TL;DR plug the ethernet cable coming from the modem into a port configured as WAN (i.e has a masquerade rule to the interface in the SNAT section). Have DHCP enabled. That’s it. In fact, it works pretty much with every router.
Now the long version, for the patient who want to go through my ramblings. Like in EE’s case, the documentation is wrong. I spent some time creating a 101 vif for eth0, just to look at the router with a rather frustrated look on my face that it doesn’t work. Got everything done and pointed to eth0.101 – NAT, port forwarding, the firewall policies for WAN, SQM. Then, nothing.
Went ahead and turned on DHCP for the eth0 interface. Within a few moments, I got an address on the interface. Wait, what? Turns out, the whole VLAN 101 thing does not apply for G.fast – sold as Faster 150 Fibre or Faster 300 Fibre.
There was absolutely no PPPoE nor MTU drama. As easy as it gets. Pretty much as it should.
Performance wise, the connection is slower, but it provides more throughput. Not as slow as Virgin Media which have atrocious latency and the buffer bloat is a joke – a really bad one. Not even SQM could save the slow and lossy DOCSIS 3.0, despite acceptable download throughput on VM.
When I say slow, I mean in terms of speed. The vast majority of people are illiterate in networking terms, and the worst offenders keep mentioning that “speed” is measured in “Mbps”. At least every person employed by an ISP should be forced to read this excellent article, which is, wow, around 24 years old now: It’s the Latency, Stupid.
So, to become un-stupid, speed = unit of distance divided by time, whereas throughput = rate of successful message delivery over a communication channel divided by time, typically measured in bits per second in networking. The multiples are used for practical reasons, hence Megabits per second in this century. The fact that they are both functions of time got people confused, then the marketing drones carried on.
In networking terms, knowing the actual speed doesn’t tell you much in fractions of the speed of light (it would be a very abstract number), so the measured latency of a round trip is used instead, but excluding networking adapters induced latency, there’s a relation between latency and the time it takes for the round trip for a given distance of network pipe. So, it is another measure for speed.
Having finally cleared what I mean by speed, let’s talk numbers.
TalkTalk has about 4ms extra latency compared to EE which sat around 7ms. It’s still nearly half of what Virgin Media used to achieve over DOCSIS 3.0, so I can’t complain. The upload throughput is virtually the same, mainly due to SQM – around 28 Mbps. Without SQM EE goes to 29 Mbps and TalkTalk to 30 Mbps (as quoted by the Openreach tier for this service), but the buffer bloat is terrible (for both). The download throughput is where I see most of the difference in terms of performance – 150 Mbps for TalkTalk while EE struggled to get to 142 Mbps, despite their minimum guaranteed being 143.8 Mbps.
I have raised this with EE, but they were like: everything is good on our side, we can send you an engineer. Well, the engineer would have probably billed me for a useless call. The DSL tester used by the engineer who came for the transfer clearly showed 159/30 while the Service ID was still pointing to EE. Therefore, I believe this is all down to that horrible thing called PPPoE.
The reason why I even had an engineer doing the easiest G.fast installation, ever, is that the G.fast service is only offered as managed installation, so they have to show up, test my power socket and my phone line, despite my service actually being online for months. Then, followed by about 3 hours of wait for my service to be transferred to the new ISP.