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Video: How to Swap Out Your Leased Time Warner Cable Modem and Avoid $3.95/Mo Fee

Phillip Dampier February 4, 2013 Consumer News, Data Caps, Video 3 Comments

[flv width=”480″ height=”288″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Post-Standard Time Warner Cable Modem Lease Fee 1-30-13.flv[/flv]

A reporter from the Syracuse Post-Standard is featured in this video explaining how to swap out your leased Time Warner cable modem for one you can buy yourself. It will save you $3.95 a month. One piece of advice: If the coaxial cable you plan to use has a push-on style connector, toss it for one that screws on. The push-on connectors are not recommended, even if your cable modem comes with one. You can also use the cable Time Warner originally supplied if it has a superior screw-on connector. Time Warner does not need the cables returned with the cable modem or the original box. Just return the cable modem and power cord to any Time Warner Cable store location and make sure they print, and you keep, the returned equipment receipt. (4 minutes)

Currently there are 3 comments on this Article:

  1. elfonblog says:

    Yep, 5 minutes is about how long it took us! The longest part was navigating the voice prompts to get to a human.

    Time Warner used to give “inactive” modems an IP and if you open your web browser, you’d be sent to a captive page telling you what your MAC was and to call customer service. I didn’t get that page, but this modem may have never been on TW before. Some ISPs let you fill out an online form here to activate the modem yourself, if you’re an existing customer.

    When I called, I had my rental and purchased modems on a cable y-splitter, and had the new modem’s MAC address written down. Each modem was connected to a different PC, and I called on my cell phone instead of my VOIP just in case this wasn’t one of those “takes a couple of days” type things.

    The agent I spoke to was actually excited to be doing something a little different for a change. Interestingly, he didn’t ask me what the model of the modem was, only if it said “DOCSIS 2” on it. Once I gave him the new MAC address, I watched both modems reboot themselves, and the new modem was active! It even took the IP address the former modem had been using for the previous couple of weeks. Fortunately, I live a few blocks away from a TW office, and went there next. After a 20 minute wait (watching some of the most repulsive 6 TV channels on 6 huge screens!), the clerk scanned my rental modem, gave me a receipt, and I was on my way! She even said the rental fee would be prorated instead of just charging me for another month’s rent since I’d used it for part of a month.

    We’d chosen the “Standard” tier, which had just been bumped up from 10 to 15Mbit/s. We also bought an ObiHai VOIP device to use our Google Voice phone number with a wired phone. The ObiHai cost $40, less than a month’s landline service, and GV will continue to be free through the end of the year. Our modem cost $20, but we were very lucky. Expect to pay $40-60 for a used modem. Now we’re paying less than half what we used to for DSL+phone, and we have 6x the speed. Fire AT&T, folks! Ma Bell is a wicked woman!

    • The prices on the Motorola 6141, which is our choice, has been gradually coming down by a few dollars a month. I’ve seen them as low as $75 now. The less-able 6121 is often $10 below that.

      I suspect by spring, we’ll see these at the $70 or less price point, especially as the 6121 gets retired.

      We have an ObiHai device here on a test line. It works acceptably, but I find it more clunky than a service like Ooma. The volume on the ObiHai is set quite loud, so you will hear a lot of background artifacts when you make or receive calls. This is adjustable through a somewhat cumbersome control panel.

      I have found Google Voice also adequate, considering the price, but there are problems there as well. I encounter crosstalk from other conversations bleeding in for a second or two about once a day and there can be some audio artifacts there as well. The most irritating is when a person’s voice is interpreted by Google Voice as a touchtone, at which point Google Voice will generate a touchtone itself. So you will hear people occasionally interrupted for a half-second by a touchtone sound. That is the most common problem I encounter when talking with some people.

      If you depend on your landline and are fussy about sound quality, Ooma is probably the best service I’ve encountered so far. But is comes with a steep $150 initial purchase price and recurring taxes (and $10 monthly fee if you want a lot of calling features). But the sound quality is akin to Time Warner’s landline service, which is pretty much identical to what Frontier used to supply me.

  2. elfonblog says:

    Our Obi100 has been rock-solid. We use it’s second “line” as a SIP extension for our PBX in a Flash server too. I’ve used GV extensively, since it was called Grand Central, and never had crosstalk. That could be a problem with your own electronics, or perhaps your local telco has Google’s bridge equipment hooked up to sub-par lines. I wouldn’t put it past them. I do have some problems with my PBXIAF, but all clues point to my ATAs (two unlocked InnoMedia boxes) and a growing suspicion that Google’s Jabber implementation is weird and causes random glitches.

    If and when GV goes for-pay, we’ll probably keep them. If they decide to charge too much, we’ll shop around. Ooma looks like an affordable alternative, except that I don’t like the idea of paying taxes to state and local entities who aren’t really providing me with any services. The taxes go to keep them from shutting Ooma down, not for maintenance and improvements. I also looked at Ooma’s list of prices and features with some contempt. Nickel and dimeing to enable things that don’t really sap their resources. Like everyone else, they want to be gatekeepers, not innovators. I can enable all sorts of features for free with PBXIAF. All I need is a cheap SIP trunk provider.

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