4. Telstra BigPond Advance Cable

Telstra are Australia's other major cable internet provider. Configuring Telstra cable is slightly more difficult than Optus, but it's very similar (at least to start with). Like Optus, Telstra use DHCP to assign IP addresses. However, this only gains you access to a small part of Telstra's internal network. In order to gain full internet access, you have to run a login client, which authenticates your username and password and opens up complete internet access. Telstra only supply a login client for Windows and MacOS, but the protocol has been reverse-engineered, and an open-source client is available.

4.1. Software needed

4.2. Installing the software

BPALogin is an open-source login client for BigPond cable. It's fairly easy to install - if you're using an RPM-based distribution the RPM available from the website should do you fine. Debian users can apt-get install bpalogin.

If you can't find a binary for your distribution, there's two options - either download the binary tarball, or compile from source. To install the binary tarball, download and unpack it, and copy the bpalogin file to /usr/sbin.

4.3. Configuration

4.3.1. Manual configuration

First, you have to get DHCP working, as per the instructions in the Optus@Home page. However, after getting an IP address through DHCP, only a small part of Telstra's internal network will be available to you. To test your connection, try this:

ftp dce-server

If your connection is working, this should give you an FTP login prompt - press Ctrl-C to exit. Now all that remains is to configure bpalogin.

Your bpalogin package should come with a bpalogin.conf file, which belongs in /etc (in fact, if you installed an RPM or deb package it'll probably be there already). Open this file with a text editor, and find lines that start with "username" and "password". Change the "yourname" and "yourpass" to your username and password, eg:

debuglevel 1
username ldyer
password mypassword

Once you have this file filled in correctly, you can try running bpalogin as follows (as root):

bpalogin -c /etc/bpalogin.conf

If all goes well, you should now be able to ping ftp.kernel.org.

4.3.2. Automatic configuration

If you're using a BPALogin package for your distribution, then you should find a standard initscript in the package - this means that getting BPALogin running on startup is as simple as using your distribution's initscript manager to run the BPALogin initscript for you.