Community Post

Have Qwest DSL?!3{2}What is your download speed?

I’m wondering if anyone is getting decent download speed from Qwest in the CD.  I am paying for 7.0 MB down / 1.5 MB up.  I’m actually getting about 1.6 down and 0.39 up. Shocker.

After some frustrating calls to Qwest, they now say I’ll have to pay for someone to come out and run a new line from the telephone pole to my house, install a new jack and start over.  I’m ok with that if it will solve my problem, but I’m skeptical.  I asked them if anyone else in my neighborhood is actually getting 7.0 down, and they told me that they can’t tell, because the mechanism they use to test that is broken (!) and they don’t know when it will be working again(!!).  Is anyone getting what they are paying for from Qwest?  Specifically, is anyone in the hood getting anywhere close to 7.0MB download speed?

If you want to test your speed, you can do it on Speakeasy’s site here:

Thanks, I’d appreciate hearing from you.

0 thoughts on “Have Qwest DSL?!3{2}What is your download speed?

  1. I am at 26th and Jackson and have been hoping for a switch upgrade for 6 months now. I changed from Cablespeed to Qwest then. I only qualify for a 1.5 Mb connection at my house but that has degraded slightly over the past few weeks. Router is now at 1536/414 Mb where it was originally 1535/768. My SN Margins are 15 and 7 db (down/up) and line attenuation is 38.5 and 23 db(down/up)which explains my service speed capability at my house. I would pay to have a new line brought to my house if the switch was upgraded to fiber and capable of pushing 20 mb/s.

    I am getting 1.38 and .35 mb/s from Speakeasy.

  2. so I did not pay for more. Downloads average around 1.5 – 3 and uploads are .3 – .7.

  3. Qwest has told me that in my location 7 down/1.5 up is available. But when I asked if anyone is actually getting it, well, that’s where it got all squirrely.

  4. I’ve actually never checked to verify my speed. But, I really doubt it’s what I’m paying for. I’ll take a look into it at home tonight. We can always try and band together and file a nice little class action suit. I’d have to review the terms and conditions of the contract to know whether we’d have a cause of action. It could result in refunds and specific performance (i.e. requiring them to provide the service they’re selling). I recently threatened to go after them for charging customers $1 each month to pay their bills online. They very quickly stopped charging that fee.

  5. I just tested and got 4.5 down / .76 up. (Obviously, we’re not paying for the upgraded speeds, mostly because I don’t trust that they’d deliver or help us if the speeds were inadequate.)

  6. …getting what I paid for. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but it’s well below what it’s rated at, no matter how I configure it.

  7. I’m at MLK and Judkins and only qualify for 1.5 mb connection, although I get what I pay for most of the time. Qwest has been promising to bring faster speeds for my address since last December at least. Trying to get information from them is next to impossible. The sales people on the webpage have no access to deployment information they are willing to share, nor has tech support in my experience.

    You’re best off with the TalkToQwest people. Try emailing [email protected] but you may have a slow reply. You’re probably best off posting angry comments on twitter about how much our internet access sucks (@TalkToQwest). The talk to qwest people both have access to deployment scheduling and appear eager to act as damage control on the twitter.

    I’ve been (slowly) working to paint a picture of what Qwest access looks like in our neighborhood. I’ve been inputting random addresses into the qwest page to see what the highest speed they offer would be. It’s fairly time consuming and the map is nowhere near complete, but you can get some idea where switches are at and where decent speeds are available.

    Unsurprisingly, things are really patchwork. You’re lucky if you live in library at Yessler and 23rd. More likely you’re like me and only have access to 1.5 MBps.

    Frankly, I’m tired of such slow speeds. I hate my options, but am seriously considering trying Broadstripe or Clear at the end of the month if Qwest fails to meet its last promised upgrade deadline.

  8. @CJB — Sorry to tell you, but I would never recommend Broadstripe. They advertise 15 m/b speeds, but during peak hours (read: most common use hours) it’s 1 megabyte or less. If you are willing to wake up at 6 a.m. or don’t have to leave home to work, it can be fast, but there are huge caveats. At night I can barely stream Hulu or Youtube.
    The CD remains woefully underserved in terms of broadband. At least with qwest, you are paying a lower monthly fee for terrible speeds.

