edited 10-30-2012 05:25:42 PM
OK, update 2. They weren't quite able to fix it today, but it's finally being handled by the right people who know what they're doing and what needs to be done to get everything to work.
It turns out, the port on the VRAD is bad. The copper pair itself is fine. In fact, the outside line tech said my line was basically pristine, and had some of the best raw stats he's ever seen. He said that if I'm not getting 50mbps+ when they're done, he'll be shocked.
Interestingly, the line tech WAS able to boost my raw downstream bitrate by about 2,000kbps, and improved my uplink rate by about 50kbps, just by cleaning the terminals at the panel (they were corroded) and replacing the interconnect wire with a new pair that was properly twisted. I suspect the corrosion was more of a factor than the twisting (or lack thereof), but it's hard to say. However, my terminals at the panel were REALLY corroded before he cleaned them. I'm actually kind of surprised they don't use noncorrosive metal for the terminals. I guess we've all gotten spoiled by monster cable and gold-plated terminals over the past 20 years or so... or AT&T tried gold, and had people destroying boxes to steal the terminals out of them. ;-)
10-30-2012 07:17:21 PM
I guess we've all gotten spoiled by monster cable and gold-plated terminals over the past 20 years or so...
Never paid the money for Monster cables and have never needed too. Too many studies have proven that the $5 cable at Wal-Mart is just as good as the $90 Monster cable.
10-31-2012 06:40:00 AM
Friends don't let friends buy Monster cables.
Take a look at monoprice.com. Good cables at low prices. No monsters. Even on halloween.
11-01-2012 07:43:52 PM - edited 11-01-2012 08:15:29 PM
Yay! As the disembodied voice of the referee from Mortal Kombat said many times, "Flawless. Victory."
They got the VRAD problem taken care of today, and speedtest.net is showing 23.25mbps down, and 2.90mbps up (to the Comcast-hosted speedtest.net server in Miami). I had a mini-panic when I got home from work, because the 3801 showed that it was running at 32/5, but when I tried running speedtest, I kept hitting a brick wall at 18/1.5... but one last call to support fixed that problem. They just forgot to officially upgrade my service to Max Turbo, so I was still getting throttled to 18/1.5.
After a few minutes of experimenting with speedtest.net, U-verse 24/3 seems to be holding up well against the real-world scores I had with Comcast. With Comcast, my transfer rates were incredibly fast (roughly 32/6) as long as I never left their local network, but my real-world throughput to hosts that peered directly through NAP of the Americas was roughly HALF (literally, 16-18 down, 3-4 up), and hosts elsewhere in America were more like 6-8mbps down and 1-2mbps up. With AT&T, I seem to be pretty consistently getting ~18-24 down and 2-3 up to just about everywhere. Put another way, my local link rate is slower, but AT&T seems to have more solid backhaul capacity to the rest of the world.
Put another way, I'm quite happy. Assuming no gremlins come jumping out of the woodwork, I'll be enthusiastically recommending U-verse to friends (well, as long as they're close enough to their VRAD to qualify for 24/3) :-)
Comparing my allegedly-32/7 Comcast service to 24/3 U-verse to some random host that's literally at the opposite end of the country (U-verse is the fast one)
Let's try Charter's server in Oregon:
Taipei? U-verse beat Comcast like an unloved stepchild.
Pittsburgh? U-verse stomped Comcast between Miami and Pair Networks so hard, it broke the shoe. The only explanation I can think of is that AT&T probably peers directly with them, and Comcast doesn't. Take a good, hard look at the U-verse download speed... it's actually 2.42mbps faster than advertised. U-verse uploads are a tiny bit slower, but I'm not going to quibble about 300kbps (note, I re-ran the test, and still got 20.89mbps, so even if the 26.42 was a fluke or bug, U-verse is still solidly faster than Comcast was.
For the morbidly-curious, my UV Realtime stats... my bitloading graph still seems like it might be a little bit on the low side (maybe they need to boost the transmit power a bit?), and I'm pretty sure that most or all of the recoverable errors are on the uplink side. However, at the risk of jinxing myself, I still haven't seen a nonrecoverable error that wasn't due to unplugging the modem to move wires around.
11-01-2012 08:05:38 PM
Your bitloading graph looks pretty good. Note from the scale at the left that most frequencies are running a whole point higher, and your upstream is fine. Your FEC rate is marginally high, but as long as your service is working to your satisfaction, that's not a concern.