Downtime over Christmas

I'm not sure what it is with me and intermittent Internet connectivity failures, but now with my DSL service that I've been quite happy with, I occasionally lose connection.  It seems to me that the modem is defective, and I've convinced my provider of that so they swapped it for another.
The modem froze up while I was out of town over Christmas - losing connectivity to the computers at home from the family's place in Brantford took away that comfy ?the computers are ok so the house is probably ok? feeling that being able to ping gives.