Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

What To Do With Old DSL Modems? 176

RebornData asks: "Thanks to a move and continuing instability in the DSL market, I'm now the proud owner of three DSL modems of various types gathering dust in my closet. It's a sordid tale. While I know that obselete hardware is worth next to nothing, this hardware isn't necessarily obselete, with my most recent acquisition only getting two months of use (thanks to Northpoint's untimely demise). Is there a market for used consumer DSL modems? Some of these devices (like the Telocity Gateway) are more than dumb communications electronics- are there any cool hacks out there for them?" RebornData is surely not alone in this; I am now the (proud?) owner of an Efficient Networks, Inc SpeedStream modem, orphaned along with my old DSL provider. (Read on for more.)


My tale of DSL woe: I was an early DSL customer in Houston, and had an ADSL line from PDQ.net for a year and a half using an Alcatel DSL modem (#1) before moving to Atlanta. In Atlanta, I signed up for PhoenixDSL which used Northpoint to provision an SDSL line for me using a 3com modem (#2). Then Phoenix's business was bought by Megapath, who then sold the consumer accounts like mine to Telocity.

I was migrated by Telocity two months ago, and they sent their own "Telocity Gateway" (#3). Of course, when Northpoint kicked the bucket, my Telocity connection went down. After four weeks of stringing me along (including promises to have me back up in three weeks), they've just informed me that they can't provide me service through an alternate provider, so I'm on my own and have yet another useless (?) DSL modem. Turns out that BellSouth is the only other DSL circuit provider in my CO and their DSLAM is full so they won't be able to service me until October at the earliest. AT&T's here installing a cable modem right now. So what can I do with all this DSL stuff? From what I've experiened, most DSL providers provide their own equipment, but is there a market for used modems? The Telocity gateway looks hackworthy... I remember reading somewhere that it runs Linux internally, and there are some interesting ports and markings on it (like "for use with X10 modules"). Has anyone torn into one of these things?"

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What To Do With Old DSL Modems?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I would like to know what the heck I could do with the unused DSL modems! Anybody buying them outhere? ;-) AT&T?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Anyone know if it's possible to get a Westell Wirespeed DSL modem to work with Linux? Or better still how to do it...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is this how the markets work to the benefit of the consumer?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    N0 1t's n07! W3 1s b13in6 w@y 31137 hax0rs and back eng1n33r1n6 tha s7uff t0 kn0w h0w 17 w0rx. Y0u @r3 dumb.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually, a point-2-point T1 does not require all hat hardware. A dry copper drop will work just fine if you have the right hardware. At work we use a T1 Cross-over cable (Wiring scheme came from cisco) which is just a fancy Cat-5 and use 2 2621s w/ WICs to lab network implimentations that include P2P T1s all the time. The confusion sems to come from the fact that the dry-pair solution does not give internet access or any access to an outside source at all. All the telco does is route the signal from one point to anoher.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When PacBell started rolling out DSL in my area, they were careful to call the devices "bridges". Then someone smart (like Rager-vs-Machine) who understood what was going on clued them into the fact that the devices were tecnically "modems". So they switched all their marketing material.

    Besides in a world where people call their computers "the hard drive", any little thing that doesn't confuse the lusers helps.
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You could always do something like this: http://nerdsrus.com/projects/pipelineclock/ [nerdsrus.com] -- turn them into clocks.
  • Don't use the Linksys dude. Don't anybody use the Linksys. I put a SmartBits tester on one in the Cisco lab where I work and it was dropping bits at less than a meg. Use the netopia or netspeed which can do 5 megs without dropping bits. Cisco makes neither. You might as well get the bandwidth you are paying for.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of dusty DSL modems RAMMED&nbsp&nbspUP&nbspYOUR&nbspASS?!!!!
  • Port Linux (or NetBSD?) to your DSL modem. You then could use it as a small web server, firewall (it may already have this feature, but what fun is that?), cheap X terminal (if you can figure out how to hook a display up to it), or a host of many other things.

    How about interfacing the modem to your toaster for the ulitmate net-connected toaster (which we all long for).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Non-profit Organizations like FreeBytes in Atlanta can use them. FteeBytes takes donated computer components and refurbishes them for other non-profit groups. This can help these groups get proper internet access (schools, Boys/Girls Club, etc.). Why not take a tax write off if you can't sell it? http://www.freebytes.org/
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:52AM (#258105)
    too bad. Verizon DSL is terrible (at least in my area). 2000+ ms ping replies from the gateway. Verizon knows it's their problem but refuses to do anything about it.

    Perhaps people were fed up with poor customer service and dumped Verizon. Other poor bastards see this service advertised and hop on.

    This is not a troll, Verizon has serious customer relations problems.. Not to mention problems with overselling bandwith and not caring that their customers are suffering.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:21AM (#258106)
    That's what I do with my cablemodem. And they've swapped it out three times for a new type device in the last 5 years. They offer buying it for $250 or lease for $10/mo.

    If I bought it, I'd be stuck with an obsolete modem now.

    Never buy NEW tech if you can lease it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @09:56AM (#258107)
    T1 is just a 1.5Mbps digital pair in each direction. All you need is a cross-over cable to connect two CSUs back-to-back. The problem with doing T1 over dry pairs is that you can't go very far at all - that's how telcos justify the big $$ for T1 - they have to install repeaters. These days, telcos minimize the use of repeaters by using broadband (HDSL?) from the CO to your NIU. You can do this yourself (without T1) if you're within the distance range for your DSL equipment. So a $500/mo T1 is almost the same circuit as a $30/mo point-to-point DSL - the difference being that with T1 you can go long distances and you can go between COs. Has anyone ever ordered a dry pair from Pacific Bell? I tried once - talked to a dozen of those numbskulls and none of them had heard of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:13AM (#258108)
    You don't need a dslam, just rwo dsl modems. It's easy to do with netopia routers, they have a setting much like a crossover on a hub. Just order a dry pair - straight copper from point to point and plug in at both ends. With SDSL you can get some decent throughput. You can do a similar thing with T-1s, just get 2 dry pairs and wire correctly. This is a way to get a cheap ($15/month/pair connection.) Depends where you live for pricing, but still not bad. Much less than $300+ for a T1. Distances will limit you, but it's a great way to build a gorilla net. I know specifically about the netopia since I'm working for a former partner of northpoint and we had the router guy come by for a little show and tell. The netopias also do a bit of multiplexing, and you can put 2 cards in each one. so with 2 dry pairs you can get 2 lines running at 1.5mb each - 3.0Mb for $30 a month. Beat that!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:36AM (#258109)
    I don't think you get the point. Gorilla nets are people to people, instead of isp to person. Great way to connect your house to someone elses house. I wouldn't use it for an isp because dslams are MUCH easier to manage. But if you want a use for equipment you have, there's good potential there. Make sure you really understand the limitations of dsl if you want to do this. It's perfect for connecting to your friends house for that network quake game. It's also perfect for something like GNET.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:44AM (#258110)
    If one of your DLS boxes has a DHCP server, find someone you don't like and attatch it to their network. Then hide it.
  • by abischof ( 255 ) <alex@@@spamcop...net> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:12AM (#258111) Homepage
    Well, there's always eBay [ebay.com] or other [auctionwatch.com] auction sites [auctionferret.com]. But, a better long-term solution could be to create a "Used DSL modems" website. You could list your own wares, of course, but also post ads from other buyers & sellers. Unless the participation was really high, you wouldn't even necessarily need a database backend -- you could probably just update the (static) html files manually.

