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Deaf Person Dependant on Fast Upload Speeds for Communication: Internet Options?


GDouglas
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Hello!

I am a deaf Canadian snowbird living in Ajijic for the winter.  Some of my friends have Telmex FTTH (about ~150 Mbps) just a few minutes walk from me.   First year true snowbird trip (3 months), last year was just a visit (2 weeks), and we’ve leased apartment for 2 years since we’re committing to snowbirding.

But I am stuck 0.5 Mbps upload that erratically varies in speed.

I have a 20 Mbps Telmex VDSL with SPEEDTEST/FAST.com of only about 7 Mbps download / 0.5 Mbps

I am a computer geek and work with computer programming, working from home, so I am technically literate.

DEAF COMMUNIATION REQUREMENTS — fast low-latency upload + 50 GB upload per month
- I am deaf and use www.webcaptioner.com And www.otter.ai voice-to-text transcription but both malfunction severely on my slow upload speeds (to stream audio to the computer-in-cloud to convert into real-time closed captions).  This is how I communicate in real life.
- I consume about 50 GB data upload per per month JUST to communicate as a deafie! 
(text transcription for my deaf communications, min 1-2 Megabit/sec consistent dropout-free upload for reliable failure-free transcription)
- I have a Telcel LTE chip (8 MB, month by month), works well but total data limited
- I have an AT&T LTE chip (10 MB, 2 year prepaid for future trips), works well but total data limited

WHAT I HAVE TRIED:
- Search these forums; and get a few ideas (some of which may now be out of date)
- Tried to order FTTH
- Tried to upgrade to 40 Mbps VDSL plan (online order screen failed on me, probably because I’m syncing only 7 Mbps)
- Gain access to online Telmex account through my landlord (with 2 year apartment lease) so I have full freedom to change Telmex
- I am using the modem without external antennas (I heard it was a bad modem).  
- Telmex rep already visited and jiggled things around, to no avail.
- Unplugged all phones (to avoid interference)
- Tried plugging DSL modem to every phone jack, speeds vary very little (almost identical)

POSSIBLE OPTIONS
- Put myself on a waiting list for FTTH (done)
- Try to beg for that powerful two-external-antenna Telmex DSL modem (I heard Telmex here is stingy about this modem model)
- Try to text the local expat favourite multilingual Telmex technician I heard about (Oscar Castañeda 33 2162 6205 if it’s still valid; found this in earlier posts on this forum), does he still work locally?
- Try the Telcel home modem thing (but I need contract / Mexico account).  Easier for me to buy 5 separate month-by-month Telcel chips (8GB / 500 peso = 2500 peso/mo) and hotspot from them using an LTE home modem I buy from Amazon. 
- Try Telecable / Wizz (heard bad things...)
- Use my wire stripper / CAT5 crimper and network IT skills to chop the Telmex line at demarcation point, and try to direct connect modem bypassing house wiring.
- Wait for SpaceX Starlink
- Etc.

I’m willing to pay a large installation fee to get a better Internet connection if need be.

I’d rather try low-lying apples for a better WiFi landline connection.  

If a Telmex tech reads this, my nearest Infinitum ground corner box is AJJ31 and Infinitum telephone pole boxes say TBA02 AJ0031 if it helps anybody to determine if that’s a fiber box sitting half a block from me.  (Intersection OCAMPO and DE FEBRERO). 

What can I do?

What are my options for winter 2020-2021?  

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Couple of thoughts....

First, it is apparent that you are more technically capable than 99.9% of us on the Board, so don't expect much help with your problem. 

In your write-up I did not see that you are/have tried using an ethernet connection to your Telmex modem... you talk about wifi and antenna and 2-antenna modems. If this is true, have you been able to see what the speed is using an ethernet connection and not relying on wifi from that modem? Without knowing what that speed is, it is hard to tell if your problem is wifi or modem or wiring or?  Test it with an ethernet connection if possible... even if you have to borrow a friends computer to do so.

