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My StarHub Fibre Broadband is live – 24 hours later

StarHub Fibre Broadband

Internet connection not ready

I made a decision to switch my home office’s StarHub cable broadband to one of its MaxInfinity Fibre plan just over a month ago.  The decision was helped by the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) willingness to let  me terminate my former contract without penalty – probably due to the fact that I have not taken any freebies ‘bait’ previously.

The scheduled installation finally took place on Tuesday morning, with the technician kindly giving me a call prior to coming over.  I suspect it was more to prevent a wasted trip caused by customers who forgot about the appointment dates than out of courtesy, but who am I to complain?

According to the StarHub technician, having my fibre optic termination point in my study a.k.a. Mission Control room  (as I did) is rather rare. Indeed, when the contractors from OpenNet (The company tasked with deploying Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network) came to wire up my apartment late last year,  I had to repeat my instructions to run the cable to my study quite a few times; they keep gesturing to my TV point in the living room.  Fortunately, my own contractors were present, and they actually did the work of running the fiber optics cable inside my house.

Install and wait

Anyway, the technician was able to complete  the fuss-free installation in about 20 minutes.  And the primary reason the process proved fuss free was entirely due to the fact that no testing was actually done. Apparently, it can take up to 3 days for the Internet to be activated upon installation. No idea if the situation is unique to StarHub, or pertains to all ISPs using Next Gen NBN.  This is of no consequence to me, since I still have my other broadband connections, but good to know in advance if you’re the impatient sort.

And yes, unlike ISPs like M1, StarHub makes it mandatory to use their Huawei HG256s Home Gateway (pictured above). Since I’ve no use for the Huawei’s wimpy Wi-Fi capabilities, I’ve promptly disabled it.  Power-users who want to make use of their own routers for NAT’ing and Port forwarding will need to configure your own router as a DMZ destination on the HG256s. On that front, I thought S’pore blogger Lester Chan did a good job outlining how he did bridged between his Huawei HG256s and D-Link DIR-855. (I did my IP addressing differently as my equipment is more versatile.)

Conclusion

So what’s my experience with the new fibre optic broadband connection? Actually, it feels pretty much the same to me.  Then again, I’m currently performing WAN load balancing across three different broadband links, so I’m sure that obfuscate my experience somewhat.  The enhanced upstream bandwidth will benefit me though – once I get the other components of my network in place.

StarHub Fibre Broadband

Fibre broadband finally up the next morning after 24hours (I checked the modem's uptime log to verify)

Test bed for networking devices

A snapshot of my current test bed for testing networking devices

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  • Thomas

    HI , I had a hard time trying to establish a wirless repeated with HS256 Huwei rotuter with linksys WAP4410N

    • Paul Mah

      Hi Thomas, you mean you have a problem using the WAP4410N with your HS256?

  • Benjamin

    Hi there, thanks for sharing this. I have a question though. Let’s say you want to use this M1 fibre broadband at a friend’s place, and you physically bring your router to the friend’s place (NGBB enabled), can you actually use it there? Or is it strictly limited to the exact residential address?

    (I am asking this because in the past, i did bring my Starhub modem to a friend’s place and I was able to use my broadband there). thanks in advance, hope you can advise.

  • Fendi

    Paul, do you have GoFlex Home? I have one. It doesn’t work on my M1 fiber, which is using HG256.

    • Paul Mah

      Hi Fendi, I haven’t used the GoFlex Home. You mean you can’t access it at all when connected to the HG256? (Router issues is separate from that of your Internet connection)

      • Fendi

        Issue solved. Yes, it is the problem with HG256 provided by M1. If that router is not owned by any provider, probably I will not have the problem. It is also a very stupid design from seagate to require online activation for a hardware. Basically, the activation is to create address for online remote access. I say it is stupid, because this should not be a requirement. It can be just one of the features on the application dashboard. The solution is bring your GoFlex home to your friend or relative home and try it there.

  • Ragav

    Hi,

    I just made up mind to sign-up for Starhub MaxInfinity Ultimate. But reading forums and your article, looks like the Fibre optic market in Sing is not yet mature. Should I still go ahead or wait for some more time? There is a hefty termination charge by both Starhub and Opennet if one wants to cancel after subscribing.
    Is it really worth it or should I look at SingTel/M1 etc. Please suggest.

    • Paul Mah

      Hi, well, I haven’t encountered much problem with it so far. What are your concerns really? Reliability or fast Internet access? There is no doubt that the future of Internet connectivity is fiber optics however, though you may want to sign up outside of IT shows, and be prepared to wait weeks for activation.

  • Ragav

    Mainly reliability and technical assistance in case of issues!

    But also understand that RGH alone is not enough and needs an additional wireless router. Is that so?

  • no-agc

    I’m really pissed with the Huawei HG256 router piece of shit. I’ve been having this for couple of months and not been able to do port forwarding. Called up starhub 2 month ago only to be refered to huawei service centre in Malaysia and you know what, I’ve been dealing with them with almost 1 month before getting an answer the ath Huawei router software is faulty. What a piece of shit. The whole Starhub and Huawei combo is a scam.