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Calling for Clarity on Openreach’s Broadband Modem Conformance Testing

Thursday, November 16th, 2017 (12:55 pm) - Score 17,271

Openreach’s (BT) Modem Conformance Testing (MCT), which ensures that a router / modem device is approved for use on their hybrid fibre (FTTC) UK broadband network, needs to become much more accessible and transparent for consumers. Unapproved kit can also carry the risk of disconnection.

Probably most of the people I know (outside of ISP circles) who use an FTTC broadband connection over Openreach’s network, the bulk of which are your typical IT / Networking style professionals or enthusiasts, have plugged a router into their Master Socket that’s NOT on the operator’s approved list of VDSL devices. But not one of them was aware of this.

In fairness, it’s not their fault. After all, how could they know? Openreach does not publish an up-to-date version of their approved list for public consumption on their website and neither do they reveal which devices were rejected or why. Instead the responsibility tends to be passed down the line to ISPs, yet the vast majority of those don’t publish the information either (many bundle their own pre-approved kit and so perhaps feel no need).

However, most ISPs, especially smaller providers, do still allow you to use a third-party VDSL2 router if so desired. This flexibility is good for the competitive hardware market and consumers, who like choice because the routers offered by providers tend to be a bit on the naff side. Nevertheless it is all too easy for somebody to buy an unapproved device.

You see it’s possible to connect a router that can actually cause problems for Openreach’s network (e.g. interference), which might even impact other users. But most of the time it’s the end-users own connection that pays the price for connecting an incompatible device, which could be reflected in various different ways from connectivity problems to performance loss etc.

A prime example popped up this week when Openreach warned ISPs (here) that a specific modem/firmware combination on unapproved end customer modems was causing an “issue” in their VDSL2 street cabinets (DSLAMs).

Openreach Briefing NGA042/17

This briefing is to inform CPs that we have a number of DSLAMs in the live network that are not properly reporting to the Openreach Dynamic Line Management (DLM) System

A specific modem/firmware combination on end customer devices which have not been approved for use on our network and have not been through our Modem Conformance Tests (MCT) is or appears to be causing an issue in the DSLAMs that means they do not correctly format the data transmitted from the DSLAM to our DLM systems. The DLM system then cannot interpret the data for all lines on that DSLAM.

The briefing for this was closed to the public, although the private document states that “Openreach will not enter into any discussions about the modems involved” (they don’t appear to name the device). Openreach also warns that they will “disconnect” the service if it’s identified that one of the non-approved devices is in use (we assume they could easily identify such routers via loopback testing).

We know from past experience that Openreach can also request that the device itself be disconnected (rather than shut down the entire service) or they could refuse to fix problems. Likewise they could conceivably levy charges if the device is found to be the cause of a fault investigation (i.e. requiring an engineer call out or abortive visit etc.). In other words, it’s wise to use an approved router when requesting ISP support.

At this point the briefing reminds ISPs “that they should advise their end customers to only connect the MCT approved CP provided device or the Openreach VDSL to their GEA-FTTC Service,” which is fair but the briefing does not name the device/firmware involved and Openreach could have easily made this public themselves. Doing so would have helped to inform consumers and thus reduce the problem.

We should point out that a fix is in development for the fault mentioned above. New router firmware is being tested, while Openreach could also fix it on their ECI/Huawei network or DLM system in order to cope with the issue when spotted. But one problem with relying on router firmware is that many end-users don’t bother to manually update their kit, which means that Openreach may still need to tweak their network.

The other problem with Openreach’s approved modems list is that it’s quite out of step with modern hardware (we’ve pasted a copy of BT Wholesale’s list below that covers many of the approved models but it is not as extensive as the one that Openreach keep hidden). Enthusiasts tend to buy the latest kit but many of the best models cannot be found on the operator’s list, which is fairly short.

We should add that unapproved modems usually work just fine on Openreach’s network and you’re unlikely to have a problem but, as the example above shows, faults do sometimes occur and you could get in trouble. On the other hand, approved modems aren’t necessarily bastions of perfection and issues do sometimes arise on those too, which may still cause problems for Openreach’s network.

In our view both Openreach and ISPs need to be more transparent about the list of approved modems, as well as identifying any devices with known faults or those that have been rejected. At the same time we’d like to see Openreach becoming more proactive by testing a wider range of new models, although this would require manufactures to engage more closely and that could be tricky to encourage (MCT testing has gained a reputation for being painfully slow but they are improving it).

