North American Network Operators Group

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RE: AT&T Broadband

  • From: Miles Fidelman
  • Date: Thu Dec 20 21:54:46 2001

To add to the rants about AT&T Broadband:

By way of context:

- our system is a former MediaOne system - at least to a degree, the old
Continental folks actually knew what they were doing (as opposed to the
TCI folks)  - that went way downhill when MediaOne bought Continental, and
went all to hell when ATT bought MediaOne

- I'm on the local cable board, we've been negotiating a renewal for the
past year and a half - they WANT to keep me happy and give me phone
numbers to call that go to "executive technical support" instead of normal
technical support

So what happens when I have a cable modem problem:

- if I call regular technical support, they insist on running through the
"reboot your cable modem, reboot your computer" crap - even if BOTH cable
modems in the house have the same problem

- then they'll escalate to a senior tech, who repeats the whole procedure

- then they'll send an email to "operations" - it appears that the
front-line support folks:
--- have no access to tools or status information about the network
--- have no direct access to the folks who handle routers, dns, dhcp, or
any other such equipment/facilities - all that's done by a completely
separate operation that only talks to support via email (in our case, it's
the RoadRunner organization - I assume for the ex-TCI systems it would be
@Home, though who it is now is unclear)
--- have no direct access to the folks who handle wires, on-pole
equipment, and other outside plant - again, commmunications via email only
--- have no direct access to the folks who visit houses and work on inside
wires or cable modems

- in other words, there are four organizations involved in resolving a
problem, and none of them have any direct lines of communication, or even
report to the same chain of command - RoadRunner is a separate company for

- every time I call back, I have to go through the same procedure

- and finally, they seem to close tickets without verifying that anything
has actually been fixed

- if I start with the "executive office" - the procedure is about the
same, except:

--- the people I talk to seem to know a bit more

--- they'll give me a ticket no. that I can refer to when calling back

--- if I really lean on them, there are a few people who seem to be
involved in handling tricky problems and have the ability to call around
the various organizations -- but it gets a bit silly - I remember talking
to a guy in Canada, on his day off, on his cell phone, who was managing
resolution of a DHCP problem in Newton, MA

Talk about a screwed up organization.

The Center for Civic Networking 	    PO Box 600618
Miles R. Fidelman, President &		    Newtonville, MA 02460-0006
Director, Municipal Telecommunications
Strategies Program			    617-558-3698 fax: 617-630-8946
[email protected]

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