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Time-Warner Responds to Downtime

Back on October 13 I posted about some Time-Warner/Roadrunner downtime. For about 10-11 days, service was spotty. Oftentimes we'd be online for 30 minutes, offline for 15-45, and back online again for maybe an hour before being knocked off again in a cycle. It made it tough to get any work done because you never knew when the service would crap out.

I wrote to a local engineer about two weeks ago. Today he responded.

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I just got back from vacation yesterday. I hope the problems you described have gone away. We are about 85% complete of a whole-system upgrade. The workers have been in the Millcreek area for the past 4 weeks or so. I would assume the Internet issues you describe are due to the work being done.

Unfortunately, there is no graceful way to upgrade a cable system without interrupting the customers using it. We are expanding the bandwidth of the cable system from 550 MHz to 1 GHz, almost double the bandwidth. This means that certain cable lines and every single piece of electronic gear in the system must be replaced (including at the hubs). At the same time, the node size (homes passed per node) is being drastically reduced, which will virtually eliminate any network congestion. Once the equipment is replaced in a given neighborhood, other crews go through and "balance" the system for peak performance. The balancing process itself causes brief interruptions while they change "padding" at amplifiers to adjust for optimum system levels. The whole process can take 7 to 14 days. Attempts are made to minimize customer impact including doing a lot of the work during the overnight hours.

As I mentioned, we are also upgrading the equipment in the hubs. This includes the CMTS's used for high speed data. We have installed a new CMTS chassis in the Millcreek hub expanding the upstream ports available. This has allowed us to designate a single node to a single port, insuring a robust network.

I know I am painting a rosy picture. However, if the "picture" is still fuzzy, it should clear up very soon. Of course if you continue to experience ongoing problems we need to take a closer look. I feel confident that we can get these issues behind us. Please keep me updated.

My follow-up email asked him why, if I can get 14 Mbps (or 24 Mbps) down, I still only get 700 kbps up. Download speed isn't the only thing that matters. I'll be interested to hear his response.

2 Responses to "Time-Warner Responds to Downtime"

  1. [...] I said awhile back, Time-Warner is performing some equipment upgrades, which has resulted in downtime. I was fine with a little downtime (though the complete lack of [...]

  2. [...] upgrade process is getting old. It's been going on for quite awhile too. At least it wasn't election day, but it's [...]