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Standard User smithsa
(newbie) Tue 17-Jan-17 03:07:51
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How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


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I'm interested in learning more about the systems that ISPs use to manage and diagnose problems with the modems and routers that they give out to customers. In particular, the systems that a customer service rep would use when someone calls in and says "The internet doesn't work".

I've read up on TR-069 and think that I understand it. It seems that using this system, an ISP can provision the customer equipment and then view and change just about anything remotely such as the firmware or the wireless settings.

I've also read that only about 40% of ISPs use TR-069. What types of systems do the other ISPs use? Do they simply use SNMP or is there something else? How much of the device settings can someone see and modify using such a system?

Thanks for any help.
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 17-Jan-17 10:03:16
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: smithsa] [link to this post]
 
Most ISPs won't touch the end user's router at all. The vast majority of settings the ISP is concerned with are set on the equipment in the exchanges or their own networks. Generally if a config needs to be changed it will be set in the core network which will alter the way the user connects without ever touching the users modem/router. Also, virtually all of the stats they need can be taken from the core equipment as well.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 17-Jan-17 10:18:29
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: smithsa] [link to this post]
 
40% of ISPs probably covers 99% of the consumer broadband lines...

Remember the size of BT,Sky,TalkTalk and Virgin Media mean those four alone account for over 90% of the market

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.


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Standard User smithsa
(newbie) Tue 17-Jan-17 15:04:52
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The stats that I saw didn't suggest who those 40% of ISPs were. If chosen properly, yes they could represent 99% of users or 1% of users.

Does anyone know if it's the big guys who are using TR-069 to get much more fine control over their customer's devices? I'd think that simply having the functionality of easily rolling out a firmware upgrade to all of their customers would make this worthwhile.
Standard User smithsa
(newbie) Tue 17-Jan-17 15:11:57
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
So this would suggest that ISPs are really only interested in things that happen far down in the technology stack such as what's the signal strength between the ISP and the modem. Anything high up at a user modifiable level (such as a wireless password) is uninteresting and out of any ISP unless they're using something like TR-069. Is this a good way to view this?
Standard User cymru123
(regular) Tue 17-Jan-17 15:24:19
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: smithsa] [link to this post]
 
I believe BT Consumer, TalkTalk and Sky use the TR-069 system, however to get the most out of it the router would need to be preconfigured and secured to accept the communications between such system - i.e a CP supplied router.

BT Consumer use a system from ALCATEL-LUCENT/Nokia which utilises the TR069 system as part of their MyBT self checking and config service. The TR069 is also used to update the router's config for the the BTWifi (Fon) service.

Edited by cymru123 (Tue 17-Jan-17 15:36:06)

Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 17-Jan-17 15:27:56
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: smithsa] [link to this post]
 
The end user is generally responsible for their own network. If the ISP provided the router then they may provide support on how to change it's config but generally they are not responsible for it. So, I would say that few ISPs would have any interest in things like wifi settings - they are the users responsibility and any ISP that would change those settings remotely without contact with the user probably wouldn't last very long.
Standard User smithsa
(newbie) Tue 17-Jan-17 16:23:06
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
I agree, no one wants BT to be changing their WiFi settings.

However, I'm asking these questions for a different reason. The issue of router vulnerabilities has been getting a lot of press lately. Some of the vulnerabilities are due to bad devices, but many are of the default password / obsolete Wifi encryption variety.

So what I'm really getting at is can my ISP detect that I've taken their equipment and done a poor job in configuring it? For that, the ISP would need to be able to read the settings on the device.
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 17-Jan-17 16:31:47
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: smithsa] [link to this post]
 
OK, in that case the ISPs listed by cymru most likely can - but I suspect the wouldn't. As I said, it isn't their job. They should inform their customer base if they have provided equipment that has a poor default security profile but it is down to the user to fix - unless of course they have a fully managed service but I don't know that any consumer level ISPs would provide that.

The ISPs main job is to protect themselves and their other customers from any threats that may come from a users poorly configured equipment.
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Tue 17-Jan-17 16:35:39
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Re: How do ISPs manage their customer equipment?


[re: smithsa] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by smithsa:
can my ISP detect that I've taken their equipment and done a poor job in configuring it?
Why would you do that?
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