Set the correct country code for Actiontec 1000H?

Reply

This thread's discussion is locked. If it doesn't give you the information you need, head to its forum board for active discussions or to start a new discussion.

j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

We are located in Canada, but the V1000H broadcasts the country code "US" rather than "CA" like the other WiFi access points in our network and in our neighbours' networks. This causes various conflicts for various of our devices, including most of our Apple products, as detailed http://www.howtogeek.com/211993/how-to-fix-conflicting-country-codes-and-improve-your-macs-wi-fi/ and https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6665548?start=0&tstart=0 for example. If you are curious, on a Mac, using the terminal, you can see what your local neighbourhood wireless country codes are by issuing the command:

 

/S*/*/P*/*/*/*/*/airport -s | open -ef



I note that some of the visible WiFi networks in our neighbourhood ARE advertising themselves as "CA" and are named "TEULS1234", and when I lookup their device MAC address with a tool such as at http://aruljohn.com/mac.pl it comes back as an Actiontec product, so at least SOME of Telus's Actiontec devices are properly advertising their country code.

 

This particular device is running firmware version  31.121L.17, and is providing Optik Internet 25mbps, TV, and Home Phone service.

 

Is there any way to get the v1000H to advertise the correct "CA" country code or no country code?

 

Maybe when I visit my father-in-law across town I will check what the country code of his Optik WiFi router is set to.

 
 - jb

Community Power User
Community Power User

This is a more Mac specific issue than anything. I can't find any non-Apple related items on Google for this. I have Macs and the Actiontec and I've never experienced any issues, let alone any mention of a country code issue.

 

I can't see the US standard set of wireless channels being any different than Canada either. If you are not having problems connecting devices, than it's a non-issue. Typically the country code cannot be changed on the router.  All the country codes do is adjust the available wireless channels.

 

Can you please elaborate on the "various conflicts" you are experiencing and what devices they are occurring on? Please list all issues as well as devices involved including operating system version.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. Smiley Happy
j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

Hi Nighthawk,

I just composed a multi-paragraph post, with all sorts of great info and links to resources and stuff like that, and then waited too long to hit the "post" button, and lost it all. Believe me when I tell you the previous one was much more well written.... and full of great humour... better than Shakespeare for sure... trust me on this.

The problems we have been experiencing, at two different households with similar setups, is that we have the Actiontec 1000H acting as the router/WiFi access point and we also have an Apple Airport base station (actually a "Time Capsule" which is a combined access point, router, and network attached storage device) connected via wired ethernet in bridge mode acting as an additional WiFi access point. When the Airport is set as "CA", while the Actiontec advertises itself as "US", Apple devices (iPhones, MacBooks, iPads running Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12 and iOS versions 8, 9, and 10) will often refuse to transfer data through one of the two access points (connections might be refused with a password error or the connection is made but no IP address is retrieved), and Apple's "Wireless Diagnostics" tool gives a “Conflicting Country Codes” error with the suggestion that the access points' country should be properly configured. If I set the Apple Airport to advertise itself as "US", the problems are much reduced, but there are still occasional issues, since all the other WiFi access points being run by our neighbours advertise themselves as "CA" (or nothing), and thus occasionally Apple devices will notice these "CA" access points first and then refuse to talk to our "US" ones.

The use of country codes in WiFi access points seems to be specified in the published IEEE 802.11-2012 standard, and I have certainly experienced access points in addition to the Apple ones that allow for setting country information in their setup interfaces. Up until troubleshooting this issue this week (it has existed for at least a few years, I have only now found what seems to be the trouble) I have not checked how or if these other access points are advertising country codes depending on which country is set in their user interface.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11d-2001

A look at the access points currently visible to my local machine shows neighbouring devices from Actiontec advertising "CA", our Actiontec advertising "US", and a ZyXEL device advertising no country code. If I'm in a "high WiFi" region in the future, I'll try to remember to check what other devices are advertising what country codes.

It does seem as though the rules for "CA" and "US" in terms of channels and signal strength seem to be the same, according to this Cisco page (except for some details about antennas)

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/wcs/3-2/configuration/guide/wcscfg32/wcscod.html

and perhaps Apple has made a poor decision in how they interpret the IEEE 802.11-2012 standards and how they decide which country's WiFi rules they are following, but refusing to talk to access points that claim to be following standards of a different country does not on its face seem inherently wrong, and would certainly be easier than compiling a cross-index of exactly which country parameters are identical and thus should continue to interoperate with.

