Saturday, June 21, 2008

Back to complaining: RCN Sucks less than last week.

After years of only one-way cable internet service (aka hybrid or asymmetric cable modem), RCN finally "upgraded" our area to two-way. This means the cable modem now doesn't need a separate phone lien, so it is much more useful. Time to order digital cable and internet service.

Here is a chronology of events since then:

  • June 18, 9am: Digital cable installed.
  • June 18, 11am: Determined cable modem doesn't like computer. Needs router. Fine.
  • June 18, 9pm: Digital cable and internet down. Analog cable signal strength poor. Call RCN. Power cycle the cable converter box. Nothing. They say they'll send a "stronger reset signal" that may take two hours. "Please turn off your television... Do you have your television off?"
  • June 18, 11:30pm: Still no digital cable or internet.
  • June 19, 10am: Digital cable and internet start working! Perfect signal on analog TV. Rejoice. There's an RCN guy leaving the building.
  • June 19, daytime: Talk to two neighbors (one in my building, one in another), and both have the exact same cable issues.
  • June 19, 11pm: Digital cable and internet down. Neighbor in my building has the same issue.
  • June 20, 7:30am: Digital cable and internet start working!
  • June 20, 11pm: Wow, there's actually a signal at night! It does seem slow, though.
  • June 21, 3:30pm: I think the cable's been working for 32 hours now. A new record. I found out that RCN has a speed test that gives some signal parameters. Currently S/N 33.4 dB, Signal 2.7 dBmV, TX Power 37.6 dBmV. AFAIK, a factor of 2300 in S/N is pretty good (unless that's a voltage S/N, in which case it's a ratio of about 48, still not bad).
  • June 25, 9am: It's gotten boring now. The digital cable and internet have been working for 5 days straight. I guess it's finally time to cancel DSL.

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