will I ever escape dialup?

I really don’t like Telstra (for those that don’t know, they have a bit of a stranglehold on the telephone system in Australia). Dialup internet is limited to 31.2K (even on a 56K modem) because our phone line is “pair gained”. I think that’s the technical term for screwed (at least, for internet access).

It also means DSL broadband is not available. There’s no cable. Options are really limited. So I thought to try something different: wireless broadband. And we did it. Last Monday, an antennae was put up on the roof which points at a repeater station on a nearby mountain. That connects into the Internet at some stage, and we’re connected into it all through the network. Doesn’t use the phone line at all! Quite expensive to install, but worth it for broadband.

Or so I thought — results have been mixed. Ping times are great (much faster than my dialup connection), but there is a lot of packet loss. I contacted the helpdesk on the third night and was told they have outgrown their capacity (too many users, not enough bandwidth to share around). They have upgrades planned to fix that. And I really hope they do, and soon.

Today however, I can’t get any service at all. A hub has gone down somewhere. So here I am back on dialup, the last place I thought I would be after going to such lengths to get broadband. Have I made a tremendous mistake? Or will my new ISP come through? Only time will tell…