    P.S. I'm looking for a new job in Web Development. I invite you to check out my portfolio [vt.edu] of hand coded HTML / JavaScript / CSS.

    Alex Bischoff
  • by gavinhall ( 33 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @09:16AM (#258113)
    Posted by polar_bear:

    I'm located in Denver and I'm about to move to a location where it's quite likely that I will not be able to get DSL through Qwest - but I have it now.

    The modem is a Cisco 675, does anyone know of any cool hacks for it? I'd like to turn it into a regular router if I can't get DSL - I already know I can have @Home. I'll probably get both if DSL is available (backup) but would like to have a plan for this modem otherwise. Qwest pretty much gives them away here, so I don't think reselling is much of an option.

    I hate to see perfectly useful hardware go to waste, though.
  • There are four wires in a T1, not four pair.

    Yes of course; I thought in terms of individual wires and wrote pair. duh. :-)

    You'll connect the transmit pair on one end to the receive pair on the other, and vice versa.


    The thing that you are missing is that one end needs to provide clocking for the other. Be default, they expect the telco to provide the clock on the line.

    Yeah... The problem with these Adtran HTU-Rs has no option to generate clock. I guess that's why they have the HTU-C.

    I'm not sure which Adtran box you are using, is it a normal csu/dsu? The cable lenght settings you are talking about are for LBO, the distance between the telco mounting and your CSU.

    The cablelength options were just off of one of my Cisco AS5248; it's an access server with a couple of internal CSUs. I'd have to hook up the Adtran units to see what they have again. :-)

    Thanks for the info, I'll take another look and see if I can't somehow convince one of these remote ends to generate clock. Thanks for the info.

  • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:42AM (#258118) Homepage

    You can do a similar thing with T-1s, just get 2 dry pairs and wire correctly.

    Incorrect. T1s require a head (CO) end and a CPE end. I have a pair of Pairgain HRUs and they do not work together. One end needs to clock the other and (optionally) power the remote end. I got away with powering them with 120VDC (just rectify the AC line and it works well) but the ends can't communicate since one isn't a CO end. It would be nice though. :-)

    I do do SDSL stuff all the time though; it works VERY well. Especially out here since our trunks use larger wire and you get just a little more distance than what's spec'd. :-)

  • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:04AM (#258119) Homepage

    Wrong. You learn by getting trained by authorized professionals who know how a piece of hardware works. That way you also get a certificate showing to your potential employer that you really do know about something.

    I'm afraid it's you who is wrong. I don't know how your post was moderated as insightful but that's the moderation system for you. The original poster was correct in how 90% of people learn things. They go the formal education route only to get a piece of paper or, more commonly, if they really don't want to learn but have the paper that says they do know.

    Here's a fun excercise: pick a company or a field of endeavor. Count the number of degreed people who actually know what they're doing compared to those who don't know anything. Now count the number of people who have no degrees but know what they're doing and compare to those without a degree and know nothing. What percentage of degreed people know what they're doing compared to the percentage of non-degreed people? The answer is surprising if you haven't done it before and the explanation is simple: The degreed people got in because of the paper and maybe because they know what they're up to, while the nondegreed people can't get in if they don't know what's what.

    People with degrees usually fetch a higher starting salary but after a few years the wheat is seperated from the chaff and the smart rise above, just as they do in practically everything. If you know what you're doing and can't get ahead, leave and find another company with clueful management. If nothing else you'll find out for sure if you know what you're doing or not. :-)

    My career is relatively new (in its 7th year) but I have no need for that piece of paper saying I know what I'm doing. I'll get my degree to fill in holes in my education but aside from that... it's practically useless. The headhunters and subsequent interviewers I run across want to know is what I'm doing in my current job and what I've done before, not what I learned in school.

    I've never said that doing it on your own is easier, but it was certainly the best route for me. I hear that places like Germany always refer back to your education no matter what your experience, so this post is definately geographically-tied.

  • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @10:19AM (#258120) Homepage

    T1 is just a 1.5Mbps digital pair in each direction. All you need is a cross-over cable to connect two CSUs back-to-back.

    Hmm... okay I'm using HDSL "T1"s here -- perhaps that's my problem.

    There are four pairs, T, T1, R and R1. I cross-connect them and nada. I try various combos and while one end sees the other they both indicate that both loops are down. Also neither unit can configure the encoding or framing. The smarter of the two units has a serial port and all settings are only settable from the remote (i.e. CO) end.

    The problem with doing T1 over dry pairs is that you can't go very far at all - that's how telcos justify the big $$ for T1 - they have to install repeaters.

    Depending on how far you classify as far... An HDSL T1 will reach farther than any HDSL2 circuit simply because it's over two pair and can be a little more lax on transmit and more sensitive on receive. A quick check on one of our AS5248s shows the short cablelength provisioning gets us to 655ft. Not terribly long, you're right.. I thought it was longer for the short cablelength. :-)

    These days, telcos minimize the use of repeaters by using broadband (HDSL?) from the CO to your NIU.

    Are standard (i.e. the true T1s still available? These Adtran units are HDSL T1s and can indeed be used with repeaters.

    Has anyone ever ordered a dry pair from Pacific Bell? I tried once - talked to a dozen of those numbskulls and none of them had heard of it.

    When we order ours from Bell Canada we went though hell the first time but the rep was nice enough to tell us that in future, just ask for a "Class A Signal Channel" -- and to make sure to have it installed with no taps or coils. If you're not getting a signal keep pestering them -- one of our loops had coils on them that (supposedly) weren't on any of the line drawings that the techs had access to.

