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What To Do With Old DSL Modems?

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the bookends-paperweights-ballast dept.

Hardware 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 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?"

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I also have 3 modems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258093)

I would like to know what the heck I could do with the unused DSL modems! Anybody buying them outhere? ;-) AT&T?

USB DSL Modem under Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258094)

Anyone know if it's possible to get a Westell Wirespeed DSL modem to work with Linux? Or better still how to do it...

Libertarians! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258095)

Is this how the markets work to the benefit of the consumer?

Re:Do not hack these things! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258096)

N0 1t's n07! W3 1s b13in6 w@y 31137 hax0rs and back eng1n33r1n6 tha s7uff t0 kn0w h0w 17 w0rx. Y0u @r3 dumb.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258097)

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.

Re:Not to nitpick, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258098)

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.

Do what is done with every other piece of hardware (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#258103)

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).

Re:ebay, ebay, ebay (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

You should've leased! (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

Build your own DSL links. (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#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!

Re:Build your own DSL links. (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

Fun with DHCP! (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

Auction sites, and other ideas (4)

abischof (255) | more than 13 years ago | (#258111)

Well, there's always eBay [] or other [] auction sites [] . 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 [] of hand coded HTML / JavaScript / CSS.

Alex Bischoff

Cisco 675/Qwest (3)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 13 years ago | (#258115)

I have a pair of Pairgain HRUs and they do not work together.

My mistake: HTU-R (remote) ends, not HRU. They require HTU-Cs in order to establish an end-to-end link.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 13 years ago | (#258116)

Can't you serially connect the T-1 thru a PC ? I have seen old serial connectors for T-1's but I've never used one so I dunno if this will actually work...

Are you talking about V.35? It's just a high speed synchronous serial port and pretty much a standard for WAN; Offhand I don't recall how fast it can go but it's damn fast and the damn connectors are expensive as hell. :-)

Re:Build your own DSL links. (4)

tzanger (1575) | more than 13 years ago | (#258118)

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. :-)

Re:Do not hack these things! (4)

tzanger (1575) | more than 13 years ago | (#258119)

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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (4)

tzanger (1575) | more than 13 years ago | (#258120)

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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (5)

tzanger (1575) | more than 13 years ago | (#258121)

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.

How did these things get called modems? (1)

RevDigger (4288) | more than 13 years ago | (#258122)

Does anyone else find it completely annoying that these things, which neither MOdulate nor DEModulate, are getting called modems? It even says "DSL modem" on my Alcatel box. Aren't these things bridges? If you need a device to convert digital networking to analog, you don't have DSL!

Hmmmm (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 13 years ago | (#258125)

Can't you serially connect the T-1 thru a PC ? I have seen old serial connectors for T-1's but I've never used one so I dunno if this will actually work...

depends.... (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 13 years ago | (#258126)

My buddy lives next door and has cable thru Astound. I have ADSL via Pac-Bell. Our bandwidth is almost the same, within 20-40kps during off hours, and my ADSL BLOWS AWAY HIS cable modem during peak hours. He cannot play Tribes on my server from 15:00 - 19:00 and we live 50 ft away.
***Warning : PAC-Bell's customer service is HORRIBLE. Unless you can install and set it up your self forget them as an ISP. I have been there 2 years and still have a static IP, but the only issue DHCP to home customers now I've heard.

Don't use the alcatel (2)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 13 years ago | (#258127)

It has a backdoor left by the manufacturer. There was a CERT warning out regarding that model I believe.

ok (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 13 years ago | (#258128)

I'll take a free cisco 675 any day.

and a phone line filter that actually works
would be worth ten bucks.

also, i'd rather end up with obsolete gear than
leasing it from the telco.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (1)

KyleCordes (10679) | more than 13 years ago | (#258129)

I have connected two T1 routers (Ascend, I forget the model #) together end-to-end (with appropriate wire pairs swapped), and they talked to each other just fine, with no other equipment in the middle.

Someone mentioned this.. (5)

RAruler (11862) | more than 13 years ago | (#258132)

Theres a Do-It-Yourself DSL website for DSL. Here. []


OT: English (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#258133)

I'm pretty sure you mean "guerrilla" nets, not gorilla nets.

But only once person needs an ISP (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 13 years ago | (#258136)

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).

Cables Modem Stadard (1)

alch (30445) | more than 13 years ago | (#258138)

It's now simpler for Cable modems in the US. There is the DOCSIS standard - they even sell Cable modems at Best Buy here in Dallas !!! But I rent mine anyway - 50$ Total for @HOME - loved it since Day 1 ... GTE/Verizon ... They have sent me 2 Cable modems and my line is still hooked up - but nothing works. They cancelled the order but never asked for anything back or fixed anything.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#258139)

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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#258140)


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!

