In keeping their word, AT&T is making up for some foul-ups last year on my account when we moved. They are now announcing the roll out of 300 mbps internet in west Fort Worth via their Gigapower internet service. Excited to see the results!
The speed has now been bumped up to 300 mbps up/down; so fast now, I need a new internal router/firewall 🙂
After events that occurred with AT&T on the technical and customer service sides back when I first moved into my new house, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with changing over, once again, to new service. However, after all of the frustration and mind-boggling breakdowns in order processing and account bungling from a few months ago, this has been worth the wait.
Though I haven’t proven this theory out yet I’ve been wondering since it seems to me to be a difference in stability. So my neighbors all around me have U-verse and have had all kinds of issues in which a U-verse tech has had to come out to resolve their issues. I’ve had basically none, with a couple of exceptions (area-wide drops). One neighbor had to have the line at the curb completely dug up and reset, but that was a different issue. When they setup my connection, I asked up front to run twisted pair from the outside to my router/gateway instead of using coax. As I understand it, unless I’m mistaken, the default is to use coax which, sure enough, all my neighbors have. As it pertains to VDSL2+ (the protocol U-verse uses), is twisted pair more stable than coax as a medium for delivery? I’m just curious, because that would be an easy thing to ask for at the beginning. I don’t know that this is the case, but I would be interested to see stats on that. Here are my numbers using twisted pair after 113 days of data/error collection:
Apparently, after resetting the Motorola NVG510, it allows you right into the restricted areas without a password. Well, let me rephrase that in anecdotal terms. It let me in with no password. I was able to add NAT rules, change the wireless settings and number of other things. After a few minutes, it then locked me out and forced me to login. It’s been that way ever since fortunately, but why in the world would it allow me in without a password? And no, I didn’t have the password saved in my browser. On top of the connection issues I’ve experienced with this RG, the security issue described here adds one more layer of flakiness that deserves some attention. Anyone else out there experiencing this?
(FYI: When I first had Uverse setup, they allowed me to open SMTP port 25. This problem started when it was inadvertently blocked again recently. Long story short, there were other reports of this happening. Below is the process of trying to get it unblocked again.)
I have come to the realization tonight that my mail server has not been sending out emails since February 17th. I hopped on AT&T’s Uverse chat support and was informed (after connecting to a second tech for a possible different answer because, you know, not all techs know the same things) that AT&T is now blocking outbound SMTP port 25 for Uverse customers. I initially had the port opened on my account to allow outbound email for my mail server. But it doesn’t work now as of February 17. And if you want to have this port opened now, you must contact their Connectech team to unblock it. The number, as of now, is 1-866-294-3464, or you can apparently connect with their chat service here: https://chatnow.att.com/. If you send me an email directly right now, I’ll try to respond another way in the mean time.
UPDATE 1: Okay this is rich. So I contacted Connectech via the chat app (which is an exe download, similar to TeamViewer), chatted with the tech about the problem and was asked if I had purchased a support plan. I said, no, I just need my port 25 opened again. He said, I can’t help you unless you have a package purchased (paraphrasing all of the aforementioned).
So let me get this straight: I already pay AT&T Uverse a larger amount of money for their technology (okay fine, whatever) than the other guys. I pay for support too when I have a problem, support that comes with my service. AT&T decides to block outbound port 25. To get it open, I can’t just call the regular support anymore. I have to call their outsourced “professional techs” to flip a switch. And in the process, at least pay them $20 more a month. You’ve gotta be kidding me? This is a new low for AT&T customer service. Ever heard of corporate communism? With their level of bureaucracy, red tape and hoops to jump through to get something done, for the one’s they’re supposed to be servicing, I can’t think of a better term. Or how about inefficiency?
