Good morning olympicfarmer,
Thanks for posting and providing all this information, it helps. I just ran diagnostics and despite the weather at your gateway being fine, I'm unable to communicate with your modem. Let's replace it and see if we can get you back online. I'm shipping you a complimentary modem, please expect it in a few days. Here are instructions on how to replace your modem. You can use the box in which the new modem arrives to return the old one; there's a return label in the outer pouch.
Unfortunately, phone support is often very basic, and some agents may not have the experience or knowledge that other agents in the same department do, so while one may know where to look or how to look at more involved areas of the modem, others may not. The phone reps also have a tendency to use terms that may not always translate or be correct for the particular situation. Though I normally don't like to speculate, the fault message the person was referring to may just have been a message showing the present inability to communicate with the modem. The reps here, however, like Liz, are corporate reps and much more experienced. They know exactly where and how to look, as well as decipher what they're seeing.
Your frustration with not having internet around Christmas is very understandable.
I owe you a very big "Thank You"
The modem arrived today, so we are back up and running. It set itself up automatically, and appears to be working just fine.
My wife sincerely appreciates having our connection back for Xmas. I hope you enjoy a wondeful holiday.
Wonderful! You're very welcome. Thanks for letting me know. I hope you had a great Christmas as well!