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XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

AGnana
I'm here a lot

Our family recently signed up for Rogers 1.5 gbps internet service. I have noticed that both the XB7 and XB8 modems have the capability for the 160 MHz bandwidth on 5 GHz. Our household has several devices that are capable of operating at this wifi speed. When the 160 MHz bandwidth option was available on 5 GHz with the XB8, I was able to achieve a speed test result of 1513 Mbps which corresponds with our paid service. However, this bandwidth was disabled shortly afterwards. I have not been able to fix these settings through the app or web browser. Rogers is controlling these settings without giving us access. I have spoken with multiple technicians - they do not address this issue. Instead, I have been misguided and misdirected by these representatives. Rogers is limiting the 5GHz wifi speed across the board for consumers which is very disappointing. We should not be misinformed and limited on our wireless speed connections when we pay for the 1.5+ gbps services. I hope they address this ongoing issue. 

 

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19 REPLIES 19

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@AGnana Regrettably, this is a technical direction that Comcast chose to take:

xFi Gateway (XB6 and higher): Most of these Gateways have been upgraded with software that manages advanced WiFi settings automatically to help optimize your home network and provide the best performance possible. Advanced WiFi settings for Gateways with this software enhancement are not visible and cannot be managed from the Admin Tool or Xfinity xFi.

 

The Ignite WiFi App even has the ability to manage these settings and the Ignite Gateways can be provisioned to allow customers to have control over their Wi-Fi settings.  Unfortunately Rogers followed Comcast's lead and has chosen to lock out the Wi-Fi settings, presumably to simplify tech support.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Either that, or Comcast has complete control and won't allow any of its customer ISPs, and their customers to exert any level of local control.  

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Datalink wrote:

Either that, or Comcast has complete control and won't allow any of its customer ISPs, and their customers to exert any level of local control.  


For years, I had the ability to change my Wi-Fi settings.  Then, suddenly, back in the fall, I got locked out.  I was told that an upgrade to my plan triggered the change.  (As for why it took more than a month for the lock-out to kick in, I have no idea.  I'm still fuming about this and don't buy the explanation that they gave me.)

 

Then, I was affected by a bug of some kind where Advanced Security was getting enabled on my gateway... and this also had a side-effect of reactivating manual control over my Wi-Fi settings.  This is further confirmation that there is a provisioning bit that simply needs to get flipped to unlock the Wi-Fi settings.

 

It's really hard to get a straight answer from people when they can only tell you what they are authorized to say.  However, this is a problem that Rogers CAN rectify.  Rogers' systems may not allow tech support to re-enable manual control, but it is technically possible for it to be done.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

I wonder if its a matter of authorization or simply complete confusion when it comes to the entire adopted Comcast system, from the head end all the way down to the modems?  My vote is for confusion. 

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

AGnana
I'm here a lot

It has been a very frustrating situation overall.. Upon installation on two occasions, the 160 MHz on the 5GHz band was accessible for a very short duration of time. I was achieving link speeds of 2,400 mbps on this device, with an actual throughput of around 1,500 mbps per speed tests. An hour later, the 160 MHz band was disabled and my throughput reduced by about half. At this point, I was still able to see the greyed option on the web browser modem settings. I tried just about everything to enable that 160 MHz bandwidth including discussions with tech. It was very upsetting to notice a few hours later that the 20/40/80/160 option under 5 GHz was no longer even visible - it has rather been intentionally hidden. The 20 and 20/40 options are still present though inaccessible. 

I could live with the inability to access the more advanced wifi settings, but limiting the speed entirely without access to 160MHz on 5Ghz does not appear to be "optimizing your home network". Devices capable of that wifi connection speed has been available for some time now; this is not fair to us consumers at all. 

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Datalink wrote:

I wonder if its a matter of authorization or simply complete confusion when it comes to the entire adopted Comcast system, from the head end all the way down to the modems?  My vote is for confusion. 


I'm convinced that is simply a policy decision, primarily to simplify tech support and to prevent customers from getting themselves into trouble and becoming a support nightmare.

 

Another problem is that the Broadcom Wi-Fi drivers in the Technicolor gateways are a train wreck.  If you make random changes to the Wi-Fi settings, it can make the gateway unstable and even cause it to crash.  Coincidentally, my Wi-Fi settings got locked out not long after I reported this bug.

