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eHam Forums => Company Reviews => Topic started by: N9LCD on August 08, 2013, 01:58:07 PM



Title: AT&T U-verse
Post by: N9LCD on August 08, 2013, 01:58:07 PM
Signed-up for AT&T U-verse high-speed internet to replace Earthlink dial-up service. 's Yeah, I got "speed" but that's about all.
 
1  A router with an ON/OFF switch.  I have to pull the plug to turn it off.

2  A LONG wait, like 3 to 5 minutes before I get broadband service on both ports.

3  A "Gateway Authentication Failure" if I try to go online without broadband to both ports.

4  Frequent periods of "intermittent" service.  Then you time out and have to start over again.
    Especially bad if you're sending data and don't know if it's been received.

5  Terrible service in rainy or wet weather.  I had EIGHT periods of intermittent service 
    during a one-hour rain.

6   Bi-monthly episodes on NO broadband service for an hour or more.

7   TECH SUPPORT?  Ha, ha!  During one broadband srvice outage that lasted over 3 hours, I
     called Tech Support.  NO live person.  Just "Select * for *". Then, I got "We
     you a signal ... We have to send a technician out to check the wiring on your end.  There's
     a $95 service charge if the problem is in the wiring in your premises."

     Well, I didn't accept the service call and, guess what, broadband service was miraculously
     restored.

As a gentleman, I can not use the appropriate terminology to express my opinions about AT&T U-verse in a place where they may be read by women and children.

N9LCD

 >:(


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: AA4PB on August 08, 2013, 02:09:03 PM
Broadband is usually intended to be an "always on" service. That's why there is no on/off switch on the modem/router and you should not be unplugging it when not in use. Each time you power it up it has to re-authenticate and log back on to the system before it can establish a connection to your computers on the local network (LAN).


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KG6YV on August 09, 2013, 10:25:25 AM
Great answer to part of the problem AA4PB....
Routers need to be on 24X7 or you will wait up to 5 minutes to get back on line.  Not only that, if you keep disconnecting frequently, you may find that when you power up again and the router tries
 to log you on with the lengthy authentication, any and all software glitches during the process can result in unsuccessful authentication.  It is the nature of IP networks that things can get hung up part way thru the process 1 out of 20 times or so.  IP nteworks are best left online permanently.  Especially those that have high traffic and many users (like a broadband commercial network).

FYI


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: WB6DGN on August 10, 2013, 07:51:47 PM
Quote
Broadband is usually intended to be an "always on" service. That's why there is no on/off switch on the modem/router and you should not be unplugging it

If that's the case, looks as though I go back to dial-up (or, better yet, cancel internet altogether).  When I go to sleep, or leave the house, I will NOT leave any switching power supply powered up, including the computer itself.  I am NOT about to come home to a burned out house or, worse yet, be burned up with it.
I trust switching supplies about as far as I can throw them (NO, not even that far) and, as far as I'm concerned, I can throw them all in the nearest dumpster.  The stress placed on the components in a switching power supply (especially the capacitors) far exceeds that of any other electronic device I've ever encountered and, in the ones that I've examined, protective devices are few and far between.  NO THANKS!  NOTHING on the internet worth taking that kind of risk.
Tom


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: AF6WL on August 10, 2013, 08:49:50 PM
Many failures seem to occur at power up - possibly due to inrush currents or thermal cycling; suggesting keeping things on 24-7 is actually best for reliability.

Possible exceptions being:
if there is a fan bearing or similar mecanical part involved.
or if the device is badly designed and over stressed thermally or electrically from the get go.

If in doubt make sure the PSU is UL certified.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: WB6DGN on August 10, 2013, 11:47:19 PM
Quote
if there is a fan bearing or similar mecanical part involved.  or if the device is badly designed and over stressed thermally or electrically from the get go.

