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A "Walled Garden" refers to a browsing environment that controls the information and Web sites the user is able to access. Comcast will provide the walledgarden.cfg file to your modem until the system has validated it thru a process called provisioning. With that configuration, the system restricts your ability to access other resources.

What is Provisioning for a cable modem

Comcast Cable Internet uses the MAC number of the cable modem to identify the user to the system. This means that no password or login is required. To tell Comcast that a particular modem is for your account, the Comcast system must be told about your modem, so that the modem can be served by the cable system. The cable system will download a configuration file to your modem based on the class of service you are subscribed to. See Cable Modem Provisioning FAQ.

This will need to be done if you are a new customer, or if you switch to a different modem. If you have a deluxe install, the installer normally does this for you.

How does DNS spoofing work?

Through the use of DNS spoofing when you open up Internet Explorer (if your modem has the walledgarden.cfg file) it will take you to the registration page. To the customer the `walled garden' is a page with a bold header "Account Information Not Found" it will then tell you to either use the latest CD or click HERE to download the software. walled garden:

DNS stands for Domain Name Service; this service is a critical part of how the Internet operates. Without it, it would be much harder to `surf' the web. DNS resolves hostnames like dslreports.com or google.com into an IP (Internet Protocol) address in which the web server is located so you can view the page. For example to reach Google you can go to either www.google.com (using DNS) or go to the IP address of Google (without DNS). DNS spoofing comes into play with Comcast's new self provisioning platform. If your modem receives the `walled garden' configuration file no matter what website you type in, the DNS server will re-direct you to the Self Provisioning page. So when your homepage of google.com contacts Comcast's DNS server it will resolve to the registration page rather then Google's IP.

Can I avoid Comcast branding after provisioning? What if I don't want Comcast's branding on my computer?

You could use a different computer, or restore your computer's state after performing the provisioning.

You will have to use the software provided if you want to register your modem yourself. As many customers dislike having their Internet Explorer or Outlook Express branded (or anything actually installed on their box) there may be an option in the future to opt out of software installs. At this point in time the actual downloading of the software and installation takes place last in the provisioning process. Although not confirmed it is rumored that you may be able to complete a successful registration by ditching the registration after you create your primary username. To remove branding from your computer you can use either of these two links in DSL report's FAQs.


If you do not use a supported computer configuration, you will need to phone in.

What if installation fails?

If you are using the current software and your registration fails (yet you have a valid IP) you will need to contact Comcast's Technical support at 1-888-COMCAST (open 24/7).

What are the minimum system requirements to run the Comcast High-Speed Internet Service?

»Comcast High Speed Internet FAQ »What are the Minimum System Requirements for XFINITY Internet Service?

If you do not meet the MSRs, the software will prompt you to upgrade existing software (Such as IE or Windows). If using an unsupported system such as Linux, you will need to contact Comcast Technical support at 1-888-COMCAST to be provisioned. In addition to the MSRs, you must be using a Comcast certified cable modem. To see a list of Comcast approved modems click here: Approved Modem List

Historical notes

Comcast used to provision the modems based on a phone call to customer support. ATTBI used a provisioning system called SAS to automate the process.

The SAS provisioning system was handed down to Comcast with the purchase of ATTBI. This created two major problems with Comcast's systems. "Classic" or legacy markets were on a completely separate registration and provisioning platform from that of "new" Comcast (formerly ATTBI); this impeded Comcast from easily being able to deploy new market technology and upgrades easily. Secondly the former SAS provisioning system was un-user-friendly and had its problems.

Comcast created a new system with a project called Bedrock. The new system of self provisioning should provide better reliability and will enable Comcast to roll out new services more easily.

The information for this FAQ was originally drawn from Joebob38's 2004-09-18 post.

*This FAQ is based on user knowledge from a volunteer core of BroadbandReports' members. This FAQ in no way constitutes official information from Comcast or any of its affiliates.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • or if you have trouble with the activation page, call Comcast. we'll activate your modem from our side.

    2011-12-05 03:48:24 (MonteCristo See Profile)

  • Comcast no longer makes customers download their software to set up via the Walled Garden page. Provisioning is done entirely through the web site.

    2011-04-08 14:40:20 (Morac See Profile)

Expand got feedback?

by StillLearn See Profile edited by Johkal See Profile
last modified: 2011-04-14 17:18:34