NTL and cable modems

Stephen Bosch posting at vodacomm.ca
Wed Jul 16 10:14:14 PDT 2003


Sounds ghastly. Perhaps you should move to Canada -- 1.5 Mbps for 45 CAD 
  a month (about 29 EUR) and static IP for 90 CAD (58 EUR) :)

Declan. Moriarty wrote:
> They are offering 600kb for ?20 per month, or 150kb for ?15 per month. I
> already pay ?12.50 per month for 56kb access (a flat rate). They claim
> to be using dhcp with dynamic ip assignment, so I'd get a different ip
> every time I log in. They claim if you're not off long, you are more
> likely to get your old ip back, but if you are off some time, it will be
> different. They do not believe any user would ever use linux - the
> question I answer most often to NTL is "What is Linux?" They _do_not_
> want a domain name registered to my downline box, and cite traffic
> reasons. Personally, I believe it's business reasons.

Are there any alternatives? Ireland's a fairly progressive country, 
there ought to be some decent competition in the marketplace, or am I 

I am fortunate enough to have a very *nix-friendly ISP; they have 
numerous customers using Linux and Slowlaris. Some ISPs have carved out 
a good niche for themselves doing this. Personally I would be leery of 
any outfit that responded to my queries with a question like "What is 

Anyway -- to your question:

Generally getting cable DHCP going is a snap, with the following caveat 
-- if the cable modem uses PPP over Ethernet, it gets dicey. I don't 
know enough about cable modem systems to be able to say if this is even 
a possibility. Cable modems use a shared loop, so my guess is that PPPoE 
is not possible (or at the very least, not typical), in which case you 
would be just fine.

Still, caveat emptor. Check this with NTL first. And if you can show 
these clowns the door, so much the better.

> I'd need a kernel rebuild,

Why this?

> another nic, a cable modem, and a firewall, I
> gather.

They make you buy the modem? Sharks. That's called "offloading 
maintenance on the customer". Now, when it fails, they can say "tough 
beans, it's YOUR modem". The dirty secret of the broadband business: 
broadband terminal hardware fails at a ridiculously high rate. Do you 
think they are selling the modems now because it's to *your* advantage?

The firewall is de rigueur if you have any Windows machines. Otherwise I 
  would say -- keep your system updated, use only ssh to log in 
remotely, and keep the number of open ports to the barest *necessary* 
minimum, and you can skip the firewall (they are often more headache 
than they are worth, IMHO).

> Anything else? Is there a concise no nonsense guide to this
> anywhere? I don't know if I'm able for the Cable Modem Howto; I'm
> certainly not if it's anything like the ppp howto.

Don't let it intimidate you. Lots of people manage the cable modem 
without too much grief.


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