BSNL is one of the leading broadband providers in India. They have managed to provide blazing fast internet connections at rates affordable to an average middle class Indian. Although they provide top quality connection speeds with very little down time, their technical support leaves a lot to be desired. More so when it comes to configuring connections in Linux. They just mention Linux as "other operating systems" in their help guides. This article covers the configuration of the BSNL Dataone broadband connection over a Dare Global DB108 modem-router on Ubuntu. Although we have tested it only on Ubuntu the steps should more or less apply for other flavours of Linux as well.

There are two ways of configuring a PPPOE connection - one is using the pppoeconf command and the other by configuring the router directly. The former requires you to log on an log off from your pc while the latter lets you have a full-time-up connection which lets you go online the moment you turn on your PC. We are covering only the second strategy in this tutorial.

  1. Connect the BSNL DB108 modem/router to the BSNL line and the power supply
  2. Connect the modem to the computer using an ethernet cable
  3. Power on the modem and the computer.
  4. Go to System/Administration/Network and ensure that the network card (most probably eth0) is the default connection and that it is active.
  5. In the properties dialog for eth0, change the IP address to static IP and set the IP to 192.168.1.2. Set the DNS servers as 61.1.96.69, 61.1.96.71, 208.67.220.220 and 208.67.222.222; Leave the other settings as default.
  6. Check if you have connectivity to the router by running 'ping 192.168.1.1' in a terminal.
  7. Open firefox and go to http://192.168.1.1. This will bring up the authentication dialog. Enter user-admin and password-password to log into the router administration system.
  8. Click on WAN in the left menu.
  9. In the WAN setup page identify the row with VPI/VCI value as 0/35 (probably the third row) and click on the Edit button.
  10. In the wizard that follows, select PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE) as the connection type and enter your BSNL broadband connection username(eg: anoopjohn) and password(eg: asdf123). Leave all other settings as is and save by clicking next.
  11. Reboot the router by clicking on reboot in the left menu.
  12. Test the connection by pinging some public IP address (eg: 208.67.222.222 of the OpenDNS.org). Also check your dns settings by pinging www.zyxware.com. Verify this by trying to open www.zyxware.com in your browser.
  13. If all goes well you should be able to access internet on your system by this point.

In step 6 if you dont have connectivity to the router then you have to check if your ethernet card is up by running 'ifconfig -a'. If the card is up then you should be able to ping 127.0.0.1. If both card and cable are up then you should try resetting the router and see if it is working fine. Normally there shouldn't be any problem. In step 12 if there are problems accessing internet sites but are able to ping public ip addresses then check your DNS server settings in /etc/resolv.conf. This file should be of the format

nameserver 61.1.96.69
nameserver 61.1.96.71
nameserver 208.67.220.220
nameserver 208.67.222.222

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