  9. Hello seralata, this is Steph from Qwest,

    I am sorry to hear about the speed issue and poor customer service you’ve experienced I would like to have a technical support specialist review the previous recommendations you’ve received as well as see if we can help you resolve this once and for all. Please send me an email at [email protected] with your billing phone number, billing address and best time and contact number for a specialist to touch base with you. Anyone else also viewing this thread and having questions, concerns or feedback, please feel free to email as well for any assistance. CJB I am sorry if you had a slow response time, normally we try to respond to our customer’s queries within 24-48 hours maximum if that wasn’t your experience I am sorry to hear it, if anything remains unresolved or you still have questions please feel free to email us again. We are available Monday-Friday 7am-9pm MT and Saturday and Sunday 8:30am-5pm MT, anyone on my team should be able to assist.

    thank you
    Steph Lake
    Manager, Talk To Qwest Team

    “At Qwest your account information is confidential and protected by law, so I need your permission to access the account.”

  10. When I upgraded to 7.0 MB, I was told my modem (sorry, I can’t remember the make and model) should work just fine. After a year of slow speeds, I bought a Motorola 3347 modem from Qwest and the problem was solved. I just checked and I got 6.063 MB down. Sometimes it’s a little better, sometimes a little worse, but I like it better than 1.5.

    I’m on 16th and Cherry.

  11. Keep in mind that you will almost never get the advertised download/upload speeds no matter who your service provider is. There will always be some performance degradation. To answer the original question, I pay for the 7 mbps/896 kbps and average about 5mbps/300kbps. I live on 18th and Union.

  12. It’s interesting you mention the modem, I’m pretty certain my modem either overheats, or Qwest is throttling the connection based on time the modem is active, because a manual reset for me (ie unplug, wait about 0-15 seconds, plug back in) does seem to measurably help throughput. Still, I’d like to think I wouldn’t have to deal with that on a regular basis for a piece of leased equipment… BTW, I’m at 27th & Jefferson, and have been running Qwest for about 3 years.

  13. I also pay for 7Mbps, but typically top out around 5Mbps here at 23rd & Madison.

    I just ran four tests a few minutes apart and got 2 down/.75 up, 4/.75, 6/.75, and 3/.75

    On the bright side, at least my upload speed is consistent. (cough cough)

    @Troy mentioned Broadstripe being shoddy, but I’ve seen some recent mentions of major upgrades to their infrastructure. I’d be interested to hear from other people using Broadstripe what their experiences have been. Like @CJB, I’ve been thinking about ditching Qwest for a while, and since I’m stuck with Broadstripe for cable, bundling internet service would save me some coin.

  14. I spent several months chatting with Qwest reps online and they sent a person out here on three separate occasions to figure out why I wasn’t getting anything over A 2.0 Mbps DL speed. Finally, we switched modems from Netgear (I think) to the Motorola 3347 and it works great. Just tested it and I’ve got 5.58 down and 2.27 up. I suggest requesting a new modem before paying to have someone come out.

    BTW, I’m not in CD, but pretty close – 12th & Madison. GOOD LUCK!

  15. I love the service from Speakeasy. Broadstripe was very unreliable. I did not try Quest

  16. we had broadstripe before, and it was so ridiculously slow. at one point, we had ZERO service, and it took about 4 weeks to get any kind of response. at which time, we just switched to clear (clearwire), but we definitely get what we pay for. there have been posts here on CDnews in the past about broadstripe, i would strongly recommend NOT going there. good luck!

  17. @ 25th and Jackson we are currently getting 5.5 up and .97 down. I would say we’re consistently at 3 up 1.5 down in my experience. Our Qwest tech told us they can’t guarantee more than 5 because of our location and distance from the CO so don’t pay for more.

  18. Hi Steph,

    Thanks for your interest. I don’t have my account info with me now, but I’ll get it tonight and be in touch. I appreciate any help you can give me.

    And btw, I do have a new router/modem from Qwest, so I don’t think that is the problem.

  19. I had the exact same issue; paying for +5MB “premium” download for more than a yr but was only getting ~1.5MB rates. Then I finally called Qwest DSL Customer Service and they told me the ‘line’ I was on might have too much traffic on it so they were able to do something in the backend (‘switch lines’ from what I recall) and ever since then I’ve been getting 5MB – 6MB downloads. It also had to do something w/ my address and what type of lines were available around me. Hope that helps any.

  20. Last Result:
    Download Speed: 5139 kbps (642.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 696 kbps (87 KB/sec transfer rate)

    Way better than I got with cable.

  21. That is fantastic. If I interpret the yellow stars on map as the sunshines I am a block away from those getting 40 mbps. I remember the service notice in mid-February stating that service might go down for a switch upgrade in my area, so now with confirmation that there is a fiber switch close maybe I can get them to route me a new DSL line to the house.

    Nice work BTW.

