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Message 1 of 5

Virgin Hub 3 and BT Whole Home Premium - 2 questions


I have the issue with drop-out using the BT Premium Whole Home Wifi discs (PWHW). I have been through the forums and made the changes I could find but still have the same issues. I wonder if you could advise me?

I have firmware version 9.1.1912.302 on my Virgin Hub 3 and version SGAB205018 on my BT PWHW with "Early adopter" enabled. I have three PWHW discs. Disc one is connected to Port 1 of my Hub 3. Then a cable out of port 2 of Disc 1 and into an unmanaged switch which feeds:
a) port 1 of disc 2 &
b) another unmanaged switch to port 1 of disc 3.
This first 8 port switch also has other devices connected to it by ethernet e.g. HP printer and my Microsoft Surface Pro via a Surface Pro docking hub.

The connection is OK some of the time but it randomly drops out. Sometimes several times an hour and it won't connect again for half an hour. I have tried rebooting each device in order (Hub 3, disc 1, disc 2, Disc 3) with enough time in-between for each to properly boot up. I have also tried resetting each device.

I had a Virgin engineer here on Tuesday who swapped my Hub 3 for a new one and checked all my cabling to the Hub 3 so I am assuming that's all OK.

Q1 - One thing I have noticed is that I can only ever get two discs to connect via ethernet despite all three having ethernet cables connected. Is this how it should be?

Q2 - Is it OK to connect through a switch with other devices connected to it or should I have a dedicated switch just for the PWHW devices and feed off port 2 of the last disc in the chain to a switch for everything else? Or, do I need to cable directly into port 1 and out of port 2 of each PWHW disc instead of going through switches?

Another odd behaviour I have found is that when I connect disc 3 close to disc 1 or 2 via ethernet, it shows as "Excellent connection" and "connected by ethernet" but when I connect it in my "Mancave" where I actually need it, it connects by wifi and shows "poor connection" even though it has a perfectly good ethernet connection up its backside (port 1). I understand that these BT premium discs regularly review the topology and adjust to the best connection but this seems to do the opposite.

Also to mention, I have turned off wifi on my Hub 3 but I have not put it into Modem mode as I need to connect my WD MyCloud directly to one of the ports on the Hub 3 (not through a switch) and Modem mode only allows the use of Port 1.

Like many others, I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the phone to Virgin and be passed around and cut off after waiting an hour each time (4 hours in total) for someone to pick up my calls. I have been through the "Gadget Rescue" phone line who wanted to charge me for third party device support even though I told them I just needed the firmware update for the Hub 3. They tried to transfer me to 2nd tier specialist support but I got cut off (again!!!). So, I have now come here for help.

I also asked on the Virgin Media boards for help with this and it was suggested I send the discs back and get a system with routing capabilities - suggestions welcome.


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Message 2 of 5

Re: Virgin Hub 3 and BT Whole Home Premium - 2 questions

Solved! - (Sort of).

After much experimentation and research, my PWHW system has now been working for 16 hours without drop-out. What seems to have made it work is not connecting disc 2 via ethernet. This configuration means I have "Excellent" connections on all 3 discs with the first and furthest discs connected (and recognised) on ethernet and disc 2 on wifi.

I will be asking BT why disc 2 causes havoc when connected by ethernet as I'm sure that's not how it should be.


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Message 3 of 5

Re: Virgin Hub 3 and BT Whole Home Premium - 2 questions

Connecting any satellite by Ethernet (Ethernet backhaul) is a recipe for instability (either immediately or quickly over time).  We’ve been waiting for BT to fix this since the disks came out a year ago.  Please do tell the help desk and see if they are any help but don’t go down the rabbit hole of factory resets etc.  Search for my posts or @Sircoynie for further info.

The system is currently fundamentally flawed.

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Message 4 of 5

Re: Virgin Hub 3 and BT Whole Home Premium - 2 questions

Thanks Kevin,

I used some of your previous posts in my research and they were very helpful. Just read all of your posts and I see what you mean.

I'll call them tomorrow and see what they say. I admire your patience, tenacity and perseverance with this system. I can still send mine back so will not touch the settings, restart or reset them and see what happens over 7 days and if I start running into issues I may get a refund and replace with something more stable.


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Message 5 of 5

Re: Virgin Hub 3 and BT Whole Home Premium - 2 questions

My system has been stable for 17 days now and I have been liaising with BT 2nd tier tech who have just advised:

"We have been asked to look into the issue you are having with one of your BT Premium Whole Home Wifi discs showing an amber LED when connected to another disc via Ethernet.

The disc will show an amber LED when the wifi signal between the two discs is Poor, but as you have an Ethernet connection this should over-ride the wifi connection, but it appears that this is not happening.

We are aware of an issue with the current version of firmware and are hoping to release a fix for this in our next version of firmware.  As yet we do not have a definitive date for that release but we will announce it and make it available as soon as we can.

The Whole Home Wi-Fi Premium is mesh device designed to connect disc to disc via Wi-Fi to extend coverage around the home. To align with our other Mesh products we are working hard to introduce a feature to allow multiple discs to be able to connect to the router by Ethernet. As part of this change we will also address cases when discs do not automatically switch to Ethernet when a cable is plugged between discs. Although this feature has not yet been launched it is worth noting that you can still connect your client devices via Ethernet cable using either of the 2 x 1 GB ports that each disc has.

This new feature is currently under development and BT are expecting its launch in a few months’ time."

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