You get what you pay for (Spectrum cable modem story)

Joined
Dec 7, 2012
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2,562
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WNY
You get what you pay for... or don't in this case.

I have 200 Mbps Spectrum. My cable modem is a 2 year old DOCSIS 3.0 Technicolor modem. As of late, I have been having to restart the cable modem daily.

Figured, well I'll get a new one from Spectrum since there is no rental fee. I get the new modem, a DOCSIS 3.1 Hitron E31N2V1. Get it home, can't seem to break past 1.5 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up -- weird. Power cycle it, a few times - still nothing. I call Spectrum, they send multiple refreshes to it - no better. Plus lots of latency and terrible jitter. Mind you, even though the previous modem required restarts, it worked well, while it worked.

I started looking online, apparently this modem is NOTORIOUS for having terrible latency and general lackluster performance. This modem has an Intel Puma chipset. At this point I'm feeling real great. The rep on the phone offers to send another modem to me, or I can pick another one up at the store. I inquired about different models and they said it would most likely be replaced with the same model and that this is their top modem even paired with their 1 Gbps service tier.

That's enough for me. In a way, hate to do it (spend the money), but went out and bought my own modem. A familiar brand and model. Picked up an Arris SurfBoard SB8200, DOCSIS 3.1, capable of handling Gigabit service. Got it home, called Spectrum to add it/activate it, power cycled once and we're back in business.

The free modem thing is nice, but I whole heartedly value my reliable home ISP over anything else. I never know when I need to remote in or in general want to work from home. This modem should work well for time to come. Should be relaiatvey future-compliant being DOCSIS 3.1 and able to handle Gigabit. Didn't want to shell out the money and find out in 2 years from Spectrum "hey guy, we need you on DOCSIS X.X so we'll give you a new modem free!".
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
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1,944
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NY
Spectrum gave me there eu2251 modem a few months ago. It seems to work pretty good. I get about 240 Mbps up and 11.5 down. Im not sure what chipset it has but I havent really had to reboot it. My situation was like yours where my old modem had to be constantly rebooted.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2019
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Muncie, Indiana
The gateway I have from Comcast is Puma7 based, I haven't had any problems with it, the Puma 6 problem is a random intermittent packet loss and latency problem that generally doesn't affect your general speed but can be very irritating in certain workloads, sounds like there was something wrong with your cable line or something wasn't provisioned right.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
877
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Los Angeles
Spectrum has they're own branded 3.1 modems made by hitron or ubee. I had the ubee version of the modem you had and it work perfectly. I'm not sure if it had the puma chips etc but I had another Arris modem for over 2 years before that had the latency issue. The ubee version was very good. I'm moving soon and I will have to switch back to them. I picked up a amazon warehouse used sb6183 for 22 bucks to avoid the 9.99 "sell install" fee. 🙄 The modem should be fine for 200mbps.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
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9,800
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California
Comcast hasn’t had as many issues with Intel Puma chipsets as much as Charter or Wave(Astound/RCN) and Rogers/Shaw in Canada are having them. But then again, Comcast does have a close relationship with Arris and Technicolor and their X1/XFi CPE platform is actually used by other cable companies(both Arris and Technicolor are making the X1/XFi cable boxes, companion boxes and cable gateways). Cox and Rogers is using X1 and XFi but rebranded.

A majority of Charter’s infrastructure and CPE is Scientific-Atlanta from the Time Warner/Adelphia days. Scientific-Atlanta was a part of Cisco and then became Technicolor. Arris took over the cable TV/internet division of Motorola/General Instrument which was who Comcast(and before that Viacom Cable who became TCI and then AT&T Broadband) used for CPE and their central plant.

Arris Surfboards with the Broadcom chipset(SB6183/8200 and S33) are all I recommend for cable modems. Broadcom is one of the silicon companies specializing in DOCSIS chipsets and cable TV SoCs.
 
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Joined
Apr 15, 2010
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7,829
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Connecticut
Yep all these companies just keep using garbage. The technicians laugh when they come out and replace the modem, saying they will be back in less than a year when that one dies. Not sure how that is a good business model, I'm sure the time the technicians have to come out isn't free.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
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2,691
Location
Texas, USA
Frontier probably has my router replacement set up as a permanent reminder on their calendar. It's like clockwork.
I don't know what kills them, but when performance starts to degrade, I know it's about a week before it drops completely. We put it on a real surge protector a few years ago, in case Texas's famous electrical storms might be the culprit, but nothing changed.

They'll send me another POS and we'll soldier on for another year. They're all getting their equipment from the lowest bidder, with no regard for how much they're spending to replace them frequently.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
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USA
A lot of modem and router problems are from the power adapter. The modem is low-bidder, then consider the modem manufacturer went to their low bidder for adapters. They end up being undersized and using really cheap capacitors inside that hot little case that runs 24/7-- a short life.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
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8,038
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South Carolina
I dont blame you for buying your own. I always have and but on a service call last year, I told them to put their own modem in because the guy was blaming our new Surfboard modem which I KNEW he was wrong. I KNEW the technician just wanted to get out of my house and call it a day and/or was clueless on what to do, so I called his bluff and told him to put in his own modem, made no difference.

