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DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1

1 recommendation

A cautionary tale: NEVER ASSUME!

I came home this afternoon to no Internet. It looked exactly the same as the infamous botched hardware migration last year.

I called my ISPs [Stephouse Networks] Tech support [waited about 5 seconds for a US-based tech to answer]. He checked my port status and started a trouble ticket with Covad.

What did I forget to do here? In my considerable agitation at losing sync, I jumped over conclusions and ASSUMED that since nothing had [apparently] changed on my end, the trouble must be external. I ASSUMED that there was a hardware problem at the CO [Gods forfend, another botched migration!] or trouble with the NYC access concentrator as there apparently was in California, or trouble with a DSLAM as there was in Chicago. I ASSUMED the trouble was external and didn't do the first thing I would have done if a customer reported a DSL outage: Before you call the ISP, CHECK FOR SYNC AT THE NID!

It was after I'd called Stephouse and heard that there were no other issues reported in my area [or in NYC] that I thought to check for sync at the NID. Lo and behold, there was sync! I called them back, cancelled the trouble ticket, and wiped the egg off my face.

Since I had working voice and DSL at the NID, I went back outside with a surface mount phone jack, some alligator clips and a $6 phone. I checked for dialtone at the data terminals of the splitter. Yes, we had dialtone. I went inside and checked at the DSL jack [shame on me for not testing this either!] and there was no dialtone. It turned out that the one of the wires in my 'home run' connection had failed. I switched the data wiring from GR to BY and voilà! On came the green light!

The moral of this story:

Just because you didn't touch any of your home wiring doesn't mean it won't pick some time when you least expect it to mysteriously and unobtrusively fail.

PS: Very special thanks to Stephouse for having US-based support with patience to deal with slightly neurotic IT consultants.

I think I'll go shower and get the rest of that egg off now.


DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1
Update:

I replaced the 'home run' yesterday. Either it got shredded by wind stress where it ran in an attic vent or something was chewing on it. I replaced the CAT3 with CAT5 and re-routed the run to minimize wind stress and possible critter-chewing. We'll see what happens. If anything messes with the CAT5 I'll have to have a CAT1 [furry, four paws, pointed ears, long tail, nice sharp carnivore teeth...] deal with it.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
I did mention to look for chew marks.