Originally written on Bob's Blitz  |  Last updated 10/20/14
After political pressure, Comcast may have, at long last, found something causing our internet problems.3/6/14 -- Wake up 5:20 AM to Started Unicast Maintenance Ranging - No Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=44:32:c8:25:fc:ed;CMTS-MAC=00:01:5c:24:52:c2;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;Internet out. Phone crappy. Call support. They see, wait for it, 'red' upstream noise. He'll talk to the CSR before transferring. The CSR is one of the Manila dudes from yesterday. Sounds like they didn't speak. Sets up a tech visit. No idea whether it is a backend truck rolling tech because this CSR is clueless.Rep. Rush Holt's office has stepped in.10:15 AM -- The tech showed up and it is the gentleman we've been working with which is a nice surprise. He played back a VM we left for him while the modem indicated a Time Out this morning. It is completely muffled worse than we knew. His supervisor, Mike Alexandersen, has heard the audio and, while monitoring our line...wait for it -- they know there is a problem somewhere from the node to the pad! They admit that now. Here's the caveat: With nodes crashing dead in other spots, and with how small a crack or nick (and the fact that it is underground to boot) could be causing these outages, the maintenance guy is going to have a heck of a time finding it. ie, it is going to take some time.11:52 AM -- 1.37 down, .09 up.. At 11:57 AM: Started Unicast Maintenance Ranging - No Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=44:32:c8:25:fc:ed;CMTS-MAC=00:01:5c:24:52:c2;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;11:57 AM -- Phone fails. Call drops, goes to busy signal.3234 ms tracert to = Comcast Princeton, NJ12:03 PM Started Unicast Maintenance Ranging - No Response received - T3 time-out;CM-MAC=44:32:c8:25:fc:ed;CMTS-MAC=00:01:5c:24:52:c2;CM-QOS=1.1;CM-VER=3.0;1:45 PM -- Chris called. He said Comcast maintenance was in the area around the time of our last outage and 'found some stuff.'4:30 PM -- Comcast maintenance truck is in the hood. He goes from box to box. Here for over 2+ hours. Never needed to rip any sidewalk or street up...but that's a long time for work that they couldn't spot for weeks and, after talking to a neighbor who left Comcast over similar complaints -- years.8:00 PM -- Comcast Corporate calls. Our executive representative Jessica. We have a 30 minute conversation. She confirms that they found and repaired things. We'll need to watch over the next week for errors before we're able to say they found this problem. But here's the astonishing kicker. Billing never fixed anything and Comcast will attempt to pull cash from our bank account that is roughly three times the true amount due.3/07/14 -- No modem errors. No severe swings.Corporate called. Will check back in on Tuesday for a larger sample size. Will 'stick with us' through the billing cycle if all is better.3/08/14 -- No modem errors this A.M.Contacted Senator Cory Booker, Bob Menendez with no return contact. Emailed Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama late yesterday with no reply or form email. Filed complaint with Board of Public Utilities over the billing issue.Working on our issue to date: Us. Multiple media outlets. Rep. Rush Holt. State Senator Linda Greenstein. Democratic leader and NJ mayor Janice Mironov. 1:22 PM ET -- Comcast maintenance has been in the area for 4 hours. Another truck just relieved him. Dave tells us that they've detected a home sending noise into the system. Egress. Bingo. We have a potential answer. Now, they need to catch when it happens as it is cyclical, in order to fully remedy it. Here's the FCC's take on signal leakage.'JayInAlg' over on the Comcast forums, explains:A RF cable system is kind of like the water pipes in your home, there can't be any leaks. The coax cable has a center conductor that carries the RF signals, and there is a multi-layer aluminum shield on the outside of the coax cable to keep those signals from leaking out. Damage with the coax cables, rubbing on the coax, and mostly, poorly installed / corrorded / loose F connectors (fittings) will cause leakage, along with cheap splitters, and cheap drop amplifiers. Leakage can affect both the downstream signals from the local node feeding the RF portion of your neighborhood, and the upstream return signals that come back from cable modems & eMTA phone adapters and cable set top boxed / DVR's. Leakage can affect neighbors for blocks around, ingress can be from electrical equipment interference getting into the RF system. Downstream leakage can cause interference with public saftey and aircraft frequencies, thus the FCC demands every cable systems to be swept for leakage once a year, usually by aircraft with highly sensitive equipment to detect leaks. Sometimes, neighbors report issues with HSI, CDV and On Demand which the tech finds leakage from others causing the problems. Sometimes, subscribers unknowing hookup the coax to their TV antenna, broadcasting to the whole neighborhood. Many times, in high density buildings it is caused by "illegal" hookups from neighbors hooking up to other's coax to receive TV without paying for it, and those splices leak. The tech will have a leakage detector to sweep near where the coax cable runs in the house, and visually inspect fittings, and condition of the coax cable looking for damaged shielding. Sometimes when a house is found to be leaking badly, the drop gets cutoff until repairs have been made, and a tag is put on the front door, and a call from the cable co to tell the sub of the issue.Which begs the question - when was the last time they swept this area? Given we know of at least one person who dropped cable due to the same issue last year and another who has been calling in complaints since last February.Fingers crossed. Billing fraud? That's another story.**Follow us on Twitter, Subscribe by Email, View via Our Mobile Site, or Return Home
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