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Time-Warner Paid me a Visit Today

This is a follow-up to the ongoing story I first wrote about here.

Time-Warner officials paid me a visit today. I won't elaborate on how I got to this point, but I will say that I felt I deserved an answer and that I was polite in taking the steps I've taken. Time-Warner's response has been polite, expedient, and overall impressive.

Three types of Time-Warner engineers came to my house today. I won't give their names or job titles, but I will say that they seemed to represent every level above the technicians that normally come to your house as well as the "PM" tech level.

These individuals first checked the tap across the street from my house. They confirmed that nothing was wrong there. They checked the modem in the house and confirmed that nothing was wrong there. This, they believed, was what they would find: nothing wrong.

I learned that what I'd heard before was mostly accurate. A piece of equipment has been having intermittent failures on and off in the Asbury Road station. It affects most of Erie west of I-79, but it has a much greater impact on the nodes served by that particular piece of equipment.

The equipment was replaced, and TW wanted to give it time to settle down so that they could assess further problems. TW has been planning to make rather significant changes to the way its network is organized, and is going forward with those plans now that the equipment issue seems to have been resolved.

Next Tuesday, the node on which I sit and six or seven other nodes will be upgraded. The nodes themselves, in most cases, won't be touched, but the way they're divided up at the Asbury Road station will be swapped around to more accurately and better balance the number of modems.

The engineers even went so far as to say they fully expect this will solve any and all speed issues, regardless of load. Engineers rarely give guarantees. They said I should expect speeds of 10 Mbps on the Turbo plan at a minimum, and one of the engineers said he typically sees 14.2 to 14.8. Standard customers (the 7.0 Mbps plan) should see 6.5 or so pretty easily.

They also told me that in the coming months, network traffic from Erie is going to be routed via Canton, all on TW systems. Currently1 you spend a lot of your time on Adelphia systems in NY and Virginia. Though any real-world examples of download speed involve the Internet, keeping Erie customers on TW systems longer than we currently are should help TW engineers pinpoint any future problems.

The engineers were all very nice, very polite, and very humble. I expressed my concern to them that I was not worried all that much about the speeds - networks have hiccups, companies have growing pains, especially after taking over another company's infrastructure, etc. I told them that the biggest gripe I've got is the lack of communication. I told them if they had sent a letter out saying "We apologize, we plan to fix the problem in January, until then here's 10% off, again sorry…" that things would be better. I suggested too that after things have been fixed that they send a letter or an email out to everyone that says "you may have experienced problems, we believe we've fixed them, thank you for sticking with us and call us if you have any questions."

At this point, I'm reasonably comfortable that next Tuesday morning I'll see a good boost in this area and that the rest of Erie, PA will see a boost in the coming weeks and months.

I'll report back next week with results. I continue to urge anyone who is experiencing issues with their TW cable system to call tech support and follow the routine process of having a technician come to your house. The engineers told me today that they likely already know about any remaining problems, but if they don't, calling and having a tech visit is the best way to gather more information.

Footnotes

  1. If you do a traceroute to, say, nslog.com you'll see this.

11 Responses to "Time-Warner Paid me a Visit Today"

  1. I won't elaborate on how I got to this point… Three types of Time-Warner engineers came to my house today. I won't give their names or job titles

    I'm disappointed that you're so vague in this post. It's not as if you had to sign some NDA, and it comes across as, if not, bragging, in poor taste.

  2. Paul Schreiber said on January 8, 2008:

    I'm disappointed that you're so vague in this post. It's not as if you had to sign some NDA, and it comes across as, if not, bragging, in poor taste.

    I'm sorry you're disappointed, and I assure you it has nothing to do with bragging or anything of the sort. Rather, it's a mix of confidentiality as well as simply not remembering everyone's names or job titles.

    The latter I'm sure you can understand. The former is simply an attempt to expedite service improvements for everyone. The more time these people spend fending off more emails or calls from people, the less time they'll have to fix problems or do their jobs.

    Also, "how I got to this point" is pretty boring. I'd rather focus on the results of the boring stuff, not the boring stuff itself.

  3. I don't know, it appears to be getting worse right now.

    Download Speed: 353 kbps (44.1 KB/sec transfer rate)
    Upload Speed: 213 kbps (26.6 KB/sec transfer rate)

  4. Greg Rachocki said on January 9, 2008:

    I don't know, it appears to be getting worse right now.

    Today isn't next Tuesday. πŸ˜›

  5. So the Tuesday you're speaking of is 1/15? I live near 38th and Asbury and am getting around 4 on the TW Speed Test.

  6. Tom said on January 10, 2008:

    So the Tuesday you're speaking of is 1/15? I live near 38th and Asbury and am getting around 4 on the TW Speed Test.

    Yes, 1/15 at about 2am. But two things:

    1. They may not upgrade your section of the network at that time. They're doing "6 or 7" other nodes. I don't know what any of the others are - just that mine is one of them and you're not in my node (too far away).
    2. The speed test isn't totally official. You spend a lot of time on the "generic Internet" getting data from that site. It's 22 hops from me according to a traceroute I just did, and again, a few of the hops are on Adelphia's systems.

    Also on #2: a single test isn't too relevant, but a series of tests can reveal problems. I recommend double- or triple-checking results with http://dslreports.com/stest or http://speedtest.net/ as well.

    TW is going to call me Tuesday morning to verify that things are improved here. I'll ask if I can release contact information at that time for anyone who is continuing to have problems.

  7. Erik J. Barzeski said on January 9, 2008:

    Today isn't next Tuesday. πŸ˜›

    By that I meant it appears that its getting much worse before it is getting better.

    After that lousy test that night I called the NEO level 3 support and asked for an updated status for my ongoing speed issues. He thought something was scheduled to be done in the area and placed me on hold to find out. Basically he confirmed what you were told, a node break out was scheduled to improve the speeds. He also said I was on a node that would be affected. He said it was scheduled for the 15th between 2 and 6 AM but kept repeating that it was only scheduled. I plan on calling on the 16th to see if the work was completed.

  8. nitecourt said on January 11, 2008:

    I plan on calling on the 16th to see if the work was completed.

    I think you should just try some speed tests and go online to see what speeds you get. No sense bugging (and waiting for) support if you can verify yourself.

    I'll post an update here as well.

    Engineers aren't usually willing to give near-100% guarantees, but the ones I spoke to were, and I believe them.

  9. Okay, here's the Tuesday update: things are running much more smoothly. The North Carolina TWC speed test site has been giving better results all day long. It still goes out "over the Internet" so there are still times when the results will be slower, but not once did I dip under ~ 4 Mbps today.

    I'll report back in a week or two. Hopefully the good speed continues.

  10. Didn't do anything for me near 38th & Asbury. I'm getting 2.7 tonite. πŸ™

  11. [...] the people on the TWC system. While they provide a good to great cable Internet service (once they fixed the problems, that is), their DVR is, in particular, quite [...]


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