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I have a Huawei E172 USB dongle that works perfectly with Precise. However it keeps on disconnecting the internet connection when I'm not doing anything that requires internet connection. I think it has to do with Powertop tunables. I have turned so many things off in this section. Here is the list of the things I turned off:

Here is the screenshot of the tunable section in Powertop

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I think that you enabled autosuspend for USB while relying on USB for your internet connection :-) I don't use powertop, because I lack a deep understanding of what it actually does. – January Aug 22 '12 at 8:00
I have now turned off autosuspend for anything 'USB' related to see if that will stop this. I'll report back if this is successful – Mysterio Aug 22 '12 at 8:16
Indeed not turning things related to 'USB' solves the issue of disconnection – Mysterio Aug 22 '12 at 17:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can try changing the state of your mobile broadband from the Tunables tab.

As the Powertop web site doesn't have any useful documentation, I was unable to find any concrete answers. However, you can have a look at the website:

Some more links:

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You are so right about the lack of documentation with regards to Powertop – Mysterio Aug 22 '12 at 8:16

A temporary solution would be to prevent the internet connection from idling with a simple script.
Create file /etc/cron.d/ping

# /etc/cron.d/ping
# ping every one minute
* * * * * nobody ping -c 1 -W 10 -q >/dev/null 2>&1
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