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Contributor Xcelplus
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NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

Hi,

Is the Arris CM8200B the only HFC cable modem that NBN is using?

NBN has also provided a Sagemcom 5366TN modem/router combo whose only role appears to be to connect the phone?

Do any of the cable modems come with VOIP built in? Or are you forced to go via the Sagemcom 5366TN to connect the phone? Is there some other way to utilise the phone (like a VOIP box?)?

I have a couple of nice Asus routers with excellent range and good stability that are much more powerful than the Sagemcom 5366TN NBN router. I'd like to keep the Sagemcom out of the setup if possible: The setup would be more reliable if the Asus was not daisy chained via the Sagemcom?

Anyone got some ideas?

๐Ÿ™‚

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

I'm on FTTC and have NBN Box->Asus->VoIP box, so it is possible. I was able to extract the VoIP details from Optus' F@st 3864. Unfortunately for you, there is no known way at the moment to extract those details from the 5366TN.

 

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

@Xcelplus  - The Arris CM8200B is the only currently DOCSIS 3.0/3.1 HFC modem supplied by NBN. Fibre optic equipment in street nodes in your neighbourhood  receive data from the NBN and then convert that data to radio frequencies which are sent down the coax cabling to your home. The Arris modem converts these frequencies back to data to present to the Optus Modems's WAN Port. As NBN is the sole supplier of the core network, their brief is limited to getting the network to your premises - their modems do not have any other function.

Optus supplied you the Sagemcom 5366TN Modem as part of your subscription service. It's called a modem by carriers because it has a DSL port for use in non HFC NBN installations, where the Arris Modem is not required, but it is actually a multi-function Gateway. The F@ST 5366TN provides MU-MIMO Wi-Fi operation, Routing, LAN, VoIP Phone, Centralised Remote Fault Diagnosis and Firmware Updates via TR-069 and other functionality all under a one single control unit with carrier grade connectivity to the NBN. By retaining the F@ST 5366TN you place the responsibility for network connection integrity onto Optus, making it easier to have any future technical issues or disruptions resolved. 

Yes, you can use another Router connected to your NBN service. If you bed down the F@ST 5366TN first and prove connectivity all functions including your Phone service, you can then substitute the 5366TN with your ASUS unit provided your set the ASUS up for IPoE/No User ID or Password Required/Auto DHCP. You would then lose your Phone service. You can retain your Phone service and use both devices by either connecting Arris-[5366TN+Phone]-ASUS or Arris-ASUS-[5366TN+Phone]. Each of these configurations have different settings and related issues, but it can be done - many posts on forums depicting these.

For home users, I can't see the benefit of using VoIP Adapters on LAN ports as all National and Mobile Calls are free on NBN Plans and you have to pay a subscription fee to a VoIP Service Provider. Maybe people use them for overseas calls but I have found free of useage charge Wi-Fi enabled Apps like Facetime to be superior to any voice call for overseas calls to relatives.   

    

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

Calls are not free on all NBN Plans, only the VoIP line itself is free. On the $70 plan for example, Local/National calls are $5 p/m and mobile calls are $5 p/m.

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

Thanks for pointing this out as I was not aware that Optus had Unbundled their NBN offering as a means of lowering the entry price point for people who may not need a traditional telephone line service. Things change all the time. In effect the $70/month plan becomes an $80/month plan if you wish to use the phone - do you get unlimited timed calls on this plan or do you have to pay for the calls over a certain threshold as well. I couldn't find a Critical Information Summary on it and I get challenged when I can't see links that one would expect to be in the fine print, so I give up when that happens - the medical condition is called man-disease!

Due to personal preference, I have only been focusing on Bundled Phone and NBN plans when comparing carrier offerings and wasn't either aware of or looking at Unbundled ones. Good to know they exist out there to give people the choice. In previous research on VoIP Providers a few months ago, I had a sense that their offerings after buying a VoIP ATA, were also in the ballpark of $10 a month and not sure what conditions of usage or if applicable, minutes consumed applied. Also, this may not be current as well and happy to be corrected if so.  