If you must use wifi, then you may have a 'bad' Telmex modem.... not a first by any means. If Telmex won't switch it out for you, you can purchase the same online from the Guadalajara website... I forget the name right now.... as others have done to 'solve' their bad Telmex modem problems. Also you can put a good wifi router behind your Telmex modem, connected via ethernet cable, and maybe its wifi will be superior to the Telmex modem.... it won't be the first time. They are available at Sterens shop in the Plaza Centro Laguna across from Walmart.

Secondly, the speed you are saying you have.... 7 down, 0.5 up.... is a common speed for the 'lowest plan available' from Telmex even if it is called 20mbps. As is the case, that is 'up to' 20mbps down and up is always a crapshoot.  You say you tried to upgrade to the 40mbps plan but that didn't work with your connection but I didn't see that you have pursued that "in person"... yes I know the office is "closed", but there are other ways than doing it online. 

Is Wizz even available 'on your street'? While it is not a guarantee and you have heard bad things, it may be better than what you have. Some folks get 'great' service from them. Ask around.

Your work-around for the Telcel (or AT&T for that matter) "En Su Casa" may be your only option in the long run. Since you are only at Lakeside as a snowbird, their actual program which requires buying an in-house modem and maybe a 2 year contract is not as flexible. 

Good luck with your problem....

 

 

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Here are some ideas:

- First, where are you located?   How far from the Telmex Ajijic central office?
- Sounds like you have regular DSL.   VDSL is likely available if there are grey finned boxes mounted on poles near the street cabinet.  Telmex has seeemingly stopped
doing VDSL upgrades and is now doing just FTTH.   We had been petitioning for VDSL and they just came in like a swat team and changed everything to fiber.
- Telmex fiber cable has yellow tags on it from pole to pole.  The main fiber cable splits to drop boxes that serve something like 12 or 16 to a box.  Often the boxes are full. If so,  while there may be fiber, the local installers can't add a drop and need to wait for an expansion. 
- Ilox is another option.  They have little square grey boxes on the CFE poles.  Some complain about IPTV buffering but you may not have that problem with your services.  They have a strong backbone up through McAllen to Dallas and Houston on Cogent. 
- Never trust wifi for speed testing.  Check with a hard wired ethernet cable.
- If your phone line is noisy, will degrade your DSL speed.  Check by picking up the phone and dialing a 3 to break dial tone.  You should hear dead silence.  If a hum or crackling report to Telmex as a bad phone line. 
- If facilities are available I'd think Telmex or Ilox would be willing to give your priority.    Try writing the Ilox NOC at  noc@mail.ilox.mx  or chatting with the English Telmex agent on whatsapp at 523333921593.   Good luck!

 

 

 

 


 

 

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2 hours ago, RickS said:

Tom, "chatting" is going to be a challenge with the OP....

As long as they can speak English; I've got my techniques including IP-Relay telephone interpreter service (which is how I order pizza by telephone too, in the days before apps). I can handle my phone mazes whether be the taxman or the telephone company.

I do have to call through a calling card from my Canadian telephone IP-Relay interpretor (free government-funded service for all deafies, historically dialed by TTY phone number 711 -- did you know us deafies have our own 3-digit relay service phone number? -- but now available online instead and as an iPhone app).  But it gets things done by telephone, whether CRA or TD Bank or Pizza Pizza or Blue Line Taxi (before the days of Uber).

This is not the only way -- I also can tie my caption systems into the telephone, and cut out the Relay middleman sometimes too.

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Fantastic reply tkessler, 

2 hours ago, tkessler said:

- First, where are you located?   How far from the Telmex Ajijic central office?

If you mean that big closed TELMEX place on the main street, it's relatively nearby.

Here's my location;
(re-quoting original, with my location in Ajijic in bold)  

7 hours ago, GDouglas said:

If a Telmex tech reads this, my nearest Infinitum ground corner box is AJJ31 and Infinitum telephone pole boxes say TBA02 AJ0031 if it helps anybody to determine if that’s a fiber box sitting half a block from me.  (Intersection OCAMPO and DE FEBRERO). 

