Tag Archive: FTTC

After moving from my home office to a real office I decided to downgrade my premium 80/20 business fttc connection (from claranet) to a residential 40/10 service from sky.

Yesterday, the connection was changed over and I found myself with no internet. I initially thought it was because the pppoe username and password needed updating (tail /var/log/messages was showing a CHAP authentication error message) but I don’t recall ever being sent a username/password. It was then I had a flashback to many years ago having to extract the details from a router/modem in order to use them in another device. A bit of googling backed this up, but also suggested the connection doesn’t use pppoe but MPoA and was going to be even more challenging to setup; http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/sky-broadband-fibre-help/51550-ubiquiti-edgerouter-lite.html

But this article was written in 2013, surely someone has documented the process more recently? Fortunately, before starting the long-winded process I stumbled across another aritcle; https://community.ubnt.com/t5/EdgeMAX/Sky-Fibre-DHCP-client-option-61/td-p/1172347. However, this seemed to point to needing a different modem (such as the Draytek Vigor 13) to achieve the MPoA connection.

Before I went and bought a new modem, I thought i’d try the BT Openreach/Huawei Echolife HG12. I deleted the pppoe interface from the Edgerouter and set the address on eth0 (connected to the modem) to DHCP. Still nothing… welll both of the previous articles did state the need to add the DHCP option; send dhcp-client-identifier "user|pass"; so I guess it’s time to unbox the Sky router and do some packet sniffing?

I must be in luck… 2 weeks ago, a post suggested you no longer need to use logon credentials, passing anything in the dhcp-client-identifier will do the trick. The example given was;

 client-option "send dhcp-client-identifier "bacons";"

So I gave it a try, but still no dice. Worth a reboot I guess? Power cycled the modem and voila, we have internet! Well, that was simpler than anticipated.


FTTC & pfSense

Finally after a lot of waiting and various delays, I now have a working Fiber To The Cabinet connection!


And after:

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.

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