[lug] Covad and IDSL

Michael Deck deckm at cleansoft.com
Mon Jul 30 09:11:18 MDT 2001

I have Covad IDSL powering a heterogeneous system consisting of a Linux 
(RH6.0) firewall/router/masq, a Linux (Mdk7.2) file server, and several 
Win32 boxes.

As far as customer service, I am not talking direct to Covad but to an ISP 
(Hostpro formerly micron.net) that resells Covad. So YMMV. Although at 
first the customer service people seemed to be saying "don't tell us you 
have Linux or we can't support you" in recent months they seem to be fine 
with Linux. However, I have had VERY few requests for linux-specific help 
e.g. setting up files and protocols. All of my problems have been with raw 
connectivity. So I can call them up and say look, I can't traceroute to you 
and here's where it's hung, and they are pretty cool. Occasionally you get 
some chowderhead who wants to go through the entire troubleshooting 
flowchart "did you power off and power on again?" nonsense but you can 
usually get someone else.

It is true that the terminal-adapter configuration program runs only on 
Win32. That wasn't a big problem for me -- I have a few Win32 boxes but in 
fact the only time I actually tried to change the configuration from what 
the Covad guy set up, I bungled it bad 8-}

The BIG problem I've had with this service is connection reliability. 
Because I am really at the bleeding edge of the physical service area, and 
because my neighborhood has very few good pairs left, I'm down once or 
twice a month sometimes for as much as a day. Mostly this is a Qwest/Covad 
problem. There have been growing pains at my ISP too. The biggest problem 
has been that they sell hosting as well as ISP and you always end up 
contacting the 'wrong side' of the shop.  But on the whole it's a lot 
better than dialup and cheaper than ISDN which is what I had before. I do 
also pay for a dialup account as emergency backup. Since this thing is my 
home office connection, I can't afford to be offline for email though 
occasional outages of my web site are tolerable.

The Covad/IDSL connection I have provides a single IP address. I've asked 
the ISP to map my domain name (cleansoft.net) and a handful of subdomains 
(www.cleansoft.net) to that IP address which is the address of my 
firewall/router. The terminal adapter is set to bridge. My router then 
forwards requests into my NATed network as appropriate. I saw nothing in 
the terms of service that precluded a web server or any other service. It's 
not a fast server though (at 144K) so if you want your personal web site to 
serve something like video you probably want to look for a hosting service. 
I do that for my 'real' web site (cleansoft.com). You can compare the speed 
difference if you're interested.

My neighbor has Sprint wireless. Unfortunately there's a hill behind my 
house so he has line-of-sight where I don't think I can get it. He reports 
that the latency is pretty bad but the bandwidth is great. ATT Broadband 
has just announced cable for our neighborhood so when my Covad contract is 
up (December) I'll look into that.

Drop me a note offline if you have any other questions and I'd be happy to 


At 07:56 AM 7/30/01 -0600, you wrote:
>My ISP is dropping their DSL support. My phone line doesn't qualify for DSL,
>so I have IDSL. Covad will supply me IDSL, but they don't support Linux;
>they say that I need to run a program on Windows 9x or NT/2000. My
>1) Has anybody had any experience with IDSL and Covad? Can it be made to
>work with Linux (I don't have any trouble with Firstworld, who use Covad as
>the carrier)?
>2) Does anybody know of another, Linux-friendly ISP in Arvada for IDSL? I
>have seen a link where you can research ISPs, but I don't remember what it
>3) Can anybody recommend a good alternative (e.g. some form of wireless)? I
>want to host a small personal web site on my server, so I need an ISP that
>doesn't forbid that.
>Thank you in advance for your help!
>Terry Branaman
>Web Page:  http://lug.boulder.co.us
>Mailing List: http://lists.lug.boulder.co.us/mailman/listinfo/lug

Michael Deck
Cleanroom Software Engineering, Inc.   

More information about the LUG mailing list