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  • nsrlink
    started a topic AT&T U-Verse

    AT&T U-Verse

    You may have read I was signing up for AT&T U-verse, so for those interested, here's the report:

    AT&T Line Tech (Communications Workers of America Union) comes to the house, gives me a new phone network interface box outside. Kills the DSL (as expected.) He wired the PNI box in to the existing cable box. AT&T uses their 4 pair copper wires to hop to the existing coax in your house to get the signal throughout your home. (Additionally, I had & still have an AT&T land line / bell line in service.) He told me when he measured my line speed at the box outside my house, I was capable of 54mbs download & 49mbs upload & I am only 1506 feet from the neighborhood AT&T box down the street. (I was told one must have at least 32mbs arriving at their home to be considered "full signal.") (My internet package I signed up was "only 12mbs.")

    Later on a Prem Tech (Premise Technician, non union guy,) shows up to hook up all the shit inside the house + wire up a few things in the cable interface box. Inside & upstairs, he had to run a coax cable to the Residential Network Gateway (manufactured by 2wire for AT&T, a box that controls everything,) since I didn't have a coax outlet near my computer command center. From that one outlet, he spliced off 2 coax connections for the two TVs / two Set Top Boxes.

    The Residential Network Gateway
    is the brains of the operation. This one box has built in Wireless G, 4 ethernet ports, a broadband port (unused,) coax in (from the closest coax wall outlet,) 2 phone ports out, 1 phone port in, & a USB port (unused.) All of the Set Top TV boxes communicate with the 1 DVR so they can "pull" recorded TV off the DVR & play it in any room. Additionally, the Set Top TV boxes & DVR communicate with the Residential Network Gateway box to get the TV guide info & some interactive content crap.

    He plugged up the Residential Network Gateway & one PC via ethernet & got it going via the internet. Next to setup was the VOIP phone, which was no big deal at all. Then he went around the house hooking up 1 DVR & 4 other receivers that the DVR would communicate with. Most TVs got new coax cable from the wall to the box & new coax from the box to the TV. He was here a little over 2 hours I'd guess. Left me a pile of quick user guides, channel lineups, & gave me a bunch of HDMI, component, & S-Video cables, & ethernet cables off his truck.

    There are 6 computers here at command central: 3 are wired up with gigabit ethernet connections, 1 desktop & 1 laptop connect through G Wireless, and a second laptop connects through A or B wireless. I knew going in to this that anybody AT&T sent out here would have no clue as to how to get my network going as it was with DSL. So, I had to fend for myself on how to get the Routers, switches, & wireless access points (yeah, all plural,) to talk to all the devices & PCs on the network again & get on the internet.

    We had a long ski weekend planned after install, so I didn't have a lot of time to find an answer. But I did notice over the next few days that most of the TV boxes failed to communicate with the DVR & would not play the recorded programs from the DVR. The boxes would freeze up & require a reboot. Sometimes this reboot solved the problem, sometimes not. I also noticed the internet would go down from time to time. I was like WTF did I just sign up for!!??!!

    Back from the ski trip, I had a little more time to tinker with things. ....Meaning that somehow the whole fucking ball of wax failed that evening: no landline, no internet, no live TV, to VOIP-phone, no nothing. Rebooted everything I don't know how many times & called the cum-quats at AT&T. Ran through a bunch of useless tests & rebooting everything over & over. Dude tells me they'll have to send a land line tech and a Prem. Tech out in the morning. Great.

    Well, somehow, I managed to get everything going (naturally,) during the night before they got here. Land line guy shows up, says he finds no problems. Had him come up stairs & replace the phone jack nearest the computer command center. Working fine.

    Later the Prem. Tech shows up. Somehow, this time, I got a guy who was a Sr. Prem. Tech for my state. He took one look at the wiring upstairs & shook his head. He couldn't believe anything was working at all - ever!! So he goes out to the cable box on the outside of the house, couldn't believe that shitty job either. He re-wired some stuff in the cable interface box outside & came up & rewired 3 of the connections upstairs.

