Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hazards of Connected Life

One of the hazards of modern life is the stability of one's broadband access infrastructure. Circuits and services go down, from time to time. For some of us, that means acting as our own personal system integrators, creating fail-safe mechanisms.

As sometimes happens, my Covad T1 line died yesterday morning, an apparent software corruption to my Windows operating system caused one of my PCs to crash, necessitating restoring the machine to an earlier software load, and requiring me now to ignore all messages to install the latest upgrade to the operating system.

Today the cable connection was fluttering in and out of service. So while the T1 was down and the primary PC inoperable, I reverted to the backup PC and the backup broadband connection (Verizon 3G).

Comcast got the connection restored without me having to call in a trouble ticket and Covad's tech support has been superb, as usual. One never wants to have a service go down, and this isn't the first time the T1 has died. What matters is how fast service gets restored, and how attentive tech support is. On that score, Covad continues to rank as the single best service provider I've ever had.

Experiencing problems isn't unusual these days. Having a service provider respond promptly, expeditiously and with great courtesy is the key. Well, that and making sure you have a way to keep working while things get sorted out.

Update: the technician was unable to get the third Cisco router to work, so we are switching to a Netopia router instead. He says he isn't sure what the issue is, but the Netopia works, and the Cisco box does not.

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