My 7 Mbps connection allows me to surf at 350 kb/s, yay for DSL

Ok. Just venting here…

I moved again. This time, it wasn’t as significant as the last. This time, it was simply across the hall; a mere 6 ft. away [from door to door] from 650 sq. ft to 1325 sq. ft. For the most part, the move has been positive. Aside from the fact that my lower back is somewhat sore from moving a couch, massive television stand, and other assorted heaviness on my own, I can relax with my feet up knowing that the apartment move is about 95% done.

What’s a new home without reliable internet?

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Approximately 8 months ago, as I prepared to move into my current apartment building, I investigated my internet service options. At the time, I was limited to three service providers: 1) Millenium Digital now known as Broadstripe, 2) Clearwire, or 3) Qwest. Not wanting cable, and after receiving numerous comments concerning Cleawire, I decided to sign up for Qwest. With a 7 Mbit DSL plan, I was averaging roughly 5.8 down and 600 up. Not at all shabby for a few different laptops, audio streaming, and some XBox action.

Speedtest screenshotWithout any plan changes, I am now sitting here with a connection that is 350 kb/s down and 305 kb/s up. Two service techs later, my 7 Mbit line is still approximately 350 kb/s & 305 kb/s. Knowing that there are many variables that may have an affect on connection quality, I contacted Qwest support again looking for any news of network outages or slowdowns. None reported. Technical support troubleshooting time (note that I had already power cycled the modem numerous times):

  • How are you connecting your computer to the internet? Phone line between the wall jack and the Actiontec DSL modem. This is an internet-only plan.
  • Are there any phone line filters setup for your telephone? Again, no telephone. DSL line only.
  • Will you try connecting your modem to another phone line in the apartment? Sure. Slow internet persists.
  • Is your phone cord wound up?

I requested that my service be disconnected but the representative insisted I wait until a third tech properly checked my connection. Properly, as in the first two techs were obviously poking the wrong wires in the switch room.

DSL, Qwest vs. Speakeasy

I’m ready to jump ship. Fortunately, I am not locked into some type of yearlong commitment with Qwest – my account simply switched from one unit to the next. Shoddy customer service is unavoidable, by what I’ve experienced thus far has transformed my feelings about Qwest overnight. Are you using Qwest DSL for your internet service? What are your thoughts? Speakeasy recently started offering service to my apartment building and am seriously considering a switch. For the price, I would sacrifice speed for reliability. A worthwhile trade-off if performance is consistent. My office uses Speakeasy and has had no issues whatsoever.

Qwest vs. Speakeasy. What do you think?

Other move related news

Syl and I were up until 4am last night after taking Boo to a 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital. Nothing says sick puppy like nightmarish vomiting without warning. Dogs Flu. Yay! Not only did Boo vomit on the couch in two separate areas, she managed to project throw up [what looked like something that came out the wrong side] all over the back of the passenger seat in my car.

Discuss - 33 Comments

  1. zzap says:

    I’ve got ADSL2+ here in Australia, too. 24mbps down and 5 up.

  2. Bayliss says:

    Sounds kinda icky. DSL just sucks. I have the standard old internet here. 6mb down 350kb/s up. It works. do you not have cable? the horrors of comcastic?

    Get well soon boo.

  3. Dan says:

    I have a neighbor who has quest, I have comcast cable internet… I must say, Quest is incredibly slow compared to comcast. There is no comparison, my ping in CS:S is always MUCH lower than his. Go cable or go hoooomeee.

  4. fak3r says:

    Speakeasy, hands down. I’ve had their basic DSL for almost 4 years now, and they’re great. Excellent reliability, and when things do go wrong, their tech support is outstanding. The person that answers the call gets you fixed, no passing you around to ‘senior’ techs, all of Speaks folks know their stuff. They never flinch when I told them I was using Freebsd or Linux, they know it all starts and ends with the modem – if things are ok there they should be fine further in. They run diagnostic tests on the line, can see the modem, from their desk, again, just really know their stuff and figure out when it’s their problem or (most of the time) when it’s the line and handles it immediately. Followups via email always happen, then the same tech calls me back the next day to make sure all is still well. I run a bunch of websites off a Debian box, and the DSL is always there.

