This has nothing to do with federal government broadband plans (which I am ignoring for the time being) but my own broadband connection(s) here at home.
I quite like the sound of Virgin Broadband — you get your home phone and Internet bundled for $60/month. Internet runs off the mobile network: 3.5G (HSDPA), 3G (UMTS) or 2.5G (GPRS). We are apparently in the 3G coverage zone so I decided to take advantage of the 30 day trial.
That was Monday. Apparently my existing net connection got wind of this because it up and died that afternoon (it is still down). With anticipation I plugged in my new Virgin modem and got … GPRS. That’s the one they say is “slow” like a modem. They aren’t kidding.
Tonight I was in contact with Unisky, my wireless broadband provider. They suspect my radio (modem) is dead and will need replacing as they can’t get a ping from it. However, it’s $110 to have a tech guy come out to confirm this and $550 to replace the equipment — $660. Yikes. I have asked them to outline my options including other technicians, buying my own equipment and/or cancelling the contract.
I like to be eccentric. So I decided to see if we could get a better signal putting the Virgin modem outside. It’s currently sitting outside on the air conditioner fan housing and we’ve had a solid 3–3.5G connection for about an hour. It’s great. And fast!! Now if only we can work out a way to do this and keep the modem inside the house where it belongs … wish me luck, I hope there’s light at the end of this tunnel!