My new Network Extender 2 was stuck at Step 8a for hours and would not proceed, even though I registered 8 satellites. I found my Cisco/Linksys router had an option called IPSec Passthrough under VPN Options that was supposed to be enabled by default, but was not. I simply changed the option to Enable and saved the selection. Then the steps progressed and the unit was operational in less than a minute.
I have the same problem but with an Apple Airport modem.
Status in the Extender Page shows DNS, IPSec and Location Assistance are all reachable but the Extender is stuck at step 8a. Seems to me its the extender with a problem more than the Airport as my printer and other wireless functions all work.
Like others our wireless quality fell off a cliff about 6 weeks ago after those sever windstorms in North Central MA but Verizon phone support says nothing has changed on their end and they don't guarantee service quality in a house. Of course I can't call support from here as the call quality is about zero.