declining state of the internet

Fing Box reveals the declining state of the internet (rant)

A new feature in Fing Box is a monthly report on the state of your internet. It could be exactly what you need to nail your NBN supplier, or at least provide evidence to the Telecommunications Ombudsman. It reveals a declining state of the internet.

First, let’s not blame NBN for the declining state of the internet. What the report will tell you is more likely due to your CSP (Carriage Service Provider). There are some excellent ones and some shockers.

The excellent ones tend to cost more because they deliver better peak speeds. The shockers ramp up the contention ratio (the number of people sharing your node internet speed) – kind of watering down the beer to make it go further.

Now I am not unhappy at my Central Coast NSW home serviced by FTTN (Fibre to the node), but the Fing Box report is sobering reading. For September 2018

  • Uptime was 99.608%. But in reality, that is 169.344 minutes I was off-line.
  • Good days: Only 19 days out of 30 did not experience an interruption
  • Outages: 16 totalling 2 hours and 49 minutes.
  • Download speed averaged 89.6Mbps – sightly down on August
  • Upload speed averaged 33.4Mbps down 14% on August
  • The overall trend is a worsening of internet speed since installation in June 2017 when average download speeds were 96Mbps.

Previously Fing Box sent me emails of outages. Since January this year, it has advised me of 57 (average 6 per month). Please note that complaints to Telstra (my CSP – crap service provider) achieved nothing except continued threats to charge me to send a technician out to investigate. How dare I complain!

I was royally pissed-off at Telstra so I did complain.

declining state of the internet

First, and these are guestimates only, I have spent the equivalent of over 40 hours on the phone to Telstra in the past 12 months trying to get issues resolved.

It cancelled (arbitrarily) my internet installation at the central coast eight times. That is a bummer when you work in Sydney and have to travel about 1.5 hours to be there. Eight wasted days and then threats to bill me for technician visits when the cancellations were its fault!

Next, it incompetently entered my details as a new customer when I have been a customer of Telstra and its predecessors for over 40 years. It is a long story, but I have a Sydney apartment, and a Central Coast home. The latter was set up as a new customer on a 24-month contract despite the assurance that it would not and receiving a letter accordingly. Pure lazy call-centre staff are to blame.

declining state of the internet

Then there were the 20 outages in a week a few months back. Again hours spent on the phone to report it and be told that a technician will attend and I must be home but will charge me if they find nothing wrong. I argued that the Fing reports would mitigate that and offered to email them to the call centre. Well imagine my surprise when a Telstra modem was dumped outside my front door – it is still sitting in its box as the outages are not the modems fault!

I recently also spent hours on the phone only to be told by the Philippines call centre operator that she needed to do some more research on overcharging issues and promised to get back to me within a few days. Six weeks later still no response and I had to do it all again.

This time, with steam rising from my balding pate I insisted that I speak to a complaints officer.

“Sorry no, sir I cannot do that”. An hour later I was escalated to said complaints officer, and the whole process started over again. Only this time he could do something about it!

No wonder Telstra only gets two stars from 2,243 ratings on Product Review (it is worth reading if only to know you are not alone).

declining state of the internet

Anyway, the moral of this rant is that it takes sheer persistence to get service from Telstra and too many simply give up. If the so-called premium provider is this bad, I pity other provider’s users.

Now with the $149 Fing Box at least I have some real ammunition to pursue lousy Telstra service. The declining state of the internet is your CSP’s responsibility – not NBN.

By the way, it does more than give me rocks to throw at Telstra. I would not do a fing online without it.

  • Mobile and Web App
  • Plug & Play
  • Easy to set-up
  • Digital Presence Monitoring
  • Intruder and Hacker Alerts
  • Vulnerability and Threat Detection
  • 24/7 Remote Monitoring
  • Parental Controls
  • Network and Device Alerts
  • Bandwidth Analysis
  • Wi-Fi Speed Tests
  • Automated Internet Speed Tests
  • ISP Ranking
  • Surrounding Device Detection (Digital Fence)

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