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Archive for Friday, January 8, 2010

Sunflower Broadband experiences outage

January 8, 2010, 9:29 a.m. Updated January 8, 2010, 10:42 p.m.

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Many Sunflower Broadband customers were without some of their favorite channels Friday morning.

According to Sunflower Broadband General Manager Rod Kutemeier, a piece of hardware failed at 3 a.m.

The outage was concentrated most heavily among standard definition digital channels, and most high definition and all analog channels were still available.

“This is very rare,” Kutemeier said on Friday. “There was a planned maintenance event last night that had nothing to do with this piece of equipment, so figuring out the problem took longer than we would have liked.

“We really apologize for the inconvenience,” Kutemeier said.

Sunflower Broadband is owned by The World Company, which also owns the Lawrence Journal-World.

Comments

tir 4 years, 8 months ago

Um, just for the record, I still don't have CNN or any KC or Topeka channels. I can get the weather channel and Fox News, MSNBC and CNBC, and USA. Someone at the paper needs to check with Sunflower and update this story, because it's not entirely accurate.

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Jonathan Kealing 4 years, 8 months ago

Hi tir--

Just talked to Sunflower. The channels that are available and out are changing pretty rapidly. It's impossible to say which channels will and will not be working, so we'll be updating the story accordingly.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 8 months ago

Just checked and there are a lot of channels that are still out.

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sad_lawrencian 4 years, 8 months ago

I hate to keep dumping on Sunflower Broadband but... seriously people... AT&T offers basically all the same services for a lot (a LOT) less money. And no downtime.

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emptymind 4 years, 8 months ago

8 January 2010 at 10:32 a.m.

Suggest removal

Permalink sad_lawrencian (Anonymous) says…

I hate to keep dumping on Sunflower Broadband but… seriously people… AT&T offers basically all the same services for a lot (a LOT) less money. And no downtime.

Agree with you...I am switching to UVERSE next week...much better deal, way more channels for ablut 10$ less a month for me. Sunflower has been the only game in town for so long they've forgotten what competition does.

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skinny 4 years, 8 months ago

I thought about switching to Uverse but Sunflower has such great customer support service and their channel lineup isn't that bad. I just wish they'd get rid of the download limits on their internet. That and they need to be a little more competitive! I am still thinking about switching but as long as Sunflower keeps making changes to improve their service and trying to remain competitive with their prices I’ll stay with Sunflower for now.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 8 months ago

It's only teevee.

As long as my furnace continues to work, and the water pipes don't freeze, I am a happy camper.

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Marcus DeMond 4 years, 8 months ago

I have dealt with Time Warner, AT&T and Cox before and their customer service is awful. For all those who switched to U-Verse, your savings are just a 12-month gimmick at best. Get ready for AT&T price increases because they are just around the corner...

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kusp8 4 years, 8 months ago

Haha. Silly Sunflower customers. I got rid of cable two months ago for uverse and I love it!!

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dinglesmith 4 years, 8 months ago

Does this also explain why my internet goes down all the time? I'm already looking at other providers. Doesn't matter how fast it is if it's not available.

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diplomacy205 4 years, 8 months ago

The only thing I don't love about my U-verse is the lack of Topeka news stations. Other than that, it's fantastic. I haven't had a moment of downtime.

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tswizzle 4 years, 8 months ago

Everyone complains at Sunflower whenever they get a chance. You need to remember that Sunflower Broadband is a local company who employs your neighbors. Switching to Uverse is not going to do you any better and at the same time you are hurting you local economy and lining the pockets of the big bad dog ATT.

What is the unemployment percentage for the Lawrence area? Do you want it go higher?

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ohgeeze 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm having a snow day and now I can't watch my trashy daytime tv?? bummer ;-)

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KnologySarah 4 years, 8 months ago

We apologize greatly for the inconvenience this has caused. Most channels are back on but may not be fully stable. Our technicians believe a final resolution is close.

Please feel free to email Sunflower Broadband at talktous@sunflowerbroadband.com, follow us on Twitter @SFBroadband or find us on Facebook. We're more than happy to help!

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Laura Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

I wondered; it seemed to hit the local networks (though I had channel 11 out of Topeka) mostly. Lucky for me I refuse to pay for more than one digital box so my other tvs have the basic channels, including all the local ones. As for switching--no way. I appreciate that I can call a local number and get a person right here in town to help me with issues; that there's a local store I can go to in order to get supplies; and my internet is incredibly stable. I've had Sunflower as my ISP since the early 1990s and have rarely had any problems. And, again, if I do, a local person comes out to fix it. That local service is worth the few extra bucks they charge than nationwide cable companies.

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tir 4 years, 8 months ago

I just checked and it looks like CNN and some of the other channels that were out have been restored. Thanks, Sunflower.

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tswizzle 4 years, 8 months ago

Also with Uverse you better be a smart shopper and read the fine print. I bet you will come away with a different point of view on their service.

