Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>

Matt Brunk | December 19, 2011 |


Verizon Rent Lord

Verizon Rent Lord The challenges of resolving DSL problems.

The challenges of resolving DSL problems.

Anyone not reviewing their telecom bills and asking the right questions could be in for some surprises. I hounded Verizon for months over their $10 monthly billing mistake until they made good. They've become too big, too fat and too powerful for the greater good. While that just sounds like carrier bashing, since most would not spend the time over a $10 monthly charge, that is the second mistake that many companies make--not spending the time to ensure their billing is right.

Our summer vacation was great, only something didn't add up towards the end. With laptop in hand, I felt comfortable connecting and being responsive to concerns while enjoying vacation. The VPN connection to one customer just wouldn't allow my dealer apps to do their thing. When downloading data to my machine, it would simply timeout and disconnect the link to the PBX.

The real issue wasn't the dealer app; it's simply the connection. After spending some time testing (August), we found packet loss a little over 30% and thus the dealer app was timing out. As we dug further, we discovered that our multi-site customer had numerous issues with all their other DSL lines around the same time. All locations are configured with DSL as backup. When the DSL lines aren’t being used for backup (i.e., most of the time), we use them for VPN connectivity, for maintenance and RMACs (Remote Moves/Adds/Changes).

Next, we visited each site twice, once to troubleshoot the DSL and report to Verizon the failure; and the second visit to install new modems at all locations that Verizon said we needed. Why did the modems fail? All of our gear is protected--just not from obsolescence. According to the Verizon reps in the call center, the modems were too old. Each modem was over 7 years old. After this round, the DSL lines still would not work and Verizon dispatched different techs to the corporate site 8 times. Other sites required 3 and 4 additional visits from Verizon before restoring DSL.

Nothing the Verizon techs or call center staff said added up to explaining the failures when we queried them in September. The customer was never billed for the repeated visits. All sites, except one, were now operational with their backup DSLs in working order. Packet loss means absolutely nothing to a telephone company and we found this in dealing with their call center staff, technicians dispatched to the sites and then to supervisors and managers as we were eventually escalated out of telephone hades. Of course the customer is frustrated and mentioned on more than one occasion that other tenants on the campus were having similar issues with their DSL lines no longer working. In fact, some tenants already moved their services over to Comcast. With the corporate site still not working and the MPLS service having failed five times since August, the backup DSL proved unusable for the corporate location.

I pondered over this and then remembered what Verizon did earlier this year when they raised the rent on FIOS. As I reviewed the bill then and the letter they forwarded, I wasn't happy but concluded the monthly rate increase was acceptable. The low-end bandwidth offerings were "no longer available" and the monthly increases were due to getting more bandwidth whether we wanted it or not. Verizon did notify us in writing and yes, we read our mail. My beef was that what we were quoted was a 2-year contract (reduced monthly rate) and Verizon initially failed to honor it. That was resolved--it just took months of beating on their door for the $10 monthly credit.

I asked the customer for a copy of all DSL bills for one-year prior and a copy of all DSL bills for the current month (September). The next day I became the billing guy. It didn't take long to figure out that DSL billing for all locations was previously $79.99 and the new billing rate was now $91.99. All the DSLs were configured the same way and with a static IP address. The 15% rate increase stood out as something that would answer as to why we had so many issues and why tenants on the same campus were having problems with their DSL lines and were abandoning Verizon DSL out of frustration.

After calling Verizon’s billing contact I found that all the DSL lines were set for up to 1.5Mbps. This explained a lot about the past failures. True, those old DSL modems probably hindered the process of Verizon doing a blanket upcharge to their customers and giving no thought as to cable distance from the customer sites to the serving COs. Call center staff replied, "We have improved technology" and I replied, "Not at 18,000 feet." I sent off an inquiry to Verizon’s media contacts in September and they’ve remained silent.

DSL doesn't work reasonably at higher speeds if you're 18,000 feet from the CO. Another problem is all the DSLs were provisioned with a FAX (Voice). I pulled up Verizon’s corporate website and then called Verizon again, this time getting transferred two levels up the proverbial ladder. After having repeated our findings so many times prior, this manager understood but made it clear that she couldn't comment "on behalf of Verizon." What she agreed to do was order a dry DSL line for our customer’s corporate offices. The other available options: order another T1 (if we can find a useable pair) or find another provider.

Now, the good thing about this boondoggle is the old DSL was used for backup and it wasn’t any great performer at 384Kbps. We had Verizon back off of 1.5 Mbps to 768Kbps and the packet loss remained, and they refused to drop the speed back to the original 384Kbps. You could argue the customer needed this anyway which is true, but it's how you make the journey that really counts. The dry DSL did not make a difference nor will it support them for backup purposes.

Because of these long loops that analog services travel (cable feet), the loop current tends to be very high and also a source of damaged gear. What one suggestion would I make to Verizon if they even entertained listening to it? I would introduce them to a different service, one with the highest customer ratings. It resolves distance issues and provides value while delivering enhanced services including high-speed/high-availability Internet services. Verizon, meet FIOS: now all you need to do is deploy it and stop making excuses for increasing the rent.


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.