My biggest concern is the hammering that capacitors, and to a slightly lesser extent, semiconductors take from the high current pulses that comprise the switching regulator.  I have not seen a design that circumvents this characteristic of the devices and, therefore, must conclude that it is a characteristic of ALL switching power supplies.  In my mind, it is too high a price to pay for the, admitted, efficiency of the devices and I cannot be convinced that it is not a safety hazard coupled with the fact that tolerating these "overloads" is a necessary and usual part of a switcher's topology.
I am not much more approving of a linear power supply that uses a switching regulator though I will concede that, at least, they usually employ the same safety devices that a normal linear supply uses and they share some of the efficiency of a switcher without the size and weight benefits.  At least, if I HAD to use one of those, I wouldn't be paranoid about not shutting it off while unattended though I'm not that fond of the utilities that I am willing to give them one more penny than I actually use and enjoy!
Tom


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: K1ZJH on August 12, 2013, 11:26:03 AM
Switching supply caps are hammered 24/7/365... if they die after being powered off, and turned back on, it is pretty safe to assume they had reached an very high ESR before being powered down. Failure at power up is only an indicator that they had dried out and reached a high ESR prior to turn off. Failed electrolytic caps in this service often work until the the supply is turned off and back on.

Pete


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: AA4PB on August 12, 2013, 12:32:10 PM
Lets see... I probably had in excess of 100 switching power supplies running 24/7 at my office and never had a fire. That included cable modems, routers, computers, monitors, speakers, printers, cameras, and a host of other devices.

Many devices still have AC power applied to the switching supply even if you turn the device off. The only way to remove that is to pull the plug out of the wall outlet. At home that includes the TV set, the cable DVR, the blue ray player - anything that can be turned on/off with a remote control or a push button switch. If I pull the plug from the DVR then it takes 15 minutes to reboot and reload the channel guide after I plug it back in before I can use it. Even the washer, dryer, and microwave have circuits in them that run 24/7 from a switching supply.

I have a friend who had a cable modem that did Internet and telephone service. She complained that it took the computer a long time to get Internet after turning it on and that all of her house phones died about 2 hours after turning to computer off. She was convinced that the phones somehow were routed through the computer. When I went over and looked, she had the modem plugged in to the power strip with the computer. She turned to strip off, the modem lost power thus lost the Internet connection. The phones stayed up until the back up battery in the modem died. She was worried about the high cost of electricity to keep the modem powered 24/7 when she wasn't using it. Every time she turned on the power strip it took the modem several minutes to reconnect and log on to Comcast to regain the services. The modem/router won't even serve an IP address to the computer until it boots and has service. There is ONLY one possible solution - leave the modem powered up and connected 24/7 like it was designed to do.



Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KB1ZHF on August 12, 2013, 08:45:42 PM
I had a modem that had a on off switch. It just disconnected the computer from the modem, but the modem stayed in contact with the ISP. There is a computer help call in radio show on a local AM radio station , where there is someone looking for help with their AT&T non service every week.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KD0REQ on August 23, 2013, 11:02:32 AM
not familiar with the U-verse CPE, but if there is a switching wall-wart, then head down to Rat Shack and get an analog... or hit the junkbox... or go someplace like Jameco online.

//edit// OK, I just went to fleabay and looked at them.  the CPE is similar to some of the stuff we have in our Qwest-now-CenturyLink area.  there is no problem getting a wall wart to power that stuff.  just make sure voltage is the same, current capability is same or higher, and the polarity and size of the barrel plug are right.  not saying they are the same, the software is tickled for each telco, just like the bands are different if your Yaekencom was made for Europe instead of the US market.

I have not heard of any wall-tick switchers flaming out, but I have seen analog wall-warts melt away.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: K1ZJH on August 23, 2013, 08:08:08 PM
Many failures seem to occur at power up - possibly due to inrush currents or thermal cycling; suggesting keeping things on 24-7 is actually best for reliability.

P
If in doubt make sure the PSU is UL certified.

