Jive & Comcast Connectivity Issues

Squimbie
Squimbie used Ask the Experts™
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I recently moved a small Call Center from one location to another. They contacted me late in the game to help them get a new call center setup with very little time. This left me with Comcast as the only ISP to choose from that could install services within their timetable. We decided to go with their new Gigabit package, which includes their new Gb modem. The client also chose to go with Jive for their PBX needs and subsequently ordered 20 Yealink T40P IP phones. Let the issues begin...

Comcast's modem would partially default to factory settings once a week. When I say partial, I mean things such as factory internal Gateway IP and Subnet revert back; passwords are set to default, yet the SSID's are still what we created. Comcast claims that they can ping the modem but when I test connectivity inside the modem to the internet I get 0/4 packets received. This test was run by the modem internal troubleshooting software. The Uptime clock inside the modem says 17,500+ days, which is not possible since we have reset the modem within the last 24 hours and we have only had the service for three weeks. We have factory reset the modem, replaced it with a new one, and we are still having the Yealink phones not obtain an IP address, or they have an IP address but say "No Service", even after they have previously worked. Phones continue to drop off of the network in that manner, and PC's that are using pass-through are losing connectivity as well. No matter how many factory resets on the phones, Comcast's "New" Gig modem, or the Cisco 52 Port PoE, have had any change in connectivity.

Both the old and new office locations have Comcast, different packages and modems of course, and everything worked fine with the old YipTel phones on Comcast's Network. We are going to swap out the Yealink phones with the YipTel phones tonight and see if we see the same results with the old YipTel phones. The Client wishes to use the Yealink phones because the cost is 70% cheaper.

Both the Client and I are worn out trying to solve this. I can't think of anything else that could be causing this outside of a network issue with Comcast due to the fact that we have plugged directly into the modem and bypassed the entire network and still saw connectivity loss, even a Tech was on site and plugged into the modem and saw the loss. He diagnosed it as a bad modem, but after a replacement, today and the issues started immediately upon connecting the network back up to the modem.

Thanks in advance guys!
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Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Perhaps you got another bad modem.. Comcast should be able to remotely diagnose your connection.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Sounds like a bad modem. Insist they provide you with a replacement. I also hope you told Comcast about the issues in your testing.

Another possibility could be a conflict of IP addresses. I have dealt wirh instances where Comcast gave the same IP to multiple customers.

Were things working correctly when a technician went out to set things up?
SquimbieSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your comments and thoughts thus far - they are appreciated. Yes, I have informed Comast of EVERYTHING at least a dozen times, once per day, per occurrence, per new Tech that answers.

Timeline since my post:

Comcast diagnosed the first router as bad and subsequently replaced it - same issues persisted post replacement.

After issues persisted, I called and complained further, and louder, about the same issues persisting immediately after the replacement, and how the Tech left us like that.

Comcast tested router remotely and once again found no issue. Scheduled for a Line Tech to be dispatched.

Line Tech sees no issues in the lines, or from their colo to ours.

Issues still persists that same night and I call in, except this time I completely lose it on the Tech that answers. At least it was well received anyway. This Tech insists that the modem must be broken, or "acting in a manner other than intended", and labels the issue as Priority 1 and passed it to Tier II Tech.

Next morning I hear from the Tier II Tech, who proceeds to send me basic configuration instructions for setting up the modem with some well-structured words that indicate that modem "may or may not perform as desired" and these feature in the modem "may or may not perform on desired", even with the proper configuration, the NAT table may get confused and not function as desired if we do anything outside of the basic Comcast internal DHCP LAN settings.

The Tech also claimed that he found "IP Issues", would not explain anything on what those issues were, or even tell me if it was internal, external, LAN/WAN, Static or anything!!! So I angrily conceded that I would set our network to the default IP LAN settings and see what happens.

