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My internet connection was out from 8 AM until about noon today. Most annoying. A five minute interruption is not so bad, but, in this case, it seems to have been an eight hour interruption. I complained about the lack of redundancy in their feed and noted that anytime a drunk hit a phone pole between here and Harrison AR, ~100km, we lose internet for a day. They said a fiber optic repeater had failed. I asked, if that was the case, was not the fiber into and out of the repeater connecterized and why couldn't they just change out the repeater? I got no good answer. I think the cable reliability is more like three nines than five nines.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 05:48:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
its that Just in time supply system,  they've got someone from 'Buisness' who reckons they can run things cheaper by keeping no stock of spares, because you cant go anywhere else for supply, so when something goes wrong they have to ring their suppliers, who have a similar idiot in charge who also has no stock of spares, but it's all cheap.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 07:25:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but I used to include clauses in the contracts for telephone and data system, etc. that the contractor had to have a supply of spares in stock for all items that could cause a single point of failure. But that is so 20th century and I know not who would enforce such a claim on cable companies. But with only one high speed path into Mtn. Home, a fiber cable along the highway from Harrison, a drunk in a truck can easily cause a 12 hr. outage. Either reason should be unacceptable. Should be.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 11:34:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate to be seen as the defender of the insane, especially as I am at the end of several segments branched off from oblivion and get outages often. Three 9s you say...yeah; the 9th, the 19th and the 29th...

On the other hand, there are so many potential points of failure to cover, many of which have significantly high MTBF that it is a tough proposition to cover everything adequately across the many spokes in the wheel.

Plus, if I was mister clever guy balancing the stores, I would know that there is also a high percentage of my replacement stock that is out of date a few minutes after unpacking it, undoubtedly the software/firmware and often the hardware itself.

I was just reading about some of the cool optical things coming out of Cisco for example, doubling the amount of data that can be delivered by polarizing (spinning) some streams of the photons, which can be kept separate of the original stream. That technology will only continue in the same way that the change in the way they built the magnetic bits of the hard disk has given us terabyte drives recently. Point is, I'm not going to over stock my back ups if I can get new cooler more efficient possibly cheaper stuff that swaps in just as well.

Anyway, just following a thought. I also have a 3G USB stick that gets me out of jams when they have an outage. I pay for a couple hours per month, and it goes months without use. One month they cut us off for nearly a week and I left the GSM on much of those days. They charged me up the wazoo, and we protested that they weren't delivering promised service and amazingly they gave us a credit. Score one for France Telecom.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 06:36:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but a fiber-optic repeater is a commodity, even if newer ones are somewhat better they are backwards compatible. And there will be hundreds installed even in Mountain Home, pop. ~15,000. There are some (relatively minor) costs you have to pay for greater reliability. Cable companies don't have to pay it.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 10:00:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What you say is not untrue. Worst part for me is that my neighbor, with phone lines which parallel mine all the way to the box, ends up with 12 Mb of internet speed, while I end up with 2. If I suddenly get 12, summer 2010 must be coming, because that is when it was promised to me too.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Thu Oct 14th, 2010 at 12:43:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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