I have been very busy working on the future of BizTalk. Currently, this is mostly attending meetings and writing prototypes. This has been exciting and has not left me much time to post here.

Aside from this, I managed to find some time to setup my Verizon DSL. At the end of June (June 30th to be price), I ordered DSL from Verizon Online. They tested my line and sent me the equipment. Well, I had to call their customer service to "remind" them that they should have sent me the modem and the filters. I received the modem but no filters. As a result, I currently have to choose between my phone or the DSL.

Anyway, I currently run Mac OS X (10.2.8) at home and I had no problem getting this machine online. I used the well known trick of power cycling the DSL modem right after running setup and I started to enjoy a fast access to the internet in less than 5 minutes. Things started to get more interesting when I tried to hook up my D-Link wireless router DI-624.

This is by no mean a complex task, I thought. Well, it turned out that it was not immediately obvious to me. Verizon sent me a dual modem: Ethernet and USB. The model is a Westell "WireSpeed". After hooking up the Ehternet output of the modem to the WAN input of the D-Link router, I configured the WAN side to do PPPoE (Point to Point Protocol Over Ethernet) with my username and password. Of course, it did not work. The DI-624 could not establish a PPPoE connection.

I then inspected my unit a little more closely and noticed the part number of the modem: B90-210015-04. Basically, this is supposed to mean that this is a Westell 2100 modem, provided by Verizon (the "15" part. If it was Bell, it would have been "30"). Actually, the Verizon part number on the cardboard box says that the modem is actually a B90-211015-04. Oh well .... Westell (official web site) uses Verizon (among others) as distributors and allow them to customize the firmware so this might be why they are kind of sloppy on the part numbers.

There were essentially two solutions: either way the modem was acting as a DSL router or my configuration on the D-Link was wrong. A quick search on the internet revealed that a Westell 2100 is a bridge and cannot be configured to be a router therefore setting up PPPoE is required. Being 100% sure that my PPPoE configuration was right, I pulled the heavy artillery: I hooked up the modem output to a computer and ran netmon in promiscuous mode.

I very quickly understood what happened. I saw DHCP and TCP frames. My modem is in fact a Westell 2110 which allows two computers to be connected at the same time (via Ethernet and USB). To achieve this, it contains a little DHCP server and the line negotiation is handled by the modem. I configured the DI-624 to acquire an dynamic IP address (as I would have for a cable connection) and got connectivity.

I am a little unhappy with this situation. I'd rather disable the PPPoE and DHCP capabilities of the modem and have my D-Link do PPPoE. However, neither the Westell 2100 nor the Westell 2110 can be setup this way.