No Comcast Internet connection

On Tuesday (July 19) I got home from work and found that my garage door wouldn’t open for me. There have been a lot of storms around here lately – fallout from the recent hurricane and just some really odd, pedantic weather systems. So I wasn’t too surprised when I found that the circuit breaker for my garage door opener had tripped.
However a little later I found that my Comcast internet connection also wasn’t working and my satellite receiver was complaining that it couldn’t receive signals on the second tuner.
To make a long story short, it turns out that we must have had quite a power spike if not a minor lightning strike against our place that not only tripped the fuse but also fried the single satellite tuner.
I have surge protection and UPSs on nearly everything of value in the house, but I only had the surge protection for one of my two Satellite tuner’s incoming coax cables. I guess this proves that the surge protection works as it is supposed to. Believe me, I’ll be getting a second protector when I decide to replace the tuner unit!

My gripe right now is with Comcast. The cable has been out for portions of several cities ever since Tuesday, meaning that I’m well into day two of no internet access. Since I’m also depending on my cable connection for my phone connection, well… Let’s just say I’m glad we have cell phones.

I’m really shocked and dismayed that Comcast doesn’t seem to regard themselves as anything more than a recreation company rather than a utility. I was on the phone with them yesterday and the only solution they could offer me was to contact the billing department so I could be reimbursed for the days of loss of service (probably amounts to about $4). I told them that that wasn’t the point, folks who use their internet service often depend upon it for business purposes as I do when I’m working from home or responding to work emergencies.

They had no answer for that. It seems Comcast simply isn’t ready to play with the big boys yet. I’m just happy that I use satellite for my TV viewing – I would otherwise be missing Lance’s road to victory in the Tour de France!

In the (how many now?) years that I’ve used DSL I’ve never had an outage of this magnitude. Especially since they corrected the intermittent line drop problem – an admirable effort on their part. I moved away from BellSouth because I did not like having my phone services bundled with my internet services and they would not separate the two. I may have to go back to them, warts and all, and just subscribe to a basic phone service in order to ensure a slightly slower, but more dependable service.

Anybody else have any experiences with BellSouth DSL or Comcast High Speed Internet service?

Posted under Opinions

This post was written by Marc
on July 21, 2005 at 6:45 am

2,639 views

5 Comments so far

  1. Marc July 22, 2005 10:29 am

    Wow, this is amazing. Still no Comcast High Speed internet connection. I can’t believe how sorry this is. One of the reasons I dropped cable in favor of satellite many moons ago was because every time it would rain the cable would go out.
    After having seen them spend a couple of months installing fiber cables I thought they’d got that problem licked. But so far I’m not impressed.

  2. King July 24, 2005 6:43 pm

    I”m surprised that they did not respond with something like “our contact says you are not to use our service for bussness purposes”.

    I would guess that this level of service is pretty common. When I signed up to do stock trading with Interactive Brokers, one of the things in the contract I had to acknowledge was that they STRONGLY recomend that you have 2 independent internet connections (i.e. a DSL and a dial up) since they only accept orders through the interent, and with only one connection, you may not be able to get out of your stock positions.

    King

  3. Marc July 24, 2005 7:43 pm

    I finally got my internet connection back. It turns out there were two problems, a general service failure from Comcast and the power surge that tripped my garage breaker and blew away some piece of my satellite DVR (that’s being replaced next weekend) also destroyed the surge protector used on my internet coax line.
    I suppose I should be happy that it didn’t blow away the modem since that means sitting at home for half a day waiting for a service tech to drop one off (and no, they can’t just swap it if I leave the old one on my porch… 🙁 ).
    But, suspecting that might be part of the problem, I bypassed my UPS/Surge protector a couple of time to see if there was a signal while waiting to get my service restored. But still, the service may have been restored earlier than I thought (maybe by a day) since they were still indicating that there were problems in my city when I tried bypassing the surge protector a final time and it finally worked.

    Did a quick trip to WalMart for some reasonably priced coax surge protectors and now BOTH of my incoming satellite coax lines and my cable modem line are protected.

  4. Jon Tyson December 2, 2005 7:24 am

    I had lots of problems with Comcast in Cambridge, MA. Their supplied cable modem had to be unplugged and plugged back in more than once a day, which was a serious annoyance because it made it hard to share Wi-Fi with my housemates. Comcast said that it was completely normal, and didn’t consider it to be a problem.

    After I switched to Verison DSL, my internet connection became FASTER and cheaper! Of course, you think this is BS.

    Yes, cable certainly has the potential to be faster than DSL over a regular phone line, but Comcast’s “high-speed” internet service doesn’t live up to this potential, at least not around here.

  5. Marc December 2, 2005 6:05 pm

    I started with BellSouth DSL and that was rock solid and met my needs. I had their “Mega DSL” which, at the time, was 3 Mbits/second. I only moved to Comcast because Bell refused to separate their POTS service from their DSL and I wanted to get rid of their overpriced phone services.

    Comcast has been pretty solid lately. They upped their speed to 6 Mbits/second download but are still at about 384 Kbits/second upload. I did have issues with the cable modem needing to be unplugged now and then. I have now plugged a power bar into a timer and I have the timer disconnect my modem and both my routers at the same time in the wee hours of the morning for 1 minute. So far it’s looking pretty stable.

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