These are the finned boxes only 50 meters away from me -- with the AJJ0031 marker:

finnedpole.JPG.dbf974f7c756945f0a43295ea40f2651.JPG

cabinet.jpg.d619ad882f70a7bffc2c4d36d72eae06.jpg

 

(I live approximately half a block down Ocampo from this location)

2 hours ago, tkessler said:

- Sounds like you have regular DSL.   VDSL is likely available if there are grey finned boxes mounted on poles near the street cabinet.  Telmex has seeemingly stopped doing VDSL upgrades and is now doing just FTTH.   We had been petitioning for VDSL and they just came in like a swat team and changed everything to fiber.

Fantastic catch! 

I remember the old days of 8 Mbps modem, so after you said this, I did a little research...

However, my modem is a very old Sercomm Entry34T which has been here for many years untouched and unupgraded. But it is a VDSL modem.  But it certainly isn't Telmex's best modem.  

The Internet has been active for many years by my landlord, and is autobilled monthly. 
Is it theoretically possible that this line is still provisioned for DSL, despite this being a VDSL connection?  

I have (permitted) access to my landlord's online Telmex account which I pay for.  This is billed to his Mexican card and I reimburse him for the cost.  I have been given permission to upgrade the speed of the line.  I tried switching from the 20 Mbps plan to 40 Mbps plan, but an error occurs:

132792736_1099016247216678_7040028333561476182_n.png.c752e63adc55af7c28b2cdf7d6d95fb1.png

132311070_141143191107884_9204568136263105941_n.png.37dedca2a6daa7b62391dbb5826d988c.png

I'll have some local (fluent in Spanish) try calling that number, but now you have piqued my interset;

Perhaps this line is provisioned for DSL (despite this being a VDSL modem) and nobody at Telmex has re-provisioned for VDSL.  Given I am a mere 50 meters away from the cabinet and finned box...

It says my address does not qualify for FTTH (!!) despite other friends 10 minute walk away able to get FTTH.

I wonder if this very old Internet account (I think it's probably a decade old, give or take...) may have been overlooked, still plodding along in an old DSL sync to the box, rather than being reprovisioned to VDSL.  It always maxes out at exactly 8 Mbps -- the speeds of old DSL.  Good catch.

  

2 hours ago, tkessler said:

- If your phone line is noisy, will degrade your DSL speed.  Check by picking up the phone and dialing a 3 to break dial tone.  You should hear dead silence.  If a hum or crackling report to Telmex as a bad phone line. 
- If facilities are available I'd think Telmex or Ilox would be willing to give your priority.    Try writing the Ilox NOC at  noc@mail.ilox.mx  or chatting with the English Telmex agent on whatsapp at 523333921593.   Good luck!

Thanks for these tips, I've noted this for my next go at Telmex.

- Contacting Telmex to complain about VDSL being stuck at DSL speeds.  That I already have a VDSL modem, and that the VDSL pole box is only 50 meters from me.
- Contacting Telmex to be asked to upgraded to 40 Mbps or FTTH by reminding them facilities are actually super nearby and they ought to do that.
- Contacting Ilox for my options

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Ok, I just tried again through the online site, and, it seems like switch succeeds.

Let's see if that forces the line off what is hopefully the old-style DSL profile (because the 8 Mbps is the magic number of old DSL).

I will find out tomorrow if the new speeds are alive, and if my modem hasn't been "reprovisioned" from old DSL (8M) to new VDSL (40M) -- I will call Telmex.

TRICK: I had to turn off Google Translate before filling and submitting form, then turn back Google Translate on, and.... it worked.

image.png.e49176fb2b6ee84eae49d7fae6c9095e.png

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That is great news!  Looks like you're in good shape infrastructure wise.   Those are definitely VDSL cabinets.   This cell number  +52333392159  has an English speaking Telmex agent that you should be able to text chat with.  You would need your own cell phone number and load whatsapp application on it.  Then you can chat either via the phone or go to "web.whatsapp.com" and bring up a text chat window on your PC.     Assuming you can get a hold of the agent, just tell them your situation, that you've upgraded, and they should get someone to you....

