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CenturyLink Question

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:49 pm
by Slab Bulkhead
Anyone else here have the misfortune of having a site where the telco is CenturyLink? Got any backdoor numbers for Tier 3 support/repair?

I have an AM/FM translator site using a Bridge-It for IP feed over DSL. It rained for a day and a half, the DSL downstream SNR dropped by 8 dB, the modem began to show tons of CRC errors, and of course the IP feed is now losing packets left and right as a result. The POTS line developed a good hum on it too, so it looks like a textbook case of water infiltration into the telco side.

They are telling the Ops Manager they *might* be able to get repair on it next week. I'm wondering since the POTS is affected what the threshold is to make a complaint to the state PUC...

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:38 pm
by Deep Thought
So far the only solution to CenturyLink's inattentiveness to reasonable repair times has been to find another provider. I know that doesn't really help at this point but they aren't terribly interested in either POTS or DSL and consider both an "as is-as available" service these days.

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:10 pm
by grich
One of my clients has four different sites with CenturyLink DSL and POTS. We've had a couple of 3-day outages. They tried a 10-day thing once, but I have a helpful account manager on the sales side that helps run interference for me. I'm sure he'll end up being punished someday for it.

The only time they seem genuinely responsive is when a contractor cuts a line and CL can send them a bill.

Usual failure mode is rodent fade. Pedestals make great mouse houses.

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 3:27 pm
by ncradioeng
Good luck. The CL infrastructure in my town is falling apart - lots of broken lashing wire, pedestals with no or broken covers with wires hanging out, nitrogen tanks tied to poles everywhere to try and keep the water out and lots of rotten poles that were replaced by the power company but their attachments never moved over to the new ones.

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:55 pm
by Shane
Good side: we have a few point-to-point circuits with CL. One last analog 8k circuit, and some nailed up ISDN. Last summer a contractor working for the power company (he may have been a company employee, I forget) was doing some upgrading to the power feeds to the multi-station TV/FM site here and went straight thru a cable that had our PTPs on it.

After I called our contact at CL for these circuits, the utility foreman says, "oh you won't see them for about 6 hours." 20 minutes later TWO CL trucks came hauling ass up the drive and had the splicing done in about an hour.

Utility guy says, "man, you guys must have some pull!"

It helps to know people inside who can help you (still). It also helps to know someone who knows someone inside who does a lot of business with them.

Having said that, we moved all of our non-office POTS lines to Cox after we got the 3- or 5-day wait on repair thing. That was a different division where I guess we had no "pull."

But CLs copper infrastructure is definitely going to $h!t. We'll go for months sometimes with no problems and then one circuit (usually the one that feeds a more remote site 4 miles outside the small town CO) will go out, they'll pull some cards and "shock" the line back on but that doesn't usually last. Our contact and us have now figured out what happens and it's as y'all have said: mice getting into the pedestals.

So now we know the route that one line takes from the CO and when it starts getting hinky we'll just drive up the country roads until we find the pedestal a farmer accidently whacked and sometimes we can lead them to the problem faster. Have to say they are pretty conscientious about making those kinds of repairs last.

Meanwhile, they have installed fiber all over the city. Fast. So I'm hoping for better things to come. Meanwhile, we look for ways to get off the ISDNs to save money and also because they're life span is limited although when we express this concern to them, apparently this region has no immediate plans to stop providing ISDN. I think we could still order it up if we wanted to.

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:01 am
by Slab Bulkhead
Sure enough, we got a good rain and the DSL connection tanked again. I'm sure it's decrepit outside plant that they will do nothing to fix. Also, they seem to be short on backhaul capacity because our IP codec gets packet loss between 7 and 12 PM each night. So we have two problems that they will not give a tinker's cuss about fixing.

There is cable internet nearby and a WISP is also possibly interested in working a deal for tower space, so I think they will be gone as soon as we can hook up something else.

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:32 am
by Tim Burke
CenturyLink still appears to be rather divided... Who was the LEC prior to the centurylink merger? Qwest, Embarq, CenturyTel...

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:39 pm
by Shane
In our case it was Qwest. That is, Northwestern Bell, cum USWest, cum Qwest. I believe USWest was a merger between NW Bell and Mountain Bell, which involved moving HQ to Denver from Omaha. Our technical support for special media services came from Minneapolis long before any mergers when they eliminated the "toll test" boards around 1980-something.

Re: CenturyLink Question

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:30 am
by Slab Bulkhead
Sure enough, according to the repair man who came out, it was rodent damage. Squirrels got into a pedestal somewhere and chewed wires. He also said the insulation on the lines on the street is in terrible shape.

I've told the owner that even though we got this fixed, it's not going to fix the packet loss we see every night due to inadequate network capacity, and that it's only a matter of time before this fails again. He doesn't care, so I'm not going to bother with it any more.