Things did not go smoothly when the after-hours Tech. He saw all of the packet-loss, connectivity issues, and reset while he was there. He said the modem was busted. Maybe I have two broken modems, maybe their hardware is garbage and won't take any custom settings - I don't know anymore. I'm so tired and fed up with Comcast. lol

Thanks in advance!
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
How long have you had issues for? Document everything that's happened, then send a certified letter to whoever manages things. On the consumer side, there is a Director of Operations in each jurisdiction. There is no way this is ever going to get solved without escalation.

The Tech also claimed that he found "IP Issues", would not explain anything on what those issues were, or even tell me if it was internal, external, LAN/WAN, Static or anything!!!
This statement is nice and vague. That could be anything from a misconfiguration on your part to their erring and assigning your same IP address(es) to another party.

But also, Comcast historically has been bad about keeping known bad equipment separated from known good equipment. If someone returned a modem or cable box, it goes into the same place, regardless of its working condition. This does of course result in a much higher chance of running into bad equipment than necessary.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Any luck with this?
SquimbieSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
There has not been a solution yet. The outages, modem resets, call quality and call connectivity are still present, as of last Friday.

I implemented a Jerry-Rig fix which consisted of the deployment and config an AdTran 3120 that would give us basic controls such as QoS, Traffic Prioritization, and DHCP. There is a  requirement of deploying the AdTran into the Customers' Network, and that is placing the Comcast Modem into Bridge Mode.

I was ecstatic about this requirement. as I had hoped that this change would improve our situation as both modems of this model from Comcast have demonstrated to not be stable in its features if you decide to use them. I had hoped that this would show us the issue or resolve it.

Comcast contacted the CEO and I this last Saturday and notify us that our modem was in Bridge mode, and that configuration is not supported (obviously) and that the modem will not give us our Static IP addresses. This was not a surprise to me and I explained the situation, for the literal 40th time, and she then proceeded to attempt a "passive bridge mode" that consisted of taking the modem out of bridge mode and disabling DHCP and the Firewall. After she performed the adjustments and attempted a reboot, the modem locked up and no one could access or manage the device, nor was it able to respond to ping from Comcast or me.

This initiated an outage that lasted four-plus hours and a conference call with our PBX provider (Jive) and Comcast. After another three hours, we ended up right back where we were - Bridge mode for the Comcast modem and DHCP on the AdTran. Which was good due to the fact that we were no longer in an outage, but this left us right back to where we were, to begin with - one step forward, three steps back.

After we got everything back up, the on-site Comcast Tech asked what the problem was with the way things were, which is the same as how they ended up after Comcast reached out to us regarding their modem being in Bridge Mode. I explained everything to him again and he was puzzled to hear that we were still having issues. I explained that we had gone through to Gig modems, had a Line Tech come out and test everything and found no issue. He decided to test the lines again, both inside the building and the connection points feeding the building.

In the end, he stated that he found that Tx from modem was running 10 dB hot and that this led him to identify an RF Amplifier/Pad that was not functioning properly. Comcast had that issue corrected within 24 hours and we are now in another testing phase to see if this improves our situation.

More to follow as soon as I get some solid data from this weeks production.

Thank you all and I'll talk to you soon!
SquimbieSystems Administrator

Author

Commented:
As far as the IP addresses go, I did notice issues on the modem as soon as our static IP's were loaded into the modem. Both the Tech and I claimed IP duplicate upon noticing the issue, but the Dept that manages that was closed at the time. Plus, since we have decided on Bridge Mode, the issue became irrelevant.

At this point, it is still hard to say if these new modems just refuse to actually respond to feature requests/setup or if the line issue is the cause of our still constant outages, call quality, and call drops.

I meant to include that in my previous post.

Thanks!
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Signal and line issues would surely make sense. However, Comcast has generally cited that they never like to have amplifiers, especially on the business side. If an amp makes the problem seem to go away, that means there's another issue that they have to investigate.

I would check with Comcast on the possible duplicate IP issue anyway. The further you push, the more gets solved, and the better likelihood of being able to get a credit from them for your pain and suffering.

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