 

 

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Stop the presses.... I managed to score a 150 Mbps FTTH installation appointment!!!!

(549 peso, about half the price of 200 Mbps, and I don’t need an extra Netflix/D+ subscription which I already have in Canada... although getting D+ allows you to get 300Mbps FTTH option, Telmex’s fastest possible available in Ajijic but that FTTH speed is only available if you opt for Disney+)

Apparently the bump from the very old grandfathered Internet speed to the 40 Mbps VDSL, “unlocked” my FTTH address qualification in the system.  I re-upped and it worked.

So, if you’ve been living here for years with pre-VDSL speeds at <8 Mbps, try upgrading to 40 Mbps VDSL (even if the upgrade fails due to bad lines).  Wait 24-48 hours.  Then upgrade again to FTTH, and voila — it may let you book an FTTH appointment online via an online scheduler.

FTTH install appointment this week.  Let’s see if this one is real...

I will come back if they succeed.

FCA372F0-A1FC-4418-A66D-62B6CD50F901.thumb.jpeg.b3fc3af3730d05869239589ff67a91ca.jpeg

B5F2D78A-55C8-4C37-A507-DD9BC9602DBA.thumb.jpeg.db48bffda0d181d6058c75db2b691d13.jpeg

And then I submitted an install appointment for early this week.

Let’s see if they come. 

 

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By the way, I noticed a speed I have never seen locally before at consumer pricing:

The brand new Telmex 300 megabit Ajijic FTTH speed is now apparently available locally if you get Disney+ bundled!   (300 megabit is not available if you don’t get Disney+ bundled.)

It’s a bit overkill for me this year for now — but if you need “Telmexs’ finest” cost-no-object, now you know this new speed is newly available.

388F287E-A3BE-4A7C-9F00-8DDE7EB42F8F.thumb.png.da6fbad03eaf7ebdc676b4f00cf539fd.png

P.S. Easiest to access these screens is via the online Telmex account, so if you are renting for a year/two, you may need the involvement of your house’s landlord — and if they never registered for online access to a Telmex account then work together to register an online Telmex account (that’s what we did, took only 30 minutes) —

Internet upgrades seem FAR EASIER to do via the online Telmex portal. Just remember to go back to Spanish before filing forms and clicking Next, because the Telmex site malfunctions in English — so try to stay in Spanish where possible when surfing through those Telmex forms.  (I’m still new to Spanish)

Thanks tkessler for that important clue that I was probably on a very old DSL grandfathered Internet profile (the 8Mbps magic number) that’s been untouched for years.  Now that it’s shaken off that, it somehow unlocked my ability to qualify for FTTH which I certainly rather have.

Will keep y’all tuned on my gurella Internet fiddling.

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18 hours ago, tkessler said:

That is great news!  Looks like you're in good shape infrastructure wise.   Those are definitely VDSL cabinets.   This cell number  +52333392159  has an English speaking Telmex agent that you should be able to text chat with.  You would need your own cell phone number and load whatsapp application on it.  Then you can chat either via the phone or go to "web.whatsapp.com" and bring up a text chat window on your PC.     Assuming you can get a hold of the agent, just tell them your situation, that you've upgraded, and they should get someone to you....

Can you check the phone number again, there’s only 9 digits after the +52

Is it by any chance, that Oscar guy I’ve been hearing about?

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On 12/26/2020 at 3:36 PM, GDouglas said:

Easier for me to buy 5 separate month-by-month Telcel chips (8GB / 500 peso = 2500 peso/mo) and hotspot from them

This has nothing to do with your speed issue, but I happen to use Telcel Internet, hotspotting from my phone to my laptop (no phone lines where I live) and while it sounds weird, it is actually more economical to buy the 5GB for 300 peso option (60p/GB) than the 8 for 500 (62.50p/GB).  I think the 8GB option lasts for a few more days, but that's irrelevant if you go through more than 8GB/month, which you obviously do. 

