The Trouble With Comcast

There was no blog entry yesterday. Grrrrr.

We got home from Philadelphia only to find no high speed Internet access. OK, I thought. We’ve had these sporadic, intermittent problems before. Wait a while and it will return.

Meanwhile, I got on the phone and gave Comcast a call. The guy on the other end was nice, but couldn’t help me. He wanted to arrange a Tuesday appointment for service, but I pled my case, asking him to look at the myriad times I had complained about lost service earlier.

The repairman came around 11:00 this morning.

My little home office is a pig sty and I wasn’t thrilled to invite him up, but Internet service is Internet service. It’s not what it was nearly 20 years ago when I started logging onto Compuserve… at 300 baud.

Having Internet access is as important as having a phone or television set. Without it, in this day and age, you’re cut off from the world’s information.

The technician removed the coax connector from the back of my cable modem. He took the tiny bare wire that usually makes the internal connection and touched it to another bare wire. He frowned.

He went to the splitter. Another touch. Our signal was down by a lot. He’d go outside, where the cable service entered the house, and if that didn’t work he’d go to the basement.

About ten minutes later he was back at my door. He had found a corroded connector on the side of my house. It was a Comcast installed piece of equipment, so I didn’t have to feel guilty.

By the time we got back to my room, the modem lights were on. What had been a 0 db signal was now an 8.5 db signal&#185. He did a little more checking and tightened a few not too loose connections before going.

Hopefully my connection problems are solved. However, I am surprised the ‘innards’ of my cable modem doesn’t report its signal strength back to Comcast so they can head these problems off before failure occurs.

It would seem to me my modem is already capable of this trick. Maybe Comcast is just not asking.

&#185 – db, or decibels, measure power on a logarithmic scale. A 8.5 db loss (which is what seems to have been happening) means about 90% of the cable signal was being lost to corrosion before it got inside my house!