This morning, I woke up bright and early at 7:00am, because I had scheduled a TimeWarner Cable on-site service call.
A few weeks ago, Y and I began to notice slow Internet throughput especially during the evenings after a widespread outage in the Kent and Ravenna areas. This made watching streaming video on YouTube or Netflix nearly impossible or at best extremely frustrating as videos would start and stop intermittently.
I posted a comment on Twitter regarding this about a week ago, and I was quickly connected by the @TWCableHelp Twitter account for more info. This carried over into an exchange with their support desk by email in which I conducted ping and traceroute tests for a variety of websites. These didn’t indicate a single bad hop within or beyond the Road Runner network, so they called us (yes, they called us rather than me having to call them–5 stars for reaching out to this customer) for more tests that they conducted on their end while I ran tests on my end using SpeedTest.net. As I had noticed on my own, SpeedTest.net verified the wildly fluctuating throughput and its extreme occasional lows (~0.75Mb/s). The support representative decided an on-site call might yield results, so we scheduled a time for this morning.
I was partially dreading this early morning meeting after having a migraine all day yesterday that kept me in bed most of the day. However, I got a good night’s sleep, and I felt back to normal when I woke up at 7:00 (partially thanks to Miao Miao investigating some newspapers).
This morning, Time Warner technician Mike called around 8:45 to let me know that he was on the way over to Y’s and my house. When he arrived, I showed him our setup, and the tests that I had run this morning with my MacBook directly connected to the cable modem. The fluctuations were evident even early in the morning. He was very friendly and informative–explaining his tests as he ran them on our cable line. Unfortunately, his tests didn’t indicate a problem with the frequencies involved in Time Warner Road Runner Internet service-only (we don’t have cable TV–I built an aerial for TV reception) over our line. However, he wanted to look at our exterior cable line to check for any problems.
He noticed that the line running from outside into the room with the cable modem had a 90 degree kink in it. Concerned about this, he replaced that line so that it wouldn’t have such a pronounced bend. He hooked everything back up and verified that the connection was working again. Mike did tell me that he had hoped that it was a frequency filter on the line that was out of date following a change to the different frequencies used by Time Warner cable TV and Road Runner Internet service. His tests however didn’t indicate that this was the case. He hoped that the line replacement would improve things, but he left open the possibility that the problem could be at the local trunk if it was a traffic issue. That would be a problem that would have to be resolved by the Road Runner network engineers.
I will continue to chart our connection speeds and service, and if it continues to run slow and fluctuate, I will contact Time Warner again. Considering their very positive response to this issue so far, I would expect them to eventually correct the problem if Mike’s work today didn’t completely resolve it.