09-24-2013 06:19 AM
TWC, I've been a loyal RoadRunner customer since it was introduced to the Rochester, NY market. I was one of the early beta testers and have enjoyed high-speed, reliable service ever since. Recently, I decided to upgrade to the 30MB/5MB Extreme DOCSIS 3.0 service as I work from home and have to VPN in to my corporate network frequently. At the same time, I purchased a Motorola SB6141 SURFboard modem as one of the approved modems on the list. While the increase in speed has been nice, I'm growing concerned about the number of reboots and outages I'm seeing as of late, primarily from what looks like an older firmware on the modem. The firmware I have currently installed is SB_KOMODO-126.96.36.199-SCM03-NOSH (dated August 2011). My understanding is that there are known issues with how this firmware handles channel issues. Per release notes, it looks like newer firmware releases avoid a full reboot of the modem upon multiple T4 faults by dropping the channel in question and attempting to pick it up again without a full reboot.
From other forums, it looks like numerous other regions are getting firmware updates to 188.8.131.52 for their customer-owned SB6141 modems. Is there an ETA for when these updates would be released to the Rochester market? I have not had a technician out yet to replace all the line from the street to the house; however, this was done recently (within the last year) due to low signal strength. I would be surprised if that was the issue and, given that this older firmware has known reboot problems similar to what I'm experiencing, would appreciate being updated to a more current version. It will help avoid unnecessary support calls and expense, as well as wasted time for both of us!
Thanks in advance,
09-24-2013 06:20 AM
Ironically, while trying to post the message above....I got another T3/T4 error and the modem rebooted....
09-24-2013 06:58 AM
Call them up, verify they don't have the wrong modem type listed on your account. Is the 6141 one you own?
09-24-2013 07:03 AM
oops, I see you own it. Can you get the update from Motorola? As for the modem type, make sure they don't have you listed as a 6121...
09-24-2013 07:15 AM
Thanks MsRaye. Unfortunately, firmware updates need to be pushed by the carrier. There's no option to download the firmware and install yourself. Unless TWC opts to push it out to the modem, you're stuck with whatever firmware it came with.
TWC does have my modem as a SB6141, with the correct MAC and serial number.
I'm also considering switching over to a Zoom 5341J modem as it seems it handles the T3 / T4 issues better, but need to do some more research. I don't want to spend more money and end up with similar issues!
09-24-2013 08:27 AM
09-25-2013 05:15 AM
Thanks, and that aligns with what I had found as well. The firmware on my modem is out of date, and Motorola has released new updates in subsequent revisions that address the issue. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, TWC has not pushed out the new firmware to the Rochester region. Other TWC regions have received the update on customer-owned modems, which makes this doubly frustrating...why fix some areas and not others, if there's a solution readily at hand for all?
I've tried calling TWC customer service and haven't made much progress. As these forums appear to be monitored and supported by TWC, I was hoping I might get more clarity on when I could expect a firmware update for my SB6141 that would prevent the T3 / T4 timeout issue and reduce their support expenses for a loyal, long-term customer.
10-12-2013 07:03 AM
After multiple reboots and T3/T4 errors on my SB6141 (and quite frankly, no more patience for TWC Level 0 support saying they can't see any problems), I've decided to bite the bullet and buy a Zoom 5341J modem. From the reviews that I've read, this seems to be far more stable than the SB6141 I have with outdated firmware which TWC steadfastly refuses to update. It would probably be far more cost-effective for them to just push the update which theoretically might solve the T3/T4 reboot bug than have me continue to call and pester them, but whatever. I really was half-tempted to just keep calling every time it rebooted and make them roll trucks, but quite frankly, my time is worth far more than running up their costs for their own self-inflicted problem.
I'll post back up once I get the 5341J configured and running, and with luck this will solve the issue. If not, I am going to load up TWC on speed-dial till this is resolved.
The lack of response by TWC in this thread, as well as the multiple other threads regarding this exact same issue is very disappointing.
10-12-2013 09:42 AM
ok, 3 things. The old black 6141's that are available on line as well as TWC's old/ refurbed 6141's have BAD FIRMWARE. The white 6141's have a newer version the Brand new black TWC's also have the proper firmware. Last point it that TWC WILL NOT FLASH CUSTOMER OWNED MODEMS, if a screw up occurs (and oh lord, TWC is no angel) they will not pay for your modem. Screw ups occur on their modems and they have sent out updates that fix some issues and create others.
Firmware is an item above level 3 which will not be forwarded by lower levels of support who are both unknowledgeable and don't have it on their scripts or allowed to discuss it if they even have a clue. their fix is to send technicians out, wasting their and TWC's time and TWC'S proffits and result in OYUR CABLE FEES BEING RAISED.
TWC can't afford to change out all the obsplete docsis 2 modems as well as the original 6141's To get a new one or even change models, you need comments from a level 3 tech on your account, and that usually takes wasted tech service calls. But again, any bad connections need to be repaired first as those create datat holes/ screw up ping timing and the modem goes into someone elses time slot (and it could be one of your neighbors screwing yours up as well!
TWC techs have no RF technical training or FCC licensing, even worst yet, are the overseas call center operators and the malfunctioning automatic reset attendant that don't do resets or look at bit error/ unrecoverable packets. Sorry to get so techy but I hold FCC comercial licenses and have been in the RF/ TV/ Video industry since high school. However my cable plant expertise has been very limited, being mainly some industrial plant inhouse cable networks that use cable tv outdoor amps for their industrial process controls as well as intranet/ internet and my dealings with both the Local access cable system and the old VIACOM system when it changed from Telerama
Add in some C band and Ku band satellite and my FCC ham license and 25 years at Motorola where I learned ethernet type internet connectivity. Throughout the years I'v physically tracked down cable tv leaks interfering with the commercial licensees operating on the same frequencies and getting TWC to repair them requires calls from the police departments and city law directors to geyt a line crew out
When it's a small business, I've had to have them open a ticket with the FCC as they have an actual license on those frequencies and TWC doesnot!
10-12-2013 02:19 PM
Thanks MsRaye - I agree, it seems a lot of the black SB6141 modems available online (I bought mine on eBay) have very obsolete firmware. What's disappointing is the apparent lack of coordination of TWC regions for firmware upgrades. If my research on Broadband Reports is correct, there are a number of TWC regions near me that are pushing newer firmware to customer-owned SB6141 modems - three or four full revisions past what I have on mine. I'm assuming they tested this firmware and found it worked well, and since they include it on their own SB6141 modems, wouldn't they want everyone on the same version to reduce help desk calls? I completely agree there's a chance that they could brick a modem or two - someone loses power during an upgrade or it just fails - but even if they had to pay to replace those modems, it still has to be cheaper than the thousands and thousands of dollars being wasted by unnecessary help desk calls and truck rolls.
I'll be the first to admit I don't have FCC commercial licenses and know just enough about my modem and signal to know when it's working (or not). That said, I manage help desk support operations for a technology company (no, not TWC ) and have responsibility for over 1,000 techs, with goals around first call resolution, customer effort/net promoter score, cost per resolved case, and other key metrics. When viewing this experience through that lens, I see huge cost savings opportunities for TWC as well as opportunities to improve the end user experience and drive long-term loyalty. Unfortunately, just allowing calls to continue to come into the call center and roll trucks out adds significantly to TWCs cost, which ultimately gets passed down to us.
Anyway....rant mode off. I made the choice to own my own modem and I'm going to have to live with the consequences, I guess. Hopefully the Zoom modem will be more stable than the SB6141 and I can go back to enjoying high speed service without troubling reboots!