If you are a regular reader of this iTandCoffee blog/newsletter, you will know that we finally had our NBN connection completed at the start of August - nearly 6 months after it was first supposed to be connected.
I must say that we have remained very impressed with the speed that we get from our new NBN HFC connection - download speeds of around 100Mbps and upload speeds of up to 40Mbps. A huge improvement on our ADSL line.
Did we speak too soon?
But this week saw the iTandCoffee shop without internet for 1½ days.
On the first day, visiting the Telstra Service Status webpage showed that there was an 'outage' in our area.
Thank goodness for my Personal Hotspot!
As frustrating as that is, there is not much anyone can do in that situation - other than regularly checking to see when the service is back online, and using your mobile phone's 'personal hotspot' temporarily to provide internet connectivity.
(Here's a past article on this: Lend your mobile internet to your Wi-Fi only device - using your Personal Hotspot)
Even the backup 'dongle' failed!
In saying this, as a business customer, we had a mobile backup device attached to our Telstra modem - one that was supposed to 'cut in' whenever the NBN service was not working.
Unfortunately, this mobile device failed to work. It turned out that this was because the technician who visited in August had installed the wrong SIM card in that mobile device.
Diagnosing and fixing this problem involved over 2 hours on the phone with Telstra on the first day of our outage.
While this mobile backup 'dongle' could provide internet to a couple of attached devices in our building, it could not handle the number of Wi-Fi devices we needed to connect so was not really workable. So we resorted to hotspotting.
Day 2 Woes
On the next day, however, the Telstra Service Status showed there was no outage in our area. This meant that, supposedly, we should have internet again.
Given that we had a class that morning, we very pleased to see this!
Unfortunately, we very occasionally had internet - very, very slow - but it kept cutting in and out. It was not usable.
We figured the problem must be at our end, so went through all the requisite steps of restarting our various devices and then checking our connection again. Still no good.
Yet another call to Telstra
A call to Telstra just before the class (after a 15 minute wait on hold) confirmed there was no Telstra outage. Further pressing about our issue revealed that there was, however, an NBN upgrade underway for our area - and that this would most like be the cause of our problems.
When I asked the Telstra representative why the information about the NBN upgrade (and its impact) was not showing on the Telstra Service Status web page, he said that this was because it was nothing to do with Telstra! Telstra did not have have an outage, and was not doing an upgrade. Go figure.
On that merry-go-round again
When I asked how long the outage was likely to be (due to the upgrade by NBN), the Telstra rep told me I would need to contact NBN.
I did go to the NBN website to look for a number or a web page. On that website it said that, for any faults and outages, I had to contact my internet provider.
Around and around I was being sent again, in yet another frustrating example of how NBN and Telstra 'pass the buck' to each other.
More time on the phone to Telstra
I called back Telstra (after a class with no internet), and waited another 15 minutes to be connected. The next representative confirmed that there was no way of contacting NBN about such an upgrade, but that NBN did provide that information to Telstra (and other retailers).
Again I pressed him about why this information was not on the Telstra website, and got the same response as previously - not a Telstra upgrade or fault!
He told me that he could see that this NBN upgrade would be in progress until September 13th (and we were having problems on September 7th!)
So we just had to wait it out.
Great news (not) for a business that is completely reliant on an internet connection.
Finally! It's back!
We finally got back a workable internet connection at 2pm on the second day, and have not been impacted since.
I just wonder at the volume of calls to the Telstra call centre that could have been avoided by simply showing on the website the information that they had available to them.
And my 4-5 hours over two days spent on the issue and on the phone to Telstra could have, once again, been used for more productive purposes!
I have had several calls and questions this week about issues with internet connections, and with sending emails.
If you live in the Camberwell, Canterbury or Glen Iris area of Melbourne and use Bigpond Cable for your internet, it is worth noting that there has been an ongoing problem since Wednesday evening. At our house, we have suffered constant dropouts over the last few days.
Checking your Telstra service status for problems with your internet
Something that is worth knowing is that you can always do a check of the Telstra's network status by visiting the web page servicestatus.telstra.com.
This page allows you to key in your postcode, and see if there are any currently known or scheduled interruptions to your services.
Does your mail account really need you to enter a password
One of the consequences of a network outage with your service provider is that device can start popping up a messages saying that you need to enter a password for your Apple ID or for your mail account.
Before you start trying passwords (and perhaps confuse things by putting in the wrong password), check first if your internet is actually working by going to Safari and searching for something. If this doesn't work, then you can be fairly sure that your internet connection or your WiFi is not currently working.
First 'ports of call' if you are having internet issues
I will always turn on airplane mode, then turn it off again to re-establish my connection - and then check if I have internet.
If this doesn't help and I am at home, I will turn off my router and turn it back on.
My next 'port of call' after that doesn't work is to check the Telstra service status using the above-mentioned link.
What to do if this doesn't help
Hopefully this helps for the next time you have issues with your internet. If you are still having issues and are a Telstra customer, there may be another issue impacting you.
There have been several calls to iTandCoffee just this week about problems sending from Bigpond mail accounts, where these accounts are the old 'Pop' style. Many people are reporting the same problem online. iTandCoffee can assist with this resolving this issue (and other general connection problems).
Just call 1300 885 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment - we can come to you if you are in Melbourne.
Call 1300 885 420
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