How to Install DSL in 40 Easy Steps

A recent experience with attempting to install DSL turned out to be more complicated than it should have been. Reports are that this is not an uncommon experience.

Verizon, our supplier, provided a CD with a narration that gave step-by-step instructions for joining the broadband world. But the instructions did not describe all of the steps and devices necessary for success.

Being a stickler for procedure. I have written a script to more accurately guide the non-computer-user to the DSL installation process as part of "Bob Scott's Complete DSL Installation Kit." After the CD is installed, the following narration occurs

1. Thank you for choosing Verizon DSL. In your package you will find a DSL modem, filters, and USB and Ethernet cables.

2. DSL filters must be placed between each telephone and its connection to the wall. We have provided a number of these.

3. If you have a wall phone, you will need a wall phone filter.

4. You will notice that we didn't provide one in your kit. You'll have to buy one.

5. After you go to Radio Shack, you'll find that you don't know that you needed to remove the cover because the instructions don't tell you to do so. The nice man at the store can give you instructions when you return to find out how to use the device.

6. Next, remove the metal wall plate to which the phone was anchored.

7. Unscrew the two screws that hold the phone's electrical box in place. These have been made extraordinary long and put in an awkward position to ensure that your hand will cramp.

8. You will need to untangle the wiring from your 25-year-old jack. Unthread the cable.

9. Slide the existing wiring out of the electrical box. You will discover that the iron cladding through which the wiring passes has been designed to make this much more difficult than expected.

10. After removing the wiring, wrestle with the box to remove it from the wall. Make sure it doesn't drop behind the dry wall. This should take no more than five to ten minutes ... or so.

11. You will now discover that the back of the wall filter doesn't fit the existing metal electrical box that houses the phone cable.

12. Go to Home Depot and find a box of the right size. Return home. Remember to gas up the car on the way back. That wasn't too bad, now was it?

13. A carpet knife will prove handy in cutting away enough wallboard to accept the new electrical box. Be careful not to cut yourself.

14. A small band-aid will take care of the most common cuts. Have you had a tetanus booster lately?

15. Don't make the hole too large or the new box will drop behind the wall on top of the old one. Plastic hitting metal makes an easily recognizable sound.

16. Decide if you can slide the wiring into the little space provided on the electrical box. Try not to break the plastic tabs. Use lots of force. But not too much.

17. Attach the red and green wires to the screw on the back of the filter as shown. There are two other wires provided. We don't show you what to do with them. Actually, we don't know what they do.

18. Take one phone off the hook to prevent electrical shock.

19. Woops, we forgot to tell you that if the red and green wires touch, you can still get a shock even if the phone is off the hook. Sorry about that.

20. Rummage through the toolbox in the garage, being careful to move the bicycles in front of it. You are looking for the regular screwdriver with a very thin head. You may not own one. Watch out for that rake!

21. That will only hurt for a few minutes.

22. It will take you a while to discover how to put together the two metal buttons for reattaching the telephone to the new wall plate.

23. The screen and washer go on the outside of the plate, the nut goes on the inside. It is easy to hold while you tighten if you have fingers the size of a field mouse's.

24. Connect the wires and plug the phone cord into the jack to ensure that the wires don't come loose.

25. Tediously, screw the wall plate to the wall. You will now discover that the phone doesn't work. Remove the screws again.

26. Of course, one of the nuts holding one of the buttons has fallen. Don't worry; one button is sufficient to hold the phone to the plate.

27. And you thought that this was going to be difficult. You are now ready to enjoy the wide world of possibility offered by Verizon's DSL service.

28. If you are having problems, we have a 24-hour support line.

29. If you are having technical problems, say "tech support."

30. If you are having installation problems, say "one."

31. Congratulations, your DSL service was activated on "10-18-2005."

32. Your DSL kit was shipped on "10-14-2005."

33. Many DSL problems can be solved by powering down your computer and modem, and waiting 15 seconds.

34. If you were able to access the Internet via DSL and are no longer able to do so, it often means there is a loose connection. Please check all cables.

35. If you wish to speak to an agent, say "agent." You will need to say this repeatedly to override the automated script.

36. Sorry, we are experiencing an unusually heavy volume of calls. Your wait will be no more than fifteen minutes.

37. Since you are getting phone service and the modem and phone are connected to the same wall box, we're not quite sure what's wrong.

38. We're not sure why your dial-up service no longer works through this wall box, but works from other connections.

39. When you tried to check the wall phone, you probably loosened the wiring so that there's no dial tone.

40. Look wistfully at the cable running to your television set. Remind yourself why you decided against using cable for broadband.

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