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Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

mfraase
New Contributor

Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Early this morning about 1:30AM or so, all of our server alarms started going off. Our Comcast Business internet connection was completely dead. Tried several reboots of everything with same results.

 

Called Comcast support. Best they could offer was a technician on-site 12-14 hours later. That's just totally unacceptable.

 

Shut everything down until about 6AM. Connection's back, but barely.

 

I've contracted for 27/7 bandwidth + /28 static IP address block. As much junk mail as you send me trying to get me to add phone and TV, why have you never told me that you're currently offering 50/10 bandwidth for US$10 more per month.

 

Until this outage, I've consistently been getting 35.14Mb/s download 13.28Mb/s upload 9ms latency.

 

Now I'm getting at best 29.62Mb/s download 5.89Mb/s upload 20ms latency and most recently 36.41Mb/s download (yay) and 2.39Mb/s upload (boo) 21ms latency.

 

I find it all quite suspicious that this happens within a day of Comcast encrypting all of its TV channels and on the day I become a trial Netflix subscriber.

 

In all of the years we had US West/Qwest/CenturyLink ISDN/DSL there were a few outages, but none this long or severe. We've had Comcast Business internet for one year and this is our second major outage. Of course, US West/Qwest/CenturyLink let us run our own equipment.

--
Michael Fraase, partner
ARTS & FARCES LLC
mfraase@farces.com
www.farces.com
FredLove
New Member

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Yes, same thing here.  Have autmated back-up to remote site starting at 9PM daily when the office is closed.  Two days this week at 9PM (11/18 and 11/20) no internet access and back-ups failed.  I called the 800 support number (internet access is on in the AM) and was told there was no way to diagnose a working connection and someone would have to call when connectivity was down.  Nothing could be done while the link was up.  I asked if there was an outage in the area yesterday evening was was given an immediate 'No.'  I told Mallory that I was not being helped and asked to speak to somoeone else who might be able to assist and was told that anyone else would answer the same. Incredibly frustrating.  No help whatsoever.

mfraase
New Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Oh, and it just gets worse.

 

24/7 service seems to mean that Comcast will have someone answer the phones in the middle of the night, but that's it.

 

So I called last night about 2AM, opened a trouble ticket #44022233. The best she could do was schedule between 2-4PM today (12-14 hours later). I told her clearly that wouldn't work; both partners have off-site business meetings during that time and no one would be here.

 

Now this morning, when I called to see about getting this trouble ticket expedited, I was told she couldn't do it because a technican had been assigned to be on-site between 2-4PM. That's right, the specific time block no one will be here.

 

On hold now waiting to talk to a manager.

--
Michael Fraase, partner
ARTS & FARCES LLC
mfraase@farces.com
www.farces.com
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Welcome mfraase.  We are sorry to hear that you are having problems scheduling an appropriate service time to meet your needs. The Customer Service Supervisor can work with the Local Dispatch Center to arrange a time that meets your needs.  Please let us know if you were unable to reach the Customer Service Supervisor or was unable to schedule and appropriate time for the service call.

 

Thank You

mfraase
New Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

All I got from the customer service manager was my case was being expedited/escalated, I was next in the queue, and that the tech would call. And then a lot of marketingspeak nonsense. That was more than 3.5 hours ago.

 

Haven't heard anything since.

 

Coincidence that this happened within a day of Comcast encrypting TV on the consumer side and us opening an account with Netflix? Not very likely.

 

Either: A) This outage/bandwidth reduction is much more widespread than Comcast acknowledges; or B) Comcast doesn't have nearly enough contractor techs. In any case, it's unacceptable.

--
Michael Fraase, partner
ARTS & FARCES LLC
mfraase@farces.com
www.farces.com
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Welcome FredLove. Our Tier 2 Group is investigating this issue.  We will update this thread with their results.

 

Thank You

mfraase
New Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

After a full day and a half of run arounds and dissembly from customer support managers and dispatchers, I finally got to talk to a tech at about 7:30PM last night. He decided that because the modem was up and functioning, he wouldn't make the service call.

 

I'm still getting less than half the upload bandwidth for which I've contracted.

--
Michael Fraase, partner
ARTS & FARCES LLC
mfraase@farces.com
www.farces.com
jrclark
Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Hello!

 

Do you have a SLA on your Comcast connection?

 

Take care!

 

John

mfraase
New Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

If you're referring to a service level agreement; I don't believe Comcast offers them. I have a down/up speed for which I've contracted.

--
Michael Fraase, partner
ARTS & FARCES LLC
mfraase@farces.com
www.farces.com
mfraase
New Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

So, finally an on-site tech arrived today finding only an "echo" problem. He called someone somewhere within the bowels of Comcast who told him that wouldn't be causing the outage and subsequent bandwidth degradation I'm seeing.

 

He tested throughput on his laptop and claimed to receive download/upload speeds similar to what I've seen until recently. I didn't see it, but since he was already on-site I don't think he has any reason to be dishonest about it. He's a nice guy.

