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UPD Impressive Full Spec for EE BrightBox 2 Home Fibre Broadband ISP Router

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 (1:01 pm) - Score 20,379
ee brightbox 2 router

Customers interested in taking EE’s superfast “Home Fibre Broadband” (up to 76Mbps FTTC) package might also like to know precisely why the ISP’s latest BrightBox 2 wireless router is going to give rival devices from Sky Broadband, BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media a run for their money. Built-in VDSL2 and 802.11ac support.

The new kit, which was announced earlier this morning (here), has allegedly been designed to deliver a “stronger Wi-Fi signal and less drop-off in speed” by adopting the very latest 802.11ac technology. In theory this should be able to makes use of the 5GHz spectrum to offer Gigabit LAN speeds (up to 1.3Gbps) but in reality early kit often clocks in at closer to 300-400Mbps (still very good).

At present only a small number of broadband routers have shipped with support for 802.11ac and one of the reasons for that is because the final 802.11 Working Group approval and publication isn’t due until early 2014 (i.e. the standard is still unofficial). Never the less EE has taken a chance and added support into the BrightBox 2, which is something that none of its rivals appear to have done.. yet. But that’s not all.

EEs Full BrightBox 2 Tech Specification

VDSL Features
• Comply with ITU-T G.993.2 – Annex B with 998 Asymmetric Band Plan( profile 8x,12x,17a)
• Comply with ITU-T G.992.1 (G.dmt), ITU-T G.992.3 (ADSL2), ITU-T G.992.5 ADSL2+ standard.
• ATMmode: MER, 1483 Bridging, PPPoE, PPPoA, 1483 Routing (IPoA) support.
• Multiple VC

Network Features
IP sharing for LAN with up to 253 user
• TOS, Diffserv QoS
• IGMP snooping
• 802.1P/Q
• Multiple queues processing for different packet type
• Dynamic DNS
• NAT and NAPT
• Virtual server and Virtual DMZ
• Firewall function with Access Control List (ACL)

Management Features
• HTTP embedded web server
• Graphical Web User Interface management via local or remote site
• User name/Password protection
• Firmware upgrade via HTTP
• UPnP
• TR-069 remote management

Environmental Operating Ranges
• Operating Temperature: 0° to 45° C
• Non-Operating Temperature: -20° to 70° C
• Humidity: 10% to 90% (Non-Condensing)

Wireless Features
• IEEE 802.11n/ac compliant (11n for 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 11ac for 5GHz)
• Backward compatible to 802.11a/b/g
• Wireless access control (MAC)
• WMM support.
• Wi-Fi Security (WEP/WPA/WPA2)
• Intelligent Wireless

Wi-Fi 11ac Features and Standards
• Backward compatible to 802.11a/n
• Beamforming
• LDPC
• 256 QAM
• Frequency: 5.150 – 5.850 GHz
• Frequency Band: Band 1, Band2, Band3
• Channel used: 40, 56, 108, 124
• Operating in 20/40/80 MHz

Hardware Specification
• One RJ-11 connector for VDSL2
• One RJ-45 connector for GE WAN port
• One Auto MDI/MDIX 10/100/100 Giga RJ-45 LAN Port
• Three Auto MDI/MDIX 10/100 Fast Ethernet RJ-45 LAN Port
• One USB 2.0 Host
• 802.11n/ac wireless connection
• Power On/Off ,Reset ,WPS button
• Power DC 12V/1.5A
• Power LED indicator
• VDSL SYNC LED indicator
• VDSL Data LED indicator
• WLAN LED indicator
• Intelligent Wireless LED indicator

Aside from the WiFi aspects, the other interesting feature is its apparently internal support for the G.993.2 VDSL2 standard. This is something that normally costs too much for budget ISPs to include and is one of the reasons why Openreach ships a separate VDSL Modem with its engineer installs, though they’ve recently allowed ISPs to choose their own kit and EE have clearly done so.

This is clearly one of the most sophisticated ISP bundled routers to date and you can even plug a 3G USB dongle into the USB port as a backup for your fixed line (4G modem support should follow). The new router is expected to surface sometime “later this summer” and will probably be included for free alongside new Fibre Broadband orders. No word yet on costs or availability for existing subscribers.

UPDATE 4th July 2013

A spokesperson for EE told us that the router “has an RRP of £175 but will be available for free to all new and upgrading EE Fibre customers“. We’re also trying to find out what chipset it uses.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Kyle

    Nice.

    Refreshing to see them making use of the ac functionality, ahead of its official release/decision. For once, a good piece of kit not held up due to bureaucracy.

    Now, if only they could sort the service out and bring their complaints down!

  2. Hmmm

    If only all of the LAN ports were gigabit.

  3. sam

    1 gigabit port is crazy. Would have been nice if the usb port was a usb3 port.

  4. X66yh

    Chipet is?
    Telnet access for stats?

  5. Vince

    IPV6 Support? No I assume?

    1 Gigabit Port? Really? (Not that I’m expecting it to support full gigabit throughput anyhow)

    USB not USB3 I assume

    And what sort of crippled firmware will I have to put up with on this junk?

  6. Darren

    It’s got potential, if other ISPs try to better it they might actually start to offer something worth using.

  7. dragoneast

    What do you expect for a bundled in router from one of the cheaper providers? It sounds darned good for its market, and kudos to Orange.

    This English “I want something for nothing, all the time” attitude is the reason why broadband (and the rest) is half-cocked. We get what we pay for, shock, horror. There’s no reason for a budget provider(read everyone else)to fund ego trips.

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