ADSL and Phone woes

Discussion in 'Networking, Telephony & Internet' started by pfrcom, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    I've been using Exetel ADSL with bundled phone line for a few years now (Telstra infrastructure), and usually satisfied with service

    Until last week, link dropped in middle of day, although did reconnect after few minutes

    Since then, woeful performance

    Finally, having background hiss on voice as well, I called Exetel "support"

    What with hiss and offshore bloke's accent, quite a frustrating experience which culminated in him offering to get Telstra to investigate, provided I'd accept $220 charge if they reckoned nothing was wrong on their side - which I declined

    We do have two phones in the house, have had intermittent problems losing dial tone with one furthest from the modem

    I've subsequently replaced Thomson TG782T, in Bridge mode feeding TP-Link C7 running Gargoyle

    Also replaced both ADSL filters - all replacements new

    At present, have dial tones on both phones with TG782T connected at 2560/886 kbps - best it's been for a week

    We are distance from exchange (Warranwood, Vic), hence the setup

    $60 question(s)

    Any point asking for Telstra investigation, likely to just get stung for $220?

    Change ISP, jump from frying pan into fire? - if so, to which ISP?

    NBN supposed to be available next year - grit teeth, put up with it, become early adopter?
     
  2. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Considering you've isolated that none of your equipment is to blame, then yes.


    JSmith
     
  3. caspian

    caspian Member

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    this is another example of why you don't use cheap crappy ISPs. last time I looked the Telstra callout fee is $130, including 15 mins of labour, and that only applies if the fault is found to be outside of their network - typically that means wiring inside your house past the first socket, or any of your connected equipment.

    if Exetel are telling you it's $220, they are planning to pocket $90 for the privilege of doing their job and getting their Telstra connection fixed. yes, it's their connection - they are Telstra's customer.

    your problem now is that the line syncs at well above Telstra's minimums, and with dial tone working, so there's no contractual fault from Telstra's point of view. even if the line used to sync higher than that, that's not defined as a fault until it drops below minimum acceptable levels.

    your call if you want to roll the dice, just be very aware that you are indeed gambling with no guarantee whatsoever of any improvement.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Thanks for your insights Caspian

    I was insufficiently precise in my original post - my connection is supposed to be ADSL2+

    FWIW, I'm on a T20-3 plan which is no longer marketed - I've attached a screenshot of the sales guff at the time

    My dilemma, is there an ISP offering ADSL2+, who isn't a cheap crappy ISP

    I believe TPG own all formerly top tier ISPs, like Internode, IINet, etc

    And choices where I live are very restricted

    So, who I am gonna call?
     

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  5. slavewone

    slavewone Member

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    I’m on a grandfathered Exetel plan too and I think I have been with them since 2004.

    They throw the cost at you every time, perhaps hoping you will save them operations time or at least recover any charges Telstra throw at them. I’ve gone ahead perhaps 4 or 5 times and never been charged. Typically it was water in a particular pit.
     
  6. caspian

    caspian Member

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    it's cool, I know what you meant. the issue is that Telstra, like most telcos, work off an assurance model where there's a minimum stated performance below which there is considered to be a fault condition. if you can attain faster than that, there is no fault - even if you could previously get a lot faster and the speed has deteriorated. it's a best-effort scenario - they guarantee the minimum only, above that is luck.

    Telstra *used* to (over my agonised screams) set the minimum at 110KB/s of *throughput*, which is dumb when they have no effective means to measure throughput, and DSL assurance is based on layer 1 connectivity speed. I was in a position to say it was dumb to the people making the decision at the time, but I was overruled for some internal reasons not worth going into (beyond the obvious that the people involved had no idea and wouldn't be told). I am glad to see they now work on something useful like connectivity speed which is easily measured, but the actual speed itself hasn't changed much! as the screenshot says.... ADSL2 (actually ADSL2+, Telstra has never offered ADSL2) line speeds are from 1536/256 to what your line can attain.

