After I wrote that last post about my being unable to connect my brother found the new modem outside. The technician that sent it the day before said
[...] How long have you had this problem? Lets look at you router's status-* Holy-Shit! How are you even able to connect? [...] Your modem is dying, there have been more than 200000 ATM Cell Header Errors in the last two hours! [...]
and decided to send a replacement overnight express. The courier instead of putting it in the locker box or ringing the bell decided to leave it balanced on my doorstep with the "Signature Required" label face up. The courier’s website says it arrived at 1:10 PM. :|

When I installed it in the exact same place the old one was I found that while it worked considerably better than the old one, it still did not connect for more than a few minutes and about the time it racked up 10k errors I decided to try connecting it in another room. There it worked brilliantly, only one error in the first ten minutes. Thinking back to the technician's questions about what might be connected to that socket, and the knowledge that I'd in the month prior had to dig a shorting electrical recepticle out of the wall that had been plastered inplace decided to replace that socket in the first room. Now it works and picking up a phone (wired or wireless) doesn't fast-resync the DSL line.

Thinking about it now, I also recall that the cable box was secured to the electrical meter by means of framing screws, I wonder if this is the source of the phantom rings that have been annoying us during the day. I will need to make a meter long insulated screwdriver and remove them. It can't have been legal to drive metal spikes into the meter the first place.

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