 

 

I also saw an interesting post in the Shaw Support Forum.  Sounds like their customers can call tech support and request that they change their Wi-Fi channel.  I presume that they would also have control over all Wi-Fi settings, including the channel width.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

@AGnana are you running an XB8 and if so, does your wifi device also have Wifi 6E capability?  The XB8 is Wifi 6E capable but, I don't know from your post if you're trying to run 160 Mhz in the 5 or Wifi 6E's 6 Ghz range?

 

Have a look at the following DSLReports page concerning the XB8.  Scroll down to the last two posts:

 

Next Gateway XB8 - Technicolor CGM4981COM Wi-Fi 6E - Comcast XFINITY | DSLReports Forums (Page 30)

 

Looks like Comcast is simply removing the 160 Mhz capability.  

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

@Datalink I tested the 160 Mhz on 5 Ghz issue on both the XB7 and XB8 with this device (Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 2 w/ Intel Wifi 6 AX200). Both modems appear to have that 5Ghz wifi connection speed capability but the option has been repeatedly disabled (and now hidden). I have a couple Wifi 6E devices coming shortly but since the 6GHz band only operates at 160 MHz, they shouldn't have this same connection problem. 

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Which modem do you have now, the XB8?  Have a look at my last comment above.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Datalink wrote:

@AGnana are you running an XB8 and if so, does your wifi device also have Wifi 6E capability?  The XB8 is Wifi 6E capable but, I don't know from your post if you're trying to run 160 Mhz in the 5 or Wifi 6E's 6 Ghz range?


With Wi-Fi 6E, the channels on the 6 GHz band are all 160 MHz.  The only thing that you can change on the XB8, if you did have manual control, is the channel.  The rest of the settings don't really have any options to change.

 

The issue here is with the 5 GHz band.  Not all devices can handle the 160 MHz channel width, and many Wi-Fi 5 APs also only support the 80 Mhz channel width.  If all your devices can handle it, and you can configure that option in your Wi-Fi router and are okay with using channel 36, you can get a TxRate of 2400 Mb/s and attainable throughput approaching 1900 Mb/s.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Yup, understand that.  Just wondering at the present time if Comcast and therefore Rogers has removed the Wifi 6E capability as well. 

 

I would have thought that the single 160 Mhz channel in the 5 Mhz space would be hit and miss, dependant entirely on the channel crowding in the customers location and any channel rejection in the DFS channel range.  Keeping in mind that there's only one 160 Mhz wide channel available in Canada. 

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Thanks for sharing that thread. That also explains why the XB8 does not have MoCA 2.5 capabilities as of yet. I'm still learning much of this along the way, but still disappointed with the service overall. I currently have the XB8; the 6 Ghz band appears to be available although not yet tested. I do hope Rogers can sort out the 160 Mhz on 5 Ghz band issue with the supplier though. Advertising 1.5 Gbps and wall-to-wall coverage without a true high-end and well-tested modem is just careless. 

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

I read a story where, at some event, a Comcast executive said that they wanted to make their Internet service something as simple as water coming out of a tap; something that required no technical knowledge or expertise on behalf of the user to run and maintain.  And that's why we have a gateway with no configuration options, managed with a simple app, and with no settings exposed that could allow users to break their networks.  Just plug it in, configure your Wi-Fi settings, and let it run itself.

 

There are lots of people out there that love the simplicity of the eero.

 

There are also users out there who want to have full control over their networks, who buy ASUS routers or run enterprise network gear.

 

The problem with the Comcast gear is that it fails on so many levels.  If I went to Best Buy and bought a product that was just the router portion of an XB8, with all its limitations, that required you to use the vendor's cloud management, where you could only manage it with a mobile app and only had control over a handful of settings, a simplistic firewall, clumsy device management, ineffective parental controls, all from a vendor that didn't listen to their customers, refused to change their design or add features, and could only provide limited tech support... I'm sorry, but I would return that router SO fast.  Best Buy would pull the product off its shelves and it would only be a matter of time before that vendor went out of business.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@AGnana wrote:

Thanks for sharing that thread. That also explains why the XB8 does not have MoCA 2.5 capabilities as of yet. I'm still learning much of this along the way, but still disappointed with the service overall. I currently have the XB8; the 6 Ghz band appears to be available although not yet tested. I do hope Rogers can sort out the 160 Mhz on 5 Ghz band issue with the supplier though. Advertising 1.5 Gbps and wall-to-wall coverage without a true high-end and well-tested modem is just careless. 


