Blog entries from October, 2017

Asking questions about plans

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Once my NBN lead-in was installed and “ready for service” I began actively researching NBN plans from various ISPs. This was harder than it should be as some ISPs (eg Dodo) went out of their way to obscure the speed information, others were part of the “up to x” camp and a few (eg Optus) made you dig deep for information about speed packs.

I was on an unlimited plan for ADSL and most ISPs were offering unlimited plans as well, the decision was going to come down to what speed tier (even 25Mbps would be an improvement over the 6Mbps I was getting) and how much I was prepared to pay. It turned out that most plans were the same price, varying in setup costs, contract lengths and contract early termination fees.

Next I turned to quality of service as a deciding factor, how reliable is the ISP and how fast/reliable are their links? I had heard from people and checked on some forums, but the most telling was asking the ISPs questions about their speeds and the installation process. Most failed, giving me standard responses that didn’t answer my questions.

There were two that answered my questions. The first was Aussie Broadband who I had heard many good things about, but they don’t have an unlimited plan so a decent amount of data at a decent speed would be a huge cost increase. The other was MyRepublic who I had only just heard about (as they were new to the Australian market). They were interesting as they only offered unlimited data at the highest speed tier. The didn’t bother offering the lower speed tiers, straight to 100/40Mbps for the same price as other ISPs at 25/5Mbps.

A slight aside here about modems and routers… with NBN HFC you are provided with an NBN branded Arris cable modem, but then every ISP requires you to buy and use their modem (technically as a router and wifi access point). But what if you had your own modem, could you just use that instead? They were not giving out the VOIP details, so if you wanted to use the voice service included in the NBN connection they were (in most cases) forcing you to use the ISP modem, which may not be as good as your modem/router or you might not trust…

I wasn’t planning to use any provided voice service (the rare time I get or make a phone call is on my mobile) and another positive for MyRepublic was that while you had to get their modem for setup and support ($1 when signing up for 12 months), they allowed you to use your own modem/router.

Unlimited data, top tier speed, could use my own modem/router for the same price as my ADSL? My decision was made and today I signed up with MyRepublic, now I am back to waiting…

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Someone was on the roof

Monday, October 16th, 2017 at 8:48 pm

On the morning of Saturday 23 September (note that this is prior to the advised six month installation window) I was startled awake by a loud banging/drilling noise from the roof above my bedroom. After initial confusion I looked out the window to see vehicles, a ladder and a few people. Heading outside I learned that they were installing the riser pole for the NBN lead-in. I am one of two units, after a few hours we both had NBN utility boxes connected all the way to the pit at the street.

When talking with the installers I learned that there were mutiple teams (I would see them around the area for the following few weeks) and they were making sure that every property had an HFC lead-in. Next door is a group of four units with cabling underground, they had to come back multiple times which included a larger splitter in their pit.

The installer also said that the service should be ready to go immediately, not according to the NBN website which said work was still needed. I checked daily for a week or two, same information. I tried calling the number on the installation letter, they could only tell me the same as the website. Finally I asked my current ISP and after a few days they responded and said that I was ready for service, despite the NBN site saying I wasn’t.

I’m getting excitied as faster internet is almost here, I have been looking at plans, but it is time for some serious comparisons…

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