Comcast Decentralizing Network Support Groups?

A Comcast insider part of a network operations group tells me that Comcast is doing some behind the scenes reorganization and decentralization so as not to suck as much. The insider says:

“We used to be split into main support groups, East Noc/West Noc, one in Denver, one in Bishop’s Gate NJ. Most of that work is getting pushed out to local groups. The national groups are getting scaled down. Local groups getting scaled up. Should be better support all around for the network. It’s by no means a perfect company, no company is, but this is a good move for all. It’s giving the first responders the ability to do what needs to be done. Before we were the middle man in a wild chain of escalation. I can now personally take ownership of an issue should one occur in my market.”

If true, this a good move for Comcast that should improve network performance.

(Photo: largeprime)

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  1. billbillbillbill says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Now if they could hire some guys instead of subbing everything out to companies that don’t give a crap about Comcast’s customers then I might consider switching back to them.

  2. Nighthawke says:

    That won’t last very long. Pretty soon the suits will carp about the added expense of maintaining it.

  3. renilyn says:

    @billbillbillbill: You know, the sad part is that the contractors are the ones that usually “aren’t” the bad guys. Historically, contractors go out, do their job, report problems to the MSO (in this case Comcast) and go home at the end of the day.

    Typically what ends up happening is: Yes, thank you for letting us know, we’ll take care of it…. says the MSO. Do the issues get taken care of? RARELY.

    I know that it is MUCH easier to blame the contractors, they’re no name folks that are easy to blame. No doubt there what so ever. However the sad part is that most of the time, its not the contractor…its the MSO.

    I know there is at least one other commenter on this board that I have worked with and next to–that will back up how poorly the MSO’s deal with ANY challenges that are turned into them. Thankfully, that person and I worked in a hub of the cable company in TX and we were in direct contact (they were a cube away) with the escalation team. I would say in those cases, things got turned over and taken care of maybe 20% of the time. Better than the 1% that is “normal”.

    I am not knockin’ ya Bill. If I had never been associated with the business, I would have the same opinion. I am also sure you have had experience(s) with contractor types that work for the cable company-they aren’t perfect, I’ll be the first to admit. Unfortunately the majority of the time, they’re only doing what they are told. It IS pathetic, no doubt!

  4. EyeHeartPie says:

    @renilyn:

    While “historically”, contractors may not be the bad guys, in Comcast’s case, they usually are. Have you not read the oodles of stories about Comcast contractors who claim to have found no one home when someone was waiting for hours for an installation? Or who don’t know what they are doing and drill holes in floors and walls for no reason? Or who show up for an installation drunk and high?

  5. Corydon says:

    This is a good thing in some ways, not so much in others.

    All of your expertise is currently tied up in those two NOCs, which means you’ll have the local teams scrambling to get up to speed. Some will be more successful than others.

    My prediction is that for areas that are already handling support fairly well, they’ll do a decent job with this as well.

    The places that suck may not see any improvement and may actually start to suck harder as they apply their (crappy) support models to this new stuff too.

    Escalating complaints may be harder too since there’s no longer a single point of contact for your CSR to complain to. If you get a local CSR, it probably won’t be a problem. If you get someone in an outsourced call center, they’ll probably have even less of a clue than they do now (not their fault…they just usually have to support lots of different areas, all with different rules for escalations…it’s hard to stay on top of all of that).

  6. renilyn says:

    @EyeHeartPie: Without a doubt I’ve heard them. I am not saying that it never happens. But saying that the contractors are ALWAYS the issue, is wholly wrong.

    Drill holes in the floor? Yup, boss said today that we no longer fish coax through the walls and this is the way that the MSO said we need to do it as of today.

    Idiots not actually going to the house when they have a job there? Oh hell ya. Because their 1 unit job wont pay as much as the next appointment that is 4 units. If the contractors were paid by the hour like the folks that work for the MSO, shit ya they would be there every time. But why should they spend 2.5 hours at a house and get paid $13.50, when they can go to the next house and make $90 for the same amount of time? That isnt the contractors fault, that is the MSO’s fault. They are the ones that write the contracts for the pay.

    That is the way cable works. Its sick, and its one of the main reasons that we are no longer in that business. I wouldn’t recommend it to ANYONE on this planet. The “rules” change by the hour, the pay sucks for what you have to do for it.

    Man I am not supporting either side here. I simply wanted to give some insight to what happens on “the other side” of the cable crap out.

    Hell, it took my family 29 months to get a problem fixed with Comcast that we knew existed (in our own home) when we moved in. Not only was it turned in through the usual crappy channels, but to the folks that actually take care of this “Plant” where we live. I’ve been a victim of it too… and we worked for them! I can understand.

  7. billbillbillbill says:

    My problem with contractors came down to the fact that they made an excuse to not do the work at the time of our apointment. They told us they would come back but for 2 weeks made excuses. The biggest excuse was that Comcast was continually giving them more jobs so they didn’t have time to do the one scheduled a few days previous. I finally called Comcast and demanded a true Comcast employee in a Comcast truck to come and do the install. They made me wait another week for an official Comcast guy to come out but it got done finally. After my promotion was up, I was out fo there.

  8. satoru says:

    this has nothing to do with your support or the loser contractors you will interact with. This is reference to the NOC or Network Operations Centers. Basically these are giant rooms filled with monitors and ‘hopefully’ competent network engineers watching for network spikes and bottlenecks. In addition they should be watching their server health for email and other services they provide such as Video On Demand.

    It’s hard to say how a decentralized NOC would be helpful. Personally centralization encourages consistency. Having NOCs all over the places tends to degenerate into subgroups pointing the finger at each other.

  9. renilyn says:

    @satoru: @satoru: Nope, Im with you. I agree with the centralization of NOC, in no matter what business. Consistency is key… too bad it doesn’t work that way :(