The internet connection saga, part 3

By March 18, 2022Technology

After the complete silence at the end of the previous instalment of this saga1, my partner rang the NBN people while I was still asleep (I had the day before come back from some field work and was knackered). They indicated that a technician would come on Monday 21st of March to fix the problem with our connection. Currently, between dropouts, it has been running download speeds of about 26 Megabits per second (Mbps), about half what was our normal speed prior to this last 7 months of drama2.

Out of the blue, at about 10am today (Friday, March 18), we got a phone call from the NBN to say they would be coming to ‘have a look and try to fix the problem’. A couple of blokes rolled up at about 11am and asked us what had been checked. I told them that the modem had been checked twice and replaced (eventually), then checked again, and that the connection to the house had been checked twice and rewired once and that the telegraph pole to which it was attached had a connection box which was dangling in the breeze. So, they seemed to think that the cable going from the house to the telegraph pole needed replacing, so replace it they did. 

After replacing the cable, the NBN technicians asked me to do a Telstra NBN speed test3. I did so on my laptop and our download speed was 11.4Mbps. We had gone backwards. So the NBN blokes said they would get the NBN to do a speed test because, they said, the Telstra speed test is ‘not very good’. If that was so, why did they ask me to do it? They told us that the cable they replaced has been chewed at in places by ‘animals’. While I am no ‘animals chewing at wires’ expert, I could only see what I suspect is age-related decay of the covering of the wires in the old cable (it was dumped in our recycle bin by the technicians). Before the NBN technicians left, they told us that the NBN had done a speed test on our connection and it was fine, but that we needed Telstra to do a ‘reset’. To do a reset, my partner rang Telstra and we talked to a bloke in Hyderabad, and apart from disconnecting cables and reconnecting them, I had to get a paperclip, straighten one end of it and stick it in the modem’s reset hole for 15 seconds. After that we just relayed to him what the lights on the modem were doing; whether they were on or not, what colour they were, and whether they were flashing or not. After one hour on the phone, it was decided that the ‘slow speed issue’ was unable to be resolved and the problem had to be shunted further up the Telstra food chain; we were told we would get another phone call from Telstra within 24 hours. However, before he signed off, he tried to convince us that our account was for the slower speeds (11.4Mbps) we were getting. We very quickly and politely disabused him of that.

For a while after the Telstra call, the download speed was still very slow at about 11.4Mbps. However, a couple of hours later, the download speed came back to what it had been before our dramas started 7 months ago, i.e. at about 53.6Mbps. It seems to have remained there for the last few hours. Dare I hope that this drama is over? We will see. I just did another speed test and the download speed had dropped to 38.7Mbps. Five minutes later, it is 40.1Mbps. Another couple of minutes and it is 44.9Mbps, then two more minutes it is up to 53.7Mbps. Another ten minutes later and it is 29.9mbps. Sigh.

The following day, Saturday, March 19th, the speed seems to have settled down to where it was before our dramas started. One can only hope.




  • Tina says:

    By now I think I would be bald having pulled out my hair with frustration.
    Hope it stays good for you now.

    • admin says:

      So do I. I started this blog as a way of stopping myself shouting at the television. I also started documenting this saga as a way to protect my hairline!

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Nothing wrong with shouting at the TV. In fact it’s a proven tension reliever which arguably prevents you from doing something worse. When I shout at the TV the only ones who hear it are my wife and Barney The Big Beagle, both of whom are OK with it. Just half an hour ago I shouted when Simon Birmingham came on Insiders, then turned the volume down and went to make a cup of coffee. All good. Will go back and watch when “Talking Pictures” comes on.

        Same with shouting in traffic, e.g. “Get out of the way, yer dickhead”. As long as the dickhead doesn’t hear you and you don’t shout “Dickhead” out of the window, there are no consequences other than you feel better. Shout your head off. Well, not literally, of course.

        • admin says:

          It wasn’t so much the shouting, but the fear that it could escalate into chucking stuff at it. As for shouting in traffic, I tend not to do so, as I have Midnight Oil, Beatles, Samuel Barber, Rolling Stones, Hollies, Russel Morris, Pavarotti, John Williams, Cold Chisel, The Church, Paul Kelly….. playing. I simply shake my head as if in disbelief, hopefully so the perpetrator of the idiocy sees it.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            I once chucked a beer bottle at our TV when my football team lost a Cup Final. That was back in the old Cathode Ray Tube days. Fortunately it didn’t implode and my wife was asleep. I’ve sometimes felt like taking to our current TV with an axe when Boxhead Morrison’s doing some airheaded photo-op, which is the main reason I don’t own an axe.

            As for traffic – what, in Canberra? Traffic in Canberra is a handful of ComCars meandering round almost-empty six-lane circular highways that lead to nowhere. With apologies to Crocodile Dundee, that’s not traffic. THIS is traffic:

          • admin says:

            Yeah, I know. Heavy traffic here is when it takes me 18 minutes to get to work rather than 10 minutes. However, we still have the occasional dickhead driver who, in the left lane of three, suddenly decides, at about 75 metres from the next intersection, that he wants to turn right at that intersection.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            Deciding you want to turn right at the next intersection is no problem at all, even if that intersection is only 75 metres away. I do that all the time in Canberra because I’m almost always lost. It’s what you do AFTER you’ve decided that counts. Not being a dickhead, I only change lanes if it’s safe to do so, having checked the rear-vision mirror and made a clear signal. If my lane-change would inconvenience anyone or create danger, I just keep going until the next roundabout then do a 180 and come back. That’s usually much easier to do in Canberra than it is in Sydney, so it usually costs me only a couple of minutes and I’m never in a hurry there anyway. Deciding you want to turn right doesn’t cause any danger. What causes danger is nsisting on turning right regardless of the conditions.

          • admin says:

            The last is what often happens.

  • Jon says:

    Telstra, Optus and TPG were fined heavily for misleading customers about NBN speeds. If you aren’t getting what you paid for then you should complain loud and long to Tls, pointing out the ACCC’s previous comments and Tls’ guarantee: “Telstra stated it would test the line speed 21 days after connection and promised consumers “If your nbn connection doesn’t allow you to properly benefit from the speed tier you’re on, we’ll provide you with a maximum line speed, once it’s available, along with alternative options”. The ACCC pointed out that they don’t have that capability.

    Compensation could be one remedy but you can be certain of one thing – if you don’t complain (should problems persist) and don’t mention the ACCC/TIO then you’ll almost certainly get second rate service.

    Worth reading:

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