Category Archives: ISPs

Internet Service Providers

Fast uploads on NBN

I had been on Uniti Wireless for some years for home broadband. Costing $79/month, it was pretty good, and is the equivalent of NBN 50/20 speeds. But I really wanted faster uploads, and Uniti recently has had slow down problems, with speeds dropping randomly through the day. And twice this year it’s had outages.

Plus, since I joined Uniti, my street got NBN, opening up more options.

But I don’t understand why it’s so hard to find NBN plans with upload speeds of 40+ Mbps, and why they’re so expensive. You basically have to pay for 100 Mbps or higher downloads to get faster uploads.

Search sites like Finder have the option to look only for 50+ upload speeds, but then all it finds is one 250/50 plan costing $209/month, which is overkill.

Canstar only allows you to filter by download speeds. It does find one 100/40 plan from Belong, which Belong’s own web site doesn’t know about. Very helpful. Ditto TPG. The big companies, Telstra and Optus, don’t even offer fast uploads.

I found a page that supposedly highlights fast uploads. Two of the five options listed are only 20 Mbps. Really?

Anyway, after some hunting around, here are a few options I found:

ProviderPlan Download/UploadInitial monthly costUsual monthly cost
Leaptel500/50$109 for first 12 months$129
Aussie Broadband100/40$109$109
iiNet450/40$119.99 for first 6 months$149.99
Superloop100/40$75 for first 6 months$89
Exetel100/40$74.99 for first 6 months$88.99

I’m sure there are more, but let’s not make the decision harder than it has to be.

As I understand it, Superloop and Exetel are the same company, which is why the pricing is near-identical. I’m somewhat suspicious of the amount of advertising Superloop is doing at the moment, and wonder if they have an influx of customers, what support will be like when something goes wrong.

My old provider, Uniti (using fixed wireless) has been pretty good but continually falls down with poor support when anything goes wrong.

iiNet I’ve used in the past and they were very good for support, and their service includes mobile internet as a backup during outages. But their only plan with 50+ upload is 450 download, which I don’t need, and is way more expensive any anything else.

But I ended up with Aussie Broadband, which has a very good reputation for good support. So far so good. 100+ downloads, 35-40 uploads.

Good by world standards? Probably not.

But fine for AU. I’m happy with that for now.

Month one with NetSpace: two support calls

One two occassions I’ve had to call NetSpace, my new ISP, because the Intertubes went away.

On both occasions, I was on hold for quite a while – 40 minutes, Thank the Lord and Maker that He Invented handsfree telephones.  On the second call the support guy helpfully pointed out that they could have called me back if I’d pressed “1”, and then clarified that I wouldn’t lose my position in the queue.  Mental note for next time.  Trouble shooting in both took more than a half hour, and assumed that there was a working Windows box in the house – that was a bit of a stretch.

Both calls to NetSpace were for the same problem – Authentication Failure.  No, we didn’t forget the password to the account.  For the first call, it appeared that the problem was resolved when the modem settings were altered from the factor default (and ISP specified) PPPoE to PPPoA (VC-BASED); the second required changing the account password, and changing it back.

This does not bode well, and I expect there will be a next time.

What am I meant to do when my home phone is a VoIP phone?

Goldplated parts

What dumbarse designed the Optusnet web site? Out of interest I went to compare plans to other providers, and Optusnet has turned into a portal which has so much stuff on it, I can’t even find anything about services they sell.

When I did find it (memo to self: go to the main Optus site, not the Optusnet site), I found some totally incredible equipment service charges, where if a problem isn’t their fault, and you’re out of warranty, you’ll get slugged:

  • Faulty Network Interface Card (NIC) — Service call ($99.00) and replacement fee for NIC ($50.00)
  • Faulty Ethernet Cable — Service call ($99.00) and replacement of Ethernet cable ($55.00)

Please tell me I’m reading that wrong. They’ll try and charge me $149 for replacing a NIC? $154 for replacing an Ethernet cable?

Where does one buy a $55 Ethernet cable, anyway? It’s like $10 a metre retail. And it’s not hard to buy a NIC for under $20. I guess Optus’ ones are all gold-plated.

I guess they don’t really want the business.

ADSL2+ at more AU exchanges

Telstra has upgraded a bunch more exchanges around Australia to ADSL2+, including my humble local in Bentleigh, Victoria. When I looked, Whirlpool’s Broadband Choice hadn’t been updated with the new information yet, but you can check via Telstra Bigpond’s page.

Whether I upgrade or not is another matter. I’ve noticed that while downloading Linux torrents, the bottleneck is actually at my PC, not the modem/net connection. The torrent speed is pretty good, but the connection on the PC doing the torrenting is swamped, while the other PC sharing the modem isn’t. This is a very puzzling thing to me, and something I need to explore further, as obviously something (LAN card maybe?) is operating sub-par. Obviously that needs tackling first… until then, 1500/256 will do me.

Just in case you need to know

My main web provider logs all their problems onto a fault-tracking database, and publishes them onto the Web, including via RSS, to make sure their customers are kept informed, and can work around things where necessary.

Even down to the most trivial thing.

We are currently experiencing issues with the on hold music on our telephone system. This is causing customers to receive silence when placed on hold. Periodic messages are still being played.

This will be rectified tomorrow morning.

Maybe I don’t need to know that, but it’s reassuring to know they’re being open and honest about any faults that occur. If only all companies were this open.