Author Topic: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?  (Read 1190 times)

onemorebike

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ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« on: July 31, 2018, 11:24:15 AM »
Two years ago I bought my own modem to avoid renting from my ISP, our monthly internet was ~$23 bucks a month. They've changed their package so now that my contract expired, I called to renegotiate and they only have a $45 a month plan at the speed I'm currently at - doubling the cost for the same service. :( Anyway, I'm not going to the other ISP in town, so I'm wondering - they offered to double my rate for $10 a month, but it would require a new modem (The C3000z apparently is the only one that can do it and those sell for about $150). Speeds have been tolerable around the house but I often work from home (which includes skype conferences) and we all enjoy a little streaming video now and again.

Curious if anyone has any alternative idea for how to work this? Should I stay at current speed and avoid the modem upgrade or go a little faster? I am not retired, but carry no debt, and we are steadily saving a decent amount for retirement.

HipGnosis

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 11:35:34 AM »
What speeds?
What are your needs for speed?

EOS

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 11:41:02 AM »
If you're doing Skype calls without a problem, then there is no 'need' to get more bandwidth.   Skype would be a royal pain in the A** if there wasn't enough bandwidth.

onemorebike

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 12:08:02 PM »
Skype doesn't work great, but works. Anyone clear on if I really need their new modem? Seems like my newish modem should fit the bill but I have no idea.

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ketchup

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 12:18:21 PM »
Depending on your version of DOCSIS, you could be limited: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOCSIS#Comparison

What are the speeds?

HeadedWest2029

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 12:51:51 PM »
Exactly right.  I'd be stunned if you were on a modem pre-DOCSIS 3, in which case there will be no real perceptible difference.  Even during the transition from DOCSIS 2 to 3, ISP's would try to convince you to get a new modem even before they offered speeds that made DOCSIS 3 necessary.  Consider the incentive...they want consumers equipped to fully utilize bandwidth, lest they complain to them saying they aren't getting the bandwidth they pay for.  Easier to put that infrastructure in place (on the customer dime).

frugaliknowit

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 01:50:34 PM »
If the speed works for you, as the saying goes:  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..."

Related to your story:  About 5 years ago, I signed up for AT&T Uverse (sounded GREAT:  Fiber, man, Fiber!!!).  They charged me for a new modem, which they told me I owned (but could NOT buy on my own...).

About one year ago, I was having trouble streaming, so I called them.  They sent a service tech out.  The service tech told me:

1.  Even though I was signed up for 15 speed, since I was at the "end of the line", I could only get 12 speed (he was "leveling with me").
2.  He said since the modem was old, they would replace it "FREE OF CHARGE".
3.  He would change the speed to 12 (which saves money), then make some adjustments.

Well, it started working better, but guess what:

1.  They started billing me with an equipment charge every month and jacked the rate.
2.  I called them, complained and threatened to close my account, then it stopped for a couple of months.
3.  The equipment charge of $7 per month resumed again.

I finally got a manager on the phone who claims, no, I don't own the modem.  He agreed to remove the equipment charge, but my rate is $60 per month for a freagin speed of 12 (I am a household of 1, so it does the job).  I will be switching to comcast at some point. 

ketchup

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 02:58:48 PM »
If the speed works for you, as the saying goes:  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it..."

Related to your story:  About 5 years ago, I signed up for AT&T Uverse (sounded GREAT:  Fiber, man, Fiber!!!).  They charged me for a new modem, which they told me I owned (but could NOT buy on my own...).

About one year ago, I was having trouble streaming, so I called them.  They sent a service tech out.  The service tech told me:

1.  Even though I was signed up for 15 speed, since I was at the "end of the line", I could only get 12 speed (he was "leveling with me").
2.  He said since the modem was old, they would replace it "FREE OF CHARGE".
3.  He would change the speed to 12 (which saves money), then make some adjustments.

Well, it started working better, but guess what:

1.  They started billing me with an equipment charge every month and jacked the rate.
2.  I called them, complained and threatened to close my account, then it stopped for a couple of months.
3.  The equipment charge of $7 per month resumed again.

I finally got a manager on the phone who claims, no, I don't own the modem.  He agreed to remove the equipment charge, but my rate is $60 per month for a freagin speed of 12 (I am a household of 1, so it does the job).  I will be switching to comcast at some point.
Yeesh, 12mbps on fiber!?  I'm getting 6mbps on my crap $50/mo DSL down a 3/4-mile-long driveway multiple miles out of town.  When we lived in the suburbs and had fiber, it was 1000mbps down and 250mbps up for $70/mo.  The slowest option was 100mbps down.