  • by tzanger ( 1575 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:48AM (#258121) Homepage

    You're right about bandwidth charges but I think you're way off with blaming "shitty dry pair DSL" with quality. I spec Pairgain Megabit Modem 300S (2.048Mbps full duplex) -- they aren't rate-adaptive but rather use a little selector-switch to set the WAN speed. I have yet to have a single problem with them and we've got over 25 pair in service. Link speeds are better than spec (our area has larger gague wire trunks than standard) and it just never goes down. Far better than Wireless if you ask me. We had a competitor to the north set up most of his links in the winter and when spring came everyone's link took a big shit. Not to mention humidity effects.

    BTW: ALL DSL works over dry copper aside for the g.Lite implementations which are piggybacked on top of a regular phone line.

  • It has a backdoor left by the manufacturer. There was a CERT warning out regarding that model I believe.
  • by PlazMatiC ( 11127 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMplaz.net.nz> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @04:00PM (#258130) Homepage
    New Zealand's 'lovely' telco [telecom.co.nz] has brought out a flat-rate 128k ADSL service called JetStart [telecom.co.nz]. However, you must purchase your own DSL modem. I don't know whether or not the ones you have would be compatible ... I don't really know how DSL works.
    However, I've heard that DSL modems sold on trademe [trademe.co.nz], a .nz based auction site, are quite sought after. It might be worth a try. =)
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @01:08PM (#258131) Homepage
    They're like gold dust over here. The encumbent
    telco (BT) try to force everyone to use crappy
    USB modems which hardly work (they draw something
    like 500ma off the USB bus, which means they have
    to be the *only* device on the bus... if they work
    at all).

    As long as it's smart enough to do PPPoA (no PPPoE over here) there's someone will pay for it.
  • by RAruler ( 11862 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:57AM (#258132) Homepage
    Theres a Do-It-Yourself DSL website for DSL. Here. [smellyeyeball.com]

  • by adolf ( 21054 ) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @12:20PM (#258135) Journal
    Appearently, the proper way to order a dry pair (or at least, proper enough for the phonemonkeys to understand) is to refer to it as an alarm circuit.

    These have been available for decades, and aren't anything special (per requirements of simple-is-better alarm systems).

    A couple of years ago, I helped a friend of mine set up some always-on connectivity between his house and his business using a pair of decent modems, and an Adtran line simulator. Which, incidentally, don't seem to be called what they are, either - the telco folks seem to know them as "Ring Generators".
  • Others have posted about this being a self-contained net, so I won't go down that path.

    I wanted to also bring up the possibility of one person having an ISP, then distributing that bandwith among a number of friends.

    I have both a cable modem and DSL line at the moment, it would be great if I could distribute some bantwidth to some other friends houses (assuning they live close by).
  • How can the phone company lease you a permanent point-to-point connection without permanently tying up a path throught their switch? It's not like there already exists a copper pair directly from my house to anyplace else I'd like to be connected.

    There must be something missing from your description - a T-1 for $15/mo is too good to be true.
  • Hmm...

    My problem here is that I'm too far (around 18,380') from the CO for my local phone company to qualify me for an ADSL connection, even though I know I should be able to get decent speed up to at least 20,000' or so... IDSL is just too expensive as well as not particularly fast.

    Would I be able to just order one of these "alarm circuits", add my own DSL modem, and connect to my ISP that way? Would my ISP need to do anything special to handle me as a DSL customer this way rather than using "official" DSL from the phone company?

    Thanks for any educational insights!
  • Ah, I see! Thanks. Now I wonder if I can find an ISP that would let me hook up via DSL modems and this type of connection... (I'm too far for "official" DSL).
  • Thanks for the info - I'm going to look into this. Maybe if my current ISP won't work with me, I can find a smaller one that's more flexible.
  • Northpoint stranded between 75,000 and 100,000 customers when they went under. Assuming 80,000 customers, each with a modem measuring 6x4x1 inches:
    • 80,000 Northpoint DSL modems end to end is 7.5 miles.
    • 80,000 modem power dongles, with 6 ft. cords would stretch between New York City and Philadelphia. (about 90 miles)
    • Stacking 80,000 DSL modems onto a 3x3 ft square, would be about as tall as a 10 story building.
    • 80,000 DSL modems would be around 1,100 cubic feet. My 600 square foot New York apartment would be filled more than two feet deep.

    Powers of Ten [powersoften.com] or The MegaPenny Project [kokogiak.com] with DSL modems is no good for landfills. Scary part is how small these things are, and how many larger devices are tossed out every year.

    Joe Maller
    www.joemaller.com [joemaller.com]

  • I have a Fujitsu Speedport DSL modem. The damn thing gets so freaking hot that I have to have it perched at a wierd angle with all sides getting airflow so that it doesn't burn out (even in an airconditioned apartment I had two burn out). The Verizon tech guy said he carries a ton of backups because they burn out so much he has to replace them all the time for customers.

    Verizon previously used Orkitt modems and when I moved and they switched, I made them let me trade in my Orkitt for the Fujitsu; so I didn't get stuck with an old modem. I did, however, get a nice source of heat in my apartment during the winter...

  • You're right, mine is by Orckit and just branded under Fujitsu. My old Orckit (that I traded in) was about twice the size and looked more like a hub or router or something. That thing was solid as a rock. This one disconnects if I tap it with my foot or squeeze the case or look at it funny (as did the two previous ones). It promptly reconnects, but where's the quality manufacturing anymore?
  • I had an efficient networks speedstream 5260. I ran the manufacturer-discouraged firmware upgrade to make it into a 5660. This worked, mostly, but because I used the wrong revision, the upgrade introduced a two bugs: the modem locked up occasionally under high load, and could not be upgraded a second time.

    So I bought a different modem on Ebay. Most DSL services these days use standard protocols, so the modems will work happily with other services. Many services charge users $300 for the modem when they sign up. If you have your own, you save that money. If you buy one from Ebay for $50, you save the remaining $250. Many ISPs toss in the modem, but not all.

    Also, the speedstream is a 50 MHz PPC, and both the system firmware and "boot firmware" is upgradeable. Now that I've finally replaced mine, I want to try using the Embedded Linux PPC boot project [sourceforge.net] to try to install linux on my modem.
  • The problem I get alot with my DSL when I get the quick disconnect isn't with the actual DSL link. It's with the verizon PPPoE authentication. Sometimes it will lose this authentication after the link retrains, and I have to reconnect the PPPoE link. I've build a simple wget script to connect to my router (seperate from the modem, it's something I bought to do NAT connection sharing) and reconnect the PPPoE link. This is a major pain in the ass though, when my roommate gets a call or something. We've both taking to using our cells for most calls we make just to avoid dropping our connection. I really miss when I had SDSL on a seperate wire pair. It was slower, but didn't disconnect 2-3 times a day
  • by mhatle ( 54607 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @10:00AM (#258149) Homepage
    Its probably running VxWorks. This doesn't stop you from trying to run Linux on it. What kind of PowerPC is it? IBM 403? Motorola PowerPC 823, 855 or 860? 8240? 8245? etc?