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#258141)

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).

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#258142)

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.

I don't know about other models, but.. (2)

boarder (41071) | more than 13 years ago | (#258144)

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...

Sell it, or hack it. (2)

risacher (41716) | more than 13 years ago | (#258146)

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 [] to try to install linux on my modem.

Re:Telocity dsl router.... (3)

mhatle (54607) | more than 13 years ago | (#258149)

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.. ;)


Cisco 675 (1)

Wariac (56029) | more than 13 years ago | (#258150)

When I was with USWest, I had a Cisco 675 [] which was great! It ran CBOS (Cisco Broadband OS), was a NAT, DHCP, TFTP and Telnet server.

After I switched to Verizon I sold it for $180.

What's the problem in the US??? (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 13 years ago | (#258151)

I don't understand why americans can't get DSL and high speed internet access off the ground. I've had a cable connection at 29.95$ per months, for two years now. It is accessible to almost anyone in the province (Québec) and there is also a DSL connection which is about two times slower (about 150kbytes/sec), but still fast enough, and is promising to get even faster during the next year. I know you are ten times more in the US then in Canada, but man, are you lagging behind! And for your question, well you could still of course sell them on eBay. But you could also use it to sell your current internet connection to your neighborhs. ;-)

"The answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is... 42"

Re:What's the problem in the US??? (2)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 13 years ago | (#258152)

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"

I know the pain (1)

z84976 (64186) | more than 13 years ago | (#258155)

I'm an Atlanta ex-Pheonix ex-Megapath ex-Telocity person myself. Telocity just sent me a postage paid shipping form to send them their "Velocity Port" device back, else they'll want to charge me for it. I can understand... it can't have been too cheap to make, and they only ever got like $90 out of me before dying. That label from Telocity, though, came in a rather non-special looking envelope marked "DirecTV". So don't toss it...

And now I have (aside from the Telocity thing) TWO 3com SDSL modems and a spare Alcatel 1000 ADSL modem (still got Bellsouth ADSL).

Re:Telocity GW (1)

z84976 (64186) | more than 13 years ago | (#258156)

You are correct sir. Don't throw away that shipping label they're sending you! (see my post right above yours)

HEY! after removing my Telocity thing, I find that I can get sync using one of my 3com SDSL modems. anybody got a clue what I can do with this?

Re:You should've leased! (4)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 13 years ago | (#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!

Re:Telocity dsl router.... (5)

Gill Bates (88647) | more than 13 years ago | (#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 <A HREF="mailto:support"><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 ( and implies that the modem is running VxWorks, not Linux (as the article submitter implied).

Just think but..... (2)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 13 years ago | (#258166)

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! :)

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

dpotter (95081) | more than 13 years ago | (#258167)

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.

Sell it on Ebay (4)

rsletten (98901) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

Upgrade your grey matter, cause one day it may mat (1)

krypto (103484) | more than 13 years ago | (#258172)

Im the proud *sarcasm* owned of an Alcatel "1000 ADSL" modem. Cable comes May 3rd and with all my pain and downtimes with Ameritechs Highclass DSL......heh, I plan on throwning this modem all over my city untill I can't find pieces to throw. You can all have fun hacking your modems, but I'll have my revenge against DSL!!!

Telocity GW (1)

wahoo (105388) | more than 13 years ago | (#258173)

Does anyone else recall reading something to this effect:

The Telocity GW is free to use as long as you maintained service, afterwhich, it if was not returned, you would be charged USD 425.
I know I read this somewhere, but it doesn't seem to be in the service agreement [] (any more?)

Re:Build your own DSL links. (5)

tburkhol (121842) | more than 13 years ago | (#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's not like hooking up your 56k. I'm just trying to clarify the proposal.

ISDN really does use a modem (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 13 years ago | (#258181)

The modulation scheme for ISDN does in fact involve a modem. There are four signal levels, and thus two bits are sent per baud. The bandwidth the signal occupies is 80KHz, the baud rate is 80Kbaud, and the raw data rate is 160Kbits/sec. It's not just raw digital bits over the wire. It's not much of a modem by modern standards, but it's a modem.

DSL modems are quite complex as modems go. Quite a bit of work goes into characterizing the channel, agreeing on parameters, and working around noise. Trying to get megabit data over legacy copper in tightly packed non-twisted pair cables is a non-trivial encoding job.

