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. Andrew Stott says:

    I can’t speak to Qwest, but I’ve had Speakeasy service for a few years and have been extremely impressed with both their service and support. While I’ve only had to call a few times, each time they answered quickly and resolved my issue. Their techs know their stuff, and even more importantly don’t follow the typical inane scripts that my other ISP’s have used…

    I decided to go for reliability vs. price, too, and I haven’t been disappointed. Good luck!

  2. Roland says:

    On no! Your car! That sucks.

  3. JakeZ says:

    Tres and I are very happy with Worldlink DSL. They are up in Shoreline. Affordable, reasonable privacy policy, nice people.

  4. Derek says:

    Jake, is Worldlink simply reselling Qwest / Verizon DSL? Or are they simply using hardware and managing the data connection?

  5. Adrian says:

    I have the same problem at the radio station I work at. Paying for 1.5mb DSL and actually getting about 500kb. This is due to the RF interference from our AM towers. It’s a long shot, but I don’t suppose you have relocated anywhere near a radio tower?

  6. Derek says:

    Adrian, no significant changes in the surrounding area that would effect DSL performance. I have heard about RF interference before though so your comment only confirms that even more.

    And so strange. Yesterdays phone tech told me that a service agent was not coming until Monday morning 8am. I just received a phone call from Qwest informing me that they were enroute to my apartment now (Sunday). Hoping to see better service soon.

  7. Derek says:

    Update. Service tech three just came by and left. Apparently the line running to my apartment doesn’t even have DSL on it. Hat tip to the first tech who came through and tested confirming the unit was already DSL ready and hooked up.

  8. Michael says:

    I have Speakeasy back at home in LA. For the price, it’s certainly not worth the money. However, if you’re willing to pay the premium it’s the best ISP on the planet. I get the speed I am advertised, their tech guys are very techy themselves. They let me run numerous servers out of my home. I’ve never had an issue with Bittorrent or anything like that. They are hands off, let me do what I want to do, and try their best to keep the line up and running the way it should.

    In my area Speakeasy uses Covad lines so that might help you out, but I am not sure about up in Seattle. Speakeasy originally started up there too, so that might be a + for you.

  9. zzap says:

    “My office users Speakeasy and has had no issues whatsoever.”
    Don’t you mean ‘uses’?

  10. Derek says:

    Thanks zzap. Overlooked some things while writing half asleep.

  11. xavier says:

    Speakeasy is goood, really good. The company is a really chill bunch of geeks in Seattle. Qwest is a bloated, poorly-run corporation.

    I’d suggest you switch immediately.

  12. Derek says:

    Well I’ve had enough of Qwest for the weekend. From having been notified that the line was active (with my previous 7 Mbit connection) to 350 kb/s and now no connection whatsover for at least the next 24 hours, Qwest business will receive my cancellation call tomorrow morning as soon as they open.

  13. John says:

    I wasn’t connected online for nearly two weeks due to bad customer service and getting dsl…. it was like living in the 90s again…. Sorry about your dog…

  14. Alex says:

    Poor Boo

    Poor R32

    Hope both recover nicely 🙂


  15. Sumesh says:

    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.


  16. Derek says:

    I don’t even want to imagine the cost that customers would need to cough up in order to have a 75 Mbit connection to their residence.

  17. Alana says:

    All that tecno talk made my pee brain swim……but I feel your pain about Quest. Sadly I use to be a manager for them and may God help you if you ever try to cancel any of their services. They will send you to a person who gets a bonus for NOT letting you cancel at any cost including lying to you. That’s why I quit…Good luck.

  18. Derek says:

    Fortunately closing my account was not at all as difficult as I was expecting. I think that the last representative that helped me was as frustrated as I was. He was more than happy to make sure I stopped paying for service that I was not receiving.

  19. Joel says:

    I live in southern California, recently Verizon layed Fiber Optic lines (FIOS) here and I now I have a 15Mbs / 2Mbs dedicated line which Verizon says will soon be upgradeable to 15Mbs / 15Mbs, shear heaven. I highly recommended it too all who are able to get it… 🙂

  20. Ronny says:

    Here in Norway I got ADSL2+ with 24 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.