During 2006-7  Telstra in Australia are gradually migrating BigPond cable users over to a new billing system which will no longer use the “heartbeat” or the BigPond Cable Login software.  The new BigPond system will use the only the router’s (or cable modem’s) MAC address for authentication instead of a username and password.

BigPond will send emails to all affected customers, advising when they will be changed to the new system, and providing details of what to do.

When your BigPond Cable account is migrated to the new system you will need to:

  1. On your Vigor 2100 series or Vigor 2900 series router’s “Internet Access >> Static or Dynamic IP” configurator page:
    1. In the BPA Setup section, un-tick the “BPA Enable” field to deactivate the old authentication. (actually we believe that the router will still work with this enabled, but the BPA server won’t be listening anymore, so should be turned off).
    2. In the WAN IP Network Settings section, you should already have “Obtain an IP address automatically” selected, and the MAC address (which will automatically be detected by BigPond) is shown below .
    3. Click [OK] button
  2. When you are migrated to the new system, the first time you access the internet, your web browser will ask for your current BigPond Cable primary username and password. This all happens in a matter of seconds and you are up and running within minutes.If you change router in the future, BigPond will not recognise the new router’s MAC address, and take you to this step again.

NO firmware update is necessary.

This Whirlpool discussion forum thread provides additional information.