The incumbent broadband ISP for Hull in East Yorkshire, KCOM, has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that they will launch two new routers from mid-September 2019 – the Technicolor DGA2231 and ZyXEL XMG3927-B. Both look to be very capable devices and are aimed at users of their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network.
Last October 2018 the MD of KCOM, Sean Royce, revealed that among other changes the provider also intended to launch a new “Super Router” for their customers in 2019 (here). The operator has now confirmed that new or upgrading subscribers can expect to receive one of two new devices from early autumn.
In the past we’ve seen KCOM supply pre-configured routers from various different manufacturers, although DrayTek and ZyXEL devices (e.g. ZyXEL VMG3925-B10B) have tended to be their main picks. The new devices follow that diversity of supply, albeit this time from Technicolor and ZyXEL, and both also support FTTC (VDSL2), G.fast and ADSL2+ connections as well as FTTP.
A Spokesperson for KCOM informed ISPreview.co.uk:
“Both routers will be provided as our FTTP options. For the following FTTP speeds: 30, 75, 200, 400 and 900Mbps. We have two additional models for our ADSL and VDSL customers. The launch of these two new routers complements our award-winning broadband (Best Consumer ISP 2019 – ISPA Awards) and sets us up for an exciting future roadmap.
They boast faster speeds, more reliable/better quality of service with band-steering, better device handling and home coverage.”
Interestingly both routers do have some big differences. For example, the Technicolor DGA2231 features two phone (FXS/ATA for VoIP) ports but the ZyXEL XMG3927-B has none. On the flip side the ZyXEL features 1 x USB3.0 port while the Technicolor has 2 x USB2.0 ports. The ZyXEL also offers a combined peak WiFi network speed of 2333Mbps (5GHz and 2.4GHz) but we couldn’t find a stated speed for the Technicolor.
Otherwise both devices feature the usual array of 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1 x Gigabit WAN port and 1 x RJ11 DSL port. A number of other UK ISPs also make use of the same routers.
G.fast/VDSL and ADSL Compliance.
Integrated ADSL/ADSL2+/VDSL2/G.fast modem 2 x RJ 11 DSL port 1 x GE WAN port AutoWAN sensing™ 4 x GE LAN ports Dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi interfaces IEEE 802.11n 2.4GHz (3×3 MIMO) IEEE 802.11ac 5GHz (4×4 MIMO) 2 x FXS ports for phone or fax 2 x USB 2.0 ports Seamless media sharing (UPnP A/V™ and DLNA®) Extensive remote management Non-service-affecting platform software upgrades (dual bank memory) IPv4 & IPv6 enabled
Certainly look a lot better than other ISPs’ offerings
I got my own Zyxel XMG3927-B50A router and good news this will work with DSLstats full features so can see the full stats for ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+/FTTC & G.fast. These are excellent router as I am using it for 11 days now on my VDSL2 stats below:
DSLAM type / SW version: BDCM:0xa48c (164.140) / v0xa48c Modem/router firmware: AnnexA version – A2pvfbH043q.d26u DSL mode: VDSL2 Profile 17a Status: Showtime Uptime: 11 days 11 hours 31 min 0 sec Resyncs: 0 (since 30 Jul 2019 05:38:00)
Downstream Upstream Line attenuation (dB): 12.0 0.0 Signal attenuation (dB): Not available on VDSL2 Connection speed (kbps): 79999 19999 SNR margin (dB): 8.4 15.0 Power (dBm): 12.4 2.2 Interleave depth: 16 1 INP: 48.00 0 G.INP: Enabled Not enabled Vectoring status: 5 (VECT_UNCONFIGURED)
RSCorr/RS (%): 0.0005 0.0015 RSUnCorr/RS (%): 0.0000 0.0000 ES/hour: 0 2.40
xdslctl info –stats xdslctl: ADSL driver and PHY status Status: Showtime Last Retrain Reason: 0 Last initialization procedure status: 0 Max: Upstream rate = 26817 Kbps, Downstream rate = 92026 Kbps Bearer: 0, Upstream rate = 19999 Kbps, Downstream rate = 79999 Kbps Bearer: 1, Upstream rate = 0 Kbps, Downstream rate = 0 Kbps Link Power State: L0 Mode: VDSL2 Annex B VDSL2 Profile: Profile 17a TPS-TC: PTM Mode(0x0) Trellis: U:ON /D:ON Line Status: No Defect Training Status: Showtime Down Up SNR (dB): 8.4 14.9 Attn(dB): 12.0 0.0 Pwr(dBm): 12.4 2.2
Since Link time = 11 days 11 hours 33 min 19 sec FEC: 17345 28309 CRC: 0 1266 ES: 0 721 SES: 0 0 UAS: 0 0 LOS: 0 0 LOF: 0 0 LOM: 0 0 Retr: 0 HostInitRetr: 0 FastRetr: 0 FailedRetr: 0 FailedFastRetr: 0 NTR: mipsCntAtNtr=0 ncoCntAtNtr=0 ZySH>
I’ve said this before but I wonder why still no one is using integrated fibre modem/routers which directly accept the optical input. They’re relatively inexpensive and have similar specs. Surely the price is significantly cheaper for integrated units than two separate boxes and gives a better experience for the end user.
Some networks require specific ONTs so integrating this into the router can create problems. Similarly there’s nowhere near as much choice of optical equipped routers as there are standard copper Ethernet ones, which restricts the ISPs choice and thus tends to increase costs.
I would suspect that bolting the ONT to the wall and clipping the cable up and then just having a Cat5e cable linking out to the router results in a lot fewer engineer call-outs for fibre breaks to be repaired.
Spectrum Internet does this. Their router has an SFP module slot to accept the incoming fibre directly.
Does anyone know if Spectrum uses the Openreach network or are they running their own fibres? I am assuming the latter if they are not supplying ONTs.
There’s no fixed standard for provisioning GPON. Vendors don’t interoperate very well.
“gives a better experience for the end user”
Nope, I would say the opposite. Third party standalone routers are far more powerful than combined ONT/routers and you have a huge range to pick from. With a 2 box solution you can upgrade the router at your leisure without disturbing the separate ONT.
@chap Spectrum Internet use Openreach fibre from the premises to the exchange. However unlike most other ISPs, they use their own backhaul fibre from the exchange onwards (instead of BT wholesale) hence why they have limited coverage.
@MrChips Interesting, thanks for the info.