Rogers Is Upgrading Their Internet Service… Here’s What I Think They Are Doing

I was tipped off to by a reader of this blog to the fact that Rogers is apparently doing upgrades to the Internet service. And some of these upgrades might have hit the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke where I live. That intrigued me so I decided to investigate this.

First, I had a look at the Rogers Community Forums and came across multiple posts titled “Network OS Update” followed by a City or a neighborhood as well as a date. I didn’t see Etobicoke listed, but each post said this:

Hi Community, 

We’re always making enhancements to our network to make sure you get the best online experiences. To keep you in the loop on what’s happening in your neighbourhood, we’ll share OS update timelines on when updates are happening as they become available here.

We value your feedback and invite you to share your experience with us as we make updates in your respective areas. We’ll use this feedback to make sure you’re getting the most out of your services and that we’re able to help you resolve any concerns as quickly as possible.

It is important to note that not every OS update is designed to resolve customer-facing issues or increase speeds, but more often to maintain and build upon our infrastructure. This thread and subsequent threads will work to consolidate any service improvements or concerns during the OS update process. We’re looking forward to working with you through this process as we continue to build upon our infrastructure in the future. 

It’s easy to participate! Here’s what we would need from you. To take part in this initiative, the following requirements must be met. 

  • A recorded ping test to google.com prior to the update
  • A recorded traceroute to google.com prior to the update
  • You do not currently have an open ticket with technical support for an ongoing service issue
  • You do not currently have a scheduled technician for a service issue
  • All testing must be done with a wired connection to your modem, with no 3rd party equipment connected.
     

*If you do not meet the above requirements, your post(s) may be merged to a more accurate thread.

What should I post in this thread? 

  • A screenshot of your Upstream and Downstream levels found on the status page when you log into your modem from the day of your final results. 
  • Your ping test result from before the update followed by a current ping test result from the command prompt to google.com 
  • 3 consecutive traceroute results from before the update followed by 3 consecutive traceroutes after the completion of the update from the command prompt to google.com. (Ideally around the same time, if possible). 

*Always remember when posting an image of network testing results to block out/remove your personal IP address.

*Images will show in your post after they have been approved by our Moderator team. Don’t worry when they don’t show up right away.

This thread will be archived 7 days following the update of a given area.

Thank you for your continued feedback and support.

Well, that’s mildly interesting. Rogers is saying that they’re making enhancements. But they won’t say what the enhancements are. But despite that, they appear to want you to validate those enhancements. Whatever they are.

That’s a #fail.

If you want people to actually help you, being transparent about what you’re doing will make them more effective in terms of helping you. Just a thought.

In any case, I decided to then poke around my Rogers modem to see if they did anything interesting to it. At first, I couldn’t log into it via 192.168.100.1 as I have it set up in bridge mode. The usual reason in terms of why I cannot log into my Rogers modem is that Rogers pushed a firmware upgrade to it, which requires a reboot for me to get back into it. So I rebooted the modem and sure enough I could log in. This is what I saw:

The software version was 7.1.1.32. The last time that I had logged into my modem was a long time ago, and the firmware at the time was 2.0.10.36T6Which meant that Rogers in fact did push out a new firmware to my modem. Something that they haven’t done in a very long time. At least I thought that they hadn’t. But these notes from Rogers suggests that I haven’t been paying attention:

There’s a bunch of improvements for WiFi and a few other things. But really nothing that affected me. Still, I decided to poke around some more. That’s when I hit pay dirt:

I now have 8 upstream channels. But only four are in use. Channels 5 to 8 were never present previously. If I had to guess, Rogers is currently enabling DOCSIS 3.1 on the upstream part of customers Internet connections. You might recall that they did this a few years ago on the downstream part of customers Internet connections. Then they ran into issues doing the rollout, before getting things back on the rails. But any news as to doing the same thing to the upstream channel has been silent. But clearly that has changed.

So what would having DOCSIS 3.1 on the upstream channel give you? Well, the specification in theory give us 10 Gbit/s downstream and 1 Gbit/s upstream. It also gives you lower latency which is great for game players and Zoom users. Thus I suspect that Rogers is going to either jack up the upstream speeds, or they are going to jack up speeds on both upstream and downstream channels. And I think that pressure from Bell is driving this move as Bell has the absolutely superior offering in terms of their gigabit service, as well as 1.5 gigabit offering which Rogers doesn’t even offer because they can’t currently offer something with that speed level.

So it will be interesting to see what Rogers does with this upgrade. And more importantly, if their pricing is about to go up to pay for that upgrade.

Watch this space for updates.

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