Saturday, November 13, 2004

Telstra Big Pong

Lately I have been deliriously happy with Telstra Big Pond cable service. But there have been times when it has truly pissed me off. Mainly around two years to eighteen months ago when it was just not working. How many calls I made to the tech desk, knowing in my heart that the fault was not at my end. But even tech support is better now. It only takes two minutes of listening and pressing buttons to hear that, 'Victorian bigpond cable customers may be experiencing connection difficulties, slow web browsing and email, or not working at all'.

Actually I think the problem started last night when I went to publish my latest blog entry and it timed out and was completely lost. Of course it is never as good the second time you write it, but I gave it shot.

We had no knowledge of computers when we bought our first one in 1996. It was fairly obvious that the big button turned it on. It came with 12 months free net access to Compushare or something like that. You could only ever connect offpeak, it was always engaged peak time. It was unbelievably slow, although after connecting friends to Primus dial up this year, maybe things have not progressed much.

The next company was It was a subsidary of a large company who's name I have forgotten, but it was ok until I left pc connected to the net over a whole weekend and incurred an extra charge. Next was something like, that was ok too, up to a point. There was always trouble with dial up with any company. Then came eisa with a great deal and while they lasted just before they went broke, they had great service. But just before they went broke, a friend alerted me to a Telstra cable deal. $100 connection fee, then monthly charge of less than the second phone line and call in charges cost us for dial up. We jumped at it.

Two men came and dug up the street, laid a cable, two more came back and filled in and re-asphalted, another two dug up beside the house and put in a conduit and cable inside it and a box on the outside of the house ( I was horrified to think that neighbours thought we might have been getting cable tv), another man came and installed the indoor point and cable across the room and placed the modem and another came and set it all up on the pc. Real cost must have been near $1000.

Then we moved here, where it is 'backbone wired' for Telstra cable, even though today on Telstras website it still indicates that Telstra cable is not available here.

It was a condition of me moving that we could have cable net access, so in spite of my protestations, my partner insisted it was connected the day we moved in. Moving, combined with simultaneous property settlements is stressful enough, but add to that, the Telstra techie could not get a connection. We had to contact the building manager to get access to the service room on our level. We ended having to buy a new modem. A month or so later I protested to Telstra and they did rebate a significant amount of money. I concluded that our modem was very old and probably things had moved on, but should have worked. I moved the pc and bits myself in the car.

Apart from today, I am pretty happy with Telstra cable.

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