You get pretty good throughput with Wi-Fi 6E: https://www.speedtest.net/result/14420702886

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

That's pretty impressive.  Is that thru your Unifi gear?

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Datalink wrote:

That's pretty impressive.  Is that thru your Unifi gear?


XB8 in gateway mode with Ignite 1.5 Gigabit.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Very interesting.  It actually works, which is good to see.  Do you notice any difference in the operating range from the modem, Wifi 6E in the 6 Mhz range versus Wifi 6 in the 5 Mhz range?

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Datalink wrote:

Very interesting.  It actually works, which is good to see.  Do you notice any difference in the operating range from the modem, Wifi 6E in the 6 Mhz range versus Wifi 6 in the 5 Mhz range?


I have only tested Wi-Fi 6E at close range.

 

If you look closely at the FCC certification docs for the CGM4981COM, you will see that they updated their antenna design.  Performance on the 5 GHz band is now quite good, especially if it auto-selects optimal channels... but that's also depends on the Wi-Fi client.  In the early days of testing, I ran into a some nasty interoperability issues with some drivers/chipsets where Wi-Fi performance was absolutely HORRIBLE even at close range.

 

For Wi-Fi 6E, I performed a "brain transplant" on my desktop PC where I replaced the Wi-Fi module with an Intel AX210.  The weird thing is that sometimes it connected at 5 GHz, sometimes at 6 GHz, and sometimes at 2.4 GHz, and I'm not entirely sure whether the problem was with the gateway, a chipset/driver issue, or both.  It was not a fun issue to debug and troubleshoot.  It took some time before Intel finally came out with stable drivers that would connect consistently and also gave good performance.

 

I committed to posting a review of the XB8 and I think I'm now at a point where I can do that.

Re: XB7 & XB8 5GHz Wifi Issues

AGnana
I'm here a lot

@-G- & @DatalinkI hope you both are well. I just wanted to give an update on this ongoing issue.

 

I have had 3-4 tickets opened regarding this technical problem since we began service with Rogers at the beginning of February. These tickets have been repeatedly closed without contact or resolution every time. The front line technical representatives have done their best to help me out with no fair outcome from management. Given the circumstances, I requested for a cancellation of services shortly after the 30-day grace period. I thought that an exception could be made due to the unresolved technical issue which limits our wifi speed on the 5Ghz band. Across three modems (XB7 and 2 XB8s), I have seen Rogers disable the 160 Mhz bandwidth on the 5 Ghz band. My wifi speed went from ~1500 Mbps to ~750 Mbps every time. This bandwidth has now been completely hidden by the back end. After an entire day of discussions with Rogers last week, I was again misdirected and denied a cancellation without paying the cancellation fee.

 

Initial discussions with a Manager online indicated that a Technical Manager can authorize the waiver of the cancellation fee as a result of the technical problem. I spent several hours on the phone with Rogers that day to speak with representatives from the Office of the President. After explaining the situation for the nth time, the Technical Manager in this office stated that Rogers does not guarantee full 1.5gbps wifi speeds - only full wired connection speeds. I explained my frustration once again stating that we would have never signed up for this package if we had known this. The 160 Mhz bandwidth speed on 5 Ghz has been available for many years now which comfortably allows for wifi speeds above 1 gbps. I reiterated that multiple tickets were opened and subsequently closed without contact or resolution since the date of installation. In response, the Manager stated that this disabled feature on the modem is not considered a technical deficiency, and as such, the cancellation fee cannot be waived. We went on back and forth for some time where I expressed my dissatisfaction with our service and experience overall. It was apparent that Rogers had misled us from the beginning to secure our business without due care for the services rendered. If we were properly informed that the full wifi speed of 1.5 gbps would not be available through the service prior to installation (capable on both the XB7 and XB8 but disabled due to technical problems), we would have never signed up. Our household has many devices that can operate at this bandwidth on 5 Ghz. There are many Rogers customers who are not aware that their 5 Ghz maximum wifi speed has been limited by Rogers. No adequate explanation has been given by management - they rather deny any accountability for the issue.

 

 Once consumers are informed of the technical deficiency that is impacting us across the board, I am certain many would be upset. I have heard a lot of negative opinions from others about Rogers, but never knew the depth of the systemic greed and abuse of power. I hope that in time the CRTC and/or other governing regulatory authorities can ensure these oligopolies do not take advantage of consumers as they have done for decades. We already pay some of the highest prices for telecommunications in the world; at least we could be treated fairly.

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