For those of you struggling to get online in Rush 2049, who aren't in the US, I think I've discovered why.
POD Speedzone, San Francisco Rush 2049 and Star Wars Episode 1 Racer all used PlanetWeb as a browser for their Homepages. PlanetWeb, at least the version they used in these games, does not connect outside of America - in fact it fails to even initialise the modem. I've tested this on a retail POD Speedzone and CDI copies of San Fran 2049 and Star Wars Racer - all hang and get stuck on "Init Modem" when trying to access the browser. POD Speedzone will let you play online against others, but it won't be able to go online for the Homepage.
The only option for these titles is to purchase the PAL editions (I think, I haven't been able to test any of them yet as I don't own them and the CDI's don't seem to exist online).
If you're outside of the USA avoid POD Speedzone, San Francisco Rush 2049 and Star Wars Episode 1 Racer from that region. PAL copies include all the online modes, and is not likely to use the car crash that is the PlanetWeb browser.