Packet loss: Cox split the node, but it didn't help!?

I'm extremely saddened, disappointed, and heartbroken right now. We've been having extreme packet loss and latency spikes for the last 7 months. I posted about the experience four months ago here:

https://forums.cox.com/forum_home/internet_forum/f/internet-forum/28432/upstream-packet-loss-and-jitter

We weren't able to make any progress with technicians/support teams so we were about to begin the process of switching to a new provider when several neighbors jumped in, said we're not alone, and even provided us with an official date for a node split – June 30, 2021, which was a few months away. We decided to wait it out.

Yesterday morning we received notice that they were starting on the upgrade, and a few hours later they were finished. I was monitoring latency and packet loss throughout the day with PingPlotter and saw no improvement. Below is an example with 3 hours of packet loss at times peaking 25% over 5 minute intervals. 

We checked in with the neighbors, and all of them said that their internet was flawless (edit: some neighbors are now reporting that there has been no improvement).

Before the node split, we had two technicians come to the residence and confirm that everything was good from our end. They confirmed the equipment and signals were all working nominally. 

Edit: I had another technician come on June 2 and he found no issues within the residence but did see unusual latency at the tap. He didn't see packet loss (he arrived when it was relatively calm), but packet loss started shortly after he finished testing the tap and he kindly refused my request to go test again for a couple more minutes.  Regardless, it's pretty likely that the latency he saw is related to the packet loss.

I'm making one last massive push to get this fixed. I will continue posting updates to this thread until we resolve the issue. I really feel like we can figure this out. Just need to find a way to get someone out here to diagnose the issue beyond the tap! 

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  • This is resolved.

    Cox has informed me that it's normal for them to continue monitoring and making adjustments to the area for up to 14 days after the node split.

    The latency, packet loss, and jitter issues we experienced were remedied by increasing the number of upstream channels in the area. I'm not sure if a node split is a prerequisite to that, but from what I understand, they were planning out and working on this entire upgrade for several months at least.

    Now I have some advice for others with similar issues:

    • Don't focus on packet loss. It seems that Cox's tools for testing their network are far less eager to declare a packet "lost" than most software. If you notice that your packet loss occurs alongside spikes in latency, then emphasize the latency spikes instead.

    • Don't give up if the first technician can't find anything. Have a couple more come out until someone spots it. If possible, try to schedule techs around times that you know the problem occurs most frequently.

    • It seems that Cox does not entirely respect PingPlotter or treat its results with much weight. In fact, 2 of the 3 technicians who visited our residence gave their own unique excuse for why it's not reliable. That said, it's a great tool to identify times of day where the issue occurs most frequently for the purpose of scheduling a technician.

    • Once a technician does finally manage to see the issue, they will open an internal maintenance ticket. At this point, the issue is beyond technicians and you will need to wait (potentially several months or longer) for a resolution. 

    The most frustrating part of this entire situation has been the lack of information. Throughout all of the emails, calls, chats, and technicians, I was unable to get Cox to definitively confirm:

    • If they were aware of our issue.
    • If they were aware of a wider issue with our area.
    • That work was planned or ongoing in the area to address our issue.

    It seems that an informal FCC complaint is the "way to go" for answers like those. I didn't file one while the issue was ongoing due to a neighbor providing us with information.

    Thanks all for the help along the way!

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