Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Week Without Internet

Filed under
Web

Cox Communications Inc. said yesterday that some of its Northern Virginia customers wereunable to access the Internet after June 22, when the company began upgrading its high-speed service.

Customers using Toshiba PCX 1000 or Toshiba PCX 1100 cable modems have the problems. The upgrade raised connection speeds for customers with two of the three Internet packages that Cox offers, and those modems are not compatible with the higher speeds.

The company, which has 2.7 million high-speed Internet customers nationwide, sent notification letters only to customers who paid for the priciest and fastest package. Those who paid for the second-fastest Internet speed -- more than 80 percent of the company's subscribers -- were not warned because their service was less likely to be interrupted, the company said.

"We decided that we felt that the majority of those customers would be fine no matter what modem they have," said Alex Horwitz, a spokesman for Cox in Northern Virginia.

That left Northern Virginia customers such as Mitch Schlesinger without Internet service for almost a week. The Fairfax County resident said he started noticing problems with his Internet connection right after he received an e-mail from Cox advertising the upgrade.

"The Internet connection slowed to a crawl, what I would term slower than a 56K dial-up speed," said Schlesinger, 38, who works at an investment management firm. About five days ago, he couldn't reach the Internet at all.

Cox estimates that about 1 percent of its high-speed Internet customers in Northern Virginia could not connect to the Internet after the upgrade. It would not say exactly how many customers were affected, citing competitive reasons.

The company mailed about 600 letters to customers with the Toshiba modems who subscribed to the fastest Internet option, which costs $70 a month, or $55 with cable television.

The option now provides an Internet speed of 15 megabits per second for downloads and two megabits for uploads, about three times the speed before the upgrade. The second-level option costs $55, or $40 with cable, and has speeds of five megabits download, two megabits upload. Not all customers who had Toshiba modems and used the second option were affected.

Cox said it didn't want to alarm all customers using the second-fastest option by sending them letters. The company planned to deal with those who had problems case by case, Horwitz said.

"We didn't want to be proactive and have customers call us worried that the service would go out," he said.

He said that customers who rent the Toshiba modems from Cox and cannot access the Internet after the upgrade can go to the Cox retail stores in Kingstowne or Herndon to trade for compatible modems, without charge. They can also call Cox's customer service department to have new modems installed, also free.

Schlesinger said he called Cox and will receive a rebate for the week he had no Internet access. He said he had Internet service yesterday morning, but that he does not know if the problem has been permanently fixed.

Cox used to lease out both of the Toshiba modems that now may be incompatible with the new Internet speeds, but stopped offering them in April to customers subscribing to its more expensive packages.

Until a few weeks ago, the modems were still available for customers paying for Cox's slowest Internet option, which costs $25 a month. Those customers are not affected by the upgrade, the company said.

By Anjali Athavaley
Washington Post

More in Tux Machines

BeagleBone Announces the Open Source PocketBeagle USB-Key-Fob SBC

  • BeagleBone Announces the Open Source PocketBeagle USB-Key-Fob SBC
    You've probably heard of BeagleBones and the Beagleboard Foundation by now (check out that link if you're not familiar with them). They make open source SBCs and have an online community much like the Raspberry Pi Foundation. While Beaglebones don't have as large of a community or market share as Raspberry Pi, their boards are still quite popular because they tend to be more application-focused than Raspberry Pis. For example, there's the general-purpose Beaglebone Black, the sensor-oriented Beaglebone Green, and the Beaglebone Blue for robotics applications.
  • What is PocketBeagle?

today's howtos

Graphics: NVIDIA, Nouveau, X.Org Server

  • NVIDIA Making Progress On Server-Side GLVND: Different Drivers For Different X Screens
    While NVIDIA isn't doing much to help out Nouveau, at least the company is contributing to the open-source Linux graphics ecosystem in other ways. In addition to presenting at XDC2017 this week on the Unix device memory allocator API and DeepColor / HDR support, they also presented on server-side GLVND. Server-side GLVND is separate from the client-side GLVND (OpenGL Vendor Neutral Dispatch Library) that evolved over the past few years and with modern Linux systems is supported both by Mesa and the NVIDIA binary driver. Server-side GLVND can help PRIME laptops and other use-cases like XWayland where potentially dealing with multiple GPU drivers touching X.
  • Nouveau Developers Remain Blocked By NVIDIA From Advancing Open-Source Driver
    Longtime Nouveau contributors Martin Peres and Karol Herbst presented at this week's XDC2017 X.Org conference at the Googleplex in Mountain View. It was a quick talk as they didn't have a whole lot to report on due to their open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver efforts largely being restricted by NVIDIA Corp.
  • X.Org Server 1.20 Expected Around January With New Features
    X.Org Server 1.19 is already almsot one year old and while X.Org is currently well off its six month release cadence, version 1.20 is being figured out for an early 2018 release. Adam Jackson of Red Hat who has been serving as the xorg-server release manager held a quick session on Friday at XDC2017 to figure out what's needed for X.Org Server 1.20. His goal is to see X.Org Server 1.20 released in time for making the Fedora 28 version. For that to happen nicely, he's hoping to see xorg-server 1.20 released in January. The Fedora 28 beta freeze is the middle of March so there is still time for the 1.20 release to slip while making the F28 Linux distribution update.

ASUS Launches Its Thinnest and Lightest Flippable Chromebook, the Flip C101

ASUS announced a new Chromebook on its website, the Flip C101, which is a smaller and lightweight version of the C302 model. Featuring a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, the all-new Chromebook is priced at only $299 in the US. Read more