    I was going to say ABB, but I see they no longer take on new ADSL connections. :( I agree that doesn't leave a lot of choice now, with Internode a shell of its former self. I can't really believe I am saying this, but TPG may seriously be a contender. /wanders off sadly
     
  7. OP
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    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Thanks again Caspian

    At this time, with ~34 hours uptime at 2560/886, it's hard to see value in changing to another ISP who I presume would still be using the same Telstra copper to get to their DSLAM

    Or would they? - I notice the covers on some of the new pits in my area have TPG logo, rather than Telstra or Optus or (gasp) PMG

    So, up with it I must put, until NBN becomes available, at which time I might change my usual inclination not to be an early adopter

    At least I've now learned not to consider using Exetel for NBN - seems to me the quality of one's RSP support is key to having a good NBN experience
     
  8. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Not sure about that...

    https://www.optus.com.au/shop/broadband/mobile-broadband/netgear-ac800s

    $85 a month for 500GB isn't useless IMO, but may drop of in speed in peak times... generally should be 20 - 50Mbps most of the time. I suppose latency can be a issue if gaming a lot, otherwise...

    If your currently with Optus or a provider that utilises their network I guess you can test what speeds you may get at home.


    JSmith
     
  9. caspian

    caspian Member

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    if the pits have TPG on them it's for their own fibre infrastructure, which is unrelated to the copper that carries your service now.

    what could potentially be done depending on the ISP is to get their own technician out to test the line to a higher standard that the cursory one that Telstra would apply in the circumstances. for instance, a TDR fault might find a degraded joint that can be fixed if the ISP wants to push hard enough for it to be done. like many situations, it may be a matter of the customer - the ISP - being persistent beyond the standard response.

    no guarantees though.
     
  10. OP
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    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    I looked for availability of Optus Cable, knowing one of the neighbours has it, but Wireless is all their computer was interested in offering me

    Where I live is absolutely diabolical for mobile phone reception, so I didn't give wireless a thought
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Speaking of which, while browsing Whirlpool forums looking for alternatives, I stumbled on the URL for Exetel's Helpdesk

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I opened a ticket at Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:14

    Just checked, no response as at Fri, 23 Aug 2019 17:20 :tired:

    For any other masochists using Exetel, it's https://helpdesk.exetel.com.au/
     
  12. OP
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    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Exetel rep denies this - https://whrl.pl/RfVjO2

    Finally got actioned after Sun 25-Aug-2019 19:27 following Exetel rep's escalation in response to Whirlpool thread I posted
     
  13. Pugs

    Pugs Member

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    Optus cable will most likely be turned off at some point.. nbn bought it found it was a pile of crap...
     
  14. caspian

    caspian Member

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    NBN didn't buy it after finding out it was the aforementioned très crap. they have, however, paid Optus to no longer use it and migrate their services to the NBN.

    colour me surprised. :rolleyes: to my knowledge the Telstra charge is actually $135.
     
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  15. dimension11

    dimension11 Member

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    I'd go with the charge, and if they do charge it, then dispute with the TIO, that would cost them as much if the TIO investigate, so they're likely to waive or decrease significantly the charge if it comes down to that.
    Then switch providers.
     
  16. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    In this case they won't as OP said @ WP;

    https://whrl.pl/RfVjoY


    JSmith
     
  17. caspian

    caspian Member

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    the only way a non-carrier tech can determine distance like that is with a TDR, which will pick up every joint and connection in the line. that doesn't mean they are faults, lines have multiple joints - they are only an issue if actually electrically faulty, which requires manual investigation, and thus risks a callout fee if there's nothing actually wrong.

    at 25m the TDR will be picking up the tapout joint where the leadin connects to the local street cabling.

    a TIO level 1 fee is something like $31. (that's probably out of date, but it was the last number I could find.) the fees only become meaningful if the complaint is substantiated and the TIO actually has to broker a resolution.
     
  18. OP
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    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Don't know a TDR looks like, but I noticed his test gear was in a Tektronix case

    He showed me its screen when he tested - was a flat line, then a big bump coinciding with the fault

    His first reaction to the test was to say line break, then later revised to most likely corrosion

    When we built, paid extra for underground power & phone lines, so can't see where phone line comes from - but 25M for fault location coincides with a grey plastic Telstra box about 2.5M up a power pole in front of our place

    The last few warmish days can get ~2.5Mbps if I reset TG782T in the afternoon, but by next morning it will have degraded to <1
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  19. caspian

    caspian Member

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  20. OP
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    pfrcom

    pfrcom Member

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    Spoke too soon - had regular dropouts all yesterday afternoon (Wed 4-Sep-19)

    Here's the sorry state when I checked this morning, ~0.5Mbps :tired:

    (Don't be misled by the times - TG782T seems always to start at Jan 1 ~10:00)


    Click to view full size!
     

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