Finally after a lot of waiting and various delays, I now have a working Fiber To The Cabinet connection!
I’m not sure how accurate the test is, but I’ve managed to download at 9MB/sec which I’m more than happy with! And the additional upload is a godsend with the sort of work I do (having to transfer large SQL databases, photos & videos).
I opted to keep my existing Sky LLU phone line and ADSL2+ connection and purchase an additional BT line for the fiber service (provided by http://claranetsoho.co.uk). This gives me a redundant link and meant that I didn’t suffer any downtime. I paid for a year’s line rental up front (£129) so there will be no monthly bill (the cheapest way of doing things).
I have been using pfSense for some time to provide some advanced features which most standard routers aren’t capable of. Connecting the new Huwai VDSL modem was a piece of cake and switching over the default gateway I was up and running in no time.
I’m struggling a little with routing across subnets- I can’t see why packets aren’t being passed and no log entries are appearing to suggest that they’re being blocked. My pfSense is actually a virtual machine with only 1 physical NIC, so I might have to create a few VLANs to ensure the traffic behaves as desired. Nor now do I seem to be able to get the ADSL2+ backup WAN connection working (so you can expect a post about the resolution/troubleshotting process hopefully sometime soon).
*EDIT* The problem was solved by the pfSense community (forum): a default route needed to be added to the device on the other subnet i was trying to communicate with (packets could find their way to the device but not back again). I will try and do a whole entry about my pfSense setup at some point.