Progress with Reliability Upgrades

With four subscriber unit upgrades and a bit of creative rerouting on North Vulture Mine Road this past weekend, it appears that we have eliminated (or at least greatly reduced) the retransmit cascade failures affecting all users of the Mockingbird West tower. Return signal and bandwidth from the upgraded units to our tower is now capable of several times rated contract speed. If you’re still experiencing slowdowns or outages, please inform us.

We’re awaiting an equipment restock delivery (mid-week) to address one problem subscriber site that is regularly interrupting the Morristown East sector, and one or two units that require the same improvement at Rio Vista Hills. After next weekend, we hope the cascade failure problem will be a thing of the past (or at least the far, far future).

Intermittent Service Cure Plan

Simultaneously with the arrival of the current cold weather, we began receiving automated connectivity failure reports against a number of our subscribers, mainly those being served by our Mockingbird West tower, with Rio Vista, and Morristown East users in place and show positions. They were difficult to pin down, primarily because the metrics reported by the towers didn’t support any particular diagnosis. We replaced the radio unit at Mockingbird West in case the receiver discrimination was going sour, but gained zero relief.

After several weeks of thrashing and several hours of attention from consultants, we now believe we understand the problem, and have an action plan in place to address it. Continue reading

Scheduled Outage Noon Tue. 1/6

The Mockingbird Tower will be taken out of service for around 10-15 minutes between noon and 1 PM on Tuesday, January 6, in order to replace our Mockingbird West access point with a fresh radio card. We hope this will help address the dropout and throughput problems being reported by our west Wickenburg subscribers in the vicinity of North and South Vulture Mine Road.

New Year Network Hangover

Since the current cold snap hit, our subscribers have been reporting intermittent problems communicating with the Internet. At the moment, we have no sure diagnosis of what’s causing this.

It doesn’t seem to be a wireless signal strength issue, since it’s hitting several of our towers indiscriminately, and some of the subscribers reporting the most problems have logged uninterrupted tower connections on the order of three weeks or more. It doesn’t look like a frequency interference issue, as several of the affected subscribers are quite nearby their respective towers. And, despite the coincidence, we don’t think the problem is likely to be temperature-related, as our equipment is rated down to -40°.

We have spent most of New Year’s Day working a persistent and repeatable new DNS issue, in hopes that it will point the way towards detecting the cause of the overall problem. We have feelers out to a couple consultants we have worked with in the past, though their availability during a holiday week is proving problematic.

We’ll be continuing to work on the problem until we get it resolved. In the interim, we appreciate your patience.