Options and Modem/Router Compatibility

Withdrawal of BT Openreach Modem and Previous FTTC Products

BT Openreach have announced that from March 2016 they will cease supply of FTTC modems with new services. Both the ECI & Huawei-branded versions of the modem will no longer be supplied with new FTTC installations.

BT will continue to support existing modems in the field, including replacement of faulty units, until March 2017.

After March 2017 any Openreach modems in the field become the customer’s property and although they will continue to operate they will not be replaced by BT should they fail.

Accordingly from March 2016 the BT Openreach engineer installed FTTC service dependent on this hardware will be withdrawn from new sale.

New FTTC Installation Options

As an alternative to the withdrawn product we are offering two new installation options for FTTC products:

Self-Install / Wires-Only

With this option the BT engineer will only visit the cabinet serving the customer’s premises to connect the service.  A visit to the customer premises is not needed.  Without an engineer visit, the faceplate of the NTE5 will not be swapped. This means that plug-in microfilters will now need to be used (as for ADSL and ADSL2+).

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

The cabinet in the street is known by BT Openreach as the PCP (Primary Connection Point). For this reason you may also see this option referred to as “PCP only”.

Engineer-Installed / Managed Install

With this option the engineer will visit the cabinet in the street to provision the service, but will also visit the customer premises and install a faceplate on the NTE.

Advantages:

Disadvantages:

Modem/Router Compatibility

Under the previous engineer-install process, BT Openreach would supply an FTTC modem. The modem connected to the BT phone socket and provided an Ethernet Interface to which the customer would connect their router. BT did not stipulate any requirements for the router other than an Ethernet WAN interface and to use PPPoE to connect the modem.

Under the new process the customer must supply the device that connects to the BT phone socket.

This router must support VDSL2 technology and have undergone and passed BT’s Modem Compatibility Test (MCT) to provide a supported configuration.

So far all compatible equipment combines the function of modem and router in the same way as is well established with ADSL & ADSL2+.

There are several modem/routers on the market which support VDSL2+ but which have not passed BT’s MCT. These modems are prohibited from connection to BT’s phone socket. BT use a technology called “OAM Loopback” to perform diagnostics on FTTC services and identify the CPE connected. Most unapproved modems do not support OAM loopback.  BT are able to identify unauthorised equipment using the OAM Loopback test or by lack of support for it in the connected CPE.

Detection of unauthorised CPE may result in the following:

Cerberus do not support the BT Openreach philosophy with respect to Modem Compatibility Testing or use of unauthorised equipment, however we have no discretion in the matter. All UK FTTC, regardless of the Internet service provider, is based upon the same BT Openreach products and therefore bound by the same rules. Cerberus attends most Industry events and can confirm that Industry is united in its view of BT’s MCT rules. We expect that in time these rules will be relaxed but cannot provide timescales. In the meantime we must enforce BT’s rules.

Fully Approved Compatible Modems

At the time of writing the following is the list of fully approved compatible modems:

SupplierDevice NameChipsetFirmwareNotes
CiscoC887VA-K9BCM6316839m_B_38h3_24hPlus 14 variants
CiscoC897VA-K9BCM6316839m_B_38h3_24hPlus 5 variants
ZyxelVMG8324-B10ABCM63168A2pv6F039q 
ZyxelVMG8924 (Z-400UK)BCM631681.00(AAKL.10)C0_0703 
ZyxelVMG1312-B10ABCM63381V1.00(AAJZ.6)C1_20150911 
HuaweiHG633TriductorG1.01G3_01.32.10 
TechnicolorTG589VACBCM63168A2pv6F039r.d26e 
TechnicolorTG588v2BCM6338115.3 
Kenton ComtrendVR-3030BCM6302KMLG 4.2VR-3030-CFE-C031-416CTL-B01_R01 
DraytekVigor 2860Lantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860vn PlusLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860vacLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860nLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860n PlusLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860LLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860LnLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2860acLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2760Lantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 2760nLantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 
DraytekVigor 130Lantiq VR905.07.06.0D.01.07 

These device/firmware combinations may be used at will and will be supported by BT. Only the firmware versions shown are approved at this time. The customer may not use alternative, unapproved firmwares.

Conditionally Approved Compatible Modems

The following modems are conditionally approved:

SupplierDevice NameChipsetFirmware
Technicolor589v3BCM63168A2pv6F037g.d24c1

These device/firmware combinations have not satisfied all the requirements of the testing but it is expected that the vendor will address any outstanding issues. These devices/firmware combinations may be used at this time but BT may require the firmware to be upgraded or the hardware to be replaced in the future.

Neither BT nor Cerberus will be held liable for the replacement of any devices used prior to full approval by BT.

Additional Equipment

Additional devices are currently undergoing testing, however this is a process that BT take several months to complete and there is a backlog.

We will update this list and our guidance there as new devices are approved.

Modem Availability

As of 1st November 2015, Cerberus has successfully conducted its own tests on the following models

We are currently testing the Technicolor TG589VAC and is obtaining stock of the other modems listed. We expect to offer these devices for sale to our customers as soon as they successfully complete our tests and are available for supply.

Recommendations

Cerberus recommends that you purchase an approved compatible router from us when you order your service, however we will be happy to support connections where the customer has connected their own equipment provided that that equipment is listed as approved by BT.

Further Information

Should you have any questions please contact your account manager on 0345 257 1333 or email sales@cerberusnetworks.co.uk