More fun with Time Warner . . . .

exampasserexampasser Member Posts: 718 ■■■□□□□□□□
Lately I've been having an issue with losing phone and Internet when the power goes out (the equipment on my end has battery backups). In the past I would usually still have service when the power goes out which would suggest that a node nearby me has a battery backup that went bad.

I called up Time Warner again today asking that they check the battery backups of local nodes that I'm connected to. I was elevated to a level 3 tech that claimed that he doesn't know much about the nodes on the network and cannot check the battery backup status remotely on the nodes that have them. I asked him to send out a tech to check those local nodes that affect me and he just kept saying that they cannot guarantee service during power outages which I already knew. He then put me on hold several times claiming that he had to ask the dispatcher (I doubt he actually asking anybody) and kept saying that he couldn't get an answer.

This is the the second time that I've called about the issue and have gotten a similar runaround. Gotta love monopolies. . .

If anyone knows a secret to get these people to fix issues please do tell.

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    If they don't grantee service in a power outage then I don't see what the big deal is. And good luck (as you have seen) getting any info on their battery situation as a residential customer. Besides, their NOC would be blowing up if their battery back up was down so if it was down its most likely already fixed.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    I don't work for Time Warner, but I do know a little bit about the cable industry. To the best of my knowledge, nodes are not kept on battery backups.

    Headend equipment (CMTS's and the router they uplink through) have battery backups AND generators.

    Why is this? Nodes are generally outdoors and there could potentially be over 100 of them connecting to one CMTS. The tech you spoke with probably doesn't know jack about nodes...probably less than I do. The RF guys (radio frequency) are not geeks like us. They are the guys that work out in the field. They started out as installers and worked their way up (but they never go beyond rack and stack in the headend, that is generally as good as it gets for them).The "cable guys" know nothing about internet service, and we know nothing about RF. Communication between the two factions has never been ideal. I'm not trying to make the cable guys sound like know-nothing grunts...like I said us geeks know nothing about RF...that is THEIR specialty.

    Now I'm not saying that you don't have a problem at your node! I suggest continuing to call in and complain about outages. They likely may resolve the issue....but you'll never get to know what was actually wrong when they do, your service will just be more reliable without any explanation.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • exampasserexampasser Member Posts: 718 ■■■□□□□□□□
    ehnde wrote: »
    I don't work for Time Warner, but I do know a little bit about the cable industry. To the best of my knowledge, nodes are not kept on battery backups.

    Headend equipment (CMTS's and the router they uplink through) have battery backups AND generators.

    Why is this? Nodes are generally outdoors and there could potentially be over 100 of them connecting to one CMTS. The tech you spoke with probably doesn't know jack about nodes...probably less than I do. The RF guys (radio frequency) are not geeks like us. They are the guys that work out in the field. They started out as installers and worked their way up (but they never go beyond rack and stack in the headend, that is generally as good as it gets for them).The "cable guys" know nothing about internet service, and we know nothing about RF. Communication between the two factions has never been ideal. I'm not trying to make the cable guys sound like know-nothing grunts...like I said us geeks know nothing about RF...that is THEIR specialty.

    Now I'm not saying that you don't have a problem at your node! I suggest continuing to call in and complain about outages. They likely may resolve the issue....but you'll never get to know what was actually wrong when they do, your service will just be more reliable without any explanation.
    Thanks for the info.
  • SephStormSephStorm Member Posts: 1,732
    FYI, whats the pricing for internet in your area? I would be interested in knowing, finding out if they are overcharging because I am on a military base...
  • exampasserexampasser Member Posts: 718 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I pay $30/month but they will try to jack it up after 12 months like they did with my phone service.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    ehnde wrote: »
    I don't work for Time Warner, but I do know a little bit about the cable industry. To the best of my knowledge, nodes are not kept on battery backups.

    A tier 1 provider has a POP in our building to make cross connects easier. When the building had power maintenance earlier in the year, as soon as street power was cut, all the links went down. Took 5 hours to get a tech out here who basically told us there was nothing he could do, there was no provision for backup power to that closet, so until building power came back on, there was nothing to be done.

    To say the look on my face was incredulous would be an understatement. I was just praising god that management listened about bringing in another circuit a few months prior, or else we would have been off the grid (and so very very out of SLA) for the duration of that maintenance (our floors had full and proper backup power solutions, but when you're an internet company, and you can't get out to the internet, it's kind of comical)
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    A tier 1 provider has a POP in our building to make cross connects easier. When the building had power maintenance earlier in the year, as soon as street power was cut, all the links went down. Took 5 hours to get a tech out here who basically told us there was nothing he could do, there was no provision for backup power to that closet, so until building power came back on, there was nothing to be done.