Many times the caps in switchers will develop a high ESR after many hours of use. Once they are powered down and back up, they may not restart.

Pete


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: N9LCD on August 26, 2013, 06:49:29 PM
I'm resigned to waiting for the modem to power up.

My complaint centers around the poor quality of AT&T Uverse broadband service.  Today, WITHIN 30 MINUTES OF SIGN-ON, broadband service was completely lost TWICE.

Last week, broadband service went down in the middle of completing an 8-page form.  Had to log-in and start from scratch, again, as usual.  Lost about 45 minutes of work.

And when it rains, uVerse broadband becomes intermittent.  Last time we had a moderate rainfall, I had eight 2 to 3 minute episodes of intermittent service in 1 hour.

And Tech Support?  BARF!  You can't even speak to a live person.  All they want to do is
send out a tech and chrge you about $95 for the service call.

N9LCD

 >:( >:( >:(
   


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: K7RNO on August 26, 2013, 09:32:01 PM
If that's the case, looks as though I go back to dial-up (or, better yet, cancel internet altogether).  When I go to sleep, or leave the house, I will NOT leave any switching power supply powered up, including the computer itself.  I am NOT about to come home to a burned out house or, worse yet, be burned up with it.

Not saying this cannot happen, but it appears it is not happening at the frequency you fear. Professional counseling might be the way to a better night's sleep and an always on modem  :)


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: NO9E on September 14, 2013, 08:03:46 AM
Had same symptoms. Could have been due to large distance from the control box -- half a  mile, and perhaps a cut cable.

I switched to cable. Faster and more reliable albeit more expensive.

...
And when it rains, uVerse broadband becomes intermittent.  Last time we had a moderate rainfall, I had eight 2 to 3 minute episodes of intermittent service in 1 hour....
 >:( >:( >:(
   


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KD0REQ on September 14, 2013, 12:36:39 PM
you appear to have U-verse DSL and the cable plant is bad.  ATT is responsible for the plant up to your demarcation point (surge suppressor,) and if you have phone on the digital line, they have to fix it on their nickel, it's an FCC issue.  easy call if there is static on the POTS, tell them there is static on the line and it also bumps the DSL.  they have to take care of the SOL situation.

I had a tubload of modem errors in my Qwest DSL which all went away when I moved the modem to the demarc and plugged the house wiring into the "phone" jack.  we call that a "home run" installation in the biz, and it's required for a tech install at speeds 20 Mbps and up.  the cause there is the home internal wiring, which is almost universally NOT Category 3 or better.

I'd home run now and see if it fixes things.  check your own modem errors, put the modem control address in your browser and poke around, you are looking for "uncorrected bit errors" or "CVs".  most consumer DSL modems run an address of 192.168.0.1, the oldest of Cisco modems used a 10 level address.  most wireless access points are 192.168.0.2, but you have to jack directly to an ether jack on the access point to get past security.  safe bet is use ether jack 1.  some don't allow root on any other jack.  my personal standard when I had 56K frame relay 2+ decades ago was growing over 50 errors a day, and I called it in.  on DSL, I flip out when I have a customer with over 120-150 uncorrecteds.

there are some computer OS that are better than others in one respect... finding out who is on your local network.  for Macs, just bring up networking, and you can see every identity of equipment on your side of the wire, and their IP address.  with others, you may need to install a freeware sniffer tool to find random IPs.

on authentication... depends on the equipment at the ISP side of life, but there is older software in some core routers (I am thinking of Juniper in particular, Cisco fixed this years ago) in which you can only pool 10,000 IP addresses to DHCP out to users.  a particular ISP does not have to upgrade their SW unless it's too much of a pain for them to reboot the card(s) that run dry on the address pool.  you can't fix that in customer land.  another reason to leave the modem running 24/7.

