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Cable/Internet problems, and i think my service provider is screwing me. Need opinions.

Last response: in Networking
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October 31, 2013 6:53:07 AM

Not sure if this is the correct place for this post.

I get my phone/cable/internet all through the same provider(its a package deal). At the beginning of the year they recommended an upgrade to our cable boxes. Our cable was working fine, so we didn't wanna pay the 100$ fee to upgrade. Less than a week later all three of our cable boxes stopped working out of nowhere. We have no choice but to get them to fix it, but also included in that fix is the 100$ upgrade. It seems to work fine for months.

Then a few months later. It would randomly stop working for hours. Both cable and internet would. I would call my neighbor who also has the same provider and no problem with theirs. It keeps happening so we call complain, and they say they are gonna come fix it by putting in fiber optic cables. Its 40 dollars for them to come fix something. I say thats not the problem so we dont get the FO cable. I unplug everything and im gonna hook it back up the way i think and see what happens. Soon as i powered it back on it loaded and started working. Worked perfect for 2+ weeks.

Now for the last few months it does a weird thing. At least 3 times a week it cuts off around the same time at night. Its been as early as 8 pm once or as late as 3 am a couple times, but its usually around midnight. But it always comes back on at 6 am. Seems like a weird problem and coincidence to me. I think they shut off our boxes to force the upgrade in the beginning and now i think they are doing something similar by shutting it off at night, so we think we have to have the FO cables.

My question: Am i stupid and is the Fiber Optic cables necessary or is there something wrong that i could fix? Or, do you agree that they could be doing it on purpose?
October 31, 2013 7:14:55 AM

Name and shame. you don't need fiber.
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October 31, 2013 7:31:12 AM

Hi,

Tell them to resolve the issues or they fail to provide basic service and will have to change companies.
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October 31, 2013 8:14:22 AM

So im assuming yall agree with my conspiracy theory on them doing it intentionally. Also, they are a local company so not sure if i can get another provider where i live. Either way i think my only option is to tell them to fix it or cut it off. Be better to not have cable than to pay for it for 12 hours a day.
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Best solution

October 31, 2013 8:59:16 AM

DEADPOOL_515 said:
Not sure if this is the correct place for this post.

I get my phone/cable/internet all through the same provider(its a package deal). At the beginning of the year they recommended an upgrade to our cable boxes. Our cable was working fine, so we didn't wanna pay the 100$ fee to upgrade. Less than a week later all three of our cable boxes stopped working out of nowhere. We have no choice but to get them to fix it, but also included in that fix is the 100$ upgrade. It seems to work fine for months.

Then a few months later. It would randomly stop working for hours. Both cable and internet would. I would call my neighbor who also has the same provider and no problem with theirs. It keeps happening so we call complain, and they say they are gonna come fix it by putting in fiber optic cables. Its 40 dollars for them to come fix something. I say thats not the problem so we dont get the FO cable. I unplug everything and im gonna hook it back up the way i think and see what happens. Soon as i powered it back on it loaded and started working. Worked perfect for 2+ weeks.

Now for the last few months it does a weird thing. At least 3 times a week it cuts off around the same time at night. Its been as early as 8 pm once or as late as 3 am a couple times, but its usually around midnight. But it always comes back on at 6 am. Seems like a weird problem and coincidence to me. I think they shut off our boxes to force the upgrade in the beginning and now i think they are doing something similar by shutting it off at night, so we think we have to have the FO cables.

My question: Am i stupid and is the Fiber Optic cables necessary or is there something wrong that i could fix? Or, do you agree that they could be doing it on purpose?



Without more info about your cable provider I can only guess.

I would guess the provider moved from analog to digital and your old boxes were addressable analog boxes which were only used to get certain scrambled channels [porn, HBO, etc..], this would render them unusable, other situations could occur for this, such as they may have changed hardware in the head end, guide software and your boxes in either case were incompatible. Several things can out pace a boxes insides and make them unusable, but if I had to guess I would say bandwidth reclamation going from analog to digital is why it happened.

It is all the rage in the cable industry right now. The reason why is you can carry up to 5 channels [although that level of compression degrades the pic quality] in the same amount of space [6 Mhz US, 8 Mhz euro] you used to carry one channel. In reality, you can get away with 3-4 SD, and 2-3 HS channels in the same space allocation. Making it a profitable move as it costs less than building new plant with greater bandwidth, and since there is a existing limit of 1ghz on terrestrial cable [sat is different] the move to digital is the better route in most cases. Especially since most already have the hardware in place on their plant to do it its simply a matter of telling digital cable boxes to download a new channel map and having analog boxes get scrapped [and those are so old they should have mostly been already scrapped].

Anyway back to your issue. The $100 seems a little iffy, but I don't know who your provider is and where you are, nor how many boxes you are talking about, nor whether you had to have old lines replaced, etc... You make it sound like the guy spent 15 minutes changing a box but I doubt that was the actual case. So that's hard to answer, I work for comcast and we offered a Self install package for free when we forced people from analog to digital. People who did not want to do self install for free could PAY for a tech to do it. No different than getting a DVD player, you can install it yourself or PAY someone to do it for you. Whether that was an option at your cable comapny I do not know.

The rest of your problem sounds like something related to the coaxial cables either a loose fitting, or a over bent wire causing an intermittent short, probably as pressure increases from the temp going down, physics of the world and all. Usually this would indicate what we call suckout in the field, much to managements dismay they tell us its thermal regression, but what happens is as it cools the metals contract and if a fitting is not on the cable properly the internal center conductor contracts back up into the cable and eventually breaks connection and changes the impedance, which consequentially a short of sorts occurs and the minor voltage [we're talking millivolts in a perfect world .5 to 2.5 of them] begins to warm the metals up until they extends back to making a connection then the impedance is back to where the voltage is no longer shorting and the process repeats multiple times usually. the usual fix is to clear a path to ALL outlets in your house, schedule an appointment and let him replace all fittings, then based on the techs time he may determine it is the outside fittings which are the cable companies property and they do not charge you or its your house wire fittings, in which case they do charge you. In the US, there is also a a Service protection plan required to be offered by the government which will cover that visits cost, but yo must keep that plan you cannot sigh up, schedule a visit then cancel it afterwords or the charges apply.

I doubt the company is moving from coax to fiber and making it optional. this sound more like a philipino company though than a US one, so your mileage may vary on my posts above.

As to could be doing it on purpose anything is possible but that is not plausible. Why take the chance of running your customer off to a dish provider or other service? The infrastructure is there, its earning you money why pay to maintain that and bring in no money? That's just not plausible unless you're the sole last customer holding them down from ditching an expensive old network or something.
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