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Troubleshooting Broadband Issues

Common Issues

Following are some common issues that may cause your broadband service to work slowly or sporadically.

DSL Equipment is not plugged in or not plugged in correctly. 

If your equipment is not plugged in correctly then your broadband service will not work.  Check out the broadband support section on this site for a guide on how to connect our DSL equipment at your house.  Each telephone device, fax machines, satellite TV boxes and similar equipment must be plugged into a filter or the DSL portion of the service will not work.  Our DSL router must be plugged into the DSL side of a splitter device before plugging it into a telephone jack.  We will provide you with a splitter and two filters with our equipment.

WIFI device that you connected is not configured correctly. 

Make sure any WIFI equipment that you connect is configured as an access point only otherwise it will conflict with our DSL equipment and degrade your service.  If you are not sure how to configure WIFI equipment you purchased, consult the equipment manufacturer for the procedure.  You do not need to configure WIFI equipment we provide.

Too many devices connected to a home network. 

The way routers and access points often work is to divide the available LAN bandwidth equally among the devices connected.  The more devices you have connected (and enabled) the less LAN bandwidth each device will have to operate.  WIFI networks are particularly bad at this.  As long as the device is connected the router will reserve bandwidth for the device, sometimes even if you aren’t using the device.   If broadband service seems slow, try disconnecting, unplugging or turning off any devices that you do not intend to use at that moment.

Devices can use bandwidth even if you do not think they are. 

Any connected and enabled device can use bandwidth on your internet service even if you think the device is dormant.  Many devices and applications will automatically check in with manufacturers behind the scenes.  Devices may also be infected with malware that communicates behind the scenes passing information about you and your activities or attacking other users.  Some devices appear turned off but are actually running in a suspended state and may still be communicating without your knowledge.   If broadband service seems slow, try disconnecting, unplugging or turning off any devices that you do not intend to use at that moment.

You may be too far from the WIFI base. 

The farther away you are from your wireless router or access point with a WIFI connected device the more degraded the signal becomes.  This will slow down your device until you are finally far enough away that the device does not work at all.  Also, doors, walls, furniture, and other objects in your home will further weaken a WIFI signal.  Interference from other devices will also affect WIFI performance.  TVs connected by WIFI are extremely vulnerable to these conditions.  If your online movie isn’t playing right, it could be a bad WIFI connection and not your internet connection!  Try moving closer to the WIFI router or access point.  Move the DSL router closer to a central location in your home.  As a last resort, try connecting your device by ethernet cable to correct the situation.  WIFI extenders (2 GHz or 5 GHz units) may help resolve the issue, some of these devices work better than others.

You have old outdated equipment. 

Old and outdated equipment just isn’t capable of working as well as newer up to date equipment does.  Often pages can download slowly or not at all, video won’t play, applications just won’t run.  From outdated software, to memory issues, to slow processors, you will be happier with your internet experience if your equipment is newer.  You will generally get better performance with equipment that is less than 5 years old and running a current operating system.   Viruses and Malware can also infect your computer causing poor performance.  We recommend you update your operating system regularly.  You should be running a good firewall and virus protection on your devices at all times.  If you notice problems on your computer when you are not using the internet, or if you notice some devices have problems but not all this may be your issue!

Does the website have issues?  

We get many calls from people complaining that they can go to a web page but not download their e-mail, or they can reach some websites but not the one they want to.  If you can do some things on the internet but not others then the problem is probably with your computer or with the website you are trying to get to.  Try dumping the internet cache files on your browser.  Often times your computer tries to restore an old page from cache instead of downloading the new page online.  Also, virus software and firewalls can block access to some sites.   Try going to a common web site like or with your internet browser.  If you can get to this website, the problem isn’t with your internet service! 

You may have trouble on the telephone line. 

Check to see that your telephone is working and you can make a call to a neighbor or family member.  If your telephone doesn’t work then your internet service is probably affected too.  Call our office to report a trouble if this is the case.

You may be asking too much of your internet connection. 

So how much bandwidth do you actually use at your home?  Click this link to learn more about how much bandwidth some of the typical internet applications use.  You may be surprised to learn just how much bandwidth is required to watch that favorite movie or play your favorite game!

A word about speed tests  

Speed tests attempt to judge the speed that data of a certain type crosses the entire network path from the speed test server all the way to your device.  The majority of that path is outside of our network!  We have absolutely no control over how data flows outside of our network.   Also, speed tests run to different test sites in different cities will produce wildly different results.  Even if the test city is close to your location, the path the data takes may travel across the country our even internationally before it reaches the testing server!  For these reasons we will not accept a speed test result to be proof of a problem with your service.  Many other problems (like those mentioned above) will also affect the result of a speed test.  That having been said, we do sometimes use certain speed test results combined with other information we gather to help us diagnose a possible problem with DSL service.

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