    If you know that information its actually pretty easy to get it booting Linux.. there are only a few ways those things are wired up internally.

    4 MB Flash and 16 MB ram is more then enough to do something fun with it. Also if the 2 rj45's are wired directly to the CPU (depending on the PowerPC) you may be able to do ethernet on both instead of DSL.

    Also the WindRiver bootloader, is very easily "adjustable" to load something else.. ;)

  • Okay, sure some people don't have cable, and have to pay 40$ a month. Even tough you might not have cable (let's say you never watch TV), you can still sign up with Bell at 40$ a month. You'd get 150k/sec in download, and 15k/sec in upload (that's to prevent warez sites from popping up, and preventing too much bandwidth on the network. Anyway, you never really need 15k/sec for an upload anyway, unless you're up to no good.) It's fast, not too costly, you don't use your phone line and you can download as much as you want.

    And about the "rumor" that Videotron slows down during the net "rush-hour", well, I've never stopped getting 300kb/s downloads at ANY time of the day. It may have been true in the past, but the fact is that now Videotron has the fastest consumer Internet access in Quebec with 325kb/sec bandwith in download (upload is still limited at 15k/sec for the same reasons as Bell) and have a decent reputation in customer service, as a survey done recently has shown, while Bell Canada took the last place, with about 70% of the users satisfied. Oh, and I forgot another thing about the speed wars that Videotron and Bell are having : even tough in some areas the cable modem may slow down during rush-hours, it is still pretty faster than Bell's offer.

    "The answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is... 42"
  • (de)modulation is performed on carriers spaced at 4.3kHz. This data is converted to ATM traffic, which is then bridged or routed. They are modems.
  • by majikthyze ( 63738 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @12:16PM (#258154) Homepage
    I'm surprised to hear that this is the case...

    I work for a company that makes CO DSL equipment (not Alcatel) and am involved with testing a wide range of modems against our equipment -- including many of the modems you folks have been griping about. I would have thought that the providers could be more flexible about what modems to choose. I guess it is too "dangerous" or too difficult to support this way. Don't think there is really a huge technical reason though... as long as the CO side is ANSI or G.DMT (or lite) compliant, most modems will fall into these categories.

    I had hoped to see DSL turn into something a little more like 56K modems... guess I'm too naive...
  • Is there a URL with any details on the results from your interoperability lab? Or a description of what VC, VP stand for and might refer to? (And hints about how to find values for a DSL-ISP you are considering using?)
  • by Pfhreakaz0id ( 82141 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:34AM (#258160)
    that's what I thought, but recently my cable (roadrunner) changed their pricin so the total amount ($44.95) stayed the same, but the rental rate went from $10 to $15 (subscription cost went down). at this rate, buying made sense. Not $250 new, but I got one one ebay for $180. Works fine and in a year I'll be in the black. I called a guy I know at the cable company first and he said there were no plans to change to a new modem type, and even if they did, the old ones would still work. Moral of the story: Look over your bill occasionally! When I asked them, they said they'd made the billing changes three months ago and I hadn't noticed!
  • I took one of my old DSL modems along to a LAN party as they needed a DHCP server. After a bit of stuffing around I got it sorted.

    Unfortunately my settings were a bit crappy, having still got my home network information in it, so I stuffed the entire network much to the anger of the people around.

    Anyways, I got it all sorted eventually.

    What can I do with 4MB of flash RAM on this baby? Hmmm.

  • Word of warning about those external Cisco 675 router/modems: They run very hot. I've had one burn out on me already due to what I believe is inadequate ventilation causing the chips to finally roast. Took Qwurst over a month to get me a new one too, which just about destroyed me. Now I mount the router on the wall and have a tiny personal table fan pointed at it to cool it down a bit.
  • by Gill Bates ( 88647 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @09:13AM (#258164)
    I've had Telocity for a little over a year now. When I first got it, I attempted to figure out what it was running for an OS (BTW, all of the above can be determined without cracking open the case). Telnet to the modem on port 80 yields the following:

    Connected to
    Escape character is '^]'.
    HTTP/1.0 504 N/A
    Connection: close
    Server: Expressway WindWeb/1.1
    Date: SUN APR 29 09:13:53 2001
    Content-Type: text/html

    Telocity Expressway Web Server Error Report: V1.1<HR>
    <H1>Server Error: 504 N/A</H1>
    Operating System Error Nr:3997700: errno = 0x3d0004 <P><HR><H2>URL parsing error
    </H2><P><HR>please mail problems to support@telocity.net <A HREF="mailto:support
    @telocity.net"><ADDRESS> Telocity Communications Inc. 10355 N. De Anza Blvd. San
    Jose, CA, 95014-2027</ADDRESS></A>
    Connection closed by foreign host.

    A google search leads to Wind River Systems (http://www.wrs.com) and implies that the modem is running VxWorks, not Linux (as the article submitter implied).
  • by BierGuzzl ( 92635 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @12:28PM (#258165)
    1) Door Stop 2) Weapon 3) Paperweight 4) Door knocker 5) Coaster 6) Build Franken-Machine with it 7) Mail it to your favorite congressman (C.O.D) 8) Melt it down to make the next leet case 9) Put it on railroad tracks 10)Use it as ballast when trolling for newbies.
  • Why do you have these things??? Unless the company truely went belly up, then they should want them back. Like when this guy went from Houston to Atlanta, GA, should he have sent the thing back? I know with my cable modem, I don't own it. Now if you HAVE to purchase this thing to use DSL, I could understand this.

    I can see some uses for this things. If another person who has one and his burns out they can use it, even if you can't. I personally can't believe that some of these have PowerPC chips in them. I'd rather have that chip in a RS/6000! :)

  • 1. You can't buy a T1 from any telco for $15/month
    2. You can sure as hell get a set of copper wires for ~ $15/month, depending on the distance and area. Browse your telco's website and look for tariff circuit rates.
    3. You're right, the phone company hasn't run a wire from your house to all your friends' houses.
    4. What they did instead was build a structured cabling system so they connect point x to point y with patch cords. This is what you buy for $cheap.
    5. Despite the original posters claims, you *can* run a T1 with 2 sets of premises equipment, provided at least one of them will supply a clock. Most do. These days you can get them for $cheap.
    6. Depending on the quality of the circuit, expect to achieve 5000-6000 feet.
    7. Want to go farther? Find a friend who lives closer and install a T1 repeater (also $cheap) in his garage. Then buy another circuit to the next location.
  • Make a bong out of it.
  • by Loualbano2 ( 98133 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @10:55AM (#258169)
    Let me clarify all that is involved with this scheme.

