Jan 19, 2010

On Buckeye Express Outages, CMTS Failures, and Dark Internets

Share
Left: How a CMTS is supposed to work

According to the customer service representative I just spoke with, the lengthy service outage with Buckeye Express this evening was due to a faulty cable modem termination system (CMTS) at the company's main facility. In my neighborhood the outage lasted about three hours. I know this because I tried to piggyback some of the wireless signals of my neighbors, but all of them had the yellow caution triangle over the graphic.

Hey - I teach online, so I was a bit desperate to link up with my students.

There is always a surreal, almost absurdist aspect to being without Internet service these days. I first struggled to find the number to Buckeye Express, since the phone book never gets used any longer except for a door stop. I normally just Google any phone number queries, since a Google search is dozens of times faster than locating and flipping through the Yellow Pages like a diet-obsessed person seeking the best weight loss pills.

I finally called Sprint 411 and received the number, but I spent over an hour just trying to get through to a live human being. The first few dozen calls never even made it to the switchboard system, and were simply booted out with a message along the lines of "Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please try your call later [then in Spanish] El numero que ha marcado no puede ser procesado. Por favor, intente de llamar mas tarde."

Perhaps 15 minutes after I finally spoke with a customer service representative, Internet service was restored and life began to return to normal. I think my life is disrupted much more by an Internet outage than by a telephone service problems (admittedly I despise the phone, so this is probably a poor comparison). Yet an unimaginable amount of communication flows through the Internet these days, and even a few dark hours can seem like an isolated eternity.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

We lost cable, Intenet, and phone for over two hours! Thanks Buckeye ExSucks!!!

Anonymous said...

how are people supposed to get their PRON when the Internet is down????

--JD

historymike said...

We lost the landline phone (also on Buckeye) for about an hour, but cable TV kept chugging along. Weird...

Mike Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

JOHN ROBINSON BLOCK GET OUT OF MY INTERNET!!!

microdot said...

I live in the middle of nowhere...
It's funny, that when the internet goes down here for a few hours, sometimes a few days suddenly everyone starts talking to each other.
I admit, I use email to ask a question to a neighbor that lives down the hill from me.
Our internet was down for 2 days recently...something about a log truck taking out a whole series of poles when it went off the road...

My 82 year old neighbor Claude showed up to ask us if we knew anything aout it. He stayed for 2 hours and told us great stories we would never have heard anywhere else.
There was story of a curie in the mid 1800's who showed up in Hautefort...he was much loved and had a mistress...he lived there for years in a nice house next to a small country church near here.
When he died, it became apparent that the much loved curie was not who he claimed to be, in fact, he was a criminal who had murdered the real priest in Toulouse and assumed his identity for almost 40 years.

I would never have heard that story if the internet hadn't failed.

Mesmerix said...

My household is a very tech-savvy place, a nerd utopia, if you will. During the few hours without internet last night (though our cable worked just fine), I was wondering if there was going to be some sort of meltdown in my house. Fortunately, we all made due with a few good books and a Wii. :)

Anonymous said...

Working for Buckeye, I can tell you it was not the CMTS. A CMTS only controls an area of a city. We would have had to loose all of them for similar results.

http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100120/BUSINESS03/100129957

historymike said...

Thanks for the link and information, Anonymous.

steve said...

I recently was given a hand me down blackberry from my brother in law - and we upgraded our sprint account to unlimited data. So now I use the blackberry for internet stuff more than my computer. The blackberry doesn't do complex java apps very well though, so I'm not sure that would be a good solution for you regarding the online courses.

Anonymous said...

Wondering if you are hearing any chatter of people having hardware damaged by some element of this outage. I personally had an Apple Time Capsule (Wireless AP and Back-Up Hard-drive combined) that suddenly didn't work anymore and have just heard of another friend who said that after the outage her PC was completely dead...seems like and awfully strange coincidence.
-Tom

Little Pussy Faggot said...

I hate paying $80/mo for a mediocre 12mbps (async, only 1mbps up!). facebook.com/pages/We-hate-Buckeye-Express/111434358880647

Anonymous said...

Good Day I have been a loyal buckeye subscriber but today i recieved a letter on consumption limits. Im not very tech savvy but im assuming that at 10mbps a gigabite is the same as a 110mbps. the letter continued to say that only 1.5% of customers will be affected. The alotted gigabites make no sensethe lower your speed the less gigabites you get. Isnt a gigabite the same size no matter how fast you upload or download speed?