Comcast Blast Speed Tier

So Tekman IMs me today about this new Comcast Blast Tier (16Mbps down / 2Mbps up) and says that the D-Link DCM-202 cable modem (which I recommended) wasn’t compatible with it and it maxed out at ~8Mbps.

So I started digging around the internet for this and apparently many users were having problems getting the higher speeds from Comcast with this D-Link cable modem. Some people claimed that Comcast uses some proprietary “Burst” technology which wasn’t compatible with all cable modems. According to their FAQ, if you’re renting a modem from them, you can always ask for an upgrade to a newer model which is compatible. Others were saying that even though the Burst technology required DOCSIS 1.1 and the D-Link cable modem was DOCSIS 2.0 compatible, there was some header configuration screw up, where Comcast would only detect the cable modem as DOCSIS 1.0, which capped the transfer speeds to 8Mbps/768Kbps. Apparently if you call in and keep on escalating to a knowledgeable tech support, they would be able to manually set your DOCSIS to 1.1 and you’ll be able to get the higher speeds.

So first thing I go check is what tier I am on. Apparently I’m on the 8Mbps/768Kbps tier and Tekman said he was able to get the 16/2 Burst Tier for $42/mo. A bit bummed, I decided I could live with 8/768 for $30/mo.

However when I got home today, I received a letter from Comcast stating:

RE: 16 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload High-Speed Internet for no additional charge

I didn’t even bother reading the rest of the letter till later and went ahead decided to try flashing my modem. Apparently there’s a Comcast specific firmware you’re suppose to use. You can find the firmware on D-Link’s website: Product Support Resources for DCM-202. I thought it was a bit weird that the Comcast firmware was 2004 while the newest one was 2007, but I decided to go with the 2.0.1 Comcast firmware anyway.

The included PDF documentation was pretty straight forward, though they only included instructions for Windows XP. There was one missing instruction and that was the fact you should connect your computer directly to the cable modem’s ethernet port. When I was first trying to connect over the switch, it wouldn’t see the cable modem. Once I was able to ping it, the flashing was pretty painless. They did screw up the login information. The web login information remains dlink/dlink and not admin/hitron.

My newly flashed cable modem shows:

  • Class ID: 2
  • Max Downstream Rate (bps): 17600000
  • Max Upstream Rate (bps): 2200000
  • Upstream Channel Priority: 1
  • Guaranteed Min Upstream Data Rate (bps): 0
  • Max Upstream Transmit Burst (bytes): 0
  • Privacy Enable: 1

Unfortunately, I don’t have what it showed beforehand as I was too excited to get the newer speeds.

So I went and did a speed test and the results are:
comcast burst tier speed test

Sweet! 16/2 Burst Speed Tier for $30/month! I guess that might be ending soon, since it was only a 6 month promo. At 16/2, this matches Verizon FiOS’ $52.99 plan. Did I mention how sweet this is?!

UPDATE: Apparently it wasn’t the fact that Tekman wasn’t getting the higher speeds with the D-Link DCM-202 cable modem, but they weren’t as high as when he had tested the connection with a Motorola cable modem. He was getting 12000-16000Kbps down / 1000-1500Kbps up with the D-Link DCM-202, while with the Motorola cable modem, he was consistently getting 18000-20000Kbps down / 2000Kbps up. I did notice my upload speed was a bit on the weak side for 2Mbps. Looks like the cheapest Motorola cable modem on Amazon is ~$55.

5 thoughts on “Comcast Blast Speed Tier

  1. Mind sharing what plan you were on that gives you internet at 30 bucks a month? Does it have a special name? The only plan listed on Comcast.com is 19.99 for the first n months and then reverts to 42.XX.

  2. RE: mge

    It’s really a promo plan which you get when you call them saying you want to leave or Verizon FiOS is offering a better plan for cheaper. Give it a shot.

  3. I just updated the Comcast firmware as we finally have the Blast tiers in our area. Even though the firmware version shows 2.01, the DOCSIS1.0 Class of Service Parameters still say:

    Class ID 2
    Max Downstream Rate (bps) 6600000
    Max Upstream Rate (bps) 1100000
    Upstream Channel Priority 1
    Guaranteed Min Upstream Data Rate (bps) 0
    Max Upstream Transmit Burst (bytes) 1600
    Privacy Enable 1

    So I am still restricted to 6/1. Any ideas?

    Thanks

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