tip of the iceberg, I get paid well for chasing this stuff in the infrastructure and working with field techs who get stumped.  we have creepy F3s in some places as well.  the guy who doesn't call isn't ever going to be made happy.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: WB6DGN on September 17, 2013, 05:39:56 AM
Quote
Professional counseling might be the way to a better night's sleep and an always on modem  Smiley

I sleep just fine, thank you very much, and your personal slight was NOT appreciated and was rather juvenile.  You must be one of those (many) hams who can't stand to have someone disagree with your (unfounded) opinions.
Seems as though, lately, every time I visit this site, some smart alec ham has got to shoot off his mind(??) rather than expressing his disagreement in an adult and businesslike manner.
In my opinion, ANY electronic device that operates its components under abusive conditions is an incompetent design and, definitely not worthy of my interest.  If you or any of the other supporters of this incompetent device allow themselves to be sucked in to using them, more power to you (NO pun intended).  As for me, I think they're garbage and will make my choices accordingly.
Ton


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: WB6DGN on September 17, 2013, 05:58:21 AM
N9LCD, my experience with ATT has been very similar to yours.  Especially their repeat insistence on a "service call" to "test" my in building wiring.  I put the squelch on that the first time by telling them (truthfully) that I had already run new, uninterrupted, wiring from the interface box directly to the modem and it didn't make a bit of difference.  After repeated intermittent failures and repeated trouble calls, they FINALLY identified a number of bad grounds on the ancient wiring between my house and the central office which was only about five blocks away.  After repeated trouble reports, they FINALLY upgraded an unexplained length of wiring and its now been close to five years without a trouble call and, as a bonus, the noise on my voice phone has also dropped to zero.
In my opinion, this company could care less about providing competent service as long as they can keep the customer paying the bill and the only way to get any assistance is to threaten to stop doing exactly that.  At least it worked for me.
Tom


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: W7AIT on September 21, 2013, 10:03:01 PM
How much RFI are you getting from your ATT U verse into your HF rig?  I measured S9+20 all over my daughters house using a HT General Coverage RX all the way out to the street, from HF through 2 meters.  Ham friends that mistakenly got U verse can't operate HF at all.  I'm a Xfinity / Comcast user and have no HF RFI problems.  Just curious if you have RFI in your HF radio from your ATT.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KD0REQ on September 22, 2013, 10:05:54 AM
what modem brand/model did they give you?  and does it have a analog or switching wall wart?  I'd try scrounging up an analog wall wart first if you have hash all over the band.  next, I'd get some broad-spectrum toroids (the blue ferrites from old computer power supplies are stellar here) and wrap all cords coming from the modem around that from 8 to however many turns will fit around some cores, and see if that whacks the RFI.

I don't have any noise from my CTL modem at all, a Zyxel Q100 VDSL model.  it even has a switching wall wart.  my old Cisco 7xx modems generated a little RF but choking the lines cleared that up.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: W8DPC on September 22, 2013, 01:46:46 PM
The reason there is no on/off switch is because it's not meant to be switched on and off. If you are worried about it burning the house down, then the two choices are either use a surge suppressor with a switch and turn it off when you aren't using it, or go back to dial up. But if you chose to turn the modem/router on and off, you are going to have all the problems outlined in the original poster's post, because they aren't designed to be operated that way. A broadband signal is meant to be always on. You don't have to like it, and you don't have to use it, but that's not going to change the fact that it's the way it operates correctly. No, you shouldn't have problems everytime it rains, and that DOES sound like bad wiring somewhere on AT&T's equipment. But even on flawless equipment you are going to find long sync times and errors if you turn it on and off several (or even one) times a day.

Personally, I've NEVER heard of a fire caused by a router or modem. I'd be more worried about the compressor that switches on and off 24 hours a day in the refrigerator, or the bomb that is otherwise known as a water heater. Heck, a faulty light switch can burn your house down and you not even realize there's a problem with it until it's too late.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: WB6DGN on September 22, 2013, 08:47:57 PM
Quote
But even on flawless equipment you are going to find long sync times and errors if you turn it on and off several (or even one) times a day.

