Router development is not BT's core business (communications) but only an enabler needed in the absence of generic 3rd party commercial support. It's only a matter of time before that materializes, even in letterbox-thin packages.
I think you'll find that the reason ISPs, in general, use their 'own badge' routers is to make life easy for their non expert customer support team of script readers.
If manufacturers were to 'customise' a router for a specific ISP then would we not be back in the same position as we are now? With routers having to be configured so as a factory reset brings you back to the settings for the ISP you are using.
ISP routers are dumbed down to suit the majority of users who do not have the skills, nor the inclination to attain them, to understand the configuration options. To them the Internet and networking in general is just a 'home appliance' plug it in and it works.
Just look through the forums, lots of replies to suggestions for a fix along the lines of "Why should I have to do that? I shouldn't need to change settings, use test socket and run tests, that's the ISPs problem."
Nobody will RTFM* any more, and manuals have dropped in the quality of supplied information as a result.
*That's Read The Flippin Manual, (polite version).
@Liam_: Wouldn't we be in a far better position than now if a generic VDSL2 router were supplied to BT by some manufacturer with whom BT strikes a volume deal, using their standard router code unchanged but with the default data settings configured for use with BT Infinity?
Then the manufacturer, ISP and users would have the best of all worlds, a router with well established firmware code that is used globally, plus the right thing happening on factory reset so that the ISP has no support problems, and no opportunity for the ISP's devs to make the standard router code unreliable by tinkering with it. Plus, the only thing that non-technical users need do is press the restart button if something isn't working.
It sounds like the perfect combination to me.
Congratulations BT !!! -- Happy 1 million IPv6 users today, as counted by APNIC. 🙂
Latest figures published at UK AS-numbers IPv6 usage, top 3 by number of users:
AS-Company Users IPv6-Users %-UK-IPv6 Sky UK Ltd 13,520,096 11,342,935 86.93 BT-UK-PLC 13,152,552 1,002,430 7.68 Virgin-Media 12,174,284 579 0
It's been nice to watch the BT figure increase steadily from around 400k at the time of BT's announcement at the UK IPv6 Council meeting on 31st October 2016. It reflects the rising population of the relatively new Home Hub 6 / Smart Hub (the only CPE that BT has IPv6-enabled so far), plus a few 3rd party routers thrown in. The far more numerous HH5 is scheduled for IPv6-enabling in early 2017, which should increase APNIC's BT count by several million.
Well done on this, BT!
Next IPv6 hurdle, alongside enabling of HH5 --- get the BT servers onto IPv6. 🙂
> Including the DNS servers 😉
That would help. 😛
The situation is actually a lot worse than one might expect. BT appears not to have an IPv6 address on any public BT service host whatsoever, not even one.
They mention taking part in the World IPv6 Day and then in the subsequent IPv6 Launch Day, and sure enough, ipv6.bt.com has an IPv6 address. But look closer: that host isn't even on BT infrastructure but on Rackspace!
So, BT progress in that area is at a complete standstill. The only ray of light is that although BT Broadband DNS servers like 22.214.171.124 only have IPv4 addresses, they do at least return AAAA records for non-BT sites that have them:
$ host -t aaaa google.com 126.96.36.199 | grep has
google.com has IPv6 address 2a00:1450:4009:807::200e
Better than nothing, but BT has a long road ahead of it before it can claim to be an IPv6-hosted company. 😞
It's worth pointing out that the problem of getting BT services up on IPv6 is not always entirely in BT's court. As an example that is very relevant to us, community.bt.com runs the Lithium forum software, and Lithium doesn't run on IPv6 yet as far as I can tell.
Undoubtedly this will change, since other UK ISPs use Lithium as well. But 3rd parties take time to do their thing, so BT needs to poke the Lithium folks long in advance of being ready to open up the community forum to IPv6 access. Ie. notify them now if possible.
I hadn't checked out Sky's community servers until just now. It turns out that they use Lithium for their community forum as well, exactly the same as BT and Virgin.
So, it's unanimous, all of the UK's Big Three residential ISPs employ Lithium software, and unfortunately Lithium appears not to run on IPv6 at all yet. Here is their website: https://www.lithium.com/
As I mentioned in the preceding post, it would be good forward planning to tell the Lithium people that you have rolled out IPv6 across your network and will be adding IPv6 to your service machines in due course, asking them nicely to please add IPv6 support to the Lithium product so that it's ready for when you need it.
BT community admins --- you're in exactly the right role to lead on this. Please do! 🙂
(The community can ask for it as well of course, although our bargaining position is not as strong as BT's.)
My main interest is in IPv6 deployment, but I've noticed something else in APNIC's figures published for UK AS-numbers IPv6 usage, the top 3 entries ordered by number of users:
AS-Company Users IPv6-Users %-UK-IPv6 BT-UK-PLC 13,751,499 1,237,018 9.21
Sky UK Ltd 13,643,035 11,524,183 84.47
Virgin-Media 12,226,423 485 0
Yes, the listing order has changed! 😛 Well done BT, in overtaking Sky in overall number of users. 🙂
It is nice to wave the occasional carrot when some progress is achieved.
The IPv6 leader board won't see any huge changes until IPv6 is enabled on HH5, but that could happen any time now, as it is said to be coming "early in 2017". The firmware update is allegedly already scheduled.
Just capturing another APNIC snapshot for our delight and entertainment. 😛 These are APNIC figures for UK AS-numbers IPv6 usage, the top 3 entries ordered by number of users, the "Big Three" residential ISPs in UK:
AS-Company Users IPv6-Users %-UK-IPv6 BT-UK-PLC 13,788,993 1,261,668 9.36
Sky UK Ltd 13,647,721 11,532,622 85.59
Virgin-Media 12,192,807 491 0
Once we see the daily increase in "IPv6-Users" rise sharply above the current growth trend of at most a few dozen thousand extra per day, we'll know that HH6 plus a small collection of 3rd party routers are being joined by the massed ranks of the HH5 army. That should be highly visible.