Hitron eMTA modem E31N2V1---BAD CHIP--PUMA 7
i was recently supplied by Spectrum with a Hitron E31N2V1 modem. I have had "Ultra" service for more than a year since I switch from legacy TWC to Spectrum and went to 300/20 service. I have been using an Arris SB6183, which has performed flawlessly, and I have routinely received 450-360mbps down and 20-25mbps up.
This past Tuesday, I went to the Spectrum store and received the new Hitron, since the SB6183 is not capable of receiving the 400mbps download speed (it's only a 16-channel device). Went home, activated the new Hitron and here's where the fun began.
First, apparently there is an "Ultra 1" and "Ultra 2" coding. So the tech had to switch my codes over so that they no longer showed "customer owned modem" and I needed to be switched to "Ultra 2" (at least that's what I was told. We finally get the modem to lock on to a signal, and apparently it downloaed some new firmware (all three lights kept pulsing in sequence: Power, then Online, then Voice, and so on and so forth. That took close to an hour before the Hitron locked on to show just "Power" and "Online" in solid blue (which I was told indicates a DocSis3.1 connection).
So first thing I did was run several speed tests, using a variety of different online tests, e.g., DSLReports.com's speed test, Ookla's Speedtest.net in several different flavors (and switching servers to see how accurate and consistent the results would be).
The bottom line: Download was fine, usually at 450+ to over 500. This was repeatable all day long.
But to put it bluntly, the upload just sucks. 9mbps, 11, 12, 15, maybe at most 16.9, but that's the top end. Never 20. And never the overprovisioned speeds that I am supposed to be receiving (which is why using the SB6183 I regularly got in excess of 20mbps upload speed).
So I complain. Loudly and several times. Techs over the phone at Spectrum try everything they can think of. Nothing works. Upload speeds continue to suck. So they recommend rolling a truck to my home. Guy shows up the next day, bright and early and he runs a speed test using his handheld monitor. Same results as I get: 480-500 down, 9, 10, 11 and maybe 17 at most on the upload side. He checks the wiring everywhere. We try running tests connected directly to the modem, switch cables, etc. Nothing changes. Tech runs checks on wiring throughout the house. No signal loss anywhere he can locate. Says nothing more he can do about it.
Tech pulls a new Hitron E31N2V1 off his truck and replaces the one I got, just to see if mine was somehow defective. Same results. Every time. So tech says, nothing he can do. End of service call. (BTW, he said that with the new Hitron's being locked down tight, there's no way he can examine signal levels within the modem itself. He bemoaned the fact that these new modems are locked down, and further that techs no longer have the laptops they used to use to test lines and signals. The new handheld monitors they use are really only glorified little monochrome monitors that allow them to run Spectrum.Speedtest.net and not much more). But I digress:
So I do some online research about these new Hitron modems that Spectrum is using. And the bad news....very bad news, is that they all use the Intel Puma 7 chipset. Not the same as the Puma 6 chipset that is now the subject of a class action lawsuit against Arris and intel arising from Arris selling defective modems that suffered from very high latency (the SB6190s'). But the Puma 7 is still reportedly suffering from its own upload lag and latency issues. See https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/14/intel_puma_modem/
So the bad news is that Spectrum is pushing out modems that have similar latency issues to those found in the admittedly defective Puma 6 chips, and Intel still has no solution or fix for the Puma 7 problems.
The exceedingly bad news is that the latency issue with the Hitron's and the Puma 7 chip is not the worst of the problems with Puma 7's. Apparently there is a serious security issue where if an attacker does a WAN scan using a particular combination of code, it will knock the modem offline completely. See https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r32071020-Internet-Rogers-modem-router-rebooting-on-wan-scans-by-design
So the bottom line from my perspective is this: Spectrum apparently does not allow a customer owned modem to be provisions for 400/20 tier or Gig tier speeds, and is now only handing out these new Docsis 3.1's manufactured by either Hitron or two other manufacturers (all have exactly the same cases and specs, only differently in model number), and all of which use the Intel Puma 7 chip.
So Spectrum apparently cannot guarantee the speed I am paying for because the Puma 7 chip suffers from an inherent defective which prevents it from achieving the upload speed that I am supposed to receive.
So I am going to ask for a credit for every day I continue to receive bad service.
Would be interested to hear either from Spectrum as to their official position and whether or not they and Intel are working on a fix for the defective Puma 7 chip issues, and would also be interested to hear from other users as to their experience with upload speeds using the new Hitron (or similar Spectrum-provided) Docsis 3.1 modems.