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Internet connection dropping since December 2021

ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
in Connectivity May 07, 2022

I have been spectrum customer since summer of 2021, but I started to have issues since December 2021. My issues are:

  1. Internet connection is dropping randomly for 5 to 10 seconds, multiple times a day, and throughout the day and night. An example of internet outage is:

I am measuring IPv4 datagrams received and sent, and this occurred on May 6th, 2022. You can see brief outages. They are short but they are long enough to impact my work, game, and using streaming services.

  1. I did not have any issue with internet connection/reliability until December 2021. Since December 2021, I have these brief outages for two to three weeks, then I get a long outage (one or two hours long) with text message from Spectrum saying there are outages reported in my area. The long outage gets fixed, and I no longer have brief outages for a month. Then, the brief outages come back for two to three weeks until another long outage. I started to see this pattern for about 5 months now..
  2. For past 5 months, I had about 6 to 7 technician visits (some supervisor technicians), we replaced everything and checked everything in my room and apartment building. I replaced routers, modems, and wires in my room, end to end from cable from wall to my computer. I tried to hard-wire into Spectrum modem and restart the Spectrum modems. But I still have these outage problem (hardwiring into modem eliminates my router being a problem).
  3. Multiple technicians checked the internet box in my apartment, and they all said there is no problem there. I called Spectrum tech representative multiple times, and they all say there is no connection issue on their end, although I see connection issue on my end (see attached picture above). I am getting tired of calling and having tech visits, while the problem is not getting solved at all.
  4. As I said before, the ONLY fix for this brief outages is when long, area outage occurs and that gets fixed along with my brief outages. I think there is a recurring problem outside of my room and apartment and brief outages are precursor to a larger problem. I am not sure when DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade happened in my area, but I suspect this upgrade is the root of the problem, because I never had any issue with Spectrum internet until December 2021.

I already spent a lot of time and money to solve this issue on my end, but this issue is keep coming back and not being solved at all by Spectrum.

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Replies

  • Renee_TRenee_T Posts: 213 Moderator
    May 08, 2022

    @ee1170


    Welcome to our community! I'm sorry to hear about the ongoing internet issues. I did use the registration information for our community to try to take a look at the modem, but I do see that there's an interruption notice posted for the area so it throws off our diagnostics. I will keep an eye out for the interruption to be resolved so we can take a look and see what's going on with the equipment.

  • ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
    May 08, 2022

    Okay, please update me here. The brief outages are getting more frequent and longer. You may think few seconds of outages are fine, but it is a serious issue if your internet goes out during an important meeting and you have to bite your nails until your connection comes back up.

  • Renee_TRenee_T Posts: 213 Moderator
    May 08, 2022

    I totally get the frustration. Now that the interruption in the area is cleared, I took a look at the modem again. I'm not seeing any signal issues and the modem logs and uncorrected/corrected errors look good. Are all of your devices on wireless or do you have wired devices as well? Do the devices all come back up on their own or do you have to reboot the equipment to get the connection to come back up?

  • ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
    May 08, 2022

    Currently, to eliminate router being a problem, I am hardwired directly into modem from my desktop computer. So only one device is connected via wire now (since Friday afternoon). When I have outage, I would completely lose internet connection for brief period and connection just comes up automatically after 5 to 10 seconds (or few minutes). This is last observed disconnection last night:

    This occurred at 5/8/2022 at 01:10:05 AM and lasted about 2 minutes. I have not yet had chance to closely monitor the internet connection since last night, so I will update if and when I see another brief outage today.

    As I said, when brief outage occurs:

    1. My hardwired desktop (wired to modem directly) would lose connection entirely (no received IPv4 datagram).
    2. My desktop connects automatically after short time, no need to reboot the modem or equipment to reconnect. Two blue lights in modem do not change or blink.
    3. If I go through a router (modem connected to router then to my devices), same thing occurs. My desktop (wired connection), my laptop (wireless connection), and my phone (wireless connection) all lose their connection and reconnect automatically after short time.

    The most frustrating thing for me is that I see disconnections in my end and you do not observe any problem on your end. I talked to numerous representatives and technicians, and they all say signal looks fine. I am sure it looks fine at that moment but not at the moment when random, brief outage occurs.

    If you want, I can tell you recorded times at which I had these brief outages recently. For example, 5/7 at 12:29:25 PM, 5/7 at 07:23:31 PM, 5/7 at 08:18:05 PM, and 5/6 at 01:07:20 PM. All these recent outages lasted for 15 seconds to 2 minutes.

  • ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
    May 08, 2022

    Outage just occurred again at 02:40:22 PM on 5/8/2022. This is reading on my end, again hardwired from modem to my desktop computer:

    As you can see, connection just drops to 0 and reconnects in about 80 seconds.

  • Renee_TRenee_T Posts: 213 Moderator
    May 09, 2022

    When you wired the computer to the modem, did you happen to use the same ethernet cable that was connecting the modem to the router? The reason I ask is because while our diagnostics would pull the signal levels at the current time, the modem would log any drops in the connection in it's history and it's not showing any, which is consistent with you saying that the lights on the modem don't change when the connection drops. With network issues where the modem itself is dropping fully, not only would the modem log the drop, but the online light on the front of the modem would change from blue to white and would start blinking as if you had rebooted the modem and it was coming back online.


