Silver Spring, MD
Queenstown/Grasonville MD outage policy (Zipcode 21658)
I just called Atlantic Broadband after a brief 8:30PM outage that lasted all of 5 minutes, but I had to reset my modem, my router, and my Magicjack. Suffice it to say, that was not too pleasing. They told me they don't consider an outage an outage until at least 100 people have one. That means if 99 people don't think of reporting in, thinking someone else will, no trunk lines will be repaired until it hits the 100 person mark. In remote areas with towns of 600 or less people, an outage might affect several neighborhoods at once and last longer because everyone believes someone else will report in. I asked them to e-mail the manager saying they should consider it an outage when 2 or more customers have a problem. Obviously then it is not due to one customer having a hardware problem.
That isn't policy. Our policy such is based more on logic than anything else. If you call, and we see you and several people in your area are offline, we will respond to it as a problem affecting multiple users. It is in our best interests as well as yours to roll one tech to fix 5 customers than 5 techs to fix 5 customers.
We have automated reports that trigger if a certain percentage of modems on a node goes off line. This is a percentage, not a hard number. What the representative you spoke with was probably refering to is whether or not we put a message up on our phone system. We try to avoid if its not around 100 or more people. We don't want someone thinking "i'm in that town" and hang up when they may not be affected. It is likely that the person you spoke with was refering to that as far as a declared outage, but that isn't the same as how we respond to a technical issue. I hope this clarifies things for you.