I woke up on Monday morning to find I had no internet access. I know, the worst first world problem ever. There was no ‘internet’ light on my router and no ‘DSL’ light either, indicating that the line was not active.

I called my ISP Internode and explained. This is the third time at least this has happened since I got rid of my landline and got naked ADSL, so I’m now familiar with telling them what they need to know to take action. The first time they wasted days of my time making me try my router in a different port, and with a different cable, and finally trying a different router they sent me before being convinced that the problem was not my equipment or problem solving ability but the line somewhere between my building and the exchange.

I told the helpful Internode tech support person I had already tried the router with a different cable and in a different port, yes I am aware that it is an old model but it still works perfectly, yes I know what the different lights mean and no I don’t have a spare router / modem lying around I can test with.

I managed to convince him to check the line in his system and he suddenly said ‘oh yes’ and explained that he could tell that my line had been disconnected from its port at the Collingwood exchange. He logged a job with Telstra to fix it and said an SMS message would notify me of the ETA on the repair. Telstra owns the physical network infrastructure like exchanges and only their staff can alter the exchanges.

A few hours later the SMS arrived and said it would be fixed at the latest in 8 days time. This was unacceptable. I took my laptop to the Fitzroy library to use the wifi there to do some research and read the morning news. The cause was simple. A lazy ignorant Telstra tech had looked for a spare line, tried mine, found no dial tone on it and so assumed it and / or the port were unused. He repurposed them without doing the simple test necessary to discover if the line or port was in use.

Of course my line has no dial tone. I have a naked ADSL connection, in other words internet over the phone line with no phone number or account, so there is no dial tone. I discovered in my research that getting your naked ADSL randomly disconnected by Telstra fuckwits is a common problem. The cause is Telstra’s antiquated and incompetent approach to delivering online services.

Telstra refuses to provide naked ADSL to its retail customers. It wholesales connectivity to resellers like Internode who do offer naked ADSL, but Telstra doesn’t want to know about it. It doesn’t offer it, and doesn’t support it in theory or in practice, so presumably it doesn’t train its line technicians to be aware of it.

The simple facts are these: Telstra made a lazy negligent change to the Collingwood exchange, thus interfering with the physical property I am renting from Internode (a line and port at the exchange to provide me with internet access), which Internode in turn rents from Telstra. This behaviour was in contravention of its wholesale agreement with Internode, which it knows is providing naked ADSL. It therefore knows it should check lines for naked ADSL before repurposing them, and should train and instruct its technicians accordingly.

Telstra basically broke or stole my internet access. After 24 hours I’d had enough of the situation. I wasn’t going to wait for days for it to be fixed, so I started tweeting them. Within 3 hours it was fixed. Another example whereby the best way to force lazy incompetent corporations like Telstra to do their job is to publicly embarrass them into compliance. No doubt one of their PR performance indicators is how many negative social media mentions they receive. The only way to stop the negative PR is to fix the problem. So the problem was fixed.

I partly work from home. Fortunately I had no work on Monday. I lost a day of access, which is trivial in itself. Internode offered to credit me for a day’s worth of my account, but a $60 per month account means about $2 a day and that’s meaningless. The opportunity cost is the issue. I could have lost paid work. And I lost time as it took time to identify, report and monitor the problem. Telstra offers no recourse and no compensation. That’s typical Telstra – fuck it up and refuse to take responsibility.

if you have naked ADSL internet, expect Telstra to fuck it up for you

6 thoughts on “if you have naked ADSL internet, expect Telstra to fuck it up for you

  • 21 October 2015 at 10:43 am
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    That is very interesting and just plain incompetence. Where is the policy set where a seemingly inactive line is used for something else without a proper check as to whether it is inactive. You can usually look a little higher up the chain than the person on the floor, that is training and how an apparently inactive line should correctly be checked.

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  • 27 October 2015 at 9:17 pm
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    I’ve had very similar issues with internode and Telstra in the past couple of months. Not losing Internet altogether but terrible speeds and general incompetence from both sides when it comes to addressing the issue. Also in a rented property in fitzroy. Where the NBN (or the version this government want us to have) is not coming for 2+ years. Frustrating!

    Reply
  • 18 February 2017 at 1:35 pm
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    Hi Brian

    Looks like I am having the same issue…
    Just moved into a studio where nobody lived for 3 months, received router from MyRepublic, no DSL signal, I guess my line is disconnected at exchange…

    ISP told me they will send someone to check in 72 hours. Did you try calling Telstra or only thing that helps is chasing them on social media? No idea what to tell them since I am not Telstra customer.

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    • 18 February 2017 at 2:21 pm
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      Your ISP is responsible for providing the connection and for logging issues with the infrastructure provider Telstra.

      Reply
  • 18 February 2017 at 10:34 pm
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    Brian, you know what Telstra did for a fact, or is this merely supposition on your part ? Just curious.

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    • 19 February 2017 at 9:36 am
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      Internode told me this is a commonly recurring problem. The problem is in the exchange, which Telstra owns and has sole access to and responsibility for. Therefore yes it is a fact beyond reasonable doubt that Telstra caused the problem, and they quickly fixed it when I gave them an incentive to by publicly embarrassing them via Twitter.

      Reply

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