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smartstream reliability and fiber

drjohnst
I Plan to Stick Around

Noticed an upgrade option today, "Get an Ignite SmartstreamTM + Internet bundle for our most reliable & fastest fibre-powered internet. I have had extreme reliability issues with gigabit internet, so much so that I now reboot my cable modem nightly and have had to host a couple discord bots at server farms because if I wasn't around to reset my cable modem, all security cameras and other services would die after a couple days. I don't care about streaming services, but what is this reliability upgrade that comes with smartstream? Do you run fiber to my house? There is currently a fiber line run to my house by a competitor, complete with pressure salesmen who we continue to send away.

 

I highly suspect that the cable modem hardware isn't up to my standards for reliability (I have replaced it a few times), or someone in my neighborhood causes a lot of interference. 

 

***Edited Labels***

2 REPLIES 2

Re: smartstream reliability and fiber

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

If you have to reboot your modem in order to have an acceptable internet connection, then you have a cable signal problem.  Rebooting the modem will salvage poor cable performance for a period of time.  It won't solve the problem, its only a temporary fix. Depending on the condition of the cable, that temporary fix could last a few hours to a few days, just depends on how bad the cable happens to be.  

 

The best thing to do is to log into the modem when its at or near its worst operating performance, copy the signal levels and post them in a new post.  If you have an older CGN3 (black) or CODA-4285 (white) modem, those signal levels are found in the DOCSIS WAN tab, starting at the Downstream Overview line and continuing all the way down to the bottom right hand corner of the Upstream Overview line.  Park your curser just in front of the Downstream Overview line, hold the shift key down and scroll all the way down to the bottom right hand corner of the Upstream Overview table section.  Release the shift key and use Ctrl c to copy that entire section.  In a new post use Ctrl v to paste the data into the post.  It should paste in just like it shows in the modem's user interface.  

 

After the modem reboot, do the same copy and paste routine, just to see what difference there is between the two data sets.  

 

Its possible that you might see better performance if you're going from a CGN3 modem to a CODA-4582 or one of the newer Comcast XB6 or XB7 modems due to the change in transmit/receive waveforms used in the newer modems.  However, that is only a possibility that I wouldn't advise anyone to count on.  If your cable problems are bad enough, switching modems will not help.  I strongly advise anyone looking for better modem performance to get Rogers to fix the current cable situation.  Be as much of a pain as you have to be in order for Rogers to provide the cable performance that you're currently paying for.  Then, when its operating reliably,  and only then, should you consider moving to a newer modem.  

 

Personal opinion, any promise of better performance (when an existing problem is evident) is simply a pie in the sky promise.  Fix the problem first.......

 

Here are the modems that Rogers is currently using:

 

Find the Right Home Internet Service| Rogers

 

If your external cable has been in place for a number of years, its probably due for replacement, which is a usual occurrence for those cables.  If you have underground wiring, that cable can be checked very easily by a tech.  All the tech has to do is run a Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) test on that cable.  The TDR test device basically pings the other end of the cable, looking for a response from the other end or from the first discontinuity that the ping encounters, which could be from a break in the cable or from water ingress.  In theory, if the cable is serviceable, the ping times and therefore cable lengths from both ends will be the same.  If there is a break in the cable or water ingress, then those distances will not be identical. Instead, the measured length will point to the location where the cable break happens to be.  So, that is a very simple test to run.  

 

Overhead cabling is more problematic, as it requires a tech with a qualification to climb utility poles, or a maintenance crew to simply show up and change the cable.  Forget any testing, that cable will most likely be replaced when a qualified tech or maintenance crew is onsite.  

 

Fwiw, the longer you can let that cable run, so that the cable signal levels drop, the better.  The best time to call tech support is when the problem is occurring, not after the modem reboot, when the signal levels will potentially look close to "perfect", in theory.  Just depends on the state of the cable. 

 

Rogers is pushing customers towards the Comcast XB6 and XB7 modems.  For good reason as they can use Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) waveforms for transmit / receive purposes, in addition to the conventional Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) waveform that has been around from the very start of DOCSIS operations.  From the recent request for modem testers, I'd say that Rogers is now testing the Comcast XB8 modem.  I haven't seen anything official, but that's the likely next step in terms of modems for Rogers.   

 

Edit:  Your signal levels flashed up in a message for a few seconds and then the message disappeared.  You have cable signal level problems, with downstream QAM signal levels ranging down in the -16 dBmV range.  The target signal levels are 0 dBmV  receive level with signal to noise ratios of 36 to 40 dB on the downstream side and 36 to 40 dBmV transmit levels on the upstream side.  Your downstream levels are terrible.  Your upstream levels aren't so bad, which is surprising.  The OFDM Downstream levels didn't look too bad, don't remember if  you had an OFDMA upstream channel running.  There isn't enough information to determine if the OFDM channel is running correctly.  Only the moderators and Level II techs have access to that data.  

