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A day without Internet… (and phone [VoIP]!)

… has NOTHING to do with “sunshine.”

Last evening, my “Comcast Triple Play” started to look more like “two outs and a man on third.” :-) An unexpected outage…! Sure, it was more like 12+ hours than a whole day, but it was a 12-hour period in which a family member was hospitalized. Incoming callers (Voice over IP [VoIP]; I guess Comcast calls this “XFINITY voice” now, but if I’m wrong, please forgive me. I always get confused by meaningless marketing terms! :-) ) to our home phone could not hear us, although we could hear them. Internet connectivity was strange – since I have “played this game before” with many, many customers with less technical savvy, after I tried the usual things, I saw that I was connected to the Internet, with server timeouts. If it were DNS, there was nothing that I could do about it!

I did not even TRY cable TV! :-)

So at midnight, I gave up on a blog entry for yesterday. Sorry! A little after 4 AM, we started getting phone calls in which we could hear the caller and the caller could not hear us, about our family member. Eventually, all of the calls were funneled to our cells (Verizon). My wife also called Comcast, which said that those services were out in our area, and that it would be awhile before they were restored.

Unexpected behavior for a company that wants to be able to prioritize Internet traffic and that is trying to take over NBC Universal…!

Internet and phone connectivity were restored after noon today.

The proposed merger with NBC would allow Comcast to absorb dozens of cable networks and 27 television stations plus allow Comcast to extend its influence to 200 NBC affiliates. If you think that this is a bad idea, you can urge the FCC to oppose the merger at the link above.

So, is there an email in my mailbox to explain/apologize for the outage? :-)

Are you kidding? :-)

(Note added June 25, 2010: Please note the similarity of  Comcast’s “lack of apology” in the outage with AT&T’s “lack of apology” during the recent pre-orderSNAFU” [such a GOOD acronym; some media articles said “disaster”) for iPhone 4. My personal belief is [having worked with such folks as customers] that telecommunications companies of both the “cable” and “phone” subspecies :-) hire a lot of people with the same personality types. Many of the more introverted of these types would prefer not to communicate with you at ALL [this makes it rather hard to support them :-) ], let alone to APOLOGIZE. Ironic, in “telecommunications” companies…. :-) )

I am sure that this outage was to “…improve service to our valued customers…,” but was it faster switches and routers, expanded capacity, or a new portal for the NSA? :-)

In fairness to Comcast, I must say that my high-speed Internet service has had FEW outages over the last 10 years or so. I purchased high-speed Internet through Comcast back when I worked for Netscape, YEARS before “the phone company” dared to venture forth to provide DSL service to my neighborhood.

I am not sure that I want Comcast to become NBC, though.

Chet Huntley and David Brinkley are likely “spinning in their graves!” :-)

-Bill at

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