off site electrical interference

chris's Avatar (by Gravatar) by chris in  Technology » Communications 

cable company says that someone in the area is putting electrical interference into the system which is causing our internet to go down. He says they have been unable to locate it because it is intermittent. Does this sound reasonable

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Answer by homeowners

This is very, highly unlikely. Communication protocols are robust enough for the signal to travel many miles through all sorts of interferences. It would have to be some extraordinary source of EMI for it to cause enough disturbance in a (properly installed) coaxial cable. Something like heavy metalworking equipment perhaps or very intensive welding operations. Running 24/7, too, which in itself is rare occurrence. In any case the fault would still be on the cable co for pulling their cables too close to such source. And for not properly grounding it, too.

Anyhow, this excuse is almost comical. I am assuming their service is not delivered over fiber optic, in which case it would be simply insulting, since it's not physically possible.

If you want to give them a benefit of a doubt, ask again what they actually meant. But chances are, if they were being serious, it is not EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference) they are talking about.

Answer by

Thanks, sounded like B.S. to me, but thought I would check. I think it is simply a bad modem. We keep rebooting it and it stays up for an hour and then goes down. That's what we told the guy and thought he would just change it out. ??

Answer by homeowners

It would have been a heck of a lot cheaper for the cable company to simply replace the modem if there was even a shadow of a doubt about it rather than roll the truck one more time. So, the tech probably had no replacement on him, which was likely his personal fault in not restocking the truck properly couple days prior. So, he tried to cover it up with a "nice" story. Some people are like that.

I'd say call the cable co again and demand another visit (by a different tech would be nice but I don't know how you can ensure that). Blaming EMI for a piece of hardware that's completely down is just silly. It's EMI, not EMP (result of a nuclear blast) for cry sakes.

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