NTL and cable modems

Ken Moffat ken at kenmoffat.uklinux.net
Fri Jul 18 07:22:47 PDT 2003


On Thu, 17 Jul 2003, Gareth Westwood wrote:

> Declan. Moriarty wrote:
> > NTL are giving a 50% discount on cable modems for a year. They are not
> > ideal isps. They cut off a 56k modem after 10 minutes idle or 2 hours
> > online. My phones (also on the digital cable) have been off for a week
> > recently, before they came out. They swapped their box, and farted
> > around for an hour before they found out the service had been switched
> > off at _the_other_end :-((. The bills were paid - they had been working
> > on the guy next door and evidently messed up.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >
> > I'd need a kernel rebuild, another nic, a cable modem, and a firewall, I
> > gather. 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.

>
> I had NTL's cable modem system up and runing with linux fine, it was
> runing over an external cable modem connected to the pc via cat5. All I
> had to do was set the nic to dhcp and enter the name servers. It all
> worked fine.
>
> I don't remember the make / Model of the cable modem so I can't gaurnete
> (can't spell either) it will work but this should give you some hope.
>
> On the whole the line I had (512) was superb, I don't recall it going
> down on me ever, whowever it was over 18 months ago and they probably
> have many more ppl using it now.
>
> Think yourself lucky, when I said I was using Linux they seemed to asume
> I had no idea what I was on about and told me to run winipcfg anyway. If
> you get through to some of the tech support guys / girls they seem to
> know a little more.
>

 Sounds a fair description - the broadband usually works very well, but
the support phone numbers are mostly like any other call-centre
operation - all their responses are scripted, you're unlikely to get
much help.

 I made the mistake of going the set-top-box route (they offered me a
good deal), with hindsight these seem a lot more troublesome than the
pure cable modems.  I lost service for a week over Xmas when my set top
box locked up and failed to reboot, and then I had to use Win98 to
re-register the nic.  It seems you can get by without using windoze if
you have the cable modem.  Apart from that, I've only had two
interruptions with the internet side - it was out for a couple of hours
after a lightning strike, and I lost service one weekend which may have
been down to what they were working on, or could equally have been a
loose connection at my end.  They also seem to have problems with their
dns servers from time to time.

 As to IP address, mine has been constant for some months (I've just got
the fiirewall tweaked enough to use a machine elsewhere running putty
and connecting by number).  But then my firewall is up all the time.

 Summary - if you can handle dealing with NTL and they are offering a
good deal, go with it.  OTOH, if you want to run something public, it's
maybe not a brilliant idea, upload speeds are slow, quite apart from
whether or not NTL get hot under the collar about terms and conditions.

Ken
-- 
You'll always find me out to lunch
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