    To say the look on my face was incredulous would be an understatement. I was just praising god that management listened about bringing in another circuit a few months prior, or else we would have been off the grid (and so very very out of SLA) for the duration of that maintenance (our floors had full and proper backup power solutions, but when you're an internet company, and you can't get out to the internet, it's kind of comical)

    Your use of the terms "POP" (which I now know stands for Point of Presence) and "tier 1" (figured out my employer is a multi-homed tier 3 provider) led me on a thrilling hour long goose chase into new information. Thanks for the short story, it filled some more gaps in my knowledge about how the internet works icon_study.gif
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    Now you will start talking "handoffs" to Level III, Verizon, CenturyLink, ATT, etc.
  • LizanoLizano Member Posts: 230 ■■■□□□□□□□
    CenturyLink...

    I refuse to accept one of the little ones bought one of the big ones, I will call it qwest for as long as I can get away with it...
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    ehnde wrote: »
    Your use of the terms "POP" (which I now know stands for Point of Presence) and "tier 1" (figured out my employer is a multi-homed tier 3 provider) led me on a thrilling hour long goose chase into new information. Thanks for the short story, it filled some more gaps in my knowledge about how the internet works icon_study.gif

    Yeah, the local POP is a better option for us in most cases, as the nearest carrier hotel is about 20 miles away. So if the carrier in question didn't have a local POP, we'd have to lease our own fiber to run back to that facility in order to get a cross connect.

    The upside to leasing our own fiber would be that we could connect to any provider that resided in that carrier hotel. The downside is that it ain't cheap. Our secondary provider also has a POP in the building, and *they* had a proper power setup, so we were able to stay up the entire time. The only complaint I have about them is that the MPLS circuit to our international sites suck, really hate it when I get BGP session bounces due to packet loss.

    The service provider realm is an entirely separate circle of hell compared to Enterprise networking.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Lizano wrote: »
    I refuse to accept one of the little ones bought one of the big ones, I will call it qwest for as long as I can get away with it...

    Hell, I wouldn't take a connection from CenturyLink unless I knew for a fact it was on what used to be Qwest's network. The native CenturyLink network is atrocious.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    Hell, I wouldn't take a connection from CenturyLink unless I knew for a fact it was on what used to be Qwest's network. The native CenturyLink network is atrocious.

    In Colorado it is ALL Qwest no matter what they call themselves now. I believe Denver (I have a bunch of servers in a Qwest/ATT/XO/LevelIII telecom hotel downtown) is their first 'NFL city' so they have a learning curve ahead of them. Not that Qwest has always been perfect, they were basically pretty good. And the internet at my COLO is fast as hell, so I can't complain.
  • Panzer919Panzer919 Member Posts: 462
    exampasser wrote: »
    Lately I've been having an issue with losing phone and Internet when the power goes out (the equipment on my end has battery backups). In the past I would usually still have service when the power goes out which would suggest that a node nearby me has a battery backup that went bad.

    I called up Time Warner again today asking that they check the battery backups of local nodes that I'm connected to. I was elevated to a level 3 tech that claimed that he doesn't know much about the nodes on the network and cannot check the battery backup status remotely on the nodes that have them. I asked him to send out a tech to check those local nodes that affect me and he just kept saying that they cannot guarantee service during power outages which I already knew. He then put me on hold several times claiming that he had to ask the dispatcher (I doubt he actually asking anybody) and kept saying that he couldn't get an answer.

    This is the the second time that I've called about the issue and have gotten a similar runaround. Gotta love monopolies. . .

    If anyone knows a secret to get these people to fix issues please do tell.

    I used to work for Time Warner here locally and I can tell you that each hub site does have a backup generator that kicks on in emergencies. It may be diesel or propane depending on what they can get. That power is used to feed the fiber that runs out to the nodes where there is an amplifier. Every node relies on the local power for the last mile. There is an inline amplifier that gets power from the closest pole usually. So if you have a power outage in your area then there is also no power to the amplifiers on the poles. Also, nodes have multiple amplifiers, if there is a power problem in your area, it could also effect signal to your boxes so there may also be times where you call in and they tell you that you are in an outage area, but the outage is not specifically on your street but in a link upstream from your location.

    Hopefully this clears things up some.
    Cisco Brat Blog

    I think “very senior” gets stuck in there because the last six yahoos that applied for the position couldn’t tell a packet from a Snickers bar.

    Luck is where opportunity and proper planning meet

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
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  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Panzer919 wrote: »
    I used to work for Time Warner here locally and I can tell you that each hub site does have a backup generator that kicks on in emergencies.

    Hub site? Not sure what you mean. Headend? Node? Some other plant equipment I've not heard of? I was thinking you meant headend, but would rather know for sure. Thanks.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • Panzer919Panzer919 Member Posts: 462
    ehnde wrote: »
    Hub site? Not sure what you mean. Headend? Node? Some other plant equipment I've not heard of? I was thinking you meant headend, but would rather know for sure. Thanks.