In any case, it seems that the best thing would be for Telus access points to either advertise themselves as being "CA" or not advertise any country code. At least some Telus Actiontec devices that I can "see" do in fact advertise themselves as "CA". There does not seem to be any good reason for any device to advertise as being "US".

Looking into it further, it seems as though the 5GHz channels 114, 118, 120, 122, 124, 126, and 128 are allowed in the USA but are not allowed in Canada. This V1000H doesn't operate at 5GHz, so I guess this isn't the "smoking gun" showing that the setup is "illegal" in Canada.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

Since there is no good reason to advertise "US" by a Canadian device, is there any way for me to change it myself, or do I have to wait for Telus to fix it in a future firmware update, to either advertise as a "CA" device or to not advertise any country at all? I have sent a note to Actiontec support asking if there is a way for the user to set the correct country code.


 - jb

Community Power User
Community Power User

Simply having an Actiontec present or one with a US country code is not a problem. You may be spending far too many hours trying to figure a problem out which was manufactered by Apple and may actually not even exist. The vast majority of home routers cannot have the country code changed on them. Airport is one of the few exceptions.

 

Have you ever thought of turning OFF the wireless on the Actiontec if you have an Airport acting as a bridged AP? That would solve your problem instantly if you want a non US country code. Either way just make sure your devices are set to connect to only ONE home network and forget the rest in the settings on your devices.

 

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/wireless/wcs/3-2/configuration/guide/wcscfg32/wcscod.html

You're misreading things on that one as well. 802.11a is not what's in use here. That's the ancient original wifi standard from the 90's. All of that info can be ignored. 802.11b/g is the most recent standard it lists (still quite old) and the frequency and channels between US and CA for 2.4GHz are identical. The Actiontech and your devices will be using 802.11n on 2.4GHz with 802.11b/g as a backup. Same frequencies.

 

If I set the Apple Airport to advertise itself as "US", the problems are much reduced, but there are still occasional issues, since all the other WiFi access points being run by our neighbours advertise themselves as "CA" (or nothing), and thus occasionally Apple devices will notice these "CA" access points first and then refuse to talk to our "US" ones.

That's not how wireless works in general. I have 50 wireless networks in range that the wireless diagnostics can see. 1/3 = US, 1/3 = CA and 1/3 = --. Never had a single connection issue ever. My Macs and iPhones also know exactly where they are located, right down to the city.

 

Apple's wireless diagnostics will bring up a country code conflict any time there is 1 network country code different than the rest when it scans. As long as you don't have any European country codes showing on the networks you connect to, and all you see is 'CA', 'US', or '--', you're fine. Ignore Apple's wireless utility.

 

Actiontec support will not help you. They'll refer you to Telus. Since the Country code is not a supported issue, you won't get any help there. I hope you've contacted Apple support as well since they're manufacturing a problem that doesn't exist for the extreme majority of devices on earth.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. Smiley Happy
bnmguy
Neighbour

NightHawk,

 

You are very wrong on this one. Just because you happen to not see it as a "problem", doesn't mean it isn't. Also, telling someone to just use the wireless from a different router does not address the real issue. Correcting the problem is the burden of Telus, not Apple, even though you seem to imply that it isn't.

 

Telus is broadcasting the wrong country codes. Period. This creates the possibility of bugs with other devices and other unforeseen issues that should be easily avoided had the Telus device been set correctly to start with. Just because you think it "shouldn't" be a problem, doesn't mean it won't be, or isn't.

 

Country codes exist for a reason. The US and CA codes are not combined for a reason, as well. It's not Apple's job to magically know what the V1000H supports and doesn't support frequency wise.

 

This needs to be addressed by Telus, and not someone who is eager to dismiss people's claims and/or be on the defense for Telus in every reply. This should be corrected for the sole reason of avoiding incpompatibilies arising with other software. It's sloppy on the side of Telus.

Community Power User
Community Power User

Apple devices are the only devices that seem to, in rare instances, have issues with this. Most people only learn of country codes as a result of Apple's wireless diagnostic tools notifying when it sees more than one country code even if there is no problem at all with the network connection. You even linked to the wikipedia article that even shows the frequencies for Canada and the USA are identical for the 2.4GHz spectrum which means either country code will be interchangeable.

 

It is not possible to change the country code on most routers out there, and that includes the Actiontec. You still haven't identified which wireless problems you are experiencing, nor the devices you own that are having the issues. If you are having wireless issues and want help, more information on the specific problems you are having, as well as the specific troubleshooting that you have done, will be required.

