[sf-lug] Internet Service - Repairs

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Jan 24 00:06:17 PST 2015

Quoting Tom Tt (seameadowlake at gmail.com):

> My first message to the mailing list.


> Update on my AT&T U-verse Internet service.  Last Tuesday morning, Jan. 20,
> the AT&T techie removed rust and other crud from the outdoor wiring
> harnesses/contraptions at my 1910-era building.  The service is better now,
> but occasionally, it still hangs up, but not as often as before.  I do not
> have a land-line.  Years ago, when AT&T was the sole provider of land-line
> service, I suppose AT&T was responsible for maintaining the wiring harness
> and ALL the wiring from the street to the apartment unit.  I presume the
> local baby-bell company (AT&T [formerly SBC] in SF) still owns all that and
> must maintain it.


The key concept in this area is that of the 'demacation point'.

The local telco bears all responsibility for problems from outside
wiring to the demarc point.  Inbound from that ('on-premises wiring') is
what the telco would call Somebody Else's Problem.

If you spent a lot of time debugging these matters, you'd end up
purchasing what in polite society is called a 'lineman's handset', but
in the field everyone actually calls a 'butt set', because you can clip
it to a belt-loop to shlep it around.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lineman%27s_handset  A butt set is a
sturdy, portable telephone with alligator clips instead of an RJ-11
modular cable.  The point is that you can clip it onto a telephone cable
at any point, _or_ you can clip it to the terminals on the telco's side
of the demarc point.

There's nothing like watching the visiting PacBell^W SBC^W AT&T
technician's face fall when you answer his claim that your problem is
customer-side by pulling out a butt set and shwing him/her that there's
no dial tone right _at_ the demarc.

It's always worth finding out where the demarc point is, and inspecting
it.  Sometimes, the telco has really screwed it up in any of various
ways.  If you _really_ know what you're doing, you can correct screwups
on the telco side of the demarc, but you'll be in moderate amounts of
trouble if you bollix the job and they notice, because that's the side
that you're not supposed to touch.

And, of course, everything on the house side really -is- your problem
(or your landlord's, etc.).

More information about the sf-lug mailing list