Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?

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I'm an Advisor
Posts: 928

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?


@BlackAdder7 wrote:

Hi all,

 

I'm wondering if anyone has some information about the rogers speeds and setups etc. Here's my situation:

 

Years and years ago I bought a Motorola cable modem because at the time Rogers had a deal promoting people to buy their modems. So ever since then I've been using the Motorola modem with no problems at all and its still working as well as the day i bought it.  I happened to look at their internet pricing lately and noticed that for the $69 range, i SHOULD be getting 120 gb a month of usage. But my monthly limit is 95 gb.

 

i called rogers to ask and they told me the reason I'm still capped is because my modem can't handle anything higher. Now I'm a pretty technical guy so I know that as my modem is older, there may be speed limitations, but I'm happy enough with my speeds that I'm ok with it. But then the rogers rep on the phone told me my modem can't handle more than the 95 gb a month. When I told them "hey that's not true because if I go over the 95 gb, you have no problem billing me for it, which proves that my modem CAN go above 95gb".    Its not like at 95.1gb, my modem breaks down.....

 

Any network engineers out there able to tell me if there is something that my older modem can't handle? I know the Rogers phone "flow chart reader" staff aren't technical but their answer of "the modem won't handle it" doesn't sit well with me. I can't find anyone to tell me WHY it can't handle it.

 

Anyone able to help shed some light on the situation?

 

 

 

 


This has nothing to do with the MODEM per se, it has to do with the backend infrastructure which has to be matched with the modem. Yes, your DOCSIS 2 modem, in a lab environment where you are the only person on the node, could do around 38 megabits/sec download speed and about 12TB/month.... but in the real world where that node is shared with a few hundred customers, DOCSIS 2 is an outdated, expensive way to deliver that level of service to you.

 

You bought your DOCSIS 2 modem at the same time my parents did, i.e. around 2003-2004. That's ten years ago. DOCSIS 2 was state of the art back then; now we're moved to 20+-bonded-channel DOCSIS 3 with the CGN3. Things evolve. (DOCSIS 2 gives everybody on your node sharing that channel a total of 38 megabits; DOCSIS 3 can do 20X that)

And as things evolve, Rogers doesn't want to throw money at upgrading the back end for older technologies. (And the back end has to continually be upgraded - overall Internet usage just keeps growing..) But they also don't want to say 'we're shutting down DOCSIS 2' and cause all kinds of grandmothers who use 2GB/month to panic that the Internet is ending next month. (This may seem silly to you, but a lot of people panic at ANY announcement from a provider, particularly the 'you need to do X for your service to continue after day Y' kind.)

 

So, the solution that Rogers has come up with is to deliberately offer faster/higher-bandwidth-cap service to people with newer technology hardware. They figure that through word of mouth, checking the Rogers web site, etc, higher-usage customers will find out about this and will jump at the chance to get more for less. That migrates the heaviest users to the newest technology, minimizes tech support calls from low-usage users, and creates some breathing room on the older technology's infrastructure for the customers who haven't migrated.

 

And yes, the whole talk about 'modems' is how they've chosen to have their CSRs explain it. For the record, I think it's a poor way of explaining it because it invites your response, i.e. "but my existing modem is fully capable of doing X level of service, you were offering it 6 months ago if I had paid $20/month more." This is not about your modem's capabilities in the abstract.

 

BTW, you may not remember it, but the whole buy-your-modem-and-get-more-speed-for-the-same-$$$$ thing in 2003-4 was motivated by the same thing, i.e. getting high-bandwidth tech-savvy customers OFF the aging Terayon infrastructure onto the shiny new DOCSIS infrastructure quickly. And it worked brilliantly - everyone I knew back then was off the Terayons in a week!

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Posts: 665

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?

That's all fine and dandy but for the customer who would like a bit more bandwidth, but has no need for more speed, it seems a bit wasteful to buy or rent a new modem when the one they have at present is working perfectly if not better than some of the newer modems which seem to have to be in bridged mode and then require buying a separate router.

e.g. I have a SMC8014WG modem/router, It works as well as when I first bought it.  We can use any of our three laptops  on any the of  three floors house in the house with only the rare internet disconnect.

I have come to accept that the amount of bandwidth I get is what I have to live with if I don't want to upgrade.  However, it would be nice to be able to 10-20gb more without having to pay the high cost of going over the mandated number of gb's.  Eventually I will likely have to upgrade to the newer technology, but for now I can get by without the hassle. ... End of my rant.  Smiley LOL

I'm an Advisor
Posts: 928

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?


@jays77 wrote:

That's all fine and dandy but for the customer who would like a bit more bandwidth, but has no need for more speed, it seems a bit wasteful to buy or rent a new modem when the one they have at present is working perfectly if not better than some of the newer modems which seem to have to be in bridged mode and then require buying a separate router.

e.g. I have a SMC8014WG modem/router, It works as well as when I first bought it.  We can use any of our three laptops  on any the of  three floors house in the house with only the rare internet disconnect.

