[DISCLAMER: This post is a rant. I am sorry if this comes off in a frustrated tone, but guess what, I’m fustrated!]
I’m going to start off by wishing that today durring the hours of 8am to 11am, I have packet loss.
I’m extremely dissatisfied with the service I’m getting from Cablevision’s Optimum Online Boost internet service. I pay *extra* per month for higher speeds then normal cable modem service, but yet during the night time, my internet connection becomes totally unusable for anything other then basic web browsing. Why? Because I have packet loss. I’ve been experiencing slow speeds at night for a while now, but I always wrote it off as a slow web server on the other end. Then a two nights ago, I go to transfer (using secure FTP) a 600MB time sensitive database backup to a SQL Server housed in a data center. My transfer rate quickly rises to around 500KB/s which is the typical transfer rate I experience when everything is normal. Then moments after hitting top speed the transfer rate nose dives to 0KB/s. A few more seconds later, it goes back up. Then it falls back to 0KB/s. It keeps repeating this, until it falls for 0KB/s for too long, which then times out the transfer.
After discovering this, I did what any techie would do: troubleshoot the problem. I ultimately bypassed my entire network by plugging in a laptop directly into the modem. No change. This means that there could only be a problem at 3 possible points: my modem, my wiring, and/or at Cablevision. I quickly called up Cablevision, which has very good 24/7 tech support (by now it’s 4am!). I spoke to a nice tech, who immediately ran some tests and gladly proclaimed that there was absolutely no problems and everything should be working fine. Naturally, I decided to retry the transfer to see if my speeds would sustain. I had the same intermittent throughput as before. I asked him to run the tests while I was uploading. Bingo! I had 40% packet loss! So what now? The tech said that the network was fine, so it had to be either my modem or the wiring and that I had to schedule an appointment for a technician to come and investigate the problem. Since it was so early in the day, I actually had the option of scheduling it the same day (which is pretty neat), and I did.
Later that day (at around 2pm, after only a few hours of precious sleep!) the Cablevision technician showed up and ran all kinds of line tests. Everything checked out fine. I had very strong signal. My modem was fine. I hooked up the modem straight to the laptop that I tested while on the phone. Guess what? The transfer was perfect. No packet loss at all! Relieved that the problem has been corrected somehow, I let the technician go. Fast forward to 3am, just 11 hours later. I go to upload that 600mb time sensitive database backup, which took me 2 hours to prepare AGAIN (since last night’s backup was old and useless by then). PACKET LOSS AGAIN! Here is what the transfer speed graph looks like in my FTP client (FlashFXP):
Needless to say, I am EXTREMELY FUSTRATED now. I’ve wasted so much time on this already. I’ve wasted 4 hours now preparing a time sensitive backup that must be transferred at night, that can’t be transferred. I’ve wasted countless hours dealing with Cablevision. Countless hours troubleshooting the problem before I even called Cablevision. What’s worse is, I’m exactly at square one. Cablevision is now sending another tech out between 8am and 11am. That means for the second night in a row, I’ve wasted my time. I’m willing to bet that this problem is totally non-existent when the technician gets here today.
Is Cablevision paying attention to the blogosphere? You’ve got one totally unsatisfied customer. So right now I’m left hoping that I have packet loss today between 8am and 11am. Is that too hard to ask for?
Update (June 7, 2009 @ 6:26am): The sun has risen, and my connection is back to normal. I have called Cablevision back, and have canceled today’s appointment. I will be monitoring this again tonight, to see if my connection has packet loss for the third night in a row. When I called back this morning, I actually spoke to the technician that I originally spoke to when this all started. He was very happy to have an update on the situation, and he helped me cancel the appointment. The one thing about this whole experience is that Cablevision’s staff has been extremely friendly and has tried to be helpful. They have sent a technician on the same day I called in the problem, and were going to do that again today. Even though I’m frustrated, I’ve done my best to keep my cool while speaking to them. After all, it’s not THEIR fault that I’m having the problem.
Update (June 8, 2009 @ 1:35am): Guess what? More packet loss tonight. I can’t even maintain an FTP connection now. Or even ping Google with anything less then 75% loss. Calling Cablevision now!
Jun 07 2009, 04:14 AM