Shawed Again

Shaw gives us great service, except when they don’t. Yesterday at ~0800, most of our TV channels and all of our telephone and Internet service died. I have to go to TLW’s office just to watch CNN because it’s not available on my own TV. We’ve lost more than half our TV channels on my TV. The loss of the Internet and telephone is dreadful. This is the 21st century. We can’t live without those.

This is the problem with cable. When you’re near the end of the line you get the weakest signal. If someone upstream does something to suck more juice, a marginal connection gets worse. Finally, the service guy came around and determined the signal at our end of the cable was just too feeble. Apparently this kind of problem develops every spring and fall when the ground thaws/freezes. The cable parts somewhere. It’s not laid in a conduit but just buried in mud… Can’t lay a cable across the street. Can’t go through the culverts. They’re flooded. Plan B is tapping the neighbour’s cable where it enters their home. If that doesn’t work, we’re back to MTS, I guess…

That such things happen is OK. I get that but it keeps on happening. Every year or two, we get another lengthy disruption and one or two long telephone calls via the cellphone… It’s tedious. This time, for instance, it’s affecting my ability to spend my annuity which arrives today. Get between me and more peanut-butter/a new smartphone/tools/another Odroid-C2… and there’s a problem. The bigger problem is that there’s no good alternative to Shaw cable except the phone company. I guess we’ll have to go back to them. While they give poorer service for Internet and no TV, at least they are reliable for what they do. On top of this annoyance, we had a really bad experience with a snooty person who answered the phone at Shaw. It was very strange. TLW received a message to call Shaw on her smartphone and when she did this guy gave her no end of grief about account authentication etc. He wanted us to reseat all the connectors in the system. He even questioned my permission to talk to him even though TLW handed me the phone for the technical stuff… We don’t need that. OTOH, the person who came to our home was polite, courteous, competent… In an organization as big as Shaw, I guess it’s just difficult to be perfect. Sigh…

UPDATE After three days of acute Internet withdrawal symptoms and exhausting several possible solutions, Shaw tapped the cable at the home of a neighbour and ran a line over to us. Everything works. Download speed is ~182mbits/s in the middle of the day. Upload speed is not wonderful, just 10mbits/s but the most we upload are a few images and this blog mostly. I can wait… Life is still not back to normal though. I am having flashbacks… 😎

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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14 Responses to Shawed Again

  1. oiaohm wrote, ” if steel it can rust to death. If it plastic somewhere can move and bend it until it kinks”

    Pipe can also admit water which can freeze and seal in the cable. There isn’t any perfect solution that has no failure mode including redundant systems.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Robert Pogson there is one old saying. “No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy”.

    So true for cabling where you enemy is nature. So Grece used a SCH80 pipe. Add in nasty mother nature effects there is nothing to say you will be able to pull cables in future though it. It if steel it can rust to death. If it plastic somewhere can move and bend it until it kinks. There are many other things that go wrong with pipe in ground at times.

    Hope Now if anything happens to said cable/wire they can be pulled and replaced.
    Is the way that line should go.

    Anyone who has worked cabling as long as I have have seen every one of these so call pre-plans for replacement bite the dust. Even SCH80 pipe through concrete slab and have the slab snap at a point and move cutting the cable off.

    Also that SCH80 pipe you used by the time you come to replace the cable might no longer be legal or compatible to use. Some places upgrading to fibre have had that rude shock at times due to drag limits before risking snapping stuff in the internals of the cable. Conduit inside Conduit is not particularly fun or stable.

    Short cuts like just ripping cable in instead of properly digging trench and using a proper back fill is common. Using lowest rated cable they can possibly get away with is also very common. Lowest rated without proper back fill only takes a rock or two against cable wall to cause a failure in time. Yes this is where government and certification rating on in ground able are poor. As long a the cable is fine berried under 3 meters of sand it can have a ground rating. Person doing said cabling can choose to use a higher rating that are stone tolerant.

  3. Grece wrote, “When I had this house wired for service, I purposely used SCH80 pipe at depth for both electric, phone and cable. Now if anything happens to said cable/wire they can be pulled and replaced.”

    That’s a good plan. Unfortunately, we are the second owners of this property and some shortcuts were taken. Probably Shaw installed this cable as a “temporary measure” during construction and the owners just buried it… Bad things happen. They also buried lots of coarse gravel under a portion of the lawn. It’s very difficult to cultivate there. I think I will just plant flowers and let the roots deal with the stones.

  4. oiaohm says:

    Governments have no say, cable manufacturers could care less. See there is a authority called CSA, CE, IEEE, NFPA and UL that govern such. Then, you have your local authority that provides guidance as well.

    Grece governments set what the fines are.
    https://delimiter.com.au/2016/01/21/telstra-says-govt-policy-forcing-it-to-deploy-brand-new-copper/
    Yes government regulation can even set the type of cable you are allowed to put in the ground. Like here where telstra is being forced to deploy copper even that they want to-do fiber of have there asses fined out of existence. This is federal government here.

    Even in the USA and Canada there are country wide regulations that say you cannot use a cable in government lands that is not deployed in ways they are rated to be deployed by certification and the manufacture unless you have supporting documentation that it will be ok.

    Cables with integrated conduit/tough sheath a lot of them are not rated to be put inside conduit. Because in fact they will chaff on the conduit so exposing themselves to even more force than if they had not been not put in conduit at all.

