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Computing News

Changes to the 898-0834 modem pool affecting SLIP and PPP users

Starting on February 2, 1998, SLIP and PPP services will be discontinued on the low-speed (14.4) modem pool. From then on, that pool will support only CLI (command-line interface) connections. This change is one more step towards reducing the size and use of that pool as its equipment ages and begins to fail. The goal is to make it easier to support users and to move the Penn community towards higher speed access to the net.

At the same time, new equipment on the high speed modem pool will make it possible to allow variable time limits on sessions in place of the universal one-hour limit that has been in place for the last year. The four-hour limits that have been available on the low-speed pool will now be available on the high-speed pool except at the most congested hours of the week.

Unfortunately there will be inconvenience for those who use the low-speed pool for these services. SLIP will be eliminated entirely and both SLIP and PPP users will need to reconfigure their systems to dial the new numbers. The purpose of this announcement is to help you understand and prepare for what you will have to do in order to upgrade your access to the net.

The PPP modem pools are:

If you need help reconfiguing your computer, faculty and staff can find help in their school, center, or department. Students can contact their local support provider. A list of local support providers is available on the web (URL: http://www.upenn.edu/computing/view/support/).

The new session limits will be based on whether you dial in at "peak" or "off-peak" hours:

The rules and frequency by which ISC might change the definitions of peak and off-peak hours, and the session limits associated with them, are detailed on the remote access web page (URL: http://www.upenn.edu/computing/remote/). The remote access planning page will contain information about planned future additions to the number of modems in the various pools (URL: http://www.upenn.edu/computing/remote/).

An additional 120 modems will be added to the main PPP pool to meet the expected increase in demand. Both the PPP and the PPP Express pools allow connections at speeds up to a 33.6 Kbps maximum; you may dial in at speeds lower than the maximum.

Reconfiguring your computer

To assist you in reconfiguring your computer to access PennNet via PPP using the high-speed modem pools, Penn provides the following documentation. (Windows 3.1x users and Macintosh users will also need the software installers noted below.)

Please note that multiple, simultaneous logins to Penn modem pools are not permitted. Also, be sure to monitor your connection time to avoid a terminated session; the system cannot issue an alert before terminating your session when you've reached the session limit.

The ISP option

Modem users who require a level of service that Penn cannot provide are encouraged to investigate fee-based services such as DCANet (URL: http://upenn.dca.net/). Please note that commercial Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as DCANet, cannot be used to reach many Penn services that have access controls: e.g., FinMIS, some Library services, some school and departmental services, and NetNews via a graphical browser. See the domain name restrictions page for details (URL: http://www.upenn.edu/computing/remote/nonpenn.html).

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