Transparency also means that fewer consumers may end up choose a model that hasn’t been approved, which should in theory reduce the potential for compatibility problems, while also making Openreach’s life easier and encouraging manufacturers to engage more closely.

We did ask Openreach for their thoughts and are still awaiting a reply.

Approved VDSL Modems / Routers [BT Wholesale] (Oct 2017)

AVM

FRITZ!Box 3490

Arcadyan

Brightbox 2

Cisco

1921
897VA
C897VA-K9
CISCO887VA-K9
CISCO887VA-M-K9
CISCO887VA-SEC-K9
C887VAM-K9
C887VA-W-E-K9
C887VAM-W-E-K9
C887VA-V-K9
C887VA-V-W-E-K9
C887VA-CUBE-K9
C887VAG+7-K9
C887VAMG+7-K9
C887VAGW+7-E-K9
C887VA-WD-E-K9
C887VAG-4G-GA-K9
C897VA-M-K9
C897VAW-E-K9
C897VAM-W-E-K9
C897VAG-LTE-GA-k9
C897VAMG-LTE-GA-K9
EHWIC-VA-DSL-A
EHWIC-VA-DSL-M
NIM VA

Draytek

Vigor 2860
Vigor 2860vn Plus
Vigor 2860vac
Vigor 2860n
Vigor 2860n Plus
Vigor 2860L
Vigor 2860Ln
Vigor 2860ac
Vigor 2862
Vigor 2760
Vigor 2760vn
Vigor 2760n
Vigor 130

Huawei

HG633
AR129
AR129W
AR129GW-L
AR509G-L-D-H
AR169FVW
AR169FGW-L
AR169FGVW-L
AR169F

Kenton Comtrend

VR-3030
KBR1645 Velocity Lite

Kenton OneAccess

1321 Ethernet Access device
1322 Ethernet Access device
1645 Ethernet Access device
One 270 AV2
One 425 AV2
One 445 AV2
One 540 AV2
One 700 AV2
One 1540 AV2

Netgear

D7000
D7800

Technicolor

TG589Vac
TG579vac v2
TG588v2
TG589Vac v1
TG589Vac v2
TG589vac
TG789Vac v1
TG789Vac v2
TG789vac
DGA1430

Virtual Access

GW33110-V

ZyXEL

VMG8324-B10A
VMG8924 (Z-400UK)
VMG1312-B10A
VMG1312-B10D
VMG3925 – B10B

NOTE: Some routers bundled by ISPs may be missing from this list as it tends not to include those that are customised and branded to specific ISPs (i.e. those you can’t officially buy in the shops), while others may show up under a different model code.

Leave a Comment
44 Responses
  1. Avatar A_Builder says:

    This a really good example of OR’s own secretiveness shooting themselves in the foot.

    It would be ultra hard for OR to take action against a consumer for using unapproved equipment that damaged the network if the consumer could prove that the posted list was out of date and did not contain other approved equipment. So the consumer would be able to claim they had acted reasonably as there was not compendium of up to date information for them to check against.

    What the article does not say is that with things like the Draytek 130 – separate FTTC modems – you actually need to log into the modem directly to update firmware and this is a real pain in the backside. And it also should make the point that the original OR FTTC modems can also now be causing problems as they don’t support vectoring and other recent enhancements that seem to be having good effects in increasing real world line speeds. When I say real world speeds I mean FTP speeds of big .zip files and not speedtest.net.

    So it is a mixed picture.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Covered your last paragraph already with.. “approved modems aren’t necessarily bastions of perfection and issues do sometimes arise on those too” (didn’t feel a need to list those issues as the article was already long enough).

    2. Avatar AndyH says:

      There was an issue a couple of years back when Openreach published a list of ISPs with their devices that were undergoing/completed MCT and one large ISP was very unhappy with this (I assume due to commercial reasons).

      Mark’s list of approved devices comes from BT Wholesale, who submit devices for testing on behalf of their ISPs. The list is updated every month or so.

      It’s the ISP’s responsibility to ensure that all modems are tested and compliant with Openreach’s network. If they allow customers to use their own devices, then they have to cover themselves.

      In terms of the issue raised by Openreach today, it affects around 1,000 DSLAMs across the country on both Huawei and ECI estates. Although this is little over 1% of all cabinets, the modem/firmware issue affects all lines on those cabinet. There are a number of fixes and the modem vendor should be releasing a firmware update imminently. Openreach won’t state who the vendor is or the modem involved.