THAT has not been my experience (after all, ATT has got to do SOMETHING right).  The modem is ready to go before the computer is finished booting up.  So, I don't have a problem there and, for me, fire is not an issue.  I DO know how to protect the electronics I use and their surroundings (even incompetent junk electronics).  My contempt for switching power supplies (as opposed to the devices they power) comes from the generally miniscule MTBF they exhibit.  I've got an older Dell Optiplex computer that I use for programming older radios (and that doesn't amount to much use) that's working on its THIRD power supply.  The power supply is a BABY, only 135 watts, and, even that, they can't get right!  That switching junk is just NOT reliable and there's not much I hate worse that sinking good money after bad!
Even then, I wouldn't gripe if that were the only one that failed; however its a lot easier to count the ones that haven't failed than it is to count the ones that have.  JUNK, I say, JUNK!  And...I've tried to explain why.  If you choose to continue to ignore me, then just keep on paying for replacements until you go broke for all I care.  Its YOUR money!
Tom


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: NI0C on September 23, 2013, 08:43:48 PM
I'm surprised to see complaints concerning AT & T uVerse.  My experience (over the past several years) has been overwhelmingly positive.  No noise on receive (160 - 10 meters), reliable service, and competent technicians sent out at AT & T 's expense, when troubles have arisen.  My 2-wire wireless box is in my hamshack, and my DVR and TV are within 30 feet of my HF vertical antennas.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: AA4PB on September 24, 2013, 05:47:57 AM
I expect the quality of service depends on the neighborhood in which you are located. I'm in an older neighborhood. Years ago I got Verizon DSL service (before there was any cable Internet) and it worked great. Over the years DSL deteriorated and began having issues every time there was a hard rain. Not only do the lines and equipment deteriorate over a period of years, but techs working on the lines do things like leaving un-terminated lines connected across your line. This has no affect on analog phone service but it causes reflections on high speed digital connections. I recently gave up on DSL and converted to cable which is now fiber optic from the head end to the pole outside my house.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: NI0C on September 24, 2013, 06:31:02 AM
I'm in an older neighborhood, too-- our house is nearly 80 yrs. old.  Our AT & T uVerse service is not DSL; we have fiber-optic cable up to about 1000 ft. from the house, with copper cable from there. 


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KD0REQ on September 24, 2013, 05:27:42 PM
N1OC, yeah, that's DSL.  possibly VDSL2.  if it's on copper, it's fed according to a DSL standard.  this is what's called FTTC, fiber to the curb.  if you had fiber to the house, it's probably a GPON system, gigabit premise optical networking.  a series of Y-splitters branches up to 32 or 64 subscribers off one optical user port.  the "close follower" companies have product out so it's a bit more affordable to run that than the "originator" companies' products.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: AA4PB on September 25, 2013, 05:52:56 AM
I expect that fiber to the curb is why you are seeing better results than some of the others.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: NI0C on September 25, 2013, 07:52:20 AM
I expect that fiber to the curb is why you are seeing better results than some of the others.

In terms of performance, I think that is correct.  However, I did also see some complaints in this thread concerning AT & T's responsiveness and service technicians that just don't square with my experience.  I guess I have been very lucky, or perhaps things have changed in the year or so that I have required service.  I do have flashbacks of my poor experience with earthlink, though, and that's the main reason we switched to uVerse a few years back.
73,
Chuck  NI0C


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: N9LCD on October 11, 2013, 08:22:42 PM
Finally found what my problem with uVerse dsl service was:  a defective "modem"!  The tech replaced it -- no charge.

Also found a couple of contributing problems: a long, 40-foot branch line; an obsolete 4-pin phone jack; and an underground drop that's been buried in excess of 55 years!

I'll get better internal wiring when I finally relocate the office/shack to the basement.

