So is unplugging the line a valid test for a working Halo 3+ ?
I have a subscription, a Hybrid Connect unit supplied by BT which I configured myself and everything seems fine, but I don't know if the 4g will kick in should the fibre link fail - except blind faith. How do I satisfy myself that I'm covered? Unplug the line?
Yes, unplugging the line should cause a switch to the Hybrid Connect unit.
I can confirm that this testing process works but requires a bit of patience.
When you unplug your broadband line, wait for the SmartHub status light to turn SOLID PURPLE (several minutes). Then confirm that the Hybrid unit centre light is SOLID BLUE and the 4G Bars WHITE.
Once I had waited for these steps to progress automatically, my network (including ethernet and wifi connections direct and via discs) operated "normally".
By way of comparison, my connection dropped from 49MB Down / 9MB Up to 27MB Down / 5MB Up, the latter achieved with my Hybrid connected wirelessly (15M from the Hub in another room), showing 2 Bars of 4G signal.
Reassuring to know that, in the event of an outage, my setup will provide a reasonable backup.
One final point, I did find that when re-connecting broadband the SmartHub needed to be re-booted. It was still SOLID Purple after 15 minutes. Unclear whether this is normal or if the Hub should revert to normal operation automatically once a connection/signal is restored.
So.. not to bore you with the year+ long issues after upgrading to Halo3+/FTTC 100Mbps guaranteed - Actually had it working for a few months last year (after 7+ Openreach engineers FINALLY figured out the speed degradation was the phone line in my building, chose a separate pair, worked like a charm (avg 130Mpbs down).
Then come October 2 strange things happened - 1: I started gentling random dropouts usually during working hours (I work from home as does my wife, not good) and 2: The avg d/l speed had miraculously jumped to around 150Mbps. Cue Openreach engineer (who'd been here before and said 'it's notoriously flaky' and I should be using the BT supplied 2 or 3m dsl/broadband cable (rj11 connectors) rather than the custom cat6 (shielded) cable I bought to minimise any interference from all the power cables/kit it runs past... other than that, line is 'fine' when tested. Swell, of course it is. But he couldn't explain why the the speed improved (no firmware update at the start of the issues) and swore no upgrade at cabinet. Yet it worked seamlessly for months before it got faster...
Anyway, reason for post is I discovered something interesting. Decided to retest the 'hybrid connect' 4g device again because some dropouts are 10mins+ now. It is still ethernet connected as before. and after the router forced it to reboot (pairing I think as new SmartHub) it indeed failed over to 4g, but very slow (2Mbps down).
However, reconnecting the broadband cable (shows in WAN logs it's reconnected) did not force a fail-back - indeed the broadband status wouldn't let me connect and said something to the effect of 'no service'.
So I unplugged the Hybrid connect ethernet cable (interface down) and the SH2 miraculously remembered it had a normal WAN interface and started working. I have been warned by multiple Openreach engineers to leave the hybrid connect turned off and disconnected (ethernet) as it can cause WAN drops!!! From now on will leave ethernet unplugged but Hybrid connect on and hope it doesn't cause outages/failovers due to the wifi connection now being established. And hope it fails over/back faster than the current outages I get.
@NeilO A quick update:
G.Fast over copper works most of the time here in South Central London but get too many drop outs/failover to Hybrid.
1. Weirdly after many Open Reach engineer visits then nothing between around July '22 when it would be solid for days/weeks it would avg 125Mbps down, it suddenly started dropping main connection but reconnecting at avg 130-140Mbps (Hybrid disabled) - but now either daily or max few days reconnects. Open Reach engineer swears nothing has changed... got sent new SH2... no change
2. As work from home, re-enabled Hybrid, which works when BB disconnects but takes avg 3-4 mins to fail over and then seems reluctant to fail back once it has the connection - can see main BB back up but can be 10 mins before it finally fails back e.g.
DSL Link Up: Down Rate=91912kbpps, Up Rate=26145kbps; SNR Margin Down=2.9dB, Up=3.2dB
Resilience APN disconnected : Session data was 210.922699 Mbytes download / 15.084763 Mbytes upload
Why the 10 min+ fail back?
No easy way in mgmt page to force it to switch back. BT App may do.
3. Weirdly also appears to work better / less chance of false fail over if Hybrid is connected via wifi not ethernet. As someone who has worked in cyber security but basic networking in 1st job, that makes no sense. Far faster to switch between cabled networks than wifi...