What do you do when your Home ISP is down?

I'm on Cox Business Services, a Cable Modem network. The bad news: I pay more for less bandwidth. The good news: I don't have a lot of "it stopped working" problems. Once upon a time when I had frame relay access to the house, I might one day see 30 ms RTT to Cisco and the next see 500 ms. I once was measuring RTT to Cisco using PingPlotter (for those of you with Windows machines, it's a great diagnostic tool) and was able to measure a DDOS happening at Cisco (stable RTT all along the path from here to there, but from the first Cisco campus machine on it was crazy). A couple of weeks ago my delay at the house suddenly jumped at 2:00 AM; for sanity's sake I checked ping RTT to the Cox router in front of me and saw the same behavior. My guess: one if the computers in the house decided to download a large patch to be updated in the next day. For the most part, thats the extent of the issues I see.

When I do see an issue, I call Cox and slog it through. Yes, I get ID-ten-T problems, and I get people that think the problem is between my chair and my keyboard. Generally speaking, I get courteous service and the problem eventually gets fixed.

I remember when I used to use our cable company for internet. It sucked. I
had business service from them and everytime any issue would occur(even if
is a routing issue like you mentioned) they want to reboot the modem,
computer, etc and end the call with would you like us to dispatch someone to
your house. Like that is going to fix it.

I now use two isp's at home with a dual wan router I setup to load balance
the two connections. They are both local ISP's but it costs just slightly
more than I was paying to the cable company and has been decent. At least
they don't want to send someone to my house every time I call :slight_smile:

Obligatory dilbert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc2Ks3lQew8
(the first part regarding tech support)

I agree, AT&T DSL support won't help me unless I remove my Cisco 1721 and re-connect their crappy modem I was forced to buy, even though with the debugging on the Cisco I can tell them exactly what's going on.

(Small rant -- Why won't AT&T offer symetric DSL for business customers??)

(Long-time lurker here, I loved the thread about what everyone has in their home rack, gave me lots of good ideas for new toys)

Report the problem on Twitter or Facebook.

It is a common issue that support staff go via a scripted process.

You can play, I'm the IT manager of a fortune 500 company, to see if they
still consider you as a luddite, but really your only option is to either
try to escalate the call (talk to supervisor), or have them to escalate
the call (please put in your ticket system the following so it reaches one
of your engineers on call).

I am wondering what some of you guys do when your home
ISP is down. At least those of you that don't give yourself internet.

If my primary connection is down, I switch to my backup. At one
office we have both Comcast cable and Verizon FiOS so if one is out,
we just switch to the other. It's possible, but no cases so far where
both were unavailable. At home I have FiOS, and if it's down I switch
to a MiFi cellular hotspot (slow as balls compared to fiber, but it
lets me do what I need to do in a pinch).


I just want to put in a tip o' the hat here to the BHN/RoadRunner *business*
support people who handle Tampa Bay. I have had to call them, oh, 20 or 30
times in the last 5-7 years, mostly on behalf of clients, and their front
line is *sharp*. They understand CIDR, they don't freak out about DNS, and
they understand MTR -- hell, some of them *use* MTR.

And they don't get scared when you know what you're talking about.


-- jra



I am wondering what some of you guys do when your home ISP is down. At
least those of you that don't give yourself internet.

I myself have a cable provider at home that I use. And I find it quite
frustrating to call and report issues in there network, because the
people in the call center have you do the same things every time and are
not very technical.

Why would you put yourself in such a situation?

- Arrange for two or more diverse fiber entrances to your house
- Put atleast one Ds3 microwave link for emergency access
- Have diffrent routers terminate each link
- Redundant interconnects inside the house, no single ethernet switch
- Run a ISP proven IGP (M-ISIS)
- Run IBGP and have your redundant peer routers to talk EBGP at a
   exchange point that has physically diverse swithes
- Add a hadfull upstreams in addition to your exchange point peers,
   and make sure the private point-to-point links are diverse
- Establish contacts with the organisation on the remote

I did not list it, but you need to make sure you have emergency power,
generators, UPS and batteries etc to keep things running. Put your
routers in two compartments that are isolated from flooding and fire..


And don't forget to make sure your grandmother has at least 40Gbps to her CRS-1 clothes drier.


Apologies for answering in-thread the question in the subject (jumping
in if you will), but in the event of network failure, I brew beer, and
drink beer previously brewed. Brewing beer is fun, tasty, and requires
no internet access. The alcohol eventually helps me forget my lack of
internet access.

Comcast goes into that mode every once in a while.

I finally started getting around it by telling them that I had attached a computer.
They would then ask "Windows or MacOS". I'd tell them this computer runs Cisco IOS.
We went through their whole script and they finally escalated to someone with more clue,
but, even the slightly more clueful person never figured out that a computer running IOS
was my 7206 VXR. (that router was subsequently replaced with an SRX-100).


Thirded. As an enterprise account customer (with service at my home), I called them up, began to explain what I'm seeing, just to be interrupted with something to the effect of "Yeah, I see it. I'll get someone to fix it. Incidentally, how do you like your USR Router, we don’t see many of those?"

Or, when they called me and said they are seeing a worrying amount of errors on my link and would like to send someone over to troubleshoot before there's an actual failure. (Bad coax cable in the attic). I'm not saying anything about Brighthouse, but the commercial RoadRunner support in Tampa is top notch, and that extends to billing and accounts as well. It's a very dramatic difference to the V****** F*** offering, which has better technology but never managed to send me a correct bill during a year of use. You can count bits delivered per dollar, or you can consider some of the less quantifiable aspects of service when picking an ISP. It's also sad that good, competent service is so rare it really stands out.


I work on the Helpdesk for the ISP I have at home and since *most* of them
are fairly compotent I'd just call up or just head into work and do it
myself. Then again I can't remember the last time I had to call them for a
problem that was actually on their network.

On the flip side we get the occasional call from some people I like to call
"IT Professionals" who are usually clueless but like to think they know how
to troubleshoot the issue and bypass the trouble shooting while demanding
the problem be escalated to the wholesaler then look like a fool when it
turns out to be a modem or internal cabling issue.

Tech's who actually know what they're talking about are far easier to deal
with and when everything relevant has been done it's logged or escalated
with a minimum of fuss, I'd like to be able to add notes about customers
actual clue but I don't think it'd go down well if it got out with peoples
ego's and all.

I can't believe that snuck past without anyone tossing
in the obligatory