But I don't think Ameritech will be digging up the backyard to install a new drop from the pedestal!!!

N9LCD


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KC8Y on October 26, 2013, 08:04:51 AM
I kinda' know what you went through with AT&T.  I had some-different problems when I signed up for uverse dsl.

i signed up Aug. 2012.  Have a separate private phone line for this.  First, AT&T when they installed the separate line, it had cross-connected with other phone lines OUT ON THE TELEPHONE POLL.  This problem ALWAYS interfered with trying to get on.
Second, I had 8-AT&T techs, 1-Geek Squad tech , and an independent phone tech. to find what the problem was-not one could figure it out.
Finally, the LAST AT&T tech found the problem.

I made a special file of the situation.  I told the last AT&T tech about my situation. He wanted a copy of the problem to show his management/boss just want I had gone through.

Then, during 4-months of service; AT&T Billing STILL had my items of service wrong .
Finally, they correct it later.

For the last few months, every is correct and operating right.   WHEWWWWWWW!


 


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: N4XTS on December 22, 2013, 10:30:42 PM
Well I guess my U-verse story is the exception.
After a horrible experience with DirecTV, I was very hesitant about replacing my then reliable 6MB DSL (from AT&T) with U-Verse and bundling both.

I placed the order online, was able to schedule an appointment the next day. They called before they came, they showed up when they said they would. They sent to premises techs, who were the nicest guys I've met and 100 percent pro.

The key with U-verse reliabiliity is a good home run connection to the demarc, and good CAT-5 wiring (NEVER use coax!). These guys spent ALL DAY wirining my house with brand new CAT-5 for all three receivers. Placed the residential gateway where I wanted it (highest point in the house) for optimum RF. They set up all the boxes and left their personal cards and told me to call THEM not customer care if ANYTHING didn't work as I wanted it to. Never had to call them.

That was in March of this year. Since then, ZERO downtime. No problems with high speed Internet, I pay for 18MB down, get 20-21, ping times are always at 28-30ms. Upstream a constant 1.5-1.8MB. All my TV's work great, the RG they provide has a 400mw radio, at first I was concerned about the coverage (the techs tested it and were willing to install an additional access point but it was not needed) but it is fine throughout my split level.

Never had a problem with billing either. $122 a month including tax for 18MB Internet, U-300 package w/HD, three receivers.

We've had monsoon rains, storms, cold, heat- you name it, never had the service interrupted. Never.
I was paying DirecTV $90 a month for roughly the same thing, no internet of course, and no HD/DVR.

The real moron awards go to Charter Cable, who for some reason my county keeps renewing franchiese agreements with, despite a Comcast head end right down the road. You want incompetence? Try them.


Title: RE: AT&T U-verse
Post by: KC4MOP on December 24, 2013, 05:06:46 AM
Another problem "phone"companies make with DSL is to give ok for circuits that are too far from the CO. (Central Office) There was and will always be a certain distance that the DSL will work.
If it is during wet weather that your DSL fails; then you have bad cable pairs. There cannot be any hums or buzzes or clicks on the phone line for DSL. The condition of the multipair cables running along the roads these days is terrible. I see that Verizon has installed huge cabinets at ground level around my area. Maybe converting analog to digital and shipping the info via fiber to the CO.
OP....is there a cable TV service in your area? Cable TV internet is always more reliable than DSL. Or Satellite internet from Hughes. About the same cost as Cable TV internet and speeds in between cable and DSL.
I google AT&T U verse and they are claiming to be a fiber optic service. What can go wrong with that?
Did I mis-read the thread and go off about the downside of DSL?
And N4XTS you were really lucky. And pricing is pretty darn nice!! I would dump our DirecTV ($140) and Comcast ($75.00) cable in a heart beat for your service.........but no hope for fiber for a long time. We're a small dump of a city in Western Pa.
I know there is fiber in Pittsburgh.............but not here!!
Fred