I have come to accept that the amount of bandwidth I get is what I have to live with if I don't want to upgrade.  However, it would be nice to be able to 10-20gb more without having to pay the high cost of going over the mandated number of gb's.  Eventually I will likely have to upgrade to the newer technology, but for now I can get by without the hassle. ... End of my rant.  Smiley LOL


 

Except the customer who would like a bit more bandwidth is precisely the problem, depending on WHEN they happen to consume that bandwidth. Networks are somewhat like electricity generation - what matters is having enough capacity at peak times.

 

DOCSIS 2 operates on one, 38 megabit/sec channel that is shared by a whole bunch of DOCSIS 2 customers on your node.

 

Let's say your DOCSIS 2 channel on your node, on an average evening, normally peaks at 30 megabits/sec usage. That leaves 8 megabits/sec spare capacity. All is good.

 

Now, let's say two people on that node decide to watch Netflix streams at that time instead of going out to a yoga class. Assume 4 megabits/sec per stream. Everyone else is doing what they always do. Guess what, now that node is completely congested, and service quality is headed way down for everyone.

 

So, Rogers suddenly has to do something about that. That 'something' requires them to throw money at 12 year old technology (while there might be plenty of spare capacity on the DOCSIS 3 channels)... or it requires them to move people off that DOCSIS 2 channel and onto the more scaleable DOCSIS 3 technology. It's worth noting that in my example, if the two new Netflix addicts move to DOCSIS 3, traffic on D2 drops back down to a 30 megabit/sec peak, and everything is good again. (And if the Netflix addicts realize that they needed a higher month cap... boom... Rogers has just moved them off D2)

 

What Rogers needs is for D2 peak usage to never, ever, ever go up. If it goes up, then they have to throw more money at ancient technology (or contact the highest-usage customers and force them to move to D3). If usage stays constant, the network can keep operating with the existing hardware. If D2 usage goes down, then it's even better, as they can reallocate channels, headend space, etc towards D3.

 

And that's why, if someone wants a 'bit more bandwidth', they want that person moving to the newer technology. And eventually, I suspect they'll decide to shut down DOCSIS 2 altogether, just like they shut down the Terayon system in 2007 or so.

 

As I said in my previous reply, this is NOT about your modem in the abstract, and I really wish Rogers would find a different way of expressing this. But then again, they don't want to remind their customers of how shared cable Internet is...

I'm an Advisor
Posts: 928

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?

One random other thought: I think the new practice of including the modem rental in the posted monthly price is a step in the right direction.

 

Part of the problem is that under the old pricing structure:

1. Newer technology modems visibly cost more to rent.

2. There's an obvious incentive for buying modems.

 

Both of which quite understandably lead customers to want to keep their old-technology modems until Rogers subcontractors pry them out of their cold offline hands... or until Rogers really makes them an offer they can't refuse. (150 megabits on the CGN3 and 3X the monthly cap for the price of 35-45 on older gear?)

I'm a Trusted Contributor
Posts: 665

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?

^^^

That and make a modem gateway that works as advertised and works as well as the older modems.
I'm an Advisor
Posts: 928

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?


@jays77 wrote:
^^^

That and make a modem gateway that works as advertised and works as well as the older modems.

In my experience, the gateways in bridge mode work fine (just like the old Motorola standalone D2 modems). Or at least, my DPC3825 and CGN3 have been fine, same with my parents' CGN2. I have no experience with the SMC or the D2 gateway.

 

(The NAT/wireless functionality of the gateways is another story. But did any of the older gateways ever have usable NAT/wireless functionality? If anything, the CGN3 seems to be the least broken of them...)

I'm a Trusted Contributor
Posts: 665

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?


@VivienM wrote:

@jays77 wrote:
^^^

That and make a modem gateway that works as advertised and works as well as the older modems.

In my experience, the gateways in bridge mode work fine (just like the old Motorola standalone D2 modems). Or at least, my DPC3825 and CGN3 have been fine, same with my parents' CGN2. I have no experience with the SMC or the D2 gateway.

 

(The NAT/wireless functionality of the gateways is another story. But did any of the older gateways ever have usable NAT/wireless functionality? If anything, the CGN3 seems to be the least broken of them...)


The point I was trying to make is that you should have to put it in bridged mode and purchase a router.  One of the reasons I like the modem I have is that it is small and I with limited space I don't need an independant router.

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Resident Expert
Posts: 13,948

Re: Bandwidth Caps Increased; Need New Modem?

Thats the one main point that denys me from saying its the PERFECT solution.

That its a device, which you could

 

A) use as a gateway if you dont want extra hardware, take up space, etc..

 

B) but CAN make into a modem if you want to use your own 3rd party stuff.

Unfortunately.. the wireless, etc.. is not quite up to snuff.

 

ALL in all, as a ROUTER, the CGN3 is actually pretty good, feature wise, etc.  Problem is the range, etc on the wireless, while BETTER than other models, is still not great.

If they could make a gateway, with say the performance of the ASUS or netgear nighthawk routers?  they would sell them left right and center.