question on DSL signal

NetOpsCenter noc at
Tue Feb 5 21:12:57 UTC 2008

David Banning wrote:
> I run a small FreeBSD server with a standard DSL line. I have it ping
> the ISP every five seconds, and when it doesn't ping it logs the
> results.
> I notice very inconsistent results. Sometimes it's up for a week
> without a single drop, while other times it's up for 30 seconds,
> down for a minute, up for 2 minutes, down for 1.  That can go on
> for 10 hours, and then maybe it's stable again for a day or so.
> It's always appears to be the DSL signal itself, as I can see the
> modem sync light starts flashing when the signal goes down.
> To end any possibility of the phone company pointing their finger
> at the wiring in my house, I put the DSL modem right at the phone
> connection block where the line enters the house and then called
> them. Problem persists.
> The phone company say they have replaced lines all over the
> neighborhood while trying to fix the problem.  Eventually the
> connection becomes stable, the phone company declares that they
> "found the problem", but when he's gone, the trouble starts again.
> Now knowing how common this is,  I installed the same logging system
> at another company's server, that is located a few miles away. Guess
> what?  Same drop-in drop-out problem.
> To any average computer user, these lines might appear normal -
> when a page stops loading for a minute they just live with it, and
> forget about it.
> So here's my question:
> 1. is there anyone who has a lot of experience monitoring DSL lines
>    that can tell me how common this is?
> 2. Is there any way to avoid it?
> 3. I have used three different DSL modems, but the are all home
>    quality: an Alcatel Speed Touch, a Speedstream 5260,
>    and a Westell Wirespeed. Would spending more money on
>    another type of modem help? If so, what is recommended?
> Any comments would be helpful.
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Aloha David,

We had a similar issue here in Wahiawa Hi.  and the phone line was 
indeed the problem. In our case it was a junction about a .5 mile (1 
KM)  away . The box on a pole was full of water when ever it was 
raining. When it dried  out everything would be fine for a while. The 
phone guy drilled a hole in the bottom of the box and we have not had 
the problem since. It could also be a bank of d slams  at the phone co 
office as well.  Some  are know to have issues. In Canada you have 
freezes and thaws that make lines have flaws from expansion and 
contraction too. ( I used to live there.)

Good Luck with the phone co.

~Al Plant - Honolulu, Hawaii -  Phone:  808-284-2740
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