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Thread: Spectrum/Charter/Time Warner Voice phone service

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  1. #1

    Default Spectrum/Charter/Time Warner Voice phone service

    Google Voice turns out to be worse than useless. So I'm trying to find a reasonable alternative. All the SIP services that I can find seem to be very expensive. So I'm considering Spectrum Voice, especially since I use their internet service anyway.

    Does anyone here know what hardware is used with this service to actually connect to a phone? I have an Obi102 and an Obi202. Spectrum says I'll have to rent their internet modem. This makes no sense to me. I have my own modem and sure don't want to rent theirs. But the kicker is that I don't see what their modem has to do with phones anyway. It looks to me like all their modems are similar to the one I have: Ethernet, and cable in, and that's it. But they assure me that I don't need any extra hardware to plug in my phone, just their modem!

  2. #2

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    We have Spectrum (formerly TWC) phone and Internet service, and use a Technicolor TC8717T modem rented from them. It has two phone jacks (line 1 & 2 and line 2/alarm) on the back, for connection to a phone or the house wiring. This particular modem also supports pulse dialing, so rotary dial phones can be used directly if you are into that kind of thing. On the computing side, the modem has built-in router functionality, with four Ethernet ports and 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi, so no need for a separate router. It also has a compartment for a backup battery pack, but we weren't supplied with one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,721

    Default

    Spectrum uses a different model cable modem for customers with voice service. The modems with VOIP support look almost identical to non-VOIP modems with the exception of two additional diagnostic lights on the front and two RJ-11 jacks on the back for up to two phone lines. I've done network installs all over Texas and the most commonly used modems are either Arris, Technicolor or Ubee. Most cable modems these days have internal routers with up to 4 RJ-45 gigabit ports.

    If you want to use Spectrum phone service, you'll need one of these modems. A standard modem isn't going to work and they don't support SIP boxes.

    Here are the supported modems they list https://www.spectrum.net/support/voice/phone-modems

    This is the best out of the lot in my experience:

    https://www.amazon.com/TG1672G-Touch.../dp/B001E5Q79S

    I've had the least amount of trouble with Arris modems and this model in particular.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
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    32,710
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    Default

    I have a couple of GV numbers that I use for backup, associated with my Obi200. The other two number are from VoIPo.com, which is decent enough.

    I've got a VDSL2 double modem with RJ11 jacks on it (a Technicolor model), but no firmware to support VoIP. I picked it up in preference to my telco's free modem. The Technicolors have a good reputation for reliability and I haven't been disappointed. I turned off the wireless and hub features as at the time, the telco firmware was buggy (it still may be) and the modem would show signs of a progressive memory leak and speeds would drop to near zero. Using it as a dumb modem feeding a conventional router works just fine.

  5. #5

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    @GiGaByTe thank you! Why on Earth can't Spectrum just give out this information in stead of being deliberately secretive and deceptive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,721

    Default

    Because they want their customers to remain in the dark and be bent over a barrel.

    One example is that they used to let customers configure their cable modems and set whatever options they wanted like enabling the 2.4G and 5G wireless bands. In recent years, that's become a taboo subject because they now charge you $10 extra for that wireless service that just takes a couple of clicks in the web configuration page. They were idiots for awhile and left the password for the web configuration on the bottom of the modem so you could just do it yourself, but on recent installs I've seen, the login information sticker is missing and all of the "usual suspect" passwords no longer work. You now have to call them up and talk to an illiterate L1 tech to do stupid simple things like change your modem from router to bridged mode.

    Another one of their schemes back in 2009 was to introduce tiered limited bandwidth plans, which exploded in their face. The public was outraged, lawmakers were outraged and the legislature started introducing bills to prevent Time Warner from screwing over consumers even more than they were already. It would have essentially doubled the cost of what users were already getting, and sometimes tripled if you were a heavy bandwidth user since you'd be subject to fines for going over your allotted limit. Their new unlimited plan would have been something like $150 a month. It failed and they retraced their plans in Central Texas, at least for a few more years until 2012 when they started trying to introduce it again in South Texas as an "optional opt-in" plan that would give you like a $5 a month break on your bill if you promised to not use more than your data cap.

    Their plans for doing similar stuff here were dashed when Google Fiber and AT&T UVerse moved into town several years ago. They were terrified because the fastest plan they had for anyone at that time was 20 mbit/2 mbit compared to 1000 mbit on Google and AT&T. They quickly bumped everyone up to 100 mbit and then 200 mbit a few years later, which is still not a deal because it costs the same as the other's 1000 mbit service.

  7. #7

    Default

    In 2009 I was still using Time Warner Business Class. What a night-and-day difference. I called their support number before sunrise one cold winter day because my connection was slow. I got an apology and a tech was out early in the morning. By noon a whole crew had replaced the coax from the pole to my house, free of charge. I miss that. But you get what you pay for and mensch was I paying.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Because they want their customers to remain in the dark and be bent over a barrel.

    One example is that they used to let customers configure their cable modems and set whatever options they wanted like enabling the 2.4G and 5G wireless bands. In recent years, that's become a taboo subject because they now charge you $10 extra for that wireless service that just takes a couple of clicks in the web configuration page. They were idiots for awhile and left the password for the web configuration on the bottom of the modem so you could just do it yourself, but on recent installs I've seen, the login information sticker is missing and all of the "usual suspect" passwords no longer work. You now have to call them up and talk to an illiterate L1 tech to do stupid simple things like change your modem from router to bridged mode.

    [...]
    Yikes, thanks for posting this. We've had our Technicolor modem for a few years and certainly were given the ability to log in to it with the default credentials and change them. Heck, one time a while back I called them after our custom credentials were misplaced in hopes they could reset it remotely without me having to reset the modem completely to factory settings, and the rep actually gave me the special "technician" credentials that allowed me to log in and resolve that malady. One of the Ethernet ports is dead (lightning strike damage), but I've been reluctant to have the modem changed out in fear of receiving a different model that doesn't support pulse dialing. Sounds like I have another compelling reason to make do with this one as long as possible.

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