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Larry's One-way Cable Internet Connection Goes Two-way
lbyard Aug-22-01 09:03 PM
LAST EDITED ON Aug-22-01 AT 09:41 PM (GMT)

Yesterday was a big day here... Metrocast Cablevision (http://www.metrocastonline.com/), our cable Internet and TV provider upgraded our connection to the Internet.

In the picture, Willie Gonzalez of Dinsmore Communications Corporation (http://www.dinsmore.com/), which is doing the cable installation for Metrocast, is perched way up in the tree canopy on a ladder beside a telephone pole, near a corner of our property, switching our cable service from the one-way coaxial cable service to the new two-way fiber optic service.
A one-way cable Internet connection is hybrid service that uses a 33.6 dial-up MODEM to send stuff to the Internet and the cable to receive it. This concoction works fairly well considering the complexity of the beast; however, we experienced quite a few service drop-outs on most days and that required dialing-up and reconnecting to the Internet--an annoyance to say the least. The new service is pure cable and stays on all of the time. There is no waiting for the analog dial-up MODEM to sing to the connection at the other end, etc.
Once the outside cable work was done, the technicians tested the line, called Metrocast and had them reprogram the existing Surfboard SB2110D cable MODEM (http://duxcw.com/digest/Reviews/Modems/cable/sb2100D.htm) from their end for two-way operation, made some local configuration changes to the MODEM, unplugged the phone line, and tested the system. The SMC Barricade (SMC7004BR) Router/Ethernet Switch (http://duxcw.com/digest/Reviews/Network/smc/smc7004br/smc7004br.htm ) used for our local network, to share the MODEM, and protect everything with a hardware firewall was back on-line with little effort. I did notice a couple of problems last night (I might have caused them by "playing" with the MODEM interface) which required power-cycling the router, but downloading and installing the latest firmware (http://www.smc.com/smc/pages_html/support.html), version R1.93e, appears to have fixed them. When I got up this morning and turned on my computer, the Internet was still there and available immediately! It has been on all day without a problem. Although, I have not had time to run benchmarks, everything, including browsing seems much faster. TV reception appears better as well, even though we have not yet subscribed to the digital TV service also available from Metrocast. The two-way connection so far is absolutely wonderful! My first Internet (Arpanet) connection was over 20 years ago and it was via a 300 BAUD line (~300 bits per second on a good day). Many thanks to the professionals who made this transition as smooth as possible and with minimal down-time. Larry

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