Contributor Xcelplus
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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

Hi,

Our current system runs much better than the system Optus originally provided... so Optus standard hardware isn't always a good solution (it is usually the cheapest solution) e.g. We had a bad lag that was due to the Optus modem/router combo... and simply switching to a simpler Cable modem (Cisco DPQ3212) and using a third party router solved the problem. To be fair Optus were actually very reasonable (once we found the right person to talk to) and even paid for the replacement (Optus) modem that eventually fixed the problem.

We're using an Asus AC88u (8 ethernet ports) router:

https://www.asus.com/au/Networking/RT-AC88U/ 

Previously we used an Asus AC68u which was brilliant (but only had 4 ethernet ports):

https://www.asus.com/au/Networking/RTAC68U/

Given the problems we've had in the past... and Optus' inability to identify the cause of the problems... or to suggest solutions... it is doubtful that the standard equipment could be described as carrier grade?

Independent tests have found similar problems with the NBN hardware including the Sagemcom modem/router combo's:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/05/slow-nbn-speeds-modems-partly-to-blame-for-poor-p...

Wifi performance in particular is usually woeful when using the standard modem/router combo's supplied by telco's: Using a third party high end router usually provides much better range, speed, coverage and reliability (aka uptime)?

Optus wants $10/month for unlimited landline and mobile calls (or you can choose to PAYG which can be very expensive). Optus wants another $10/month for a limited range of international calls. So VOIP (which is usually much cheaper) can be quite attractive?

An external VOIP box is also useful if you have a second phone number not going via Optus.

Using Optus hardware just for the phone seems like overkill? We're lumbered with a DSL modem/router combo we don't need just to do VOIP? There doesn't seem to be any other functionality that you need? Given the problems with NBN hardware performance VOIP systems are bound to be affected as well? Congestion on the internet typically affects VOIP badly despite QoS.  Also in a power outage the VOIP system goes down and you can't make calls. Adding battery backup to the Arris modem (Cisco DPQ 3212 has a battery backup) and a VOIP line would ensure you could use your phone even during a power outage? 

N.B. The old phone line (POTS) functioned even in a power outage! Service availability and phone quality has actually decreased when moving to VOIP!

๐Ÿ™‚

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

The $70 plan drops phone and fetch from $90 plan, hence $20 saving. Putting phone back on gets you up to $80 as you mentioned.

Bolt-on packs give unlimited volume/time except for 13/1300 & Community calls. Here is the $70 CIS PDF , 

$10-20 is the general range I saw months ago for various common VoIP with large variations in package includes.

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

@Xcelplus 

With my Asus RT-N66U running nicely for years, including the last few weeks since migrating to on NBN FTTC, the Optus Sagemcom F@st 5366TN is just a hindrance. While I need Optus VoIP, I can at least use it with a my lower powered voice adapter and save a bit of money on power.

Contributor Xcelplus
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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

Hi,

The more things you integrate into one device (modem/VOIP/router/wifi) the less stable it becomes? Splitting off functions to seperate devices and limiting the number of functions each device performs... makes the whole system less prone to problems.

I have a Linksys VOIP box (SPA3000) which is presumably capable of running the Optus phone if I knew what the settings were?

However it would be better to attach the VOIP box directly to the NBN modem rather than the router? As the last device in any daisy chain will be subject to more problems?

Modem<Router<VOIP (less preferable)

Modem<VOIP (preferred)

Modem<Router (preferred)

Unfortunately the Arris HFC modem does not have a VOIP connector and although it does have a second ethernet port it is disabled.

As the technology matures newer HFC cable modems will probably include a VOIP connector... making the Sagemcom router/voip redundant? Similar thing happened with the Cisco cable modems we're now replacing.

๐Ÿ™‚

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Re: NBN Cable modem Arris CM8200B

@YetAnotherAcc  Thanks for the reference. Will have a good read. Aprreciated. 

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