North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: AT&T Broadband

  • From: Peter Galbavy
  • Date: Fri Dec 21 06:16:31 2001

> - 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

This is probably because the people you talk to are employed by an 'out
sourced' call centre company who has at some point in the past sat down with
their client and built a call flow chart with all the things that these
people should say, ask and do.

IP is a commodity now, just like voice. Here in the UK only one mobile
(cellular) operator employs their call centre staff direct and I understand
that they 'overflow' into a 3rd party call centre at busy times too. I
have't been a customer of commodity IP services in the UK for a little while
(I mean dial-up, DSL is still a premium product here sadly) but the same
applies in general.

They have a script, and they may have a backup technician for every 10 front
line call staff. This person will get passed calls that fall off the flow
chart. When this person doesn't know how to help, they will either try to
loose you (literally) or they may be feeling kind and forward the problem
onto the actual company via e-mail; especially if they are hearing a trend
in the calls over the last hour or so...

The 'tier three' people probably don't work 24 hours like the call centre,
and so they get to their e-mail the next morning. You get the picture ?

I worked with the NOC-type people at one mobile operator for a while on a
network management system and like in the IP world the people at the front
line do know their jobs and will deal with problems but the route that
problems take to get from a customer to them is usually long and torturous,
and 95%+ of the issues they dealt with were initiated by the network
management systems and not user reports. Nothing new here then...