  2. Avatar TomTom says:

    @Mark Jackson What about the best VDSL Modem (Billion 8800NL)? Such a popular broadcom chipset

  3. Avatar John Lawton says:

    Odd that the Huawei HG612 is not listed, but is presumably compliant.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Probably comes under the note right at the bottom for custom models. Mind you it doesn’t support all of the latest VDSL2 enhancements and Openreach don’t supply it anymore.

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/02/bt-openreach-stop-replacing-faulty-fttc-modems-jan-2017.html

    2. Avatar Adam Jarvis says:

      Sadly, just another ‘can of worms’ fault finding example how older devices with outdated firmware turn themselves into potential incompatible rogue devices over time, in terms of FTTC, but more so, overly complex G.fast, going forward, in terms of sweating copper to the max.

      Ofcom (if you’re listening) we need to say enough is enough, further copper rollout has had its day, no more Government handouts for copper/Pointless G.fast tech*.

      *Northern Ireland has made a big mistake, regarding its use of taxpayer’s money for Pointless G.fast.

    3. Avatar AndyH says:

      This is not a case of an older device with outdated firmware.

      It’s the case of a vendor producing a combined FTTC router/modem with a firmware that covers every country in the world.

    4. Avatar baby_frogmella says:

      “It’s the case of a vendor producing a combined FTTC router/modem with a firmware that covers every country in the world.”

      Let me take an educated guess who the vendor is: Asus. Whilst Asus may produce top class standalone routers, their combined modem/routers for the UK market are rubbish mainly d/t the notoriously unstable Mediatek modem chipset which they use in most of their routers. Good example being the Asus DSL-AC68.

      Having said all that, their latest modem/router, the DSL-AC88 (pictured in article) uses a new-ish Broadcom modem chipset so perhaps they’ve finally dumped Mediatek modems for good.

    5. Avatar Ixel says:

      Yeah well the DSL-AC68U had potential but ASUS abandoned it. Now they expect customers who had bought a DSL-AC68U to fork out cash to buy the DSL-AC88U if they want a stable modem. Not even discount offered as compensation. I won’t be touching another ASUS router/modem and I know quite a few others who won’t either.

  4. Avatar rtho782 says:

    Hmm, perhaps the reason they won’t release the name of the modem that breaks DLM is that everyone would rush out to buy said modem to avoid DLM….

  5. Avatar Adam Jarvis says:

    If you thought things were bad with VDSL/FTTC rogue routers/rogue firmware, just wait for the can of worms in terms of fault finding/technical issues Pointless “up to” bamboozled, obfuscated ultrafast 100Mbps+ G.fast will bring/create in the local loop. The complications of G.fast just make the problem a whole lot worse.

    Let’s not forget, until very recently we’ve been constantly told by BT/Openreach the well-worn delaying tactic line that ‘cutting edge’ (aka.prone to faults) G.fast deployment is ‘cheap’, full/pure fibre optic deployment is ‘expensive’, biasing that decision on very narrow focused criteria (biased around their legacy copper network and failing to mention the copper wiring can of worms G.fast will create.

    Weasel regulator Ofcom too, indirectly endorses this approach by stating they are technology ‘agnostic’, instead of stating explicitly the best technology to deploy is each customer circumstance, i.e. Exchange Only lines, Lines longer than 500m, Aluminium Lines etc, which would at least help consumers fathom what is the real underlying problem is causing their broadband issues, i.e. for lines longer than 500m, pure FTTP deployment is the only reliable long-term solution, especially rurally.

    There is no doubt, G.fast will create a marked increase in the profitability of Openreach, which is incentified in terms of paid to fault find/solve faults, not on the reliability of the network having zero faults.

    Pointless G.fast will never offer an ultrafast 100Mbps+ solution to anyone with a line 500m* (250m as the crow flies) whatever BT/Openreach say they have in the pipeline aka ‘vapourware’, because of newer hardware/firmware interations of G.fast, going forward.

    Yes, you can reduce the copper line length, put more G.fast nodes deeper into the network nearer to the consumer (each requiring their own power), but that requires an exponential increase in the number of nodes, to get anywhere near blanket ubiquitous coverage. (Up to 25 additional actively powered G.fast nodes in an 2Km2 area, that’s not cheap or easy to maintain)

    When deciding on what technologies we should rollout, it should be based on the neutral ‘clean slate’ approach, not on what existing technologies incumbent BT has in it’s existing toolbox, to promote as the next new ‘Snake Oil’ in order to get Government handsouts for deployment. Northern Ireland has just changed G.fast from been a commercial only deployment, to one of backed by handouts.

