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70 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 114247 13-Feb-2013 12:07 Send private message

Thought I'd describe my experience in getting UFB service since it wasn't plain sailing and it contains a couple of warnings.

Being in one of the first UFB-deployed areas (Whitby, Porirua) I decided to take the service as soon as possible. The first ISP out of the blocks to drop flyers in the mailbox was Orcon - a call to my existing ISP (Slingshot) was unfruitful. ("UFB? Oh yeah, hang on, let me ask so-and-so...")

So I applied with Orcon which wasn't straightforward - the "register interest" pingback on the website wasn't working, and the first person I spoke to on the phone in response to the flyer was unaware of it.

Anyway, I ordered the service only to be told that while the fibre was laid, it wasn't available for connection yet. They were waiting on Chorus.

They took my details and we set up the direct debit and chose a plan etc, then it was a game of "hurry up and wait" - they said they'd contact me a few days before the install was due, and that it would be contractors doing the install so they'd send the Genius router ahead of the install.

No such notification ever came, I contacted them at approximately monthly intervals. Then one day when I was fortunately working from home, the contractors turned up unannounced to install it. Orcon hadn't sent the Genius Router, nor did the contractor have one (they were contractors to Chorus, not Orcon).

So - the fibre was installed. This was uneventful - they consulted me about where I wanted the ONT (Optical Network Terminator) and went ahead and installed it. Badly. Holes in ceilings not matching the location of the capping, capping bent so accommodate ceiling skirting board, you name it. Suffice to say the craftsmanship was very low on the Wife Acceptance Factor :D

After they left, I contacted Orcon who were as surprised as me that the install had been done. They'[d had no notification from Chorus. They then couriered the Genius modem and I went through the process of setting it up with them on the phone which was relatively painless.

I've found the speeds to be as advertised when using speedtest.net to NZ based servers. I didn't open the taps fully so am on the 30 down/10 up plan. That seems sufficient for our needs at home. I was more interested in UFB for the reliability and future proofing than raw speed anyway.

I've found the Orcon Genius to be largely stable although sometimes it does crash and need restarting. Beware though, it has only three effective ethernet ports. The wireless is N300, 2.4 GHz only. It has a good long reach, no blank spots through the house or deck.

There have been a few outages, but I would say it is more reliable than the ADSL2+ connection I had previously. Speed seems consistent.

The VOIP service works well. I plugged my own handset into the router.

My biggest concern, other than the horrible installation job, is that the ONT has a very proprietary-looking power supply, which looks like an OEM part. In the event of a failure I predict having to call Orcon and do the Orcon -> Chorus dance to get a replacement. It's certainly not a generic part that could be replaced by a panicked Sunday afternoon trip to Dick Smith's or Jaycar!

So to my recommendations:

1) Stay in touch with your ISP throughout the process. The communications between the ISPs and Chorus (and its contractors) is not great.

2) If at all possible cable your place with Cat5 before installation, so the ONT can be installed somewhere inconspicuous and you don't have to have the builder's apprentice putting lots of holes everywhere for the optical fibre

3) if it's at all possible, as an insurance against failure, see if you can get them to supply you with a spare power supply for the ONT.

Finally - I don't know about the other ISPs but Orcon use VLAN tagging for traffic prioritization, and the majority of domestic-grade routers don't do VLAN tagging on the WAN side. So if you want to use your own router on the ONT you're out of luck. Also - familiarise yourself with the difference between Committed Information Rate (CIR) and Excess Information Rate (EIR) - the committed speed is "only" 2.5 MBPS in both directions, although I have no problems hitting the 30/10 I'm paying for.

Sorry this is so long...

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70 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  Reply # 761660 13-Feb-2013 12:11 Send private message

Gah proofreading after posting... I meant "Proprietary part" regarding the ONT power supply, not OEM part.

629 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 48


  Reply # 762155 14-Feb-2013 11:48 Send private message

Thanks for the post; interesting reading. Not surprised to read of the incompetence of Orcon, going by my experiences with them.

