Mstar Down to a Single Engineer?

We've all known that the situation at Mstar was dire, but who would have guessed it was this bad? Mstar is reportedly down to a single network engineer to handle all of their operations and technical support issues. The anonymous poster also claims that most of the customer service reps aren't trained to do any kind of basic troubleshooting, leaving that responsibility up to him to tackle. It sounds like the turmoil continues.

h/t: Dirk van der Woude

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9 Responses to Mstar Down to a Single Engineer?

  1. snacktacular says:

    And then there were none. I was in the Mstar lobby yesterday and overheard someone say that their only engineers last day was yesterday. Oh man are they in bad shape. If anything major breaks on Utopia you are all on your own.

  2. Anon says:

    Naa MSTAR will do what it always did when a customer called in with an issue. Call the UTOPIA NOC. Always loved training MSTAR techs to do their job. Although many got real good at doing it. Then either they quit, changed positions, or were fired/laid off. Then back to square one.

  3. Jesse says:

    snack: That’s a really scary thought. It’s not like engineers grow on trees or anything. Let’s hope UTOPIA brings on those new providers ASAP!

  4. Capt. Video says:

    Seems like UTOPIA (DC/Packetfront) and the UTOPIA NOC have lost more engineers than Mstar in the past year?

    But having no engineers is something Mstar should be worried about if that is true.

    Most customer problems would not require an engineer to solve them, but between their internal network (on Broadweave?) and their backbone connection to the internet the would likely need an engineer.

    Since they only have to connect their bandwidth provider to Utopia they just don’t have much actual network to worry about. Can that be done with just a few routers/switches and require only 1 good engineer?

  5. Whatever says:

    Capt Video. DC/Packetfront laid off its entire NOC, except for one person, this was done back in November. This came as a direct result of UTOPIA not being able to pay Packetfront. The results? 1 NOC technician. Not to mention the rest of the company…..

    In my outsiders view in, its a pretty dirty game, that cost a lot of people their jobs. UTOPIA was struggling yes, but now they are basically abandoning the DC/Packetfront relationship, and bringing those jobs all in house. I have to assume UTOPIA and Packetfront had some sort of contract, and UTOPIA no longer paying Packetfront, and then taking those jobs in house, is surely a breach to that contract?

    MStar also laid off many many many techs/installers/CS reps/other folks. These are good people, who lost their jobs, due to UTOPIA struggling to make this project work.

  6. Capt. Video says:

    I knew most of those at both Packetfront/DC and Mstar that have lost jobs. Some very, very good people there. At all three companies. Very sad. Very, very sad!

    I’m not sure I would place all the blame on UTOPIA. As usual, there’s lots of blame to go around.

    Had all companies (and UTOPIA) planned and projected subscribers better, and been managed better, they might have had fewer engineers and employees to start with and had fewer lay-offs?

    I suspect some deal was made between Packetfront and UTOPIA that involved UTOPIA buying more Packetfront hardware in the future in exchange for less Packetfront management and support. After all, Packetfront is a hardware company. But I could be way off on this. Let’s see if UTOPIA starts using any Packetfront hardware when construction gets going.

    With UTOPIA flush with new money and Packetfront hurting, I would not expect them to accept a breach of contract. Must be a deal there somewhere?

  7. Jesse says:

    UTOPIA didn’t exactly get off either. Multiple employees of UTOPIA worked without pay for an extended period (6 months or greater) just to keep things afloat.

  8. Anon says:

    I wish I was in a position to do that. Instead laid off in Round 2 and luckily found a job 8 days after given the boot.

    But still wish UTOPIA the best. Although, I am quite pissed at them right now on how they are hiring people but bypassing at least one doing work for them right now (unless something has changed in the past few weeks)

  9. Whatever says:

    Well whatever the cause, and whatever UTOPIA is now doing, they have lost years of experience in construction, network operations, mapping/planning, and general network experience. Starting from scratch basically. Luckily they were able to snag a few key players that were able to avoid the axe….. so hopefully it works.

    I wish UTOPIA the best, just wish things could come out a little cleaner for all those involved with the project to date. Lots of hard times have come, and Im sure there are more yet to be seen.

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