Massive Cox Outage
Sun Aug 17th 2003, 7:18pm (updated Sun Aug 17th 2003, 11:46pm)
my cable modem at the moment So I sit here in day 2 of Cox's Internet service outage. My cable modem is sitting there in my computer closet with its "Status" light blinking indefinitely. The word I've received from Cox tech support is that this is all due to the Blaster virus, which has evidently taken down their entire infrastructure. However the obvious question is, why is a Windows virus taking down their networking gear? I could understand their email and web servers being down, both of which I could hardly care less about, but why can't my cable modem sync up?

Hmm. Perhaps there's a new RPC DCOM virus out there that Cox caught that's using vulnerable Windows boxes to DOS vulnerable Cisco equipment (re: the recent IOS vulnerability from July) within Cox. Now that would actually be funny. Oh well gee, there's no way I'd know about it since I have no Internet.

Argh. I suspect they just pulled the plug on all home accounts until they finish patching their systems.
dang resistor Update 8/17, 11pm: Relief at last! It turns out the problem most likely had nothing to do with the customer outages resulting from the Blaster virus, as I was told by tech support (probably the schmuck just wanted to get me off the phone).

I happened to remember that on one of the previous, multi-day outages such as this--in hindsight, there have been several in the 5+ years I've had Cox cable internet service--that the Cox cable guy came out and tested the line, and determined that the signal strength was either too high, or too low, and either added or removed a resistor to the cable line. Or some such fiddling. The whole process seemed very unscientific. He mentioned "if this ever happens again, you might try fiddling with this resistor". So I thought I'd give it a try. I removed the resistor, plugged the cable back in, waited a few minutes, and voila! That status light stopped blinking! A few tests revealed I had Internet connectivity again.

Now, from what I've gathered it sounds like this resistor adjusts the signal strength to bring it in between some acceptible values. And it sounds like the strength of the signal you receive depends highly on the number of other people in your neighborhood also using cable service. So I have to ask: how can you claim to have a reliable service if in the very act of plugging in a new customer, you risk knocking off one or more of your existing customers?? And you, the technician, would never know nor care, since you're not at the suckers' houses, you're at the guy's house you're getting hooked up. It seems like a very bad system. So probably what happened to me is some jerk up the street decided he wanted a cable modem, and because of him I got booted for the entire weekend.

Visitor comments
On Mon Aug 18th 2003, 9:53am, will posted:
Be sure to contact them, and tell them what the problem was, and what the technician told you on the phone. Tell them that lying to customers is unacceptable behavior, and you want them to do something about it. :) Damn cox... thats what they are, a bunch of cox ;)

On Mon Aug 18th 2003, 10:47am, billmcghee posted:
I have had the exact same isue with COX. An 'amplifier' was put on to fix my poor video signal and then later we discoverd that the very same amp is responsible form my cable modem dropping signal ocasinaly. Arrrrgh! The fix as to compromise and ad a less powerfull amplifier. I asked the tech if I could just have two lines from the ground box. One for TV and one for Internet. He just snickerd and noded his head in the negative. btw, this is my first post. I like your system. You should go check out and see thier kewl free wysiwyg javascrip replacment for textarea. It even has a spell checker (as you can see, I need desperatly). bill

On Mon Aug 18th 2003, 11:15am, Steve Kehlet posted:
Bill, that wysiwyg js editor looks pretty cool, thanks for the tip. Glad (?) to hear there are other customers suffering out there, just like me...

On Mon Aug 18th 2003, 11:19am, Steve Kehlet posted:
Here's the tech support request I just submitted, we'll see what those "cox" have to say in response: Hi, my cable modem lost its connection over the weekend. I have a D-Link DCM100, and the Status light kept blinking even after repeated power cyclings. I was told by tech support on Saturday and Sunday that it must be related to the outages caused by the Blaster virus and that I should just wait for everything to be fixed. After 2 days, I remembered from a previous, multi-day outage such as this that the problem had something to due with the signal strength on the wire, and the serviceman who came out either added or removed a resistor to the line. I looked and saw a resistor on the line, and after removing it my cable modem was able to sync up and my Internet service was restored. I understand that the signal strength is highly dependent on the number of customers in the area. But it doesn't seem like a very good system that by adding or removing service for a customer you risk disrupting service for one or more existing customers in the area. The reason I am writing is because I am concerned about the likelihood of my service being disrupted again in the same manner in the future, and the difficulty in which this problem can be diagnosed and corrected (i.e., a serviceman with special equipment must be scheduled and sent out, I have to take time off work, etc). I would like to know if there is more either party can do to prevent this from happening in the future. Oh, and by the way, I like this little 45x5 textarea you have for submitting tech support issues :-). Thanks in advance for your thoughts and response, Steve