    Any attempt to ramp up G.fast speeds to make them faster, the length of copper on which that is achieveable gets shorter, down to 40m, 20m as the crow flies. i.e a front lawn from the telegraph pole distance. It’s practically pointless, when you could save on the G.fast nodes/hardware and deploy BT’s green fibre splitters, to create potential long term gigabit speeds.

    Any ‘clean slate’ operator starting fresh would not use G.fast as a technical solution, hence we’re (well NI taxpayers so far) are being sold a pup, by both Ofcom and Openreach, in terms of G.fast.

    If you’re BT-the main reason (other than BT’s legacy copper network) you wouldn’t ditch all this expensive actively powered Pointless G.fast technology and use completely full fibre optic, is to keep a piece a wet string between the customer and the actual fibre on the pole, in order to prevent other virtualised CP’s offering their own services over real FTTP fibre without the need of BT/Openreach’s say so. i.e. There is an element of Market dominance/Network control by BT in keeping that last piece of copper, to prevent competition.

    real FTTP offers the potential to take multiple services from multiple providers simultaneously, tunnelled/virtualised, over the same fibre, outwith, BT’s control.

    1. Avatar TomTom says:

      I agree with this. G.fast will be a waste of time same as FTTC as both come with DLM on it.

      FTTP are the best way to forward to bring out fibre all the way to the home from exchange.

    2. Avatar Salek says:

      My thoughts are the same – Copper infrastructure require more maintenance, more components and more power to keep the network live not to mention reliability and the life of the actual copper is less than fibre,

    3. Avatar MikeW says:

      A “clean slate” for a rollout? You can tell Adam Jarvis hasn’t been in charge of a budget, can’t you? FTTP isn’t a technology issue. It’s a finance one, and starting again is a quick way to go bankrupt (ask VM’s predecessor companies).

      Not good with maths either. Since when did 500m turn into 250m as the crow flies? For most lines, length will vary between a straight N and N*sqrt(2), not double. Remember Pythagoras? The right factor to use as average is more likely to be around 1.25-1.3.

      Not much good with applying numbers to reality either. It might be correct that 25 nodes are needed for a 2km^2 area (sounds about right to me), but how realistic is the “2km^2”, seemingly plucked out of thin air? In a real-world deployment, just how many cabinets will cover that kind of area? In an urban area that is likely to get a G.Fast upgrade?

      In my local area, classified as a “small town”, a sample shows 22 existing PCP cabinets covering a contiguous 2.6km^2. Each cabinet has an FTTC cabinet already, and a quick estimate puts about 75% on lines of 300m or less (not crow-flight distance). Looking at topography, I’d say that there was an obvious 5-6 places for extra nodes to make a significant difference.

      Is it typical? I don’t know about the sample I tested, but the town’s overall population density is definitely typical of English towns and cities, bar London.

      The assumption that 1 cabinet serves 2km^2 doesn’t look to be a good one. At least not for standard, built-up, England. It might be better to assume that 20 cabinets serve that kind of space, at least for the 80% of people living in towns and cities. And that makes the finances completely different.

      However, I agree that G.Fast is nowhere near appropriate for a rural area where 1 cab might supply more than 2km^2.

      Topography in NI means that G.Fast is even less suitable to rural areas there. But it will still fit well enough in urban areas.

      @Salek
      Copper certainly does cost more to maintain. But do you know what costs even more than maintaining copper? Maintaining both copper and fibre.

      Until Ofcom allows copper to be turned off, the total cost of maintenance is actually a disincentive to rolling out full fibre.

      And, while Ofcom insists on using the old copper network as a source for “cheap competition”, fibre will never be able to follow the “clean slate” approach that Adam wants.

    4. Avatar Adam Jarvis says:

      MikeW,
      By the sound of it, you have been hoarding over that Excel spreadsheet with your perfected N*sqrt(2) “crow flies to line distance” formula far too long and need to get away from the screen, remember there are actual real people pulling their hair out, due to BT’s crappy obfuscated, bamboozled ‘up to’ copper carcass Broadband.

      ‘Hairpulling’ real people couldn’t care less if it N*sqrt(2) or double the line distance.

      Let’s hope your vast Openreach Excel Spreadsheet has N*sqrt(2), has a pretty coloured PivotTable to vary the line length up to double, otherwise your budgetary figures are just as pointless as G.fast.

