For the past couple of months my old trusty cable modem (SB6121) has been acting a bit flaky. In particular it would completely freeze up if I started doing a large upload (like to a backup provider). I lived with the flakiness for a while, but with needing to switch from CrashPlan to Backblaze for my backup solution, I needed large scale uploading to work better. So I went out and purchased a nice shiny SB6190, excited to see if it fixed my problem.
I got home, hooked it up and once it was activated I did a speed test. I got 50% of what I was supposed to get. Something wasn’t right, so I called Comcast. Unfortunately, the first person I talked to decided that it was a hardware problem and told me to call the modem manufacturer. When I talked to them, they said bring it back to the store and exchange it. One more trip to Best Buy, and then another modem hook up and activation, and sure enough it did the same thing. I only got 50% of the speed I was supposed to.
At this point I was getting miffed. I called Comcast again and this time the rep that I talked to was far more helpful. She told me straight out that the last person I talked to didn’t know what they were talking about and that she could see a definite problem on my line. It would require a technician, but one could be there the next day. It was a breath of fresh air to her them admit they made a mistake, and they quickly moved to correct it.
Sunday arrived and I received multiple texts reminding me of my appointment, as well as a text when my technician was leaving his last job, as well as when he arrived outside my house. It was almost communication overkill, but it shows that they were trying. The tech that showed up was a great guy and very personable. I showed him to the demarc and he got to work. Soon he was climbing the pole, and fifteen minutes later my internet came back to life with full speed.
I asked what the issue was and it was actually kinda fascinating. Back in the old days, if you were an Internet-only customer, they would put a special blocking device on your line (in the pole) to stop you from getting TV service with your Internet package. However, with the newer versions of their transmission technology, these blockers are no longer required. The problem is, these blockers interfere with newer modems that have 24 channels in them. My modem was literally being blocked from half of what it thought it could access. He removed the blocker and everything sprang to life, good as new.
On top of it all, my large backup upload to Backblaze is zipping along at a good clip, with zero interference for anything else on my network. Despite the one foobar with the first Comcast technician, I was very, very happy with the service I received. They were quick to admit fault, and fix the problem. The technician even showed up right on time with no waiting around. I know people complain about Comcast service, but it sounds like they’re actually doing a lot to change things, and I’m happy with how it all turned out this weekend.