Friday, January 06, 2012

Dying Gasps on Broadband

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Within days of getting a broadband connection from BSNL I find myself trying to decipher the secret language of LEDs, to understand why my internet connection keeps tripping every few minutes.

'Customer Care' at BSNL, unfortunately, continues to be an oxymoron. The helpline has a ready, pre-recorded explanation for all wobbly connections - 'technical work is in progress'. And this has been on for the past three days.

In hindsight, the broadband-guy did a smart thing by giving me some troubleshooting notes. It has already come in handy while trying to understand why the links are so erratic and unreliable. Everytime there is a break in the connection, I find myself staring at the array of LEDs on the modem. The only one which is constant is the red one for power supply. The fickle ones are the yellow for DSL and green's for internet and WiFi.

The wireless modem itself ( ADSL2+ CPE/IAD model AN-1020-21 type WT) is manufactured by Vippalamiritha Magnetic Components Ltd., Hyderabad. It comes with a manual which is anything but helpful. Its GUI interface at the default IP address, 192.168.1.1, tosses up a long list of acronyms which give company to common attributes like Dying Gasp, WhipMode and UtopiaInterface.

It is 'Dying Gasp' that first caught my attention. What a appropriate term for an instrument always on the brink of near-death experiences! Somebody out there certainly has a sense of humor.

Dying gasp is apparently a message sent by the customer premises equipment (CPE) DSL device to the digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) when a power outage occurs. It is listed as one of the 'common attributes' of an Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Link (ADSL).

My wireless modem has been gasping, dying and going through the inevitable cycles of life & death a few hundred times everyday. Nirvana is nowhere in sight. Nor is the possibility of a reliable broadband connection. Until that happens I plod on with my karma of trying to understand more about ADSL  and broadband technology.

Here is an attempt at figuring out the answers (this is, of course, a work-in-progress):

ADSL2+: Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line
ANS:
CPE:
DHCP Server:
DNS: Domain Name Server
MAC spoofing: lets MyDslModem identify itself as another computer or device.
PPPOE LlcBridged Protocol:
PVC Mapping:
SNR:
SSID: Service Set Identifier in wireless computer networking
UBR Category:
VPI/VCI: (0-255)/(32-65535)

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