    I also took a look at the signal history for the area over the last 24 hours and I'm not seeing any issues with the servers at the node for the area or high spikes in usage around the times the connection was dropping out for you. Because of this I'm wondering if maybe there's an issue with the ethernet cord that's being used or possible the NIC card in the computer. Have you checked to see if there are any updates available for your NIC card recently?

  • ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
    May 09, 2022

    I will double check NIC card update and replace ethernet cable once again. However, the reason I do not suspect there is anything wrong with my desktop computer or the ethernet cable is because I usually have a router to use wireless connection to my laptop and phone. So, the usual set up is modem -> router -> my devices (desktop computer, laptop computer, and my phone). My laptop and phone are connected wirelessly all the time, and my desktop computer is connected via hardwire. When this brief outage occurs, this brief outage occurs across the board on all three devices (i.e. internet connection drops on all three). This led me to believe that there is a problem on router or modem. I am testing with direct connection to modem to eliminate the router being a problem. so I can eliminate suspects one by one.


    Regardless, I will check NIC updates and switch ethernet cable again update you within one day.


    Thank you for your support and time.

  • Steph_SSteph_S Posts: 387 Moderator
    May 09, 2022

    Thank you. If you need any further assistance, please let us know.

  • ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
    May 09, 2022

    FYI, because I need to use some wireless devices, I added router back to my internet setup such that current setup is cable from wall -> Spectrum modem -> my own router -> devices (wired desktop, wireless phone, wireless laptop).

    As you suggested, I updated NIC driver from intel (new release from 4/5/2022) and replaced all wires and cables (including ethernet cord). Until 12:30 PM today, my internet was fine, but I had brief outage and unstable internet, please see picture below:

    At 12:27:20 PM on 5/9/2022. I had an outage for about 1.5 minutes. This outage affected both wirelessly connected laptop and wired desktop at once (i.e. I lost connection on both devices simultaneously, and they both came back online automatically a bit later). So, I highly doubt if NIC driver update and end-to-end cable change would fix the brief outage issues. Do you have any other suggestion?

    Just as I was writing this comment, I had another outage from 12:54:00 PM to 12:55:15 PM.

  • RAIST5150RAIST5150 Posts: 843 Contributor
    May 10, 2022

    Out of curiosity, can you view the signal levels of the modem?

    Just wondering if they may be slipping out of spec and the modem is rethunking to lock cleaner channels, which may cause little "brownouts" to occur (the modem may not appear to be resetting, but transmission will halt while it revamps the channel allotment).


    Such swings in signal quality can be caused by a laundry list of things, but some you may be able to check on yourself:

    loose/corroded connections, poor (or even missing) ground at the ground block when the cable enters the building

    compromised shielding, kinks in the cable runs, crimps in the cables, cable running through standing water or too close to anything that may contribute to weird fluctuations in temperature.(Pay close attention if the cable makes turns around furniture, or has furniture butted up against the cables)

    potentially poorly shielded devices too close, unterminated cables (any active outlet in the house needs to be connected to a shielded device or have a termination cap installed).

    The cable is basically an antenna of sorts... effectively carrying waveforms up and down inside a shielded tube, more or less. That environment needs to maintain a consistent shape and general environment to keep those waveforms from getting too malformed. So anything compromising the run just a little too much can cause weird intermittent issues that are very difficult to track down.

  • ee1170ee1170 Posts: 7 Spectator
    May 11, 2022

    I cannot view signal levels of the modem, and the Spectrum technicians observe and test input signal to model using a Viavi measurement tool. I also wonder where is the source of this signal fluctuation, but it is not viable to try to catch model input signal fluctuation, because this brief outages occur randomly. Even if I catch the signal fluctuation, I would not be able to figure out the cause of this signal fluctuation, as you said a laundry list of things can cause it.

    So far, technicians tested and checked signal coming out of cable from wall, and the signal looked fine at the moments signal was checked. I would need to tear down the wall to check wiring inside the building, which is not possible (although some technicians said they have visited my apartment recently due to other Spectrum customers having internet issues). Technicians also checked internet box at my apartment. So, I believe the technicians and I checked, replaced, tested a lot of devices and wires that we realistically could.

    Just FYI, on 5/9/2022, I had two extended outages (with Spectrum texting me there is an outage reported in my area) that lasted total of 3 hours. After these outages were fixed, my internet seems stable again and I have not yet experienced the brief outage yet. Maybe you remember that I said I had these brief outage problem since December and these were only solved after a long, area outage occurs and is fixed. And again, a long, area outage occurred/fixed and my internet is stabilized for now, Unfortunately, I am sure that this whole thing will repeat, I will again have brief outages in a month, followed by another long area outage, and my brief outage problem is mysteriously fixed.

  • RAIST5150RAIST5150 Posts: 843 Contributor
    edited May 11 May 11, 2022

    It isn't always something in YOUR unit causing issues... can easily be your neighbor, or out in the common area.

    I live in a townhouse community. Last time I had a similar issue, it turned out landscapers had nicked the shielding on an exposed portion of cable. While it was the line that feeds our unit, it was technically in the common area behind my neighbor's unit, inches from the AC units... and normally buried. Foul weather had been making the ground a mess, and apparently the equipment had been cutting a rutt or something, and a few feet of the cable had managed to come to the surface. Spotted the cable and the damage one day when wheeling our trash can to the curb for pickup.

    Come to find out after notifying both Spectrum and the HOA, the resultting ingress was affecting at least all 5 of us on that one distribution node.


    Just saying... keep your eyes opened for something out of sorts.

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