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ISP Provides Continuious Run Around

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So I have been having terrible internet service with Wowway.com


Every time I call them they have me mess with my cable modem, router, etc, etc.


Surprisingly when I talk to them it speeds up but then after I am done it reverts and slows way down.


I found this site the other day and have been running auto tests and given I am paying for 30 down and my average is 11.8  I think I am getting the short end of the stick.




I have ran Avast and Malwarebytes and didn't find any issues.


I have ran CC Cleaner.


My machine is a Dell with these specs:


Windows 7 Home Premium


5.9 Windows Experience Index

Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHZ

6GB Ram

64-Bit OS.


I have it connected to a Linksys router.


My Cable modem is a Motorola Surfboard SB6121


At this point I am not sure what I should do.  I plan on calling them today but most times they say they want to send out a tech.   I am not fluent in all of this but I know for a fact that all of the connecters lines have not been messed with so I am not sure what a tech is going to do to resolve the issue.


Any advice or technical guidance would be appreciated.


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WideOpenWest (wowway.com) is a cable provider, right?  You use a cable modem connected with coaxial cable, correct?


Just because you haven't touched anything doesn't mean that you don't need service.  I'll explain a few scenarios...


1) When you were originally installed the tech may have seen low levels and needed to amp the signal... good at the time but what happens if the feed signal levels return to normal?  ... it becomes over amplified and actually degrades signal.


2) Or the opposite could have happened, the tech may have seen signal levels that were too high and needed to purposely drop the signal level.  To get the optimal service the levels need to ride in a zone.  Techs will purposely add splitters or DC taps even when they aren't necessarily needed for splitting or tapping. ..... but then if the feed signal levels return to normal levels the customer can have issues.


3) The barrel connectors in your wallplates, your splitters and the cable and its connectors can have issues too.  Especially if they run on the outside of your home.  Weathering of the coax and internal oxidation of the splitters ruins signal.  I've seen many splitters that looked perfect from the outside... crack it open and it's all rusted and oxidized all over the internals.  They can also pass your TV signal fine but have issues with JUST the frequencies that the cable modems use.


4) Something as simple as a 90 degree kink in the cable... happens a lot.  People don't realize that coax can't cut corners like that.... they try to mold it around sharp corners and the sharp bend causes the signal to echo within the line.  I've even seen electricians do this!  RG-6 must maintain 75 Ohm impedance to be effective.


How much bend is too much.  Coaxial and optical cables are rated for bend radius, some can bend more than others before the impedance is affected.  A good rule of thumb is that you take the OD (outer diameter) times 20.  RG-6 is the most common coax cable, which has an OD of 6.8 mm (0.27").  5.4" would be a safe minimum bend radius.


5) Another commonly overlooked cause is a tiny tack or nail puncture or pinch the line.  


First the outside, sometime contractors, electricians and do-it-yourselfers will use the wrong kind of staples...




Even that little pinch in the coax can cause echoing within the line.  Sometimes they staple right through the cable (seriously, idiots), I've seen it dozens of times.  What are they drunk or something? 


Types that I use...


for concrete post-2-0-65058900-1406133951.png for wood post-2-0-22427500-1406133952.png


Many types are great, I use anchor and screw type in some situations.  The point is to again, maintain that impedance... nice round cable with no kinks.


Inside, 'carpet fishing' (where the cable is hidden under the carpet) can be an issue.  People who run cable this way don't usually think about the carpet tack board, you need to hammer the nails down at the entry points otherwise it will puncture the cable and turn the little nail into an antenna to the outside... leaking air signal into the cable and destroying your cable signal.  This is definitely a scenario where things can be great one minute then bad the next.  Could sit fine for years with the nail just resting on the outside of the cable, then you're moving furniture or something you bump it just right...


The possibilities of what the problem could be are endless.  Could also be your equipment... or something as simple as a signal level adjustment at the tap... or the drop to your home could be damaged.  


I went to one house with a natural desert area behind the home, the drop was at least 150'.  It didn't take me long to find the issue.  I saw about a 6' section of copper core laying on loose rocks, I pulled it up gently and it was like a bad thread on a shirt... it just started pulling up with no end, with little effort I revealed about 75' of exposed copper core.  No shielding... no jacket... just the core.  They had wild rodents that had pulled the cable up and used it to sharpen their teeth.  The kicker is, the landscapers kept reburying the line for years, never telling the homeowner.  These people told me that they rocked the fuzzy cable for years.  I ordered them an RG-11 drop in conduit so they'd never have the issue again.


Good luck, I hope that it gets fixed soon and you start getting what you're paying for.  Let us know how it goes and what they find.


... by the way, Welcome to TestMy.net!

Have you tried hooking up directly to the modem, eliminating the router?  Try that before you call them.  Hook it up to ethernet, directly to your computer.  Unplug the modem for 10 seconds and plug it back in... give it a little bit and retest once you're online.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...
On 7/23/2014 at 6:24 AM, spankurmonkey said:

So I have been having terrible internet service with Wowway.com


Every time I call them they have me mess with my cable modem, router, etc, etc.


Surprisingly when I talk to them it speeds up but then after I am done it reverts and slows way down.



That used to happen to me all the time when I was with Cox Communications. I would be having trouble streaming Netflix/Hulu on a 50mbps connection. I'd call them up, they had me do a speed test, which would be great, Netflix would start streaming, so I'm done with tech support. Fifteen minutes later, Netflix starts buffering again.


I did find that if I ran the speed test on their site, which was a flash based one, that the speed would go up to. They must have their system tuned to recognise when that speed test is run, and increase your allotted speed. So what I started doing is keeping their website up on the laptop when I watch Netflix. Set a timer for 12 minutes, I'd run the speed test on the Cox website and my speed would be boosted. No more buffering, just the small interruption of the timer and looking over to start the speed test again.

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  • 2 years later...


It seems you have already gotten great advice on troubleshooting network gadgets and wiring etc. I'm not able to improve on that. Rather, I am responding to the "run around."

I agree. But, you to let the tech come out. They operate from a cookbook so if you don't let the tech come out, any assistance you might have gotten will stop right there.


The Run Around (aka the customer beat down)

In my experience, the degradation of common decency and disappearance of customer service (in the historic sense) is notably more evident in the ISP industry than in any other.

I have been appalled, irate, offended, and above all extremely frustrated by ISP support. In today's game, all industries seek to advance the state of their automated support. In my opinion, service organizations begrudgingly hang on to "real person" support. An entire industry has popped up packaging and selling Artificial Intelligence products to the service industry, promising them that their gadgets can eventually replace people all together. This is what the starry eyed executives spend their time thinking about. Call center managers address their rate-of-complaints in two ways. First, they convince their executives that they face a no-win scenario because the customers are so non-technical. The customers are also emotional in their presentation of the problems. Having convinced the executives of this provides the call center with a blanket of protection. Call center workers know this, and know they are allowed to be demonstrably irritated, curt, rude, and even hang up on you without penalty. The second way Call Center managers address complaints against them is to simply remove the means for a customer to file a complaint other than to complain to the call center themselves.




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