    Ok, you’ve prob already decided based on the date, but for anyone else (or you if you choose them) I can vouch for Speakeasy.

    As for sick pets, I hear ya, it’s all we ever seem to spend money on! 😉

  5. Derek says:

    So since this post was published, I decided to go with Broadstripe (previously Millenium Digital) for two reason, 1) Qwest couldn’t get their act together, and 2) Speakeasy was up to 14 days out for an installation. I signed up for Broadstripes 6 Mbit connection. For the first two weeks my connection was consistently between 5.5-6 Mbit no matter what time of the day it was. Currently, I am lucky to get anything over 1.8 Mbit. At this very moment, I’m getting about 600 Kbps. Unacceptable. I’m going to follow-up with Speakeasy to get wired and then cancelling Broadstripe.

  6. Eric Hamby says:

    i lived in alaba a few months ago and had a 9meg through charter communications and it was just awsome. i am living in GA now though and 3meg is all i can get. i call at&t every once in a while and bug them about it so mabey they will get there butts out here and fix me up

  7. MikeMos says:

    I just got Broadstripe was getting 3.5Mbs on my 6Mbs connection. After about a week and a couple days I’m not getting maybe 1Mbs, usually lower. I think they have caps on the lines. If they see “a lot” of bindwidth usage they cap your line. Now I’m not a bittorrent freak downloading movies all day but I do watch Netflix on demand a lot of nights since I don’t have a tv. I’m not using at peak times and I don’t think what I’m doing is excessive.

    My guess is they have a poorly written application that monitors bandwidth and flags anything over some old 2002 benchmark. People use bandwidth these day. If you’re going to cap bandwidth, tell people the limit is so they can evaluate your service.

  8. Kurt Sinclair says:

    [quote comment=”78938″]When I read these kinds of stuff, I kinda wonder why ISPs in the US don’t have as much investment or bandwidth as those in Europe. Its crazy in Europe – guys in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries ‘barely survive’ on 75 Mbit connections. I hear Japan has even more.


    Here in the UK we can get broadband via fiber optics so massive speeds can be achieved.

    Virgin – that have recently become the only cable provider in the UK – offer a service of 20Mbs (which I happen to have) and because it’s delivered by fiber optic cables there’s very little reduction in the speed – despite the exchange being about 20+ miles from my house.

    I was downloading quite a large file the other day (2.5GB) and achieved download speeds of up to 55Mb/s, which for me was unheard of. It took a little while to build up to that speed mind you, but the file was complete in under 20 minutes! I was so shocked I took a screenshot – see it at

    And if that wasn’t enough, they’re going to be launching a 50Mbs service in the next few months! Sign me up!

  9. fadi says:

    I’ve got cable connection :))

    +5 MB download and upload

  10. tyler says:

    had my choice of qwest or speakeasy, went with speakeasy and haven’t had a problem since, going on 10 months now.

    More expensive? Yes.
    Longer to install? Yes.

    Better service? Yes.
    Speed as advertised? Yes.
    Techs who actually know what they’re talking about? Yes.

    I could go on and on and on. Worth the money.

  11. Ahmed S says:

    are you still using a Qwest service? Is your service just as bad? If you are still facing problems with your service, shoot me an email. I will be able to help you out with any issues related to your service 🙂

    Keep the good posts coming!

  12. Dan says:

    I Only Have 1.5 Mbps & Im With Qwest…

  13. pceasies says:

    I wish our upload was faster than it is. 15Mbps down and 0.7Mbps up. So about 1.5-2MB/s down and 96KB/s up. I’d like to have more upload for doing backups, pictures took nearly 36 hours to put on online storage.