This is done on 2-wire units used by BT to prevent auto-upgrade of features, it's a bit device and ISP specific. If you can find any settings relating to provisioning or with URLs or IP addresses at vodafone, 3com, etc you might be able to do something about it.
An access point is a generic wired to wireless device. The typical home ADSL wireless router combines a modem, router, 4 port switch and wireless access point.
Netgear make a standalone wireless repeater thingy, you plug it in the mains near the edge of the range of your primary wireless router and it provides a repeat of the wireless signal without requiring configuration of WDS on the primary.
MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.