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!
What's on at iTandCoffee ?
iTandCoffee is at 34 High Street Glen Iris 3146, Victoria Australia
Call 1300 885 420 or (03) 9886 0814
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