So frustrating! Today my Internet was down from 10:30am until 5pm when I finally figured out what was going wrong.
Firstly – I lost my connection. So I rebooted my router. I’m not using a BT Home Hub – rather my own ADSL modem/router. And every time I tried reconnecting I kept getting assigned addresses like: 172.16.20.1, 172.16.20.2, 172.16.20.3 … 172.16.20.127 (when it would wrap back to 172.16.20.1).
The DNS assigned by BT when this happens is 126.96.36.199 which responds to all names thusly:
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.google.com. IN A
;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.google.com. 0 IN A 188.8.131.52
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
www.google.com. 0 IN NS dns.bt.net.
;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
dns.bt.net. 0 IN A 184.108.40.206
In other words it redirects all web pages to http://220.127.116.11/ – which gives you this page:
You have been connected to this page due to
one of the following reasons. You must now
shut down your browser and Internet applications
before attempting to reconnect.
The BTWholesale access circuit to your Service Provider is currently down.
Your service should be resumed soon.
You are testing your local connection to BT using
You are testing your connection to your Service Provider using
‘bt_test_user@domain’ where domain is your Service Provider domain name.
Your Service Provider is currently unable to accept your connection
request please wait until service is restored or contact your Service
Provider for further information.
You have attempted to access an invalid Service Provider domain.
Pretty frustrating? Right?
This is typical of what my modem would show upon connecting in this state:
Getting a VPN Connection To BT Instead Of An Internet Connection
I fought with this for hours and hours. Until I came across a post suggesting that the correct username/password for CHAP authentication on PPPoA should be:
email@example.com as the username with no password. That wouldn’t work for me, but it would if I supplied a password of
anything (a blank password would not work but any other password would seem to work).
Here is a screenshot of my router settings:
Router Configuration for BT Home Broadband
Before today (2012-06-05) I had been using a username of “
a” and a non-blank password. This had been working fine (except for the occasional VPN address being handed out in the form 172.16.x.x instead of getting an Internet address – but only happened rarely).
I wonder if today BT applied a new policy requiring the
firstname.lastname@example.org username to be applied. This would make sense if other wholesaled products were confusing the DSLAM as they require a domain specific username. But funny day to apply such a policy – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
My other theory is that my local exchange was down for the whole day – and just as it came up I happened to apply the bthomehub username – and this is the username it has learned. Unlikely as it would have been incredibly coincidental my service just happens to start working the instant I apply the username change.
So – maybe this information will help others in future who want to use their own routers instead of the supplied BT Home Hubs – or are already using their own routers and discover, today, that they cannot use BT Broadband as a result of being placed in a walled garden.