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Os

join:2011-01-26
US

ABB Adds Express and Unleashed Tiers

ABB has long been losing the speed race, but they're starting to catch up.

Saw a commercial that ABB has launched an Express tier (20/2) and Unleashed tier (40/3) in the Altoona/Johnstown area. Even though our IP's here in Cumberland come from Altoona, we're not eligible for these tiers.

20/2 is the same price as MegaMax ($54.99), and 40/3 is $69.99. A little overpriced, but I've seen worse.

Now to get this down here in Cumberland and get some more HD channels for the Central PA/Western MD system.


ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1

Just to let everyone know:

The two new tiers (20/2 and 40/3) do require a DOCSIS 3.0 Modem.

I spent a little bit of time on the phone with a tech support person trying to compile a proper list of supported modems.

They appear to be the following:


    Ambit DDM3503
    Ambit uBee DDM3513
    Ambit uBee U10C035
    Arris WBM760A
    Cisco DPC3000
    Motorola SB6120
    Motorola SB6121
    Motorola SBG6580
    NetGear CMD31T


No speedtest from me yet, as I need to order a DOCSIS 3.0 modem.

Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Are they switching to the 6120 from the 5222 for rentals?

Altoona/Johnstown's triple plays are bundled with the Express/Unleashed tiers, I'm hoping the ABB fairies will gladly upgrade me to 20/2 with a modem exchange.

So glad to see ABB doing something. Since they've went D3 in Altoona/Johnstown, I'd assume our timeline here is very close. I'm hoping this means we start going all digital by the end of the year.


ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1

I was told that if I had bought my modem or rented it from ABB, they would have swapped it out.

However, you have a Digital Voice modem, which I don't know if they have adopted the SBV6220 yet or not. I would call and ask or do their online chat to see if they have a Digital voice/docsis 3.0 modem combo like the SBV6220 for those who want the faster speeds and to keep their phone service.

I know that they refused to allow a customer to buy their own SBV modem's for some odd reason, I don't know if its a security risk or what.

Also, I'm going to pick up a modem sometime in the next week or so.

I'll post speedtests then.


ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1
reply to Os

Picked up a SB6121 at Staples for around $80, used one of those $25 off $100 coupons.



Os

join:2011-01-26
US
reply to ScrawnyB

The 6580 is the D3 Motorola modem that handles VoIP with other providers, so I assume ABB will use it.

But yes, if you have their phone service, you must rent or buy an ABB modem. I don't particularly like it, but that's the way it is.


redpenguin

join:2010-06-17

1 edit
reply to Os

I am currently paying for the MegaMax and found out "Express" is the same price but I was just told by an agent I had to pay $40 for an professional installation of a new modem.

But from reading the above, it doesn't sound that way.

EDIT: I called them vs web chat and they said the agent must have gotten mixed up, if you get phone service via ABB, you have to get it professionally installed but not if you have Internet only.



Mountaintech

join:2003-05-30
Cumberland, MD
reply to Os

D3 is working it's way down here.

As for all digital, reason why most cable systems go all digital is because they are only a 300-550MHz and have no room to add more channels which is what D3 needs to get the speeds. Cumberland is an 860MHz so probably won't be seeing this happen anytime soon.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

ABB has went all digital in Western PA (Uniontown headend) and the Eastern Shore of MD. I'd figure Altoona/Johnstown/Cumberland is next since it's their biggest cluster.

While you're right, it's also been a competitive decision to get the HD channels up to the levels of the satellite companies. Uniontown is around 80 HD channels, the Eastern Shore has a few more than that.

I thought this was a 750MHz system. You'd think there would be some room left for the missing Viacom HD channels and Cartoon Network HD at 860MHz.



Helpfulguy

@atlanticbb.net

Hi Guys, I do work for Atlantic broadband, and while I'm not allowed to give more information than that, I can give you some more info with the new speeds.

All the new speeds require docsis 3 modems. The list in this post is good, as well as a few others that are compatible. It really has more to do with our Billing system being able to recognize a modem as D3, rather than you getting the Wrong type of modem. I can tell you that Zoom Cable modems will not work with our system just yet--- we're asking our MIS team to add them ASAP as I know Staples sells them for cheap.

