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Old 01-09-2021, 10:52 PM   #1
frankbell
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Difficulty Connecting to My ISPs Network--Suggestions for Questions


I am having a strange issue connecting to my ISP's network. Note that this has been rock-solid for the ten years I've lived here, but, for the last few months, I've had increasing connectivity problems.

I am not asking for a solution; rather, I'm asking for ideas for questions to ask when the techs arrive here Monday.

What happens is this: the signal drops. Rebooting the modem restores the signal. Up until this week, the restored signal has been usable, lasting for half a day or more, but for the last couple of days, no. A modem reboot (or sometimes two or three reboots) restores the signal. but it drops within a matter of minutes.

When the signal drops, I can ping the router and other computers on my side of the router, but cannot ping the Big Wide World, either by URL or by ip address. I have already changed out the router with a different one obtained from the ISP's local store. The replacement modem did not appear to affect the problem.

I have a cable tester and have tested the cables on my side of the modem--from the modem to the router and from the router to my wired ethernet-connected computers. The cables test out okay. I have also connected directly to the modem from computer with no intervening devices. The problem still occurs.

The modem is connected to the incoming cable via a splitter; one line goes to a television and the other line goes to a television. The cable from the splitter to the modem seems okay; the cable on the other side of the splitter disappears into the ceiling. It's been there since before I moved here.

I have disconnected and reconnected all the cables on my side of the splitter in case the screw connections had gotten fouled or built up a bit of corrosion. No change.

It seems to me that the issue is on other side of the modem and I've exhausted the troubleshooting I can do myself.

I'm not asking for a solution, but I am asking for any suggestions as to good questions or suggestions to pass on to the ISP's techs when they get here on Monday.

(In the meantime, I'm using my cellphone hotspot most sparingly to make occasional connections to the Big Wide World. I will also add that my past experiences with my ISP's tech support have been uniformly positive. I may not think much of corporate, but staff are excellent.)

Thanks.
 
Old 01-10-2021, 12:15 AM   #2
michaelk
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The technician should be able to measure the signal levels on the input side of the MODEM. That should indicate if you have a problem. Its possible the replacement MODEM is also bad.

Outside cables and connections could be bad as well as an upstream amp channel.

Last edited by michaelk; 01-10-2021 at 12:18 AM.
 
Old 01-10-2021, 02:27 AM   #3
obobskivich
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Just some ideas/things to look at:

- The splitter(s) could be the problem, or could be faulty.
- There could be noise/interference getting picked up from bad wiring somewhere else.
- There could be a bad connection (like a loose splitter/coupler) somewhere 'inside the wall' that you can't easily see.

The tech, as michaelk says, should have equipment that can test that wiring and give them an idea of where the problem is (or at least that it exists between two known points). The 'worst case' is the problem exists off-site from your house, but the tech can verify that (even if they have no power to 'fix' an offsite issue) - if the signal 'from the pole' tests good, the issue then logically has to be somewhere between that connection and your modem (i.e. 'in your house somewhere').
 
Old 01-10-2021, 06:27 AM   #4
enorbet
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One possible option may be to upgrade to fiber. In my case, in very rural Virginia, I had to pay a one time couple hundred bux to have them dig a new ditch from main road to my house, my monthly fee is the same as it was on crappy DSL and the bandwidth went from a max of 10mbs to well over 200mbs avg. In my case the switch was more than worth the expense.

In your case if they do find some delivery problem they will have to fix, they may offer you a substantial discount if fiber is anywhere near you. If it is already available there's very likely little or no extra expense and really a no-brainer. Fiber is great!

Last edited by enorbet; 01-10-2021 at 06:30 AM.
 
Old 01-10-2021, 09:44 PM   #5
frankbell
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Thanks for helping me prepare for their visit.

As I type this, I have no signal via the cable. I'm just going to leave it that way. Throughout this, the television side of the house has been rock solid.

Again, thank you.
 
Old 01-10-2021, 10:14 PM   #6
michaelk
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Basically the internet is just other channels on the cable where the MODEM separates, decodes and turns it into Ethernet that connects to your router or other computers etc if is a combination unit. Typically it needs to be at a higher quality, better signal to noise ratio level then a TV for it to work. It should take just a couple of minutes with the handheld tester to measure the signal levels.

Good luck...
 
Old 01-10-2021, 10:55 PM   #7
frankbell
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I'll let you all know what happens.
 
Old 01-10-2021, 11:02 PM   #8
uteck
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I had a problem like this, and when I called the tech was able to measure the signal and see that they had no link to me, which was odd as I had a connection at that time. They she saw a link and I reported it had dropped. She sent a tech out and he replaced some rusted parts on the pole and things have been solid since.
 
Old 01-11-2021, 05:35 AM   #9
floppywhopper
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sounds very much like the cables to your house or in the street are the problem
 
Old 01-11-2021, 08:25 PM   #10
frankbell
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Quote:
sounds very much like the cables to your house or in the street are the problem
I was very afraid it was going to be the cable from the box outside the condo building into my unit. it predates my occupancy and I have no idea where it goes after it disappears into the ceiling . . . .

And now for the rest of the story:

The tech showed up on time, after having called first as is protocol. He told me that he had viewed my modem before knocking on the door (they have some kind of magic that allows that), and that it looked good from the cable input end.

After performing various tests, he changed out the modem, and things have been working very nicely for eight hours now. (Crossing my fingers that it will be rock solid an hour from now)

Apparently, the replacement modem I got from my ISPs "store" a couple of months ago had incipient issues that came manifest after it was connected up for a week or two. (I've long suspected that they recycle equipment. After all, it's their equipment. And if it were me, I wouldn't buy new when a customer was moving and turned in a bit of equipment!)

Last edited by frankbell; 01-11-2021 at 08:30 PM.
 
Old 01-11-2021, 09:55 PM   #11
michaelk
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If I was a betting person I would guess your cable provider was Comcast. I was going to suggest the replacement MODEM might also be bad but I forgot...

My father uses Comcast since his HOA gets basic cable at a special price and had a similar problem a couple of years ago.
 
Old 01-23-2021, 01:30 PM   #12
business_kid
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Over here in Ireland, I had a cable outage last Thursday.

I pinged as far as my router, but no further. So I called tech support.

When I got through, I told them that I could ping to my router from my end, and asked him to ping to my router from his end.

Seconds later, he was able to tell me that there was a pretty large outage that afternoon, which they expected up by 17:30, which it was, more or less. Full bandwidth was restored by 6.

Can't they faultfind over the network there?
 
  


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