We’ve been a customer of Wide Open West’s broadband cable/internet service for over a year now and I’ve been pretty happy with them for the most part. For the last month or so, however, their internet service in Michigan has suffered from a nighttime slowdown. In other words, for most of the day the service works as advertised and then around about 5:30 or 6:00PM the speed goes to hell in a hand-basket. I’ve made several calls to their help desk and they’ve been out once or twice and we’ve long establish that the issue isn’t with my equipment, my neighborhood or even with WOW in Michigan itself. No, the problem is at the point where WOW’s service in Michigan connects with the AT&T backbone.
Running a traceroute on it shows that inside the WOW network in Michigan ping times are fabulous, but at the 4th hop when it hits the AT&T backbone ping times shoot up to an average of 247ms or more. Every point after that has pings at least that high on up to a max of 1050ms early this evening. Needless to say this makes gaming on the connection next to impossible. Seeing as that’s a large part of what I do this is a problem.
WOW is pretty good about responding to issues quickly, but for some reason this particular problem has taken over a month for them to sort out and they still don’t have any kind of an ETA on when it’ll be fixed. Worse, they’ve not bothered to update their “Network Status” page since the last entry they put on up on August 8th, 2002! So I’m highly annoyed with WOW right now. I’ve already had them credit my bill for the poor service twice already and I really don’t want to drop them for something else because the only other cable option is Comcast and they’ve already soured themselves in my view. This isn’t really WOW’s fault they just can’t seem to get AT&T to fix it. I offered to phone up the AT&T folks on their behalf and bitch up a storm on the off chance it might motivate them a bit, but they declined. Oh well.