  22. Your upload is consistent because your are capped at 768 and the line is easily capable of delivering much more. No one really talks about upload speed when it comes to Internet service so I did not pay much attention when ordering the line to what the stated as the speed. I was pleasantly surprised when I did see that it was 768 kbps – which goes to show the bad service I have come to expect in the CD.

  23. 3.97 down / 0.76 up. I’m also paying for the Qwest 7Mbps down plan.

    What’s interesting is, a year or two ago, I was paying for the same plan and getting about 1.5 down. I called customer service several times, and had Qwest technicians come out twice. The last one told me, ‘given your location (far from the central office) you’re never going to get much better.’ So I gave up and changed to the cheaper 1.5 plan, since that’s what I was getting anyway.

    A few months ago, when Clear started advertising comparable speeds for less money, I was considering switching, when I got a letter from Qwest claiming that I could get a faster plan (the 7Mbps they had advertised and failed to deliver earlier). I gave it a try, and what do you know, this time, I got around 5Mpbs down.

    I guess it could be a coincidence, but the timing’s pretty suspect. I guess I have Clear to thank for making Qwest not the only game in town any more, and therefore forced to compete.

  24. At 17/spring.
    A couple of months ago I noticed a considerable improvement in my speed. Just tested and got .96 down and .83 up, which is pretty typical of the last couple months. Prior to that, for two years, I would get anywhere between .2 to .7 up. It made me want to throttle someone. When I talked to customer service they tried to blame my modem, then they tried to blame my computer. It was frustrating.
    I’m not at all happy with paying $60 a month for .96, but it’s way better than paying $60 per month for .3!

  25. I’ve been using Qwest for years. In our old CD location at 19th and Jefferson, we’d get close enough to the 1.5 that was available, and I’m currently getting 5.5 on my 7mps line in Capitol Hill.

    I’ve never understood the complaints about Qwest customer service – they’ve always been impressively helpful and courteous with me compared to other communications company I’ve had to deal with (e.g., Cingular, Verizon, ATT, DirectTV).

    Network performance may be due to the lines, the computer, the modem, your (wireless) router, whether all your phones are connected through filters, overly aggressive anti-virus software, and certainly other factors, so your problem may not be something that they can simply push a button and fix for you. The only major issue I’ve had with them over the years was caused by an antiquated modem I was using – that problem did take a few calls to solve, but that’s because it was a tricky problem that fell outside their infrastructure.

    As for the suggestions of corporate conspiracy and malfeasance, I’ll remind you that Qwest was one of the few (or was the only?) phone companies that refused to turn over our call records to Bush/Cheney in the aftermath of 911.

  26. Sounds good to me. Similar to what I’m getting. The situation you don’t want is paying for 7 and getting close to 1.5 (the next plan down).

  27. Over the years we have had our struggles with Qwest and I resented not being able to get whatever we were paying for under the old plan. Nonetheless, for the past 6 months we have been paying for 7 and realistically getting 5 to 7, and occasionally 4 and are generally pleased. There was an additional call which supposedly put us on a new network (fiber optics). 21st and E. Union is our area.

    Our next subject should be cell phones charging for text messages which take up much less broadband.

  28. Download Speed: 1271 kbps (158.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 840 kbps (105 KB/sec transfer rate)

    I’m at 24th and Marion

  29. Clear
    3rd Floor, East Facing, 4 or 5 lights
    Download Speed: 1495 kbps (186.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 505 kbps (63.1 KB/sec transfer rate)

    Download Speed: 5621 kbps (702.6 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 1406 kbps (175.8 KB/sec transfer rate)

  30. We’ve been on Qwest’s 7.0/1.5 service since last August. Until about 2 months ago, we were getting somewhere around 4.0/0.7. About two months ago, we started seeing download speeds more consistently in the 5.0-7.0 range (upload speed has remainded about the same). I’m using a 6-year old modem that I had from my days with Earthlink (prior to switching to Qwest). We’re near 23rd and Cherry.

    We’ve found Qwest support to be pretty good on the few occasions I’ve had to call them. The biggest challenge has been getting the free $50 gift certificate they promised me. They have supposedly issued it twice, but it has never shown up (via e-mail). Not a big deal.

  31. I’m at 22nd and union, and after 6 frustrating months with Qwest (and replacing 3 perfectly fine motorola modems, since that’s apparently the only solution in their little manual), I gave up on the consistent 1-1.5 Mbps that never allowed me to stream youtube videos without a pause.

    I now have Broadstripe, which ranges from 1.5-6 Mbps depending on the time of day. Fortunately after 9PM doesn’t seem to be a problem, which is when I’m online most. I can also stream netflix without it buffering now. Current download/upload speed is 3.0/1.3 at 10:40PM. Maybe I’m the only one that likes Broadstripe over Qwest, but honestly it’s really just the lesser of two evils, especially compared to what’s advertised. Hopefully we can get FIOS or Google fiber here soon!