 

The upstream channels run in the 5 to 42 Mhz range, the OFDM channel runs in the 337 to 450 Mhz range.   The other downstream QAM channels run in the 500 to 900 Mhz range.  So, most of the issue appears in the upper 500 to 900 Mhz range.  My bet is that the cable condition becomes so bad at some point that the lower 5 to 450 Mhz range is also badly affected.  That's where the modem reboot comes in, temporarily resetting the cable back to an operating condition, at least for a given time period.  

 

Ok, with the downstream levels as bad as they are, call tech support.  Don't reboot the modem.  Ask the tech to run a signal check on the modem.  It should fail automatically.  Now, Rogers has changed their "acceptable" signal levels recently, widening the acceptable levels from +/- 10 dBmV on the downstream side to something much wider.  Your signal levels should fail, but, with the recent changes in Rogers numbers, I'm not sure what that test will result in.  

 

If you're seeing service interruptions, make sure that you mention that to the tech during the discussion.  

 

Don't let the tech reboot the modem and declare victory.  That just kicks the can down the road for some other tech to solve.  You need a field tech to determine the condition of the cable and run a temporary cable if necessary.  If its an underground cable run, that temporary cable will be buried later in the year.  If you have an overhead cable from a utility pole, you will need a qualified tech or maintenance crew to replace the cable  

 

Food for thought, that external cable connects to a local tap, which is basically an overgrown splitter which services your modem and that of your immediate neighbours.  The most likely explanation here is a cable issue, where that cable requires replacement.  However, the problems could extend to that local tap or potentially beyond.  The first step is to check that external cable and all of its connectors, replace them if necessary and then look for any other issues further upstream. 

 

Fwiw, we're on our third external underground cable, over a timespan of about 15 years.  Shortest timespan was 2 years, so, they don't last forever and have to be replaced when required.  We're also running the same modem, the CODA-4582 and its been rock solid so far.  

 



Re: smartstream reliability and fiber

drjohnst
I Plan to Stick Around

We had Rogers over a couple years ago, they reran the line through our house, and also reran the line to the box for the neighborhood. It didn't solve the issue. I have a smart powerbar which turns off the modem nightly at 4am for about 10 minutes. 

 

CODA-4582-U (2A)

 

This menu displays both upstream and downstream signal parameters

DOCSIS Overview
Network AccessPermitted
IP Address 
Subnet Mask0.0.0.0
Gateway IP Address0.0.0.0
DHCP Lease Time😧 0 H: 00 M: 00 S: 00
Downstream Overview
Port IDFrequency (Hz)ModulationSignal strength (dBmV)Channel IDSignal noise ratio (dB)BytesCorrectedsUncorrectables
1591000000QAM256-7.500738.6051858503884710
2597000000QAM256-7.500838.6054127310660
3603000000QAM256-8.700937.6363780627890
4609000000QAM256-8.2001038.6053784652600
5849000000QAM256-15.900232.23746742442951176
6855000000QAM256-16.900331.403470630832010
7861000000QAM256-17.299431.136478470110090171118
8579000000QAM256-7.099538.9834312285830
9585000000QAM256-8.299637.63643242431000
10279000000QAM256-1.400140.36643599303050
11615000000QAM256-8.7001137.6364009077720
12621000000QAM256-8.2001238.6054232501750
13633000000QAM256-9.0001337.3553981991910
14639000000QAM256-8.2991437.6364135822740
15645000000QAM256-8.0991537.6364126636410
16651000000QAM256-8.7991637.3554042712220
17657000000QAM256-9.5001737.3554254760560
18663000000QAM256-8.5001837.6364002111540
19669000000QAM256-8.9001937.6364367710410
20675000000QAM256-9.0992037.3554653541430
21681000000QAM256-9.5992137.3554644007870
22687000000QAM256-10.0002236.6094461432560
23693000000QAM256-9.7002337.3554091163590
24699000000QAM256-10.4002436.3864538273850
25705000000QAM256-11.4002536.38643952161040
26711000000QAM256-10.7002636.6094288347700
27717000000QAM256-11.4002735.5954372511570
28723000000QAM256-12.7992835.0835232294750
29825000000QAM256-13.5992934.3454911279710
30831000000QAM256-14.9003033.48651822129026
31837000000QAM256-15.4003132.6765247796870
32843000000QAM256-16.2003232.321493430114830
Reset FEC Counters
OFDM Downstream Overview
ReceiverFFT typeSubcarr 0 Frequency(MHz)PLC lockedNCP lockedMDC1 lockedPLC LocationOccupied BW(MHz)SubcarriersPLC power(dBmv)
0NANANONONONA0 ~ 0NANA
14K275600000YESYESYES1544283 ~ 472.953736-2.599998
Upstream Overview
Port IDFrequency (Hz)ModulationSignal strength (dBmV)Channel IDBandwidth
13230000064QAM44.27036400000
23870000064QAM43.27046400000
32110000064QAM39.26013200000
42590000064QAM43.77026400000
OFDMA Overview
Channel IndexStatelin Digital AttDigital AttBW (sc's*fft)Report PowerReport Power1_6FFT Size
0DISABLED0.00000.00000.00000.00000.00002K
1DISABLED0.00000.00000.00000.00000.00002K

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