 

While he was here I seemed to get download/upload speeds in the neighborhood of what I've seen recently but within an hour of his leaving, I'm back to roughly half of the bandwidth for which I'm paying.

 

I've removed everything from the network and individually connected two servers and two laptops directly to the modem with no network load on six different cables. The results are the same, most recently 10.82Mbps down/6.71Mbps up. Latency is consistently 21ms; previously it was consistently 7-9ms.

--
Michael Fraase, partner
ARTS & FARCES LLC
mfraase@farces.com
www.farces.com
jrclark
Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Hello!

 

While it is certainly possible that there is a connection issue, it is important to remember that you are on a network where you share your upstream and downstream bandwidth with your "neighbors". It is possible that some of the other people on your subnet have started using more bandwith, or that comcast has recently added more customers to your "neighborhood". It is also not unusual to see usage spikes after an outage as people "catch up".

 

In general, I wouldnt expect to see consistent U/D numbers near your max, even on a solid connection. My 50/10 connection may test out at 50Mbps one minute and 5Mbps the next. To me, that is normal.

 

Take care!

 

John

Forum Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Um, residential service has no SLA, business service does.  If his neighbors are all businesses then you have a point -  but if they are residential then no.  I run a server bank in my basement, I'm Comcast Business, and I'm smack dab in the middle of a residential development - I have my circuit graphed both bandwidth and latency and monitored with a paging system that pages my cell in a few minutes of it going down, and I don't have no stinking TV service on it - and I get my bandwidth, anytime, day or night.  Lucky me, but I wouldn't expect that if I was smack in the middle of an industrial park.

 

To the original poster, here's my observations.  Comcast loves to do firmware updates to modems and to their head gear around that time of day.  I've had more than once to get out of bed and power cycle the modem because I've gotten paged when my warning system has detected an outage.  Most of the time, their early AM outages caused by firmware updates or whatever, tend to only last about 15-20 minutes and the modem recovers, but not always.  But I am realistic about this - if I was paying $400 a month for the circuit I'd expect them to send an email notification in advance of tinkering with firmware flashes to their head switches - but this isn't a $400 circuit.

 

I've tried calling support about it to complain during the outage but I've not been lucky enough to catch support at 2am or whever during the middle of an outage that is long enough for support to get logged in and run their diagnostics.  And you are also absolutely correct that after hours Comcast support is useless - unless your an end user that doesen't know an ethernet cable from a phone cable.

 

Now, as for your problem, my hypothesis is that they did a core switch upgrade and now your model of cable modem isn't happy with it.  Call in during the day and make them replace it with a different model and see if that does anything.  Your renting the modem, they will just take it back and send it out to some other subscriber.

 

Secondly, you said you were contracted for 7MB up - and you were getting 14MB up - and now your getting between 5-6.9MB up - dare I ask, is the real reason your upset because you were getting more than you were supposed to for a long time and now your not?  You should know that the Comcast contracts will allow upgrades - you can pay your additional $10 a month and get more bandwidth - no penalty there.

 

If your not like me and you are in the middle of an industrial park then IMHO you should definitely get your 7MB up all night long.  If your not, and swapping the modem with a different model doesen't help, then you absolutely will need to get a comcast tech there, and be there when he is there, because very likely you have some kind of signal issue.  Perhaps your signal strength or S/N ratio is marginal and it worked with the prior microcode and now doesen't work.  I would recommend you schedule it for between 10-1pm because that is the busiest time on the Internet and the most likely time that problem like this will show up.

jrclark
Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

Hello!

 

I did not get an SLA on my Comcast Business 50/10 connection. What are the terms of the SLA on your Comcast Business connection?

 

I was told that basic Comcast Business customers typically run on the same "wire" as residential customers and are subject to the same general bandwidth management practices as residential customers. Did someone at Comcast indicate that Comcast Business customers get a special, separate connection from residental customers?

 

I personally dont have a problem with the terms of my Comcast Business account, which is "best effort" uptime. I have setup business accounts from other providers that include 99.9999% uptime SLA's, but they dont cost $100/mo for a 50/10 connection. Comcast Business service with a LB fail-over connection from an alternate provider still comes in significantly cheaper than an SLA covered service from other providers. It is also quite a bit faster.

 

Take care!

 

John

Forum Contributor

Re: Hours-long outage; then reduced bandwidth

The SLA that Comcast Business offers isn't a true SLA like what most carriers offer.

 

Instead, it is a subtle difference in wording on the business contract that is different than the TOS given to residential users.  One of them gets "best effort" the other gets "reasonable effort" or some such trickiness.

 

It's been a few years since I had the residential TOS and my business agreement in front of me so I don't recall the exact wording.  It's not something that Comcast likes to make a big deal about (to the residential users, at least) for obvious reasons.  But if you ask your Comcast business salesman he will explain the difference.