Anyway my speeds still were not what I was paying for (just like I knew the guy was wrong) in the 80's for 100 Mbps service (at the time) .. so instead of calling Spectrum back I just filed a complaint with the FCC. Piece of cake, took minutes and left the burden with Spectrum. Didnt have to waste my time on the phone with Spectrum, file a complaint and let Spectrum contact me and get someone over here.

Wow! Talk about action! less then a week later a Spectrum Field supervisor calls about my complaint asking what day and time she and another technician can come over.
Problem solved after TWO days of working on it. (not full days) Speed went to 112 Mbps on my 100 Mbps service... then weeks later Spectrum min plan is higher so I get 235 Mbps on my 200 Mbps service.


.....
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2002
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21,316
Location
Silicon Valley
I am sure they are aware of the problem with the puma chipset and they give it to you for "free" to throttle you via this bug. Great profit for them and many business users or old people won't know or can't tell.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
22,972
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Upper Midwest
I am sure they are aware of the problem with the puma chipset and they give it to you for "free" to throttle you via this bug. Great profit for them and many business users or old people won't know or can't tell.
So does it actually cost the ISP to give you a wider bandwidth (which you’ll likely never use) or is it just sold at a higher price for bragging rights? Mainly thinking of residential service, not a server farm.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2021
Messages
227
Location
Salt Belt
I had their technocolor modem/router in first year. Terrible bottom-tier machine, need reset to resume working everyday. Then I bought my own device, much better experience.
 

redhat

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 7, 2012
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WNY
So does it actually cost the ISP to give you a wider bandwidth (which you’ll likely never use) or is it just sold at a higher price for bragging rights? Mainly thinking of residential service, not a server farm.
Well, I don't think it essentially costs them more to give you (one customer) a higher bandwidth package -- as the nodes will get saturated if too much bandwidth is pulled. Because I think they all have a finite limit. But perhaps certain rural areas they keep at a "less than full" capacity and this saves them from upping each central office's equipment stack? I do not know.
 

redhat

Thread starter
Joined
Dec 7, 2012
Messages
2,562
Location
WNY
Comcast hasn’t had as many issues with Intel Puma chipsets as much as Charter or Wave(Astound/RCN) and Rogers/Shaw in Canada are having them. But then again, Comcast does have a close relationship with Arris and Technicolor and their X1/XFi CPE platform is actually used by other cable companies(both Arris and Technicolor are making the X1/XFi cable boxes, companion boxes and cable gateways). Cox and Rogers is using X1 and XFi but rebranded.

A majority of Charter’s infrastructure and CPE is Scientific-Atlanta from the Time Warner/Adelphia days. Scientific-Atlanta was a part of Cisco and then became Technicolor. Arris took over the cable TV/internet division of Motorola/General Instrument which was who Comcast(and before that Viacom Cable who became TCI and then AT&T Broadband) used for CPE and their central plant.

Arris Surfboards with the Broadcom chipset(SB6183/8200 and S33) are all I recommend for cable modems. Broadcom is one of the silicon companies specializing in DOCSIS chipsets and cable TV SoCs.
Thank you for this info. This is super techy and I love reading about stuff like this. Sure can tell you know your stuff.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
9,800
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California
So does it actually cost the ISP to give you a wider bandwidth (which you’ll likely never use) or is it just sold at a higher price for bragging rights? Mainly thinking of residential service, not a server farm.
What Comcast is doing with their newest Xfinity XFi gateway is bundling it with their “advanced” security package and offering unlimited data on any speed tier(except for Internet Essentials which is capped to 50Mbps, IIRC - it was 10Mbps before the virus that shall not be named). That’s $25 on top of whatever speed you pay for to get rid of a 1TB data cap. They don’t tell you it’s an additional $20 for AYCE data if your BYOM.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
4,043
Location
Kansas City
Today I took up AT&T on their 300mbps offer on fiber internet. When they told me it would go up $28 after a year I balked. Said I would quit if it went up and quoted the agent prices for Spectrum and T-Mobile in my area. They agreed to $45 a month with a 300mbp modem till I die or don't need internet. Shocked me. I guess losing a 50 year ATT/SW Bell customer was not something the supervisor wanted.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
2,433
Location
CA
For what it's worth: Over at http://www.dslreports.com/ techs used to hang out in the support forums, helping troubleshoot DSL, cable, and telephone line problems. I haven't been over there in a few years, but, esp. with Christmas coming up, it was the one place I could go to get ahold of someone at AT&T when everybody else was on vacation.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
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Great Lakes
What Comcast is doing with their newest Xfinity XFi gateway is bundling it with their “advanced” security package and offering unlimited data on any speed tier(except for Internet Essentials which is capped to 50Mbps, IIRC - it was 10Mbps before the virus that shall not be named). That’s $25 on top of whatever speed you pay for to get rid of a 1TB data cap. They don’t tell you it’s an additional $20 for AYCE data if your BYOM.
If you bring your own modem it’s +$30/month for unlimited data…. I was looking into it this weekend. Ultimately cheaper to just eat the $10 overage costs as we are always almost at or just above… though my last bill was $85 because I went almost 200gb over.
 
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