Using NTL broadband with Linux

Q I would like to sign up for NTL's cable broadband package, but they tell me they do not support Linux. Does this mean the system will not work with Linux, or just that they cannot provide advice? I do not doubt that if I plug the modem into the Ethernet card it will be picked up, but how do I connect it to the broadband system? Do I use KPPP with different settings or what? I'm wondering if I need a specialist provider or if I can use any provider as long as I have 'the knowledge'.

A I can assure you that you can use NTL broadband internet with Linux - I had it myself. All you do is connect the Ethernet port of the modem to the Ethernet port of your computer (you should not need a cross-over cable) and set your network interface to use DHCP. You do not need KPPP, KDE's internet dialler, as cable broadband does not use PPP. You will need to switch on the modem and wait for the RDY and SYNC lights to become stable. This means that the modem is connected to NTL. Now you can bring up your Ethernet interface and it will get its IP address, routing and DNS information from the modem.

However, you will find that with NTL, as with most ADSL broadband providers, Linux will work with their service but they don't provide support. The notable exceptions (in the UK at least) are UK Linux and The UK Free Software Network, at www.uklinux.net and www.ukfsn.org respectively. Whichever provider you choose, the most important decision is that you use an Ethernet-based modem. NTL provides one, whereas most ADSL ISPs, especially the cheaper ones, offer a USB modem as standard. Accept the 'free' modem by all means, but budget £20 or so for an Ethernet ADSL modem.

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