    OK, the headend is the location where all TV transmissions are gathered and changed into channels. The headend would be where you have your biggest routers, multiplexors, multiple trunks to other ISP's things like that. Very similar to a Core Datacenter. This is where the routing happens for all configurations, DHCP, internet traffic, phone calls and video streams.

    From there all the information gets pumped to the hubsites. They are small buildings that house the local network equipment. It would be closely related to a distribution closet. All connections to other hubsites and the head end are fiber runs.

    Nodes are the individual runs. So a single hubsite will have multiple nodes attached to it. So if your in Cincinnati, you might be on node TW-CIN-NORTH-101, a couple streets over you have node TW-CIN-NORTH-102 and so on. This is the access layer of their design. This section is all physical, fiber is ran to amps, which not only boost the signal, but change it over to coax frequencies. From there it rides to a street where there are multiple taps.

    A tap is a small box with multiple coax connections. It is where the tech would connect your house to the rest of the network. The various modems and routers that get connected to a users house are equivalent to an end user. They get IP addresses from a device at the head end, pull configuration files and report data on number of devices up/down.

    Does that help clarify things?
    Cisco Brat Blog

    I think “very senior” gets stuck in there because the last six yahoos that applied for the position couldn’t tell a packet from a Snickers bar.

    Luck is where opportunity and proper planning meet

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
    Thomas A. Edison
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    In my experience, cable companies don't care about their residential customers that much.

    If you have business class service, you'd have an actual SLA with them, and they'd be doing a lot more to make sure everything stayed up for you, even during power outages.
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    Panzer919 wrote: »
    OK, the headend is the location where all TV transmissions are gathered and changed into channels. The headend would be where you have your biggest routers, multiplexors, multiple trunks to other ISP's things like that. Very similar to a Core Datacenter. This is where the routing happens for all configurations, DHCP, internet traffic, phone calls and video streams.

    From there all the information gets pumped to the hubsites. They are small buildings that house the local network equipment. It would be closely related to a distribution closet. All connections to other hubsites and the head end are fiber runs.

    Nodes are the individual runs. So a single hubsite will have multiple nodes attached to it. So if your in Cincinnati, you might be on node TW-CIN-NORTH-101, a couple streets over you have node TW-CIN-NORTH-102 and so on. This is the access layer of their design. This section is all physical, fiber is ran to amps, which not only boost the signal, but change it over to coax frequencies. From there it rides to a street where there are multiple taps.

    A tap is a small box with multiple coax connections. It is where the tech would connect your house to the rest of the network. The various modems and routers that get connected to a users house are equivalent to an end user. They get IP addresses from a device at the head end, pull configuration files and report data on number of devices up/down.

    Does that help clarify things?

    I had to check on that with people far more experienced with me (I wanted to know more, because this represents a gap in my knowledge). The question I posed to this senior engineer is "What equipment is between the headend and a node?"

    He told me typically only repeaters, which run outdoors - with the exception of some long haul runs in which we have what he called "huts" (he described these huts as small buildings about the size of an outhouse/port-a-potty) that effectively do the same thing as a repeater, just for a larger number of connections. Time Warner is not the company I work for and what you have said has more relevance to this thread.

    BTW I'm expecting to be employed by Time Warner sometime in the coming year. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing icon_lol.gif
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • Panzer919Panzer919 Member Posts: 462
    ehnde wrote: »
    BTW I'm expecting to be employed by Time Warner sometime in the coming year. Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing icon_lol.gif

    Depending on what you want to do career wise will answer that question. There are plenty of lifetime Time Warner people employed. I left because I wanted to be a Cisco Engineer and they were switching to Adva's and Juniper. I don't miss the stress, but I do miss the benefits. I have yet to find a company with as good medical, time off for having a kid, free cable and internet and educational reimbursement as them.
    Cisco Brat Blog

    I think “very senior” gets stuck in there because the last six yahoos that applied for the position couldn’t tell a packet from a Snickers bar.

    Luck is where opportunity and proper planning meet

    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
    Thomas A. Edison
  • stlsmoorestlsmoore Member Posts: 515 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hell, I wouldn't take a connection from CenturyLink unless I knew for a fact it was on what used to be Qwest's network. The native CenturyLink network is atrocious.

    Agreed...we're dealing with this mess now in our current environment
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  • exampasserexampasser Member Posts: 718 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yay, now I'm getting an average ping of >100ms and a download speed or 4 Mbps or less in the evenings (I know that people tend to watch streaming video at night but it still fairly terrible.). . . After talking to support for over an hour they are sending a tech tomorrow to hook me to a less congested box (not giving my hopes up that it will help much though.) I really want a line off of that fiber backbone that's up the street more than ever now.
  • exampasserexampasser Member Posts: 718 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The TWC techs just left, they ran a new line from one pole to another. The issue still is not fixed (it's now worse than it was before). The tech said that it's an issue that their maintenance department has to fix and he's not sure when they will come out. What fun . . .
    1467952953.png
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