NTC ADSL Connection & Downtime Problem Explained

Nepal Telecom has a lot of services, users and with them there are problems. A lot of customers complain about the cellular network coverage, congestion, and connection problem. NTC ADSL downtime problem is one of the biggest problem and headache. Two years ago “Hello Sarkar (1111)” recorded a large number of complaints on this subject. A few weeks ago NTC was ordered to improve the service and increase the capability. This time we went to the office and talked to experts to know about this NTC ADSL connection problem and downtime issue.

Brabim Karki also wrote about his experience on this topic in Annapurna Post daily. This time we had a serious issue so we got there and talked with the officers to solve this out. Many people complain and also ask us the reasons of downtime. They are leaving the company and canceling the subscription for private companies. Many good private ISP are giving cheaper cable and fiber services. We also have a list of best and top 5 ISP in Nepal.

Doorsanchar is a government organization so things move stepwise and slow. This is why there are many issues and upgrades are slow. On top the systems are old and many staffs are not cooperative. We have experience of staffs getting angry and not acknowledging the issue and accepting problems. After we were fed up of problems, we had to talk to seniors and related personnel. This is not bashing but a collection of our experience in the office.

Experience with Downtime and Problems

We have been using ADSL for many years. It is easy to get a connection, pay the bill and also because other companies don’t serve in our area. We regularly face downtime and the longest was 7 days for Dashain. This time we had downtime for 3 Days and nobody answered the phone. Therefore we decided to go to the nearest office.

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When we went there and described the problem they reset our port bind and told to restart the router. But this didn’t solve the problem. Then we were told to bring the router, which we did. And finally, they said that it was their system fault. So it seems they are lacking behind system handling.

If you ask long-time users who face such issues. They also have the same experience. Telecom’s technical customer care officers also blame it on the router, user and router settings. They rarely accept the system’s fault. It is very troubling to always ask a customer to bring installed router to the office just for checking. It might be one cause but most customers say it is the company’s own problem in the local system.

Down the Rabbits hole

Following the events, we found that in our area, only some were suffering such problems. While some were still enjoying the internet. After rigorous inquiry, we found that it was their DSLAM’s fault. The surprising thing was that they already knew the problem but were unable to fix it permanently. In the office, new DSLAM 2 of our area was regularly going down. They also discussed the ventilation issues.

DSLAM issue is one then there is a problem in feeding fiber line. Ports in the telephone poles can also go bad due to water and other factors. The copper line can get damaged and increase CRC and make internet slow. The router can turn up bad and might delete settings. There are many possibilities actually.

We know that it is not the fault of the people who work there. But it is their duty to fix it and not give problems to people. If you are also ADSL users and everything is all right. For an example phone line, ADSL light is stable on the router and you have checked router’s settings, tried restarting it then there are few things you should know.

How does NTC ADSL service work?

Nepal Telecom’s ADSL service is simply internet served using PSTN or landline copper cable. To put it simply in front of you we will show by listing the phases of the service.

  1. Nepal Telecom sends data in big optical fiber cables to exchanges.
  2. The fiber from exchange goes to specific areas.
  3. Each area has a limited number of DSLAM
  4. The NTC ADSL DSLAM has a limit of actually 96 users.
  5. Router at your home helps to squeeze data from the phone line and you can use the internet.
  6. Now the systems repeat the process backward while doing upload or upstream.
  7. The computer or mobile sends data to Router/Modem, then it goes to DSLAM and back to exchange.

What is DSLAM?

It stands for Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer and is used in DSL systems. It helps to serve both voice and data over the PSTN lines. After a user requests ADSL subscription, your phone line is disconnected from normal service and is connected with this new system. This allows the system to send you both internet and voice service. It is fed by the telecom operators with high bandwidth cables like optical fiber so that the data can be distributed at the required rate. These are like servers and need good cooling and power.

DSLAM Control Card
DSLAM Control Card

Problems and Future of Fiber

The common NTC ADSL problem is downtime. Another is no internet connection even while there is a working system. DNS issue is also there in the system. This all happens locally and in our case due to poorly managed DSLAM. The cluster of 96 people suffered this problem frequently but another group didn’t. We found that the suffering was from DSLAM-2 and the others were from DSLAM-1. The problem was bad ventilation, lack of cooling and heating issues.

The load caused the system to burn down too much. The control card would be useless and they needed time to fix it. This is why it takes about one or two days to fix this. The heating of your DSLAM can also cause slower speeds and occasional service loss. Sometimes the problem can happen at home like when the router hangs, settings are deleted, automatic resetting of the router, unbalanced power supply to the device.

NTC ADSL connection problems can also cause due to disconnection of optical fiber feed, maintenance, and upgrades. We still have hope that they will improve the service soon. PSTN is now old and the company is actually planning to go towards FTTH service. This is going to replace the old broadband service. It is the future and this may be the reason the company is abandoning and not focusing more on older services. Whatever the case, we support the company and want to see things get good.

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