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Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-05-2006
Accepted Solution

Outage Notification via Email?

Is there a way to sign up for outage notifications?  It seems to me that logging into the system to find out whether the system is down amounts to some pretty bad circular logic.

 

I can get my email through my cell, so if at least I get a notification that there is a broadband service outage, I won't spend my time rebooting the cable modem.

 

My cable television signal worked fine all last night.  Service came back this morning, and the outage page says there's no problems.  Of course, what else would it say if I'm able to connect to it?

 

 

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 42,472
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

[ Edited ]

castcom wrote:

 

Is there a way to sign up for outage notifications? 


To my knowledge there is no such service. Powercycling the modem may actually restore your connectivity. It's not a "waste of time". Maybe you have an RF signal stat issue ? What do the modem's signal stat figures look like ? You can get them here:

 

http://192.168.100.1

 

We are looking for the 'Upstream Power level', the 'Downstream Power Level', and the 'SNR' (Signal to Noise Ratio' numbers. Copy and paste the here.

Message Edited by EG on 02-14-2010 01:41 PM
Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-05-2006

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

There's been no change in physical configuration, so I don't believe RF is a problem.  Just in case I retightened the coaxial connections.  I'm almost certain the problem is with Comcast's service.

 

The only way I can connect with a browser to http://192.168.100.1 is if I disconnect the coaxial from the modem.  I'm then prompted for a username /password and the combination 'admin' /'admin' does not work.  Nor does 'admin' /'zoomadsl'.

 

I have a zoom modem so I downloaded the Zoom Cable Modem Monitor.

 

What I get from the readings is pretty much what I expected to see, when the system is up.  Next time Comcast graces me with an outage, I'll know to check the status with this Zoom app.

 

I would expect--in the year 2010--that I could get an SMS or an email from Comcast when the system is down.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 42,472
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

W.I.W., were it me, I would upgrade that modem. Zoom = YUCK !!
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Outage Notification via Email?


castcom wrote: 

I would expect--in the year 2010--that I could get an SMS or an email from Comcast when the system is down.


In practical terms, I'm not sure what you expect here. What constitutes "system down"?  While this might be useful for local cable outages that effect more than one customer (either scheduled or otherwise), how can Comcast tell if you individually have a problem or have just shut off your cable modem, disconnected your cable, had a computer issue, etc?  And even if they did have such an individual notifcation, I sure don't want to be woken up at 3am because my Internet connection hiccuped briefly.

 

As for a notification mechanism, email doesn't work so well since your connection is down.  An SMS might be possible, but I'm sure volume automated alerts like this would be an issue with the wireless provider, and what about those who don't have cell phones?  Plus how do you handle opt in/opt out issues, number to use for each customer, time limits, etc.

 

My point is while it's simple for you to want to be notified when there's a problem, in reality it's a far from simple thing to do.

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

To be fair to the original poster, this is well known technology. Schools send mass email/SMS to notify parents of school closings or other emergencies. Travel sites like Expedia send notifications of schedule changes. Twitter has an entire business built on broadcasting text messages.

 

Obviously customers would have to sign up for this, and fill in a form with the notification method they prefer. If you don't have a cell phone, or don't want to use it for this notification, you obviously wound't sign up.

 

Do other cable companies, or utilites in general, offer a notification service like this? I haven't heard of it before. 

Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,424
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

[ Edited ]

Sorry, partial thought posted in error, must have hit the post instead of the cancel button,

Message Edited by JMCS on 02-16-2010 09:03 PM
Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-05-2006

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

Hmm...

 

Some of us have Vonage, so when comcast broadband is non-operational our landlines don't work.  To assume I care about service interruption because I must be a spammer or someone else violating the service agreement is contemptible.

 

VOIP isn't perfect, which is why I also have a cell.  As I wrote, I can use the aforementioned cell to read emails, so having no broadband is not an impediment.

 

The current system requires someone else to log in, on my behalf, to comcast and tell me if the system is  working in my zip code.  That, or wait until I have service, which would make checking the status an exercise in futility.

 

The current status checking system is obsolete, to be kind to comcast.  Comcast can get with it, and provide an option such as the one described in detail:  schools automatically send out telephone notifications of snow cancellations in my district.  No, I don't want to get a call at 3 am telling me broadband is down, particularly because my telephone will not be working.

 

The current system is hurry-up and wait.  Or waste your own valuable time troubleshooting your own home network, which is running perfectly.  If there's a pothole on the road, I don't fix my car so that the road becomes smooth again.

 

I hardly see the point of pinging an external ip since this would tell me nothing I wouldn't already know:  if comcast broadband is down, I would get the exact result that I would get if the problem was with my home wiring.

 

 

Connection Expert
JamesR
Posts: 6,424
Registered: ‎09-29-2007

Re: Outage Notification via Email?

[ Edited ]

Well if you create a batch file that keeps pinging and then begins to ring a bell when the connection returns that would let you know when your connection is back up.

I used the concept years ago to alert me as to when my VPN came back up.

 

Just offered as an interim solution.

 

Message Edited by JMCS on 02-16-2010 09:30 PM
Message Edited by JMCS on 02-16-2010 09:33 PM
Message Edited by JMCS on 02-17-2010 07:34 AM