FibreOp ActionTec Router – Failed?

Looks like it was too good to last: part of the video feed has failed. Suddenly during the middle of Sunday afternoon – when I was about to watch the Huston Texans-Baltimore Ravens game, how ironic is that – the Ethernet-based video failed. I could get the schedule but no video. No problem, thought I, I will just reboot the digital terminal. The boot took what seemed “forever” at the “System is starting. Please wait”, not unexpected as it seems like my BlackBerry or iPad takes “forever” as well to cold boot. However, when it finally came up I was presented with a “Network connection error” message.  With a “Quit client” button to press. Oh, oh… Did I have a failed digital terminal? Let’s check another terminal. It works just fine, but it is using the old coax-based system. Hmmm… Let’s try the other Ethernet-connected television – the one with the PVR.  Not good…  It has the same problem: the program guide shows up but no picture.  The Internet is working just fine as well. This is rather interesting in the worst sense of the word.

I then call Bell-Aliant. The tier-one tech is fine. He does a few things. I then go and look at the ActionTec router to see if there are any errors there. All lights are green and flashing (IPTV on ports 1 and 3, data on port 2 – weird) and then I noticed the dreaded electrical smell. You know the one and like me probably fear it. He tells me I have an appointment for Tuesday and it will be an all-day appointment. Something about having to re-run the wiring. Tuesday ?!?!?!? All day !?!?!?!

I was a little P.O.’ed as you may expect. Maybe speaking to a supervisor will help. I mean, we know that it is likely the router why not get someone in to simply swap out the router? A simple quick hit. If it is right you don’t have a tech scheduled for all day and you have a fairly satisfied (or is the pacified?) customer. But no in no uncertain terms will the be able to do anything like that. And Tuesday is the earliest. But I’m on a “priority” list.  [You can insert several dirty words here – I am proud of myself that I left them unsaid in my conversation with the supervisor. I may send a note to customer service on this. I really hate when people have to stick to the “script”.]

On an observational diagnosis: I do not think that the problem is with the Ethernet ports. The digital terminals have green link lights as does the ActionTec router. Data still works and the ActionTec GUI shows data flowing to the digital terminals. A port swap to the one unused Ethernet port also gives good link lights at both ends. I think that some bridge chip failed. Which is not unexpected. My experience is that most electronic devices fail in the first 90 days. But why did it have to be my 90 days?

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.