 

If you have a wireless access point connected to the Actiontec, one of the troubleshooting steps often recommended by Telus is to disable the wireless on the Actiontec so the devices don't potentially conflict with each other. An alternative is not to bridge the Airport and have your Apple devices connect only to it.

 

The recommendation to contact Apple support still stands if their software is defective to the point it cannot maintain a stable connection if it sees more than one country code. Be sure to run software update on all of your devices to make sure you're not missing any updates, and that includes the Airport.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. Smiley Happy
bnmguy
Neighbour

I hope you aren't a software developer, cause your software would be full of bugs. This is a bug, and, once again, it's on Telus.

 

Apple's device follows the IEEE 802.11x range of specifications. This includes any older versions for compatibility with legacy devices. It's not going to, nor should it, ignore the country code for Telus at the expense of all legacy device compatibility.

 

Not to mention the strict laws with very heavy penalties around spectrum usage. US and CA may currently use the same frequencies and channels on the most widely used specs, but they have differed in the past and may again in the future. The laws also specify levels of allowable transmitter power and the amount of time that a channel can be occupied. No company is going to risk heavy fines just because another company was too lazy to set the correct country code, which should be the country in which the device is physically being used.

 

Again, your trivialization of spectrum laws will not make this Apple's issue. Telus is wrong here. Either broadcast the correct country or none at all.

 

Also, your statement about most routers not being able to change their country code is very false.

 

Oh, and on your comment, "You still haven't identified which wireless problems you are experiencing, nor the devices you own that are having the issues", The OP wants the option to change the country code to the correct one (which it should be). The end.

 

P.S.

NightHawk. I know you said you don't work for Telus, but do you work for a company that is affiliated with Telus? Or Contracted by them? 'Cause saying things like, "The recommendation to contact Apple support still stands"... sounds like you are speaking on behalf of Telus and/or working as a tech support agent.

Community Power User
Community Power User

You have been informed more than once that the country code cannot be changed on the Actiontec. Telus will not change it as it is beyond their scope of technical support and there are no settings for it on the modem itself. If you do not wish to identify the connection problems with your devices, even while connected to your Airport with the CA country code, that is your choice.

 

You should contact Telus technical support and have them go through their troubleshooting for your potential wireless connection issues. If they deem the Actiontec to be the actual cause, they may replace it.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. Smiley Happy
j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

Hi Nighthawk,



You have said a few times "If you do not wish to identify the connection problems with your devices, even while connected to your Airport with the CA country code, that is your choice." What part of my description of the issue was unclear: "The problems we have been experiencing, at two different households with similar setups, is that we have the Actiontec 1000H acting as the router/WiFi access point and we also have an Apple Airport base station (actually a "Time Capsule" which is a combined access point, router, and network attached storage device) connected via wired ethernet in bridge mode acting as an additional WiFi access point. When the Airport is set as "CA", while the Actiontec advertises itself as "US", Apple devices (iPhones, MacBooks, iPads running Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, and 10.12 and iOS versions 8, 9, and 10) will often refuse to transfer data through one of the two access points (connections might be refused with a password error or the connection is made but no IP address is retrieved), and Apple's "Wireless Diagnostics" tool gives a “Conflicting Country Codes” error with the suggestion that the access points' country should be properly configured. If I set the Apple Airport to advertise itself as "US", the problems are much reduced, but there are still occasional issues, since all the other WiFi access points being run by our neighbours advertise themselves as "CA" (or nothing), and thus occasionally Apple devices will notice these "CA" access points first and then refuse to talk to our "US" ones."



While turning off the wifi of the Actiontec might be good from a diagnostics point of view, it would cut off wireless access to about half of the house, so it is not a long term solution. Additionally, it does look like some of our neighbours have Actiontec access points from Telus advertising "US" (and some have Actiontec access points from Telus advertising "CA", so if I am correct that any access point that is advertising conflicting country codes can trigger the issue then even if we were fine with turning off our Actiontec access point, we would not be solving the problem.



I agree strongly with bnmguy's point, regardless of how most devices handle incorrect country codes, arouters in Canada should not be advertising themselves as being in a different country - they should advertise "CA" or nothing (or maybe X0 if that is a correct "no country code" designation). Doing so would eliminate this type of potential conflict. If I find the time and proper contacts perhaps I'll ask the CRTC and/or Industry Canada to ask what regulatory issues there might be with Telus equipment that might give them incentive to push out a firmware update. With that said, I do see

Nighthawk's point that Apple does not seem to have implemented a graceful failure mode. Even if Telus got all their devices to do the right thing, people in south Tsawwassen and other regions of the world are likely to legitimately be able to view devices in multiple wifi regulated regions - their devices should not lose connectivity due solely to the visibility of conflicting access points.

