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  • Offline for two days

    Posted on bbearren Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Offline for two days

    This topic contains 13 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  bbearren 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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    • #1876663 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      My broadband died abruptly at 1:33 PM Tuesday the 16th. After rebooting the modem a couple of times, I called tech support at Xfinity/Comcast. One does not get the opportunity to speak with a human. There is a canned protocol which told me essentially to do what I had already done before I called. I hung up and called back; apparently they keep track of trouble calls. I was asked if I was still having trouble after rebooting my modem, and I punched the appropriate number.

      Next I got a “text chat”, called “Comcast Care Chat” with a tech person, Cassandra, “a live chat agent in Knowville, TN.” Then there was a long and drawn out back-and-forth over what lights were lit, were there any splitters or amplifiers inline, etc. Most of it was like the attached image, with me having to scroll up and down in order to make sense of what the tech was saying.  Some went to (4 of 4), but never in order.

      Comcast-Chat

      Eventually she scheduled an appointment for a service tech for today, Thursday the 18th with a 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM window. I got two or three phone calls and a couple or three text messages daily, including this morning, with the option to cancel the appointment if my issue was resolved.

      The service tech arrived shortly after 1:00, and I told him I had hooked up a spare cable modem and it couldn’t get a signal, either, and that I thought that I wasn’t getting a signal at all. He asked to take a look at the modem, which amounted to tracing the cable back to the wall. We walked outside, and he looked back toward the utility pole in the northeast corner of my back yard. I also told him that the house next door had been on the market for a couple of months, recently sold, and the new neighbors started moving in last Saturday. The former owners had satellite TV, but the dish had been removed. Then he went for his extension ladder, raised it to the pole and climbed up for a look.

      From the ladder he told me, “Whoever came to hook them up (pointing to the neighbors house) unplugged you and plugged them in. That’s just plain lazy. We’re supposed to check the surrounding addresses for active customers. I don’t guess he did.” He explained that he was going to have to put in a splitter at the pole, because there was no vacant connector, and he would have maintenance come out soon to upgrade the terminal box for more connections. They would remove the splitter afterward, but I wouldn’t be affected.

      I told him that when I signed up for Xfinity in May of ’17, I never saw a tech. I just got an email telling me when to check for connectivity, and it was live when it was supposed to be.
      The tech said, “I’m going to replace everything, including the cable from the pole. I’m going to mount a weathertight box and make the connection in it, and reroute your cable under the eve and drop it down the wall and through. That should have been done when you signed up. I’m also going to check the work order for the neighbor and find out who disconnected you.”

      He was thorough, efficient, definitely knew what he was doing, and finished in about half an hour.

      I’m paying for 75 Mbps download, and in December of ’17 I got a free upgrade to 100 Mbps. Speed checks from time to time showed between 95 and 105 Mbps. After the tech finished, he said I should be getting a better signal than before. After I got back online, I ran several speed checks from three or four sites. The lowest download speed was 169 Mbps, the average is 172 Mbps. My upload speed average is 11.7 Mbps.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

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      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1876691 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      Hi Bruce,

      Nice to see some good come out of an unexpected problem. It is just amazing how shoddy installers of all kinds of equipment are these days. Glad you got a good resolution. Next step is to hold your breath when the distribution unit on the pole is replaced.

      --Joe

    • #1876697 Reply

      Bluetrix
      AskWoody MVP

      I’ve had my issues with Comcast in the past. With perseverance, and understanding that the first person you speak with isn’t going to help much, you eventually get bumped up the ladder (no pun intended) and will get some level of satisfaction from Comcast.

      I don’t think your download speeds will remain that high.  I was upgraded to 100 Mbps a year ago. At first the speed was way over of the promised range, both up and down. My up stays about the same, while down varies. I rarely reach 100Mbps these days because Comcast throttles my connection. I check at different times of the 24 hour day using dslreports.com

      When I asked Comcast about the differences, they told me they only promised “up to” speeds, not that I would consistently get 100Mbps.

      I like dslreports site because it keeps a record of my tests as shown below. I did this test minutes ago.  I would like to see your new and improved speed graph.

      before

      Just now test:

      after

      Windows10 Home 1809 | Mint19 on VM

      Attachments:
      • #1876801 Reply

        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        When I asked Comcast about the differences, they told me they only promised “up to” speeds, not that I would consistently get 100Mbps.