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The first tech that came was not here for the FTTH.  Ah well!

(They said my FTTH qualification was in error and my area doesn't have FTTH -- they don't know why the system let me attempt to order FTTH). 

But he was able to max-out the speed of my VDSL line.   At first it improved to 10/1 -- tech said I had to call in to get the line bumped.  But it was already bumped after 24 hours when I did a modem reboot (power cycle), and it went straight to 40/10.

They needed to install a new line and a new modem (same model modem though).  It meant a new phone number too, but I now have these numbers:

image.png.cfce717df4526d3d7b4e0e8759343f83.png

And this is a WiFi speed test (which is important, because my realtime "life closed captioning" apps on my iPads use WiFi)

I'll still keep pressing for FTTH, but now my massively improved upload has eliminated the major annoyance (earlier difficulty reliably running these assistive apps I need).

Now I have two lines, I gotta cancel the original (probably degraded) phone line that was unable to sync to 40/10, but I don't care about the original landline phone number anyway.   

I'll have to visit a local Telmex to do that, but the location seem closed so I have to figure out where I go to return the other modem and cancel the old (crappy) line.

A bit of a byzantine method to get 40/10 but it worked!

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I recently used WhatsApp on 331 520 9621 to cancel phone and internet. I texted my phone number and a photo of the top part of my bill, explaining what I wanted to accomplish. A rep texted back in English and I answered a couple of questions. Later, the rep told me to bring my equipment to the gate of the Ajijic office. Upon arriving at the Telmex gate, I texted that I was there. A rep came out to receive my equipment and that was my experience in cancelling my Telmex account. I made sure to pay my bill before I contacted them. Also suggest that you wait until next week before contacting them. One last thing that you may need to know is that this took two days to accomplish. It takes awhile for them to get back to you. Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two glitches glitch.

- No response on WhatsApp. I've tried WhatsApp to TelMex at 331 520 9621 as well as 33 2162 6205, no response for a week from either number.
- Telmex is billing me for the higher price of 150 megabit but clearly I'm on maxed-out VDSL.

While I am now satisfied with the speed, I've got a billing issue, inability to return the 2nd modem & inability to reach Telmex.

Can I just show up at the Ajijic office to talk to them? 

Or which Telmex office is the best one to show up in person?

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I used the WhatsApp contact procedure twice last summer, then again in November. Cancelling my service following the WhatsApp procedure was in November.
I originally got directions on using the procedure from a notice on the gate at the Telmex office. Maybe they changed the procedure and have a notice of their new procedure on their gate at the office.
Good luck.

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  • 1 month later...

Update:

There were some billing problems (I got billed 2 bills, for old and new) which is being resolved by Telmex after I walked into the Ajijic office that was finally open again.

I was being billed for 150 Mbps FTTH for a 40 Mbps DSL line.  

Since FTTH was not available despite successfully ordering it -- clearly obviously a mistake on Telmex part for letting me even order it -- I did successfully haggle Telmex for some extra VDSL speed out of the Sercomm modem.   

60 Mbps that I got, is not an officially available speed, but the modems are able to eke out a bit more than 40 Mbps if you're paying a higher tier than 40 Mbps.  Decided to keep paying extra rather than downgrade the bill back to 40 Mbps.

image.png.18b5c7c559f14b217a8925417527c800.png

_____

Some advanced techie information: I have two WiFi routers now.

I also bought a higher-end TP Link WiFi access point, one with several big antenna. 

The new router handles 5 GHz.  (5 GHz enabled, 2.4 GHz disabled).  So now I have 2 routers.  So I'm able to get this speed on 5 GHz WiFi on the entire property now, at great performance. The 5 GHz network used for my newer devices.

The old Telmex device handles the 2.4 GHz WiFi is left enabled on the original Telmex router, as a backup WiFi connection.   The split-WiFi router configuration is unusual -- but useful for firewalled security.  That way, the cheap chinese-made 2.4 GHz remote-controlled light bulbs (and security camera) can't share the same network as my other valuable devices.

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