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.

 

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.

Tower slowdowns

We’re experiencing an issue with some of our towers in which the speed to subscribers degrades as equipment uptime increases. Towers identified so far have included Skip-In Ranch Tower, Downtown Tower, and all three APs on Morristown Tower.  In all cases, power-cycling the radio unit restores full performance.

Our equipment manufacturer, MikroTik, suspects a memory leak in their OS, and has asked us to provide them with diagnostic dumps from the affected equipment, which we are in the process of assembling for them today.

While we wait for a response from MikroTik, we’ll be setting up an automatic powercycle schedule on the affected towers. This will result in an approximately four-minute interruption of service between 2:00-4:00 AM several times each week at these towers. We hope to have this periodic refresh cycle operational by Monday.

Cutover still pending

This morning’s trunk cutover failed to take place, with CenturyLink making the attempt to switch circuits but ultimately delivering no traffic. Next-tier engineers at CenturyLink are scheduled to be diagnosing the issue, and we’ll be setting up a new cutover time once they inform us they have the problem figured out.

Trunk cutover Thursday AM

Tomorrow morning (Thursday, August 23), between 6:00 and 7:30 AM, CenturyLink will be moving our gateway service (our trunk connection to the greater Internet) onto a different fiber link. We expect an outage blip of about 15-30 seconds during that time period, barring complications. If complications occur, we will revert to the original fiber link as expeditiously as possible and reschedule the cutover. We regret the short notice, but we received this scheduling information only this morning.

A great week,
 and a great 11 years

This week our tower bandwidth improvement project is for all practical purposes complete. Read on to learn about the improvements we’ve made to our performance in Wickenburg and Morristown… plus a little bit of nostalgia in celebration of our 11th anniversary. Continue reading