Today I took the first step towards getting myself ADSL enabled at my new address. Following the suggestions of some of my fellow bloggers I have requested an ISDN service from Telstra. This will result in two things. First, by law Telstra must be able to provide a 64kbps digital service and in order to do that at least one of the ISDN supporting pairs needs to have pretty good line quality.
After I’ve had the service for a few months I will ask Telstra to perform a Service Qualification (SQ) test to determine if signal loss is an issue. I’ve discovered by reading the Whirlpool Forums that the who distance from the exchange thing is a bit of a lie, the issue is purely signal loss – it just so happens that one of the many possible things that can affect the signal is distance.
If that doesn’t work then I will request a completely new analog line be installed, but when I do I will request the NPGDSL service flag which will cause the request to be redirected to another department which performs a more thorough examination to the point where they try to find an alternate route through the local network of wires to find a solid connection.
My fallback position is a 128K ISDN service which will actually be significantly faster than the connection I have at the moment anyway. This whole experience has given me a lot to think about, especially in relation to provision of broadband services as a selling point for a property and also the impact of dial-up connections on the educational prospects of children.
Won’t somebody think of the children!
My daughter (Bella) who is four years old has always had access to a broadband connection, so when she logs onto some of her favourite web-sites, including ones with lots of sizable flash files they pretty much came down instantly. After the move her browsing experience has been significantly degraded to the point that the educational experience that she gets from the web-sites becomes disjointed and she can lose focus. If that happens she might *gasp* go outside and play in the sandpit (extreme sarcasm).
Does this property come with a broadband service?
A few years ago I was interested in the various rental apartment offerings in the Seattle/Redmond/Bellevue area in Washington State, USA. At the time I was impressed by how many of the rental properties there included broadband in the package – even houses. I don’t think that this trend has quite reached Australia – which is unfortunate.
One nice little earner that Telstra could put together is a “certified ADSL provisioning” stamp for specific addresses in which Telstra guarantees that ADSL can be provided. Landlords and homeowners could purchase this stamp for their properties at some cost – say $1000+ dollars. The idea is that the cumulative earnings from the stamp program could fund the provision of ADSL in those areas that would normally have it but for some technical reason failed service qualification.
Of course, this could be a double edged sword for consumers because Telstra might start flat out rejecting ADSL applications if the property in question does not carry the stamp. I’m actually starting to think that, despite my general negative feelings towards government regulation that we need to spend a bit more time getting broadband provision regulations in place such that all homes in Australia can get a guaranteed 1MB+ connection at a reasonable cost – if only part of a commitment to future generations.
Special Thanks to Bill McCarthy, Andrew Parsons and “Calrion” for their advice on my earlier post about my broadband situation. Oh – and to Darren, you didn’t seriously think I would take this problem lying down did you?