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kb0rpj

join:2004-10-31
Trenton, MO

[Rant] dumped cable

After nearly 10 years of being with suddenlink, and it's various names we gave suddenlink the boot. The problem for us was power outages and having to re-scan our tv's nearly weekly.

I am the emergency management director of a small midwest county and I needed internet that simply would work when the power was out. I've been working with suddenlink for 9 years in trying to fix this problem, I've been told by numerous people over that time that they had the issue fixed, only to have it pop back up in the next power outage. Simply put no major communications carrier should be knocked out by a power outage, spend the $100 or better a month you got off me and others and buy batteries and generators.

The second issue was our need to rescan the tv's weekly to watch tv. We would come home from work and find both of our tv's telling us that no channels would work, we would rescan the channels and they would all be there again, it was more of an annoyance than anything, but why did we have to do that?

We got a good deal from directv and at&t to bundle our wireless, tv and internet all together and save over half a month versus what we paid for cable.

I did not take the decision lightly to switch from cable, as my wife and I don't easily or quickly switch providers i give them a chance to address or correct the issues we have, suddenlink simply failed to do so. We had been with cable for 10 years and we were with AT&T as wireless users since before it was at&t, how many remember, dobson, or cellone?


moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 recommendation

Well, that's kinda inherent to the technology. If you lose power to a section of town, the cable doesn't really go down. Just the line amps (the boxes mounted to the poles and hooked to the cable line) go out. Only way around that I know of would be to build out a power system with the cable. Hard to compare cable to dsl though as power is sent over the phone line as a standard. Now you have me wondering if dsl still works if you're connected to a remote dslam instead of the c/o and the power fails to the dslam.

But even at this, as an emergency management director, the fact that you have 1 line to a critical system is curious. If the power goes out or the cable line goes dead, you should have a stand by/backup in place and ready to go if you need access that bad.

Cell site internet also will go down after awhile in a power outage unless your site has a generator on property. Almost all sites i've seen in rural areas don't and to keep running past batteries, need a portable brought in.

Also curious to know what you're paying for wirelss, tv, and internet that you're saving HALF what you paid for cable. Would you be inclined to share?
--
30/2 Suddenlink : Current
5/1 CMA : Old
15/2 TWC : Old

kb0rpj

join:2004-10-31
Trenton, MO
your first statement: the cable company power supplies should have backup systems, they do not. during a rather lengthy power outage in town back in early may i saw the cable company has a small 400 watt generator chained to a pole and it was plugged into the power supply which allowed a small part of town of to get cable tv and internet back. My house equipment was running on batteries but the power supply down the street was without power thus i had no internet or tv service for nearly 8 hours.

second statement: I do methods of backup internet, i have a at&t hotspot and my wife has a verizon hotspot on her phone, while i understand the nature of it being cellphone service, however, being a small county, we have a limited budget, ideally, i just need a t-1, but the costs are simply too great.

third statement: I don't believe i attempted to imply that it was for all three. i'm sorry if i came off that way, compared internet-tv to internet-tv cable/phone co i went from paying $130/month for 3meg service and expanded basic, to $64.99 for 3meg dsl and direct tv, 250 channel pack. after the promo my rates for dsl will be about $20/month cheaper than cable and my satellite rate will be about the same. (side note: i talked to a long time user of cable in town and found out he was paying $74 for the exact same package, he has had internet-tv for about 8 years. i found this out today, needless to say im even happier i switched)


moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
That's the reason you need to keep in touch with any provider at the start of the month to see what new deals are available to you. I had the same problem here and then this past month I was able to increase my speed to 50 megs for 20 bux cheaper than the 30 meg package. 50 meg w/ the basic 200 channel cable is now 124/month for me.

But in all honesty, to power EVERY amp in an entire town would be ridiculously expensive for such a short period of time down. There's a decent chance that if you paid the fee for business class that they would do this for your section of line. Residential service is pretty much just best effort as to availability.
--
30/2 Suddenlink : Current
5/1 CMA : Old
15/2 TWC : Old

kb0rpj

join:2004-10-31
Trenton, MO
I strongly disagree with your statement. They offer telephone service which is also impacted by the power outages. if they want to play a big telecommunications company, they need to spend the money. i know many other major providers, such as time warner and comcast have battery backup systems in place for all the power supplies on many of there system.

In a cable system they only need to power the power supplies (that is what powers the downstream amps) and there is only a fraction of power supplies per amps.

