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Squirrels, Bad Wiring, and Four Tech Repair Visits: Resolving an Internet Outage, Part 2

Design News Senior Editor Spencer Chin sees issues with his Internet service continue even after the first tech service visit. Part 2 of this tale details a never-ending series of calls, more repair visits, and escalating frustration.

Spencer Chin

August 3, 2023

6 Min Read
yellowethernetcable.jpg
The yellow Ethernet cable was also a suspected culprit in the author’s Internet troubles and was taken out of service.Spencer Chin

Part 2:  More Phone Calls, Visits, and Frustration

After the first repair tech visit on the Monday after the phone and Internet went out, everything was working normally─until Tuesday morning. Just around the time I was waking up, the Internet was out, although landline phone service was working fine. I plugged and unplugged the router several times.

The sign of a properly working Verizon router is a steady white light. A yellow light indicates a malfunction. This time, plugging and unplugging the router would not do the trick, with the router light glowing a steady yellow. A couple of times, the router light would initially be white, but after 10 minutes would glow yellow.

After getting on the phone explaining the situation to the Verizon tech, he proceeded to reboot the signal going to the ONT box, which at this point was locked, and the router was working again. But a few minutes after getting off the phone, the router light turned yellow again. Several more attempts at getting the router working yielded similar results. Several hours later, I called Verizon tech support once again.

This time, after explaining the situation, the tech support person suggested the Ethernet cable from the wall jack to my router might be the culprit. The yellow Ethernet cable was only a few years old and from what I could see, had no visible signs of deterioration or damage. But I’d figure I would that person’s suggestion, and dropped $50 for a new, 50-ft Ethernet cable from my local Staples.

Related:Squirrels, Bad Wiring, and Four Tech Repair Visits: Resolving an Internet Outage

After returning, I disconnected the yellow Ethernet cable from the wall jack and router and substituted the new, blue Ethernet cable. Viola! The router light was white─but again this lasted no more than 10 minutes. Before one could blink an eye, the router light turned yellow again.

Another Call, Another Tech Support Visit

I called Verizon Tech Support again and, this time, they decided it was time to send another technician Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, I received a message on my mobile phone─one of my tech devices that did not fail during this entire ordeal, that my Mobile Hotspot data was getting low. I tried to add another 10 GB of data through their online app, but doing this over a cellular connection was an exercise in futility. I wound up calling their customer service number, waiting on hold for 20 minutes, and finally taking care of that issue so I can have some Internet access for work.

This Tech Was in a Hurry

Fast forward to Wednesday morning, and the Verizon tech showed shortly after 8 am as scheduled.  He proceeded to open the terminal box housing the ONT, this time with ease, and after some tests decided the ONT terminal itself was not working properly. I told him that terminal was only a few years old and replaced one that operated flawlessly for over a decade, but he explained that things can go wrong with newer terminals.

After discussing some of the other measures I had taken to no avail, this Verizon technician also hooked an Ethernet cable and a router he had brought along, to test the power from the ONT. He also took a look at the Verizon-supplied power adapter, which was tucked away in a corner of a second floor bedroom and displaying a green light indicating normal operation. This procedure brought objections from my spouse, who does not like outside repair personnel in private quarters, but nevertheless, the technician verified the power from the ONT was working.

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Suspecting that my router may also be problematic, the technician also hooked my blue Ethernet cable to his router, and it worked. Surprisingly, he suggested I keep his router as a backup.  I would have liked for him to stay a few more minutes to see if the router he was leaving behind would stay on, but he explained he had a bunch of appointments to get to so he left.

Lo and behold, not that much sooner after he left, the router light again turned yellow. When I (once again) called Verizon and explained the situation, the tech support person on the other end acknowledged my growing frustration admitted the tech did not complete the job. He agreed to send yet another tech to follow up, this time midday Thursday.

Do Miracles Happen?

Fast forward again to Thursday morning, and just as I was settling into another day trying to stretch out the data available from my Mobile Hotspot, I’d figure I’d dabble with the Internet connection one more time. This time, I first unplugged and reset the power adapter in the bedroom, then went to my home office and unplugged and replugged the router back in. After resetting it came back white. Figuring it would turn yellow, I came back 20 minutes later, and believe it or not it was still glowing white! Well, I’d decided to switch the laptop back onto Wi-Fi, expecting to lose the access at some point.

I almost forgot later that morning that a tech service repair person was scheduled to come by around noon. I wasn’t confident at that point that my Internet would continue to stay on, so I figured I wait for him to come. When he did, the Internet was still working and I explained the situation. He took a quick look at my equipment and left after a few minutes, though suggested next time to wait for a tech service person to come rather than attempting to repair the system on one’s own.

Hours went by, and I continued to have working Internet access on my PC. The other connected devices in my household─several mobile phones, two flat-screen TVs, several Wyze security cameras, and a Ring video doorbell, were functioning as well.

Maybe my prayers were finally answered. Maybe all the various fixes on the equipment resolved the Internet outage once and for all.

Back to Square One

I had an uneventful Friday with steady Internet access. I had to step out to run errands Friday evening, and just as I was pulling into my driveway my spouse said the Internet was down. I checked my mobile phone and, what was supposed to be a relatively stress-free beginning to the weekend quickly reverted to a stressful situation. It was back to square one resolving an Internet outage.

The events that transpired afterwards, and the long-awaited ending to this ordeal follows in Part 3.

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News covering the electronics beat. He has many years of experience covering developments in components, semiconductors, subsystems, power, and other facets of electronics from both a business/supply-chain and technology perspective. He can be reached at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor with Design News, covering the electronics beat.

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