    The Residential Network Gateway (brains) must have a dedicated coax in from the wall he said. Oh, he was also disgusted by Prem. Tech A's TWO splices in the "one" coax cable from the wall to the Residential Network Gateway as well. So, he ran one solid cable from the outlet to the Residential Network Gateway. Then, to drive my 2 TVs in proximity to my computer command center, he ran ethernet from the Residential Network Gateway to a gigabit switch & then wired up the two TV boxes with cat 5 ethernet from said switch. (Here's a view of the connections on the back of the DVR & Set Top TV Boxes.) Everything was working well when he left & he apologized profusely for Prem. Tech A's shitty job the entire time he was here.

    Finally had time to read & SEARCH on dslreports.com to find the answer I needed on how to setup my network behind the Residential Network Gateway box from AT&T. (Thank god I found the answer!!) The solution I chose to deploy was to set my network devices & PCs ("behind the gateway") to 192.168.2.xxx instead what many consider the norm of 192.168.1.xxx
    I allowed the Residential Network Gateway to have the traditional 192.168.1.xxx addresses (though it has 2 other preset ranges one can select from or the ability to enter a custom address.) The gateway assigns the DVR & Set Top Boxes an IP address to communicate amongst themselves on 192.168.1.xxx (or whatever you specify,) and it has DHCP built in for this purpose. (Also, your IP address to the internet for the whole ball of wax is dynamic, though for a nominal fee, AT&T can give you a static IP address at your home.)

    So, now everything has been running smooth for 3 or 4 days around here & I suppose I'm ready to pronounce everything "stable." With regard to the internet connection I'm testing at 11.5mbs download & around 1.5mbs upload. (I'm not using the Residential Gateway Box for anything other than to "feed the internet" over to the routers.) The internet connection is fast & more importantly reliable, but it doesn't "feel like" wow, holy shit this is fast, it just feels faster. Keep in mind though, I don't do a lot of downloads or streaming audio / video, which is where one could really "feel" the potential. I'm just an impatient fuck.

    The VOIP phone is fine & does have better quality than Vonage. I will say with the faster connection I can be uploading / downloading & not notice a choppy conversation as I did with my previous set up of 6mbs AT&T DSL + Vonage. Then again, I haven't talked on the VOIP that much.

    Concerning the TV, as the misses wanted, we now have 450 channels of mostly bullshit to watch. Though, admittedly, there are a few offerings I wasn't getting previously that I'm starting to watch. The Set Top Boxes pulling a show off the one DVR is a pretty good deal (just pray you don't have any networking issues like I did to start with.) We have a rear projection HDTV downstairs as our only HDTV (for now,) & the HD stuff looks very good & clear. If you get one of the larger channel packages, you'll get a larger capacity DVR too. The DVR & Set Top Boxes have a multitude of ways to hook them up to your TV & I've upgraded some of the connections from standard coax. (Here's a view of the connections on the back of the DVR & Set Top TV Boxes.)

    Anything you wanna know / comment about, go for it. Overall (and so far,) I'd recommend the service, just watch your Prem Tech / installer like a hawk. I would recommend you ensure he uses or leaves you the best cabling from the Set Top Boxes / DVR to your TVs, they have a shitload of stuff on their trucks. Also, if you have a complex computer network, you might want to do a little research before hand to get an idea of what to expect "after the tech is gone," and you're on your own.

  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Originally posted by nsrlink View Post


    You mentioned your mother & grandmother have it, what exposure to it you've had there, what do you think about it?
    All I know is they absolutely love it. They have the whole nine yards. TV, Internet and phone. They couldn't be happier. I haven't had a chance to play on their stuff yet. What little I make it to town the last thing they let me do is sit down long enough to get online or watch TV.

    Leave a comment:


  • nsrlink
    replied
    Originally posted by BadOrderKing View Post
    My U-verse experience was a quick and terrible one. I feel like I am missing out on something great. It was hooked up for over a week and never did it work. Come to find out no one was ever dispatched to troubleshoot and fix the outside lines. Why? Because they showed that I canceled my account the same day it was installed. WTF???? Seriously, W-T-F?!?!?
    I kept my calm and explained in a very nice way that their equipment needed to be removed from my house and I will not be paying one red cent for anything U-verse related. Her response.... "You have equipment?" I had to laugh. What else could I do?
    Well, I was wondering & honestly, I'm not surprised at the outcome at all. ...And you thought the RR didn't know if they were washing or drying??!!??

