CenturyLink Bandwidth Exhaustion (Explained)

centurylink bandwidth exhaustion
centurylink bandwidth exhaustion

CenturyLink Bandwidth Exhaustion

Bandwidth exhaustion is the term used by Centurylink link to explain DSLAM congestion.

The words exhaustion and congestion are easy to understand, but to explain this properly we will have to describe Bandwidth and DSLAM.

The term bandwidth when used by Centurylink or any other ISP means only one thing, internet speed. When you are subscribing to a Centurylink link data package, they will give you a lot of options to choose from. A 10 MB download package or a 2 MB download package. The amount of megabits defined within your Centurylink data package is the number of megabits that will travel, per second, from Centurylink headquarters to your device. Higher megabits transferred per second will translate into higher buffering speeds on your Netflix account.

When you are watching a movie in 4k, on paper that movie has a data-size that is around 8 to 10 gigabytes. This byte size translates into 64 to 80 gigabits – bit size.

So when you open a movie, your computer sends a signal in the form of a data packet. This single data packet will travel through your ISP servers to reach its destination – the Netflix servers. From there the movie will be transferred to your device through millions of new data packets. These data packets have a bit size, and higher transfer rates will mean more packets will reach your computer in less time.

A Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) on the other hand is a network device installed along the path between your modem and the access point placed inside the Centurylink’s building. The device is used as a network switch but it functions more like a network hub. Meaning, it receives a network connection from the Centurylink access point, then transfers that network connection to multiple devices that are subscribed to that network. But unlike a switch where multiple connections don’t affect the data transfer speed, having multiple connections on a DSLAM leads to an overall decline in all network connection speeds. This decline in speed is due to a phenomenon called DSLAM congestion.

A networking company like Centurylink will use the term DSLAM congestion when the DSLAM has been connected with more devices than its optimal operating limit. And when that happens, individuals whose modems are connected to that DSLAM will experience bandwidth loss around peak times. Because the DSLAM has more traffic than it was designed to optimally handle.

This same phenomenon is often termed by Centurylink employees as bandwidth exhaustion. Hinting to the fact that the bandwidth they have provided to your county or district has been exhausted.  This is a recurring problem Centurylink has deemed not worth their money to solve.

Centurylink is a small-time internet service provider. To maintain a stable income they have decided to provide internet services to rural areas because big companies like Verizon, has deemed them low profit.

Centurylink link provides its network services through copper lines and uses outdated equipment to facilitate that connection. To eliminate bandwidth exhaustion, Centurylink will have to provide internet through optical fibers or buy new connections, both of which will cost them a lot of money and they are not willing to suffer a loss.

Private companies like Centurylink always think about profit first then customer service, especially when they are operating in rural areas.

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