    Yes two sdsl modems will work back to back. I am pretty sure that adsl modems will work in the same way. There is somewhat of a standard for cell based sdsl modems so there is a chance that two different brands of sdsl modems will work together. The only problem is that you have to make sure that the VCI is the same on both, which pretty much means you will have to configure them yourselves... Don't expect them to work out of the box or with the config that your provider put on them.

    In order for this to work you and the other party have to be out of the same CO. You can order PADA circuits to both partys and have them cross connect them at the MDF. As far as I know there is no way to do this between COs as telcos stopped running straight pairs between COs a long time ago, and NO you cannot just get switched through the voice network. The POTS network or even the ISDN network cannot handle the frequencies that DSL works on which is why DSLAMs and DSL was ever invented.

    You also gotta make sure that the telco doesn't put load coils or ringers on the circuit. I have seen this happen even though our order specifically said not to put these things on there. How do you check? Use a TDR box. Also you have to make sure you never tell them you are using them for data. These circuits are suppoesed to be for alarms and there may be laws that are being broken here.

    Your max throughput would be 2.3Mbit, depending how you set up the modem, the model and the distances involved. Oh, and don't try to use any type of map to guage the distance, the telcos rarely take the shortest path to the CO. How do you know length you ask? Bust that TDR machine again.

    The circuit is not full duplex and not even really aggregate, which is weird. I would guess with two transfers in each direction you would see about 1.3-1.5Mbit both ways.

    Oh, and if you are served off of a DLC you can just forget this whole idea, unless you want to drop a hardened DSLAM into your DLC.

    Does all this sound like a lot of trouble? Imagine all these problems and variables times 10000 and you can imagine why (insert this week's defunct DSL provider name here) went out of business.
  • by rsletten ( 98901 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:15AM (#258170)
    I sold mine for $50 dollars. They will buy anything on that site. They will buy the boogers out of your nose. They will get into a bidding war for it.
  • Can anyone recommend a good book/web site for learning about this sort of DSL/T1 telco stuff? I'm pretty savvy on the LAN (Ethernet) side, but I don't even know the differance between a CSU and a DSU as far as telco goes.
  • by Anonymous._.Coward ( 119202 ) on Monday April 30, 2001 @01:36AM (#258179) Homepage
    That's exactly the thing to do. If we ever get DSL rolled out though - still waiting :(. [bbc.co.uk]
  • by tburkhol ( 121842 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:08AM (#258180)
    This is true, but then you have to pay for bandwidth, the $15 is just the line charge. I don't know of any ISP that will give bandwidth away, especially a t1's worth of it.

    No ISP is involved in the scheme AC suggests, so there would be no bandwidth costs. The theory is that you pay the phone co. for a dedicated line between, say your house and your next-door-neighbor. They don't care what you do with it. Presumably, you and your neighbor can then make your 2 DSL 'modems' talk to each other since they're the only things on the wire. (btw, it's not necessarily a physical wire running directly from you to your neighbor, but routed through the phone co. system

    I don't know that DSL modems work that way...it's not like hooking up your 56k. I'm just trying to clarify the proposal.

  • You have to order an 'alarm wire'. It does not go through the switch, but is instead hard wired together at a patch panel somewhere. There is no switching hardware on the line. (DSL doesn't work at all if there is a switch, or bridge tap, etc. on the line)

    I can't say the last time I actually saw alarm wire pricing from a telco, but in this area (Detroit) it used to be $11/end

  • I would think that the telocity brouter(it does both bridging & routing) seams to be largest of interest to me at least. I cracked mine open the first day I got it wanting to know what was inside! its a 50mhz PowerPC processor(no heat sync), 4MB FLASH ROM, and 16MB of ram. now remember, this thing also has a USB port and 2 rj45's(WAN/Local). I'd imagine(thinking creativingly) that you could make your own router/bridge running netBSD or possibly linux. right now netBSD has more platform support out there, and bsd would handle that little amount of ram much better then linux would. but yeah, see what you can do, there are also a couple of jumpers in there, probably for upgrading the firmware on it.
    any people with info on this interesting piece of hardware with alcatel power please, do post it!
  • by locutus074 ( 137331 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @09:18AM (#258185)
    Well, you're comparing the claim to the current state of the market. What you fail to bring up is that the current mess was originally created...

    That's right, by the Government! It was the government who originally created the telco monopoly, and now they're "saving" us by giving us deregulation. It's been said [connect.net] that "The government is good at one thing... it knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say 'See, if it weren't for the government you wouldn't be able to walk.'"


  • by driehuis ( 138692 ) on Monday April 30, 2001 @04:48AM (#258186)
    The trick with alarm circuits used to work in the Netherlands too. Unfortunately, the telco copped on in the early eighties and installed coils in all alarm circuits, limiting line capacity to its intended purpose.

    The trick is either to have friends at the telco, or social engineer your way into them: "Hey, it's John from telco corporate headquarters. Just spoke with Peter at the city center CO about a problem a customer had with his line; seems you installed coils. Please do something about it".

    I know an ISP that pulled this trick in the early days...

  • by eltardo ( 160932 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:19AM (#258194)
    I actually work for the DSL side of Verizon and I've run across a lot of our former customers selling the modems on Ebay. Believe it or not there seems to be a market for them there.
    Word to the big bird.
  • by YodaToad ( 164273 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:24AM (#258196)
    I've also had really bad luck with DSL providers and I've got 2 DSL modems sitting around waiting to be hacked/screwed with.

    Around June of last year I signed up for 416k SDSL from PSN and was happily downloading everything in sight until December 30th or so when my line went down. Later I found out that PSN would be going out of business on the 17th of January and they'd be migrating me over to Telocity [telocity.com]. They gave me an estimate of about 7-10 days to migrate. It took them 3 months (during which I had no internet access at all). A week after they got my connection back Northpoint went out of business and their network went down. Telocity sent me an email telling me that I'd be serviced through Rhythms now and it would take around 3 weeks to migrate over. About 3 weeks after that email I got another email from Telocity telling me that they didn't have anyone that could be my last-mile provider. I promptly canceled my Telocity account and called Time Warner and signed up for Road Runner. They set it up the next morning and I've been going strong for a week or two now.

    DSL was really a nice service and I wish I could've kept it. It's really getting killed by the distance limit. BTW, when is G.Lite supposed to be coming around? If I'm correct, that extends the distance that DSL can go and it'd make it cheaper to provide. That could really be DSL's savior.

    And Then...
  • by SnapperHead ( 178050 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:25AM (#258198) Homepage Journal

    Well, if you have one of those rare internal models you maybe able to contribute it to someone making drivers for Linux for it.

