ATT fiber drops briefly numerous times during the day... SOLVED
I've ran across several posts in the AT&T forums and elsewhere, where people say their fiber connection is unstable. It will drop for brief periods of time--from just a couple of seconds to a few minutes--but it happens constantly throughout the day. I just had fiber installed last week and I was having this problem.
I would see the same symptoms in the GUI that others were mentioning. Usually, the GUI wouldn't report anything wrong, but if it did say the fiber was down, it would be with an error of "Temporary failure in name resolution."
I work for an MSP and was a Spectrum tech for 3 years, so I decided to do so poking around. I'll just cut to the chase. This is the culprit:
The install tech had said that this new plate was something AT&T was all hot and heavy about. He even showed me where he had to take a photo of the plate after installation, and it would make sure the red dot was aligned properly. Somehow this plate is very important to AT&T, but in my case at least, it was also the sole reason for my intermittent service. Here's why.
Before this plate was installed, this was where the Spectrum coax plate was. Here's a pic of what that plate looked like:
As you can see, the coax is centered directly in the middle of the plate. As was the hole in the wall under the plate. So when this plate was replaced with the AT&T plate, the fiber was put through the same hole, right in the center of the plate. What we end up with is this:
Now, when the lid is on the plate, the light green block is snapped into the bracket at the bottom. In my case, there was so much tension on the incoming fiber (due to the tight bend) that it snapped loose when the lid was removed.
And this, everyone, is exactly what the problem is.
All cable--coax, fiber, or otherwise--is specified with a minimum bend radius. For some types of cable, this specification can be more important than in others. When the minimum bend radius of fiber is exceeded, there is signal loss.
As soon as I removed the lid and left the cable hanging as you see above, my issue disappeared. The incoming fiber was allowed to relax and was no longer forced to exceed its minimum bend radius spec.
I'm not certain, but I think if the hole had been larger, allowing the incoming fiber to rest in the vertical channel you see in the primary large hole of the plate (see pic below), perhaps the bend radius would not have been exceeded:
Haven't tested that theory yet. But for now, at least, I am happy that my new fiber installation actually performs properly.