On Tue Aug 19th 2003, 12:40am, matt posted:
I was wondering why my mail queue was piling up again ;)

On Tue Aug 19th 2003, 11:29am, billmcghee posted:
If my server (behind a COX modem) is not getting a lot of regular trafic the port seems to go to sleep. It will come back up on a hit but it takes a little while. Once I hit it once it responds pretty quickely for a while. Just wondering if you have the same problem and what you do about it? Not something I can really ask COX, 'ya know what I mean?

On Tue Aug 19th 2003, 2:17pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
So here's what I got back from them, little help as expected:

Dear Steven

Thank you for your e-mail regarding your service being disrupted. We
appreciate suggestions from our customers. At this time there is not
another way for this type of issue to be correctly diagnosed and
handled, but this will be escalated to the appropriate department for

Cox provides several ways for you to find answers to many of your Cox
High Speed Internet questions FAST!

Just visit the customer support site at,

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Adding, deleting or changing your password.

or try Online Technical Support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

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On Tue Aug 26th 2003, 11:24am, eburrows posted:
Cox sucks. We have all known this for years. It's a crappy after-thought of a system, but most of us have no ther options! DSL is great, but only if you can walk to the central office, and T1s are terrific, if you're made of money. I can get 'net access from my satellite phone, but only at 14k. My house isn't even directly connected to a PacBell central office. My copper goes to a 'fibre hut' where I'm trunked onto a SONET ring to the C.O. I'm sure you're in the same boat Steve. Why can't they break off a little bit of that fibre for us?! You know they've got IP running on it, at least for management. Stick a DSLish card in there, and do some IP accounting on the peering firewall! It's not that hard guys! (end rant)

On Thu Mar 30th 2006, 8:36pm, Visitor posted:
setting e-mail account

On Sat Jan 27th 2007, 8:44pm, Visitor posted:
i believe cox should give everyone their own STATIC ip address. but they're to mean to ever do that :(

On Sat Feb 10th 2007, 1:17pm, Visitor posted:
As for static IP's, I think the IP only changes when the modem is offline for 24 hours or if the WAN MAC address changes (like a different computer).

I like that response from cox -- if you can't get on the internet, go to our website...

On Tue Jul 8th 2008, 11:32am, Visitor posted:

On Tue Jul 8th 2008, 12:33pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
Sorry, I'm not Cox tech support, and in no way affiliated with them. Please call or email them instead.

On Wed Jul 30th 2008, 5:39pm, Visitor posted:
Cox has had an outage in Fairfax Vienna area for the past 10 days. Customer support does not provide an estimate on when the outage will be fixed.

On Sat Sep 26th 2009, 6:18am, Visitor posted:
My Coz internet service was out for about 8 hours on 9-24/25-2009. First time I called in there was a general message that Internet service was out "in the entire [Tucson] valley area", I called in three hours later and their IVR system said "you called earlier, is this the same problem" when I said yes it sent me to the queue and obviously they were overloaded, after 20 mins I hung up.

Later that day I was in a store and heard a woman saying that she was there to use the QWest wifi there as "Cox internet is out statewide". By that point though my internet was back. I cannot find any news stories about this outage...

On Wed Jan 26th 2011, 9:36am, Visitor posted:
Well, its Wednesday January 26th, and cox e-mail is out once again.

On Wed Jan 26th 2011, 10:52am, Steve Kehlet posted:
That's too bad. This article was from 2003, a long time ago. My service with Cox has been excellent in recent years, I have very little to complain about these days. But I hope their email comes back up for you soon!

On Sun Dec 16th 2012, 12:43pm, Visitor posted:
This is disgusting. How about cox crediting customers for their problems created by this?

On Sun Dec 16th 2012, 12:44pm, Visitor posted:
This is disgusting. How about cox crediting customers for their problems created by this?