You can buy your own D3 modem, or rent a 6120 (or 21) from us, and have it provisioned in 10 minutes by tech support. The only hitch is when phone service is bundled in-- In that circumstance you must lease our new D3 EMTAs from Arris. Now Arris is a good manufacturer and is our primary MTA for business class VOIP service. You can also swap your old MTA (A motorolla) with a new Arris by just going to the local office.

We still offer install and home delivery options, but there are costs associated with them, unless you get in on a bundle with customer care (not my particular department). Wish I could give you more info about the HD channel lineup, as well as increasing TV cable cost--- unfortunately that part I don't work with. However, there are plans to roll D3 speeds out to all of our subscribers by early 2012.

If you have any other questions please feel free to e-mail me a reply, which should be noted in the e-mail reply notification (its a g-mail address).


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

So when the switch occurs here in Cumberland I can swap out my SBV5222 Motorola for the new Arris D3 modem at the local office?

Excellent.


wolfsmane

join:2003-05-01
Aiken, SC
reply to Os

Just got the unleashed here in SC 29803 this week using ABB Motorola SB6180 modem.

I am blazing along at 43d/2.8u

I plan to buy my own modem, and am considering staying with Motorola. I can't find the SB6180, what is different between the 6180 and the 6120/21 ? And what is different between the 6120 and 6121?

Also, I have a Linksys WRT54G V4 wireless router sitting around. Can I use this without losing speed, both wireless and through the wired ports?

Thanks and thanks to ABB for bringing lightening fast speeds!


ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1

On the WRT54G, I highly imagine that you won't see full throughput considering 802.11g is a maximum of 54Mbps throughput, which is only "Theoretical" too. You will need an 802.11n (150Mbps, 300Mbps, or 600Mbps) wifi setup to see those speeds realistically over wireless.

I'm not sure about the SB6120 vs 6121 differences, but apparently the SB6180 can handle 8-channel downstream bonding, whereas the SB612x only handle 4-channel downstream bonding apparently. I guess the SB6180 is a little more future proof in that regard.

It also seems like the SB6180 is a little harder to acquire through retail channels, so you may have trouble acquiring one from anyone except ABB at this time.

Also, according to some research, apparently the SB6120 uses a Texas Instruments chipset, and the SB6180 uses a Broadcom chipset.

How much does ABB charge for modem rental these days?


wolfsmane

join:2003-05-01
Aiken, SC

I think they still charge $5/month. To be honest, I was so excited to be offered the 40m package, I didn't even ask.

Would ABB sell these?

Im a noob to this stuff, so this may be a dumb question, but is it possible ABB is already using 8-channel downstream bonding?

I am really bummed that there is only one port on these Motorola modems. It sits right above my entertainment center, which is also next to my main desktop. Havin 4 or more ports available would be such a benefit to direct wire all my toys, instead of using wireless.

I am not currently using the Linksys, and won't now that I read your reply. Obviously I haven't bought a router since this Linksys, would you care to share what brand - models would be the easiest to setup and maintain, and would be best quality, in your opinion?

Thanks for the reply


ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1

Ugh I added a big long reply tho this earlier and it didn't post properly I guess...

To summarize:

- It is possible (but probably unlikely) that you are on 8-channel bonding, as you are seeing >40Mbps supposedly, whereas I'm on the same package seeing a constant 40.83Mbps, depending on what site I go to measure it. Those things would need to be ruled out first. You can check your modem page (»192.168.100.1/ usually) and see the modem stats, here's mine for reference:




- For a router, for you, I would just suggest just getting a Motorola DOCSIS Gateway such as the SBG6580. You will want to check with ABB to see that this is compatible first. It supports 802.11n (dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz, but not simultaneously) and has 4 ports on it. This also appears to fall in the 6x80 product line, indicating that it supports the 8-channel downstream.

- If you still care about my real opinion and want a separate router (and not a gateway), then I have the Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH router that has 4 gigabit LAN ports, gigabit WAN support, and 300Mbps 802.11n (2.4GHz only) support.

wolfsmane

join:2003-05-01
Aiken, SC

Thanks scrawnyb.

I did a little research on the SBG6580, and there where some poor reviews with this unit needing to be reset several times a week.