(Something I don't know is how ISDN separates the two directions of data sent over a single copper pair. Bandsplitting? Cancellation? Time division? Anybody know?)

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

Edward Kmett (123105) | more than 13 years ago | (#258182)

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

Telocity dsl router.... (5)

dr4ma (131729) | more than 13 years ago | (#258183)

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!

Re:What's the problem in the US??? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 13 years ago | (#258184)

what do you mean? I have cable modem that has never run under 1.5 Mbit.(39.95) For 2 year before that I had 728 dsl(39.95) I knoe a lot of people who have high speed access, so I don't know what you mean by "americans can't get DSL and high speed internet access off the ground".

Re:Libertarians! (3)

locutus074 (137331) | more than 13 years ago | (#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 [] 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.'"


How about used ISDN Equiptment? (1)

olddoc (152678) | more than 13 years ago | (#258187)

I too have a used IDSL CopperRocket and an Impact IQ ISDN "modem" and a USR Sportster 128 ISA card. Best offer over $10 for any of them!

huh? (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 13 years ago | (#258189)

the damn things (DSL modems) are free, i have two Westell WireSpeed modems (one's a Rev A and the other a Rev B)... i never paid for either one, i do pay $34.95/mo for the service, and did sign a six-month contract for the service... btw, there were no installation fees... earthlink.

Re:Sell them in other countries (1)

vaalrus (160494) | more than 13 years ago | (#258190)

I'm not sure what the re-sale value would be here. DSL access is fairly cheap and common (and high performance) here. 1.5 to 4Mbit Down, .5 to 1Mbit up are the norm, and the hardware included in your line rate for almost free(the telco "buy your modem at our store, plug it in yourself" package is about $100, but saves $5.oo/mo). Unless you get into high-end xDSL or symetric DSL, the hardware isn't an issue. The hard part is the occaisional wait for an open port in your neighborhood. vaalrus - early adopter DSL-1997,(1.5Mbitx768k) Cybersurfer cable at home:1997 also (shared 8Mbit down, 640k up). both services ~$40/mo (CAN- so about U$25.oo)

ebay, ebay, ebay (5)

eltardo (160932) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

sounds a lot like my plight (4)

YodaToad (164273) | more than 13 years ago | (#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 [] . 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...

Internal models ... but rare (3)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 13 years ago | (#258198)

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(); }

Re:ebay, ebay, ebay (3)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#258200)

I sold my two DSL modems on eBay and got a cable modem for free from Comcast Online. Never been happier.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (1)

sapphire42 (178537) | more than 13 years ago | (#258201)

We have a box on each end right now. Basically, they install the alarm circuit between your house and the ISP office. We use special routers (point to point dsl routers) from one company but I know that you can use others. Basically, you plug in it, and it works. Both sides of the equipment we use is rather costly, which is why it's for business use rather than home users (who tend to be cheap here). The ISP can get a rack that cuts equipment costs a bit per user, rather than getting one box for each customer sitting in your noc. I don't know how this would work with a regular DSL modem, that isn't something we have really tried. These boxes we have cost about 450 a piece, and they are made specifically for point-to-point DSL. If the ISP places an alarm circuit order, they can usually give you an idea of the looplength, but there is really no guarantee with this. In some places, this is your only shot at providing or getting DSL.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

sapphire42 (178537) | more than 13 years ago | (#258202)

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.

You could..... (1)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 13 years ago | (#258203)

always capitalize on the profitable DSL business model and start your own ISP.

Hardware Info? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#258204)

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 [] comic strip

Re:Build your own DSL links. (1)

mikenet (190660) | more than 13 years ago | (#258205)

I have never ordered through SWBell, but often you can ask for an alarm circuit/LAD circuit. These are not conditioned for data(about $170/month), but they work most of the time(alarm circuits are usually $20/month).

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

mikenet (190660) | more than 13 years ago | (#258206)

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)?

Re:Build your own DSL links. (1)

wierdo (201021) | more than 13 years ago | (#258210)

We've got a couple of sites running with Netopia R7100s and they work great. The problem is finding a good enough pair for them. Often, in small towns, it's the only way to get anything greater than an analog dialup without leasing an expensive 56K data line. Of course, now, 2 years later, both towns have DSL through their LECs, but it's all ADSL, not SDSL.


Care about freedom?

Standards in RADSL (5)

CBOS (202032) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.

On old modems... (5)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 13 years ago | (#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

G.lite doesn't extend the distance at all... (5)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 13 years ago | (#258214)

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: []

Articles like this... (4)

the_lizardman (205028) | more than 13 years ago | (#258216)

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

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."

