Unifi USG config for ByTel FTTH in France

Are you enjoying your home internet connection? Bouygues Telecom (also known below as Bytel) is one of the few ISPs in France and it can provide (at least in big cities) some pretty nice FTTH connection with speeds up to 1Gbps :arrow_down: / 250Mbps :arrow_up:, no limits and with a static IP, for around 30€/month. (and they play nice with Netflix)

This is cool ! But they also provide some hardware with the contract which is … well “meh” :expressionless:. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that bad, but you don’t have full admin on it and can’t really play around.

Multiple solutions to replace that hardware exist but let’s talk about the Unifi USG one.


The Bytel setup

First let’s see how Bytel FTTH works with the BBox (router). Here’s a quick overview.

Diagram from Bytel support's page.

Bytel

As you can see, it’s pretty simple. The fiber line is built up to somewhere in your house, then they use a fiber ONT to convert to ethernet which is connected to the “box” itself, providing all of the routing we need.

But what if I want to use my own hardware, where I can have full admin and do whatever I want ? Well, yes you can, but you need to know a few things.


The third party setup

You can use any router you want (although you’ll need to keep the ONT), but you need to know this:

I’m not a huge fan of the TV box either (called Miami and running ChromeOS) and in France we have Molotov which allows me to see all local TV channels (and more) using my Apple TV. So… I only care about Internet traffic and this is what we’ll see later on.

Much talks about using a third party hardware and bypassing the use of the BBox (or also any other router for french ISPs) can be found, in french, on the forum lafibre.info.


The Unifi Security Gateway setup

USG

Ubiquity makes pretty nice pieces of hardware on the Unifi line. It’s kind of what the Cisco Meraki does but for the poor :trollface:. It’s managed by a controller (that you can buy or build) and I must say it works pretty well. You can check out the controller UI just right here.

I’m not going to talk more about the product line, but you can find more on the following links:

Let’s move on to our Bytel setup.

Of course, you’ll need to work on your initial Unifi setup on the LAN, with your controller, gateway and maybe switch and wireless AP. But once this is done, you can focus on the WAN setup to use the Bytel FTTH connection.

As the Unifi system works with a controller, we’ll need to pass some settings to the gateway using the later. Ah yes, Unifi does not work as the EdgeMax, if you want to pass further settings that are not available on the web UI, you need to create a json file with those specific details. You can read more about that in this article.

This file must be named config.gateway.json and you need to make a copy in the following path depending on where your controller is running:

An easy way to test the validity of the json file is: python -m json.tool config.gateway.json

Now let’s see what it looks like inside. This is the minimum setup and it can of course be further modified.

Minimum setup it is, we only:

After getting this file in the right spot, you can either reboot the gateway or just trigger a provision that will apply the latest config to the gateway. This should now work !

You can check my unifi GitHub repository where the configuration shared contains some SNMP basic settings added to the previously shown config.

:octocat: Unifi config for ByTel FTTH

Next up, I’ll talk about basic WAN failover settings, also on the USG system… after taking some time to test it properly :wink:.

I’ll probably add more to the existing repository with more complete versions of the config.gateway.json.

Thanks for reading ! :wave:

Philippe Sainte-Marie

Philippe Sainte-Marie

Dad, partner, macadmin.

rss facebook twitter github youtube mail spotify instagram linkedin google google-plus pinterest medium vimeo stackoverflow reddit quora