    So yes laying in conduit and laying integrated conduit/tough sheath is more often than not two different rolls of cable. Don’t do that have work inspected be fined by the metre for every metre of incorrect cable placed. Australia that is 10000 dollars a metre. Basically government make a huge profit when cables do the wrong thing and they get caught.

  5. Grece says:

    cable certified for direct burial

    Please list cable nomenclature and specification of said cable. In addition, the Doctor is correct, once again. It sounds like you are whining about extenuating circumstances, when in fact you should mandate conduit be laid instead being miser and doing things cheaply. When I had this house wired for service, I purposely used SCH80 pipe at depth for both electric, phone and cable. Now if anything happens to said cable/wire they can be pulled and replaced.

  6. DrLoser wrote, “an annuity is that it arrives once every 365 days.”

    My annuity is calculated once per annum based on my stock portfolio but delivered one a month.

    He also wrote about cable. There is cable certified for direct burial with a very tough sheath, but it still suffers strains under expansion/contraction of soil. A conduit would reduce that risk considerably as the cable and conduit can move separatet. A little slack helps. Where I live even such installations are supposed to be at a minimum depth with a cover of stone/wood/metal. My cable is very shallow, too shallow.

  7. Grece says:

    Most government regulations you have to install the cable as manufacturers instructions say and if you want to use the cable differently you have to have engineering reports done every 12 months these are quite expensive and this is for the life of the cable deployment.

    Bollocks, just pure bunk! Governments have no say, cable manufacturers could care less. See there is a authority called CSA, CE, IEEE, NFPA and UL that govern such. Then, you have your local authority that provides guidance as well.

    Obviously ohmboy does not know of what he speaks. By the way, I find the name Oiaohm offense, and triggering, as it does a disservice to Georg Ohm.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Go on. Prove me wrong. Give us a linkie to “cable manufacturers instructions” that specifically describe circumstances in which you lay cable without a conduit.
    DrLoser you want a cite you have to use my correct handle. By the way I never said that you lay a cable in ground without conduit. I said some cables have integrated conduit. You think when they are laying 100Km+ of fiber optical cable they are going to have a roll of conduit and a roll of fiber optical. You got to be kidding me right. Instead you have a roll that is a roll of cable with integrated conduit and as many of those rolls as you need. Of course integrated conduit cable smallest is 1 line of fiber optic. The integrated conduit single copper wire is larger than the fiber optic.

    So people see a person ripping in a single cable with no separate conduit and they jump to the incorrect presume the cable is being installed without conduit when most cases the cable being ripped in is integrated conduit.

  9. oiaohm says:

    Cable manufacturers do not hold dicta over installation.

    Sorry this case they most do because it expensive not to. Most government regulations you have to install the cable as manufacturers instructions say and if you want to use the cable differently you have to have engineering reports done every 12 months these are quite expensive and this is for the life of the cable deployment.
    So three choices
    1 use cable as manufacturer directed.
    2 pay a lot of money on reports.
    3 attempt to get a cable from another maker rated to be used they way you want and use that one as directed.

    Cabling there is no room for cowboy operators.

    Once in ground and going through government controlled land regulations get quite strict.

  10. DrLoser says:

    Someone at time obeying the cable manufactures instructions.

    You’ve outdone yourself on this one, haven’t you, Fifi? How contemptuously stupid.

    Go on. Prove me wrong. Give us a linkie to “cable manufacturers instructions” that specifically describe circumstances in which you lay cable without a conduit.

    Oh, look, it’s a Friday. I need to resuscitate this FiFiMeme:

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  11. DrLoser says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, Robert, but the thing about an annuity is that it arrives once every 365 days. (We can ignore leap years and various astronomical adjustments for these purposes.)

    You’d have to be living pretty close to the knuckle for a three day outage to make much of a difference to your purchasing power, I think. And considering that there is at least one dependable earner in the household (The Heroic Lady, henceforth THL), even that is hardly going to impact your cash-flow.

    So, what this particular post boils down to is another epic pointless whine, isn’t it?

  12. Grece says:

    obeying the cable manufactures instructions

    Cable manufacturers do not hold dicta over installation.

  13. oiaohm says:

    Another quality product/service acquired, eh? What bozo drops cable in the ground without conduit.
    Someone at time obeying the cable manufactures instructions. Many of the cables used by telephone companies have so call integrated conduit what basically means make the outer wall of the cable thicker. Those cables are put straight in the ground. To those who don’t know about these cables they look like person is not deploying with a conduit at all.

    Yes another quality product of defect is the integrated conduit stuff. Where integrated conduit cables work they save a lot of deployment costs. Soil more expand and contract than cable rating then integrated conduit is fairly much a I will fail cable.

    Even if you deploy with conduit independent to cable it still possible to have cables snapping due to soil expand and contract in some places. This is normally lack of engineering work and using trial by error. So company deploys company of X rating it fails they deploy Y rating that is higher then wait to see if that one fails. Because doing the engineering work to deploy the right cable first time cost more than deploying 12 cables that end up snapped. So as long as they get it by cable 13 they are ahead. Yes cost cutting gone mad.

  14. Grece says:

    It’s not laid in a conduit but just buried in mud…

    Another quality product/service acquired, eh? What bozo drops cable in the ground without conduit.

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