The Residential Broadband Users’ Association

April 5th, 2001

Meeting Attendees from Rogers:

  • Edward S. Rogers, O.C., President and CEO, Rogers Communications
  • John H. Tory, Q.C., President and CEO, Rogers Cable
  • Dermot O’Carroll, Senior Vice President, Network Engineering and Operations, Rogers Cable
  • Bill Lukewich, General Manager, Greater Toronto Area, Rogers Cable
  • Alek Krstajic, Senior Vice President, Rogers Cable / General Manager, Rogers@Home
  • Vic Pollen, Senior Vice President, Rogers Cable / Director of Customer Care and Operations, Rogers@Home
  • Taanta Gupta, Media Relations, Rogers Cable
  • Peter Anaman, Service Technician, Rogers Cable
  • J.T. Pearson, Manager, SMC, Rogers Cable
  • Scott Hunter, Vice President, Engineering, Rogers Cable
  • Serge Rochette, Vice President, Network Operations, Rogers Cable
Meeting Attendees from the Residential Broadband Users' Association:

  • Christopher Weisdorf, President and Technical Director, RBUA
  • Scott Brown, Director / Regional Representative for SouthWestern Ontario, RBUA
  • Wojtek Zlobicki, Regional Representative for Brampton and Mississauga, RBUA
  • Bryan Samis, Senior Member, RBUA
  • Jason deCourcy, Senior Member, RBUA
  • Rob Borek, Senior Member, RBUA

Rogers Meeting Agenda:

  • Network Architecture Issues, Problems and Planned Improvements
Presented by Dermot O'Carroll, Senior VP of Network Engineering and Operations, Rogers Cable

  • Customer Service Issues, Problems and Planned Improvements
Presented by Vic Pollen, Director of Customer Care and Operations, Rogers@Home

RBUA Meeting Agenda:

1. Local Congestion, Saturation and Overcrowding

  • never a problem before the end of August, 2000
  • LANCity subscribers have very seldom reported encountering any such problems over the course of our existence
  • TL-1000 headend controllers are heavily overloaded in many areas
  • too many modems; too few gateways?
  • why does Excite@Home, a company roughly 4000 miles away from here, have authority over local provisioning issues?
  • distribution circuits still overload at times (re: Kitchener-Waterloo)
  • saturation problems affect and hinder virtually every aspect of the service
  • dialup can best many of the connections that we’ve dealt with

2. Customer Support Issues

  • major problems have been evident since perhaps the April / May period of 2000
  • busy signals were, again, never reported before August of 2000
  • no busy signals have been reported since the last fiber cut in March; the same goes for excessive (greater than 20 minute) hold times
  • trouble tickets are often closed without sufficient investigation and subscribers are never consulted at any point in the process
  • any past documentation or call history of the subscriber is wiped clean from the system after a very brief period of time
  • support personnel seem to have been systematically trained and conditioned to believe that if there’s a problem, it’s almost always the subscriber’s fault; “regardless of how knowledgeable the subscriber might appear, the problem does not exist with the service, but with the subscriber’s own computer” and “75% of the problems out there are related to subscribers’ own computers, not the service” are applicable quotations for this situation
  • subscribers are treated with a lack of respect at times; reports have been received regarding subscribers being accused of lying, among other things

3. Compensation / Credit for Faulty or Nonexistent Service

  • unless the subscriber puts up a real fight, credits are either:
    1. Promised, but never delivered
    2. Issued, but not in fair or sufficient quantity
    3. Flat-out denied
  • even if clear evidence of the relevant problem(s) are reported, that does not make one more likely to receive compensation
  • some support e-mail responses will say “a credit has been applied to your account”, but a quantity is never revealed
  • automatic credits never issued for last two fiber cuts
  • early 2000 (lack of) mail service credit still never clarified to subscribers

4. Disclosure of Information to Customers

  • this leads back to what was said about subscriber call histories, trouble tickets, technician visit reports and other useful items dropping off the face of the earth
  • the support site has often only been sporadically updated
  • subscribers can’t check back on previous outages or problems because none of them are ever archived
  • subscribers have been asking for a network status page for years- will we ever get one?
  • information that is actually disclosed, is often devoid of any details or useful data, except for approximate dates, times and locations

5. Server Issues

  • DHCP lease times keep changing; servers are currently exhibiting strange behaviour
  • DNS resolution sometimes reported as being slow
  • mail server performance is much improved, however problems still exist (re: earlier this week)
  • @Home IRC server status still officially unexplained
  • @Home members.home.com web server on the brink of functionality for over 3 months, before problems are rectified
  • time on servers has still not been updated since Daylight Savings at the week’s beginning!

6. Backbone, Peering and Redundancy Issues

  • periodic backbone overloading still occurring (re: Sprintlink, TeleGlobe, CANIX / TORIX)
  • peering at York Mills now totally gone- what happened?
  • when will every headend be on the dual OC-48 ring?
  • if backbone redundancy is in place by this September, more than 14 months will have passed since the first fiber cut on July 19th of 2000- too little, too late? Why the ridiculously long wait?
  • what is stopping another fiber cut- or two or three- from occurring before redundancy is actually in place 5+ months from now?

7. Shaw -> Rogers Cable Asset Swap and Integration

  • when will ex-Shaw subscribers officially be handled by Rogers or Excite@Home?
  • at what stage are you, with respect to an IP address block swap with Shaw via ARIN?
  • many subscribers with Motorola cablemodems are experiencing the worst service imaginable
  • data segment overcrowding is rampant
  • the swap has been a great detriment and burden to many of these subscribers in Ontario; the BC transition has gone quite a bit more smoothly
  • any light at the end of the tunnel for these newly integrated subscribers?
  • will the Motorolas be phased out in favour of another type of architecture?

Estimated duration of meeting: 5 hours

Prepared by Christopher Weisdorf

President and Technical Director,
Residential Broadband Users’ Association

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