Broken broadband blues.

My broadband connection is down because I was an idiot and did what the tech support person on the phone told me to do. It all started because they shut off our service yesterday even though their billing department had cashed the check we sent last week. Yesterday was the deadline to get the bill in and yesterday was when the credit union reported the check had been cashed, but apparently their billing department decided not to tell anyone else that we had paid our bill.

Some telephonic acrobatics ensues to the result that I don’t expect to see my service turned back on until sometime today as the billing department at Wide Open West is apparently kept in a dark cave with no electricity and only allowed out once a day to report who has and hasn’t paid their bills. Imagine my surprise when I returned home from a dinner out with the family to see that the cable box appears to be once again operational. So I go in the bedroom to check my email, but the cable modem hasn’t synced up.

I did the standard resetting of the cable modem and the router and played a little Dungeon Siege while waiting for it to sort itself out. Not only did it not sync up within the next hour or so, but the lights were flashing in a pattern I hadn’t ever seen before so I rang up the tech support folks and explained my situation. So the tech explains to me that he wants to reset the modem, which I said I had already done two or three times, but he wanted to do something different so he asks me to unplug it from the power and then disconnect the coaxial cable from the back of the modem.

I stopped to think about this for a moment and couldn’t for the life of me understand why that would be necessary, but hey, he’s a tech support guy! He should know what he’s doing, right??

So I try to disconnect the coaxial cable only to find that when they replaced the cable modem back when trying to figure out some connectivity issues we were having whoever did it really tightened the nut down pretty good. Good enough that I can’t unscrew it using just my fingers. Not a problem as I have a couple pairs of pliers laying around despite my total ineptness at being a home handyman. I grab a pair and go at the nut again and it turns with some difficulty while various sounds of snapping plastic emit from the housing of the cable modem.

That can’t be good.

Needless to say, I never got the coaxial cable disconnected from the cable modem, but the tech didn’t seem to think that was a problem nor was the fact that I was pretty sure I had broken something in the cable modem an issue in his mind. He had me hold the reset button down while plugging the power back in and was surprised when this didn’t resolve the issue. Seeing as we have a history of connectivity issues he decided to put in a ticket to have a tech trace the line from the local office to our home checking it every step of the way and fixing all the problems they found en-route. This could take all day, he explained, so I should expect the possibility that the cable guy would show up at my house between the hours of 8AM and 8PM depending on how many problems along the way they found and fixed. I suggested he bring a spare cable modem as I was pretty sure I had just broken the one I had, but the tech on the phone glossed over that comment as though I had just remarked on the relative humidity.

Naturally Anne woke up feeling ill today and will probably spend most of the day in bed ignoring the phone and the doorbell so my only hope is for the cable guy not to show up until sometime after 4:30PM when I’m likely to be home. Even then I’m betting he doesn’t bring a replacement modem which I’m pretty sure I’m going to need at this point. So I don’t know when I’ll have access from home again unless I use my wireless card in my laptop to hook into the neighbor who has a wireless network he hasn’t bothered to secure.

On the plus side it prompted me to get a little further in Sly Cooper on my PS2…

Update: The cable guy showed up at 8:45AM this morning. Anne didn’t hear the doorbell ring so I’ve had to reschedule them to come out tomorrow. Looks like I’ll be without my Net connection again tonight.

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