A customer just got a new Bigpond 7.2 home network gateway, and needed some help installing it.
This device is like an adsl wireless modem/router, except it uses telstras nextg 3G network instead of ADSL over a wired telephone line.
What makes it nice is that it also has a wifi (802.11G) network, as well as 4 ethernet ports.
Anyway, I try to setup like any other router (by connecting directly to router web interface), but the nextG section will not accept the customers username/password.
We call bigpond, and ask for a password reset (as customer is not sure about the password). The bigpond tech says there is no “transit” delay in changing the password, so I should be able to try it straight away, and to call back if there are any problems.
I try with the new password, but it still won’t accept the username/password (the NextG page has boxes for username and password, and a connect button, and a (greyed-out) disconnect button).
Every time I press “connect”, the modem thinks for a few seconds, and then the connect button becomes available again.
I call telstra/bigpond, and the tech gets me to enter a “test” username and password. It actually connects this time (connect button greyed-out, and the disconnect button is active), but the PC still cannot see the internet (no web browsing and ping fails).
Restarting the router/modem and PC doesn’t help.
The tech eventually tells me to re-install the software from the bigpond CD, and call back if I have further problems.
I can’t see how installing the CD software will help, but I try it anyway.
I hate it when I’m proved wrong… it worked.
At this stage, I figure the PC needs some kind of telstra “authorisation” software, in order for the PC to talk to the modem/router.
Or the network propagation of the new password took longer than I was told.
Next, I try configuring a laptop… and its able to connect to the internet (by just setting up its wifi settings).
So that proves my “connect software” theory wrong as well.
A possible explanation (at that stage) is that telstra has gone back to the dreaded “heartbeat” software they once used on their cable internet system.
To test the theory, I replaced the initial PC (the one with the CD software installed), with a vanilla PC (no telstra software) this was actually the customers original PC (I had to uninstall 2 sets of Telstra 3G software… one for a usb 3G modem, and one for the “home network gateway”… a possible source of many conflicts.
The “cleaned” PC also works on the internet without any problems.
So, the only real explanations for what happened are either:
– There is a long delay (over 30 minutes) between when a password is reset, and when it is active within the mobile network.
– The install software (which can take over 10 minutes to run) makes some specific changes to the modem, without which, no connection is possible.