Weird maddening random disconnections

I’m in Vancouver and use Telus for DSL. I’ve been using them for about four years and nearly three years in my current location. Roughly two months ago I began experiencing random but persistent disconnections. These are the characteristics:

• disconnection can happen anytime without warning, morning, afternoon or night
• disconnections happen on a consistent daily basis, anywhere from 2-3 times a day or more
• disconnections will last as little as 10 seconds or up to 10 minutes or so
• the DSL will automatically re-establish the connection without my intervention
• a few times I have released/renewed my IP when the connection hadn’t re-established itself after a few minutes; this consistently restores it
• the link light on the modem (and router) will stay ON as if the disconnection isn’t registering with it
• nothing requiring the Internet will work: IRC, Trillian, web browser, e-mail, games, etc. The LAN (when router is connected) is unaffected.

Here’s what I’ve done, to no avail:

• swapped out all CAT5 cables
• swapped out the telephone cable
• tried with modem plugged directly to NIC and through router (on router, both PC’s on the LAN will lose connection to the Internet at the same time)
• re-installed all relevant drivers
• checked for viruses/spyware with multiple programs
• reformatted and re-installed OS (WinXP w. SP1)
• had a tech exchange my 3Com Homeconnect modem with a newer Dlink model
• had same tech check the line outside the house (it seems fine)
• had tech support switch my DSL connection to a new port yesterday (I’ve had two disconnections since this was done).

I have a Microsoft (the debil!) MN-100 router with the latest firmware. The log file shows persistent connection attempts even after I renewed my IP and told it to block all ping attempts (I used a stern voice, too). My system has an Asus A7N8X motherboard that has both an Nvidia and 3Com ethernet port. I’m using the Nvidia port. The MAC for the Nvidia port is registered on Telus’s site.

So…basically, everything I/they have done has had no effect on the disconnections. About the same time they started, Telus had member alerts on their website advising of “emergency maintenance” and “network upgrades” in the area, so my suspicion is that the problem is on their end, not mine. The disconnections happen in exactly the same way whether or not the router is attached to my PC.

Any insight into what might be causing this would be very appreciated. :)

The provider.

Yes, give them a call and tell them exactly what you’ve already done. There may be some kind of problem at the exchange or something up with their servers/routers. If I’d been getting DC’d every 10 mins i would be straight on the phone to them.

Yeah, see if you can get a new provider. That one sounds like crap.

Everything that I wrote above I have discussed with them numerous times already. They’re fully aware of the problem and probably figured switching me to a new port would fix things. The disconnections do not happen every ten minutes, BTW, they happen about 2-5 times a day but can potentially last for ten minutes or so.

Telus is the major provider here so switching wouldn’t necessarily fix things. I switched to Telus after giving up on cable (which was incredibly unreliable).

I posted in the desperate hope that someone might have a specific idea of what it causing the problem. I’d like a pony, too. :)

I guess I’ll give them another call tomorrow.

Have you tried replacing the modem?

Do they do this free of charge?

SWBell had problems like this a few years back when they were just getting DSL rolled out in my area. Got so bad that i had to do the release/renew thing every 5 minutes, but they did eventually get things together and it hasn’t happened in the few years since.

Just about the only thing you can do is keep calling them. Not so much to get help from them, but to add to the pile of calls they’re getting from people having problems. Waiting it out is the only other thing you can do.

Duality, refer to my initial post, specifically the “had a tech exchange my 3Com Homeconnect modem with a newer Dlink model” part. ;) <-- on PC this wink would get me villified (and yes, I’m renting the modem, so the replacement is free of charge)

Jon, I suspect that’s probably where I’m at, just waiting it out as they work the kinks out of their network upgrades. The tech who came out told me a lot of this is in preparation for them to start offering TV services over the telco lines. Meanwhile, Shaw cable is getting into Voice over IP using cable. Oy vey, the world is turning upside down.

Update: Telus doesn’t know what the fuck they are doing.

So today I get a call from happy James in technical support telling me they checked and everything looked A-OK. A few hours later I had another disconnection. Then two more. I call tech support and the guy starts asking me the same basic questions, as if I’m some retarded, drunk AOLer who has never used a computer or had a problem with one before. No, it is NOT a virus, you goddamned fucking idiot. Thanks, but I’ve covered all the basics when I first started calling OVER A MONTH AGO.

So I get a new ticket number and a promise that they will call back and probably dispatch someone out to the house yet again, which is just lovely because I really don’t think it’s ANYTHING on my side.


This concludes my mini-rant. Thank you.

Creole - you should try shaw again. I know when rogers ran the show there was some serious issues, but when I moved out of Vancouver 2 years ago, i was quite impressed in the improvements shaw made to their system, and from talking with a few friends who are still on the cable modems say it’s better than ever.

Telus are a bunch of crackheads for support, but so is shaw, so you’re damned either way. Maybe you can wrangle a free install or a cheap months trial from shaw or something, who knows. I do know that shaw has a better speed package of 5mbps down and 1mpbs up for like $49.95/mo if you already have cable.

My friend who lives upstairs has Shaw and it’s not better than Telus, IMO. Thanks for the suggestion, though. :)