Posts Tagged ‘Cox’
If you want to know one of the supporting reasons why Verizon continues to lose landlines, it boils down to one word: service.
My Verizon landline died sometime yesterday. I placed a service call last night and was told the latest someone would show up would be July 13 – seven days from the time I placed the call.
A test from the CO indicated that yes, indeedie, there was a problem, so a truck roll was scheduled. Iif a dispatcher could get someone out there earlier, Verizon might be able to get someone out there; could I please provide two (2) other phone numbers to reach someone at the household. So they have a “work” number (which, BTW, is a Cox phone line working fine) and a mobile number.
Other highlights of my call: “Did I check the dial tone access on the box outside?” No. When did checking dial tone on the box outside become standard operating procedure? “Work on the inside of the house is covered, you pay for maintenance…” Yes, we do, but this apparently doesn’t get a truck roll out to me any sooner despite paying the extra $3 and change.
All this gives me flashbacks to when I moved about 3 years ago and tried to get service to my new house. It was almost literally a move across the street — no change in CO, no restart in billing, should have been a piece of cake.
Instead, it was a NIGHTMARE.
One phone number was supposed to be transferred over the weekend, but the house owners left their service on. I called service, took time out of my day on a Friday, and was PROMISED that would be out that day. 10 AM rolled into noon, and I called Verizon again. “Someone will be out by 3 PM”… 3 PM rolled into 4, called again … “Someone will be out by 6 PM”… 6 PM came and went. “We can’t send someone out today, we’ll send someone out tomorrow.”
Saturday came and went, nobody showed up.
Monday rolls around, the dial tone from the previous owners ends and STILL no truck roll. I call again, am told that because the previous owners didn’t have service turned off, they have rescheduled the truck roll — because they just CAN’T turn up service without a truck roll once the line is turned off — for two weeks later, thank you very much.
Since I live in a cell phone “dead zone” and have a small child, I am not f***ing pleased. I ask for a supervisor and tell her I had a live phone line in the house until yesterday, could she PLEASE try to do something in the switch?
And… 5 minutes later late on Monday I have one of two phone lines turned on. Lot of apologies about how Verizon was switching to a new dispatch/service system…. and that’s it. No service credit, no paper…
Line number two came up after a truck roll about two weeks later.
A month or two after that, I called up Cox and moved line number two off Verizon. The cable company gave me a TWO HOUR window when the tech would be out and it took them less than an hour to:
1) Find the right cable
2) Install the equipment on the side of the house
3) Switch the phone number out of Verizon’s CO over to their CO.
It would have been MUCH LESS than an hour, but the installer was training a new guy, so he was taking his time showing the rookie how to do things right, including nicely cutting the cable guys. In addition, there was about 5-10 minutes on hold with the service center because it was lunch time.
Now, which would you prefer, a two hour service window, or a seven day service window? Cable may have gotten a bad rap for customer service in the past, but they’re kicking Verizon’s rear in my neighborhood today.
As I clean out my in-box of bits and pieces this week, Cox and Global Crossing are two different companies that have indicated they doing to do something with HD Communications and HD Voice. The bigger questions are “When?” and “How?”
A Cox spokesperson said the company was looking into HD Voice, but at this point in time a product will emerge “closer to 2011.” He also said that 2011 is a long way out and “a lot can happen” between now and then.
Based upon some previous conversations I’ve had, Cox’s biggest project these days is rolling out its telephony applications platform to all of its market. Once that is done, then HD is — to grab the phrase from Optimum Lightpath — just another app.
Global Crossing has made no official statements about HD Voice product(s), but one of its network gurus — Adam “voiploser” Uzelac — is certainly making some interesting comments about about HD on his twitter feed and company blog. Speaking from personal experience, you don’t really think about HD that deeply until you start to do HD.
Me thinks Adam is doing HD, and he’s not doing it for the novelty factor.