    One of their larger problems (IMHO) is in some places the "outside line guys" are CWA, Communications Workers of America & the inside guys are scabs I mean, no-agreement hourly people. (Supposedly the work was offered to the CWA guys the start at a steep reduction in pay -think 2 grades of conductor} & they told AT&T to pay us full rate, no sub-class or go pound sand. AT&T pounded the sand.) (Now in some areas I've heard the CWA has taken over the inside work -under what terms I don't know.) ...But the point of this is the scheduler often do a shitty job of deciding who needs to come out & when & for what reason. As you know there is a total lack of communication between the sales reps, inside & outside guys & customer service / billing & tech support.

    Still, of the offerings available, here it's cheaper & more versatile than than Time Warner who can totally kiss my ass. Dish / Direct I can't comment about other than the picture & sound are noticeably better than Direct HD. The whole she-bang is reliable if it ever gets set up correctly. The ability to record 4 HD shows at once is great, and you can watch in one room, stop & resume where you left off in another room. The on demand / online viewing selections are robust in my opinion. I was an early Tivo adopter who I think set the standard for DVRs and ease of use. The AT&T U-verse DVR is the closest to that intuitiveness & ease of use as I have seen. Like I said, if you ever got it going, I'd be surprised if you didn't enjoy it, but I can relate to & have had experience with the bumbling borg that is AT&T.

    You mentioned your mother & grandmother have it, what exposure to it you've had there, what do you think about it?

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    My U-verse experience was a quick and terrible one. I feel like I am missing out on something great. It was hooked up for over a week and never did it work. Come to find out no one was ever dispatched to troubleshoot and fix the outside lines. Why? Because they showed that I canceled my account the same day it was installed. WTF???? Seriously, W-T-F?!?!?
    I kept my calm and explained in a very nice way that their equipment needed to be removed from my house and I will not be paying one red cent for anything U-verse related. Her response.... "You have equipment?" I had to laugh. What else could I do?

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh
    I'd make sure AT&T didn't get one dime until it worked and worked perfectly.
    Not to worry.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Well, it has been hooked up since yesterday and still does not work. Why, you ask? OUTSIDE LINE ISSUES!!! The same god damned thing that caused the problems with my Mediacom internet. On the plus side, I still have my old internet and they have been doing a lot of line work so I may just tell them to come get their U-verse crap out of my house.

    Leave a comment:


  • nsrlink
    replied
    Originally posted by BadOrderKing View Post
    I shit you not he called from in front off the house and still had a hard time finding it.
    OMFG dude!! :shocked:

    Honestly, the training & experience level of the prem techs I've encountered ranges from rocket scientist to how in the hell did this moron even put his pants on this morning?? Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheAbrasiveOne
    replied
    Originally posted by BadOrderKing View Post
    Long story short, my cable internet is so damned unreliable that I must try something else. My mother and grandmother have nothing but good to say about U-verse so I ordered on their say so. Appointment is next Monday for installation.

    I damn near hung up on the moron who sold it to me since he sounded like a used car salesman and knew almost nothing about the equipment. When i asked him simple stuff like what band does it broadcast on on I got answers like, "Man, that's technical stuff. You are gonna love this lighting fast thing we are sending you!"......
    ME: Really? Compared to what?
    MORON:"To everything, man". ...........
    ME: How the fuck do you know?
    MORON: "Man, it can do everything and your coverage will be so much better than what you have now". ....
    ME: Wow, it'll reach four blocks over? (LOL).......
    MORON:"I'm not sure". ........
    ME: Does it have a USB on the back so i can plug in an external hard drive......
    MORON:"I'm not sure".............
    ME:Then how do you know it'll be so great and do everything I need it to do?.......
    Frustrated MORON: Is there anything else I can help you with?

