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Clinton, NJ
reply to koitsu

Re: What to do about 11 weeks of node/network problems?

Koitsu, Thanks for your detailed postings and chronology of events! A story like this gives me hope that maybe my issue will someday be fixed. I think a key difference is that you actually have a real inside contact that was able to push the issue. From what I've seen here in NJ using normal escalations processes for mere mortals is slow, inconsistent, and quite possibly a waste of time. Furthermore, providing details (like SNR) to most techs seem to be a waste of breath -- they're only interested in what they see on their meters at that exact moment. *sigh* Good luck and keep accounting and sharing the story!

Mountain View, CA
You're welcome. As far as getting an "inside contact", that happened through strange/bizarre means in itself. Details are here (first part):

»Re: What to do about 11 weeks of node/network problems?

What I can't figure out is if this Comcast manager really was calling people along my street or if it was the result of a VM I left someone else at Comcast stating that I was basically at the end of my rope + I felt like the only choice I had left was to send a letter (along with a diary which I've been keeping of all the events from day one) to the CEO.

If you're struggling though, HeadendJoe recommended contacting your LFA (local franchise authority) -- particularly if there's a widespread issue affecting citizens in an area, or "plant issues". The address/phone of your LFA is printed on your bill (on paper or digitally/PDF available via the Comcast site).

The bottom line is that customers should not have to go through this kind of rigmarole to get something fixed. The only outlet that people know of is 800-COMCAST, and all the CSRs can send out are standard service technicians (who are the ones who have to make the call on whether or not to send a CR (case/ticket) to network, if the issue is a cable network issue). And even if it makes it to network, there's absolutely zero communication with the customer from that point forward -- so if the issue persists, the customer has no idea what to do, calls 800-COMCAST again, schedules another service tech visit, rinse lather repeat. This system is just downright broken, and it's been like this for at least 10 years. It doesn't work.
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Welcome to my fun...

I have an issue that 2-3 times a night my modem reboots, Upstream SNR dips below 29. Downstream SNR great, 42, power levels are good with the use of forward path attenuator.

I have maint sup direct cell phone and he has me on monitoring and sees the drop every night. His direct reports I have they cell phone also and they have seen it and it's the entire node but it is so quick and random on the time (beyond it being at night) they can't figure it out.

Sucks. Something is causing noise but only for a moment every night at a different time.

I feel bad, I am a pain in the butt customer but I am paying for service I want. They are trying but is a crappy situation. When issue is random and happens for a minute tops no way to catch it to track it because it's a different time every day.

Mountain View, CA
AnonMan, that situation is indeed crummy. Due to the highly intermittent nature tracking it down (to a specific cable/area of the node) sounds very difficult and time consuming. On the other hand, if it's happening on the entire node, that means more than just you is impacted -- bringing this up with your LFA may be the next step for you. Node-level issues I think are given more attention than individual customer issues.

Also, I've been told by both the Network Engineering Supervisor as well as the network/maint tech who was out here, that Comcast does have a "history view" for SNR levels on a per-channel basis (including support for bonding), so they should be able to see it there. Meaning, they have something similar to what I provide here (from my own modem) but probably with less granularity (I poll every 2 minutes): »jdc.koitsu.org/snrgraph/ -- I know Comcast having that information doesn't help narrow down where on the cable network/segment the problem lies, but it would act as evidence (for your LFA) that Comcast acknowledges there's a problem affecting multiple people on your node.
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Death Valley, CA

1 recommendation

Yes, the system is called scout monitor and shows the history and real time data for each STB & modem for every customer. The other system, which I like better, is called Watch Tower. Much more detailed analysis of the relationship between the customer's equipment & the CMTS/Narrowcast. Other nice thing about watch tower is that techs can submit notes when they troubleshoot that node and those notes are visible to anyone troubleshooting your node in the future. Other field tool the techs can use to monitor the signal from your node is Pathtrack which shows a virtual representation of the return signal so they can see a quick visual of noise, carrier problems, etc and take snapshots of any problems at any interval. They can also call in to the headend and have them turn up the return sweep. The techs sweep that node segment and can determine issues. Many, many tools out there, but, all the tools can do is tell the tech there is a problem, not how, where, or why.