However I still wondered if there might be a way to unlock this, and install some generic Thompson firmware.
The first thing I found was that ‘generic’ firmware didn’t seem to exist, that Thompson dealt only with ISPs and did not provide support to members of the public.
Some searching turned up a few firmware images here and there, but nothing which seemed compatible.
This matter was complicated because most TG582N devices run with a DANT-T circuit board, but the one from BE (along with a few other ISPs) runs with the much rarer DANT-1 board.
Thankfully the device eventually came back up again and I could login to the interface.
I was relieved to see the web interface at first, but even more pleased when it became clear I was now running with ‘generic’ Thompson firmware.
This was locked down to the extent that even the PPP login settings were omitted from the web interface (although they were available, buried via the clunky Telnet interface).
Meanwhile, oil exploration steadily swallows up vast tracts of land, and there is still looting of archaeological sites.
International help is sorely needed, and, while not feasible everywhere, is perfectly possible in many areas.
On some ISP routers it is possible to remove some restrictions by deleting the or other files via FTP, but the BE device was locked down further than this.
Some quick searches on the net and consultation with colleagues convinced me I’d probably purchased an expensive paperweight, good for little more than checking that a line syncs ok with the telephone exchange.