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Is it possible for my ISP to ruin my DSL modem?

Rod at home

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I've been with CenturyLink for many years. Mainly because my alternatives are even worse. Anyway, after many years of paying for 7 Mpbs for Internet connectiivity I've upgradedus to 12 Mbps. (Tthe fastest that CenturyLink offers in my area. Believe me you've no idea how much I envy you folks with speeds an order of magnitude or more higher.)


So yesterday was the day we scheduled to have it done. The change didn't require anyone from CenturyLink to come to our house - everything was handled at their end. However, once it was finished we coujldn't get to the Internet at all. I had been using a Netgear ADSL modem (ADSL2+ Modem DM111PSP v2). I called Netgear Technical support and we went through everything. They couldn't find anything obvious, except for the fact that the modem's light for the Internet was red. What I mean is that, dispite the fact that the Internet light was red, there was nothing they could find which told why it was red. They said I should call CenturyLink.


So that's what I did next. We ran through stuff. CenturyLink told me we were receiving signal from them, that everything was fine from their end. But even though I connected 2 different laptops directly to the modem and I tried 2 different RJ-45 cables, we couldn't get it to work. CenturyLink's conclusion was that the modem was bad. And it appeared to me to be the case.


So now it's 8:30 at night, I've only got minutes to go to the only store I can go to (Best Buy) to get a new DSL modem. They guy there told me that he recommended I get a DSL modem with CenturyLink's because as he put it CenturyLink is switching from ADSL to something called VDSL. I've never even heard of VDSL. Anyway, the point was that even though Best Buy had a Netgear ADSL exactly like the one that went bad for $50; I was faced with the choice of bought some other DSL modem with something I've not heard of before, based upon what the guys at Best Buy were telling me, 10 minutes before they closed, and for $100. I was not a happy camper, believe me. I decided to go with it, just because if the guys at Best Buy are correct, then I might save in the loonger run. Even though, I feel used.


So my question to you is this: could it be possible that when CenturyLink switched over whatever it is they switched over, that doing that may have fried my old Netgear modem? All we knew was that CenturyLink was going to make the change "some time before 5 PM". That's a lot of varience. I wonder if we would have been fine if we'd turned the modem off while CenturyLink did whatever it is they did?


Or am I just being paranoid?

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From what I can tell ADSL (and ADSL2) are not compatible with VDSL (and VDSL2).  You need to know which standard CenturyLink is using.  Based on what you have described I would take a guess that your old service was ADSL or ADSL2.  When they upgraded your service they moved you over to the VDSL/VDSL2 service.  That is why your old modem quit working.  So I don't think the old modem is fried, I think it is no longer compatible.


I think in this case the CenturyLink has not been upfront with you on what happens when they upgrade your service.  If they are switching from ADSL to VDSL then they have to switch out every modem in every customers home.  If the switch is only occurring for the customer paying for the faster service then they still should have told you that a new modem may be required.


All of this is speculation on my part.  About your high priced Best Buy purchase.  They have a return policy.  If you can find a better modem to use and set it up before the return policy deadline, then just take back the modem you bought to Best Buy.  On the flip side, it's nice to have a store like Best Buy locally that you can run to and pick up some hardware and doing business with them helps keep the doors open.


Good luck.  I would call CenturyLink and find out exactly what type of modem is required today for the service you now have.  Of course, if the VDSL modem is working then we know that the ADSL modem wasn't fried...it just was incompatible.

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good advice. I had quite a dance with centurylink when they supposedly had a speed upgrade for my area. they brought a new modem that was vdsl compatible, then the plan changed and they ended up providing a different modem that allowed two metallic pairs to be used to get the promised bandwidth. after all that mess they couldn't render the billing at the promised pricing so I went back with cable. 

Edited by nrf
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That makes a lot of sense, cskenney. So now I know that VDSL is a real thing. And its likely that CenturyLink's upgrade to my download rate did require a new modem. But like you said, they kept me in the dark about it. I'll look around and see if I can find a VDSL modem someplace else, cheaper. But the bottom line is I was just being paranoid; CenturyLink didn't fry my modem.


Thank you.

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