UPDATE 2: So after having blogged and tweeted this issue, I have received two responses from AT&T techs saying they can help. They asked me to direct message them on Twitter now with my account information. And although they are still tweeting others with issues, they will not respond. I don’t get it. Still waiting though …
UPDATE 3: A social media guy (Mike A) from AT&T contacted me directly about the issue and is getting the ball rolling. Appreciate it!
UPDATE 4: After receiving a call, I have yet to hear anything about a possible resolution or whether it is even still being looked at. I’ve called twice, left messages, with no response. Benefit of the doubt: could be very busy.
UPDATE 5: Received a call from Mike A a little while ago at the social media team at AT&T and they let me know they have resolved the problem, port 25 is not being blocked anymore. There were apparently other reports of this happening and they are handling it on a case by case basis. Appreciate the help, Mike A, at @ATTTeamNatasha!
I’m not sure at what point, but some time over the past week or two, my 2Wire 3800 HGV-B router was upgraded to new firmware (by AT&T of course), version 126.96.36.199 or rather 188.8.131.52-enh.tm. I’m not positive this fixed it or if AT&T upgraded their firewall policy, but for whatever reason, my NAT loopback works now. This has been a major complaint by both tech-ey customers and AT&T tech’s on various forums I’ve read ever since U-Verse started it’s roll-out a couple of years ago. It’s a pain to work around if you’re doing any port-forwarding on the outside of the firewall and then attempt to access those open ports from the inside of the network outward. Well, if you get upgraded to the latest version or get the latest firewall rules from AT&T, you should be good now.
Finally, the long wait is over for the Westerfunk network … U-Verse will allegedly be installed on Saturday between 1 and 3 pm. We’ll see how that turns out. Just want to make everyone aware now that all sites will be unavailable until I can bring them back up on the new service.
Also, one of these days I’ll start blogging again. Had a long run of difficulties and well, laziness to some degree, spiritual and otherwise. So, I’ll be returning soon.
Update 8.6.2009: Well, to give them credit, they did leave a note on my front door letting me know the day before. So, nevermind. It is AT&T and they are putting Uverse in the neighborhood. So, that’s pretty cool!
Okay. I know AT&T or the power company can come and dig up your yard as they please, since they basically own the right to that portion of your yard. But it would at least be a nice courtesy to call and let residents know their yard will be all torn up when they get home. They just came this morning and started digging with no advisory or note. Even a flier would have worked. Come on guys …
Background: over the years, I have had a fluctuating issue with a weak DSL connection from my ADSL modem to AT&T’s CO (central office) in my area. This resulted in continual errors on my modem and at times the service would just drop off and then come back up. My speed would change often and was never consistent.
So recently, my DSL connection totally dropped for four days. Apparently an AT&T tech messed with things a little too much and knocked out my DSL service attempting to “fix” someone else’s phone line that another tech had messed up (a sort of domino effect). Of course this all happened right before the Fourth of July holiday weekend and so another tech finally came out the Monday after. He got me back online, but the connection speed was the most degraded it has ever been. But he made the decision to switch me over to a “digital line” (update – AT&T tech terminology, not mine, that is simply what he told me – A.K.A. an RT line, digital port, whatever) to get me a much more solid connection.
Alrighty, I have a little insider information that hasn’t been released to the press on Project Lightspeed … On this past Friday night, I went to my mother-in-law’s retirement dinner party and got to speak with her manager who works for SBC (now AT&T once again). I asked him about ADSL2 and when he thought it might be deployed in our area (DFW). To my surprise he said they are working feverishly right now to get FTTN (Fiber-To-The-Node, or fiber to your neighborhood DSL connection distribution point) laid down as fast as possible and that the new service should be deployed some time in the fourth quarter of this year! I didn’t think it would be that soon. Basically with this new service, you will have your TV, voice, and data all come through that one line, and it’s really really fast (apparently like 26 mbps down and 3 – 10 mbps up). From what he said, you will be able to record 4 different TV programs at once and still have enough bandwidth for telephone calls and internet connectivity. Oh man, bring it on …