DSL Modem dying or Verizon service problem?

So my internet has been really wonky the last few days.

It stopped working suddenly on Friday (got home after being out all day and it was down.) The power and DSL lights were green but the Internet light was red.

I called Verizon tech support and they walked me through some steps and suddenly everything seemed to start working again, then twenty minutes after I got off the phone it stopped. It then started working again suddenly an hour later and I started to be suspicious that they were having some kind of odd outage.

Then the next day the same thing happened. Was out all day, the light was red again when I got home. In a somewhat reasonable display of customer service, Verizon then called me out of the blue sometime that afternoon to ask me if everything was working. I said it wasn’t and the guy told me he could see they had an outage in my area. He said I should unplug my modem and plug it in four hours later. Sure enough, when I plugged it in later, everything was back to normal. So at that point I was still thinking service outage.

Then again last night everything was out. I left the modem unplugged from the power overnight and then this morning it worked immediately. This is starting to make me think that the problem is the modem rather than the service…every time it’s turned off for a while (gets a chance to cool off maybe?) it works and every time it’s left on for a long period it stops.

I should mention that I’m actually quite skeptical of the guy that called me back and told me there was an outage…I have no confidence that the customer service people tell the truth and I think there’s a pretty strong likelihood that they’ll string you along in any way they can in order to manipulate their performance metrics.

I’ve ordered a new modem to try to test out the theory but has anybody ever experienced anything similar with DSL or with Verizon maybe?

I experienced sporadic DSL service a few months ago. AT&T sent out a tech who checked the line to my house, which was fine. He told me to replace the modem and, indeed, that solved the problem. I went with an Actiontec modem from Best Buy.

That reassures me that getting a new modem isn’t a wild goose chase at least.

I overnighted one from Amazon which should be in tomorrow so hopefully that’s the solution.

Well as it turned out, it was the modem :)

The new one fixed things immediately and haven’t had a problem since Wednesday.

I’ve had modem problems before (USWest/Qwest) , and they’ve always puzzled me. I’ve got a solid state (bad assumption?) device that’s just trucking away, and it somehow dies? Is this a lead free solder whisker mystery? A tiny spirit deep inside the modem that grows bored with my banal web-behavior?

I still wouldn’t trust that assessment. VerizonDSL is horrible (I has it).

You said it yourself, service people said there were outages but now a new modem fixes you right up? My money is on Verizon being the problem.

Yeah it’s terrible. It’s slow and crappy. And I agree that there’s a good chance that they really were the problem and that my modem swap merely coincided with their fix. It’s also possible that the new modem is just more tolerant of their crappy service.

I used to have Comcast TV and internet but after they lied to me about upgrading my TV service I cancelled them completely, switched my TV over to DirecTV (which I really like and have had zero problems with) and my internet over to Verizon which already had my phone service.

So basically it’s picking the least worst. At some point I may upgrade to FIOS because my impression is that they’re focusing all their support resources on that to get people hooked. DSL is like the red-headed stepchild at this point.

The heat generated during operation ages all electronic devices. I don’t know how exactly this works but eventually atoms get displaced, electrons jump the wrong way, and at some point those accumulated errors become big enough to interfere with the circuit functionality.

The technical term is “electromigration”

My cable company ( Cox ) would have to camp out on my lawn and regularly eat fresh human babies to get me to switch to DSL. I could see myself canceling TV and Phone but the cable modem? No, 12 years ago I got my first taste and short of fiber I am never going back.