Doug on IP Comm – An independent voice on VoIP, telecom, and IP Communication

Cox DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed cable service delivers – but will your home gear?

Posted on: May 11, 2009

Last week, Cox Communications announced the availability of DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed broadband service in the Northern Virginia area. The service is billed to deliver speeds of up to 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload. Preliminary tests have demonstrated those speeds to the router, but home users are likely to get an eye-opening experience on the capabilities and limitations of their own in-home technologies.

Cox arranged to put me on the beta list for DOCSIS 3.0 – ironically, a position I was in almost a decade ago when the company rolled out broadband and DOCSIS 2.0 to its cable customers.  The installation took place on the morning of Thursday, May 7; it came with a truck roll and a Cox technician delivering and plugging in a Cisco DPC3000 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, followed by me running Speakeasy’s Speed Test a bunch of times.

Initial glitches and fixes over the morning included—

  • Blocking of outbound port 25 for SMTP mail – Cox fixed by noon
  • Flash of latest firmware load onto Cisco modem – Cox completed by noon
  • Configuration /confirmation of service profile for DOCSIS 3.0 – Cox completed by noon
  • Precautionary update of firmware in Linksys by Cisco WRT310N router – Doug completed by noon

Everything quick and obvious had been fixed by noon, so why was I still getting around 6 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload speeds on my upstairs desktop machine? The Netgear XE104 wall-plugged Ethernet switch claims it does 85 Mbps, but with 12.5 Mbps to 25 Mbps coming out of my DOCSIS 2.0 service, I hadn’t paid close and strict attention to the home networking bits and their limitations — Doom on me.

Doing what I should have done in the first place when the Cox tech had finished the install, I took my netbook down to the router and plugged it into a spare 10/100/1000 Ethernet port.

Winner! Over 50 Mbps download and over 5 Mbps upload straight from the WRT310 to the netbook’s 10/100 Ethernet port.

During all my ad hoc tests with different network gear combinations, upload speeds have remained consistently around 5 Mbps.  Download speeds have been variable depending upon home network equipment used and have also seen some other behavior I’m still trying to figure out.

Network technology                                            Peak download speed (

Ethernet cable to router                                      Over 50 Mbps

Linksys dual-mode draft N USB device         34 Mbps

Stock 802.11g on netbook                                  24 Mbps

Netgear XE104 powerline switch                    24 Mbps (same floor of house)

Netgeer XE104 powerline switch                    7 Mbps (different floor of house)

My task over the next week is to tinker with my existing network setup and see how I can optimize wireless and Powerline connections. Some of my friends have already wondered out why I haven’t run Category 5 wiring to every room in the house.


1 Response to "Cox DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed cable service delivers – but will your home gear?"

[…] Cox DOCSIS 3.0 high-speed cable service delivers – but will your home gear? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)This will only appeal to the nerdsDOCSIS and Cable Modems – How it works :: Upstream RFNo TitleMotorola debuts world’s first retail DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems Tags: 50 Mbps, broadband, cable modem, Cox, DOCSIS 2.0, DOCSIS 3.0, high-speed broadband, Northern Virginia, NoVA […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: