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Contributor
pwps
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-31-2011

Customer owned eMTAs

I've done some searching and there seems to be conflicting information on customer owned eMTAs for use with Xfinity Digital Voice. I live in the Denver, CO area and I'd like to buy my own modem. My questions for someone with Comcast is:

 

1) Can I buy any of the approved DOCSIS Devices online and just install it myself?

2) Is the device list on http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/ up to date? I don't see any of the Motorola SBV* Surfboard digital voice modems on the list. Are those not compatible?

 

Thanks

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

The customer owned eMTA's are not in every market, the list of Best Buy's selling the Arris TM722G D3 eMTA are at this LIST  They are sold at select Best Buy's with Comcast Connection centers inside the store staffed by Comcast sales agents. 

 

Best Buy sells the eMTA for $150 and the Comcast Sales rep sets up a tech install to swap the leased eMTA with the customer owned one.  Comcast does charge for the change order and tech visit.

 

There are no other devices or sales outlets that you can purchase a eMTA and get it provisioned by Comcast.

 

The list shows 2 stores in Colorado with connection centers inside, Greely and Ft. Collins.  Look for the Comcast rep near the TV dept.

 

 

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 10,060
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

IMHO it isn't worth it. The eMTA and installation will run you $200+taxes. It will take you a couple of years to recover that money. If there is a problem with your eMTA, not only will it cost you to replace the eMTA, you'll get billed for the service call too.

Contributor
pwps
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-31-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

So if I buy an eMTA that is the exact same model as the one I have hooked up at home right now, I can't just switch them out myself and take the other one back to Comast?

New Visitor
gabergomez
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-01-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

I have a similar situation.  I am considering using the SBV6220 from Motorola.  It has 2 connections for VOIP so it can easily replace the Arris TM722g that I have.  Is it possible to provision the modem myself?  How difficult can it be to copy the data over to the SBV6220?

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

[ Edited ]

Since the SBV6220 is not approved for retail sale by Comcast, Comcast will not provision it.

 

The only eMTA for sale is the Arris TM722G at select Best Buy's, and a tech visit is needed, which is arranged by the Comcast Connection Center rep at the time of sale.  That is your only choice.

 

If you find a SBV6220 you will wasting your money if you expect to use it on Comcast.

 

Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-05-2008

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

i got the aaris emta at best buy. Despite the sales clerk and everyone else trying to tell me how hard it would be to set up, I brought it home and had it working in about 15 minutes, including the dial tone. 

Unfortunately, my experience went down hill when i asked them to port a number over from another provider. Everytime they entered the order, they would disconnect the existing temporary comcast number and take up to about 11 hours to get it back. The incompetence that I witnessed during that fiasco makes me wonder how this company is in business. They have good products but clueless people when you called.

When you tell them you bought the EMTA they act like you are from outer space.

 

ALso dont forget the # porting they have to "come to your house" to put someone on the phone to put in a port order.

 

thankfully when that ordeal was over i had a functioning setup and all was well. well for the most part.!

 

Contributor
daryljphillips
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-25-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Will the ARRIS TM502G work? I see them on eBay for about half the price as the newer model?

 

Thanks-

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

[ Edited ]

No, since the TM502G was never sold at retail, they are considered "unreturned equipment" from Comcast or another cable company and would never be provisioned.  In other words, they are "hot".

 

You must purchase the TM722G at retail at select Best Buy's with Comcast Connection centers in them.  Not all markets have these available.

 

A TM502G is almost obsolete since it's a D2 eMTA.

Contributor
daryljphillips
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-25-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Thanks for the response.

New Visitor
jbroim
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-19-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

If I rent the equipment from Comcast, I will most likely get a refurb. Will Comcast upgrade the equipment when newer/faster/cheaper models are available, or only replace it if you are having issues?

 

Email Expert
Posts: 18,241
Registered: ‎04-27-2004

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

In general Comcast only replaces equipment on their own if there's a problem.

Contributor
pwps
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-31-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

JayInAlg...are you a current employee of Comcast? I'm just curious. You say, "The only eMTA for sale is the Arris TM722G at select Best Buy's, and a tech visit is needed, which is arranged by the Comcast Connection Center rep at the time of sale.  That is your only choice."

 

After forgetting about this thread and rediscovering it today I still don't feel as though I have a clear answer to my original question: can I buy an eMTA online (e.g. from eBay, etc) and just install it myself without having anyone from Comcast come to my home? Why exactly is a tech visit needed? 

 

Contributor
daryljphillips
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎08-25-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

You should be able to buy the eMTA wherever you want, as long as it is the Comcast-specific model available at Best Buy. In my looking around, I was not able to find a better price than the $150 the unit sells for.

 

If you have an existing eMTA installed, you should be able to swap out the Comcast-owned equipment for your own without having a technician out to the house. You would still need to call support and have them provision the new eMTA, and would need to return the Comcast equipment. That could easily be handled by a technician coming out to your residence.

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

[ Edited ]

PWPS, I am a moderator on the forum, employees have their user ID in red.

 

You can't buy the eMTA online and get it provisioned no matter what others say.  Right now it is only sold by those specific Best Buy's with Connection Centers inside them.  Only the TM722G's are sold at retail, any other model was never sold at retail, and then would come from a questionable source, including stolen or unreturned equipment from Comcast or any other cable company.

 

Policies vary by region, but for now we are told most area's it is a tech install to confirm it is configured properly for liability reasons.

 

There has been many that bought equipment on auction sites that Comcast would not provision, anyone would be taking their chances.

Contributor
pwps
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-31-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

So I guess I'm still confused why Best Buy has to be involved here. On the Comcast site, there is a rather large list of approved eMTAs (linked in my original post). There's nothing that says they must be purchased at Best Buy. It doesn't say it has to be purchased anywhere specifically. Which is why I'm still wondering, "why can't I just buy one off of eBay, or some other site like Newegg"?

 

 

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

[ Edited ]

Best Buy is Comcast's retail partner since they have the Connection Centers.  Best Buy would handle the warranty claims.  That is the only place that sells retail eMTA's approved for Comcast service.

 

You may purchase where ever you want, but don't come back complaining when your questionable online purchase can't or won't be provisoned by Comcast.  There's a lot of hot equipment out there that was never returned to Comcast or any other cable company.

 

I am sharing the official statement from Comcast on customer owned eMTA's.

 

These policies only apply to eMTA telephony modems, any plain cable modem can be purchased anywhere local or online like a SB6121 & provisioned.

 

A SBV series eMTA is old D2 equipment and does not have much life left in it.

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 10,060
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Customer owned eMTAs


pwps wrote:

....."why can't I just buy one off of eBay, or some other site like Newegg"?

 

 


If you do,  you'll have a nice paper weight. :smileyplain:

Contributor
pwps
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-31-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

 


If you do,  you'll have a nice paper weight. :smileyplain:



I just chatted with a Comcast rep, and as it turns out, in my area, I can purchase an approved eMTA from where ever I wish (including eBay) and swap it out myself. He actually said it was preferable that I do it myself and just return the unit to the nearest Comcast office. The only stipulation he mentioned was that if I buy a used one, I should get the MAC and serial address before purchasing it to verify it's not an unreturned unit or a stolen one.

Cable Expert
JayInAlg
Posts: 10,923
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Where?

Contributor
pwps
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-31-2011

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

What area? He said that I was in the West Division and as of 3/16/11, I was able to purchase a supported eMTA for Digital Voice Service. 

Cable Expert
i-am-nerdburg
Posts: 10,060
Registered: ‎06-27-2009

Re: Customer owned eMTAs


pwps wrote:

What area? He said that I was in the West Division and as of 3/16/11, I was able to purchase a supported eMTA for Digital Voice Service. 


Great! If you do that would you be kind enough to post your experience?

New Visitor
Modista
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-08-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Hi All,

I just found this thread while looking to upgrade to the triple play and purchase vs lease my modem. I went to one of the three Best Buys in the Twin Cities that were on the list yesterday, and the Comcast rep said that all Arris TM722g modems had been recalled from all three stores! The label for the modem at 149.99 was still on the empty shelf! So either due to product issues or Comcast/Best Buy contract, there is not option but to lease the modem.  Does anyone no if there are product recall issues for Arris TM722g? Is it near it's end of life and a replacement is on its way? I will have the installer out in a couple days, and I no doubt will be given an Arris TM722g that I will be forced to lease through Comcast. I wish there was an alternative.

Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

I had a "fun" experience at the Federal Way, WA Best Buy store yesterday.  The Comcast rep had just arrived in the store and was setting up his table when I go there and asked him about buying my own Arris TM722G.  This Best Buy location is on the list from the Arris website.

 

Well, he had ZERO idea what the Arris brand was, took me over to the shelf full of data only cable modems and proceeded to tell me that, sure, any of these will work fine with triple play.  I argued about that for a bit before just giving up and realizing he had no idea what he was talking about.  I think he didn't understand the difference between some VOIP that works over the Internet, and the Comcast voice support.

 

I even pointed out the pictures on the Motorola Surfboard modem he was trying to get me to buy and noted that it doesn't have a phone outlet, just the RJ-45 Ethernet port, but he didn't get it.

 

So we left.  Maybe I'll try the store in Tacoma or the one in Tukwila which are also on the list and see if there Comcast rep has a clue or not.

 

My current modem is a TM402P and it's just DOCSIS 2.0.  I have the Blast service, and I can get 20+ Mbps doing a speed test, but it sounds like 3.0 is the way to go.  Maybe I should just stop by the local Comcast office and at least swap out my box with a 722, continue to pay my $7 monthly fee until the Best Buy stores around here get their heads out of wherever...

 

All in all, a very disappointing trip, well, except we had to get a new keyboard anyway. :smileyhappy:

New Visitor
Modista2
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-13-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

@AaronB, I would be quite interested to know if you have any success. I feel quite confident from my searching here, that they must have recently undergone a policy shift (either BB or Comcast) and they no longer allow customers to purchase their own eMTAs. That being said, I hate leasing equipment and I hope that someone comes up with an eMTA purchase option. Just my 2 cents. (BTW, when they came to upgrade me to triple play, I got the Arris tm722g, so I doubt that there are any product deficiencies. And you were right to leave that guy who was trying to sell you a surfboard--you have to have an eMTA and not just a modem for phone.) So, all that said, I am reasonably satisfied with the upgrade--the speed is fantastic, but now I have to get a splitter and figure out how to regain PIP...but that's a whole 'nother story!

Contributor
DTrebacz
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎07-24-2004

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

I bought my Arris TM 722G at Best Buy and swapped it out with a leased modedm that I had for a few days. There was no need for a tech visit to do the swap. I documented the package that I bought at Best buy in my blog post:

 

http://blog.trebacz.com/2012/01/comcast-xfinity-internet-and-arris.html

 

It really was a painless process (I just dropped the leased modem off at my local Comcast office -after the swap). Comcast credited -correctly the unused lease time to my bill).

 

The only question is if Comcast / Best Buy program supported in your area. In the blog post there are links to check it out, plus all the details on the package you get. Hopefully it shows how easy it is to swap out...

Regular Visitor
cat-tek
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-23-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

[ Edited ]

These user owned EMTA's seem to be a real can of worms! Before signing-up for service, I asked about owning and was told I could. Before installation, I asked about owning and was told I could. After installation, I called customer service and was told I could. The service rep suggested I find a Best Buy in my state, from the list, of which had Comcast Connection Centers. I'm in NE PA, but the closet CCC was located in Southern PA. I called 2 of the CCC and got to talk to one of the guys. He said they were just unloading a truck with some of the TM722G modems and he would see if that B/B would forward to my B/B. He called me back in about 5 minutes and said it could be done. Two days later I picked up the modem at my B/B.

 

I brought it home, plugged it in, in place of the leased 502G. A screen came up on the computer, to enter the phone number, etc.. Then after a couple of pages, it said "it couldn't connect". I talked to tech support and the girl said she had provisioned it. After I hung up, I tried it, to find nothing working.

 

I called again, another tech said it couldn't be provisioned. I asked, if the original would work, when I hung up .. He said "yes". No Internet, now, only phone! I called back and the next tech reset the modem. He said, " it could be provisioned, but a tech would have to come to the house". A tech came to the house today and sat here for 2.5 hours while it was being provisioned. At the end the Internet worked, but the phone didn't ... So, the leased modem is back in place. The tech turned over the information to his supervisor. To make things more complicated, they have leased 722Gs out in the field. How they got them provisioned, I have no clue!

 

The last tech to come to the house, said "it was the first user owned modem, he had seen". My guess is, that it will never get set up. ???

 

When I picked up the TM722G from my B/B, I asked, "if they could be 'special ordered' from the store?". She said "yes". So, maybe you can special order them from your B/B, but getting them installed might be a different story.

Regular Visitor
cat-tek
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-23-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Whew! After more than several hours on the phone today with several agents and an email to the Executive Care Team and an hour or so on the phone with them, my User Owned TM722G EMTA is working!

 

It seems, that the biggest problem was ... getting the phone number out of "it's relationship" with the leased TM502G modem. It would also seem, that if I had had the new modem at time of install, there would not have been a problem.

 

I guess, "all is well, that ends well", even though, it was quite a project.

Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-29-2008

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Has anyone had any luck finding a telephony modem such as the Arris TM722G in the Washington, DC, metro area? I've confirmed with Comcast that my service allows for customer-owend modems for Digital Voice. This list from the Arris web site [http://www.arrisi.com/consumer/_docs/ARRIS_Modems_Comcast_Xfinity_Best_Buy.pdf] indicates that 10 Best Buy stores in Virginia carry it, but none of them do. Same story with the 13 stores in Maryland and the 1 store in D.C. Clearly there's little incentive for Comcast or Arris to make finding these easy when renting at $7 / month means pure sweet profit in short order.

Contributor
Lonestar81
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-26-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Yes the TM502G will work.   You just have to make sure where you are purchasing the modem from is legit.  You can request the serial number from the seller and verify with comcast that itisnt one of their modems.  Also there are a couple of sellers on EBAY who back up their modems.  I have ahd one since Jan of this year.  Only issues I ahve had were a service tech telling me I couldnt own my own VOIP modem.  In his case he was a know it all that didnt know anything.   I contacted comcast online to verify I could install my own VOIP modem befoe I did it and they have a site to see what modems are compatible.  It is also not obsolete.  Only issue would be if you needed a D3 for the faster speed.

 

 

Contributor
Lonestar81
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-26-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

I hope you have finally been updated.  I purchased my own eMTA modem mdoel TM502g on ebay after verifying with comcast that it was acceptable and was not a modem owned by comcast.  I did this in Jan of 2012 and had no problem getting the modem provisioned.  It was a self install as is allowed by the FCC since the summer of 2011 I beleive.  Comcast has the information on line with all the compatible modems and a D3 TM722G is just one of many.  D2 modems work just fine.

 

Jess

Visitor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-29-2008

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

The tech who installed my voice service said one of the most frequent problems with customer-owned EMTA devices purchased via the internet is that the device doesn't have the correct or most up-to-date software version required. Has anyone run into this issue, or is there a way to determine what software version Comcast would require based on specific device?

Regular Contributor
mrgooch
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-10-2010

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

When you say " not all markets have these available" does that mean if the best Buy is not in my neighborhood

I can't buy one at a different Best Buy?

Regular Visitor
cat-tek
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-23-2012

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

I special ordered my modem from my B/B and had it in 2 days.

Regular Contributor
mrgooch
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-10-2010

Re: Customer owned eMTAs

Even if it is not sold in my area or town I can order it from Any Best Buy????