My DSL is Fixed – Or, Why I got a B in Electronic Circuit Applications

“Sir? We’ve traced the call. The problem is coming from inside the house!” ::splattery death::

A Covad technician has been here for the last hour, poking at my DSL with various tests, tone generators, and the like. He fairly quickly determined that the problem lay with the (rather messy) basement wiring.

More to the point, with a small radio frequency filter that was sitting in parallel between the tip and ring connectors. When I connected my apartment wiring to the wiring from the NID, I left that device in place, assuming that it was there for a reason.

So in the end, all of the problems were technically my fault, because I had refused to wait for Covad to come and finish the install. At the time, my modem was getting sync, I had gone over two weeks without internet, and I didn’t want to take time off of work again to wait for a few hours for a technician to come and (from my point of view) connect two wires that I could easily do myself.

However, I am not going to apologize to Verizon for my previous two rants, for several reasons.

  1. The Covad tech did find something wrong with the wiring inside the ILEC half of the NID; it wasn’t causing the intermittency, but it’s astounding that Verizon wired it wrong and never spotted it when they came out to investigate the intermittency.
  2. The initial delays in my install were caused because, according to the Covad tech, there was a “bridge tap” left on my line that shouldn’t have been there. If it weren’t for these delays, I wouldn’t have been frustrated enough to do it all myself, leading to the undetected cause of the intermittency.
  3. Verizon came out at least twice, possibly three times (I don’t get to see their dispatches through my Speakeasy service ticket, because they’re multiple steps removed), and never once said “there must be a problem with the internal wiring”. Why? Because ILECs officially wash their hands at the halfway divider in the NID. The house wiring is up to the End User, in my case supported by Covad as the DSL provider.

Anyway, the Covad tech guessed an RF filter was the culprit right away, because there used to be a low-power station broadcasting from Belmont that required many homes in the area to have RF filters in parallel with their phone lines. Why Verizon didn’t know this was a possibility, or decided not to share, is beyond me. Other than the afore-mentioned fact that they like to $%@!!-f@(& cows. And also the whole Pilatic hand-washing thing.

He removed the filter (I have a souvenir!), and bypassed two unnecessary splices in the basement. I’m now on a 24-hour monitor, and if no problems are detected, my support ticket will finally, blissfully be closed.


One response to “My DSL is Fixed – Or, Why I got a B in Electronic Circuit Applications”

  1. There was a similar sort of thing wrong with my internet when Comcast installed it–an obsolete blocker on the cable due to bad technology from 7 years ago. It took three guys coming out before one of them guessed at (and then immediately found) the problem.

Nurd Up!