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INFO: Word of warning about Vodafone UK FTTH/FTTP

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TLDR : triple check the username and password Vodafone sends you is correct.

Just had a hellish time swapping out the Vodafone supplied THG3000 for a DIY mini pc router running pfsense. Being fairly new to pfsense I assumed throughout many hours of frustration that I must be doing something exceptionally dumb, when it turns out the dumb thing I did was to assume Vodafone "tech support" sent me the correct login details.

Vodafone does not supply new users with the login and password you need in order to sign in to their service, which is PPPoE based. Instead, once your installation is live, you have to contact their advisers and ask for login details to be sent to you, which they do via SMS. This is handy because it means you have a permanent record of what they've sent you. In my case a permanent record of the wrong login being sent.

The login username should come in the format dsl123456789@broadband.vodafone.co.uk with a short password in the format aABbCcDdEe. In pfsense you create a VLAN with 911 for Cityfibre based off the parent WAN physical port and then enter your username and password with this VLAN selected as your WAN interface.

This was all completely new territory for me, and at first it seemed to go OK, but then as soon as I entered the login details the previously green arrow for WAN connection on the pfsense dashboard turns red and points down. This is where I assume I'm doing something dumb and start searching online for answers, reading forum posts and watching you tube videos.

Eventually, many hours of getting nowhere later, I got back in touch with Vodafone support and asked them to resend me the login details just in case they'd made a mistake with the username or password - suspecting that there might have been a typo. There had been - but not where I initially checked which was the password and the prefix dsl123456789@ - i.e. the bits that were specific to my user account. Both the prefix and the password were identical from both advisers, so back to the drawing board!

Many more hours later I eventually realised that they'd sent me a username in the format dsl123456789@broadband.vodafone.uk - spot the difference? Well I didn't for a very very long time!

It turns out that someone else had gone through similar hell with dsl123456789@brodband.vodafone.co.uk a few weeks earlier and there'll probably be variations on a similar theme in future.

Hope this helps someone not waste a day!
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This has always happened, and always will. It's the nature of farming out customer service to the lowest bidder and providing the very basic of scripts to them (in this case support is via a North African country).
Get used to it, it's the future of budget uk ISPs.
BTW, for vodafone's openreach fttp the VLAN isn't used.
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I've edited out the faulty Openreach VLAN info - though that is what was copied and pasted into the SMS I got irrelevently. Of course I didn't really expect the adviser to know what a VLAN was, not 100% sure I do really!
There's no question that if you've got the money to spare then paying the extra for an ISP that does UK based tech support is worth every penny. Before my wife got sick we've had both John Lewis and Zen as our ISPs and it was a huge relief to talk to someone who clearly knew a hell of a lot more than me with both companies.
I've edited out the faulty Openreach VLAN info - though that is what was copied and pasted into the SMS I got
Yeah, it still seems they haven't updated the scripts for openreach fttp yet, and it's been available for years. I have to admit though, when they get it right it's great value for money.

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