      Maybe it’s is a figure we should get Ofcom to clarify, what the average lines lengths are in each exchange location because it’s becoming a very important figure in terms of where pointless G.fast will get deployed and in terms of budget decisions regarding commercial/non-commercial rollout are made.

      Using double the copper line length to crow flies, is a more realistic ‘ball park’ figure, telecom-tariffs.co.uk use the 2x figure.
      It takes into account cable excess, non standard routing paths and it’s easy for ‘hair pulling’ people to understand that cable lengths can be double the straight line ‘crow flies’ distance from where you are located to the exchange/cabinet.

      I’m sticking with it, but yes, I understand SOHCAHTOA.

      To clarify,
      The 2Km2/25 actively powered (connected to main grid, not backfed) G.fast nodes radiating out from a central cabinet covering a 2Km2 area, is the technical minimum to cover all areas of that 2Km2 grid, not taking into account housing density, i.e. an array of single houses dotted equally throughout that square grid.

      It’s meant as a very simplistic non technical way of explaining the bare minimum number of G.fasts nodes to get blanket ultrafast 100Mbps+ coverage of an 2Km2 area, rather than BT ‘cherry picking’ locations for G.fast and leaving Ultrafast notspots, or using ‘up to’ figures, in more a typical rural setting.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say,
      If copper based G.fast is to be used at all, it’s Goal today should be to have blanket ultrafast, not “up to” 100Mbps+ coverage, (which is not an unreasonable vision for a Government in 2017), but seems to be an unreasonable/unthinkable vision for BT, in terms of what the should provide as a bare minimum in terms of service going forward for all its customers)

    5. Avatar AndyH says:

      “telecom-tariffs.co.uk use the 2x figure.”

      Where do you think they get their figures from?

    6. Avatar Adam Jarvis says:

      “telecom-tariffs.co.uk use the 2x figure.”

      Where do you think they get their figures from?

      Well..Yes..Exactly.
      (As Ian Fletcher, Hugh Bonneville who say, BBC’s W1A).

    7. Avatar 125us says:

      Your 2Km2 figure is bonkers. It would only be relevant if the UK built houses on a strict grid pattern, which they don’t. Where I live, houses follow the roads. That’s where the cabinets are. Your model doesn’t even allow for roads or gardens , just perfectly tessellated houses. It ignores MDUs. Even if it weren’t bonkers, it’s up to Openreach how many nodes they deploy isn’t it? They’re paying for it.

    8. Avatar Adam Jarvis says:

      As customers, we’ll be paying for the maintenance of this G.fast ‘can of worms’

      It’s meant to show that rurally G.fast is just not practical, simple as.

      It requires far too much extra grid powered technology in the local loop thaat needs to be maintained/get firmware upgrades, as G.fast is revised (there isn’t the manpower to maintain this, rurally).

      The number of G.fast nodes required in that 2Km2 grid rise exponentially, each time you attempt to cut the copper line lenghs in half, to get blanket coverage within such a small area.

      G.nodes will have to actively powered, most will have to connected to the main grid, whatever rose tinted ‘snake oil’ marketing nonsense about being powered by the customer.

      G.fast is utterly pointless and other than for niche uses like tenement blocks will end up a ‘can of worms’ to maintain/fault find.

      BT Customers/(and potentially taxpayers) are being sold a pup, another obfuscated, bamboozled copper carcass ‘up to’ pup, but even more prone to interference/poor cabling issues.

    9. Avatar 125us says:

      The density of properties in rural areas is less dense, no? Why would there need to be anything like the density you talk of unless Farmer Smith wants g.fast delivered to the middle of a field or a lake? If there’s no mains power available there’s not likely to be much in the way of customers either. The set of people who a) want fast broadband and b) have no electricity nearby is, I suspect, quite small.

      Swisscom and Deutsche Telekom haven’t reported any particular reliability or fault-finding issues with their g.fast deployments, certainly none that don’t already exist with xDSL.

  6. Avatar Kits says:

    I have Draytek 2860n since updating to latest BT firmware my connectioin drops daily before this update I had been online for over 35 days. So not router or the line but the firmware. Draytek have sent me a list of different firmware to test none are BT approved.

