We were quite pleased with the smoothness of today’s whole-network speed upgrade, coordinated between and performed by us and CenturyLink, resulting in under 60 seconds of downtime at 7:30 AM.
Our next task is to better distribute the additional speed among our towers. To that end, we’re spending Monday on upgrades to Easy Street and Mockingbird towers.
Monday morning, we will be upgrading the Easy Street neighborhood POP to increase the speed available to its served subscribers. We’ll be replacing its original feed from Mockingbird Tower with a new and faster feed from closer-in Constellation Tower, and doubling the tower’s processing power by installing two router units to replace the single unit currently in place.
This upgrade requires re-engineering of the existing mast and some delicate aiming, both of which may result in interruption of service to subscribers directly served by this tower for a period of possibly up to a half hour. (We hope to be able to relocate the exiting equipment to a temporary mast to provide continued service while we erect the new equipment, but we won’t be sure if that’s possible until we arrive on site Monday.)
Monday afternoon (1/9), we will be replacing the radios on Mockingbird Tower that connect it to our Wickenburg Gateway and to Rio Vista Tower. The Wickenburg link will be replaced by a unit more highly focused and better optimized for the distance involved than the “all purpose” links originally erected. Immediate improvement is expected, though not as much as when the matching unit in Wickenburg is upgraded as well.
The short-hop Rio Vista link radio, which has been growing more problematic with age (it had to be manually power-cycled again this morning to unhang it), is being replaced with a state-of-the-art short-hop radio capable of faster speeds. We hope to have enough time to replace the Rio Vista end of this link on Monday as well (a much quicker and easier task).
Mockingbird is always one of our most difficult upgrade sites, since the mast is not climbable, the radios are very sensitive to misalignments, and they are all located well above ladder height. This work will require us to rotate the tower mast down, possibly several times, to affix the radios, find the best points of aim, and then screw them down tightly. Each of these rotations will temporarily interrupt Internet service to subscribers directly served by Mockingbird and Mockingbird West access points. (Subscribers in Rio Vista, Morristown, Castle Hot Springs, and eastward may experience a few “blips” as our redundant Skip-In Ranch link takes over traffic during the link interruptions.) Of course, we will work hard to minimize the interruptions as best we can.
We appreciate the understanding of all subscribers affected by these short outages, in order that we may continuously work to bring you better and faster service.