I'm dealing with Telkom regarding an issue I'm having with my 4Mbps ADSL line. I have an account with Mweb. I'm trying to get a more technical idea of what is going wrong with my line, so that I have an idea of whether Telkom is giving me the runaround.
My line is not very old -- it's been up for about four months and was working fine. On Tuesday 24 July, it was disconnected because Telkom screwed up a debit order. It was reconnected the same afternoon, and all was fine. Later that night, though, I found myself unable to browse the Internet or make any outgoing connections from my laptop. A server that had been downloading files from newsgroups, however, continued to download them happily. My router (it's a Belkin) reported that it was connected.
Confused, I restarted the router. When it came back up, the line synched successfully at the expected speed. However, it was unable to establish the ADSL connection. In the router's log, it indicates that it times out (after 3 seconds) waiting for a response to the PADI it has sent out. For the record, the voice line seems to be operating fine. I spoke to Mweb about this, who indicate that they see no attempts at connection from my account at their end. I called Telkom, and a technician did a port reset over the phone (apparently), but it had no effect. I logged a line fault with Telkom, and am now waiting the requisite three months for them to show up. When they do, I want to make absolutely sure I have my story right.
So, I've read up on PPPoE and learned that the PADI is sent to begin the discovery phase of the PPPoE initiation. Furthermore, I've read that the ADSL authentication (with my Mweb account) happens later -- my router sends a MAC address in the PADI, but no other unique information about itself. What I want to know is: who should be responding to this PADI but isn't? Although most online resources indicate it's the ISP that responds, I don't understand how this is possible. If I'm broadcasting my request, and it's hitting servers for all ISPs (and it would have to be -- if the connection was working, I could just as well use an Afrihost username as an Mweb one, right?), they would all have to reply, given that they don't know who I am yet. So presumably, at this stage, it's a Telkom server whose response I am waiting for? And I either can't reach that server, or its reply can't reach me? I'd like to be able to explain this to the technician, because I'm expecting him to say, "The line is synching. It's an ISP problem." Can anyone shed some light on this for me? Google is surprisingly quite quiet on the details.
Also, needless to say, if anyone has any idea of what might be causing the problem, that would be great too.