    1. Avatar Ixel says:

      I’m using 3.8.5_BT with modem firmware 576D17 and it’s working fine here. It seems to handle my background trickling downstream errors issue the best of all the devices I’ve tried. The HG612, Zyxel VMG1312-B10A, ECI /r with LEDE firmware and newer modem firmware, all seem to produce many more downstream errors (more than enough to trigger DLM intervention). The DrayTek seems to handle or filter most of them out giving me a much lower rate of downstream errors on fastpath.

  7. Avatar TomTom says:

    Suprise Plusnet Hub One are not APPROVED by openreach!

    1. Avatar AndyH says:

      It is approved.

      The list provided by Mark are modems that BT Wholesale submitted for Openreach modem conformity testing on behalf of smaller ISPs.

    2. Avatar Alan says:

      What “Smaller” ISP supplies a HG633 as standard then?

      The only supplier of that model which was replaced for a very short period by a HG635 and then re-replaced with the HG633 is anything other than small and is Talk Talk. Stop pretending you know what you are on about or what the list is even about.

  8. Avatar Kits says:

    @ Ixel jusat seen they have another updated firmware so downloading to trying that I was on the build before which was only released October. My problem started with firmware update and BT moving me to a 3dB snr. So hopefully this update will fix and give me my good uptime again.

  9. Avatar Alan says:

    Great list if you want an outdated device or only a low to mid end device, totally useless if you want anything capable of serious fast wifi speeds.

    As for “NOTE: Some routers bundled by ISPs may be missing from this list…”

    More like all of them, No Sky devices on that list, Only 1 Talk Talk device, No Vodafone.

    I wonder what “list” you are sposed to follow if you are lucky enough to have Openreach based FTTH/P???

    I guess the good news is they no longer list the a couple of devices that were previously on that list which had PSUs with dangerous issues. I wonder what harsh tests they went through to only be discovered a year plus down the line.

    1. Avatar Alan says:

      PS…
      Haven’t some of those listed devices also only been approved with certain firmware revisions?

      That would be handy to know especially as the issue appears to be “A specific modem/firmware combination” causing issues, so who knows even if certain approved devices with NON-tested approved firmware could produce similar, worse or even other problems.
      Mind you no MCT story from Openreach has ever been clear.

    2. Avatar Reflection says:

      With Openreach based FTTP, there does not appear to such be an issue. The Optical Network Terminal (ONT), which handles the fibre communication is supplied and owned by Openreach. The customer just needs to have their own PPPoE router, unless they are going to connect a single computer direct to the ONT. The issue with FTTH is with not being able to have a ready spare when the ONT fails.

    3. Avatar AndyH says:

      Great list if you want an outdated device or only a low to mid end device, totally useless if you want anything capable of serious fast wifi speeds.

      As for “NOTE: Some routers bundled by ISPs may be missing from this list…”

      More like all of them, No Sky devices on that list, Only 1 Talk Talk device, No Vodafone.

      This list (which isn’t the latest version) contains the devices that BT Wholesale have submitted to Openreach for modem confirmity testing.

      ISPs like BT Retail, Sky, Talk Talk and Vodafone have their own devices which they submit to Openreach.

      I wonder what “list” you are sposed to follow if you are lucky enough to have Openreach based FTTH/P???

      Why would Openreach publish a list of FTTP optical network termination devices when you’re only allowed to use the one supplied by the Openreach engineer? Each device is specifically registered for the CVLAN and if you put in another device, it won’t work.

      I guess the good news is they no longer list the a couple of devices that were previously on that list which had PSUs with dangerous issues. I wonder what harsh tests they went through to only be discovered a year plus down the line.

      PSU testing is the responsibility of the vendor, not Openreach. The testing done by Openreach is to confirm that the devices are compatible with their network, without causing issues to the hardware or users.

      Haven’t some of those listed devices also only been approved with certain firmware revisions?

      That would be handy to know especially as the issue appears to be “A specific modem/firmware combination” causing issues, so who knows even if certain approved devices with NON-tested approved firmware could produce similar, worse or even other problems.

      ISPs are aware of all approved hardware and firmware revisions (each change needs to go through the whole testing again). It’s up to your ISP to supply you with an approved device with and approved firmware. If they allow you to use your own device, they have to tell you what you can use.

      Mind you no MCT story from Openreach has ever been clear.

      How is it not clear? Just because Openreach does not communicate with end users about MCT, does not mean that they do not communicate with their customers (ISPs). One large ISP did not want Openreach to publish a list of devices, hardware/firmware revisions that have passed MCT.

    4. Avatar mike says:

      Oh cripes here comes the BT defending which makes no sense again…

      “This list (which isn’t the latest version) contains the devices that BT Wholesale have submitted to Openreach for modem confirmity testing.”