With all that said, Nighthawk's fairly dismissive attitude earlier pissed me off enough that I was starting to compose a pretty nasty missive, but then decided that I really needed to have all my t's crossed and i's dotted before trying to score all sorts of "you're an ass" types of points. Holiday weekends and family commitments and multiple locations have slowed down my testing. Most unfortunately, I have having difficulty in consistently replicating the problem (the bane of all troubleshooting) - if I am intellectually honest, I must admit that it is at least possible that my particular issues might not have as much to do with country codes as I initially felt.


  - jb

j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

In case anyone cares, upon returning to Ontario, I have been unable to find more than a smattering of access points that advertise themselves as "US" - everthing from "BELL" or "Cogeco" or "Rogers" that I have been able to view either advertises no country code or advertises themselves as "CA". It seems as though Telus is alone in mixing the "CA" with the "US" in their devices.

Community Power User
Community Power User

Think about it this way. You're using a computer from an American company that was designed for the North American market. Whether or not it sees a country code as CA or US, there should be no way, that a device bulit for the North American market, would have problems. The model numbers from Apple for both the Canadian and American Macs are identical. You may be assuming that the problem is one very tiny specific thing where it is more likely to be something else entirely.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Like" or mark as an accepted solution if it solves your trouble. Smiley Happy
j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

Nighthawk, you are not going to convince me that it is a good idea for Telus products to lie about the wifi rules that they are following. If they are following the Canadian rules, they should not say they are following some other rules, EVEN IF those rules are identical to the Canadian rules (which in the global sense they are not.) The model numbers of Apple products are identical over MANY regions, including outside of North America.

 

You are correct that my particular problem MIGHT not be due to this issue, but you are going to have a heck of a difficult time convincing me that Telus is doing the right thing - particularly since Telus seems to be THE ONLY ONE who is widely distributing hardware that is advertising this incorrect information.

 

 

bnmguy
Neighbour

NightHawk,

 

Problems aside, it's still a regulatory issue.

rc
Ambassador

To me this appears to be a non issue.  I run multiple routers, actiontec, tplink and ASUS and never had any issues with mixed country codes.  The TPlink is set to CA, the ASUS to US, and never had any issues with my Microsoft, Iphone, Android or Linux devices.   My  ASUS router running stock firmware does not have to capability to set a country code or region.   It may set the country code to CA, if you set the time zone to Atlantic.

 

If this was an issue there would be a significant number of post on internet forums.

bnmguy
Neighbour

While that is likely all true, from a regulatory standing there are laws with heavy fines regarding the use of Country codes. Hence, Telus might want to correct this for that alone.

j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

"It doesn't seem to cause major technical problems" is not a very good reason for configuring things incorrectly. It is one thing to decide to NOT set a country code, and it is very different to decide to set an INCORRECT country code.

mbp
Advisor
I think what needs to happen is Apple should remove that utility or put big warnings on it so that inexperienced users don't freak out over something that will have zero impact on their usage of the internet. How to Geek also needs to revise their article as well.

Also j-beda, if you're that upset over a non issue there is such an extremely simple solution you could have taken advantage of months ago. Replace the modem. Even with that if one of your neighbors has 'US' device, there will be nothing you could do about that if you perceive there is still a problem with country code rather than other environmental factors that are typically the cause of most wireless issues.
j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

Hey, I'm not having any big freak fest. I've solved my particular issue.

 

I do feel the need to respond to people saying "hey, it works for me, so everything is fine" or people who say "there is no possible thing wrong when large companies do not follow regulatory guidelines or internet standards" as I think those attitudes are irresponsible and unhelpful.

 

I recognize that Telus is unlikely to respond or even notice this partucular forum, but nobody is required to read any of my postings, and I don't think I have been particularly abusive of anyone - my sincere apologies if you have been offended.

rc
Ambassador

If you look at the label on the bottom of the TELUS actiontec modem you see the FCC and Industry Canada (IC) certification identification numbers for the modems. This indicates that this wireless device is authorized for use in Canada.


Setting the correct Country Code (IEEE 802.11D standard) is no longer considered a mandatory requirement in US or Canada for wireless wireless devices. This was a change introduced by the FCC in 2015 and Canada followed.

Highlighted
j-beda
Friendly Neighbour

Setting the correct country code might no longer be required by regulation (I'll defer to "coach" on that), but setting the incorrect country code still seems like a bad idea. I can't see any justification for advertising incorrect information. If the country code is felt to be uninportant, then don't broadcast it.