[conspire] One service visit, three existing services demolished

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Nov 1 01:03:11 PST 2015

It gets worse:  I figured out exactly what happened to the television signal.
Picture here:  https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CStmJH1UsAAa6Qo.jpg

Let me share a small epiphany I had, that helped me reach a new
pinnacle of extreme annoyance:

  Comcast's subcontractor deliberately sabotaged the antenna gear we 
  installed in 2011 for the sole purpose of firing Comcast.

Seriously.  During one installer visit, three services were sabotaged in
total (landline telephone, existing aDSL, and antenna television feed),
and the third of those was the one we _paid for to get rid of Comcast_.

Think about that one, for a minute.

As mentioned upthread, in 2011 we paid excellent local company AV
Solution Pros $400 to install two cutting-edge rooftop TV antennas, so
we could dispense with Comcast cable television service.  The two feeds
of 75 ohm RG-6 coax cable join and traverse the roofedge to the far side
of the garage, then go through the water meter box to inside the garage,
and cross the garage ceiling to the crawlspace door.  There, inside the
crawlspace, AV Solution Pros joined the antenna feed to an existing
underfloor coax cable network running to three indoor terminations, in
the living room, the office (where we have the TiVos and large TV
monitor), and the master bedroom.

Now, imagine yourself a subcontractor installer for a firm like Comcast.  
You visit a house, and decide to run new coax cable from the overhead
telephone pole to the garage.  The customer (Cheryl) said she wants the 
cable Internet unit inside the living room.  You see existing TV antenna
feed from the roof through the garage to the living room, and note that
it reaches the living room.  Score!  Do you...?

1.  Ask the customer what to do, or
2.  Run cable ~40 feet to the living room, _or_
3.  Cut the antenna cable just outside the water meter box, and then 
    steal & repurpose all inbound cable just to avoid having to run
    40' of coax.

Guess which one he did?  That's right, option 3.  He could see plain 
as day that he was slicing and disabling the whole antenna system, 
and just did so without permission or discussion.

If you would never presume to grab an entire house cable network 
without asking 'Is this avalable?' first, congratulations:  You're
disqualified from being a Comcast subcontractor on grounds of excessive
business ethics.

This covert theft of the entire network of underfloor coax has left me
in a quandary:

There is zero point in wasting the entire underfloor coax network 
on one cable Internet feed to the living room.  To create that feed, the bozo
robbed us of ability to have television signal in _any_ of the three
previously supplied locations.  I believe two solutions are possible:

  1.  'Put it back, fool.'  Reconnect the antennas to the existing 
  cross-garage cable and subsequent underfloor cable network.   Then, 
  after that remedial re-creation of our 2011 we're-firing-Comcast setup, 
  separately run a _new_ cable run from the garage to the living room.  
  This should probably be around the garage and patio roof-edge to the
  living room and through the outside wall, a run of about 40 feet,
  which is what the bozo _should_ have done on Friday.

  2.  Concede Comcast's theft, and instead run all new cable from the
  garage room to the crawlspace, under the floor to (at least) the office.  
  This is much, much more work than option #1, and with less satisfactory
  results.  (Without running a -lot- of underfloor cable, we end up with
  television signal at only one indoor location.)

So, I expect it'll be option #1 -- which amounts to 'pay someone
competent to un-do the Comcast's subcontractor's sabotage, reconnect the
antenna feed competently, and then independently do the fresh cable run
to the living room that Comcast's idiots should have done'.

It burns me that these saboteurs are getting _paid_, and now we get to
pay to undo the damage they did.

I've considered requiring O.C. Communications to come back and do it right
at their expense.  The problem with that is that I would rather not
trust them to do anything more challenging than, say, picking belly
button lint -- and am presently disinclined to let them cross my
property line until some time after the heat death of the universe.

Some longer-term lessons:

1.  Modern houses are complex systems, and any visiting contractor needs
to be closely supervised.  'Closely supervised' means a local insists 
on hearing in detail what work will be done, understands it, is
competent to judge whether this is what is wanted, and then watches 
the contractor like a hawk.

2.  Cheryl did none of that; she punted.  She also understood roughly 
nothing about the existing house cabling.  She was surprised when 
Deirdre explained to her today about cabling from the antenna to the
TiVos:  She never really thought about how the television signal
arrived.  She knew nothing about what was being done and how; she knew
only that magic Comcast packets arrived at her computer.

3.  I expect that your typical Comcast installer has all the competence
and due diligence of a drunken frat boy.

I'd advise not letting one set foot on your property, ever.

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