      Oh really BT as a whole must be confused as to what they are submitting for tests and what is being tested.

      The listed “Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK)” mentioned above as far as i can tell, no such modem/router exists. There is a uk model to give its full name a “VMG8924-B10A-GB01V1F” the EU model name is a “VMG8924-B10A-EU01V1F”

      A Zyxel Z-400UK appears to be nothing more than a microfilter…
      https://www.dslsource.co.uk/View/VDSL
      https://twitter.com/runitdirect/status/604199441566945280

      SO no idea what modem/router called a “Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK)” that has apparently undergone mystical tests is spose to be.

      “PSU testing is the responsibility of the vendor, not Openreach. The testing done by Openreach is to confirm that the devices are compatible with their network, without causing issues to the hardware or users.”

      OPenreach need to change their vendors for PSUs then as it was a HG612 that had PSU issues, also if testing is supposed to be ensure compatibility “without causing issues to the hardware or users.” Id personally call a PSU that has a risk of exploding or fire an issue which should had been picked up if its testing to ensure there is no “issues to the hardware or users.”

      “ISPs are aware of all approved hardware and firmware revisions (each change needs to go through the whole testing again). It’s up to your ISP to supply you with an approved device with and approved firmware. If they allow you to use your own device, they have to tell you what you can use.”

      So what you are saying is if a security issue is found in a device before an ISP or a user installs a new firmware to fix it they first have to have the device and firmware submitted to BT/Openreach for testing? How longs that gonna take and leave people at risk? Stupidest thing ive ever heard.

    5. Avatar AndyH says:

      [i]Oh really BT as a whole must be confused as to what they are submitting for tests and what is being tested.[/i]

      BT has multiple divisions, of which one is Openreach. As part of its undertaking with OFCOM, Openreach has to act on an equivalent basis. Many ISPs are not customers of Openreach, they are customers of BT Wholesale and as such, they have to submit modems to BT Wholesale (who in turn submit them to Openreach).

      [i]The listed “Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK)” mentioned above as far as i can tell, no such modem/router exists. There is a uk model to give its full name a “VMG8924-B10A-GB01V1F” the EU model name is a “VMG8924-B10A-EU01V1F”[/i]

      Just because a router/modem is listed, does not mean you can automatically buy it as an end user. Some hardware is specifically manufactured for ISPs that is only provided with a FTTC service and cannot be bought from hardware suppliers.

      [i]OPenreach need to change their vendors for PSUs then as it was a HG612 that had PSU issues, also if testing is supposed to be ensure compatibility “without causing issues to the hardware or users.” Id personally call a PSU that has a risk of exploding or fire an issue which should had been picked up if its testing to ensure there is no “issues to the hardware or users.”[/i]

      Again, PSUs are the responsibility of the hardware vendor to ensure they are compliant with relevant British Standards regulations. Does John Lewis test all the PSUs on devices it sells to ensure they meet British Standards? Does your local car dealer test all the new cars it sells to ensure they meet vehicle standards?

      [i]So what you are saying is if a security issue is found in a device before an ISP or a user installs a new firmware to fix it they first have to have the device and firmware submitted to BT/Openreach for testing? How longs that gonna take and leave people at risk? Stupidest thing ive ever heard.[/]

      We’re talking about the modem firmware, not the router firmware. It’s not common to have regular updates of modem firmware.

      [i]Oh cripes here comes the BT defending which makes no sense again…[/i]

      Oh yikes, it’s the same person who can’t decide which username they should use today.

    6. Avatar Alan says:

      “The listed “Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK)” mentioned above as far as i can tell, no such modem/router exists. There is a uk model to give its full name a “VMG8924-B10A-GB01V1F” the EU model name is a “VMG8924-B10A-EU01V1F”

      “Just because a router/modem is listed, does not mean you can automatically buy it as an end user. Some hardware is specifically manufactured for ISPs that is only provided with a FTTC service and cannot be bought from hardware suppliers.”

      There is no such thing as a Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK) as was correctly pointed out the UK model is a VMG8924-B10A-GB01V1F. Why would Zyxel name a filter and a router with the same model code? That would be as dumb as your explanation of non existing devices.

      Zyxel do not even tag anything for this country as far as i know with “UK” in its product codes, everything has “GB” in it if specifically for this country.

