FTTC – Huawei EchoLife HG612 Feeling hot, hot, hot.

A few months ago I added a couple of posts about FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet). It’s also known as “BT Infinity” and basically ramps up your broadband speed by moving the exchange closer to your home. How does it do this? Well, BT add some large green boxes in the street. These are connected back to the exchange via fibre optic cables, then the last hop is done over your standard copper cables that you’ve always had.

FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) will soon be available and there’s word that BT will ramp up the 40Mb top-speed to 80Mb next year.

You can read my earlier posts here and here where I detail the installation and equipment you get. My speeds have been very good – I’m not getting the full 40Mb because I’m actually just over 1km from the green box, but it’s still very quick.

Recently speeds have dipped and the router kept re-sync’ing or re-training. The problem, it seems, is that this Huawei EchoLife HG612 modem is getting very hot. BT and Huawei have now found that the silicon encased microchip gets a little too hot and have decided not to roll out this particular model any more. Mine sits in the garage but, if it’s in your home sat next to a radiator, you’re probably going to get problems in the long term. Believe me, you could cook an egg on the thing it gets that warm, even with all the vents open to the air in my garage.

Today the BT guy attended and swapped it out with a new “Version 2”. It looks like Huawei have stuck a big “2V” on the bottom, presumably so engineers don’t get them mixed up. It’s still ruddy hot under normal operation, but I’ve at least got a stable connection now. Here’s some shots of the new VDSL modem. You can see it looks pretty much exactly the same as the original one. Strangely the new one has an older firmware version. Meh.