    Since there probley external, search the net for hacks on them. Maybe do some blind reverse eng. on it.

    Last but not least, you could also take out your frustration on DSL providers, and use it for target practise. I think its safe to say, a 12 gague sluge would rip it apart nicely :)

    until (succeed) try { again(); }
  • I have no desire to.
  • by Fervent ( 178271 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:52AM (#258200)
    I sold my two DSL modems on eBay and got a cable modem for free from Comcast Online. Never been happier.
  • It's called an 'alarm circuit'. We use them in this small town to provide dsl to businesses, although we have had no problems thus far with the circuits. Only thing is, you have to be strict on distance, since the phone company doesn't 'officially' tell you loop length, and if if the alarm circuit goes through a second CO, goodbye dsl. It goes through equipment that takes out the charge needed for the dsl. It actually is the only solution for us here in the boonies, and so far has been reliable for us.
  • This sounds like a business plan waiting to happen.

    altjough what we would really need would be the service manuals for the things so that we can verifiy functionality.

    I would be really ticked if it turned out to be something like, "well you can only use 3com routers with your 3com ethernet cards" - ie - merely marketing hype to lock you in to their hardware, which is probably just a generic OEM with branding on the outside.

    these things need to be as well documented as regular dialup modems used to be.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • Ok what if I had a pair of ADSL modems(westell wirespeeds) from Pacbell. I see a lot of info about HDSL/SDSL, but what would two ADSL modems do when plugged into each other(the wirespeeds claim 8mbps down 800k up)? Would they sync at 800k? Using ADSL modems seems cost efficent(a lot of my friends have 2 or 3 from cancled orders), but they don't use the first 64KHz of the line where the quality is the best, as SDSL does(adsl piggybacks on voice, sdsl uses a dry pair). Any info(maybe I could convince a neighbor to let me use their modem for a day and see if they sync)?
  • As I recall these are called LADS (Local Area Data ? Dedicated? Service) circuits. Some telcos discontinued it when DSL came out, though, to reduce competition - of course they claimed it was all about reducing line noise and interference.
  • by CBOS ( 202032 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @09:04AM (#258211)
    There are three basic types of RADSL Line encapsulations.

    CAP (Carrier Aplitude Phased)
    DMT (Digital Multitone)

    For RADSL service to work the DSLAM that you are connecting to and the modem that you have need to be using the same line encoding. If you check with your local provider and find out what line encoding they are using, you should be able to use any modem that uses the same line encoding. CAP is going away but DMT and G.Lite are going to be here for a while.
  • Well, it only kind of violates the always on capability. If you're playing a game online, if somebody picks up the phone, then you'll have 2 seconds of lag- it's not quite like a dial-up (though some tools are trying to introduce dial-up adsl), when your connection breaks, you never get it back. When it retrains, you have the same IP and the same routing info, so you can continue any game you're playing, as long as it doesn't have a two second time out.
    I'm not sure what you meant in your second question, but if you had a dsl connection on your inside and outside pairs, if you picked up a phone on one, it shouldn't effect the other much.
  • by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <etartsnefd>> on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:19AM (#258213)
    Keep the one you like the best, because there's no reason you shouldn't be able to use it if you get another DSL connection- I work at the U of New Hampshire interoperability Lab for ADSL, and we've tested equipment for all three of those vendors you've listed, and 60 other companies too, against 15 different DSLAMS. They all adhere to the same standards- g.dmt and the older ansi t1.413 (you only have to keep an eye out if you sign up for g.lite, splitterless adsl), they're supposed to interoperate.
    While I can't say much because of confidentiality matters, I can say that those three companies- Alcatel, 3com, and Telocity- shouldn't give you any trouble on other systems. Only three settings really matter- VC, VP, and protocol, and if you can figure out how to set those, you're golden. There are companies that don't interoperate worth shit (one company sent us 5 different modems, one for each DSLAM they wanted to test against. I guess they missed the 'interop' part in our lab name), but in general, if a company tells you that you need to buy their modem, they're either lying or using crap for equipment.
    Incidentally, while there are about 80 vendors for modems, there are only about 5 different chipset makers. You do the math
  • The benefit of G.lite is two fold:
    1. You don't have to install a bandwidth splitter, so the company doesn't need to send a truck out- they can just send you the modem. This saves big bucks for the phone company.
    2. They have fast retrain, which means that when you pick up your phone to make a call, the DSL service is re-established in less than 2 seconds. Picking up (and then hanging up) your phone drastically changes the characteristics of the line for a moment, and DSL connections can't stay established through a transition like that.
    Other than that, there's no advantage to G.lite- it suffers from the same distance limitations. You could say you get full rate G.lite for a greater distance than normal ADSL (G.dmt), but that would be misleading, because full speed for G.dmt is around 8 Mbs (theoretically 14 Mbs), while G.lite is 1.5 Mbs. With respect to distance, when the max rate for G.dmt drops to the max rate for G.lite, they both start to lose bandwidth at about the same rate.
    Another slight difference is that G.lite can only be used in the interleaved channel, while G.dmt can be fast or interleaved. Interleaved uses a more involved trellis coding and error correction than fast channel, and therefor gets higher data rates at greater line lengths. At lower line lengths, it gets lower speeds than the fast channel. Also, Fast channel has lower latency (but they're both so low, you shouldn't notice the difference)
    If you want to check out the site for the lab I work at, go here: http://www.iol.unh.edu/consortiums/ [unh.edu]
  • by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @12:55PM (#258215) Homepage Journal
    "While you could call my old 56k "an obsolete piece of junk" now, I could still use it with whomever I want."

    If you're out in the boonies like I am it's cheaper & more efficient to get 3 - 4 phone lines into an extra box, than getting the only other options, DirecPC (horrible pings) or the new 2 way Dish ($700 to start then $70/month 400k up 128K down). DSL & Cable won't be an option out here for another 5 - 10 years. The best thing is, my ISP is multi-link and they don't seem to realize it (or care). I know 5 people using the same dail-up account and I've seen/chatted with at least 3 of them at the same time. I don't think they ever check their logs either, this has been going on for years....

  • by the_lizardman ( 205028 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:25AM (#258216)

    ...make me glad I live in an area without DSL. Almost.

    "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
  • If you couldn't get it from the title, the obvious answer is to make coasters out of them! Even put some batteries in there and make the lights blink in some cool pattern.

  • by SamMichaels ( 213605 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:54AM (#258219)
    Well, here's another question along the same lines.

    I have a Motorola 3682 phone from PCS One (a local company which uses VoiceStream, formerly Omnipoint). A friend of mine works at the place, and "unlocked" my phone, so I can use it on any network.

