Blog entries tagged with "nbn"

Is the honeymoon over?

Friday, January 19th, 2018 at 8:13 am

It has now been two months since I was happy enough with my NBN connection that I terminated my ADSL service. Things were good, until they weren’t…

Starting around mid-December around once week I would get home from work and my NBN would be down, the modem would show a downstream link, but no upstream link. So there was something there, but not enough for my modem to connect.

I started to notice a pattern, it would drop out in the middle of the afternoon (ready for when I arrived home) and then come back shortly after midnight. This pattern to me indicated that there was faulty equipment that was tripping due to load/heat/something that was then reset at the end of the day. I’m not entirely clear on the technology but was wondering if there was an amplifier somewhere between me and the exchange that was failing.

It has been a frustrating time contacting my ISP support, who then escalate to NBN, who may arrange for a technician, who I need to be at home for. On one visit the connection was working fine and there was no issue the technician could detect, but they replaced the modem in case that was the issue. Nope, but on another visit from a technician it was down and they were able to report back to NBN that there was definitely a network issue.

It is a mess. When it works it is great, but when it doesn’t…

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Unplugging the ADSL

Saturday, November 25th, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Today, after almost seven years of use, I unplugged my ADSL modem because I am now committed to my NBN connection. After a very rough first few weeks the issues appear to have been resolved and I have a fast and reliable (fingers crossed) connection.

I have heard that they have (or will be) halted the rollout in my area. Based on the issues I was having it wouldn’t suprise me if that was the case and it was because the network wasn’t ready. But now that it is working for me I cannot justify the cost of an ADSL connection I am not going to use… (and it is nearing the end of the billing cycle for it)

While sorting through the issues I was using the ISP router as that is the equipment that they support. I was also using my existing router, so the connection was NBN modem -> ISP router -> my router. However, as well as unplugging my ADSL modem I have also unplugged the ISP router, connecting the NBN modem directly to my router.

I prefer the configuration of my router and I don’t even have a VoIP line activated, so no need for the ATA built into the ISP router. Everything is working nicely, though it might be time to upgrade my router as that has also been in contant use for almost seven years…

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No NAT for me

Monday, November 13th, 2017 at 10:49 pm

It was only 48 hours ago that I posted about having a working NBN connection

It wasn’t long until I discovered I was behind NAT. While this should be ok for most (and I understand it is widespread for mobile networks), I liked to be able to access my home computer from outside. I had suspected this might happen and knew that for an extra $10 per month I could change to the Gamer Pro plan which included a static IP address, so I fired off an email with the request.

Unfortunately I don’t know what that changes it like as my connection is unusable again. I suspect it is still the same issue as a few days ago. I’m glad I still have my ADSL connection, and it is time to contact support… again…

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A public holiday installation

Saturday, November 11th, 2017 at 9:02 pm

About a week after signing up with MyRepublic I received their modem/router, but did not yet have an appointment for the NBN installation.

The fine print did say that the NBN install might take up to four weeks, so I kept waiting… Until I received an SMS saying my NBN appointment was scheduled for 7 November between 8AM and 12PM. Hold on, 7 November is a Tuesday, the first Tuesday in November, otherwise known as Melbourne Cup Day, a public holiday… At least I wouldn’t have to take time off work… hopefully the appointment was correct…

Which it was. Around 9AM the technician showed up. He had seen where the NBN utility box was and I showed him where I wanted the connection inside. Initially he wanted to install it on the skirting board, but I insisted it be a wall plate. Once installed he plugged in the cable modem and after it showed it was connected his job was done.

I plugged in the ISP modem and after about an hour I saw that it said it was connected. Plugging in my laptop (my desktops were still using ADSL via my existing router, didn’t want to change with that yet) and found that while it had been allocated an IP there wasn’t any data flow. I gave it a few hours and tried again, same result. Reset the modems and gave it another shot, still no usable connection.

When I got home from work the next day I checked it again, still no usable connection so I contacted support. I couldn’t get through on the phone and it was a bit of a hassle over email, but eventually they said there was an NBN issue and they might need to send out an NBN technician. Not good, but I wasn’t too concerned as I still had my ADSL connection.

