Our "Structured" Internet Outages and Other Mysteries...

in Silver Bloggers4 months ago

Some thing just don't make sense to me.

When I say "don't make sense," I mean that I can't readily find a logical and reasonable explanation for them, only a "strange and unlikely" one.


As I have written about previously, our Internet service tends to be a bit dodgy because we live in a heavily wooded area about three miles outside of town, and three miles from the main cable "distribution node."

Now, we expect occasional outages because — in spite of all our amazing technology — nobody can really predict when a strong wind is going to down a branch, or soggy ground will cause a rotten tree to fall across the lines.

Consequently, we've gotten fairly used to the idea of switching to running mobile wi-fi hotspots from our phones, and connecting that way, in a pinch. It's a tad slow and less than ideal... but it's a workaround.


Over the past few months — or approximately since our cable Internet provider had a name change and (possibly?) change of ownership — I've started noticing that the outages are not really random.

Trees falling are pretty random. So are winds.

A series of 3 to 20 second "dropouts" that always start at 8:30pm sharp... and are typically followed by a 15-20 minute outage... after which we typically have solid connection again at around 10:00pm is NOT random.

At least not in my understanding of "random."

Now, I could certainly understand "testing the lines" and stuff like that... but why would that be a nightly event for months?


Yes, I am well aware that a cable connection is what they call a "shared network," but who on earth would be able to get "on" and disrupt everybody else's service?

The top delivery speed around here is 1.2gig, and one user suddenly eating all of that isn't going to totally blog a fiber optic feeder cable.

And squirrels certainly don't have a schedule to start chewing on junction boxes at exactly 8:30pm...

Clearly, something is not exactly right, here...


Of course, calls to tech support is largely an exercise in frustration... even if I can manage to circumvent the automated diagnostic system — which insists on resetting my modem as the "fix" — and get to an actual human being.

The "problem" being that they invariably insist that the issue is with our household, rather than with the network. Which, of course, is either lies or ignorance... because if I wait to "call it in" till we're nearly 15 minutes into the longer outage I'll end up at an automated message stating that "there's a general outage detected in your area... estimated time for service restoration is approximately XXX minutes."

I can't order a service call, because when the technician comes out in the middle of the day there'll be nothing wrong... and that'll be $120, thank you, come again.


And that's the point at which "common sense" is overtaken by suspicions of "nefarious shenanigans" or something otherwise not above board.

Is this simply something the cable company is deliberately doing so they can send technicians out to fix "nothing" and collect $120 per service call? I'll add here that service calls are free if it's an actual provider issue, or provider equipment issue. I mean, that makes sense on some level... 8:30pm is pretty "prime time," so it would result in a lot of people calling in...

Otherwise... are they having practice runs in expectation of the Zombie Apocalypse?

Regardless, it's pretty annoying, as I do most of my blogging at night, and almost all my eBay listings go out at night. Still evaluating what to do next...

Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your week!

How about you? Have you ever had to deal with something like this? If you are tech savvy, what would you guess is REALLY going on, here? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!


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Created at 20221004 22:55 PDT



System overload? Perhaps they are cycling it? Ask South Africans about that.

I think you should look into Skynet.

Funnily enough my ISP has advised that they are working in the area today and to expect outages!
Those regular outages do seem to be too organised to be random!

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I am guessing that there is no alternative provider?
It can be very frustrating particularly when you do alot of online things in the evening.
Thanks for sharing and I hope that these non-random outages get solved sooner rather than later.

It must be the squirrels. They like their routines.

Frustrating though.

The internet issue is a real problem, it is frustrating when many or all of your activities depend on it. Patience and keep looking for alternatives.

I also get dropouts here in Britain at a set time of day for a while. Not every day, but often enough that it's obvious. Previously I had about 30 visits from the network engineers because there were so many problems with their exchange and the line between the exchange and my house - eventually I got them to fix all of them and the speed went up by over 10x.

Whoever owns the lines probably has control of the situation and if they suck, they suck.

I would say do speedtests, diagnostics, resets, etc each and every time - and screen record the entire process. Also record when it comes back. Then maybe you can call them out on this.

My guess is that they're either breaking it on purpose or trying to snoop on someone, and breaking it accidentally. Another reason might be that they're trying to experiment with a speed throttle :( ...

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