    Now, I have a CopperRocket SDSL modem from DSL.net...does it possess the same "lock codes" so that it won't work with another DSL provider?

    While you could call my old 56k "an obsolete piece of junk" now, I could still use it with whomever I want.
  • I am in the same situation as the poster - canceled by Flashcom, transferred to Telocity, killed by northpoint, strung along and finally dropped by telocity. When I called to tell telocity that I was not paying for the two months of service they actually provided me (they did promise users two months of free service for not switching after the northpoint drop - mine are just going to be retroactive) they told me that i did not own the Telocity gateway and that they would send out a return-box to reship it to them. They threatened me with undefined "fines" if I kept the modem. I did remind them that I had been charged over $30 to receive the modem but they claim that that was only a "shipping and handling" charge. Anyway, my point is that Telocity owners might want to hold onto thier modems for a little while and see if they demand its return. Personally, I dont want to give them any more of my money.
  • If you do a search on slashdot for "do it yourself dsl" or something like that you can find a article where someone did exactly this. He has a step by step guide to doing it.
  • i have to admit that i dont know exactly what (A)DSL is, but whatever it is exactly, it seems to be some sort of modem. I live in europe and have a chello connection which goes over the same line as cable TV. So we need some sort of modem hier too. some great box.. we only borrow them from the provider.. the company gets some money as bail, and when i dont want to have chello anymore, i _should_ get the money back (havent tried yet:)

    and BTW: excuse my english, i hope my comments is understandable..
    ha det,
  • by unformed ( 225214 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:13AM (#258225)
    we made AOL cds useful by drinking coffee....

    we can make olds DSL modems useful by getting DSL in my area

    no, but seriously speaking: you can open it up and use it to hide your drug stash...who's going to look there?
  • OK, point taken, I misunderstood the "gorilla net" thing. I can say this though, when I came into the ISP that I'm working at now there was a bunch of the Pairgain on each end DSL. It was ordered with the same idea, except that it was a gateway to the internet instead of another LAN. Admittedly I know almost nothing about setting it up or maintaining it, all I can say is that 99% of it was extremely unreliable (possibly due to the former network admin not doing something right, I don't know) and that any problems with the lines were *my* problem, ie, the telco didn't care. I can see how this would be OK for a personal WAN between friends, but it was poor practive for an ISP. Now, I do offer ADSL over the Telco ATM mesh now, which is much more reliable AND supported by the telco, so if a line goes down I can get them to fix it. I wasn't slamming anyones ideas, just relaying my experience with the technology.
  • by pillar ( 227782 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:28AM (#258232) Homepage
    This is true, but then you have to pay for bandwidth, the $15 is just the line charge. I don't know of any ISP that will give bandwidth away, especially a t1's worth of it. Another thing, I work for an ISP that used to do "RADSL" (the shitty dry pair dsl that you are talking about) and let me just say that the first thing I did when I came in was to get rid of all of that crap. It's unspported by the telco, and extremely flakey. it either works fantastic (10%)or doesn't work at all (90%). If you can't get anything else I'd say do it, but I'd never get it for myself. I too have several dsl modems/routers from moving around. I was a beta tester for GTEi (now Verizon) and have an old as hell Orckitt DSL router, I now have ADSL through the ISP that I work at as well as cable. We sell mainly to Buisnesses using the Speedstream 5861 http://www.provantage.com/scripts/go.dll/-s/fp_583 54 While these seem to be used only by Ameritech (I could be wrong) and their resellers, they are quite powerfull (although not worth the money in my opinion)
  • by srichman ( 231122 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:32PM (#258234)
    This may sound shockingly capitalistic and probably isn't the sort of answer you wanted, but just sell them.

    My roommates and I accumulated a few modems that we got for free when switching ISPs. We sold them on eBay. If I recall, the last one fetched $120+. I'm sure with enough hacking you could make the status lights blink to the beat of your MP3s or something like that, but I doubt you'll come up with anything as nice as the feel of $400 in your pocket.

  • by ttys00 ( 235472 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:21AM (#258238)
    Sell your spare DSL devices to people in other countries. Over here (.au) we are only just getting ADSL, and Telstra (telco) is making people use Alcatel devices and charging a fortune for them. Sending a DSL modem to .au might be prohibitively expensive, but what about Mexico/Canada/Europe?
  • The covad folks are offering exchanges because Northpoint died. I think with some good acting you could get them to give you some money on the modem. I'm not sure about the details of this exchange so I might be wrong. You should check it out though.
  • by Rager-vs-Machine ( 241119 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:58AM (#258242)

    Don't know about you, but a device that modulates multiple analog frequencies for upstream and downstream communications is called a MODEM [modulator/demodulator] in my neck of the woods! ADLS does this as does Cable. It's a modem that has a different frequency range, and tries not to step on either your existing voice range or cable TV range.

    Hint -- That's why you only need one line for DSL and phone. Between you and the CO you can utilize far more frequencies on the UTP wire than the PSTN will allow thru the switches. Once your signal gets to the CO, the DSLAM creates a real digital stream [de-modulates the analog signals]

    See these links for a good overview of ADSL technologies that Communications Systems Design published a couple issues ago:

    Part I - ADSL Physical Layer [csdmag.com]
    Part II - ADSL Handshake/Upper Layers [csdmag.com]

    Your nitpick is correct with ISDN, but incorrect with ADSL. ISDN is a truly digital signal, and the CPE devices are called Terminal Adapters. Perhaps HDSL and IDSL are different, but ADSL and Cable technologies are not true digital signals to/from CPE......so the devices are called modems. ISDN is pretty much dead, but I seldom hear folks call the CPE device for ISDN a modem.
  • Well, given that you can't sign up for cheap DSL and provide your own modem :) I doubt you could use them for DSL again, but I'm sure there are hacks out there for them and with these babies you can hack away without worry - I mean what will you lose if you blow one up? :)

    But more than likely they are useless. Gee - maybe if some providers start offering cheaper DSL with used modems they won't go under as fast LOL


  • by markmoss ( 301064 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @12:09PM (#258246)
    The degreed people got in because of the paper and maybe because they know what they're up to, while the nondegreed people can't get in if they don't know what's what. Quite often true, although the self-educated may have large gaps in their knowledge of fundamental principles -- in my experience with degreed and non-degreed engineers, the non-degreed are very good on the knowledge we use every day, but run into trouble when doing something really different. But then, less than 1/3 of the students starting on a BSEE completed the program, at least at the school I attended. Most university programs have much lower standards, with a correspondingly greater chance of letting people slip through without learning much. Consider that GW Bush and Gore were both graduates of Ivy League colleges, and it's hard to tell which one is stupider...