      If this Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK) actually exists as you insist please feel free to point to the ISP supplying it, or any page on the entire internet with an image of said product. The only branded ISP specific device Zyxel has ever made for an ISP is a ZyXel VMG8324-B10A for the Irish market and Eircom which was name a ZyXel VMG8324-F1000. (NOTE thats 8324 NOT the wireless AC 8924 device).

      You are nothing more than an argumentative individual with no evidence to back up any of your claims on here, normally cos its backing up BS made up by BT.

    7. Avatar Alan says:

      “Again, PSUs are the responsibility of the hardware vendor to ensure they are compliant with relevant British Standards regulations. Does John Lewis test all the PSUs on devices it sells to ensure they meet British Standards? Does your local car dealer test all the new cars it sells to ensure they meet vehicle standards?”

      If this nonsense was true then it would had been Huawei the hardware vendor that recalled the PSUs from HG612 modems, instead though it was BT. Again defending BT with absolute made up garbage.

    8. Avatar Mike says:

      He has no clue, i even linked to the Zyxel product with the model code of “(Z-400UK)” its a filter not a modem or router.

      You would be daft as a brush if you have £100+ burning a hole in your wallet to buy most (NOT ALL) of the devices on this list some stuff listed is 3 years or older and been replaced with far superior models in the same manufacturers product line up.

      Buy a decent brand and one that meets ITU specs and just ignore BT and their daft little tests, they probably still think a Homehub has the best wifi in the UK.

    9. Avatar AndyH says:

      @ Mark – Can we please clear up this troll that lives under multiple aliases and is using a VPN?

    10. Avatar Roger Moss says:

      “The listed “Zyxel VMG8924 (Z-400UK)” mentioned above as far as i can tell, no such modem/router exists. There is a uk model to give its full name a “VMG8924-B10A-GB01V1F” the EU model name is a “VMG8924-B10A-EU01V1F”

      A Zyxel Z-400UK appears to be nothing more than a microfilter…
      https://www.dslsource.co.uk/View/VDSL
      https://twitter.com/runitdirect/status/604199441566945280

      OMG thank you so much for this info for over a year ive been trying to find a VMG8924(Z-400UK) wanted the UK version but could never be sure of full model numbers. This has been on this so called list for ages and had no luck finding one.

      I only ever came across the VMG8924. A device i have been tempted by for a long time, so many features i wanted it has. Love the upright design, the mid range AC wifi spec, broadcom chipset and most importantly which you cannot find in many for the price its Voice functionality, thank you so much for pointing out the full REAL name of the UK model is VMG8924-B10A-GB01V1F. I have just placed an order, cost just over £130 could not be happier.

      Dunno what the issue is above but before im called a troll for thanking the person that comment is aimed at id like to point out Mark is free to check my IP, and im a BT user.

    11. Avatar Mike says:

      No thanks needed Roger, enjoy your new modem/router, happy to help and point to actual devices 🙂

  10. Avatar The right modem is? says:

    I have an hg635 from Talk talk and ” up to” 72Mbs of download but as most 50 and thanks,the cabinet is roughly 400m from my home and connection is FTTC; if change the modem router could have some visible difference?

    1. Avatar James says:

      The HG635 is actually quite decent (unlike the junk HG633 that TalkTalk replaced it with) as it uses a Broadcom modem chipset. You might get a slightly higher speed with one of the Zyxel devices on the MCT list, but to be honest I doubt you’d see much difference.

  11. Avatar dragoneast says:

    Scaremongering by OpenReach? Their software isn’t responding correctly. Well, get on and fix their software.

    DLM isn’t responding correctly to ALL modems on an affected DSLAM. Really? Where is the evidence for such a wide ranging allegation? Any independent corroboration? Surely someone would have noticed? An ISP on-the-ball? They are always quick to pick up on OpenReach. Playing the Secret Service.

    It sounds to me too much like panic and threats from OpenReach. I suppose with the model of Ofcom’s bullying tactics we have to get used to it. Why shouldn’t OpenReach too learn the lesson and start bullying the consumers? Aided and abetted of course by the compliant commentariat who swallow wholesale and regurgitate the content of every press release they are offered.

    1. Avatar Mike says:

      “Aided and abetted of course by the compliant commentariat who swallow wholesale and regurgitate the content of every press release they are offered.”

      Ouch! i hope that gets a reply from them by Monday, i hate Mondays so something to point fun at always brightens them.

  12. Avatar prism peter says:

    Cisco router support is the best router which has the best clarity and you can use high-speed internet by using that router

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