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Monday, August 16, 2010

Comcast, the least fault tolerant part of my home network

I don't know if it's just me, but I've had Comcast for internet service for years - pretty much ever since they've offered it, and although I've expected the firmware in their devices to get better over time, it just hasn't.

Unfortunately, I live in an area with a lot of trees and a lot of strung power lines (as opposed to buried).   In the midwest, this is pretty much a recipe for frequent power outages.   This is a minor annoyance for most things, but a major annoyance when it comes to Comcast internet.  

In the said many years that I have had Comcast, I have probably had 5-6 different cable modems.   They have all been from different manufacturers.  I think they used to be Motorola devices, now they are mostly Cisco.  Getting to the point, whenever the power goes out, the Comcast provided cable box is the only piece of network hardware on my home network that needs to be manually rebooted.  I have 4 Apple Airports and various other switches from Netgear, Linksys, etc - and they all come right back to serving packets from a power outage situation.

Not the Comcast boxes - I have to do down into the depths of my basement, and pull the power on the Cisco cable modem again and reset it.   I've even hooked it up to a UPS now so it doesn't get powered down when the power goes out - and it's still the same issue.

This all makes me think it's a problem with the software in the mini-station that Comcast has on the lines outside - but still - in 2010, in the age when I can run Quake on my phone, can't firmware in all their devices detect "Hey, I'm not serving packets, perhaps I should reset my connection! Retry...."

This is the classic "two ifs and a do loop" that all managers think should be in code they didn't write - but am I crazy here?

Anyone else have this problem?
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