Thursday, April 30, 2015

Photos of the Telstra infrastructure between my home and the exchange.

Photos of the Telstra infrastructure between my home and the exchange.

Our ADSL is down again. Not really a surprise when you see the lousy Telstra infrastructure in the area.

Our ADSL is down again. Not really a surprise when you see the lousy Telstra  infrastructure in the area.

I'm particularly annoyed today because of the following things:

1: There were 2 guys with Tats and reflective vests in the pit at the end of the road yesterday, they even had a tent when it started raining.

2: Officially, according to Internode (my ISP) Telstra have no faults and are doing no work in the area.

3: The ADSL line completely lost sync and there is no longer a connection to exchange.

4: I suspect that this is what our line looks like and the reason why it is slow and unreliable.

5: Internode did not make me happy when I rang them today.

I was in the industry, I know Telstra have a monopoly, I know that Telstra wholesale sucks to deal with. But even so I'm at the point now where I am weighing up my options.

So my ADSL goes down. I'm a technical guy. Within 1 hour I have tried 4 different ADSL modems, and cables. I have even connected directly to the Telstra line at the boundry to eliminate the wiring within the house. I know that the line is dead, probably cut or unplugged at the exchange end. I know that if you are on Naked ADSL like I am you are considered the lowest priority by Telstra and they routinely move you to a crappier pair when one of their customers needs a good line for a crystal clear voice service. 
I wonder if I was accidentally disconnected by an incompetent Telstra technician or if the appalling cabling has failed or if this is a deliberate move by Telstra to assign me the worst line as another new Big Pong customer needs it.

I connect through my ever reliable but expensive Telstra LTE mobile connection and I can continue to work and access the internet. Unfortunately I forget that I have auto updating scheduled and not long afterwards I lose my internet when my phone runs out of credit because my computer downloaded a few hundred megabytes of data and exceeded my miserly included volume.
So I pay another $50 Telstra tax to get myself a few days internet, because I have no choice.

So I go to the Internode website and file an ADSL fault, their site shows no issues and I still have no sync. They can see that the ADSL went down and so I expect that my request together with the fault should spur them into action.

For the next day I use my expensive mobile bandwidth and I am able to maintain a connection to the internet but my home network is offline, my servers are not happy.

30 hours from the initial report of the issue to Internode I ring them, sure I got the automated reply but I want to know what is going on.

I get the queue but request a call back. 15 mins later I get called back, all good so far.

I tell them my ADSL is down and ask for an update, they ask for the case number and I give it to them. At this point they basically say that they have done nothing yet and generally don't for up to 3 days when you register a fault on-line. That's right folks, Internode don't want you to use their internet based support infrastructure, they want you to ring their switchboard before they will pay you any attention.

So now the guy I am talking to (who is trying to be helpful and friendly and who I have no issue with personally) tells me that he will runs some tests on my line.

He tells me he is not trained to interpret the results, but that he will forward them to a higher level support and then based on what they diagnose they will send the job to a 3rd party contractor. He is very clear that this 3rd party contractor will not be able to fix the problem, but that they will have a look and see if they can identify the cause and if they can then they will escalate the issue to Telstra to fix.

But he says, before I can do this I need you to agree to the terms. The Terms are that if they escalate this to the 3rd party provider and they can't find the fault or the fault has rectified itself by then they will charge $200 for the service. Once the  call-out is scheduled if I cancel or change it I will be charged roughly $70 (I forget the exact amount).

 So I am a bit shocked, they want me to wait for up to a week for some 3rd partly to look at the line and then wait another week for Telstra to fix it after that. WTF? 

I have trouble agreeing, partly I feel bad for the guy on the other end of the line, because he is just doing his job. But I am thinking, If I say yes and then they make an appointment for 4 days and then the bastards who were in the pit yesterday come back tomorrow and fix the issue they are going to want to charge me $200 as when random tech dude come out the issue will have been fixed.

In the end I agree, not because I think It will result in a speedy resolution, or because I like the system, but because It is clear that if I don't agree they won't do anything at all about my ADSL being down. I am welcome to pay for it but it won't be there.

You can get Telstra Business ADSL 300GB a month for $80 now. They have an SLA and they put you on a good line. If there is an issue a real Telstra tech will be right on it. No more second class service. I spend a long time on the Telstra site thinking. Part of me thinks that this is the only way to get any assurance of reliability.
But part of me hates this idea, the reason we have all the issues in the first place is because Telstra have a monopoly.

I'm going to give Internode one last chance to resolve this quickly and not make me feel like my only option is to deal directly with Telstra.

I wish I was optimistic about the outcome.

Oh and I'm so happy that the government is spending billions rolling out fibre to the home. (Heavy Sarcasm) We have a population of over 23 Million people here and after  5 years the NBN Fibre is currently being used by 230,000 people. NBN co are currently forecasting a roll-out cost of 50 Billion dollars and of course that is only to serve about 50% of the population. I seriously doubt I will have the option of a fibre connection to my home in the next 10 years. Oh but I can wait and pay my taxes.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 09, 2015

First 2 flights on Brussels airlines.

First 2 flights on Brussels airlines. First on an Airbus a320 then on a dash 8. Booked for us by air France after they canceled our flight due to the air traffic controllers strike.
I was pleasantly surprised.