Internet modem pairing?


Old 01-19-12, 08:46 PM
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Internet modem pairing?

I have a cable company for my ISP. I have had no problems with high speed that I pay for until a week or two ago. Then my speeds starting varying widely between less than 1 mb of download to more than 26 mb of download.
I also note that my modem has a flashing light on the signal and the tech told me that means that it's having trouble pairing, whatever that is.
They have had me take the modem in and replace it with a new one 3 times now in the last 2 days. I have two computers online with the service and they both are identical and act the same all of the sudden.
I have taken an older laptop and used the ethernet cable direct to the modem and I get some 50 MB of download speed without a problem.
I have also used that laptop and gone wireless to the modem and get the same results as the new PCs I put into play a few months back.
This all seemed to happen with a new neighbor moving in that the same cable company is providing service to about 2 weeks ago now.
I have spent some 3 hours on the phone with the cable company tech types without any sucess. I also called Dell, downloaded the latest software for the wireless cards and they checked my computer and said all seemed to be OK and I have to agree with that.
The problem seems to be this pairing issue, but what is it?
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Old 01-19-12, 10:47 PM
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I am not an expert on networking but from what I have read and with the experiences I have had I think what you have is a problem with your nearby neighbor having the same frequency on their router/modem as you are on. Routers have different frequencies that they can be set to either automatically by the router if it has that feature or manually. You can access your router by typing in its ip address in your browser. Be sure to read the documentation that came with your router for further information. You will also need the routers password which should have been given to you. If you need more technical help maybe Rick Johnston will respond or Spikester. Good luck with your problem.
Old 01-20-12, 08:37 AM
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That sort of makes sense as they hooked the new neighbor up about the same time as I starting noting a problem.
Hopefully I can get this matter resolved in short order.

On edit, I just got off the phone with a senior tech with the company who was responding to a complaint email I sent the company last night.
He said the problems involved the WPS? settings I think he said and he changed them while I talked and now my signal light is green rather than yellow and my download speeds are now 26-36 MB! He said that my modem was constantly searching which was slow things up quite a bit.
Hopefully, after several hours on the phone I finally got to talk to the right guy and he fixed the problem.

Last edited by keninaz; 01-20-12 at 09:07 AM.
Old 01-21-12, 06:39 AM
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on issues with frequencies, my cordless phone would switch its operating frequency every now and then, landing on the same frequency the wireless router was using. For protection the router would turn off the wireless. Just logged into the router and manually set its frequency until I found one the phone doesn't use.
Old 01-23-12, 01:11 PM
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I'm a line technician for the cable company in our area. What he's referring to "pairing" is called dynamic leveling. Basically the modem "listens" to different frequencies until if finds the downstream (receive) frequency and locks on. Then it talks, quiet, not so quiet, a little louder, a little louder, loud, really loud, etc...until the CMTS (cable modem termination system) at the other end hears it. If it doesn't get a response, it moves onto the next frequency and tries again. Once those are locked on, there is some negotiation that takes place, DHCP assigns an address and your modem is given clearance for access. Hence, the online light. From what you're describing, if you're experiencing upstream noise (E.G. a resident down the line, or up the line from you, is hooked up illegally, has a bad connection, or there's a crack in your feeder -- actually a lot of things can cause this like UVerse in the area) the modem will not be able to talk back properly, and thus leveling will take place again. This will make your modem lose sync with the CMTS and reset.

IMO, I'd say call the cable provider, have them send out a service technician and check signal levels at the tap. Have them check for upstream SNR issues and also to see what your low and high frequencies are looking like. You may have any number of issues causing this -- anything from water in a line or tap down the line, to some kind of upstream interference. INSIST that they replace the line to your house if they haven't already, and if they say anything's a miss on the main line, see what you can do about getting a line technician (or system technician) out.

Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

Cable contractor for 6 years, in-house service for 2, current senior system technician.
Old 01-23-12, 02:03 PM
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Well as it turns out by hooking a computer via the ethernet cable I had some 50 MB of download.
And in talking to Dell as the cable company tried to blame them as the computers are 2 months old they told me it was definitely the cable company that I should have much greater speeds that what i am getting which were varying from .6 MB to 12-15 MB at best and very erratic.
So I sent an email to the company and told them to fix the problem or disconnect me. The following morning I talked to a tech that said he knew the problem well and fixed it in less than 5 minutes while I was on the phone with him.
Apparently my neighbor moving in and going wireless was the problem and the default settings on these modems create problems while they are trying to share the frequencies. Something about WPS settings that he changed.
Anyway, I now have consistently high speed running 20-35 MB downloads with no problems for several days now.
It's more than a little frustrating to have some of the inept techs that they have not trained properly waste my and their time dealing with this issue.

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