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Broadband connection

Questions about Vodafone's Gigafast service from a potential customer.

Windlown
3: Seeker

I am currently with Virgin Media on their Gigabit product. 1.Gb/50Mb. I use my own router a GT-AX11000. VM allow their modem/router to be switched to modem only mode to allow folk to use third-party routers.   I live in Coventry, a Vodafone/City Fibre Gigafast city. Their FTTP network is being laid in our street as I type so, naturally, I am interested in a possible move to Vodaphone. A nice symmetrical 900Mb sounds perfect.

 

Firstly, is Gigafast a decent service with good reliability, low ping and close to advertised speeds. VM always provide slightly more than the advertised Broadband. Before I switched to modem only mode the SamKnows app measured my download speed at 1.17Gb. What is the typical ping? VM's ping is about 13ms, rather slow. Are speeds and ping worse at peak times? 

 

Secondly, can the Vodafone modem/router be put in modem-only mode to allow for my Asus GT-AX11000 to function in full router mode?  If not, is there an officially countenanced work-around?  This issue is a potential deal breaker.

 

Thirdly, is customer services any good?  In normal times, are waiting times reasonable and are the operatives well-enough informed to get you the help you need. Do engineers attend promptly? 

 

Fourthly, I know that a proper TV service isn't offered, but that TV boxes with useful apps such as Apple TV and Netflix are available. If I had two boxes do the boxes talk to each other like VM's TV boxes do? Programmes recorded on one box can be watched in a different room on another box. 

 

Finally, at the time of installation and activation, is fibre brought all the way from the pavement into the house, or is coax used on the property? Does the cable merely go to the nearest point of entry or will it be extended to the point in the house one requires it? VM brought their coax from the pavement to the room I required and connected our two V6 boxes by TV coax back to the internal terminal. 

 

Thank you, in advance, for any information provided.

 

 

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26 REPLIES 26
Cynric
12: Established

@Windlown wrote:

 

Thirdly, is customer services any good?  In normal times, are waiting times reasonable and are the operatives well-enough informed to get you the help you need. Do engineers attend promptly? 

 


To your third part, the only answer is "no", "no" and "no".

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Windlown
3: Seeker

"To your third part, the only answer is "no", "no" and "no"."

 

Sounds pretty much like Virgin Media CS.  

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

I'm not on Gigafast so can't answer all your question, but can some.

The service is presented to you as Ethernet so no modem is required.

The TV services you mention (and many more) are streaming services so they are not recorded at all so can be watched on as many boxes as you like. (or have)

There are no coax cables used at all, but I can't say for sure how much choice you will get in the positioning of the cable connection box.

 

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Windlown
3: Seeker

Thanks that's great. Just a couple of things to clear up.

 

When you say that the connection is provided as ethernet, are you saying that that the Vodafone hub provided is really just a switch that converts the optical signal to Ethernet, and with ethernet and WiFi output?  If so, all I have to do is connect my 3rd party router to it? Presumably I can also switch off the WiFi, to prevent any interference with my own router's WiFi.

 

I understand what you are saying about most of the TV being being a streaming service, but I would be connecting the TV boxes provided to my rooftop aerial so I can get regular free digital services. Are you saying that the boxes are unable to record those? TV boxes for receiving Freeview etc normally have storage for TV programmes and often have more than one tuner.  Do you know anything about Vodafone's box?

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gipjon
16: Advanced member

this may help

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPSZXlhoumo

and in ref to customer services . The official information from Ofcom is Vodafone customer services has a lot more complaints than virgin

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Windlown
3: Seeker

Thanks,

Yes, I had begun to wonder.  The Coventry teams rang me because I had registered an interest. I asked the questions above, apart from the one about CS, only to find that the operative couldn't answer my questions about routers, installation or TV boxes.  These are core questions for anyone who is even a little IT savvy. 

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gipjon
16: Advanced member

I see this every day, people talking to Vodafone about their own selling products, faults, issues, and Vodafone reply is basically we don't know on most stuff, 

it really is a joke, it needs the hierarchy to accept that's Vodafone needs sorting in a big way Vodafone broadband is ok but if you have an issue then its goodnight.  This year it took 4 months for Vodafone to sort my issue out and two years ago it took 3 months to sort a different issue I ended up taking them to Ofcom ADR 

A lot of staff have NO idea what they are doing or even how to operate the Vodafone computer system. 

all I can say is have a good read around the forum before you join and don't bother using the forum social dm live chat 

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KeithAlger
16: Advanced member

At the point of entry, the signal is provided via fiber optic cable.  That cable connects to either an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) or a (G)PON (Passive Optical Network terminal).  Those devices convert the optical signal so it can be delivered to the router over 1Gb ethernet.  So, provided you have a capable router of your own and can get your username name and password, there is no need to use the VF-supplied device (getting the username and password for the VOIP/SIP/whatever phone can be more complicated if not impossible).

 

Most domestic routers are probably going to be capable enough, if you were to be using an active security or firewall device, you will probably have to consider the throughput of such devices.

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Windlown
3: Seeker

Thanks again,

 

Lol at Live Chat. "Brain-dead Chat" would have been a better description. 

 

I am very attracted to having 900Mb up, as well as down. I run a Plex server for family and friends, so the additional BB would be very welcome, but unless VF Gigafast can sort out their issues, they could cause more problems than they are worth.

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Windlown
3: Seeker

Thanks. That was useful.

 

My router, an ASUS GT-AX110000 has the necessary WAN to LAN throughput to manage  over 1Gb. It also has a 2.5Gb LAN port, in addition to the 1Gb ports. The WiFi can do over 10Gb to compatible devices. You can see why I don't want to use use VM's HUB 4 or VF's offer. 