    As for careers, there are three obstacles in the path of those who know their stuff but don't have the "right" certificates. One is employers that don't know how to tell if you know the job or not; without the certificate, it can be difficult to get in the door and get the opportunity to demonstrate by doing. Second, large corporations are often so bound up in red tape that even if the manager knows you are the best man for the job, he can't hire you for it -- or so idiotically managed that they don't know who is doing a good job. Smaller companies are much more flexible, but also the pay scales are usually much lower. And finally, the 4-year college degree is used by American businessmen in much the way knighthood and orders of nobility were used in medieval societies -- a quick way to distinguish the gentlemen from the riffraff.
  • Did I mention that even though the cable company says it uses dynamic ip's, that my ip has been the same since I first started.

    Almost true. My brother/parents have RoadRunner at their house, and the IP changes every 3-4 months (I think, maybe even more infrequently than that). I believe it changes when they have to do some sort of server restart or the network goes down. But, he has been able to run a server off of it using Linux, dyndns.org (to assign a name to his 'dynamic' ip address automatically), and some ingenuity on keeping a firewall and masquerading on all the time so they don't know he's running a server. After using Ameritech DSL and being on my brother's network during LAN parties (which can really hog bandwidth), I'm sold on cable. Ameritech DSL sucks (and yes, they do use crappy USB SpeedStream DSL modems), and I've never noticed a real slowdown that lasted very long (no more than 15 minutes) on RoadRunner.

  • by MwtrV ( 311470 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @08:04AM (#258251) Journal
    Speedstream efficient networks DSL modem, the one I got, is USB based. That means no Linux, FreeBSD, any sort of UNIX support. One i bought off Ebay was an older Infospeed modem that interfaces to an ethernet card. I *HAD* to buy it because Pacific Bell (god, what a horrid experience I did have with them on DSL...it just wouldn't work for anything) wouldn't supply me with one that interfaced with ethernet.

    True, they don't go much for ebay anymore. What I paid $70 for goes for about $30-$45 now. Everyone sees the new models with the higher speed ratings, and some people question compatibility. I'd be willing to bet the older ones work fine. Besides, how much speed do you really expect to get with the basic level of service?

    Anyway, the point I'm making is with so many DSL providers providing Windows centric modems (thus, I choose cable, seeing the rotten state Pacific Bell was in) they are of atleast SOME value to users of UNIX workstations/servers.

  • Someone could start a project to create an open source DSLAM that costs next to nothing. Once that it created it would not be hard (using old home alarm copper) to create a large DSL network that anyone with a old DSL modem could plug into. DSL is not rocket science. It would be a nice project to see a user maintained and operated ISP. the 'OpenDSL/OpenISP' project or something.. I dont know.. unless you guys have the money for lots of Lucent MAX DSL's and Redbacks..
  • by Phasedshift ( 415064 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @10:11AM (#258257)
    I actually currently have a back to back SDSL connection using Net to Net tech equipment. [nettonettech.com] I am currently at ~17k total loop length (from me to the CO is like 2k feet, but from the CO to the ISP is ~15k), and am sync'd at a stable 1536kbps (I was at 2.3mbps, however that dropped several times a day for a few seconds)... Mind you, I'm not actually getting that much bandwidth (I can't afford it), but its cool that I *could* (I was able to verify that when I got the DSL line installed). While it is true you can use back to back Netopia's (tech note on how to do it is Here [netopia.com] appearently it only works with R7100/R7171 Netopia routers, meaning if you have an R7200, your out of luck.) I prefer Using a dumb bridge, and letting my gateway do outbound load balancing between my 2 DSL lines anyway (I can do nifty things like policy routing, etc on my gateway that I cant on a Netopia..).
  • I have wanted broadband for the last three years. But distance limitations on DSL stopped me from getting it. I signed up for cable cause it was ready first in my area and because for the same price my cable connection is more than 2x as fast. I even got it a few weeks early cause I agreed to be a beta tester in my neigborhood. It has worked almost all the time except for a few brief service probs along their routing system that slowed my latency to their main Washington DC router to about 500ms. Those only lasted a few hours and usually late at night. I had one outage last week that went off an on (mostly off) for a couple days. They said it was my cable signal in my house, but I think it was a neigborhood wide thing. Other than that I have been going good since February. I know about the shared connection problems but I have not experienced any kind of significant traffic based slowdown. DSL will be available to me in another month or so, but with all the complaints I have heard about the service and the contracts and the price/speed situation where I would have to shell out 100 bucks a month to be as fast as my 40 dollar cable connection. Lastly DSL has that stupid log on thing that you gotta go through, whereas my cable is a truly always on connection. Also with cable, I am not required to sign a contract that makes it impossible to cancel and get a refund. Did I mention that even though the cable company says it uses dynamic ip's, that my ip has been the same since I first started.
  • Well, the old "PUC-regulated monopoly" model of utilities was essentially just a government subcontracting system (utilities build out and provide 'universal service' in return for guaranteed profits at 8% or whatever).

    "Deregulation" is primarily just widening the contractor pool in some limited ways. Problem is, the 'universal service' part got left out somewhere along the way. Which is good in some ways because built-out areas are no longer subsidizing new suburban construction, but also not so good because big industrial users (say in California) can jigger the system to get priority access to resources (say electricity).
  • by sporkinator ( 447444 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @07:11AM (#258263) Homepage
    And there are hacks out there to enable them as full routers, depending on the make/model of your DSL modem. Have you checked out DSL Reports [dslreports.com]?
  • I'm in a similar situation. I have an extra netopia DSL Router, and my old ISP refuses to take them back. Why not turn to EBay? Prices will ultimately fall (I can't believe I payed $250 for this piece of junk!) as demand decreases and supply grows. Which leads me to Marx's theory on capitalist overproduction...
  • by buck_wild ( 447801 ) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @10:09AM (#258267)
    This is possible. All you need is DSL/Cable/T1 connection to your ISP, two DSL modems (one for you and one for the other guy,) a dry copper line, and a router. Just make sure the other guy isn't TOO far away. I've gone as far as 20,000 feet and gotten decent throughput. My cost breakdown: AT&T cable internet - $47.50 Dry coper line - ~$21 2 DSL modems - free with two cancelled DSL services Multiply the above by the number of people you're willing to share your precious bandwidth with. Linksys router - $78 misc cables and computers not counted With a little configuration elbow-grease, your bandwidth (and internal network, (coughMP3scough) if you are so inclined) is now shared. Easy peasy. Note: With AT&T broadband, I'm not allowed to host a server. I haven't read the agreement closely, but even though I'm not technically acting as a server...I'm sure this isn't allowed.

"Wish not to seem, but to be, the best." -- Aeschylus