The Waiting Game – AKA How Telecom Works

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich Leave a Comment

Recently I’ve started moving into the new homestead. Things are slowly leaving the Airstream and migrating to the house. Of course the Airstream will be road ready at a moments notice.

Last week I started moving utilities into my name at the house. Electric, water, gas……. The standard fare. I also popped by Cable One’s website to sign up for broadband at the house. True high speed internet again! Ah, sweet bandwidth!

Cable One has a super sweet site where you can sign up for their services. TV, Internet, Phone. Nice 2 year package offered, but no interest here. All that is needed is Internet. So I went through and signed up for service. They even ask you what time of day you prefer installation…….

The day after I signed up I got my confirmation e-mail for set up. 1/20/2012. Between 8 am and 5 pm………

Uh, why did you ask me when I’d prefer installation?

Oh yeah, it’s telecommunications. I used to work in the industry, I should understand it by now. 🙂

Time for a look back into history. I’ll tell you about my favorite game from my wireless days. See, Cell Towers need connection back to switching centers. Initially we’d put a single T1 out to each site, and then add additional capacity as traffic expanded. Cell companies usually lease capacity from land line companies. Back in the day I used to do business with TCG, Bell Atlantic, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T (land line side). There was this game we’d play. FOC date, that was it’s name (Firm Order Confirmation Date). The land line company would give us a FOC for a date that our T1 would be installed to the cell site, and then they’d never meet the date. It was a super fun game.

My favorite story from installations took place in the Boston area. I got an angry phone call from Verizon’s installation manager who worked on my account. He called to tell me my cell techs weren’t at the location to meet his guys, so his guys left and now our install would be charged overtime. I stopped Don right in his tracks and told him that I had my tech on the line on speaker. He was roof top (where the cell site was), and he watched the installers pull up, go to Dunkin Donuts, hang out in their van for a while, and then drive away. They never even approached the building for installation……… The installers were back on location within a half hour………. Ah telecom, how I miss you!

With luck I’ll have 50Mbps broadband today. I’ll keep a watchful eye out the window to make sure nobody pulls up, has their coffee break, and then drives away without giving me a howdy. Glad I’ve got my wireless internet in the meantime! Gotta have something to do while I sit in a near empty house waiting……….


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