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.)
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.