Recommened FTTC Router/Modem

Posted on 2013-01-10
Last Modified: 2013-03-23

We have just ordered a new FTTC install that will be going live in the next few weeks.
We have never had once of these installs before so I'm not sure whats the best soluiton to use.

This is a branch office which we want to connect back to HQ.
We have other sites at present that have an ADSL connection and a VPN link back into our Cisco ASA 5500 Firewall using various Cisco ADSL Routers.
I have looked at a CISCO887VA-SEC-K9 as it has a built in vdsl modem.
I need some sort of firewall  for security but it must be able to vpn back to the ASA 5500
Will this work?
I'm I right in believing BT now allow you to connect your vdsl equipment direct to the phone line circumventing the BT Openreach vdsl modem that they provide?
Any info on this would be greatful
Question by:Tech Man
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Expert Comment

ID: 38764774
The Cisco 887VA is a small but good ADSL router that can provide ADSL2+ performance because of the built-in Cisco EHWIC-VA-DSL-A card.

I may be mistaken but as far as I know, the 887VA comes with 4 Layer2/switch ports where you cannot do things like Quality of Service  (QoS).  One more thing: the FTTC NTE or VDSL modem has an Ethernet presentation to the connecting router. You then configure PPPoE on your router to connect to the NTE modem in the following format:

[Wall socket]<---[FTTC NTE/VDSL Modem]<----PPPoE WAN--[Your chosen router]<----Your LAN

This is only a suggestion but depending on how much you want to spend, the Cisco 1941 is your best bet. It comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports and two WAN slots for HWIC.

The WAN slots support various cards including the Cisco EHWIC-VA-DSL-A multi-mode ADSL/VDSL card that delivery ADSL1, ADSL2 and ADSL2+ performance. You can also use serial cards like HWIC-1T or HWIC-2T etc.

You can also use Cisco EHWIC 1 GE-SFP-CU card in the slots to give you more Gigabit Ethernet ports if you need it. Alternatively, you can also use the Cisco HWIC-1FE to give you FastEthernet ports (100M speed).  So in total you can have 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports or mix this with FastEthernet if you want.

The Cisco 1941 can do embedded or IOS firewall so you will not need a separate firewall device. It can also do VPN, so you can configure VPN branch site profile there. But you will need to acquire SEC/K9 license when you order the device if you want to use the firewall and VPN features. The Universal K9 IOS will offer you all the security features.

The URLs below will give you more information and alternative setups:


Author Comment

by:Tech Man
ID: 38764814
I thought the 887VA had a vdsl modem built in? So it would connect direct into the NTE via rj11

This router would patch into a standard switch for client use.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38769013
The 887VA does have a VDSL modem which is the EHWIC-VA-DSL-A card, built-in the router. Yes, you can connect to the NTE for ADSL2+ using the RJ11 lavender cable. But the FTTC service is deployed via an Ethernet port, I am afraid.
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Author Comment

by:Tech Man
ID: 38786298
The FTTC port is deployed via ethernet via a BT Openreach modem.
I want to know if I can plug direct into the NTE from the 887VA and not use the BT Openreach modem.

Do BT allow that now?
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 38789496
Let's clarify terminologies ... For the installation of FTTC, OpenReach installs a wall NTE5 that is modified in a way to provide an RJ11 port for the FTTC NTE (AKA VDSL modem) in addition to a telephone socket.

The FTTC NTE or VDSL modem, connects to the wall NTE5 via a white / grey RJ11 cable.

NTE5<-----RJ11---[FTTC NTE / VDSL Modem]

The VDSL Modem is the white box that OpenReach should also provide you with as part of the FTTC product installation [see the attached diagram].

The bit that you need to replace, is the black box. You can attach your Cisco router there and there are other products on the market that you can use (as per my previous post).

Also, as I said before, FTTC has an Ethernet presentation to the VDSL modem, so you need an RJ45 cable. So although the Cisco 887VA has 4 Ethernet ports, they are all Layer 2 or switch ports and I am not sure if you can do things like Quality of Service (QoS) on Layer 2 ports.

In order to know how to deploy FTTC service, one needs to have a good grasp of the FTTC architecture because from an architectural point of view, the FTTC (Fibre to Cabinet) product, is totally different from the ADSL2+ product.  

The architecture of FTTC is that you have copper pair from the customer premises to the local Distribution Point (DP) that can be underground or on a pole.  

The copper pair is extended from the DP to the old style street cabinet called PCP (Primary Cross-Connection Point).  

The last leg of the copper pair is between the PCP and the Street DSLAM used for the FTTC.  So from that handover, the rest of the journey from the Street DSLAM to the telephone exchange is via fibre hence the name Fibre to Cabinet.

ADSL2+ is different in that you have copper pair all the way from the customer premises to the telephone exchange although the ADSL signalling tempo is high speed.  

If you connect your Cisco 877VA into the RJ11 port on the wall NTE5, you are trying to deploy an ADSL2+ modem (Cisco EHWIC-VA-DSL-A card) over FTTC product and I don't think that will work. If that's what you want to do, then you need ADSL2+ and not FTTC.  Maybe your 887VA will work to your VDSL modem via the Layer 2 Ethernet ports, but I have never tried that. My advice is to return the Cisco 887VA router and replace it with a Cisco 1941 router although that will mean spending about £200 more.

Accepted Solution

Tech Man earned 0 total points
ID: 38995093
FYI, I bought this CISCO887VA-SEC-K9 and it works fine.

Author Closing Comment

by:Tech Man
ID: 39013425
It works fine

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