    Yeah, it's all I could do to keep going forward. If I can get a reliable 10 mbps of the 18 I am paying for it will be worth it.
    Overmoderated.com

    Guy there named "David" will be able to answer everything you want to know.

    He is a support tech for ATT

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Originally posted by Xpress View Post
    He found your house, didn't he?

    That's a start.
    I shit you not he called from in front off the house and still had a hard time finding it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Xpress
    replied
    He found your house, didn't he?

    That's a start.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Well, they are here to install. I am starting to have even more doubts. I am not even sure if this guy knows anything about the equipment.

    Leave a comment:


  • nsrlink
    replied
    Originally posted by BadOrderKing View Post
    Here is something weird too. My mother was told she could not get U-verse TV when she looked it up on line, but oddly enough the people at the ATT store got her hooked up and she has officially and gleefully dumped her cable company. I ran into the same thing, but when I went ot our local ATT store I waited for a damn hour to talk to someone and after realizing that 7 employees were standing around at the counter not doing shit I walked out. The moron on the phone wouldn't even check after I told him what I saw on-line and told him about my mother's story. Maybe the tech can be a more reliable source.
    The reason for the discrepancy in can you get it or not is due to the customer has to be within (what is it --something like--) 2,000 or 3,000 feet of the nearest service box. I forget exactly, but I know it's on DSLReports. Often, if the customer is borderline, they may say no initially. And / or they will send a line technician tech out to check the signal strength at your house with their equipment & see if you are eligible. What the SALES PEOPLE you're talking to on the phone can view isn't as precise as having the tech come out to do a line reading.

    No idea about the fucksticks at the AT&T store, never had to do any business within one. But those fucksticks are no different from the fucksticks at the fast food place, the fucksticks at the doctor's office, the fucksticks on the state highway crew, the fucksticks at the verizon store, etc. etc. fucking off & playing grab-ass instead of doing their jobs.


    Originally posted by BadOrderKing View Post
    I get the idea that U-verse is not exactly part of ATT or they are completely separate. After I gave moron all of my info he had no idea that I had been an ATT customer for 13 years.
    My mom worked for Southern Bell / Bellsouth / AT&T for 30+ years in both craft & management. BELIEVE me when I say they don't know if they are washing or drying; what the right hand & the left hand are doing when it comes to customer service. When you call UVsere as a non-customer, you're talking to a SALES REP. They are paid commission. They are separate from the "bell phone" side of AT&T. Those "bell reps" are also paid commission BTW. (The Real) Yellow Pages, AT&T wireless, AT&T Business Systems, U-Verse, Maw-Bell, ---they are all AT&T, but there is little interconnectivity between departments & the interfaces are all patched together information legacy networks. Just a big bumbeling bureaucracy of autonomous silos. Kinda like the railroads huh?? They do a poor job of seamless service from taking the order / making the sale, to scheduling the crafts for install, to level 1 technical support, to customer service & billing.

    However, once you get it all going, it's good to go. And for all the trash I'm talking about their poor customer service & sales reps, the product itself you will enjoy.


    Originally posted by BadOrderKing View Post
    I forgot moron's best line..... I ask if there is a data cap
    MORON: "Sir, we don't do caps"........
    ME: "Great, because I do a good bit of streaming and my last cable company had a 100 GB cap. I hit it regularly. Luckily they never got shitty about it"
    MORON: "OH NO! You won't have to worry about that, you will have 250 MB and that is more than you can use"
    ME: "There is so much wrong with what you just said.... So there IS a cap and if it is 250 MB I will hit that the first day.
    MORON: Hold on....... 2 minutes later...... Sir, it's a 250 GB package and that is a whole bunch. You will never be able to use all that.
    ME: How the hell do you know what I can use. I may eat that up fairly easily. You have no idea what I may use my connection for. What are the overages if I go over?
    MORON: I don't know, hold on...... 2 minutes later........ It's $10 for 50 GB over.
    This U-verse better be good for me to have been forced to talk to this idiot.
    Sounds like that sales rep needs to go back for some more training. If you're not qualified to answer the phone & give correct answers, don't fucking answer the fucking phone in the first place. FWIW, I've never hit the cap; didn't know there was one, but we don't stream a lot of stuff here.