Its enticing but it will end up becoming a pain in the long run.

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Larry Miller 4 years, 8 months ago

You might want to check AT&T's terms of service. Last time I looked, they can give your information to the gov't without telling you and without any warrant.

I've had Sunflower cable since the '70s and broadband as soon as it was available in our area. When I tell people using other services about my experiences with customer service they are astounded. Sunflower is one of the best nationwide.

Watch out for long term contracts - if you don't like it you are stuck. Sunflower does not require them.

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Zachary Stoltenberg 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree. As much as I cringe at that $180 a month, I compared the two, down to specific chancels, packages, internet, etc. When I compared apples to apples, there's no way AT&T is less. Nothing against AT&T, they are my cell provider, but for what I get from sunflower, they can't give me that price, and I don't have to worry about a technician coming from KC and charging me extra for being "out of the area." I'll be keeping my SBB as long as I live in Lawrence. I have had nothing but great experiences with them so far.

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NotASquishHead 4 years, 8 months ago

Any word on a credit to my account for the lack of service I paid for?

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frankwiles 4 years, 8 months ago

Seriously people, downtime happens to every business, including U-verse. It's more important how the business responds to it and what they do to help ensure it doesn't happen again. The only service I can think of using since I moved to Lawrence 14+ years ago that hasn't had a moment of outage for me is our water service.

Compared to most companies I use, Sunflower has a comparatively stellar record.

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KnologySarah 4 years, 8 months ago

All channels except for 2 Sunflower Preview and 100 KUKC are working now.

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KnologySarah 4 years, 8 months ago

hitme -

Do you have Sunflower Broadband for internet? Is there anything I can do to help? Please let me know!

Sarah

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coolmarv 4 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Hitme was making a funny?

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kuhusker 4 years, 8 months ago

For those comparing Sunflower and AT&T, I did an in-depth comparison of Sunflower Broadband and U-Verse here in Lawrence and blogged about it here:

http://lawrencebroadband.blogspot.com/

The end result was we decided to stick with Sunflower for television but use U-Verse for Internet.

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ralphralph 4 years, 8 months ago

6News rules! Stay with Sunflower.

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Betty Bartholomew 4 years, 8 months ago

Wait - U-Verse is available in Lawrence? 'Cuz every time I go to the AT&T website, it tells me it's not available at my address. What's up with that?

Also - I know I get annoyed when the TV is out, but that's usually because it means my internet is out, too, and companies - any company - never credit the bill for service outages. But I wouldn't call it an inconvenience - inconvenience is shoveling out my drive then having the snow plowed back into it, not being without TV for a little while. When did we all get to a point that we lose our grip when the TV's not on, anyhow?

Really, the only complaint I have about my cable is that the tier we're on (silver, I think, which is as much as we can afford) doesn't have BBC America. Sunflower should really add that in. I've considered switching to DishNetwork solely to get that channel without having to pay more, but I don't want to deal with a dish.

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KnologySarah 4 years, 8 months ago

bethlang1998 -

The Silver level of cable does include BBC America, it's channel 107 on the Variety Pack. If you'd like me to check into this further for you, please email talktous@sunflowerbroadband.com with your account information.

Thank you, Sarah

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ralphralph 4 years, 8 months ago

Sarah brings out the knobby stick ... and a smile!

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Eride 4 years, 8 months ago

"Watch out for long term contracts - if you don't like it you are stuck. Sunflower does not require them."

AT&T does not require a contract for its Uverse service. I think the older DSL service might still but this is simply flat out not true for the Uverse.

I don't know how one could possibly find Sunflower to be cheaper. Every single service they offer is more expensive...

I have had Uverse for over 6 months now and I have not had downtime once and my internet has remained stable around the listed speed the entire time. For the 6 years I had Sunflower cable I was constantly having issues with ripping and tearing of the video, the internet service would go out for hours at a time frequently, and there would frequently be disruptions of service for certain channels.

Too each their own. But I am going to take the service that costs way less (would cost me $80 more a month at Sunflower for what I have with Uverse), that gives me way more channels and actually provides consistent uptime.

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lionheart72661 4 years, 8 months ago

cheeseburger (Anonymous) says…

Credit on next month's bill? When the power goes out, the meter stops spinning. Not so with cable services. So will Sunflower do the right thing here Yes the will give you credit. I used to work for sunflower broadband and they have some of the best people working there in customer service. Problem is people complain about sooo much. You get you cable and internet for pennies a day so if it does go out ur only losing very little. AT&T customer service has the worst hold time i've ever seen. KUDOS to SFBB for being my cable provider. Wanna complain? Gas prices went from 2.36 a gallon to 2.49 a gallon. Gripe about that. and I agree get off ur butts and shovel snow. Hey SFBB I love you guys and wouldn;t trade u for anything. Sarah ur the best ;)

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lionheart72661 4 years, 8 months ago

Ah yes that too there is no contract with SFBB and you can upgrade or downgrade your service at anytime at no additional fee (save the price for upgraded service) Dish, AT&T and Direct charge you to change your service. And yes you may get a cheaper rate with some others but after a year or so the rates will sky rocket. You want good quality service at a good price stay with SFBB. Stop getting angry about service interruptions, We DO NOT live in a perfect world

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lionheart72661 4 years, 8 months ago

NotASquishHead (Anonymous) says…

Any word on a credit to my account for the lack of service I paid for?