I think I will go with a separate router.


wolfsmane

join:2003-05-01
Aiken, SC

1 edit

My local ABB office does sell these Motorola modems, for $89. So, I can't buy a 6120 or 6121 for that price shipped, so I will probably just buy this one and get a wireless N-Router to go with it.


saguakid

join:2011-02-25
Miami Beach, FL
reply to Os

This sucks cause is not available in my area yet,I switched to uverse cause my internet is not consistent



Helpfulguy

@atlanticbb.net
reply to ScrawnyB

To help clarify along with scrawnyb:

-We're currently rolled out in Central PA (Altoona/ Johnstown) and our Aiken, SC system. There are plans to get more PA plants (Uniontown, Bradford, Warren) in before the end of the new year. Cumberland and the Eastern Shore I'm not sure of the timeframe, as I don't deal with those systems very much. However, since FIOS is in one of those markets, I'd imagine we're going to roll it out as soon as its ready.

-Channel Bonding for the Express and Unleashed tier speeds are correct. I confirmed with a Field Tech in Aiken that down there at least it is 8, I'd assume the infrastructure up north would be the same. The load balancing may be different for the express speed, but I do know our downstream/upstream levels now have to be a much tighter grouping since we're effectively using multiples.

-Modems: We are compatible with the Motorolla Gateway mentioned by scrawnyb, but in order for us to provision you correctly at this time, we have to build the modem in our system as a 61XX modem, and note the account. Its a placeholder for when we actually get the billing codes to match up--- The internal workings of the gateway (It acting as a DHCP server for your home network) are unaffected by this. We are also leasing out 6180 modems, and allowing them for use on our systems as well.

-Miami: The Miami network is the last, (I believe), to have D3 speeds provisioned. As far as I understand, that plant was run poorly by Charter-- the infrastructure as well as node placement and load balancing all need re-tweaked. We also have to make sure that our techs can get the signals they need to enable channel bonding. Its something that will require a concerted effort by our technical and engineering staff down there. When it does roll out, I'd expect a slow ramp up. The infrastructure in Miami is something that we're investing in, and the demand for this type of service is high. We want to make sure that it will be reliable, before we flip the switch per se.

Also, a quick billing tip, that can be used by anyone in an area that already has D3, or will be getting D3 (All of ABB by 2012), Our highest speeds before this, both Max and Megamax (The 10mbps, and 15mpbs respectively) are being grandfathered in, but are no longer being sold. If you call in, and ask for the Express Speed (20/2), You will be getting a free upgrade to D3 capability/speed and either pay the same amount (or less depending on local special offers).. I'd take advantage of that and move up to D3 while we're getting people on board. As always, if you have the ability and know-how to swap the modem yourself-- you save the cost of an install or home delivery option.

I'm glad people are excited about the new speeds and, I do want to help our most technically inclined subscribers with any info I can offer. I'll be happy to help in any way possible, although I do wish to remain anonymous--I'm not posting in any "official" capacity for the company, and my posts should be taken as such.

I'd like to thank scrawnyb and others for helping out other guys and gals along the way. You have no idea how grateful we are whenever we talk to people who have helped us explain sometimes confusing issues to people in such a way that it makes sense. They pay people to do that here, but the goodwill of the members here is nice and refreshing to see.

If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer as I come across hard data--- Aside from those little Billing tips, I don't have much knowledge about pricing and our Video services, unfortunately, just isn't a department I work with at all.

Take Care guys.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

The Eastern Shore system goes into Middletown, DE, and that is where they have Verizon FiOS. There's no FiOS on the Eastern Shore, and there's sure no FiOS here in Cumberland.



Helpfulguy

@atlanticbb.net
reply to wolfsmane

In response to wolfsmane and any other posters or lurkers who might be wondering about wireless router compatibility:

scrawnyb's explanation of Wireless G throughput is spot on. If you plan on subscribing to the Unleashed speed (40m), you will also need to have a Wireless N router in order to attain that approximate speed with any wireless device (the device, also needs to have wireless N capability).

On our internal testing, as well as with different subscribers, we normally see Wireless G topping out at 25-26mbps. Which is fine for the express service, if that is the option that you choose, Unleashed subs will need N in the household to get their full speed wirelessly.