  32. Well do not go with Broadstripe. I implore you. You will have far more issues with them. Broadstripe can make your life a living hell.

  33. Do not go with Broadstripe. They are in bankruptcy and could care less about any service related issues you are having. It has got to be the worst cable company in America.

  34. While I have no personal experience with Broadstripe, I agree with Willis, avoid them! We decided to give Qwest a try after several satisfactory years with Speakeasy. BIG mistake! The throttling made us want to throttle, then QWEST blamed Speakeasy for the problem. Long story short, you get what you pay for.
    Now, a happy Speakeasy customer.

  35. At 20th and Washington. I called the Qwest offices soon after this was installed to complain. I was getting in the 2.0 down range at the time. I talked with a techie who helped me.

  36. 28th and Alder, 1.5down was available but the fastest that I got was .5 down, after months of working with qwest, I canceled and switched to Clearwire. Not a huge fan of Clearwire but it beats the other options in this black hole.

  37. I switched to Qwest after 2.5 years of suffering with Broadstripe. I was paying for BS’s “high speed” service and regularly getting 1 Mbps down and .5 Mbps up. It was terrible and unreliable service.

    Now I have Qwest and regularly get 4-4.5 down and .6-.7 up. I’m at MLK and Alder and Qwest said the max they could do for my location was 5 Mbps (4-4.5 after attenuation).

    Although I’m happy, it’s pretty shocking that in one of the most tech-savvy cities in the country, with such widespread broadband adoption, that we have such poor download speeds and such low access to things like fiber optic. Other countries have cheaper access to far faster speeds (100 Mbps down!), why don’t we?

  38. 27th & Yesler area.

    I pay for 5M/384k. It’s the “best” Qwest could offer me. Apparently this is a backwater broadband deadzone.

    Regardless, I do manage to get about 3.5M fairly regularly (when tested by and similar). Not quite as good as I might hope but more than twice what I was getting with Speakeasy for much less.

    As much as I loved Speakeasy’s reliability, it was just too much money for too little speed.

  39. Qwest offers 1.5 and 5 to my address on MLK between Cherry and Columbia Streets. I subscribe to 1.5 and I usually test slightly lower — today’s test result is 1.29 down and .42 up. That’s not fast enough to watch most streaming videos on YouTube, etc.

    Does anyone have experience with the Windows Live offered by Qwest? I ask because I discovered that Qwest charges more for DSL when you DON’T bundle it with their preferred ISP. It’s counter-intuitive: you pay more and receive less. When I called about upgrading my DSL to 5mps, they quoted me a price of $38/month, which is $10 or $15 more than if I bundled my DSL service with their preferred ISP, which I think is Windows Live. I like my WorldLink service (generally reliable and excellent customer service), but I don’t want to pay a premium to Qwest AND pay WorldLink when I could pay one lower fee.

  40. I’ve had Broadstripe broadband for about 3 years, with download speeds no higher than 3 mbps (and consistently around 1.5). However, they made some improvements to their infrastructure earlier in the year and my download speeds were significantly improved. I’m now getting around 10 mbps off peak and 6 during peak. It’s still not ideal, but it is more reliable and I can actually stream media.

  41. I checked your address and see you are correct that 1.5m/896k is the highest available speed at this time. I checked for future planning and I see a lot going on around your area, but I don’t see any current plans that will affect the terminal that services your address. The network engineers are constantly reevaluating for upgrade options so it can change pretty quickly, however unfortunately at this time I cannot provide a way for you to get the higher speeds. Feel free to check back anytime, we are always happy to check the planning information and give out any good news we find.

    Thank you

    Steph Lake
    Manager, Talk To Qwest Team

  42. I have heard that Clearwire is awful from a neighbor. Our options are pathetic.

  43. I’m moving back into the neighborhood and have dealt with Broadstripe a year ago… sucked. Good to know that QWest isn’t an option. I won’t even waste my time.

  44. The only two high speed ISP options for us in the CD come from a TV cable or a DSL line and due to Federal and state regulations only one provider is allowed to service each individual area – there are good and bad reasons to give monopolies like this to high investment infrastructure models.

    So we have Qwest for DSL and Broadstripe for cable.

    Outside of Seattle (and the CD)you can get Verizen’s FIOS service (fiber drop right to your house demarcation) or Comcast which has the fastest speeds possible in many rural areas putting the FIOS 20 mbps service in second place.

