Fibre Optic Modems

2ndLiner

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2015
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We just had ATT install fibre optic internet in our home. They provided the all-in-one ARRIS BGW 210-700 that utilizes the Broadcom BMC63148 chipset. In the thread started by Xymox (Cable Modems) different qualities of cable modems and chipsets are thoroughly discussed. Does anyone have similar knowledge regarding chipsets in fibre optic modems? I asked the install tech questions regarding different modems that ATT supports, separate modems and routers, etc. and I could sense his bemused curiosity as to why I was asking such things. I briefly explained what folks who have tumbled down the QBSRH (quest for better sound rabbit hole) are seeking. I also went on ATT's community thread and it appears that this is the only one they offer for fibre optic though you can disable wifi and use a router of your choosing. As my wife already loves the fibre optic speed and lack of dropoffs that our DSL connection suffered from I don't think that's going to fly...
 

ray-dude

Active Member
Dec 8, 2019
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I too have ATT Fiber. My set up is an Acatel ONT going to a Pace router/gateway. ATT restricts fiber users to only using their router/gateway. While the ONT manages your subscription, the ATT router/gateway has a security cert on it that is used to authenticate with the ATT network. Without that cert, you can't get on the ATT network, but the cert from any ATT router/gateway allows you on the network (it is device centric, not tied to your account or subscription level).

I wanted to get rid of the Pace router/gateway and use a EdgeRouter X SFP (easier to power, more flexibility in configuring and optimizing the network, etc.). I was able to do this by "securing" a cert and installing it on my ERX with WPA supplicant. Works like a charm.

I currently have a 12V LPS (energized by a PowerAdd Pilot2 battery) that is powering both my ONT and the ERX (splitter DC cable), with a second ERX that I use as a switch for my home network. My audio network is connected to the first ERX, giving a pretty minimal (and well powered) path between the fiber on the street to my music server.

Did all this make a difference? Alas, yes. I continue to be surprised at the impact that networking has on SQ (esp. networking hops so far away from the music server).

All that being said, fiber to the home is amazing. With 1gb up and down and unlimited data, I'm happy to host movie and music collections for friends and let them stream from wherever they want via Plex (I'm old enough to remember when 1gb was reserved for metropolitan area networks). This is the Buck Rogers future I signed up for!
 

djsina2

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2019
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The Arris is not a modem. It’s just your standard WiFi router. The smaller white box called the ONT is what you might call the “modem”.

You cannot replace the Arris so you’re stuck with it. It’s an awful device. I’ve shut the wireless off and installed my own AP. There is talk of being able to clone the Arris MAC to a different router but I haven’t tried yet.
 

ray-dude

Active Member
Dec 8, 2019
70
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MAC address cloning does work, but you need an extra dumb switch in the chain. The topology (if you want to try) is ONT -> dumb switch -> ATT router/gateway (in this case the ARRIS).

Clone the MAC address of your ATT router/gateway to your own gateway (in my case the EdgeRouter X SFP), then leave it disconnected from the network.

After your ARRIS comes up and authenticates against the ATT network, unplug the ARRIS from the dumb switch and plug your own router/gateway into the dumb switch.

Works like a charm and a quick thing to try.

Couple caveats:

* your router/gateway is now on the public internet...make sure your firewalls are configured properly
* If you lose power, your router/gateway will not be able to authenticate against the ATT network when things reboot...you'll need to swap in the ATT router gateway, have it authenticate against the ATT network, then swap your router/gateway back in.
 

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