robartsd

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 05:24:55 PM »
Exactly right.  I'd be stunned if you were on a modem pre-DOCSIS 3, in which case there will be no real perceptible difference.  Even during the transition from DOCSIS 2 to 3, ISP's would try to convince you to get a new modem even before they offered speeds that made DOCSIS 3 necessary.  Consider the incentive...they want consumers equipped to fully utilize bandwidth, lest they complain to them saying they aren't getting the bandwidth they pay for.  Easier to put that infrastructure in place (on the customer dime).
C3000z is the model number of a CenturyLink DSL modem, so I don't think DOCSIS applies.


onemorebike

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 06:18:04 PM »
Correct! Speeds are pretty slow currently but mostly meet needs 9mbos down and less than 1 Mbps up.
Exactly right.  I'd be stunned if you were on a modem pre-DOCSIS 3, in which case there will be no real perceptible difference.  Even during the transition from DOCSIS 2 to 3, ISP's would try to convince you to get a new modem even before they offered speeds that made DOCSIS 3 necessary.  Consider the incentive...they want consumers equipped to fully utilize bandwidth, lest they complain to them saying they aren't getting the bandwidth they pay for.  Easier to put that infrastructure in place (on the customer dime).
C3000z is the model number of a CenturyLink DSL modem, so I don't think DOCSIS applies.

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onemorebike

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 05:11:11 AM »
For what it is worth, this is the model of my current router:

N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router

Model No. TD-W8980

I have no idea what the difference between the two is, can anyone help?

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HeadedWest2029

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2018, 08:30:46 AM »
ah, my fault on the DOCSIS tangent.  Well, that model of router / modem was released in December of 2012 and the last firmware update is 5/14/2015 so not exactly getting timely security updates.  Therefore, not the worst idea to upgrade for that reason alone.  Some ISP's only allow select devices to work on their network, but it seems strange they would only allow the C3000z

dcheesi

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2018, 09:05:32 AM »
For what it is worth, this is the model of my current router:

N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router

Model No. TD-W8980

I have no idea what the difference between the two is, can anyone help?

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That's an ADSL2+ modem, while the new modem is VDSL w/ vectoring. If they're actually provisioning for VDSL (which they probably are), and if you're close enough to the central office and/or your neighborhood's distribution point, you could definitely see better rates.

The tricky part with DSL is figuring out how much bandwidth you can actually get at your home (limited by the length and condition of the phone line wires between you and their DSL equipment), which may not match the nominal rates in your provisioned speed tier. But even at longer distances, the new modem might be able to eek out some additional bandwith by using newer technologies like vectoring.

EDIT: Just realized it's VDSL bonded w/ vectoring. If they're willing to provision a second physical wire-pair for a bonded configuration, then you could see much higher rates even at longer distances.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 10:22:08 AM by dcheesi »

dcheesi

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2018, 09:14:37 AM »
ah, my fault on the DOCSIS tangent.  Well, that model of router / modem was released in December of 2012 and the last firmware update is 5/14/2015 so not exactly getting timely security updates.  Therefore, not the worst idea to upgrade for that reason alone.  Some ISP's only allow select devices to work on their network, but it seems strange they would only allow the C3000z
The more I read through the specifications, the more I realize that that modem is pretty state of the art. I'm sure there are other modems out there with similar abilities, but if so they may be new enough that CL hasn't had a chance to fully vet them for use on their network.

robartsd

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2018, 09:29:10 AM »
It looks like there are several modems that you can use on Century Link. They don't specifically prohibit other third party modems, they just warn that customers using modems they haven't tested do so at their own risk. They say:
Quote
If you understand the risks of using a non-CenturyLink modem, you might try to:
  • Connect your modem to the power and phone jack.
  • Chat with tech support to determine:
    • Is my modem 'talking to the CenturyLink network'?
    • What 'ISP protocol' does my area use?

dodojojo

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2018, 07:13:14 PM »
I'm with Xfinity and I've received 2 robocalls with the same message--my modem may not give me the speed that I'm paying for.  Checked through Speedtest.net and the download is underperforming a little bit, very tiny bit.

Thought the calls were scam-related but they seem legit since they only direct me to go to the Xfinity site to check list for approved modems.

thisisjeopardy

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2018, 09:16:12 PM »
In general, stay away from those router+modem all in one gateways.

Your situation is odd because DOCSIS is backwards compatible and even a cable modem from  15 years ago should work, only issue is offered speeds may be higher than what the old modem supports.

dcheesi

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Re: ISP Says I Need a New Modem - Any Ideas?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2018, 08:35:50 AM »
In general, stay away from those router+modem all in one gateways.

Your situation is odd because DOCSIS is backwards compatible and even a cable modem from  15 years ago should work, only issue is offered speeds may be higher than what the old modem supports.
DSL, but I assume it's a similar situation here; OP needs a new modem if-only-if they upgrade to the higher data rate package.

It's certainly possible to support backwards compatibility with older DSL technologies and configurations, at least with most chipsets. Of course the provider also has the option of configuring a line for only a specific technology and/or rate, which they might do particularly for something like vectoring, which works best if all lines in a particular cable bundle are using it.