Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am subscribed to an ISP supplying a 3meg ADSL line.

Lately (for the last 4 weeks) speeds have dropped from the usual average downstream speed of ~250kbps to just 0.14Mbps (according to and employees are complaining about lack of access to the server.

I have been calling customer support and logging calls for the last 3 weeks, but they have been unable to determine the source of the problem other than carrying out a few bitstream tests and checking the DHCP renewal times.

I am going to call back and suggest carrying out a BER test. What type of equipment is needed to carry out this test? I have access to a wide range of Cisco networking equipment.

Other: We don't need a leased line as there are less than ten employees.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

It is great you have been patient. Do you have other means of accessing the internet at you location, like CATV, other provider? After three weeks, it is time to be mean. Your next call starts with the Tier 1 tell them you have been patient and that you want to speak to the supervisor. If they don't give the correct response, speak to theirs.

In the past I dealt with a similar situation, though I don't go weeks when someone is taking my money for a service they are not providing, by calling the corporate office and asking to speak with the President / CEO. Of course I didn't speak to them, but they usually have a person to field those kinds of complaints. My problem was fixed within hours.

share|improve this answer

A BER test usually requires a loop plug, but some DSL modems are also capable of acting as the loop end (or as a receiver/transmitter for the BER test, which is useful for determining if you have a problem that's only tied to upstream or downstream data).

Double-check with your telco / DSL provider for the procedure they use.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.