tried various things since first post.
can ping say www.google.com
but ping reports packets lost sust like ifconfig. Name resoultion takes a long time but once pings are up its about 150msec.
Actual packet loss is about 25% not the 100% i originaly thought
i tried nobsdcomp, noipdefault, defaultroute, novj, novjccomp, nopcomp, nodeflate, nomppc options in /etc/ppp/options but no success
i logged all ppp traiffic to file and used pppdump -p to look at it. It reported bad FCS on some packets, don't know why but this is the problem - which is why i turned of all compression etc (not that it was using it as the pppd log file was making sense even without the -d option)
It looks like something to do with ppp not networking or the server end.
resolv.conf and route -n all look correct.
One entry in the /var/log/messages file is interesting :
just after pppd Connect:@ ppp0 <--> /dev/pts/3 i get :
hal.dev: DEVNAME is not set
thats the only error visible.