Rogers DOCSIS 3.1 Rollout Hitting Snags Because Of Modem Issues
You might recall that I recently got a new modem/router from Rogers as part of their rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 which when completed, will enable Rogers to offer faster speeds for their Internet offering. But there appear to be significant signs that all is not right with this rollout. To get the most accurate idea of what is going on, I have been monitoring Rogers own community forums, Red Flag Deals, and DSLReports, and cross referencing info with sources that I have within Rogers both at the retail level and within Rogers corporate that speak to me “off the record.” Here’s what seems to be going on.
The version of the Rogers modem/router that I have seems to have an issue where the 2.4 GHz WiFi band causes slower speeds. This link has the details. This was mitigated to a degree via a firmware update to the modem/router for some. Also, having the modem/router 6 feet away from any other router that you might be using helps with this as well. But this didn’t help some users. There was also an issue getting gigabit speeds if you put the modem/router into bridge mode which again was mitigated with a firmware update. But at some point, it must have been determined that there was a hardware issue as well. Thus Rogers apparently released a newer version of this modem where there is a black dot on the packaging and the modem itself so that you (or more likely Rogers employees) can tell the difference between the original modem and the black dot version. This new modem apparently had extra shielding to mitigate the issues with the 2.4 GHz band. But now it seems that there is some sort of “recall” on that modem. The quotes are around the word “recall” because that is what people are using in places like DSLReports, but it is not quite correct. A post on the Rogers community forums which I confirmed with my sources both at the retail level and corporate level of Rogers indicates that there is additional testing going on of these modems. As a result, fully tested modems are replacing modems that are already in store stock. For people who have modems in service, there is no need to swap the modem unless you have an issue. Thus this isn’t a “recall” as such.
Now, the issue that Rogers seems to be having with the Hitron modem/router is clearly going to have a downstream effect in terms of getting DOCSIS 3.1 and IPv6 rolled out. My sources inside Rogers have confirmed that. But that’s not going to be the thing that Rogers has to worry about most. If you look at Red Flag Deals, DSLReports, and Rogers community forums, there is a fair amount of frustration out there that beyond the modem issues. The most common thing appears to be that people aren’t getting the speeds that they are paying for and resolution to their issues doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. This is something that I experienced when I had my issues with Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet which were ultimately solved, likely because of the fact that I am a blogger with a significant following. If I were Rogers, that is what I would worry about more. Yes they need to get their modem/router issues sorted as the optics of that are not good. But the customer perception that Rogers can’t roll out new tech without it going sideways is likely going to make Bell Canada lick their lips because these problems open up the opportunity for them to steal customers from Rogers.
I will be keeping an eye on this and reporting back on any new developments as clearly this is an evolving story.
UPDATE: There’s a page on the Rogers community forum that lists the outstanding issues with the modem/router referred to in this story.