    The 3g/4g Clearwire service could be faster than 1.5 mbps but probably not by much and definitely not capable of streaming HD Netflix (requires a solid 5 mbps) and if you do any online gaming every now and then you can forget about getting those frags – packetized cellular has very high ping rates (350 – 700).

  45. 1.3 Mbps down / .54 Mbps up per Speakeasy Speed Test (Qwest’s is similar ) at 29th Ave S & S. Walker in Mount Baker neighborhood. I’m paying for 1536/896 — that’s all that’s available to me, but it’s pretty much working as advertised. I have a 3rd-party ISP, InWa (Innovative Access), but my connection is actually through Telebyte NW (that InWa is reselling).

    Last year on Qwest’s website they said 20 Mbps would be available at my location Nov 2009 — November’s long past but 1.5 is still all that’s currently available.

    I’d like some faster speeds, but don’t want to deal with the cableco (I think Broadstripe in my neighborhood). Maybe someday Qwest will upgrade my neighborhood — not holding my breath.

    By the way, I used to like my 3rd-party ISP (InWa), but recently their customer support has become non-existent — I’d avoid them.

  46. We have Clear / Clearwire, and are very happy. We do not have cable, and watch all our tv and movies via our internet connection. Clear is inexpensive, and the customer service has been great. They also continue to upgrade our service, without charging more per month via our contract. I highly recommend.

  47. “due to Federal and state regulations only one provider is allowed to service each individual area”

    According to Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications, that is no longer accurate. At least in Seattle, any company can service an area. In fact, there is overlap in Comcast and Broadstripe service in the Central District.

  48. my experience with clear (just got it last month) has been even worse than broadstripe – avg less than 1mbps.

    I wish these ISPs would be more consistant overall – even the qwest speeds everyone mentioning here is allll over the map.

  49. As a former manager of a customer support call center, I can tell you one thing with certainty: All customer support reps are not created equal!

    In my group there was
    – the person infamous for not granting refund requests
    – the person known for always solving the bizzare technical problems
    – the person who always escalated to a supervisor no matter how small the problem
    – the person who would never escalate to a manager
    – the person on the verge of leaving, and therefore didn’t give a s@#$

    Now understand that everyone lives under the credo of the company they work for, but if you’re hitting a brick wall, don’t break down immediately. Call back a time or two, and see if it helps.

    It’s also worth noting we had infamous customers, and many of those went straight to the people who were very advanced in technical or service skills! Take that for what it’s worth…

  50. I’ve had Clear since they started 4G. Pingtimes aren’t great (typically around 60-130ms, around “C” grade from but I get roughly 3 down and 2.5 to 3 up. The up speed has only been a recent thing, about a week so far. During the days I can get anywhere from 5-10mbps down. I get 5/5 bars on my home modem and the usb dongle thing, which was $50 a month (no tax)… counts as two seperate connections, good if you have more than one person in a house or want to split the cost with a friend… $25 for data is nice.

    Compared to Broadstripe, which I dumped, it is amazing. The price is good too. However the *jitter is too high to play more demanding games, but good enough for streaming video. And the awesome up (for now) is good for those who need remote access or send files.

    * jitter is the difference between the best/worst pings. It will bounce constantly between 60-120ms with an occasional 300ms burst. Not so noticable in video, but games… causes rubber banding often.

  51. Speakeasy informed me the fastest I will get is 1.5 due to my distance from the CO. They wouldn’t sell me more service. Good company but bummer!

  52. I live at 22nd and Yesler, next to the 40 mbps on your map, and I get less than 1 mbps in the evening, even though I’m paying for 7 mbps. Qwest is horrible in this neighborhood.

  53. Unfortunately, I live in a complex where QWEST is the only internet provider. Is that legal? They have some sort of contract and we are only allowed to have one speed and it is 50 dollars a month. The service hardly ever works and when it does it is exptremely slow. My parents still have dial up and they get faster service! I tried to cancel because I would rather go without internet then deal with QWEST. When I signed up with QWEST they told me it was a one year contract. I asked several times to be sure and they guy told me each time that it was only for a year and I could easily get out of it. I recently called to cancel because I have had the service for a year and I want to get rid of it because it is sooooooo awful and way too expensive. They told me I had a two year contract!!! I never would have signed up for that because I was only supposed to live in my apartment for a year and I specifically asked the guy several times…this is only for a year right? There is no contract after that, right? He kept saying no. Anyway, they told me I would have to pay 200 dollars to break contract!!! This means that they guy who sold it to me either had no idea what he was talking about or he was lieing to me. IF you have a choice DO NOT GET QWEST! Honestly, it is the worst company I have ever dealt with.