Monday, 20 June 2016

Rejoining Telstra

As I've written elsewhere, we've recently moved to rural Victoria, something which in technical terms has involved a bit of backtracking on our part.

Outside of the cities all these competing telecom companies don't really operate, it's like telecom deregulation had never happened, it's Telstra all the way.

We had been Telstra customers but their service was so bad that at the end of 2013 we ditched them for TPG, who actually managed to provide working broadband, and used the money saved to put a backup 3G connection in place for when our internet went down (basically every time it rained).

Well TPG worked for us for a couple of years,even if the internet service started becoming as erratic as Telstra's once Netflix arrived, especially during school holidays, but the 3g service kept on as a reliable, if slow backup - I was actually quite impressed at how good it was, happily supporting two or three outgoing connections and managing an almost undetectable switchover whenever the main ADSL service failed.

But there's no TPG in Beechworth so it's back to Telstra, something I was dreading given our previous bad experience, but we've ended up with a service that's four or five times faster than TPG ever managed in Fadden, more than adequate for streaming media - finally we've caught up with the rest of the world.

The only annoyance is that our hipster mobiles don't work reliably - if you've been following the latest series of Rake on the ABC you'll remember the sequence where Cleaver is hiding out in some quiet place in the bush and has to climb a ladder propped up against the outside dunny to get a phone signal.

We're not that bad, but if you want a conversation it's either down by the compost heap  at the bottom of the back yard or the front porch, neither of which are great for privacy. Text messages work, and usually the phone will ring inside the house meaning a mad dash across the yard before the other person rings off.

On the other hand Skype works well due to our decent wifi and internet so there's always an alternative - at worst I can redirect mobile phones to our Skype service ...