    Leave a comment:


  • TinLizard
    replied
    FWIW, Uverse does have FTTH, but it's rare.

    Also, they generally have 250GB cap, but I still do not have any cap on my service (yet?). Another crap-shoot I guess.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Originally posted by jonnyseeandoh
    I can't get it where I am at, but I hear it's pretty zippy. It's not fiber to the home like um...FIOS, but Fiber to the Node I think....that's still pretty good though and better than cable which is pretty much copper from here to Timbuktu. But cable can be good IF it isn't a 50 year old system like a few are, and that old stuff just can't push out data like new stuff can. But with Fiber Optics now, why even bother with fresh copper? Gimme some dat fiber!
    I am pretty sure that is the issue here. Mediacom bought out the local cable company. Remember this is a small town that before this take over their only option was DSL. So I am willing to bet they are using an outdated infrastructure and not willing to upgrade to handle the new demand.

    Leave a comment:


  • BadOrderKing
    replied
    Originally posted by nsrlink View Post
    I moved your inquiry in to an existing thread, so read upwards.

    So,we've had this for a while now obviously & moved at the end of last year. Got U-Verse at the new place now too. Overall it is very reliable, despite the initial IDIOT who came out to install it at the start. I really don't have any complaints about the service itself.

    What I will complain about are the IDIOTS in sales / tech support should you have to talk to should you have a problem or want to change or have a billing question. But, that's not U-Verse per say, that's years & years of IDIOTS from Southern Bell, Bellsouth, now AT&T. The technicians I've had have been really good any time I've had to have them out to the house & prompt & professional (minus the idiot in the beginning.) The people you talk to on the phone usually are a waste of time. BUT, if you get the right one, they can diagnose & reset stuff from the office, which is pretty cool. The DVR is the best one I've had exposure to since Tivo (and it's actually better in that it records 4 things at once & you can pause & watch in any room.) For the record, I still have my original equipment (DVR & set top boxes) and two new wireless set top boxes which work without problems.

    To speak to what TinLizard posted, my parents are on Uverse & have had bonded pairs for about 2 years or better now. They have whatever the maximum internet you can get is & it works like a champ, plus it will do 4 or 5 HD shows at once.

    DSLReports.com is THE place to go to get the best info on providers, their equipment, tips, tricks, & how to, etc.

    BOK, let me know if I can answer any questions for ya.
    Here is something weird too. My mother was told she could not get U-verse TV when she looked it up on line, but oddly enough the people at the ATT store got her hooked up and she has officially and gleefully dumped her cable company. I ran into the same thing, but when I went ot our local ATT store I waited for a damn hour to talk to someone and after realizing that 7 employees were standing around at the counter not doing shit I walked out. The moron on the phone wouldn't even check after I told him what I saw on-line and told him about my mother's story. Maybe the tech can be a more reliable source.

    I get the idea that U-verse is not exactly part of ATT or they are completely separate. After I gave moron all of my info he had no idea that I had been an ATT customer for 13 years.

    I forgot moron's best line..... I ask if there is a data cap
    MORON: "Sir, we don't do caps"........
    ME: "Great, because I do a good bit of streaming and my last cable company had a 100 GB cap. I hit it regularly. Luckily they never got shitty about it"
    MORON: "OH NO! You won't have to worry about that, you will have 250 MB and that is more than you can use"
    ME: "There is so much wrong with what you just said.... So there IS a cap and if it is 250 MB I will hit that the first day.
    MORON: Hold on....... 2 minutes later...... Sir, it's a 250 GB package and that is a whole bunch. You will never be able to use all that.
    ME: How the hell do you know what I can use. I may eat that up fairly easily. You have no idea what I may use my connection for. What are the overages if I go over?
    MORON: I don't know, hold on...... 2 minutes later........ It's $10 for 50 GB over.




    This U-verse better be good for me to have been forced to talk to this idiot.

    Leave a comment:

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