Thursday, December 22
Ah, it's so nice to have a (relatively) snappy Internet connection again.
The DSL field tech was here this morning, ran some tests, and decided that my DSL problem is due to an old modem. "Really?" I asked. "Just yesterday, the front-line support guy (in India) told me that all DSL modems operate at line speed so they can easily process data as fast as my ISP could send it!" As it turns out, that was wrong.
The Efficient Networks SpeedStream 5360 (part number 060-5360-002, for those of you who enjoy Google'ing obscure stuff) is apparently a real dinosaur. The tech actually laughed when he saw it. He called one of his co-workers and said something like "you won't belieeeeve what this customer still has installed - remember those old silver-and-black modems, about the size of a VW bug?". He says that DSL modems seem to grow obsolete every six months.
The old modem (Siemens bought Efficient, apparently) maxes out at a 1.5 Mb downlink, explaining why I experienced lots of packet overflow (and the backoff retransmissions - slowing me to sub-56 kb speeds) when a large datastream (up to 3.0 Mb downlink) was thrown at it.
I'm still trying to find the tech specs for the 5360 to confirm the 1.5 Mb limitation, but my replacement (a Zoom 5654) quickly clocked a 2.5 Mb downlink, mid-afternoon. That's the first acceptable speed I've gotten since The Upgrade. The specs say it's good for download speeds of up to 24 Mbps .. so it'll be obsolete slower than the Efficient 5360. Perhaps the 5360 specifications are only available on papyrus?