        Speeds are always “up to” depending on congestion. You can get a constant 100Mbps by paying for business internet with fix ip. Some ISPs offer Gaming Internet service with very short PINGS and constant high speed.

        • #1876872 Reply

          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          You can get a constant 100Mbps by paying for business internet with fix ip

          Well, maybe, depending. Over here fixed IP and constant bandwidth aren’t bundled anywhere that I know of, and the fixed IP isn’t all that expensive but constant 100Mbps might be.

    • #1876969 Reply

      wavy
      AskWoody Plus

      It is nice you have an ‘A’ for buffer bloat. I get a ‘C’ at best. Seems like something a savvy ISP would be able to deal with, no luck with Optimumonline/Cablevision/Altice, but speeds are good 200 and 35 Mbs and since they ran a homerun from their Demark(??) fairly reliable.

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1876983 Reply

      CADesertRat
      AskWoody Plus

      LOL, I’m jealous, as out here in the sticks I get anywhere from 5 to 15 Mbps down and 1 to 4 Mbps up on a wireless radio. 🙂

      Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
      4 Win 10 Pro currently 1809 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

      • #1877077 Reply

        Bluetrix
        AskWoody MVP

        Thanks DR, I feel better now 🙂

        80+ down is fast enough for surfing and email anyway.

        Windows10 Home 1809 | Mint19 on VM

    • #1876999 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      I really was wondering about ‘Offline for two days’. Don’t you have a smartphone/tablet that you could tether to your PC for Internet access ? Are there no neighbors with free wi-fi connections ?

    • #1877037 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      I really was wondering about ‘Offline for two days’. Don’t you have a smartphone/tablet that you could tether to your PC for Internet access ? Are there no neighbors with free wi-fi connections ?

      Indeed, I can (and do) use my phone as a WiFi hotspot; works quite well.  The topic title is only in reference to my Xfinity broadband connection.

      I don’t use open WiFi connections, only secured, and I’m not going to bother my neighbors for their WiFi passwords.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1878575 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      Friday the 19th a couple of heavy thunderstorms rolled through in the early evening, and my broadband signal started acting up.  When it first went down, I rebooted the modem, it re-acquired the signal and I was back online.  But just a few minutes later, I was offline again.

      Before I could reboot the modem, I could see by the indicator lights that it was re-acquiring the signal again.  A couple minutes later, I was back online.  But this kept happening.  The thunderstorms had passed me by, but were rolling northeast, and that’s the direction my broadband cable comes from.

      I called the tech support number, expecting to get a canned area outage report (which is usually the case) and an estimated time of return to normalcy.  Instead, I got the AI tech support.  It saw that I had recently had a tech come out, and asked if I was still having the same trouble.  I answered “No”, because he had completely replaced the full drop, except for the tap on the pole.  I was told I would be connected to a technician.  I was expecting another text-chat session.

      Instead, a human came on the line from Knoxville, TN.  I explained to her what was going on, and that I didn’t expect anything on my end because everything was new, and I had really been expecting an area outage announcement.  She said that there hadn’t been enough trouble calls from the area to trigger an area outage.

      As she looked through my account, she said that a maintenance crew had been working in the area.  She also said that records indicated the infrastructure had been installed in 1987, so maintenance was probably going through doing some upgrading.  She then said that she would schedule a tech appointment for me.  I told her I didn’t think that was necessary, that the only thing that needed attention was the tap on the pole.

      She said that since I had had trouble and a tech had been out, she was sending another tech just to make double sure that everything was as it should be.  She added that the tap most definitely needed to be replaced, and she would make sure that happened, as well.

      Sometime between 8:00 and 10:00 AM tomorrow I’ll have another visit from Comcast/Xfinity.  I was not expecting that level of concern, but I do appreciate it.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1879719 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      The Comcast tech (contractor) arrived promptly at 8:00 AM, ran a couple of tests at the connection outside, said “You’re really low,” then got his ladder and changed the splitter Thursday’s tech had installed just to get me online for a different type splitter, and removed an unnecessary splitter (I don’t have cable TV) in the weathertight box.

      I’m back to a full signal, just not a full-strength signal.  He said he sees indications of a bad amplifier somewhere in the line, and he’s going to get a bucket truck out to change the tap, and hunt down the bad amplifier(s).

      I must say again that I was not expecting this level of service from Comcast, but I am appreciative, and impressed.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      2 users thanked author for this post.

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