Automatic Firmware Update Functionalities To Watch Out For

Deploying cable modem firmware updates promptly increases network security, resolves security vulnerabilities, and improves device performance and user experience. However, the CM firmware update process is time-consuming due to the necessary verification of network status, device status, device configuration, and user status checks. The complex nature of pre-update checks and the requirement for all update checks to align before executing updates increases the potential for human error and network, device and user experience issues that generate support calls.

Automatic firmware updates resolve potential issues and downtime risk with pre-update checks that run quickly and accurately every time before update execution. This preserves positive customer experience while also increasing network and device security and performance.

The case for automated firmware updates is clear. But with so many solutions out there, how can you make sure you’re getting the best one?

Here are some automatic firmware update functionalities your solution should provide:

Perform automated pre-update status checks

Intelligent automatic firmware update solutions should verify device workload and network environment through CMTS scans for current device status before performing an update, and then assess each device for potential issues before executing a firmware update. These automated pre-update status checks help minimize potential user service disruption through real-time on-boot upgrading or optimal scheduling while also controlling resource utilization.

Anti-Flooding and Rate-Limiting

Automatic firmware update solutions should assess network conditions to identify whether or not flooding conditions exist and if the update process is not stressing the network. With this data on hand, it can decide if it should limit rate before executing a firmware update or postpone the firmware update according to policy.

On-Boot Policy Verification

This is a great advantage. Automatic solutions should have the ability to checks device on boot policy before firmware updates are pushed out to detect broken or misconfigured policies that may prevent a successful firmware update.

Download Infographic: Gain control over DOCSIS firmware updates

MTA Off-Hook Check

Critical for customer experience, automated firmware solutions need to verify that users are not on the phone. If the phone is in use, the scheduled update does not take place and is postponed for a later time per policy configuration.

Configuration File Match Verification

Another critical functionality. You probably know that configuration changes during firmware updates and unexpected device configurations can potentially disable services during the update process. A modern firmware update solution verifies device configuration before executing a firmware update, canceling update execution and logging the issue to address the mismatch later, which avoids potential downtime.

HTTP Transfer Capability

Exposing modems to security breaches is no joke. By supporting HTTP transfers rather than only the traditional TFTP protocol transfers, solutions can process updates faster and decrease retries and issues due to network anomalies.

IPv6 Support

Are you still updating IPv4/IPv6 mixed network cable modems manually? IPv6 support eliminates human error and the possibility of overlooking devices, keeping your network safe from serious security vulnerabilities and performance issues that impact user experience.

Vendor and technology agnostic

The idea with automatic firmware update solutions is to do their jobs quietly and efficiently, so your network runs smoothly. Don’t complicate things with multiple solutions that only support part of your network. Look for a solution that enables automatic firmware updates for all cable modems on your network.

Real-time network status

You need to keep your modems up to date today. Not a week ago. And have the ability to report on network status in real-time, right?


Modern automatic firmware management can be a breeze; you just need the right tools. Keep these functionalities in mind when shopping for a solution and turn firmware updates into manageable steps that minimize human error, device downtime, loss of services, and network traffic issues.

If you’re still debating whether you should invest in a cable modem automated firmware update solution, read Why You Need to Modernize Modem Firmware Updates

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