Why has my DSL speed suddenly dropped significantly?

Internet access discussion, including Fusion, IP Broadband, and Gigabit Fiber!
14 posts Page 1 of 2
by mixfixer » Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:01 am
I've had Sonic's single line "Fusion" for about a month now, with the hope that I would see both better performance and better service than AT&T. I was initially disappointed, when after testing the line with the help of a Sonic Tech support person I discovered that I was only getting around 2.89Mbps (a Sonic.net measurement) download speed at the outside of my house, and roughly 2.6Mbps inside (measured by me, via SpeedTest.net and Sonic's own speed test app on their tech support page. The thing is, based on the distance my house is from the switch, I could (should) be theoretically sitting around 5Mbps download speed, or more. Hmmm... AT&T's copper? That's possible. If that is the cause of the bottlenecked speed, then how could AT&T claim to be able to sell me DSL speeds of up to 6Mbps over the same lines? (not that I trust them as far as I can throw them....).

...Things that make you go Hmmmmmm.

Anyway, my inside speed was consistent for many days and many tests (consistently sitting at 2.59Mbps download and 0.83Mbps upload). So I justified it at the time by telling myself, "Hey, at least your getting twice the speed of AT&T at half the price. Be happy about it".

So I was happy about it, until yesterday. BAM. No DSL. Period.

I called Sonic.net tech support (who have always been courteous and helpful, by the way.
But this time, it took three separate calls (& three separate tech's) to get the DSL even UP and stable for more than 30 seconds at a time. They confirmed, as I did via my own system analysis software, that the problem was not my modem, nor inside my house, it was external. Plus, I know that nothing inside my home has changed, wiring wise, or device-wise, or configuration-wise.

But something HAS definitely changed for the worse. I've run a ton of speed tests and connection status checks over the course of yesterday and today, and I am now MAXING OUT at a speed of 1.79Mbps down and 0.67Mbps up, and I've measured the speed as low as 0.45Mbps down and 0.67up! And that's IF I can connect at all. I couldn't this morning until a restarted my modem (which is a brand new Actiontec ADSL2+). I've either been capped FAR too low by Sonic (which I am almost sure is the case), or AT&T is somehow screwing with the lines (they are AT&T's lines, leased by Sonic).

Either way, this sucks.

Again, to recap: I was initially disappointed with 2.89 at the outside and 2.59 on the inside the house - but that speed was both consistent and stable for about one month. Now, suddenly, that speed has dropped nearly in half, and is sitting at about the same speed that I originally had with AT&T as a provider, and the line is a lot LESS stable now on top of that.

Dane, are you out there? What's going on here?
by tjj » Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:57 pm
I looked at your account notes, your line and the ticket that you have in with us regarding this matter and you should be receiving a response in the next few minutes regarding this.
Tage J.
Sonic.net Customer Support
by mixfixer » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:21 am
Okay.... My original speed is back, and appears to be stable, as of 12:30am. FINE-ally! It took, I believe, two major changes to enable my "full" speed, or the speed that I was originally getting:

1. Of course, was Sonic Tech support graciously agreeing to lift the cap on the line which was placed just after my initial support call, in an effort to stabilize my line (which I now am pretty sure was unnecessary - we should have checked the modem's settings first, before tweaking anything else).

2) ...and is most likely the specific cause: This time, I didn't just reset or reboot my modem, which up until now I had been doing, I accessed the modem via it's HTML interface and re-ran the Auto-Configure feature, as if it was being connected for the first time.
THAT gave me immediate results.

At 12:25am tonight, before I Auto-reconfigured the modem, I was getting about 1.27Mbps (max) down, and that was after Sonic had lifted the cap. After the modem reconfiguration, the speed jumped up immediately to between 2.5 ~ 2.61Mbps Down, and absolutely consistent up, at 0.67Mbps. So, I'm back where I was, and as long as it remains stable, I'm happy.

I want to make the point to anyone who has been reading this, that I am nearly certain that this problem had nothing at all to do with Sonic. It was a Modem problem.

What happened, was I did a software update on my iMac, which included system software. When I restarted, (as required) I lost DSL and this trouble started. I did immediately suspect it was my modem, but thought restarting the modem would be enough to exonerate it. It seems clear now that whatever that software update/restart did, for some reason it left my system with a very unstable connection. The system is: DSL line ---> ActionTec -GT701D ADSL2+ Modem ---> Apple Time Machine (acting as a router) ---> current iMac 27".

A final word to the wise, if you happen to be using an ActionTec GT701D ADSL2+ modem: If you suddenly lose your DSL connectivity, run to Auto-Configuration option from a browser. It worked, where nothing else did.
by cowboy121012 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:50 pm
Samething has happen to me I was getting 1.2 m/s down and in the modem setup it was showing 14*** to 13*** line speed. Now I am down to 7*** with 2 difrent modems and it was not a fast drop it did it over 2 weeks so now I am at a loss as what to do.
by thulsa_doom » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:31 pm
cowboy121012 wrote:
Samething has happen to me I was getting 1.2 m/s down and in the modem setup it was showing 14*** to 13*** line speed. Now I am down to 7*** with 2 difrent modems and it was not a fast drop it did it over 2 weeks so now I am at a loss as what to do.

It looks like our system saw your line retraining a lot and took steps to adjust your connection to where it looked stable again, resulting in an interleaved line with a speed cap (and less frequent cutouts). This is something we can reverse, but I also see that your circuit is synchronizing at ADSL1 instead of ADSL2+, which would have been necessary for your previous high speeds. Give us a ring in support and we can take a crack at re-tuning the line manually.

There may be other factors at play as well, particularly downstream impulse noise, which was a bit out of hand before the automatic line profiling kicked in.
John Fitzgerald
Sonic Technical Support
by cowboy121012 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:32 pm
I just wanted to post back to say thank you! I called and now I am back to a good speed so THANK you
by danae » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:54 am
I've had similar problems. I had DSL for a year with no connection problems and then switched to Fusion. For about the first two months with Fusion I was consistently at 2.47 down (which seemed great after DSL), then had drop problems. Interleaving got me back up to about 1.97 for another two months until drop problems again, and after AT&T digging up my line (they say there are coils of extra line underground that MAY be the problem) and Sonic Techs trying to solve the problem I am locked down at 1.5, with an inside speed of 1.32... This degrading of signal over time seems to be a common complaint about DSL. Wonder if anyone is working on a solution???

p.s. I put in my Sonic username (dana) for this post and there is a message saying that username is in use, please select an alternative - does that mean someone is using my username?
by dana » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:56 am
Sorry - the username problem was because I wasn't logged in....
by dane » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:13 am

You should ring up support - we can't fix individual loop problems by discussion here in the forums. Support can change settings, dispatch our technicians of those of AT&T to fix wiring issues, provide replacement equipment, etc.

Dane Jasper
by dana » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:21 am
Thanks, Dane, but the Sonic techs have been here three times, including a vendor meet with AT&T. John has worked on the problem extensively, and as far as I can tell it's in limbo now. They can't figure out why the speed degraded from the original or why it degraded again, after the interleaving restored some of the original speed, to the current 1.5 cap, even though John ran some sort of line test and I should be able to sustain about 2.5 down.

I guess I'm hoping, since I know this is not just a problem for me, that Sonic keeps a list of connections not performing as they should be, and one of these days someone will go to a conference or read an article and a light bulb will go on - hey, let's try this and bingo it will work.... A Google search on sync problems shows it's pretty common, so someone somewhere must be working on it. I'd be interested to know how many Sonic (or any IP) customers have to have their lines capped at a slower than should be speed to keep the line stable.
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