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negativeduck
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-14
Centreville, VA
kudos:1

3 recommendations

[INTERNET] Why do we ask for encoded mac address's

I thought everyone would like to know why we're always asking for the encoded mac address with posts on problems. What you may not realize is exactly why we ask especially when you are convinced it’s not a problem in your residence and you believe it to be an RCN network problem.

The truth is even when it is a RCN network problem which generally we will relay back when responding the encoded mac address tells us literally where to look. The CMTS that provides your service may have more than 40 ports servicing “downloads”, and some sites may have 3 or more of these chassis installed. Each one of these ports can serve any number of fiber optic nodes, which as you’ve probably seen in press releases RCN is a very fiber rich company; this means more nodes to deliver service to smaller groups of customers.

Each chassis may have upto 120 physical ports that your “uploads” connect into that generally represent a subset of the nodes attached to the downstream. When you provide the encoded mac address it hones us in on exactly where you are across the RCN network. When you start to figure each individual port is effectively creating a unique network you start to see why we need to get specific in locations. Likewise because of the way fiber / coax runs in your city / town it’s entirely possible that you and your neighbor across the street are served from two different chassis or two different ports.

So when you say “I’m in this town” , or “I’m in this area” you realize we have nothing to go on. All we have as an area that could be spread across any number of ports both upstream / downstream and even chassis. Thankfully lilhuricane always comes back and makes the request for encoded mac addresses on posts without them. But I thought I’d just offer up a why we always ask, and why when a customer in Town A posts of a problem even if you are in the same Town your problems are likely not even related. They may be the same symptomatic problem but we can fix one without ever even touching your connection leaving you stuck.

And this is what happens when you have a 5month old who insists 3am is a good time to be hungry. You get a fed baby who is now sleeping, and a restless engineer posting to DSLR.
--
Bryan Laird
RCN Engineering



lilhurricane
Crunchin' For Cures
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join:2003-01-11
Purple Zone
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Reviews:
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Yay for sleep

Thanks, Bryan for the post..

It is very explanatory (and most likely more visible in the forum than stashed somewhere in a FAQ).

..I added it anyways
»RCN Forum FAQ »Why do we ask for encoded mac addresses?


mjr
Premium
join:2003-09-18
Bethlehem, PA

IMHO, this could be stickied for some period of time... Just sayin'...



jsolo1
Premium
join:2001-07-01
reply to negativeduck

Bryan, I under stand the need for the mac, but what difference does it make if it's encoded or the actual mac? What can someone else do with my mac address without the rest of the acct info?
--
Insanity is living in a state of illusion.



Doc

@rcn.net

I'm assuming the encoded mac is to stave off mac cloning attempts on the DOCSIS side.



lilhurricane
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Reviews:
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1 edit

said by Doc :

I'm assuming the encoded mac is to stave off mac cloning attempts on the DOCSIS side.

Right, and a good time to also remind folks:

Never post/PM your IP address, acct number, or other personal info either to just anyone stating they represent RCN

This is on a pubic board viewable by all.

Our "unofficial officials" ..(or so they like to call themselves)

.....are all listed in our main thread stickied up top of the forum, and have been verified & authorized to post on behalf of RCN

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» Posting Guidelines-How To Get Help & Who Represents RCN
--
~Safe Hex~ Team Discovery ~ Project Hope ~ Like A Hurricane~

negativeduck
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-14
Centreville, VA
kudos:1

Doc was right.. it's just to make people that want to try and steal service actually have to "work for it" :P FWIW we do know who you are
--
Bryan Laird
RCN Engineering


fhaber
Enhanced For Lynx

join:1999-11-23
New York, NY

1 recommendation

reply to lilhurricane

And this might be a good place to add that the RCN speedtest page encodes your MAC for you. It's right there to scrape; you don't have to tear your hair out downloading PGP or similar!

(Actually, I don't remember whether the encoded string is on both old and new speedtest versions. Anyone?)


ice
Sleep Less, Game More

join:2002-07-01
Wind Gap, PA

Only new speed test if I remember correctly.


negativeduck
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-14
Centreville, VA
kudos:1

yes only the newtest.. we really don't update oldtest anymore.
--
Bryan Laird
RCN Engineering

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