Since Global Crossing has a strong Enterprise business and offers collaboration solutions (i.e. audio and video conferencing), an HD voice offering build around conferencing isn’t a big stretch of the imagination. Based upon my perspective and experience, Global Crossing tends to buy best-of-breed solutions, deploy them, then allow the vendors supplying the nuts and bolts to talk about the technical details 12-18 months later
Last week, Cox Communications announced the availability of DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed broadband service in the Northern Virginia area. The service is billed to deliver speeds of up to 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload. Preliminary tests have demonstrated those speeds to the router, but home users are likely to get an eye-opening experience on the capabilities and limitations of their own in-home technologies.
Cox arranged to put me on the beta list for DOCSIS 3.0 – ironically, a position I was in almost a decade ago when the company rolled out broadband and DOCSIS 2.0 to its cable customers. The installation took place on the morning of Thursday, May 7; it came with a truck roll and a Cox technician delivering and plugging in a Cisco DPC3000 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, followed by me running Speakeasy’s Speed Test a bunch of times.
Initial glitches and fixes over the morning included—
- Blocking of outbound port 25 for SMTP mail – Cox fixed by noon
- Flash of latest firmware load onto Cisco modem – Cox completed by noon
- Configuration /confirmation of service profile for DOCSIS 3.0 – Cox completed by noon
- Precautionary update of firmware in Linksys by Cisco WRT310N router – Doug completed by noon
Everything quick and obvious had been fixed by noon, so why was I still getting around 6 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload speeds on my upstairs desktop machine? The Netgear XE104 wall-plugged Ethernet switch claims it does 85 Mbps, but with 12.5 Mbps to 25 Mbps coming out of my DOCSIS 2.0 service, I hadn’t paid close and strict attention to the home networking bits and their limitations — Doom on me.
Doing what I should have done in the first place when the Cox tech had finished the install, I took my netbook down to the router and plugged it into a spare 10/100/1000 Ethernet port.
Winner! Over 50 Mbps download and over 5 Mbps upload straight from the WRT310 to the netbook’s 10/100 Ethernet port.
During all my ad hoc tests with different network gear combinations, upload speeds have remained consistently around 5 Mbps. Download speeds have been variable depending upon home network equipment used and have also seen some other behavior I’m still trying to figure out.
Network technology Peak download speed (Speakeasy.net)
Ethernet cable to router Over 50 Mbps
Linksys dual-mode draft N USB device 34 Mbps
Stock 802.11g on netbook 24 Mbps
Netgear XE104 powerline switch 24 Mbps (same floor of house)
Netgeer XE104 powerline switch 7 Mbps (different floor of house)
My task over the next week is to tinker with my existing network setup and see how I can optimize wireless and Powerline connections. Some of my friends have already wondered out why I haven’t run Category 5 wiring to every room in the house.
My other piece on Cox DOCSIS 3.0 service:
Some quick and dirty pictures of what I’m using to trial/beta Cox’s 50/5 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem service.
You’ll note brother CPE here, a Linksys by Cisco WRT 310N Gigabit router is connected to the Cisco DPC3000 modem supplied by Cox.
There’s nothing really special about on the front plate; it’s the same blinky lights as you’d find on a DOCSIS 2.0 modem. On the back side, there’s the stock trio of coax cable in, 10/100 Ethernet out, and a USB 2.0 port.
For kicks, I put the DOCSIS 3.0 gear on top of the representative 2.0 gear; you’ll note the DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and its power supply is petite in comparsion to the (Toshiba) 2.0 cable modem generation. This isn’t singling Toshiba; the form factor of the DOCSIS 2.0 gear is more or less the same, regardless of vendor.
Things you might want to know for Thursday, May 7–
- Cox comes over with a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem for trial.
- Vonage has their Q1 earnings report out (Good look with that…)
- Yesterday, AudioCodes reported its quarterly earnings; they lost money in the Q1 due to Nortel disintegrating, but no big surprise there.