Every so often I would check if it was working, eventually today (yes, four days after initial connection) it was working. First thing was to run some speed tests, which gave me mixed results. Speeds as fast as 80Mbps, but also as low as 30Mbps. Why so variable? Looking through the results I found that the closest server by ping was also the slowest speed, a number of slightly further away servers would give the faster results.

For now I am still using my router behind the MyRepublic router (I case it doesn’t stay up and I need to switch back) and the last few hours have been weird as my internet is just working. There are some podcasts downloading and I am watching something off YouTube, these are two things that I have not been able to do at the same time on my ADSL connection….

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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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Finally some progress

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 at 7:43 pm

A week or so after my parents NBN install was complete I went over and mounted it all to the wall:

There are a few loose ends that will probably never be tidied up, but having it mounted to the wall gets it out of the way. To make things easier the equipment is mounted to a scrap board, then the board is attached to the wall. The black box at the top left is the NBN provided Arris cable modem and the larger black box to the right is the Optus provided “modem” which is really the router, wireless access point and VoIP adapter. The RJ11 socket on the wall is how the VoIP adapter connects to the existing phones throughout the house.

Since then I have been checking the NBN website every so often to see that the date for my place kept being pushed back until one day the message changed. I forgot to keep a screenshot, but instead of saying planned, it was now something like work was now needed for service. On a hunch I started to check other addresses nearby and found something interesting, all the houses were showing as ready for service, but the units (which included me) needed work…

The latet development is that I received a letter, specifially a “Notice of hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) installation” saying that their “construction partner intends to install nbn supplied equipment at your property between 26/09/2017 and 23/04/2018.” Apart from not liking the six month window, the information was quite good with a brochure explaining the types of installation (aerial vs underground) and that there would be an NBN utility box.

It seems like something if finally happening, so it is time to properly research plans.

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Completing my parents NBN install

Monday, June 12th, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Remember how the Optus part of my parents NBN install was postponed for a few weeks? The install is now complete and their internet and phone are now provided by the NBN instead of Optus Cable.

It did not go smoothly.

What my parents have told me about the Optus contractors:

  • They plugged in the Optus router and went to leave without altering the phone wiring. This was the entire point of having them present, so my Dad wouldn’t sign off on the work.
  • After going away to phone their supervisor they said they would do the work except that they couldn’t access the Optus CAU as they didn’t have a ladder, my Dad showed them where one was in the garage.
  • Twice they tried to get a sign-off, but my Dad insisted that it be tested, both times the phone wasn’t working.

I understand they there there for most of the day, and eventually it was all working, but it shouldn’t have been that difficult.

I will go over sometime soon to have a look at it for myself and to tidy up the installation. At minimum shorten a long cable, but probably also mount the equipment to the wall to get it out of the way.

As for my place? The website still says July, but I expect that to change…

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A partial NBN install

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 at 9:37 pm

When my parents were contacted late last year about moving to the NBN my advice was to wait, this turned out to be a worthwhile as a few weeks ago they were contacted again, this time with details, the same monthly price but not as good a deal as their current plan. When my mum rang them the result was a free speed boost (50mbps instead of 25mbps, when Optus Cable was 30mbps), the first three months free and free installation that will connect the existing phone points (normally $150).

The NBN side of the install happened a two weeks ago, so now they have a new coax line running in from the street and an NBN HFC modem sitting connected to nothing. The Optus part of the install should have been this week but has been cancelled, will be rescheduled in a few weeks.

At a similar time a co-worker also switched from Optus Cable to NBN, but they opted to change ISPs to get a better rate. Their connection is good now, but early on it was down for a few extended periods, but affecting everyone in their street so an NBN fault not an ISP fault.

I have also checked the status of my address, it used to say April but now says July…

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Is the NBN on its way?

Sunday, December 11th, 2016 at 11:27 am

When the National Broadband Network was first announced I was excited, but then disappointed as the area I lived wasn’t even listed as planned. Every so often there would be something in the news about changes to the rollout, but no dates for where I live…

My parents are on Optus Cable and recently have been contacted about moving to the NBN. However there is not much information about plans or costs, so my advice was to wait, because shouldn’t they have eighteen months to move? Plus who says Optus will be the best deal for them?

This has prompted me to look up my address, it was a pleasant surprise to see a date of April 2017. That is only a few months away, but the pessimistic part of me is expecting that to be pushed back.

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