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Just_Dan

join:2005-01-15
San Jose, CA

[Business] Installed today, great installer, but still disappoin

In preparing to move into our new home I needed to order
new service. The new house is too far for DSL of any flavor,
and residential Comcast does not provide a static address,
which is a requirement.

I had used Comcast business service for a branch office
on the east coast, so I had been through the ordering
process, and knew what to ask for.

Can I bring my own modem?
- Yes, as long as it is on the approved list. (promptly ordered the SB6120)
I need a static address, will that be a problem?
- No problem, just $14 bucks month

Turns out to be not quite true, and I am stuck with a $70
paperweight and a $21 dollar a month bill for my static
IP. I get that the tech on the phone has a script to follow,
and has no say in corporate policies, and my sales rep
should have caught this before sending the installer.

My favorite part of the conversation is how it is "impossible"
to assign a static IP to a device behind a bridged modem.
That was when I gave up, since it made it clear the call
was going to go nowhere.

The installer has excellent, and I made sure not to take it
out on him. Heck he seemed as frustrated with the process
as I was, so I can only guess that this happens on a regular
basis.



scooby
Premium
join:2001-05-01
Schaumburg, IL
kudos:1

Re: [Business] Installed today, great installer, but still disap

Did you ask here or in Comcast Direct first? Did you get it in writing in your contract?
--
"I want to legalize freedom" – Ron Paul


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to Just_Dan

said by Just_Dan:

My favorite part of the conversation is how it is "impossible"
to assign a static IP to a device behind a bridged modem.
That was when I gave up, since it made it clear the call
was going to go nowhere.

Unfortunately, this is true, you would need to use a leased SMC3DG from Comcast to make use of the static address allocation. If you decide you don't need the statics after all, you could use the SB6120 with DHCP (5 CPE). As you're still in your satisfaction period, I don't think you'd have a problem dropping the statics.

Just_Dan

join:2005-01-15
San Jose, CA

A static address is a requirement for my situation, so that is not
an option. Technically I do have it in writing as my signed
business contract specifies 'owner supplied' modem and a static
address, but I suspect that approach will not get me too far.
I did not ask here, since my past experience with the business
side had me thinking that side was better informed/aware of
the product they were selling.

The same sales rep told me IPv6 for the business service was
not far out, and the SMC does not support IPv6, perhaps they
will eventually support a true static assignment behind a bridged
modem. It would also be way less wasteful of the dwindling IPv4
space if they would allocate me 1 address out of a /24 on the
node, as opposed to the /30 which uses four addresses to achieve the same result.


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Its not a policy limitation, its a technical limitation. If you can't or don't want to use the SB6120, DHCP and DDNS then your only option would be to have them install a SMC which can handle the static allocation.

I don't know of any specific timetables for IPv6, especially to business customers, but I can say they have been very aggressive so far in adopting IPv6.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3

2 edits
reply to AVonGauss

The router will assign IP addresses with DHCP if the OP wanted to go with one.


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

1 recommendation

That is incorrect, it is dependent primarily on the provisioning by Comcast and the maximum CPE devices the modem can track (which exceeds 5).



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3

2 edits

Cool but a router would still be useful right?


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Don't put too much money down on that bet of yours.


biomesh
Premium
join:2006-07-08
Tomball, TX

1 recommendation

AVonGauss is correct, Mike. The number of CPE is based on configs pushed to the modem and the default business class config includes 5 CPE.


noisefloor

join:2010-05-09

Yep, they are correct. Former comcast guy here... I in fact have a business account with a dynamic IP and the bin file the modem is given allows me to pull multiple dynamic IP's. I'm running 2 separate IP's right now. This is what the _05 or _02 means after the service class of the bin file.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3

1 edit

So then when exactly is the next firmware file being sent out, since when I install the new SB612X models with the december 2011 release date there are alot more options and information to be seen.


Just_Dan

join:2005-01-15
San Jose, CA
reply to AVonGauss

I think you a alluding the to technical reason here, but I am not
sure what you are saying. It reads as if the reason I cannot request a single static IP behind a bridged SB6120 is because it
currently supports five devices directly connected on the LAN side.

I'd like to understand the technical issue, and while not wanting
to be confrontational, the reasons given to me over the phone
have not made sense. I've managed global frame relay and MPLS
networks in a class B network, including dealing with ISPs in a
dozen countries. I mention this not to make myself seem
important, but to suggest I can follow a detailed technical
explination.


AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

I don't want to mangle the answer, maybe another will jump in and give a more detailed answer, but the 10 cent answer is Comcast uses RIP to distribute and manage static allocations which a SB6120 is not going to be able to handle. Most routers you would place behind the SB6120 even though they handle RIP would a) not be set up to deal with statics and b) wouldn't have the keys necessary for encryption.

I know you are frustrated and the sales agent gave you bad information, but the only three options I know of are:

1) Use the SMC for the static (+14 for the single static, +7 for rental)
2) Use the SB6120 w/ DHCP (and probably DDNS)
3) Use another provider

Its just my personal opinion, but if you're not going to be providing a publicly advertised service I would definitely consider option #2 which is what I use myself at the house. The monthly fees saved can be pocketed or applied to a higher tier.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3

I personally like #2. It's truely the easiest option if you don't need a static IP address like hosting a web server or something.


Just_Dan

join:2005-01-15
San Jose, CA

I have to deal with a few remote systems that cannot deal
with DNS, and that cannot be practically updated. Sucks,
but then static IPs should not be this hard.

