dslreports logo

    All FAQs Site FAQ DSL FAQ Cable Tech About DSL Distance DSL Hurdles »»


how-to block ads

A number of AT&T Broadband Internet customers have not been able to access the Internet even though their cable modems appear to be working. As discussed in this forum, for some people the solution appears to be manually provisioning their cable modem via the Service Activation System (SAS).

From surveying this forum, we have noticed that about half the posters report success with this process. The inability of the other half to get this process to work may be due to several factors but we suspect that some percentage can be attributed to the use of the wrong SAS regional server for the registration process. While information has been circulated as to what the 6 SAS regions are and which regional server you should use for a given market, we have recently enhanced SAS so as to prevent a user from registering in the wrong region. This post will provide the regions-to-market mapping so you can start at the right server but should you attempt to register at the wrong server, SAS will redirect you to the registration page for your correct regional server.

Who should use cable modem registration - DOCSIS vs. non-DOCSIS:

The ATTBI network supports both DOCSIS and non-DOCSIS cable modems (CMs). DOCSIS CMs are available both from AT&T and from retailers. Non-DOCSIS CMs are generally only available though AT&T for purchase or lease (most customer's have leased). If you bought your CM recently (e.g. within the last year) from a retailer it almost certainly is a DOCSIS modem. If you lease your modem, it may or may not be DOCSIS.

This is important because CM registration is only required for DOCSIS CMs. Non-DOCSIS users don't need to register their modems. Registering a non-DOCSIS modem will have no effect on your service; generally it will produce an error message from SAS. Hence, if you know you have a non-DOCSIS CM, you can stop reading here and get back on the phone to customer care.

The ins and outs of CM registration:

If your CM is "active" and your PC has a Net12 IP address (e.g. 12.x.x.x) but you can't seem to "get anywhere", the reason may be that SAS doesn't associate your CM with a valid account. SAS provides each CM with a configuration file that controls its operation. CMs that are recognized as being associated with accounts in good standing are provided with a configuration file that allows full access to the network. CMs that are not recognized as associated with a valid account are provided with a default configuration file that blocks access to all locations except the SAS registration sites. SAS uses the CM MAC address to identify the CM.

When your account was migrated to SAS, the CM MAC address should have been included, however, in some cases, the CM MAC address was missing or corrupted. These accounts were migrated anyway, but since SAS won't ever be able to associate the customer's actual CM MAC address with their account number, these CMs will get default configuration files and be blocked from accessing the general internet. Manual registration can fix this by re-establishing the association between the CM MAC address and the account number.

The process is simple, just use your normal browser to visit your regional SAS registration website via your CM, and enter your account number. SAS will get the CM MAC address automatically and associate it with the account. Then SAS will update its database so that when your CM is next powered up, it can download the new configuration file that allows full access. There are several prerequisites:

a) As stated above, you must be using a DOCSIS CM.

b) This can only be done through your DOCSIS CM - the IP traffic to the SAS registration server must pass through your CM. You can't do this from a friend's house, a dial-up account, etc., since SAS won't get your CM MAC address.

c) You must know your 16 digit account number. Your account number should be on your bill or on other material that AT&T has provided you (like the paperwork you received when you first signed up for service). Your registration code is the last 9 digits of your account number. (This is the code for this migration -- the codes will be different in the future and customers will get them directly from AT&T Broadband.)

d) Your account must be in good standing (e.g. not suspended for non-payment, etc.). If your account is not in good standing, SAS will give you an error and you will have to call Care.

e) Your account must be successfully loaded into SAS. It is possible that there are some accounts with corrupted account numbers or that failed to load for other reasons. This process will not work if SAS doesn't have your account number. In this case, SAS will give you an error and you will have to call Care.

f) Your CM must have connected with the network - e.g. the "cable" or similar light must indicate normal operation. Otherwise, you will have to call Care.

g) Your web browser should not be configured to use a proxy server - it should be configured for direct connection to the internet. Also, your PCs network settings should be configured for the ATTBI network: DHCP on, no manual DNS, no system name.

Here's the process:

1) Open your browser and enter the URL from the list below that corresponds to your location.

2) You will get a page ("SAS Main Authentication Screen") that prompts you for your 16 digit account number and 9 digit registration code. The registration code is the last 9 digits of your account number. Enter these values and click the "Submit" button.

Note: if you have selected the wrong region, SAS will redirect you to the SAS Main Authentication Screen for your correct region. You will see the same page as you just saw reappear with bold face text that says: "Please logon again, you were using the incorrect region on your last attempt".

3) Once you have logged on to your correct region, you will get one of the following 4 responses:

3.1) If you have no CM associated with your account:

If you have no CM associated with your account (e.g. the account data was migrated without a CM MAC address), then SAS will automatically associate the MAC address of the CM you are currently using with your account, and return a page titled "Device Registered/ISPs" that says:

"You are currently subscribed to the following service. To make changes to
this subscription, please contact AT&T Broadband directly"

below which you should see a box with the words:

"AT&T Broadband Internet (active)"

There is no button or further instructions on this page. However, for your CM to get the correct configuration file, you need to power it off (by pulling the plug from the wall), wait 2 minutes, and plug it back in. Then you should restart your PC. When you do both of those things, the CM should have an updated configuration file (one that lets you access the internet) and your PC should be able to access sites on the public internet (assuming the rest of your PC is properly configured).