Of course, anything connected via 10/100 or 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet will get the best possible provisioned speed.

The one Ethernet out on our rental modems may be a hold over from when each system was owned by different carriers. Before I worked for the company proper, I do remember Charter allowing multiple public IPs to be pulled via a switch, other areas like Miami also allowed for this with Charter. I know Aiken's Gforcecable system operated in a similar manner as well.

As it stands now, ABB will also offer a dual band Linksys e1500 N router for households that would rather rent one from us rather than buy one. This probably doesn't apply to many active on the forum, but its an option. The rental fee is the same as a modem lease, and also implies the same protections. Should the router go bad, its replaced free of charge.

I would caution those who aren't sure about their router/internal network to give us a call so we can walk you through checking. Most of the tech savvy people already have N routers--- but there are some (myself included until just recently) who have held on to various G/Mixed because up until now the throughput was maxed at the modem end.

I'll miss the DD-WRT firmware of my old WRT54G, but got a Netgear on sale at Bestbuy that hasn't given me any problems yet.



Helpfulguy

@atlanticbb.net
reply to Os

Thats right osravens, in our grouping of plant areas, MDDE (Grasonville and Middletown) are one system. FiOS is in Middletown--- Our D3 rollout will cover the entirety of the system including Grasonville, Chester, and other areas there.

Cumberland is an interesting system-- but most techs treat it similarly to Altoona/Johnstown in terms of serviceability. There are some outlying areas in WV that are also on that plant--and I'm not sure (although I can try to find out for you), how far our Cumberland plant push will be.

My best educated guess as far as the next system to see the D3 upgrade would be Cumberland, as it is normally included in how we define our "Central PA" systems (which includes parts of MD, funnily). Central PA and Aiken are the first two to go live, with other systems then coming behind as the work is done. I don't have a hard timeline as to each system and plant, but by Q1 of 2012 is the answer we're getting for all our major systems.


ScrawnyB

join:2004-05-18
Carlisle, PA
kudos:1

Thanks Helpfulguy for the insight.

You should register and become a regular here, as it's nice to have the insight from someone who has the technical information to clarify some things about the network and what not.

I hope you come back to see these questions:

- Is Altoona/Johnstown market 4 channels or 8 channel downstream right now? Will this possibly be increased in the future?

- Do you know what kind of speed packages are being offered to businesses for DOCSIS 3? ABB has always been fairly quiet about their prices for Business class service and it's hard to find out any information without talking to a business service rep.

- Now that we're on DOCSIS 3.0, do you think that speed upgrades will come in more regular intervals, and do you know if there are any plans to allow for a more balanced download-upload bandwidth ratio in the future?

I also have some more individualized technical questions I would like to ask you over PM here as well, related to my in-home run and cable service.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

1 edit
reply to Helpfulguy

I know the Cumberland system covers all of eastern Mineral County and goes all the way down to Romney in WV. Allegany and Mineral County are divided, with the western side of each belonging to Tele-Media, then Adelphia, now Comcast. There's a separate ABB system in Moorefield.

While there's an FCC franchise to run lines in the adjacent PA townships in both Bedford and Somerset County for ABB, I'm not aware of there being any actual lines there. Everyone has OTA or Dish/DTV.

We're more than slightly intertwined with Altoona/Johnstown. All our IP's are from Altoona here (It used to be Johnstown), and the digital channel lineup is identical but we have a few more HD channels and get MASN instead of the Big Ten Network.

Down here in Cumberland, they've been heavily advertising a business internet/phone package for $79.99/month both in billboards and embedded ads. I don't know what speed that is.


F34R

join:2007-10-29
reply to Os

I'm wondering, when will the 29812 be able to get these speeds?


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Isn't that the Aiken system? I believe it's available for you guys right now.


F34R

join:2007-10-29

Well, it's available for Aiken 29803, but not Barnwell, 29812.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

Is Barnwell under another headend? If it's not, then I would think the upgrade has to either be in the process of happening or already there.


F34R

join:2007-10-29

thanks for the reply... not sure what you mean by "headend", but I'm going to call them Monday and find out. I'm certainly willing to spend the cash for speed lol.


Os

join:2011-01-26
US

The headend is the command center for your region. When something is available in that headend, it usually goes to all parts of that headend.