AT&T vs. Linux, Round one.

At work today I was working with a customer who was having difficulty connecting to the Internet from their desktop computer. Every time they tried going to a web site, they were re-directed to the AT&T High-Speed Installation page, the first page that comes up after setting a new DSL modem. This page guides new users through the process of creating their user accounts and then configures the modem with their logon information. For the customer to keep reaching this page sounded like their modem just needed to be re-configured with their member ID and network password. But when the customer tried entering that information at the Installation page, they got some message about their operating system not being supported. Further probing revealed that operating system to be Linux. I tried to have the customer access their modem’s interface through their web browser but they still got that same Installation page. It didn’t look good.

Fortunately the customer had an iPad handy, and she used that to connect to the Installation page and enter their existing account information. Afterwards the modem was configured accordingly and they were back in business.

During the course of troubleshooting, I did some research about the relationship between AT&T and Linux, and I came across this page which bears an eerie resemblance to the issue at hand. In fact, I found myself making the same references to having a Windows computer handy to configure the modem.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what AT&T has against Linux. It may be too busy trying accommodate Microsoft and Apple to have any time to provide support to alternate operating systems such as Linux. Or maybe it doesn’t want to, for reasons unclear. Still, I sense that Linux is gaining popularity and it’s only going to be a matter of time before it finally catches up to the competition. Maybe then these telecommunication giants will finally take notice and reach the same conclusion that the rest of us have known all along, that Linux is here to stay.

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