Elmo Wrote: "DOCSIS is DOCSIS.
I've called my cable company a couple times as I've switched out cable modems, and all they ask for is the MAC address. Period. They don't care about brand name or model number.
DOCSIS is DOCSIS, period."
Well, sort of. Yes, there are minimum standard things that all DOCSIS ceritified modems have to do. And, yes, most cable companies have a generic provisioning file that can be used by any modem. However, there are a whole slew of vendor-specific options that can be implemented (anyone remember the RCA DCM105 e-mail light? It could be activiated by the .cm file and an SNMP trap). Most of the time, it has to do with port blocking and snmp traps, but just about anything can be done and labeled "vendor specific." We once had a problem that only affected 1 brand of modem, because someone at corporate added a bunch of blocked ports to the config files and all 2000+ of this model decided to quit working one Saturday morning. The modems in question could only handle blocking a few ports, so they just locked up.
The other big problem is when there is a firmware upgrade. This is a flag set in the .cm file telling the modem that a new version is available, and the release ID. The ID is compared to the firmware in the modem, and if they don't match, the modem will retrieve the new file. If you got the wrong type of modem, even a different make from the same vendor, you stand a very high likelyhood of trashing your modem.
Now, there are a few other ways to determine the manufacturer of a cablemodem. One is to use the MAC address
Theoretically, one could determine the manufacturer and product by decoding the assigned MAC address and passing that info on to the provisioning system.
It is also possible to read the make and model number from an SNMP browser, and pass it along to the provisioning system. While this would be very cool, it would require another server to be maintained, and there is the very real possibility of having a MIB report back an OEM instead of the real manufacturer (I recall this happening with Zyxel modem/routers, which reported a totally different modem and would have made them useless as a modem/router had we provisioned them using the other modem's config).
But, why bother? It is much more accurate and reliable to get a human in the loop to read off the model number on the box and get it to the billing system, which then will pass it on to the provisioning system.
Agent_C Wrote: "The reason I'm asking, is that I'm planning to replace the RCA modem Roadrunner provided with a Linksys WCG200."
I can't speak for TW Roadrunner, but with Comcast, this modem will not work without Comcast's firmware (which is not available unless you go with the home networking option). The reason is because the retail version of the software will not pass on a second DHCP request for the router, and will attempt to route using the CM's internal address. They do say " While Comcast will support this modem's connectivity to the Internet, please direct any issues with the router or wireless Internet functionality to the vendor." It will provision, but that's all you'll be able to do (at least as of last summer). Again, this is on Comcast's network. You should really check with TW before you buy it, unless you know you can return it.