Your comment about the likely inability to use one's own router with the Genius product concerns me - can you provide me with any clues as to how to determine whether mine would similarly not work with the Genuis? (I bought a new modem/router only a couple of months back, and ensured it clearly stated it would function solely as a router for use with fibre - it's a Netgear DGND3700v2).

Thanks!



70 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  Reply # 762337 14-Feb-2013 14:30 Send private message

jonathan18: Your comment about the likely inability to use one's own router with the Genius product concerns me - can you provide me with any clues as to how to determine whether mine would similarly not work with the Genuis?


First thing to understand is that the Orcon Genius is itself a router - so I was referring to using your own router instead of the Genius - ie plugging your own router into the ONT.

If your router is capable of doing VLAN Tagging on the WAN side (and only a few are) then it should work. However, the Genius router also has a telephone port to allow connection of a phone, for their VOIP service. I am unaware of any router with that capability, so you'd almost definitely forego that capability if you decided to use your own router in place of the Genius.

Check your router's specs online, if it doesn't say anything about VLAN tagging, then it's a safe bet it hasn't got it. This is not a normal feature in domestic-level equipment.

Pretty much everything I know on this subject I learned from this thread.

2534 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 762386 14-Feb-2013 15:28 Send private message

aros71: If your router is capable of doing VLAN Tagging on the WAN side (and only a few are) then it should work. However, the Genius router also has a telephone port to allow connection of a phone, for their VOIP service. I am unaware of any router with that capability, so you'd almost definitely forego that capability if you decided to use your own router in place of the Genius.


Cisco SRP521

Fritzbox - several models

Not sure what Orcon's thoughts are on using a 3rd party router though.



70 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  Reply # 762390 14-Feb-2013 15:33 Send private message

RunningMan: Not sure what Orcon's thoughts are on using a 3rd party router though.


They let you do it but you're on your own if anything goes wrong (no support)

According to my T&Cs

454 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 24

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  Reply # 762444 14-Feb-2013 16:18 Send private message

Wow, i've just finished a 7 working day process of getting this installed in Auckland and was annoyed at the time, mainly lag time between different people coming out. One disclaimer is that I required Civil contractors to lay piping up an asphalt driveway which was a 2 working day process, after a day of no one.
So ended up with the following visitors;
Initial Chorus guy turns up to discuss what I want (2 days)
Civil Contractors dig up drive, and lay piping (2 days)
New Chorus contractors (techs) spend the day running to the ONT where I requested (1 day)

I used the FritzBox supplied by Snap, and had heard good things on here so didn't hesitate when they offered it.

1216 posts

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  Reply # 762500 14-Feb-2013 17:10 Send private message

One day, if and when we finally get UFB installed, I would be prepared to do a lot of the installation donkey work myself, like digging the trench to the roadside.

I know there's a storm water pipe running at right angles across our front lawn and I wouldn't want it damaged by workmen.

I'd also drill most of the required holes myself so they go where I want them.

I did most of the prep work before we got an aircon guy to install one in our lounge.

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  Reply # 762518 14-Feb-2013 17:27 Send private message

RunningMan:
aros71: If your router is capable of doing VLAN Tagging on the WAN side (and only a few are) then it should work. However, the Genius router also has a telephone port to allow connection of a phone, for their VOIP service. I am unaware of any router with that capability, so you'd almost definitely forego that capability if you decided to use your own router in place of the Genius.


Cisco SRP521

Fritzbox - several models

Not sure what Orcon's thoughts are on using a 3rd party router though.


Yea plenty of routers with that capability. Pretty much anything running OpenWRT will work fine.

Not surprised the capping wasnt done well. Yet another reason to get home cabling done before UFB gets to your property. I wouldnt want an ONT in the kitchen or beside the TV.

2534 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 762543 14-Feb-2013 18:21 Send private message

chevrolux:

Yea plenty of routers with that capability. Pretty much anything running OpenWRT will work fine.



Will OpenWRT handle VoIP as well?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 762546 14-Feb-2013 18:25 Send private message

RunningMan:
chevrolux:

Yea plenty of routers with that capability. Pretty much anything running OpenWRT will work fine.



Will OpenWRT handle VoIP as well?


OpenWRT has no ability to work with VoIP hardware.

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