CD-Rs & AOL disks & DSL modems, oh my! (2)

KurdtX (207196) | more than 13 years ago | (#258217)

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.


Re:got an idea (1)

HazMathew (207212) | more than 13 years ago | (#258218)

Good idea man... I can store like my pot and my schrooms and my acid man. No one will ever know man. Thanks alltel, man, for keeping the American Dream alive man. hehe. Hey, wait, but my bongs wont fit man.

Another question on it... (3)

SamMichaels (213605) | more than 13 years ago | (#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 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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

Cirvam (216911) | more than 13 years ago | (#258221)

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.

we borrow them only.. (2)

michaelo (224201) | more than 13 years ago | (#258224)

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,

got an idea (3)

unformed (225214) | more than 13 years ago | (#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?

Re:Build your own DSL links. (2)

pillar (227782) | more than 13 years ago | (#258231)

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.

Re:Build your own DSL links. (3)

pillar (227782) | more than 13 years ago | (#258232)

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 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)

Re:Not to nitpick, but... (1)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 13 years ago | (#258237)

I know the difference, but modem is easier to type, and everyone knows what it refers to. When someone says terminal adaptor, I think back to the days of mainframes... :)

Sell them in other countries (3)

ttys00 (235472) | more than 13 years ago | (#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?

Re:depends.... (1)

spoocr (237489) | more than 13 years ago | (#258240)

20-40kbps on off hours? I'm on cable, and depending on the server, I can get insane speeds - I recently downloaded a Mandrake ISO at an average speed of about 380 kbps frm a server 2 states away. This was about at 7pm, too. I typically get about 120 kbps. I've never had a problem, even during peak times. Any idea how many people are on his neighborhood hub?

-- Chris

Re:Check your facts first...... (5)

Rager-vs-Machine (241119) | more than 13 years ago | (#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 []
Part II - ADSL Handshake/Upper Layers []

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 the devices are called modems. ISDN is pretty much dead, but I seldom hear folks call the CPE device for ISDN a modem.

Re:I also have 3 modems (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 13 years ago | (#258243)

I'll talk one, I need to find one for much less then the MSRP.

Re:Do not hack these things! (1)

baptiste (256004) | more than 13 years ago | (#258244)

Ha! LOL - When I managed IT - MCSE meant squat. It usually inidcated someone with book expereiince but no real field experieince which is what we craved. Sure there were gurus with MCSE, but I'd take someone who showed a hackers instinct with a couple years experieince than some random with MCSE and the same experience.

Overall I found certifications were often overrated, or better put there were SOMETIMES better candidates without certs who had lived with teh stuff vs someone from another IT area who took cert course X to expand his horizons.


Sounds like guilt free hacking to me (2)

baptiste (256004) | more than 13 years ago | (#258245)

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


Don't get rid of them just yet! (5)

MwtrV (311470) | more than 13 years ago | (#258251)

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 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.

Not to nitpick, but... (1)

LX.onesizebigger (323649) | more than 13 years ago | (#258253)

Media in general has a way of obscuring the vocab surrounding computing in order to promote company interests (MSNBC's definition of `hacker'), or to provide the clueless Joe Blow with a language he can understand (DSL/ISDN modems). The bad thing is when those who should know better start to adapt this distorted vocabulary.

In a wholly digital environment such as DSL or ISDN, there is no need to modulate and demodulate the signal from digital to analogue and vice versa. Instead, the protocols need only be adapted. Hence, we call this device a terminal adaptor, not modem.

SDSL back to back bridges (3)

Phasedshift (415064) | more than 13 years ago | (#258257)

I actually currently have a back to back SDSL connection using Net to Net tech equipment. [] 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 [] 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..).

Re:What's the problem in the US??? (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 13 years ago | (#258261)

Canadian government is subsidizing high speed Internet, eh?

Re:Libertarians! (2)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 13 years ago | (#258262)

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).

Some of them are just routers (5)

sporkinator (447444) | more than 13 years ago | (#258263)

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 [] ?

Re:Do not hack these things! (1)

just_another_spork (447671) | more than 13 years ago | (#258264)

No! You learn by reading Slashdot. Slashdot users are experts on everything.

Re:Do not hack these things! (1)

Canivour (447768) | more than 13 years ago | (#258265)

Pfft! Let them do what they like ;) Thats the way we learn.

The Problem (2)

zoombah (447772) | more than 13 years ago | (#258266)

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...

Re:But only one person needs an ISP (4)

buck_wild (447801) | more than 13 years ago | (#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.
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