In fact, the company that makes the power supplies (alpha tech.) makes battery backups and propane generators for the power supplies. Suddenlink is just not willing to spend the money.

I close with this statement, how would you feel if you had to use the internet or phone service and it was down and when you called they told you that a power outage on the other end of town has the system down? imagine if it was an emergency and you had to call 911 but it would not work due to the power outage? again, want to play big, act big.


moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
i would use my cell phone

bottom line though, it's a residential line i assume, there is NO guarantee for up time, at all. Get a dedicated/business line if it's mission critical.

I understand you're upset, but that is what cable is.

And on my street alone there are atleast 3 amps in a mile, so how many generators would they need to build out to do a whole town?

Edit>> Not trying to sound like a bitch, lol


motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:4
I have similar story I know that Charter Communications just did an upgrade to one of their systems power supply backups by replacing the old ones and putting in a ton of new ones. Unfortunately that is only one phase of that systems upgrades as they have to go in and do a lot more replacing of equipment as the system only is able to use up to 650MHz even though their amps are rated to 750MHz and 862MHz and even some 1GHz amps all from CCOR is has to do with the spacing and the fact that they have older cabling in that town doesn't help too . But they have started upgrades to the area They replaced all the nodes in that town that is 650MHz with 1GHz Aurora nodes and got rid of all of the old 550MHz amps in that town as well and they deployed DOCSIS 3.0 with 4 downstream channels in the 500MHz range as well the system doesn't have HD or VOD or digital phone but that is coming next year and they do have about 100 and something channels on the digital side .


motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:4
reply to moldypickle
said by moldypickle:

i would use my cell phone

bottom line though, it's a residential line i assume, there is NO guarantee for up time, at all. Get a dedicated/business line if it's mission critical.

I understand you're upset, but that is what cable is.

And on my street alone there are atleast 3 amps in a mile, so how many generators would they need to build out to do a whole town?

Edit>> Not trying to sound like a bitch, lol

your area should already have battery backup on every so many amps per node.

kb0rpj

join:2004-10-31
Trenton, MO
reply to moldypickle
you do not need a battery backup on each amp. the power supplies is what powers the amps. each power supply may have a two dozen or more amps connected to it. i only know of about 8 power supplies for my entire town.

the issue remains, it doesn't matter if it's a business line or not, if the power supplies do not stay up during a power outage, business or residential it doesn't matter the system will go down.


moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to motorola870
Well, when the power on the road goes out, I lose the cable modem even though I have a full hour of battery time here for the entire setup. The modem is back online in 30 seconds though once power is back up. So I'm assuming that either there simply are no batteries, or batteries are only used to preserve settings or something.

And business lines do matter. You're paying a significant amount more money for the up time guarantee (and services and what not). Being that you don't have a business line, why would they go out of their way to guarantee up time on a line that doesn't require it? From a business stand point, they are not obligated to maintain a signal through power outages to residential.

And earlier I said 3 amps on my line, but I suppose they would actually be the power supply boxes as they are metered to the power company at each box. So given there are 3 on my road alone, I don't see how I could expect SL to put a generator on each unit if I weren't paying the premium to ensure up time.
--
30/2 Suddenlink : Current
5/1 CMA : Old
15/2 TWC : Old

kb0rpj

join:2004-10-31
Trenton, MO
the difference here would be, if it was a biz class connection, they just simply give you money back for downtime, they dont take extra steps to ensure you remain up.


moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:3
Have it your way mate. Good lucking with the dsl/dish

Jowmu

join:2009-05-04
Lubbock, TX

1 recommendation

reply to kb0rpj
you guys really need to do a bit of research before claiming that the cable company's dont have backup power. Most do, including Suddenlink. The power supplies used DO have battery backup for when commercial power goes down. There doesn't have to be a power supply for each amp because the coax DOES also carry the AC needed to feed them. The power supplies insert the AC directly into the mainline... usually at 90 volts AC, but some older systems use 60 volts AC. There will be multiple power supplies in each node to power up all the active devices (amplifiers). These batteries can only run for so long before they die, so if the commercial power if off for a long period of time, you could lose part of the node or all of it, depending on which power supply is affected. That may be why you sometimes see a tech feeding the plant with a generator. You can't always blame the cable company when commercial power goes out. It is out of their control.


moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:3
Thank you for weighing in! Please tell me again how much research we need to do to see the cable modem offline in a power outage? Would love to see this data.