SIMPLE: let's say you pay $100.00 a month for service. you service is out for 3 hours. Simple math divide 100.00 by 30 = 3.33 per day. Divide that by 24 = .13 cents per hour. you get credited .39 cents. Bottom line...Are you really paying a lot for cable???

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Eride 4 years, 8 months ago

"lionheart72661 (Anonymous) says… Ah yes that too there is no contract with SFBB and you can upgrade or downgrade your service at anytime at no additional fee (save the price for upgraded service) Dish, AT&T and Direct charge you to change your service. And yes you may get a cheaper rate with some others but after a year or so the rates will sky rocket. You want good quality service at a good price stay with SFBB. Stop getting angry about service interruptions, We DO NOT live in a perfect world"


Umm, I don't know how many times I need to say this. There is NO CONTRACT WITH AT&T FOR UVERSE, THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR CHANGING SERVICE.

Of course people should be upset when they pay for a service and it is frequently either completely down or of poor quality. I don't pay for internet service for it to work sometimes. I pay for it to work all the time. With AT&T UVerse I have had that on both the internet and TV side. Oh, and did I mention it costs way less money and doesn't require a contract or any change in service fees just like SFBB?!

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kuhusker 4 years, 8 months ago

FWIW, neither AT&T nor Sunflower require contracts (neither does Freenet if all you need is internet). The only Lawrence providers that require contracts are the two satelite-based TV services, Dish and DirecTV.

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 8 months ago

We apologize greatly for the inconvenience this has caused. Most channels are back on but may not be fully stable. Our technicians believe a final resolution is close.

---"but may not be fully stable ..." Hey! MSNBC hasn't been stable since they went on the air! you watch them and their video is way skewed to the left. technical trouble seems the worst during Olbermann and Matthews shows where the pic becomes very cloudy too adding to the far left skew. Kinda LOL though so please don't change a thing.


I had trouble with Sunflower, channels kept dropping out and every day I'd get alerts from my e-mail program that it couldn't connect.

SFBB tech came and fixed the problem: squirrels had been chewing the coax running into my house! now, were the squirrels Sunflower employees? Attack trained squirrels? dunno.
works great now with new coax.
anybody got a good squirrelgun you wanna sell?

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nwkshawk 4 years, 8 months ago

Squirrels chew on cable (and other metallic objects) to file down their teeth. They've knocked out my service before. ( I saw the evidence.) Tree rats.

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overthemoon 4 years, 8 months ago

I was also having repeated and increasing problems with my internet service. Have had problems with squirrels before so asked for a site visit. Turned out that the cable drop line from the pole to my house was old and wet (maybe squirrel damage, maybe just deterioration). They replaced the line and I have not had a single problem since. Worth having someone out to check if you're getting intermittent lack of connection.

I think, given the fact that there is very little worth watching on TV, that cable is WAY too expensive!! It is very annoying that in order to get the few channels I would like to have, I have to buy the whole gold package. It costs too much for the addition of only a couple of channels I would watch so we do without the good stuff and rarely watch TV at all.

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Larry Miller 4 years, 8 months ago

I just rewired my home with new cable. Sunflower came out and put ends on everything for free after I had pulled the cable where I wanted it to be. We had a new drop put in. My internet was upgraded to new cable at that point. It makes a huge difference. I've had no trouble with my internet. The picture - even on non-HD channels is noticeably better. If you are running the old wire I would really recommend replacing it.

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Jack Bell 4 years, 8 months ago

All in all Sunflower does a good job...A few years ago, I definitely might have been influenced by alcohol, I sent an email to Sunflower in as much of a professional manner as I could considering the circumstances, complaining about the cable that was in bad shape...Within about 6-8 hours I had a reply and later that day my cable was completely fixed...I then realized their service is great especially when I sent them an unpleasant email to begin with...All services have issues every now and then, fortunately Sunflower has good customer service...Now when the service is out and you are still getting charged i'm not really sure where I stand on that issue...

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cozy 4 years, 8 months ago

My sunflower tv keeps getting pixelated and will pause and catch up to itself. Sometimes it will just stay on the same image and the audio will stop too, a week or so ago it stayed like that for at least half an hour. The tv is being used for ps3 right now, so I dont know if it is doing it now. (But it most likely is.)

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Larry Miller 4 years, 8 months ago

cozy, you need to upgrade the wiring in your house. That fixed our problems.

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