Setting up a BIGLOBE Connection

I've just finished setting up my fiber optics connection at home, and with all the official documents in Japanese, it wasn't straightforward ;) My Internet Service Provider (ISP) is BIGLOBE, and the fiber optics plan is FLETS Hikari Next (フレッツ光ネクスト) contracted with NTT East Corporation (NTT東日本), the national telephone company. Here are setup instructions for Windows and Linux based on my experience.

Connection info

You need only two pieces of information to get the connection working:

  1. your Connection User ID (お申し込みコースでの入力方法)
  2. your Password (接続パスワード)

Both are in the document BIGLOBE会員証会員証 that you should have received from BIGLOBE. (The Connection User ID should be your User ID (ユーザID) followed by "@biglobe.ne.jp".)

On Windows

Do not bother trying to install the software that is on the CD provided by NTT, it will only work on Japanese systems. Just plug the Ethernet cable to your computer and follow the instructions from Create a PPPoE connection to the Internet to configure the connection. Your username and password are the Connection User ID and Password from above.

On Linux

Assuming you use the NetworkManager applet:

  • right-click on the applet icon
  • Edit Connections
  • Add
  • Choose a Connection Type: DSL
  • Username: your Connection User ID (User ID followed by "@biglobe.ne.jp")
  • Service: BIGLOBE
  • Password: from your BIGLOBE会員証会員証

In tab "General", you may want to check "Automatically connect to this network when it is available".

Partial connection issue

On a typical router, you can go to the WAN (Wide-Area Network) section and follow the Linux instructions above (connection type will be "PPPoE"). However, when I did this a weird problem occurred: "most" of my Internet connections would work fine, but some would fail systematically. For instance, I could use DuckDuckGo or watch YouTube, yet my web browser would keep hanging at Amazon.co.jp, nor could I connect to the PSN. In other words, I had a partial Internet connection, and the difference between what would go through or not was far from obvious.

My WiFi router was a Netgear LAN-WH300N/RE. Netgear routers are known to give such problems when the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) parameter is not set properly. The standard MTU for PPPoE connections is 1492, but the MTU used by Hikari NEXT is 1454! My router should have detected that, but it did not. Worse, the LAN-WH300N/RE does not allow you to set the MTU directly. My alternative was thus to flash its firmware with dd-wrt or use another router. I had another router at hand, so I chose the latter, set the MTU to 1454, and that solved the issue.

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