I wanted to use Sonic, but I am too far from the CO, and
decent performance would be out of the budget.

As grumpy as I am with my sales rep, I would never
consider Uverse, since they cannot provide a static,
and due to distance would likely perform poorly.

RIP, unless modified in a non-standards complaint way, cannot
provide IP addresses, only routing info. I guess it is possible
that it is a modified RIP protocol in use, and if that is the case
it would explain a lot.

I appreciate the feedback, and plan to have a chat with the
sales rep on Monday. If that results in technical explanation,
I will post it.



JohnInSJ
Premium
join:2003-09-22
San Jose, CA
reply to Just_Dan

said by Just_Dan:

Can I bring my own modem?
- Yes, as long as it is on the approved list. (promptly ordered the SB6120)
I need a static address, will that be a problem?
- No problem, just $14 bucks month

No one will tell you both of those - you want statics, you have to use the SMCs, which you cannot buy.

Your actual monthly charge including your charge for static IPs is on the contract you signed before the install.

If your contact states exactly what you say above, and your bill differs, you can cancel without ETF. Comcast should honor the contract price-wise, but there isn't anything anyone can do about the owner supplied modem bit.
--
My place : »www.schettino.us


SpottedCat

join:2004-06-27
Miami, FL
reply to Just_Dan

On a related note... I've read that Comcast dynamic IPs are fairly "sticky", and can stay the same for months at a time as long as the connection stays up.

Are there any caveats to dropping the static IP and simply using the dynamic as a static, dealing occasionally with the inconvenience of having to update it on DNS servers and the like when it does sometimes change? Are Comcast business dynamic IPs devoid of all port blocking like the statics are? Are there different QoS characteristics?



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

said by SpottedCat:

Are Comcast business dynamic IPs devoid of all port blocking like the statics are?

All Comcast HFC based HSI plans (business and residential, dynamic or static) block some ports. The ports that are blocked are published on the Business Class Portal site.

I found this out the hard way (I just assumed that a "Business Class" service with a static IP block would not block any ports). I had to move the actual port scanning function on my »portscan.dcsenterprises.net site to a hosted service because Comcast blocks some of the ports that I test.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

2 edits
reply to AVonGauss

said by AVonGauss:

Its not a policy limitation, its a technical limitation.

Actually it is both a policy and a technical limitation.

The technical limitation is that the Quagga routing software suite that Comcast uses for authenticated RIP will of course not run on a standard cable modem, and Comcast is not going to supply the authentication key to a user for their own router.

The policy limitation is that Comcast has a policy that only supports the use of authenticated RIP, and they will not use DHCP reservations (probably because of the ease with which MAC addresses can be changed on the user side).
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.


NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast
reply to Just_Dan

said by Just_Dan:

RIP, unless modified in a non-standards complaint way, cannot
provide IP addresses, only routing info. I guess it is possible
that it is a modified RIP protocol in use, and if that is the case
it would explain a lot.

Comcast uses the Quagga routing software suite for authenticated RIP, but it still requires that a Comcast tech log into your SMC gateway remotely and manually setup the static IP information.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Just_Dan

join:2005-01-15
San Jose, CA

Thank you! I suspected it was a policy decision that created
a technical limitation, and that it had nothing to do with the
assignment of the address.

It is still odd to me that they would choose to use a dynamic
routing protocol with a /30, instead of assigning their single
IP customers one address in a /24, but that would be a policy
decision, and I am sure it makes sense to the folks behind the
scenes.

I take this as good news, as policies change often and there
is at least a chance I can get what I want before my three
year contract is up.



NetFixer
From my cold dead hands
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
·Comcast Business..
·Vonage
·Comcast

1 recommendation

said by Just_Dan:

It is still odd to me that they would choose to use a dynamic routing protocol with a /30, instead of assigning their single IP customers one address in a /24, but that would be a policy decision, and I am sure it makes sense to the folks behind the scenes.

The single IP address method is what I used to see with AT&T for my DSL circuits with a single IP address option. AT&T did it using their PPPoE authentication (which Comcast does not use). Comcast could do it using MAC address authentication (which is a standard feature in any DHCP service), but I suspect they don't want to get involved with keeping up with the hassle of having to manually update the DHCP server(s) every time a customer gets a new router, or PC, or changes a NIC. By limiting static IP assignments to a specific router that they supply, they eliminate a lot of maintenance headaches for their support people.
--
We can never have enough of nature.
We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.

Just_Dan

join:2005-01-15
San Jose, CA

I guess AT&T spoiled me. I had a static plan with them on DSL
that pre-dated their PPPOE roll out. The setup call, no tech
required, was 'Here is your IP, gateway and netmask'. They
made a royal mess of my billing after 12 years, so I dropped
them for a CLEC that gave me almost the same setup.

That CLEC also had a killer account portal that allowed for fairly
involved changes to the service in near realtime. I could see
a similar setup that requested the user provide their device
MAC address and issue a random password for the RIPv2 update.
A business account that does not have access to an IT person
pays for a truck roll, and is someone does know what they are
doing can handle it themselves.

Heck, I have my one class-C. If they are actually doing dynamic
routing updates for my single usable leased, they should be happy
to let me bring my own address space (provided it passes the
ownership test). Sadly I doubt that is anymore likely at this
point.



SpottedCat

join:2004-06-27
Miami, FL
reply to NetFixer

>Comcast uses the Quagga routing software suite for authenticated RIP

My Linux router could happily run Quagga just fine! It's too bad they don't just give us the keys so we can run our own routers.