3.2) Corrupted/different CM MAC address:

If you had a corrupted/different CM MAC address associated with the account,
then SAS brings up a page titled "Unrecognized Cable Modem" which says:

"[Customer Name]: Are you using a new cable modem? This one is not
currently registered. Would you like to register this cable modem?

Currently registered cable modem: [drop down list]

To replace a cable modem, select its name and click Replace."

In the drop down list you should see the CM MAC address that is currently in the SAS database. This will not match the MAC address of the CM you are using. Click on this entry in the drop down list (there should only be one entry) and then click the "Replace" button.

You will then see the page titled "Replace Cable Modem" which will say:

"Enter a name for your cable modem, or submit the default name shown below:

Modem name: [Cable Modem 2]"

Accept the default name or enter your own. Then click the "Submit" button and SAS will display the "Device Registered/ISPs" page, that says:

"Cable Modem 2 is currently registered with your account.

To complete the process please take the following steps:

* Click here to reset your Cable Modem. Once your modem has
been reset, restart your computer.

You are currently subscribed to the following service. To make changes to this subscription, please contact AT&T Broadband directly

AT&T Broadband Internet (active)"

You can click the "here" link to reset your CM or you can power cycle it. If you click the "here" link, SAS will display a blank page after it resets your CM. You will see the lights on your CM blinking in the same way they do after you power it up.

3.3) If your account doesn't exist:

If your account doesn't exist in SAS, or you enter an invalid account number, you will see the "SAS Main Authentication Screen" again with bold text that says: "Registration Failed - Please try again." If you are entering your account number correctly and get this response, you will have to call Care at the number provided on the screen.

3.4) If your account is Blocked or Suspended:

If your account is blocked or suspended, SAS will display a page titled "SAS Error" which says:

"An error has occurred:

We're sorry, but we can not allow this Account Number access to the system since the status of the account is: suspended [or blocked]

For help with this error, please call AT&T Broadband Customer Care."

In this case, you will have to call Care.

SAS Regions

Here are the SAS regions two ways, by state and by SAS region. Note: we give both URLs and IP addresses below because IP addresses have been circulating in this forum. While the IP addresses are correct as of 12/20/01, they are subject to change and we encourage all users to use the URLs instead.

California (except Sacramento): Region 2
Sacramento: Region 4
Colorado: Region 4
Connecticut: Region 6
Georgia: Region 6
Illinois: Region 5
Indiana: Region 5
Michigan: Region 5
Montana: Region 4
Ohio: Region 6
Oregon: Region 1
Pennsylvania: Region 6
Texas: Region 3
Utah: Region 4
Washington: Region 1
Wyoming: Region 4

Region 1 Seattle SAS Region
URL = »sas.r1.attbi.com
IP = and
Serves: Oregon, Washington

Region 2 Redwood City SAS Region
URL = »sas.r2.attbi.com
IP = and
Serves: California except Sacramento

Region 3 Dallas SAS Region
URL = »sas.r3.attbi.com
IP = and
Serves: Texas

Region 4 Denver SAS Region
URL = »sas.r4.attbi.com
IP = and
Serves: Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Sacramento CA

Region 5 Detroit SAS Region
URL = »sas.r5.attbi.com
IP = and
Serves: Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana

Region 6 Boston SAS Region
URL = »sas.r6.attbi.com
IP = and
Serves: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia


If you meet the conditions above, and if a corrupted or missing CM MAC address is the cause of your problem, this process should get you back in service. If it does not, you will have to consult Care.

If you have followed this process before but picked a region at random, or know now you picked the wrong region, and your service is not working, follow the process above.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • This is as big a piece of misinformation as the Weekly World News. I am an AT&T tech myself and we can no more configure a cable modem for dsl than a Time Warner rep can configure a dsl modem for cable. Though if you would like to put a copper cable into a phone jack and expect connection, feel free to try.

    2011-12-22 01:38:57

  • I recently moved which required a transfer of my AT&T phone and DSL service. My DSL worked fine for about a week and then without notice it stopped. After spending hours trying to find the problem I decided to call AT&T. They informed me my modem was not registered. I was not informed of any changes that required my modem to be registered, but followed the directions of the rep. Basically, they assigned me a password, which now gives me the impression my network is technically not secure. In my opinion, I should have at least been given the option to change the password, but I wasn't. Has anyone else had this experience? If so, please email me at robert.robinson2@sbcglobal.net. Thank You!

    2011-04-26 14:14:07

  • Or you might be running *nix? "AT&T Blocks Linux Configuration" http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2010/12/at-blocks-linux-configuration.html

    2010-12-14 16:45:19


    2010-10-03 14:23:52

Expand got feedback?

by nil See Profile