BYO Linux router to the NBN
What do tomatoes and penguins have to do with the Australian government's nationwide fibre-to-the-home project?
They can both be part of the home router you connect to it, according to ISP iPrimus. Customers will be free to use whatever router they like, such as a Linux-based Tomato router (firmware that you install into a readily available router such as the Linksys WRT54G).
There had been concerns among the enthusiast community that the government would mandate a particular router be used at customer premises so that the network could be administratively controlled remotely.
However, customers will have complete freedom to use their own homebrew Linux routers to connect their premises to the National Broadband Network instead of using a standard router from the likes of Netcomm or Netgear, internet service provider Primus revealed last week.
Most Australians with broadband connections today use specialized hardware from networking vendors. However, a select few — often those who work in the IT industry — do use more complex and optimized setups to route traffic, usually based on open source Unix solutions such as Linux or FreeBSD running on commodity x86 hardware. Specialised Linux distributions for the purpose also exist.
Such customised routers — which were more popular during the dial-up period — permit a greater degree of flexibility than standard broadband modems (although the specialised modems also often run heavily cut down versions of Linux).Primus general manager of Marketing and Products Andrew Sims, whose company is preparing to launch NBN services to select communities in Tasmania shortly, last week said there was “absolutely no reason why someone could not use a Linux router or Linux box” to connect their house to the NBN.