Oz Blog News Commentary

Internet connection?

March 2, 2022 - 15:19 -- Admin

Our fun with our internet connection began in 2016 when we were baby-sitting our son’s dog, while he was in the process of changing jobs and cities. Our internet (and landline phone) connection comes in under our eaves then travels in a metal pipe which takes the wires down the side of the house to near a grating through which they go under the house. Between the pipe and the grating, the wires are exposed for a few centimetres. When a voracious Labrador sees naked wires it must look like something tasty because the dog chewed through those wires. A mobile phone call and the Telstra technician was quick to appear and fixed the problem. Subsequently we piled some unused brick around the wires in case the dog felt hungry again.

Seven months ago, we started having trouble with our internet connection. Nominally we are supposed to get a download speed of about 53 Megabits per second (53 Mbps) and an upload speed of 18 Mbps. However, since August 2020, we have been having problems with slowdowns and dropouts. Sometimes, the download speeds dropped to about 5 Mbps and the upload speed to negligible, or the connection dropped out altogether. Our provider tried to fix it remotely, but without success. So, an NBN technician was sent to our place to try to remedy the problems. After checking the modem, he basically said that it was probably due to mice or possums under the house, but didn’t want to go under the house. The problems continued. After further phone calls to our provider, another NBN technician arrived and suggested that a new modem was needed, which duly arrived some days later. Things looked normal for a while, but then the problems recurred, and after some more phone calls, another NBN technician arrived and checked everything inside the house (again), and everything seemed normal. So, he went outside the house and looked at the connection where the cable from the nearby telegraph pole entered the house. He took it apart and reconnected the wires and we were under the impression that things would be better subsequently. The connection improved for a while, but we still experienced dropouts and slowdowns, and over the last week or so, the dropouts became more frequent and longer. Then our provider sent us a text message saying that they had detected “an issue that has caused our internet connection to drop out”. So, last Monday, another NBN technician arrived. He checked the modem (again), and the wiring where it enters the house (again), and all was as it should be. Then he went to check the telegraph pole. We can only partly see it from our property so he needed to get into our neighbour’s back yard, as the pole is on the property behind them but can be accessed from their back yard. When he got to the pole, he found that the box to which our wires are attached, was not itself attached to the telegraph pole, but was dangling in the breeze, only held up by the wires which transmit the data onwards. It gets funnier. He couldn’t fix it because the telegraph pole has been condemned and in such a case, he is not allowed (for safety reasons) to rest his ladder against the post, lest it collapse, so we now have to wait until they can organise a cherry picker to get the thing repaired and reattached to the telegraph pole. In the meantime, our normal internet connection has dropped out completely, so I am now operating via my phone which I have to hook up to my laptop via a USB plug.