Followup: Q Lies

It appears that the manufacturer’s queueing bug was indeed slowing down a significant number of subscribers.

After “rejuvenating” the queues on the bulk of our towers by hand yesterday, our bandwidth usage at peak hour reached a new all-time high of 25% more than our previous record. This is gateway bandwidth that has always been “available” for users, and we’re very pleased now to see that it has at last become accessible.

We’ve also installed the scripting code to perform automated queue rejuvenation monthly on all towers, so this OS bug should not be silently biting us ever again.

Upgrade trifecta

Dave works his magic on our 251st Avenue tower.

Today’s upgrades were uniformly satisfying.

We added significant bandwidth to feed Skip-In Ranch and all the towers in Morristown; plus additional bandwidth to Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers; plus increased bandwidth between the Morristown hub and the 251st Avenue and Castle Hot Springs towers.

In addition, we installed a new northward-facing AP on the 251st Avenue tower to serve the growing number of subscribers located on the east side of Castle Hot Springs Road who can’t access their nearest neighborhood tower (Castle Hot Springs) due to an intervening hill. These subscribers are now benefiting from 8-10dB better signal (about eight times the previous signal), as well as the additional bandwidth available at their tower.

We also corrected a mysterious configuration gremlin that was causing decreased signal to our subscribers in Grantham Ranch.

We hope today’s work will make your Internet experience more enjoyable.

Morristown upgrade Friday morning; possible Mockingbird upgrade Friday afternoon

Just a brief notification that the upgrade work to the WIckenburg/Morristown link is scheduled for tomorrow morning (Friday) between 9:00 and noon.

Depending entirely on time available, it is possible that similar upgrade work may be performed on the Wickenburg/Mockingbird link sometime in the afternoon, to provide even more bandwidth there. This would temporarily affect network performance to all the towers mentioned in our previous notification, with the addition of Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers.

Thank you for being a part of Grand Avenue Broadband.

 

Morristown Upgrade, Stage II

Tower climber

Dave installs Stage I…

The equipment needed for stage II of the Morristown bandwidth upgrade arrives this week, and we plan to be installing it on either Thursday or Friday morning.

This is the gear needed to complete the “full link” upgrade of our feed from Wickenburg, providing additional bandwidth to our east-end subscribers over and above the “half link” upgrade installed four weeks ago.

Subscribers served by east-end towers may see some short service burps and lower performance for roughly a 20-minute period sometime between the hours of 9:00 AM and noon, as our network compensates for the temporarily missing link by routing Wickenburg traffic over slower alternate routes.

Subscribers of these towers will be affected:

  • Morristown
  • Skip-In Ranch
  • Castle Hot Springs
  • 251st Avenue
  • Dixileta

We’ll post a brief notice like this one once we are certain of the day of installation.

Network performance improves

Our recent project to improve the bandwidth of both the Mockingbird/Rio Vista and Skip-In Ranch/Morristown backhaul routes has been successful and gratifying. Installation of improved equipment on the Wickenburg end of both links turned out to be sufficient to reach our immediate target, leaving a future opportunity for further improvement when necessary by installing matching upgrades at the far ends of both links. 

Today’s project to improve signal and bandwidth to our newer customers in Grantham Ranch and the Rincon corridor east of the river was also particularly successful. That area is now served by a new dedicated directional access point located at our downtown gateway.

In spite of all the technical challenges, we are continually installing improvements to help keep our Internet service one you would be proud to recommend. Thank you for your patience and for your support.

 

Do not adjust your credit card…

An apparent brain bubble at our credit card processor caused all subscribers billed on the first of the month (today) to receive notices that their cards declined payment.

Please do not worry; there is no actual problem with your cards.

The bank’s computer apparently timed out trying to communicate with someone else’s system overnight, and all of today’s charge attempts failed. Our processing service is working on the problem, and have assured us they will straighten it out promptly.

Work continues Wednesday 20th

Last Wednesday’s installment in our bandwidth improvement effort surpassed our expectations. Despite the fact that we had only enough time to deploy half the planned link (due to the structural enhancements we had to add to the tower to handle the heavier equipment), we managed to increase bandwidth to Mockingbird tower significantly via its backup link, plus we determined that the leftover half of the high-speed link could be more effectively employed elsewhere. 

Tomorrow, we hope to be able to install improved equipment on the inbound side of both our Skip-In link (the main line to Morristown and all points east) and our primary link to Mockingbird Tower. As this involves some high-tower work, it will be slower, and some of the transitions may be less than smooth.

Although our existing redundant paths help ensure that your Internet availability will never be entirely severed, you may experience some “brownouts” as our system determines in real time that primary paths have gone black, and temporarily switches to secondary paths that will serve some of our towers somewhat more slowly. Short of unplanned disaster, the perturbations should not persist past 5 PM.

Thank you for your patience as we work to bring speedier Internet access to our ever-growing network of subscribers.

Possible Interruptions Wednesday 13th

Tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday the 13th) we will be upgrading equipment on Mockingbird Tower in conjunction with the first phase of our bandwidth improvement project. Subscribers homed to Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers may experience slower response and possibly some brief outages on the order of 10-15 minutes in the period between noon and 5 PM, as the tower may need to be rotated down out of service to replace radios at height. These interruptions should affect subscribers of those two towers only.

Problems affecting Mockingbird and Rio Vista Towers

Our downtown feed radio to Mockingbird Tower is now definitely misbehaving. Despite showing good signal and quality, it is not delivering anywhere near the bandwidth it should be. We suspect the unit is undergoing a slow failure mode.

This problem affects subscribers of Mockingbird and Rio Vista towers only.

We have switched to an easier frequency for the ailing radio to handle, and have also activated the backup link between our airport tower and Mockingbird in order to steer more bandwidth into Mockingbird and Rio Vista.

We already have equipment in transit, ordered earlier to replace this unit, scheduled to arrive Wednesday. We expect to have it configured and ready for deployment before Friday close of business. Some brief (~10 minutes) interruptions in service may occur near the end of the week as the new equipment is cut into service.

This situation is receiving our priority attention. We apologize for the degradation.