 

When you say I can use my User name and Password in my own router, is that the log on detail that comes with your package at installation time, or do you have to ask for that too? I'm unlikely to use VOIP or SIP for phone calls, so  I won't have to go through that nightmare.

 

I know that most punters don't need to ask all these questions and I am sure the vast majority don't need to call CS for anything, but what you report is a real worry. It would be just my luck, given that I am asking for something different, to be beset by problems.

 

 

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Jayach
16: Advanced member

@Windlown wrote:

When you say that the connection is provided as ethernet, are you saying that that the Vodafone hub provided is really just a switch that converts the optical signal to Ethernet, and with ethernet and WiFi output? 

If so, all I have to do is connect my 3rd party router to it? Presumably I can also switch off the WiFi, to prevent any interference with my own router's WiFi.

On Gigafast the Vodafone hub does exactly the same job as your router so you simply won't use it.

The only caveat is that your router has to have the ability to specify the VLAN. I'm pretty sure most Asus's can.

The fibre to ethernet conversion is done in the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) or CityFibre's equivalent, (the box screw to the wall)

 

I understand what you are saying about most of the TV being being a streaming service, but I would be connecting the TV boxes provided to my rooftop aerial so I can get regular free digital services. Are you saying that the boxes are unable to record those? TV boxes for receiving Freeview etc normally have storage for TV programmes and often have more than one tuner.  Do you know anything about Vodafone's box?

Vodafone doesn't have a box (unless you count the Apple TV 4K supplied with Pro Xtra)


Edit, Oops I didn't notice most of the queries had been answered already. LOL

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KeithAlger
16: Advanced member

Yup your ASUS GT-AX110000 will have more than enough power to properly handle the connection.

 

You would need to request the broadband service user name and password.  If you get an ONT then you'd also have to venture into the IPTV settings and set VLAN = 911 on the WAN connection.  But if (as seems increasingly common) you get a (G)PON instead there is no need for the VLAN setting.

 

I don't know what you are running the Plex server on, but if it's performing transcoding on the fly, it'll probably bottleneck way before you get anywhere close to 900Mbps!

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Windlown
3: Seeker

Thanks for all that info.  Hopefully, I will get a (G)PON arrangement. There isn't a first class option for VLAN in ASUS routers, but they can be configured to VLAN in the LAN settings > IPTV tab. As you say, I would have to be supplied  standard authentication for PPPOE before I can proceed. 

I'm running my Plex server on a Synology DS220+ 8-Bay. As a dedicated piece of kit its limitation atm is my 50Mb upstream. Three simultaneous users uses up all the 40Mb I have reserved for it. Under those circumstances the  NAS processor still has plenty capacity left. It would be a pretty rare occasion for more than 3 users to be streaming simultaneously. 

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gipjon
16: Advanced member

It would be good if you could keep us updated on what you get etc 

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Windlown
3: Seeker

I will. I'm awaiting the go-ahead from Vodaphone, telling us that the network is ready locally. I will want their sales team to be able to reassure me about the questions I have asked here. If they can't., then I will stick with what I have got. 

Please note that the reason I had to ask these questions here is that the team who followed up my registration of interest, hadn't a clue, not even when they went away to talk to their line-manager. 

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KeithAlger
16: Advanced member

That the majority of support on VF is clueless is something you'll have to get used to.  Even the early adopters of the "Pro" service seem to be finding that the "WiFi Xperts" are just as clueless!

 

One point on the VLAN settings on the Asus routers:  In the Merlin firmwares, we've already seen a Beta where the ability to set the VLAN on the WAN port was moved to the WAN>Internet-connection page of the web admin, so it may come.  It's probably only still where it is for the sake of consistency, the options being: leave it where it is (not my fav), split between the connection page and IPTV page (not ideal), move all the IPTV settings to the connection page such as on some recent TP-Link router firmwares.  With the encroaching demise of IPTV services, we'll probably see the VLAN settings moved to the Internet-connections at some point a-la TP-Link.  That the VLAN setting is not on the Internet-Connection page doesn't make it any less capable.

 

What I am seriously curious about it the sort of throughput the AX11000 is capable of when using OpenVPN!

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gipjon
16: Advanced member

HI @Windlown 

Not sure if this will help at all but on this thread, There is a graph of how the gigafast is performing, The graph is about halfway down the thread and is under more options, The user was anandpatel15

https://forum.vodafone.co.uk/t5/Internet-speed/Upload-Speed-Dropped/td-p/2687151

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Windlown
3: Seeker

Thanks. VLAN where VLAN should be. That makes sense.  I will look forward to that, perhaps on the next firmware update. 

 

I use the AX11000 as a VPN server for a couple of trustworthy mates abroad and for when I go, so that we can access regional UK services like iPlayer. I also use it  for security when checked in via public networks like in shopping malls.  Regarding throughput,  whilst clients are logged on, I have never detected a drop in performance here, even when someone is streaming a BBC programme from Greece or wherever. My generous bandwidth and the router's spare capacity in terms of processor speed  and throughput are designed to cope, even if someone at home is caning the connection. 

 

 

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Windlown
3: Seeker

That it a pretty grim example you gave there. Latency looks surprisingly high for true fibre and the guy is getting consistently low upstream speeds. Is that typical? If, as suggested, speed is being capped to squeeze in more customers, then that is not on. I bet Vodaphone are assuming that with 900/900 people won't notice a moderate drop in service, but they would be wrong. People paying for that much bandwidth are either speed freaks who will be checking speed daily or people running a business who actually need it. 🤣

 

I'm used to getting what I pay for with Virgin, usually slightly faster. I just wish they would sort out their upstream to at least 10:1, (downstream/upstream) then I might not be looking elsewhere. 

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