Finally on ADSL

After 14 months of trying, we've finally been able to get ADSL. Hooray!!

I've been applying fairly regularly ever since we arrived in Oz but kept receiving the same reply - "no available ports on the exchange".

However, after being told ADSL had been activated for my line (it only took a couple of days), getting it working wasn't without a few hiccups. I spent about 5 hours on the phone to my ISP over the weekend trying to get it working. I'd configured my router exactly as instructed, and I could see from the logs that ADSL was active with the correct link speeds in both directions, it just wouldn't connect to the PPPoE Server at the ISP.

The first idiot that I spoke to at the ISP was certain that it must be a problem with my router. I new it was't, but they wouldn't escalate the call any further until I tried out another router. So I had to go out and buy a second router. I got it home, plugged it in and configured it and of course, still wouldn't connect. So I got on to my ISP again and then for about 3 hours they kept swapping me between customer services and technical support; technical support passed me to customer services because they thought the line hadn't been activated because they couldn't see any codes on the line (even though I could see it was activated from my own logs), and customer services passed me back to technical support because they had confirmation from Telstra that the line was activated. I got passed back and forth 3 times. I swear they do it on purpose to rack up the cost of my call to their premium number support line.

Eventually they realised it must be a problem on the line and they would need to escalate it to Telstra (similar to BT in the UK).

The next day, I discovered that my phone line was completely dead - couldn't even get a dial tone. So I got in touch with the ISP but they couldn't do anything and told me to ring Telstra. The thing is, Telstra aren't my phone company, my contract is with Optus. If I were to ring Optus and mention the problems I had with ADSL they would surely just tell me to ring my ISP as it must be related to that call. If I were to ring Telstra they would just tell me to ring Optus as I'm not a customer of Telstra. I decided to just wait and see what happens.

2 days later the phone line is still down, so I'm just about to ring my ISP when I hear on the news that the entire Optus network (phone, internet, mobile) is down in Queensland and parts of New South Wales. As it turned out a digger had cut through a fibre optic core line on the Gold Coast. It caused havoc - even to the point where Brisbane airport had to shut down operations due to no communications. What about the backup line you may ask, where was the resiliance? Well, this incident happened at exactly the time when their backup line was also down due to a completely unrelated hardware failure. A one in a million incident according to Optus.

When the Optus network came back up, I went home, checked my line and low and behold I had ADSL!

I've now ended up with 3 wireless routers. The third one is one I bought a couple of weeks ago after discovering that my Mac couldn't connect to my original wireless router due to a conflict between the chipsets. I still wanted to use my original router because it's a good one (Draytek Vigor 2600g) so I just went a purchased an extra wireless access point that I new I'd be able to connect to - an Apple Airport Express. What I discovered this week though, and I really don't know why this didn't dawn on me in the first place, is that just as my Mac can't connect wirelessly to my Draytek router, the Apple Express can't either because it uses the same chipset. The money I've wasted this week is unreal.

They other 2 routers won't go to waste though. I've decided on a configuration like this if I can get it to work:

Telephone connected into my Dlink wireless router downstairs.

Draytek router upstairs acting as a wireless client. This will have have a fixed ethernet connection to my spare PC (that I use for extra storage). It will also have a fixed ethernet connection to my SIP Voice over IP Phone so that I can make free calls to the UK. Furthermore I'll be able to plug in my printer to the USB port on the router so that I can do wireless printing.

As for the Apple router, this will also be a wireless client on the network and I'll be able to use the USB port on this to plug in my external hard drive so I'll have another wireless storage device. I use this in conjunction with Time Machine on my mac which automatically backs up my data every hour.

All very well in theory...

Let the torrent downloads commence (only for legal distributions of course :-})!