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DOCSIS T1, T2, T3, and T4 Timeout Descriptions

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docsis t1, t2, t3 and t4 timeout

DOCSIS T1, T2, T3 and T4 Timeouts

This is a handy summary of the various DOCSIS T1, T2, T3 and T4 timeout errors you will find in a DOCSIS network.  T3 and T4 timeouts are described in much more detail elsewhere in this blog, however this post provides a high level overview of the various timeouts as a reference.  Also see DOCSIS Cable Modems how they work in detail.  Additionally, thanks to baranek110 for Cable-Modem's Blog.

T1 Timeout ( No UCD’s received )

Explanation: The cable modem has not received any periodic Upstream Channel Descriptor (UCD) messages from the CMTS within the timeout period. This error message is DOCSIS event message is U01.0, Upstream Channel Descriptor.

T2 Timeout ( No Maintenance Broadcasts for Ranging opportunities received )

Explanation: The cable modem did not receive a broadcast maintenance opportunity in which to transmit a Ranging Request (RNG-REQ) within the T2 timeout period (approximately 10 seconds). The cable modem is resetting its cable interface and restarting the registration process. This error message is DOCSIS event message is R01.0, Ranging Request.

T3 Timeout ( Ranging Request Retries Exhausted )

Explanation: The cable modem has sent 16 Ranging Request (RNG-REQ) messages without receiving a Ranging Response (RNG-RSP) message in reply from the CMTS. The cable modem is therefore resetting its cable interface and restarting the registration process. This typically is caused by noise on the upstream that causes the loss of MAC-layer messages. Noise could also raise the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the upstream to a point where the cable modem’s power level is insufficient to transmit any messages. If the cable modem cannot raise its upstream transmit power level to a level that allows successful communication within the maximum timeout period, it resets its cable interface and restarts the registration process. This error message is DOCSIS event message is R03.0, Ranging Request.

T4 Timeout ( Received Response to Broadcast Maintenance Request, But no Unicast Maintenance opportunities received )

Explanation: The cable modem did not received a station maintenance opportunity in which to transmit a Ranging Request (RNG-REQ) message within the T4 timeout period (30 to 35 seconds). The cable modem is resetting its cable interface and restarting the registration process. Typically, this indicates an occasional, temporary loss of service, but if the problem persists, check for possible service outages or maintenance activity on this particular headend system. This error message is DOCSIS event message is R04.0, Ranging Request.

T6 Timeout ( Cable Interface Reset )

Explanation: The cable modem has sent 3 Registration Requests (REG-REQ) to the CMTS without receiving a Registration Response (REG-RSP) within the T6 timeout period (3 seconds). The cable modem is therefore resetting its cable interface and restarting the registration process

This problem can also occur if the DOCSIS configuration file is corrupt, or if it contains a large number of vendor-specific information fields (VSIF). If the configuration file contains a large amount of VSIF information, the cable modem might generate a Registration Request (REG-REQ) that exceeds the maximum size of DOCSIS MAC-layer management messages (1514 bytes plus the header). The CMTS considers this an invalid MAC-layer management message and drops it, without replying.

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Mr. Volpe has over 25 years of communications industry experience. He is focused on the cable and telecom industry with deep technical and business skills. Mr. Volpe is currently the president and chief technologist of the Volpe Firm and holds an MSEE with honors.

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