Adventures in the AT&T U-verse®

My DSL internet was becoming painfully slow, so I decided to upgrade from 768K to 3Meg download speed. DSL was not available to me at 3Meg because of my distance from the exchange. I compared Uverse to Xfinity (Comcast) internet on price and chose Uverse. The order process was simple and it looked like the installation would be the same as the DSL installation. ie. Install phone line filters and plug the new modem in after the activation time.

The activation time rolled around and I plugged the modem in and went through AT&Ts configuration process. Everything went smoothly and I had higher speed internet. Sometime later I checked a phone for a dial tone, and there was none. Read on the follies that ensued.

The following is the timeline of events for my internet speed upgrade.

     

  1. Mar 29, 2012 – Order upgrade from DSL to Uverse Internet via website.
  2. Apr 2 – Uverse technician disconnects POTS (Plain old telephone service) and connects Uverse Internet. Technician does not ask if I am keeping POTS and does not tell me that he disconnected it.
  3. Apr 3 – Submit ‘No Dial Tone’ trouble report to AT&T via website.
  4. Apr 4 – POTS technician disconnects Uverse and reconnects POTS. Technician says he only does POTS.
  5. Apr 4 3:35 PM – Called AT&T and reported Uverse problem to Mark. Said will send technician out on Apr 5 between 8 AM and 8 PM.
  6. Apr 5 – Technician does not show up and no notification was received. Visited website and saw that the repair appointment status was delayed and to call.
  7. Apr 5 8:47 PM – Called AT&T and talked to Stephanie. Said that an ‘outside the house tech’ will be out in 24 – 48 hours.
  8. Apr 6 9:30 AM – Technician routes POTS thru Uverse at the neighborhood cross-box and everything works.

So the moral of the story is that POTS and Uverse can be provided to a house on the same phone line if the technician knows how to configure it.

On a side-note, I did not have a NID (Network Interface Device) on the side of my house, so the first technician installed one.
It was manufactured by Corning.

Here is a photo of the customer accessible part of the NID.
NID_Open

The wire bundle comes from the basement. The green and white wire pair is hooked up to the AT&T phone line.

Here is a photo with the phone line module open.
NID_ModuleOpen

You can plug 4 house circuits into the module. Note the RJ11 jack for testing the phone line. When the module is open, the house circuit(s) are disconnected from the phone line and you can determine if a phone/modem problem is caused by a wiring problem inside the house or with AT&Ts phone line. Just plug a phone/modem into the NID jack and see if there is a dial tone / modem connectivity. If not, then it is a problem on AT&Ts end.

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