Internetus interruptus

no internet

No internet for you today!

So annoying but so enlightening. There is a learning curve for me every time I have another phone and internet outage. This is the third one for this year and it’s a week tomorrow. This time I was caught by surprise as usual but did not flap! After all, I have the experience of two phone and net outages behind me and I have learned. This time I had a mobile plan which would cover the calls and some internet data so I had access to people and cyberspace.

1. Make sure you have a mobile plan which will cover an outage

2. Email your ISP support to let them know the situation

3. Trouble shoot. Most ISP sites have a to do list to check phone line fall out for ADSL2. Basically:

– unplug everything and plug it back in.

– turn everything off and on

– unplug line filters and try plugging your phone into the wall socket directly

– try a new cord on the phone to wall socket.

I did all of that and my line was totally dead. No resurrecting it. I waited a couple of days to see if there were notices of outages on my ISP and line provider sites.

With the NBN infrastructure coming into place, storms and heavy rain , it could have been anything , really. The NBN and Telstra have to work together on the lines and then third party ISPs are providing services. That is a lot of players in the field and a lot of dots to join so you have to give ISPs time to work out their problems and line of action. For me, I always think it is important to let them know by email incase there are bigger issues than just me and my phone line.

I had booked my NBN switchover for August 22nd on Monday last week. Thursday my line went down so there was always the possibility the line was shut down early because the date was further away than probably is normal. I had my reasons. I called my ISP this Monday and we have brought the NBN switchover date forward because I already had the modem and was set to go. That is occurring in a few days time. Meanwhile I am running off my mobile plan.

I have again found my ISP account site to be very helpful so I can check usage and there is also a really good iPad app which I discovered which makes life really easy with my ISP. You can even recover your forgotten password via your mobile phone. That really helped when they had set up a new email address for me for my new NBN plan . Old habits and all of that.

There is a complexity of communication with the NBN infrastructure coming into place which we haven’t had to have for quite some time. Patience and good social skills are important. You just have to work out what you really need to know and then see what is available to help you if you can access it and then call if you are clueless or need clarification. I have learned from my other outages that it’s great to be a in a call queue where they ring you back.

Meanwhile I have continued to learn about mobile technology. I value being able to use the mobile hotspot because it makes connecting to the Net so easy and I don’t need anything other than my phone and the device I want to go on which is usually my iPad or Linux laptop in an outage. I can’t do everything on a phone because I hate peering at a tiny screen and my fingers much prefer a physical keyboard because I don’t always have the peripheral sensitivity , especially on these cold days. I have been using the time to streamline my devices and tidy them up. I have also made good use of the software I have which runs offline. It is important to have things there which are not internet dependent no matter how wonderful cloud services are.

Next posts will be about the NBN switchover because there are a few things to consider.


The last of the red hot outage queens

no netOutage is the new normal , apparently. For the second time in a month I have had another unexpected Sunday to Wednesday outage on my phone and therefore my internet. Last time my phone didn’t come back as it was supposed to so I actually did a Sunday to Monday outage. Who knows what this one will bring, except my ISP is really onto it this time and has been great at keeping the information to-ing and fro-ing so we know what we are doing should my phone not come back as expected. Which it hasn’t . I am now back in the process of trying to unmuddle the muddle. There is another line mix up again so my calls are going elsewhere. I live in an area which is in the middle of nbn line installation and then line and broadband upgrades. Telecommunications staff are pushed to their limit at the moment. Establishing nbn into Australia is a massive job. Upgrading networks is a huge undertaking. Some who have signed up to the nbn are saying it’s woefully slow. It probably will be until we have all the connections there. Technology likes all the bits to be the same and they have to be able to talk to each other . If we are introducing old bits to new bits , the old bits are going to get mighty huffy. There needs to be some public awareness programmes going on to raise the profile of what is actually occurring. At this point a decision has been made as to how it will be done. What needs to happen is people need to really be informed as to what that entails.

At no stage have I lost patience with telecommunications staff. They all got up that morning to do their job. They are not responsible for the things happening to me , my phone and my internet. They are there to listen and to try and help resolve the issues. ISPs are not the ones who own the lines . Only one ISP is and then nbnco for the optical fibre installation. The work on the upgrades may or may not entail direct involvement with an ISP. I am already in the habit now, if my phone goes down , to start living on M&Ms – mobile and mifi.

I check my isp site

I check the aussie outages site

I check the Telstra site because they own the lines involved with nbn upgrades.

I check the nbnco site

I check the roads in my area

As inconvenient as it is this , it is the equivalent of building a major expressway and I have lived twice through expressway building . It takes a couple of years and literally ground breaking changes. We cannot see our telecommunications upgrades and so communication with each other and with the key organisers of this upgrade is vital. We have to notice and contribute. As soon as my phone was gone again, I waited an hour and then emailed my ISP after I’d checked as above. Since then there has been useful two way communication.

I have learned :

to prepare what I need t o do on the net to save data

to turn off automatic data downloading

have found that Facebook phone calling is good

have navigated my mobile devices better and know more about them

have stuck with Linux. As an OS and with the Ubuntu browser I save data

to park myself in the call back queue of my ISP to save my mobile data

It’s not the same as being always connected but it’s manageable and we need to talk about this. About what is happening and what our responsibilities are in a connected world , because we can facilitate the process by sharing of information and then what is actually being done. This way no one gets the blame. No one gets unpleasant surprises and we can just do it until it’s done. Meanwhile I am queued for a call back.

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